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FISA Obsolete

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Abuse of Power, FISA, National Security, Oregon, Video )

- 2184 days ago -
See 1st comment.


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TomCat S (123)
Monday July 29, 2013, 3:18 am
You have seen me voice my displeasure at The Obama Administration’s use of the FISA court, with the caveat that he has to use all the tools at his disposal, because a terrorist attack of 9/11 proportions would spell the end of the Democratic Party, if he failed to do so. Only Republicans are gifted enough at BS to have allowed 9/11, through their incompetence, at best, to blame Democrats for it, and to survive. I am fortunate that my elected Senators and Representative, all of whom I have supported, lead the struggle to bring FISA onto the 21st century.

Kit B (276)
Monday July 29, 2013, 5:31 am

Wyden is almost the only voice of sanity. The FISA court has a long history of abuse since it's inception in the late seventies. Most important today is the issue of surveillance of American citizens. FISA is not a mystery stew of letters but the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the court stands as the one implement to prevent abuse of the act, an appointed judge. There have been problems with this "court" or the judges since the beginning, now it's no longer problems but a an unconstitutional mash of creepy spying on not foreign powers but surveillance of the people. No one, can trust a government with that much power. We don't need to just review this court, really the judges, we need to stop being so afraid of our own shadow that we can ask if this is really offering something we want. The court (the judges) have not used their authority to decline any request for warrants, or use of surveillance, is that really a court acting in our best interest? The war on terror moves forward, though how one can proceed with a war on ideas, with military weapons is beyond logic.

If people want to have government surveillance then at least call it by a more honest name. SAC - Surveillance of American Citizens or a SAC court. If Americans don't mind giving up the last few rights they have, just be honest about this, don't hide behind the fear of terrorists. Just say openly that you want the government intrusion on every aspect of your life.

Sheryl G (359)
Monday July 29, 2013, 5:37 am
Within article:

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) says he is likely to support legislative proposals to overhaul the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and is once again raising concerns over how intelligence agencies are tracking the cellphones of law-abiding Americans.

My comment:

I'm sure with the backlash of "other" Countries and it's citizens along with our own that all sorts of displeasure has been vocalized.

Support your Whistleblowers. Much of what we know is due to their courage to step forward and voice what they know.

In addition to Edward Snowden there is: former NSA senior executive Thomas Drake, William Binney, J. Kirk Wiebe, are also National Security Agency whistleblowers who worked at the agency for decades.

Certain parts of the government "have become a criminal enterprise," Drake said, and Snowden's only option "was to escape the United States of America."

divergent r (309)
Monday July 29, 2013, 5:53 am
we need to overhaul Scrotus five first!
thanks TC

JL A (281)
Monday July 29, 2013, 8:05 am
This may be among the best examples of how absolute power corrupts absolutely--especially when light is prevented from shining on it for others to see the corruption.

P A (117)
Monday July 29, 2013, 10:59 am
Secrecy breeds corruption and injustice - and it has from time immemorial and ever will too! Thanks TC!

Lynn Squance (235)
Monday July 29, 2013, 12:15 pm
Wyden provides a good short history of the FISA court and its original intent. Although, I question whether it was really needed if it was effectively doing the work of federal courts and its jurists are federal judges. But I believe Wyden said that that changed following amendments after 9/11 and the Chief Injustice was given the task of being the sole person appointing the FISA judges. Not a good thing at all given his partisanship.

There must be one law for all without secrecy which does nothing but obfuscate.

Past Member (0)
Monday July 29, 2013, 5:19 pm

Dorothy N (63)
Monday July 29, 2013, 10:07 pm

This is another monster post - but there are so many essential points covered that it's hard to cut back more.

This is a big threat, with a lot of background...

As much as the spy machine set up by the Bush Admin. horrifies and terrifies me, I have a theory as to why President Obama may be trying to defend and use it - not against the population per se, but against right-wing terrorists, disinformed, fired up and used by corporate/Rebublican interests to 'take back' the country from democracy.

Republicans recently created a series of disproven 'scandals', (further to the 'birthers' and others, moving into 'Benghazi' and the 'IRS scandal', etc.,) in an attempt to discredit President Obama with low-information people, as part of an attempt to get themselves back into power.

This strategy actually worked, at least for a while, on a much larger population than their own heavily propagandized base, (although not after anyone capable began looking into the rather thin and unsupported accusations, lol) - but now, we have a bigger scandal breaking - a Republican-created NSA administered by a secret court of Republican-appointed Judges, run by a Republican-appointed, corporate-rule-supporting Supreme Court Judge, this long used for spying on Americans and others, as was publicized waaaaay back when the Bush Admin started/ran it and public knowledge of this forgotten, unpublicized and no giant scandal until now - because it's continuing to be used on President Obama's watch.

I suspect (no proof at this point) that the publicity given this has been created in great part because (in my estimation) President Obama is likely using the NSA system in attempting - without tipping off those involved - to prevent further right-wing acts of terrorism and potentially massive, right-wing-incited civil unrest, which I fear is intended to facilitate a Republican coup.

Visualize the type of civil disorder potentially caused by a large group of heavily armed crazies bursting into your neighbourhood or home, feeling they've been given a 'liberal/Black/Hispanic/don't like your views/face' hunting license' or seeking hostages to use in 'taking over the government' in favour of a Republican coup, shooting or kidnapping your elected representatives and enforcing the views of these adherents to this '2nd Amendment right to shoot government officials and others you don't agree with' lunacy, whose expressed views have encompassed everything from the the belief that liberalism - like wummum-folk - is ebil and must be forcibly suppressed, to the desire for the re-institution of slavery. (Seriously.)

Or a series of bombs going off in buses, subways, schools, malls, and/or government offices... or the poisoning of water supplies or the release of biological or chemicals hazards in some public place...

Is President Obama in fact driven 'underground' in attempting to forestall such events?

... During the 1980s, more than 75 right-wing extremists were prosecuted in the United States for acts of terrorism, although they carried out only six attacks during the decade.[8] The success of law enforcement in capturing and preventing terrorists has been credited to their efforts to investigate terrorists before they turned to violence.[8] The April 19, 1995 attack on the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma, by the right-wing extremist Timothy McVeigh, which killed 168 people, would become the worst domestic terrorist attack in American history.[9] It was reported he had ties to a Michigan militia group.[10] ...

Terror From the Right: Plots, Conspiracies and Racist Rampages Since Oklahoma City

... What follows is a detailed listing of major terrorist plots and racist rampages that have emerged from the American radical right in the years since Oklahoma City. These have included plans to bomb government buildings, banks, refineries, utilities, clinics, synagogues, mosques, memorials and bridges; to assassinate police officers, judges, politicians, civil rights figures and others; to rob banks, armored cars and other criminals; and to amass illegal machine guns, missiles, explosives and biological and chemical weapons. Each of these plots aimed to make changes in America through the use of political violence. Most contemplated the deaths of large numbers of people — in one case, as many as 30,000, or 10 times the number murdered on Sept. 11, 2001.

Here are the stories of plots, conspiracies and racist rampages since 1995 — plots and violence waged against a democratic America. ...

CHART: 17 Years After Oklahoma City Bombing, Right-Wing Extremism Is Significant Domestic Terror Threat

By Guest Blogger on April 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

By Ken Sofer and CAP National Security team intern Molly Bernstein

... The Department of Homeland Security released a report in 2009 stating that the economic and political climate bears important similarities to the conditions of the early 1990s when right-wing extremism experienced a dramatic resurgence. These conditions, including the public debate around hot-button issues such as immigration, gun control, and abortion, along with the election of the first African-American president, present “unique drivers for right-wing radicalization and recruitment,” the report said.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano eventually ordered the report withdrawn because of significant political backlash from mainstream conservatives. But the report, which was originally commissioned by the Bush administration, also found that “lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”

A look at terrorist incidents since the Oklahoma City bombing, including both successful and disrupted ideologically-motivated attacks, backs up the conclusions of the DHS report:


Fifty-six percent of domestic terrorist attacks and plots in the U.S. since 1995 have been perpetrated by right-wing extremists, as compared to 30 percent by ecoterrorists and 12 percent by Islamic extremists. Right-wing extremism has been responsible for the greatest number of terrorist incidents in the U.S. in 13 of the 17 years since the Oklahoma City bombing.

After DHS withdrew the report, the department cut the number of analysts studying non-Islamic domestic terrorism. Daryl Johnson, the primary author of the report and a self-described Republican, soon left his post at DHS and said in July, 2011 that DHS has “just one person” dealing with domestic terrorism. The Department has largely been silent on domestic terrorist threats ever since.

Although current statistics show that right-wing extremism is on the rise through groups like the Sovereign Citizen and Patriot movements, domestic counterterrorism continues to receive few resources and little public attention. ... In order to protect American citizens, we need to match our resources to the reality of our threats, not just the politically expedient narratives we have formed.

Right-Wing Terrorism Was Enabled and Ignored By Conservative Pundits, GOP

Matthew Rozsa
3 months ago

How much longer is America willing to suffer at the hands of violent fools?

The mind wanders back to 2009. It was roughly four years ago that the Obama administration was blasted by many conservatives for issuing a report that identified right-wing extremism as a potential national security threat.

Pointing out that extreme rightists were already working to attract new recruits “by playing on their fears about several emergent issues” like immigration, gun control and economic policy, the Department of Homeland Security found that post-2008 “the economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing [sic] radicalization and recruitment.” Its final conclusion was that “lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing [sic] extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”

At the time, conservatives were tripping over each other in their eagerness to denounce the new findings. Blogger Michelle Malkin decried the report as “a hit job on conservatives,” despite the fact that it specifically focused on organizations associated solely with the outermost fringe of the right. Newt Gingrich accused it of “smearing veterans,” even though it pointedly specified that its reason for mentioning former military personnel was that extremist groups had successfully lured a “small percentage of military personnel” during the 1990s “to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.” Meanwhile U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, then the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, called for an investigation of the report's “unsubstantiated conclusions and political bias.”

Forty-eight months later, the so-called “unsubstantiated conclusions and political bias” in that document seem disturbingly prophetic. There was the white supremacist whose rants against an imaginary conspiracy between President Obama and the Jews caused him to open fire in the U.S. Holocaust Museum in June 2009, fatally wounding a security guard in the process. By 2011 a white supremacist who had been planning to bomb a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Washington state was foiled. Around the same time a plan by Georgia militiamen to release biological toxins on government employees in federal buildings was similarly thwarted by the FBI. Then last year a white supremacist managed to murder seven people before killing himself during a mass shooting at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. And that's just a short list.

Now — fresh on the heels of a recent Southern Poverty Law Center report that discovered the number of right-wing extremist groups has risen by 813 percent since Obama took office, from 149 in 2008 to 1,360 in 2012 — authorities are examing the connection between members of a white supremacist group and the shooting of a Colorado prisons chief.

Any honest attempt to address this problem must begin by unequivocally acknowledging one of its primary sources — namely, the trend among far too many mainstream conservatives to place their antipathy against this president specifically, and liberalism in general, over larger ethical considerations.

Instead of trying to quell the shrill hysteria that led some right-wingers to make preposterous claims about Obama (ranging from death panels in his health care reform bill to a slippery slope toward authoritarianism in his new gun control measures), these conservatives have tolerated and sometimes directly participated in such rhetorical excesses.

Even worse, instead of preserving the intellectual integrity of their movement's ideas by outspokenly debunking and marginalizing reactionary hatemongering (from the coded racism used by birthers to the McCarthyesque red-baiting of those insisting that Obama is a secret socialist), these conservatives have often remained silent on or humored their ideas.

Hence why Malkin, Gingrich, Hoekstra and other right-wing pundits had no second thoughts about distorting the findings of the Homeland Security report. One could debate whether they were motivated by a hyperpartisan desire to attack Obama at every opportunity, an inability to distinguish between the extreme right-wingers in that report and the bulk of American conservatives, or some combination of those two factors, but in the end it doesn't really matter.

The final result of their polemical bloviating was that our nation failed to take adequate account of what was, and is, a growing domestic terrorism threat. While the repercussions of acquiescence to fringe right-wing demagoguery are usually limited to the quality of our national political debate, on this occasion it has had much graver consequences.

I close with an observation from my personal political hero, two-time Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson: “Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.”

My comment: is the problem not so much that they had '... an inability to distinguish between the extreme right-wingers in that report and the bulk of American conservatives...' or more that hoping to get some crazy to shoot the President and/or hoping to create an armed insurrection to use for a Republican coup is one of the lesser-known Republican strategies, one which they'd rather not actually publicize as factual?

How to Create a Right-Wing Terrorist
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 14:53 By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Show | Op-Ed

...when it comes to right-wing extremist attacks, the grievance against America is almost always related to the meme of "big government."

But where is the meme of "big government causes all of society's ills" really coming from? ...

... How many times a day does a talking head in the right-wing media and blogosphere argue that America is turning into a socialist country? How many times a day do they argue that "big government" is the cause of all of our nation's problems?

"The government" is the constant "enemy" of right-wingers who are often funded by billionaires.

Speaking about Hilary Clinton, Dick Armey once said that, "Hillary Clinton bothers me a lot. I realized the other day that her thoughts sound a lot like Karl Marx. She hangs around a lot of Marxists. All her friends are Marxists."

And then there's Charles Koch, who speaking back in October of 2012 said that, "I think it's scary with this administration that is fundamentally dedicated to transforming this country, and that means bigger and bigger government, more intrusive, less productivity, less opportunity. And so who does that hurt the most? Hurts the poorest people."

The poorest people hear that and, sadly, think maybe there's some truth to it.

And, while billionaire-backers of the right who speak ill about the government are bad enough, the meme that "big government" is the cause of all our problems is perpetuated each and every day in the right-wing media.

Billionaires don't want "big government" because when the government stops funding the commons, things like schools, hospitals and water and power systems, then billionaires can grab those natural monopolies and squeeze more and more money out of working people.

While all the talk by billionaires and the right wing media about "big government" might be good for massive transnational corporations and the wealth elite, it's shaken the people's confidence in America, and in the idea of Lincoln's government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Don't forget, the founders of our country fought and died so that we could have the type of government that we do. They fought and died for a government that looked out for all of the people, rich and poor.

We used to believe in our form of government.

But now, it's attacked daily by right-wingers on the radio, the web, the television and in Congress.

And, while they attack our form of government, they freak out when somebody mentions the decades of violence that have been dumped on us by people who "hated" or were "afraid" of the government.

Anti-government talk, when in the abstract, is corrosive, and it activates the crazies to come out of the woodwork, and unleash violence on our society.

When that anti-government talk is specific, for example with discussions of with drones, spying or torture, it's a good thing, and an important dialogue to have. That's democracy in a republic.

But when the United States is routinely attacked with slurs like "big government," so much so that it's hammered into our psyches, we shouldn't be surprised to see right-wing extremists turn violent. ...

Republican Pressure Forces Homeland Security to Neglect the Majority of US Terror Threats
By: Sarah JonesApr. 24th, 2013

Something is rotten in the Department of Homeland Security, and it’s not just its name. Having bowed down to political pressure from conservatives after releasing a report (ordered by the Bush administration) that indicated our biggest threat was right wing extremists, the department reportedly has only one to two people handling domestic terrorism.

Daryl Johnson, who headed the DHS unit responsible for analyzing security threats from non-Islamic domestic extremists, wrote a report on the resurgence of right wing extremists in April in 2009, which was leaked by someone with a “political agenda” within days to right wing press, and immediately attacked. The right inaccurately claimed that the report made every conservative into Timothy McVeigh.
In 2011, Johnson, who has since left the department, told the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), “DHS stopped all of our work and instituted restrictive policies. Eventually, they ended up gutting my unit. All of this happened within six to nine months after the furor over the report. Since our report was leaked, DHS has not released a single report of its own on this topic. Not anything dealing with non-Islamic domestic extremism – whether it’s anti-abortion extremists, white supremacists, ‘sovereign citizens,’ eco-terrorists, the whole gamut.

Johnson added in that 2011 SPLC interview, “What worries me is the fact that our country is under attack from within, from our own radical citizenry. My greatest fear is that domestic extremists in this country will somehow become emboldened to the point of carrying out a mass-casualty attack, because they perceive that no one is being vigilant about the threat from within. That is what keeps me up at night.”

Feeling safer yet? Mark Potok of the SPLC, one of the country’s leading experts on the world of extremism, clarified to PoliticusUSA on Tuesday that they are not suggesting the DHS not focus on Islamic extremists, but rather that DHS also keep their eye on other threats of domestic terrorism, “It’s not that they are paying too much attention to jihadists, but that DHS has taken their eye off of the ball of other domestic terrorist threats.”

Potok also noted that the 2009 DHS report was a prescient document, “It was a sober and prescient document, that noted same thing we had noted; there was a dramatic right wing insurgency. Secretary Napolitano caved in and withdrew the report. In my opinion, it was an act of political cowardice. It allowed Daryl’s unit to collapse. He was pilloried. Daryl left a year later, and most of the team followed him out. There are very few left in DHS, one or two, of what used to be a team of 6-7.”

The administration countered that the DHS unit isn’t gone, but by many accounts, all of the expertise is gone, after they were undermined by leadership. The Washington Post reported in 2011, “Multiple current and former law enforcement officials who have regularly viewed DHS analyses said the department had not reported in depth on any domestic extremist groups since 2009.”

At that time, the Washingon Post also reported that a study conducted for the DHS had concluded that a majority of foiled and executed terrorist plots were unrelated to Islamic extremists, “(A) majority of the 86 major foiled and executed terrorist plots in the United States from 1999 to 2009 were unrelated to al-Qaeda and allied movements.”

A 2012 Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security study confirms that assessment, “Since 9/11, Muslim-American terrorism has claimed 33 lives in the United States, out of more than 180,000 murders committed in the United States during this period. Over the same period, more than 200 Americans have been killed in political violence by white supremacists and other groups on the far right, according to a recent study published by the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy. Sixty-six Americans were killed in mass shootings by non-Muslims in 2012 alone, twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11.”

In March of 2013, the SPLC sent a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and AG Eric Holder, urging them to address the disparity of resources going to domestic terrorism, “In the last four years, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of conspiracy-minded, antigovernment groups as well as in the number of domestic terrorist plots. As in the period before the Oklahoma City bombing, we now also are seeing ominous threats from those who believe that the government is poised to take their guns. Because of the looming dangers, we urge you to establish an interagency task force to assess the adequacy of the resources devoted to responding to the growing threat of non-Islamic domestic terrorism.”

The SPLC’s 2012 report “documents that the number of militias and radical antigovernment groups grew from 149 in 2008 to 1,360 in 2012… Now that gun control is again being hotly debated, we are seeing a repeat of that anger, and it is likely to continue to swell the ranks of antigovernment groups.”

As of April 2012, Think Progress determined that 56% percent of domestic terrorist plots were perpetrated by right wing extremists.

Think Progress, writing on April 19, 2012, determined, “Fifty-six percent of domestic terrorist attacks and plots in the U.S. since 1995 have been perpetrated by right-wing extremists, as compared to 30 percent by ecoterrorists and 12 percent by Islamic extremists. Right-wing extremism has been responsible for the greatest number of terrorist incidents in the U.S. in 13 of the 17 years since the Oklahoma City bombing.”

You wouldn’t know these facts judging by the bias evident in our culture, assisted if not incited by right wing politicians and pundits in recent years. According to the SPLC, “the number of anti-Muslim groups tripled in 2011, jumping from 10 groups in 2010 to 30 last year. That rapid growth in Islamophobia, marked by the vilification of Muslims by opportunistic politicians and anti-Muslim activists, began in August 2010, when controversy over a planned Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan reached a fever pitch.”

It’s really very simple. The Right wants to profile extremists in order to prevent terrorism, claiming that “political correctness” is stopping the facts from surfacing. I would agree. Let’s look at the facts and act accordingly. The facts are that as of April 2012, our number one threat was right wing extremists (56%), while just 12% came from Islamic extremists. The majority of foiled and executed domestic terrorist plots were unrelated to Islamic extremism.

Our resources should be distributed according to the math, not according to right or left wing outrage or political correctness. Let the facts dictate the allocation of resources.

John Tirman

Executive Director, MIT Center for International Studies

Does All Terrorism Come From the Right Wing?
Posted: 08/11/2012

In the last several days, three events dramatically underscore a hard truth about domestic terrorism: nearly all of it originates with the extremist right wing.

This provocative idea is borne out by stubborn facts, but the question is why this so, and why the national discourse about terrorism remains stuck on the wrong threats.

The three events are the massacre at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, the fiery destruction of a mosque in Joplin, Missouri, and the reopening of a mosque that had been burned down by terrorist arson in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The good news story of the reopening of the Tennessee mosque is marred by the ceaseless efforts to keep it from opening by right-wing opponents, including Republicans running for Congress in the district, many of whom insisted that Islam is not a religion and is not protected by the Constitution.

As I wrote in the Boston Globe 17 months ago, the overwhelming numbers of acts of politically motivated violence in this country are committed by the right wing. If I may quote myself at length:

"The START database on terrorism in America, which tracks all incidents of political violence, shows that most attacks in the last two decades have been on black churches, reproductive rights facilities, government offices, and individual minorities. And those have been committed mainly by right-wing extremists. From 1990 to 2009, START identified 275 "homicide events'' that killed 520 people and were committed by right-wing ideologues. There were many more incidents of destruction of property, nonfatal attacks, and other acts of thuggery by white supremacists, private militias, and the like."

Compare that to the threat that so much of the news media and political class focuses on: Muslims. The think tank RAND found that "46 publicly reported cases of domestic radicalization and recruitment to jihadist terrorism occurred in the United States'' since 9/11, and that "most of the would-be jihadists were individuals who recruited themselves.'' Most of the "threats" were never realized, and many of them were absurd fantasies.

The question is, why has the right wing -- so long associated with law enforcement -- become so tolerant of terrorism against minority religious groups, gays, abortion clinics and others they abhor? Why is the right wing the incubator of so much violence?

A lot of old-fashioned xenophobia is at work, of course. New immigrants typically have been embraced by liberals and scorned by conservative nativists. One only needed to hear the diatribes against illegal immigrants by Mitt Romney and his other GOP hopefuls through the Republican primaries -- and the full-throated approval of those diatribes by the listening crowds -- to understand how deep this runs on the right. Right-wing bloggers like Michelle Malkin feed the frenzy or ignore right-wing terror, and Fox News has aggressively used the Muslim terror threat as a standard trope of its commentary for 11 years.

The rest of the news media has been too sanguine about calling a spade a spade, too timid about calling out this epidemic of hate. Even in the recent shootings, as Riddhi Shah points out in a Huffington Post blog post, the news media attention to the Aurora, Colorado murders was way more prominent than the coverage of the Sikh temple massacre. Similarly, when Rep. Peter King (R-NY) held hearings on supposed radicalization of American Muslims last year, very few analysts in the news media pointed out the vastly greater prevalence of right-wing terror in America.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has done yeoman's work on tracking violent groups, notes that "Currently, there are 1,018 known hate groups operating across the country, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, border vigilantes and others. And their numbers are growing." The Center's data show that hate groups have increased by 69 percent in the last decade. And the so-called "Patriot" groups have increased nearly 800 percent since Obama became president.

Their closely observed conclusion for this startling increase:

"This surge has been fueled by anger and fear over the nation's ailing economy, an influx of non-white immigrants, and the diminishing white majority, as symbolized by the election of the nation's first African-American president"

If the news media and political leaders were told there were a thousand violence-prone Muslim groups operating in the United States, can you imagine the reaction? Yet, apart from the glancing attention given incidents like the Sikh temple massacre, the national discourse about terrorism focuses almost exclusively on Muslims.

Scholars call this "framing" -- the predisposition of the news media (and others) to see events in a certain way, using a cognitive frame that then leads to certain perceptions and conclusions. The cognitive frame for understanding domestic political violence in this country is the Muslim threat, reinforced powerfully by the 9/11 attacks, of course, even though that atrocity was not committed by domestic terrorists. (The biggest act of domestically organized violence is the Oklahoma City bombing, a right-wing endeavor.) The "Muslim threat" meme has so overwhelmed the discussion of political violence, however, that the actual topography of terrorist groups in this country is neglected.

Watch carefully the next time an act of political violence is committed against, say, an African-American church or Planned Parenthood or a mosque. You won't hear many condemnations from Sean Hannity or Eric Cantor or indeed Mitt Romney. The burning of the Joplin mosque, which is the second attack this summer on that house of worship, earned no rebuke from the establishment right, including Romney. But then, Missouri is a swing state.


Right Wing Propaganda Has Done Nothing But Incite Fear and Hatred of All Americans
By: RmuseJan. 30th, 2013

Most people have interacted with an unusually prejudiced, spiteful, or maliciously ill-willed person whose hostility towards other human beings raises questions about their humanity. In America, there is a scourge of malevolence towards other citizens based on all manner of bigotry, but bigotry does not explain the aspirations of some Americans to increase the suffering of their fellow citizens that are likely in the same socioeconomic demographic and share the same political ideology. Republicans typically support policies that favor the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the people, but it is a mistake to attribute growing conservative animus towards other Americans solely as collateral damage of the GOP’s deference for the rich. However, there is deep-seated malice among Republicans for the American people that is not founded solely in economic policy, and it informs that conservatives are callous human beings driven by seemingly sheer hatred toward humanity that Republicans have tapped into and propagated among their supporters for political expediency.

The level of hatred among conservatives, for what seems like all Americans, can reasonably be attributed to Republican politicians, right-wing media, and more than anything, a long-festering fear of change in a rapidly-changing America. It is true the election of Barack Obama in 2008 brought out racial animus endemic to white supremacists and bigots in the population, but it does not explain increased expressions of hate elicited from religious fanatics toward gays and women, suspicion and open hostility towards Hispanics, denying food and healthcare to people in need, and increasing calls for civil war.

In a West Point study on the growing danger of violence from right-wing extremist groups, they laid out three major ideological movements; a racist white supremacy movement, an anti-government movement, and a fundamentalist Christian movement that have always existed in this country, but they became the purview of the GOP represented in the RNC’s platform for the 2012 general election. This is not to say that Republicans promote right-wing extremism with a view towards violence against the government or other Americans, but their support for policies the extremists hold near and dear to their black hearts lends legitimacy to hate movements that are becoming mainstream among conservatives and having deleterious effects on the population.

Edith B (146)
Monday July 29, 2013, 10:12 pm
It is past time to end the lifetime jobs of Supreme Court Justices, then maybe we could end these abuses. FISA and the NSA are two of the most heinous things that have been imposed on the American public.

Dorothy N (63)
Monday July 29, 2013, 10:14 pm

Although the West Point study isolated three ideological movements threatening violence, combined they represent Republican policies conservatives gravitated towards after four years of rhetoric against the perceived Obama threat; change. For example, white supremacists and racists are concerned with what they perceive as the natural racial and cultural hierarchy that defined America up until the Civil Rights Movement and persists today, and their goal of reasserting control over African Americans and minority communities is co-opted by Republican complaints that President Obama is stealing from white people to give to African Americans. When Republican supporters advocate cutting food stamps, healthcare, and any other assistance the GOP hates, racist groups assume they are cutting assistance to minorities regardless that a higher percentage of white people use food stamps than African Americans and Hispanics combined. Republicans understand the demographic distribution of food stamps, but they know the quickest way to inspire support for cutting them is inspiring underlying racial hatred permeating the right.

Republicans have also tapped into, and garnered support from, the anti-government advocates whose main interest is undermining the legitimacy and effective sovereignty of the federal government over a wealth of issues from religious hatred of non-conformity to immigration to guns. Whether it is anti-gay sentiment, anti-women’s reproductive rights, or teaching religion in public schools, Republicans in Congress and state legislatures instigated a level of hate among so-called “Christians” that is wreaking havoc on women and gays in primarily Southern states. Of particular note is the religious-right’s opposition to women’s choice and the ardent support of Christian women for policies that adversely affect other Christian women with invasive probes, forced birth, and having to prove they were “legitimately raped.” It never ceases to amaze how a woman, a good Christian woman, could support a policy demanding a rape victim confirm they were assaulted or be forced to give birth, or deprive them of cancer and health screenings. What kind of deep-seated hatred for another human being drives a woman to help incur suffering on a victim of a heinous crime, or deny cancer screening? Unfortunately, the depth of hate among alleged “Christians” is beyond quantification, and on myriad issues from supposed “pro-life” advocates supporting gun proliferation, to “personhood” advocates denying assistance the moment the baby is born, hatred is the driving force.

It is not just right-wing extremists, racial hate groups, or religious extremists projecting hate on their fellow Americans, it is the entire conservative movement. There is little difference between Paul Ryan decrying wasting good government money on feeding the poor and the millions of Americans who support slashing safety net spending to provide healthcare and food aid to their neighbor, grandmother, or brother. It is hatred of humanity and nothing else.

Republicans have assailed the federal government for myriad sins from immigration lapses to gun control that is driving Americans filled with hate to start shooting at the drop of a hat, or mistaken address. In Georgia, a man walked out of his home and opened fire on a car that pulled up to his house after the car’s GPS gave the driver the wrong address. One young man was killed and the man was arrested, but the point is his first reaction was to go out shooting and it is an increasing problem driven by fear-mongering, the NRA, and ALEC’s incitement to shoot first. A human being must have an inordinate amount of hate to pick up a firearm and gun down another human being in cold blood as an instant reaction.

What Americans are witnessing today is the culmination of four years of ultra-right wing propaganda inciting fear of change and hatred for other Americans; all Americans. There is no doubt that people who might have been decent human beings at one point, have been poisoned by the incessant fear mongering and attacks on “the other” that represents a changing America, and America is changing and that is conservative’s problem. There is no doubt Republicans in Congress hate Americans, they prove it with every proposal, obstruction, and Draconian legislation they attempt to pass, but they would never attempt such inhumane measures if they did not have a large segment of the population sharing their hate for their fellow citizens. But as America changes, those who either cannot let go of the America that kept minorities and women in submissive roles, or harken back to a fallacy era where the Ten Commandments were immutable edicts on morality, are finding themselves in a fearful situation. The danger is when frightened people feel loss, and when your politician, television news, and church tells you change endangers your way of life, fear and loss give way to hate and anger; the result is America with a large segment of anti-government religious racists with guns and four years of hate looking for an outlet they are finding in Republican policies and on America’s streets

(My comment: since Republican officials represent, and are typically drawn from, the corporate pool, it's not surprising that they, steeped in a ruthless corporate culture, also tend to accuse targets of what they plan/do themselves.)

Right Wing Media Spreading Fear & Hate

Right Wing Media Bias
December 22, 2010
By: Justin Davis

... Years ago, Republican party chair Rich Bond explained that conservatives' frequent denunciations of "liberal bias" in the media were part of "a strategy" . Comparing journalists to referees in a sporting event, Bond explained: "If you watch any great coach, what they try to do is 'work the refs.' Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack next time." ...

... When it comes to Fox News Channel, conservatives don't feel the need to "work the ref." The ref is already on their side. Since its 1996 launch, Fox has become the central hub of the conservative movement's well-oiled media machine. Together with the GOP organization and its satellite think tanks and advocacy groups, this network of fiercely partisan outlets-like the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative talk-radio shows like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage forms a highly effective right-wing echo chamber where GOP-friendly news stories can be promoted, repeated and amplified. Fox knows how to play this game as well as anyone.

Yet, at the same time, the network bristles at the slightest suggestion of a conservative tilt. In fact, wrapping itself in slogans like "Fair and balanced" and "We report, you decide," Fox argues precisely the opposite: Far from being a biased network, Fox argues, it is the only unbiased network. So far, Fox's strategy of aggressive denial has worked surprisingly well; faced with its unblinking refusal to admit any conservative tilt at all, some commentators have simply acquiesced to the network's own self-assessment.

The Hannity’s, Savage’s, Limbaugh’s, and O’Reilly’s have been given free reign to fan the fires of hatred in America. On a daily basis they aggravate every open wound in the social fabric of the nation. They create a fear of race, fear of immigrants, fear of human sexuality, fear of difference, hysterical religious fundamentalism, violent ideas of nationalism, and absolute paranoia.

The fact of how biased the media was in favor of the Right was never more evident than in the 2008 election. There were two incidents that should have been truly instructive but no one made an issue of it. In one incident, Rick Sanchez brought up Todd Palin’s involvement in the Alaska Independence Party for which he was registered to vote as late as 2004. The Alaska Independence Party was founded by a Joe Vogler who once said the “fires of Hell are icy cold compared to my hatred for the United States“. This was a party that had supported secession from the United States and whose founder died during an attempt to buy dynamite.

These comments came at a time Republicans were preaching and fanning the fires of hate with Osama’s “paling around with terrorists” and using his last name to insinuate he was not American. While he hardly knew William Ayers, Sarah Palin’s husband may have truly been paling around with terrorists. CNN dropped this story when the McCain campaign threatened CNN with a law suit and no other media outlet except MSNBC said anything else about the story. On the other hand the right wing media propaganda machine kept insinuating Obama had ties to a terrorist which was demonstrably false.

It has become clear that the right wing media outlets are out to smear the image of the President. During and after the election conservatives like Sarah Palin pushed fear tactics like claiming Barack Obama was a Muslim or an illegal alien. Claims were made that the President was working with Muslims who sought to bring America down from the inside. During the battle over health care reform, Palin and other conservatives claimed that the bill would create “death panels” that would “kill grandma”. Naturally all of these claims were ludicrous and have been proven false but Fox News and other conservative outlets promoted these lies over and over again.

Promoting lies and slander has been the key to the rise of the right wing media. They feed their listeners what they want to hear. They spread fear and hate in order to stir up the emotions of the American people in hopes of convincing them that the left are all godless tree hugging hippy socialist who are going to sell out the country. Sadly there are many who fall for such lies. Just take a look at some of the recent Tea Party rallies and town hall meetings. People have begun to show up with guns at rallies and town hall meetings. People are physically attacking each other over political issues. Much of this is because citizens have bought into the propaganda of fear that has been spread by the right wing media.

What these right wing media outlets either do not understand or simply do not care about is that words can have consequences. By fanning the flames of hate and fear they are tempting violent actions. When Americans begin to carry loaded weapons to political rallies, the nation has moved into dangerous territory.

My comment: is it a coincidence that, together with the ongoing urging of the NRA and right-wing propagandists to 'buy guns before Obama takes them away' - something he's never suggested doing - and the claims of lives being threatened by President Obama or his policies, (such as by keeping people [other than the wealthy] alive, healthier and less bankrupt by providing access to [more affordable] health care,) we see Stand Your Ground laws being passed in Republican-controlled areas, laws which create a perception that, essentially, if anyone (white and male) feels their lives are threatened, no matter the actual circumstance, they have a right to kill and to avoid arrest/conviction based on that perception and their insistence that they felt a serious threat made their actions - however avoidable - necessary?

It seems to me that innocent people are increasingly being shot and killed by armed citizens, and somehow, the victims I've read of so far seem to be invariably people who are Black... like President Obama...

This, while armed insurrection aimed against their democratically elected government has been promoted as the 'heroic' and 'patriotic' thing to do, and while death threats against Democratic politicians have been strategically promoted by slander implying that they threaten people's lives/livelihoods/way of life, and a meme emerges - complete with enabling law in increasing numbers of Republican-controlled areas of the US - that 'it's OK to shoot people by whom you feel threatened' - as they're told Democrats/liberals, Hispanics, gays, Blacks, undocumented immigrants and so many others do pose some sort of often deadly threat or another...

Virginia Republicans Call for Armed Revolution if Obama Wins in November
By: RmuseAug. 20th, 2012

The author of the Declaration of Independence is often quoted by opposing groups to support their own agenda, but there are few who accurately apply some of his oft-repeated statements. During the healthcare reform debate, angry teabaggers cited Jefferson’s line that “a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing,” as proof that revolution against government tyranny was advocated by a Founding Father as an option in 2009, and that sentiment has not diminished three years later heading into a general election. The groups claiming President Obama is a tyrannical leader have never given one example of tyranny, but they, with the GOP’s assistance, have whipped themselves into frenzy and openly called for armed insurrection against the United States government. One may be inclined to excuse talk of rebellion as angry rhetoric from a fringe element in the tea party, but a Virginia Republican Committee newsletter has called for armed revolution if President Obama is re-elected in November.

First, it is important to put Jefferson’s statement that “a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing” in its proper context. Jefferson was showing support for the French who were rebelling against the wealthy elite and church that was keeping the population poor and hungry. In fact, Jefferson hated the wealthy and their banks, and in the same letter to Edward Carrington wrote that “man is the only animal which devours his own kind, and I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.”

In the Virginia Republican Committee newsletter, there is nothing to imply that protecting Americans from the “prey of the rich on the poor” is the reason for calling for armed rebellion. According to the newsletter, President Obama, is a “political socialist ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized,” and that the only option is “armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November:” If one is confused as to what Republicans consider is a “political socialist ideologue,” the newsletter claims President Obama “shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might,” and that under Obama, “the government is out of control, and this opportunity, must not be forsaken for we shall not have any coarse (sic) but armed revolution.”

Republicans calling for armed insurrection against the government is nothing new, and few are apt to forget congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) saying “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back,” and went on to specifically cite Jefferson’s quote from 1787. Bachmann continued that, “we the people are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country,” and encouraged Americans “to do everything we can to thwart the Democrats at every turn,” and apparently that included armed rebellion.

Another Republican, Sharon Angle, said in a radio interview that it may come to the point that the public would bring down an out-of-control Congress with “Second Amendment remedies.” Angle repeated her warning when she called for “Second Amendment remedies” to deal with the “ever-growing tyrannical U.S. government,” and to replace her election opponent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Conservative entertainers have spent no small amount of energy demonizing President Obama over the past three years and although their rants may be just publicity stunts, all it takes are a few crazy people with guns to take their tirades to heart and begin shooting. On Friday, country musician Hank Williams Jr. waited until the end of his show to impugn the President for being “a Muslim who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S. and we hate him!” Williams incited the audience to cheer his invective not unlike washed-up rocker Ted Nugent who earned a visit from the Secret Service earlier this year for saying, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year” insinuating he will take matters into his own hands with gun play if the President wins re-election. At a 2008 concert, Nugent said while holding a gun in each hand, “Hey, Obama, you might wanna suck on one of these, you punk” and extended the threat to now-Secretary of State Clinton saying, ”Hillary, you might wanna ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.”

Throughout all of the violent rhetoric, there has not been any condemnation by leading Republicans, and after the Virginia Republican Committee newsletter, it is easy to see why. Apparently, they are serious about armed rebellion against the United States government with an African American man as President. In fact, leading Republicans have been complicit in stirring up resentment against President Obama by accusing him of promoting “European-style socialism” and not being an American. Willard Romney and his campaign have used the “not an American” meme to portray the President as “not one of us” and “foreign to American principles.”

All of the threats of armed revolution have as their basis one simple fact; the President is not a white man. Republicans cannot condemn the President’s record of saving the economy, or creating over 4-million jobs despite Republican’s obstruction, or accuse him of being weak on defense, so they portray him as a foreigner who supplanted a “white man” who should be in the White House. The truth is that it does not matter which white man should be president, it just cannot be an African American, and if voters elect President Obama to a second term, they are seriously considering an armed rebellion. Every Republican who has failed to condemn talk of armed revolution is just as guilty as those calling for “second amendment remedies” or imploring their constituents to be “armed and dangerous.” It is likely that Republican leaders are not serious about a civil war or revolution, but their approval is evident in their silence.

The Virginia Republican Committee newsletter was published in March, and the media or Republican leadership have been silent, and regardless if they support the overthrow of the government if the President wins a second term or not, they are guilty of inciting rebellion by allowing their candidates, spokespersons, and members of Congress to openly call for armed rebellion against the government of the United States. Thomas Jefferson did, indeed, say that revolution is sometimes necessary, but only against wealthy bankers “who prey on the poor” and religious leaders who have the full support of every Republican in the United States. If the people were intelligent enough to actually read why Jefferson said rebellion is necessary, they would rise up and send the GOP to the only place they would be secure; counting their dirty money in their offshore tax havens.

Glenn Beck: Irresponsible And Indifferent To The Violent Consequences of His Dangerous Rhetoric

Beck and His Enablers Should be Held Accountable

... Central to Beck’s influence is the intensity of his fans’ devotion to him. And central to the danger he poses is his willingness to stoke fear, anger, and hatred among those fans with a toxic, if lucrative, mixture of conspiracy theories and charges that America is on the verge of being destroyed by enemies from within. In Beck’s world, those enemies include not only President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders, but also progressive advocacy organizations, unions, and even churches that promote social justice as a part of their religious mission. What Beck preaches is that these are not merely political opponents with policy disagreements, but agents of evil whose goal is the destruction of America and who will stop at nothing – including the deaths of millions – to advance their freedom-destroying plans.

Beck has also raised the stakes by claiming a divine mandate for his view of the Constitution and the U.S. government. He has not only attacked President Obama’s politics, but has called the president’s views on the nature of salvation “evil” and “satanic.” Beck and David Barton, the Religious Right pseudo-historian he promotes, claim that their views of limited government and the Constitution are divinely inspired. So progressives are not only un-American, they are un-Christian and anti-God. “If we do not put God at the center of our own personal lives and the center of our country, we will not survive,” Beck said in August. “The country will be washed with blood and then someone will have to start over, and God only knows how long that takes."

Beck’s propaganda traffics in alarmism, paranoia, racial resentment, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. These would make for a combustible mix at any time. But it’s an even more dangerous combination during a time of widespread economic hardship, when so many people are hurting and increasingly desperate. While backing politicians who don’t believe the government has a role in addressing that pain, Beck offers explanations that can deepen the desperation.

“Times of threat bring increased aggression,” 21-year CIA veteran Jerrold Post told Politico last fall. “And the whole country’s under threat now, with the economic difficulties and political polarization. The need to have someone to blame is really strong in human psychology. And once you have someone to blame, especially when there’s a call to action, some see it as a time for heroic action.”

For some troubled Beck fans, that “heroic action” has meant taking up arms against the nation’s “enemies” as Beck has defined them. The poison that Beck administers daily to our political culture has intensified the nation’s divisions and inspired murderous violence. But rather than take any responsibility for the impact of his irresponsible rhetoric, Beck has responded by dismissing his critics, raising the volume of his violent rhetoric, and repeatedly suggesting to his viewers that he is in danger of being killed by progressive leaders. ...

... Beck complains that his critics are enemies of free speech out to silence any dissenting voices. In fact, his critics are using their own First Amendment freedom to challenge Beck’s irresponsibility. His false charges and almost-impossible-to-parody conspiracy-theory chalkboard moments, go well beyond the kind of hard-hitting political disagreement that we expect and embrace in an open and democratic society. Beck is peddling something different and pernicious. It’s time to hold Beck, and those who enable him, accountable. ...

... He’s no MLK (or Gandhi)

Beck tries to protect himself from criticism by comparing himself to Martin Luther King, Jr., and telling his followers that they should not engage in violence. But Beck undermines those calls to eschew violence by regularly employing his own violent imagery, and by portraying his political opponents in extreme terms – as murderous thugs bent on destroying freedom and America itself.

As author Gerald Posner told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the atmosphere created by hostile rhetoric is “a license that allows somebody who's on the edge to cross the edge from thinking about acting out to actually crossing the line and being violent and thinking they can change history with a single bullet. And we have shown time and time again that that's possible.”

Some of Beck’s own followers aren’t so willing to renounce violence. Stephen Broden, who has appeared frequently on Beck’s Fox News show and spoke at his Restoring Honor rally this summer, has promoted Beck-style inflammatory rhetoric about death panels, claimed that the country’s economic crises were contrived, and compared the Obama administration to Nazis, all charges familiar to Beck’s listeners. When Broden, who was a Republican nominee for Congress from Texas this year, was challenged by a reporter, he backed away from some of his statements. But he would not renounce the possibility of political violence. “Our nation was founded on violence,” he said, affirming that he believes violent overthrow of the U.S. government is an option that “is on the table.” ...

... The Left is Planning Violence

Beck frequently charges that the left is planning to provoke violence in America to achieve its aims. As Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank put it, “Beck has at times spoken against violence, but he more often forecasts it.” Beck has said that progressives support "armed insurrection," and that President Obama is "poking and prodding" the Tea Party to violence....

... “Violence will come. And violence will come from the left. Violence is part of the plan. Not mine, not yours." [The Glenn Beck Program, 9/13/10]
"I fear a Reichstag moment, a -- God forbid -- another 9-11, something that will turn this machine on, and power will be seized and voices will be silenced. God help us all.'' [, 10/7/09]

Beck even twisted straightforward comments by former administration official Van Jones encouraging progressives to advocate for their priorities with the administration into a revolutionary plot. In Beck’s telling, Jones told activists “you have to force the president to do what he knows he has to,” which is reminiscent of a story about Franklin Delano Roosevelt telling an advocate, “I agree with you, now make me do it.” But in Beck’s hands it becomes code for the 1957 Czech revolution with “bad guys” orchestrating riots and violence so that the average people would support an authoritarian response.

“The far left needs the violence…they create chaos…they’re all infiltrated in the government… the government can swoop in to fix the problem.”

Beck is even promoting his novel The Overton Window by claiming that its conspiratorial plot to frame a Tea Party-like group in a violent attack is about to come true, with Beck himself as the one about to be framed. He cited a phrase in Tides Foundation founder Drummond Pike's letter to Fox News advertisers -- "no one ... wants to see another Oklahoma City"-- and claimed, "They are setting up another Oklahoma City. They are claiming that one is coming. And they've already marked the one who caused it."

Beck Predicts His Own Martyrdom

Beck has repeatedly suggested that the biggest targets of his criticism – President Obama and philanthropist George Soros – may be planning to have him killed. ...

... The U.S. itself is at risk

As inflammatory as all Beck’s previous charges have been, perhaps his most violence-inciting charge is that Obama and his allies are actually seeking the destruction of the Constitution and the United States itself. In one show he portrayed the president pouring gasoline on the American people and lighting it on fire, and warned that Obama was “closing Gitmo and letting the terrorists onto the streets.” ...

...In May he suggested that Obama is "trying to destroy the country" and is pushing America toward civil war. [The Glenn Beck Program, 5/19/10]

And just this month he said that all the nation’s enemies are uniting to “destroy the United States of America.” He has described the main goal of Soros-funded progressive organizations as “the overthrow of the United States government and the collapsing of the dollar.” ...

... Beck has warned "ACORN, GE, Obama, SEIU" that "you are awakening a sleeping giant, and I have nothing to do with it" and that "America is waking up. You know the American Revolution took place with 12 percent of the population? Twelve. Are you telling me there is not 30 percent of this population that you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I let somebody into my house to tell me how to raise my children; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I acquiesce and be silent."

And he has quoted a letter by Thomas Jefferson warning " 'If they lose freedom' -- he's speaking of us, future generations -- 'if they lose freedom, there will be rivers of blood.' " Beck continued in his own words, "Boy, I hope that's not true, but I can tell you there will be rivers of blood if we don't have values and principles." [Glenn Beck, 5/14/10] ...

... With all that, Beck is happy to blame progressives and “political correctness” for violence. Rich Gardner of the Philadelphia Independent Media Center wrote:

Yet, Beck says that ‘the American people...feel disenfranchised right now. [They] feel like nobody's hearing their voice. The government isn't hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don't listen to you on both sides.’

… Beck goes on: "And every time they do speak out, they're shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into [Michael McLendon, the killer of 10 people in Alabama]?"

Violent Consequences

Discussing inflammatory rhetoric and its consequences with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews last year, author Gerald Posner said, “It's a license that allows somebody who's on the edge to cross the edge from thinking about acting out to actually crossing the line and being violent and thinking they can change history with a single bullet. And we have shown time and time again that that's possible.”

Glenn Beck’s inflammatory rhetoric has been tied to a number of violent attacks and threats against Beck’s targets and other public figures. ...

The Tides Foundation

In July, the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation was targeted for a massacre by Byron Williams. Fortunately, Williams was stopped by police and injured after a ferocious gun battle before he could carry out his assassinations at Tides and the ACLU. As the Christian Science Monitor reported,

Since then, alleged attacker Byron Williams has said in jailhouse interviews that he wanted to “start a revolution.” He says Beck was not the direct cause of his turning violent. But he does say: “I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn't for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind.”

Beck has waged a rhetorical war against the Tides Foundation, placing them at the center of his chalkboard conspiracy theories, calling the foundation “bullies” and “thugs” and central to George Soros’ plans to destroy America. “I’m comin’ for ya, oh, I’m comin’ for ya,” he warned Tides on the air in September, saying that he wasn’t making threats but was planning to reverse all the work that Tides had done.

As Media Matters detailed, Byron Williams told journalist John Hamilton that Beck, "blew my mind," adding that Beck is "like a schoolteacher on TV." Williams also said that "Beck is gonna deny everything about violent approach and deny everything about conspiracies, but he'll give you every reason to believe it. He's protecting himself, and you can't blame him for that. So, I understand what he's doing." Williams continued:

And I'd say, well, you know, that's the thing. It's that anything you do is going to be considered promoting terror attacks or promoting violence. So now they've got Beck labeled as this guy that is trying to incite violence. And what I say is that if the truth incites violence, it means that we've been living too long in the lies.

Beck’s response was to dismiss any responsibility for violence by the “nutjob” and to “savor” – in journalist Milbank’s words – the fact that “no one knew what Tides was until the blackboard.”

Pittsburgh Police

In April 2009, Richard Poplawski shot and killed three police officers who had been called to his Pittsburgh house. Poplawski was reportedly a white supremacist who believed the Obama administration was planning to take away people’s guns and set up a police state. He once posted a YouTube clip of Glenn Beck discussing a conspiracy theory about FEMA setting up concentration camps to a white supremacist website.

Journalist Will Bunch interviewed Poplawski when researching his book The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama. Bunch found that Poplawski's fears about the "Obama gun confiscation" were the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it came to the increasingly paranoid ideas that he seemed to glean largely from talk radio and from Beck. ...

Illinois League of Women Voters

Beck targeted two officials of the League of Women Voters of Illinois after an October 20 debate in which one official declined an audience member’s request that the event start with the Pledge of Allegiance. After Beck attacked the two officials by name, they experienced an uptick of hateful calls and emails. Executive Director Jan Czarnik said she had reported death threats to the FBI.

Among the emails Czarnik received was this one:

You had better put a leash on your liberal lunatic Tate-Bradish. She will take you down. Her Pledge of Allegiance video is going viral, now that Beck outed her fanaticism. You will follow NPR down the rathole, thanks to her.

On the October 25 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said that the two women are "almost like in bed with George Soros."

Ideas and Rhetoric Have Consequences

Concerns about the impact of violent, inflammatory rhetoric like Glenn Beck’s are widespread and extend well beyond the progressive advocacy community to include members of law enforcement and some Republican commentators.

"The Becks of the world are people who are venting their opinions and it is inflammatory, it generates a lot of emotion and generates in some people overreaction…" says International Union of Police Associations spokesman Rich Roberts. “Inflammatory speech has a tendency to trigger those kinds of emotions."

Former Republican Member of Congress and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough criticized Beck last year for calling President Obama a racist. As reported by Politico, Scarborough said, “You cannot preach hatred. You cannot say the president’s a racist. You cannot stir up things that could have very deadly consequences.”

Security experts told Politico that potentially violent loners “can be influenced by the atmosphere around them” and that “angry rhetoric and images in the culture can agitate and inspire those loners to cross the line from anger to violence.”

James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University in Boston, told the Christian Science Monitor in October that people who act out in violence tend to be scapegoating for things going on in their own lives. And, as David Neiwert, journalist and author of The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right, has noted, right-wing conspiracy theories of the type promoted by Glenn Beck support scapegoating narratives. ...

... Crimlinologist Fox sees the media’s role this way: “It gives them the opportunity to see themselves as a political martyr. Someone who is going to show society that he is right and everyone else is wrong. And [the media] gives him the opportunity to think he could become a hero for fellow conservatives.” ...

... The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank had some advice for Beck:

Beck has prophesied darkly to his millions of followers that we are reaching "a point where the people will have exhausted all their options. When that happens, look out." One night on Fox, discussing the case of a man who killed 10 people, Beck suggested such things were inevitable. "If you're a conservative, you are called a racist, you want to starve children," he said. "And every time they do speak out, they are shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?"

Here's one idea: Stop encouraging them.

A Call for Accountability

In a previous report on free speech and irresponsible speech, People For the American Way wrote:

Among Americans' most prized possessions are the freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. In a free society, controversial public policy issues should be expected to generate vigorous and even heated debate. Our political leaders should expect to be subject to exacting scrutiny and energetic criticism. And Americans must be willing to embrace the First Amendment rights even, or especially, of those whose opinions we disagree with and find offensive.

But Americans must also be willing to use their First Amendment freedoms to challenge those who exploit their political positions or media megaphones to promote lies that are intended to inflame rather than inform, that encourage paranoia rather than participation, and whose consequences are at best divisive and at worst, violently destructive.

Those who are challenging Beck and Fox are taking on the responsibilities of engaged citizenship, and are acting to promote the nation’s best values.


Dorothy N (63)
Monday July 29, 2013, 10:18 pm
(continued - anyone reading this through, even if previously aware of all these circumstances, will, I believe gain greater understanding from putting this together, of what the potential problems are, so far as anyone can...)

Creeping racist fake outrage - “Black Mob Violence” and the “Media Blackout”
The baddest of the bad craziness
Wingnuts • 2 weeks, 1 day ago •

On the far fringes of the Wingnutosphere is a growing meme about mobs of black youth randomly attacking white people, and the “media blackout” surrounding it. It’s been going around for awhile now, but it’s gaining momentum as the George Zimmerman trial has gone to the jury, and mainstream conservatives are promoting talking about the spectre of race riots if Zimmerman is found not guilty.

The Southern Poverty Law Center published a report last year about one Colin Flaherty, who began writing about this meme for World Net Daily in an article entitled WorldNetDaily Now Peddling White Nationalism:

WorldNetDaily (WND) says it opposes racism in any form. That’s why the online publication has added a series of articles on “black mob violence” to its usual fare of antigovernment conspiracy theories, gay-bashing, anti-Muslim propaganda, and End Times prophecy.

The series, which began in mid-2012, is penned exclusively for WND by one Colin Flaherty, who according to an editor’s note posted at the top of his pieces, “has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse.”

“WND,” the editor’s note says, “considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.”

Flaherty is a marginal media figure whose main contribution to American literature is a 2011 self-published memoir titled Redwood to Deadwood: A 53-year Old Dude Hitchhikes Around America Again. He caught WND’s attention with 2012’s White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence and How the Media Ignore It, also self-published, which argues that “black-on-white” attacks have gone through the roof and the only reason you don’t know about it is because the “liberal media” has colluded to keep the story under wraps.

However, like much of everything else you’ll read in World Nut Daily, much of what Flaherty claims about a “liberal media blackout” is false, as the New York Times, among other deeply loather “liberal media” outlets, has in fact report on outbreaks of so called “black mob violence.” But what is most insidious about all of this is that the usual hayseeds known as ‘White Nationalists” have responded to Flaherty’s dog whistles air ride sirens as you’d expect:

But unlike mainstream (and, yes, liberal) writers who have pondered the causes and consequences of mob violence among black youths, Flaherty has become popular in white nationalist circles. Several articles from his WND series have been picked up by American Renaissance, a white nationalist hate group that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites.

In July, Flaherty appeared as a guest on the Lowell, Mass.-based Malevolent Freedom Radio, a white nationalist show whose motto is “embrace white culture” and whose logo is the Schwartze Sonne, or black sun, a Nazi occult symbol. Telling Malevolent Freedom host Dean Anderson that he’s not part of “the [White Nationalist] movement,” Flaherty declared, “I’m just a guy that likes to write … I just have my eyes open. My attitude is, I’m going to tell you what’s happening now, and if you want to freak out about it, I really don’t care.”

The worrisome thing is that this “black mob violence” meme is now making it’s way into the mainstream conservative media. ...

My comment: and some people claim that they need large magazines and guns designed specifically and only to kill large numbers of people, as in war, in case of 'mob violence' or 'mass riots' - although these types of guns are seemingly only used over and over again in the killing of schoolchildren and firing into of crowds of citizens going about their business in places such as malls, colleges or rallies.

Or to fight off the US Army - tanks, drones, and all - apparently, in the case of some of these suffering from the most delusory instilled beliefs.

But shooting unarmed people is easiest.

Media, Conservatives Try to Hide Their Roles in Promoting Hate-Filled Climate
By: Phoenix Woman Sunday January 9, 2011

(Crossposted from Renaissance Post.)

Yesterday afternoon, at a press conference to discuss the Tucson, Arizona shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and over a dozen others — a political hit that has so far resulted in six deaths, a nine-year-old girl’s among them — Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik was quite clear on who he thought was to blame in egging on a mentally imbalanced suspect with ties to the right-wing racist hate group American Renaissance. From FDL’s Jane Hamsher’s liveblogging of Sheriff Dupnik’s news conference:

Says Giffords was the target, and that there were 2 incidents occurred in a “very vitriolic” campaign. Someone in an “angry audience” dropped a weapon out of their pants. Another incident where windows were broken out of her office. At her office at Swan and Pima right now, suspicious package being investigated.

The 22 year old suspect does have a criminal past. Says this is how “unbalanced people respond to vitriol coming out about ripping down the government. Arizona has become the capital. We have become the mecca of prejudice and bigotry.” Believes people who are unbalanced especially, like the suspect, are extremely susceptible to vitriol.

Interestingly enough, there has been an effort by the media organs that have served as enablers of the peddlers of vitriol to minimize, if not outright conceal, their roles in spreading it. ...

... Arizonans know better than to fall for this trick. Sheriff Dupnik obviously hasn’t. And David Fitzsimmons of the Arizona Daily Star was on CNN immediately after word of the shootings came out, and said without equivocation that the shootings were “inevitable” because of the rabid right-wing dominance of Arizona’s political discourse:

I’m pretty shaken frankly. This is a very surreal, dream-like experience. As a columnist who’s covered politics in this state, it was inevitable from my perspective.

The right in Arizona, and I’m speaking very broadly, has been stoking the fires of a heated anger and rage successfully in this state.

It’s stunning because Congressman Giffords was a centrist, a moderate, and I don’t know who the shooter is, but what could possibly motivate an individual to be enraged enough take down a moderate centrist.

CNN asked further about the atmosphere of Arizona politics becoming so tumultuous, and Fitzsimmons continued:

This is a gun happy state. I myself enjoy guns from time-to-time, I’m not against gun ownership.

But for this state, it has become a fetish. This is a intense gun culture and the politics of the state are far to the right, rabid right. ...

... UPDATE: At least one Republican senator — speaking anonymously because he or she knows full well what would happen to him or her if he or she wasn’t anonymous — has laid the blame for this squarely at the feet of the Republican Party and its conservative allies. As Jon Aravosis says:

Let it be noted that the Republicans control the majority of talk radio and cable TV shows that try outdo each other. The GOP controls talk radio. From Dr. Laura to Limbaugh to Hannity, O’Reilly, Beck, Savage and the rest. As for cable TV shows that try to outdo each other, CNN doesn’t even try to do shows like that, MSNBC is new to the game (and in any case, shows left and right), whereas FOX News has given the GOP an entire network all to itself and has been broadcasting vitriol, with incendiary hosts and guests, for 15 years. There is no equivalence. And finally, the town halls. Who has been using angry mobs to disrupt town halls in a manner that is one hair away from violent? Republicans. Not Democrats, but Republicans. ...

My comment: lots of people in lots of countries have lots of guns, only there's nowhere else in the world but America where guns are regarded with such religious fervour by a large contingent of the population...

Thu Jul 18, 2013
"I Wanted My Guns Back. I Just Wanted Them Back So Bad." Update.

by jpmassar

John Henry Spooner was found guilty yesterday of first degree intentional homicide in the death of Darius Simmons, age 13. Today, the jury was hearing testimony as to whether Spooner was sane at the time of the shooting.

Spooner mostly spoke in a calm voice but sounded anguished as he recounted how he confronted Darius and shot him in the chest. He recalled that someone had stolen four shotguns from his home two days earlier, and he was frustrated by a limited police response.

Gimbel asked him what caused him to shoot the boy.

"I wanted my guns back," Spooner replied, squeezing his eyes shut and resting his head against his fingertips. "I just wanted them back so bad."

Why had Spooner, handgun aimed, shot Darius as he was backpedalling away from Spooner with his hands up?

A Milwaukee man who killed his 13-year-old neighbor last year testified Thursday the shooting was "justice" because he thought the teen had broken into his home and stolen weapons...

A prosecutor alleged that Spooner traded the boy's life for guns in a desire for revenge.

"I wouldn't call it revenge. I would call it justice," Spooner said defiantly, drawing audible gasps from the courtroom. Darius' mother, Patricia Larry, threw up her hands and muttered, "Oh my god."

It doesn't get any worse than this.

Darius died a few moments later across the street, in his mother's arms.

Or does it?

Williams asked whether Spooner felt bad about taking Darius' life.
"Not that bad," he replied softly.


UPDATE: Spooner Found to Be Sane.
Via a comment from dragonlady

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

John Henry Spooner, 76, knew what he was doing and knew that it was wrong when he shot and killed his 13-year-old neighbor, a Milwaukee County jury decided Friday.
The jury rejected an insanity defense mounted by Spooner after he was convicted Wednesday of first-degree intentional homicide for fatally shooting Darius Simmons. The verdict ends the second phase of the weeklong trial and effectively ensures Spooner will spend the rest of his life in prison.

... At the end of his final arguments, Williams held up a picture of Simmons for the jurors to see. "This kid didn't do anything. ... He was taking the garbage out," Williams said. "(Spooner) took away a human life, and he should be held responsible for that." ...

... Rawski testified that the prospect of Simmons' mother calling police likely caused Spooner to pull the trigger. "Lady, you blow me off, that's it," Rawski quoted Spooner as telling him during his psychiatric examination. When he asked Spooner why he fired a second shot at Simmons, which missed the victim, Spooner said, "To make sure he was dead," Rawski testified. ...

... Quoting from the judge's instruction in his closing argument, Williams said that "temporary passion or frenzy does not constitute a mental disease."

He said Spooner admitted on the stand that "anger" drove him to shoot Simmons. "It's not a mental disease; it's anger," he said, adding Spooner was his "best witness in the second phase."

"You saw the real Mr. Spooner on the witness stand. You saw how quickly he flared up and got angry at me," Williams told jurors. "He knows what he did, but he doesn't really feel sorry for it. 'Justice was served,'" he said. ...

My comment: apparently Spooner had no reason to think the boy had anything to do with a gun theft that had not yet even been established at the time of the last article I'd read previous to those quoted here - and the police did search the 13 year old victim's family home after his death without finding anything suspicious - but, since he was Black...

I bought my 3 year old a gun
Monday, May 13, 2013 by:Jeff G.

Time to stock up. Guns are good. When your kid gets to the right age, buy him or her a gun.

Age 3 is about the right time to start teaching kids about guns. While you teach not to play with electric outlets, and not to go near the road, you can also show your child what a gun is, and what the safety rules are.

If you have guns in the home, and children in the home, then safety really should be taught from a very early age. Thinking of a gun as taboo is probably not a good approach. Instead, teach about safety, perhaps starting at age 3 and continue daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. The teaching won’t stop until age 18. Then the child is a grown man or woman. You can still teach after that, but the responsibility will have shifted from you to the adult you raised.

Guns are good. They save lives. They protect people. They keep us free. They are tools to defend. But they are powerful tools. When in the workshop your 3 year old might come in to see what you are doing. Some amount of play, some curiosity, some teaching. Don’t touch a tool unless daddy gives you one to hold. Here, this is a screw driver. Careful, it is sharp. This is a table saw, don’t touch that. It goes around very fast and can cut your arm off. Every year people get hurt by these. But I’ll show you how to use it as you get older, but only when I am here with you, because it is very dangerous.

Similar with a gun, start explaining it, taking the mystery out of it. Even if just starting with the basic statement to your child that you never point a gun at anyone. And as you determine your child is old enough to understand more, then add more to the lessons. Such as the concept that all guns are always loaded. The particular age to start this talk is up to you, the parent. Age 3 is when I started with my son.

What is a good gun for a 3 year old? I bought a .308 Winchester. It is the same caliber the military uses for a lot of sniper guns and medium machine guns. But is also a good deer rifle. Some people opt for a .243 Winchester as a child’s first deer rifle. But I wanted my child to be able to grow with the rifle. The .308 has more capability for larger game, but still not too much recoil. If you use lower velocity rounds, with lighter bullets, you can get the recoil down to the .243 level. Nothing wrong with a .243, and I might buy him one of those someday, too.

For teaching him how to actually shoot there is a progression from nerf gun , to BB gun, to .22LR, to .223, to .308. It will take years of my teaching him safety and shooting skills but by age 12 he’ll be ready for his .308. It has a pretty wood stock, a nice scope, and is sitting in the safe waiting for him. Every so often I take it out of the safe and show it to him. He can handle it anytime he wants to, and just has to ask me. That’s the rule. You can see any gun you want, just ask first. I go through the safety check of unloading and emphasize treating every gun as if it is loaded, and to never point it at anyone. ...

Last Updated: 02nd May 2013

Caroline Starks, two, was killed after her brother accidentally shot her while playing with his own .22-calibre gun - called My First Rifle.

The tragedy, which took place on Tuesday shortly after 1pm local time in Burkesville, Kentucky, has shocked America and the rest of the world.

The young boy had been playing with a Crickett gun, specially designed for kids, which was given to him last year.

Crickett guns are manufactured for kids by the Keystone Sporting Arms firm on a web page that boasts of their "child-friendly" rifles.

... Apocalypticism

... By the end of the Second World War the arrival of nuclear weaponry made apocalyptic biblical predictions technologically possible. Thus, if the prospect of thermonuclear annihilation did not produce enough anxiety by itself, some further saw “the Bomb” as the instrument of religious prophecies. In 1971, future President Ronald Reagan warned the California State Senate:

Ezekiel 38 and 39 says that Gog, a northern power, will invade Israel. Gog must be Russia. Most of the prophecies that had to be fulfilled before Armageddon can come have come to pass. Ezekiel said that fire and brimstone will be rained upon the enemies. That must mean that they’ll be destroyed by nuclear weapons. 30

This was the same man who joked “Start bombing in five minutes” and initiated the “Star Wars” defense system. His Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, ordered the clear-cutting of national forests thinking that, in the not-too-distant future, no one would be left to enjoy them anyway. As the Reagan Revolution pushed forward (or backward), author Hal Lindsey published a series of bestsellers interpreting global politics according to the Book of Revelations. These include The Rapture, The Terminal Generation, There’s a New World Coming, The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon and The Late Great Planet Earth. The last title, in which Lindsey interpreted current events according to the biblical Seven Seals, sold more than 18 million copies. 31

Fear of a coming apocalypse sparked a survivalist movement across America. Christian Fundamentalists, however, are not prone to survivalism because they believe in the rapture, i.e., that Christ will appear and bring them to heaven for the Tribulation. In contrast, historic premillenialists such as Identity Christians expect to actively battle the Anti-Christ during Armageddon.32 Because urban centers would be the first to go in a missile strike, survivalism took root in the countryside. Just as air-raid sirens and fallout shelters sprouted up all across America during the 1950s, people today take matters into their own hands by stockpiling freeze-dried foods, water, clothing and weapons. Survivalism, however, is at root anti-social. It signals that one has somewhat abandoned normal social intercourse as an adequate basis for personal and public life:

[T]he act of radical withdrawal can engender a siege mentality, a sense that one is surrounded by enemies and that the battle is even now beginning. Thus survivalists are prey to the self-fulfilling prophecy, in the sense that their very preparations may lead them into actions that set them at odds with political authorities.33

Dug in and braced for the Bomb, some start to regard a nuclear holocaust as a solution instead of a problem. ...

Reported Minnesota Militia Member Arrested in Terror Plot
Bill Morlin on May 7, 2013, Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Militias, Uncategorized

A 24-year-old Minnesota man with ties to an antigovernment militia group is under arrest for what now appears to be a plot to bomb a local police department.

Buford “Bucky” Rogers, of Montevideo, Minn., only has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, but other federal charges – and possibly other arrests – may be in the works, authorities tell Hatewatch.

Rogers, a self-proclaimed member of the Black Snake Militia, was arrested by an FBI SWAT team on Friday when agents found homemade bombs and firearms at the home of the suspect’s father, Jeffrey Rogers. The father was not arrested.

“The FBI believes that a terror attack was disrupted by law enforcement personnel and that the lives of several local residents were potentially saved,” the agency said in a statement.

A federal criminal complaint says “agents conducting the search located several items including Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms.” The suspect was arrested at his home, which is about ¾ of a mile from his father’s home, where the explosive devices were found.

The explosive devices — some packed with nails and others types of potentially lethal shrapnel — were detonated nearby by a bomb squad.

Federal authorities say “they are confident that they foiled a planned attack on the Montevideo Police Department and possibly saved lives” when they arrested Buford Rogers, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported today.

“I can’t comment on that at this point,” Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher told Hatewatch today when asked if his department was the potential target of a domestic terrorism attack.

The chief did say, however, that he and other officers on the nine-member department have arrested Buford Rogers at least twice before.

At one point, officers responded to Rogers’ home after neighbors complained that he was flying an upside-down U.S. flag outdoors. That is a common public display for antigovernment activists who believed the United States is under attack by subversive foreign powers.

Buford Rogers and his father also had crudely hand-painted signs outside their home, with the red letters “BSM” sprayed on a black background, the chief said. “When I asked what that stood for, they told me ‘Black Snake Militia,’” the chief told Hatewatch. “I personally asked the father what that was all about and he told me, ‘Oh, that’s Bucky’s thing.’”

The chief said the investigation, now being led by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, is ongoing, but preliminary indications are that the militia is a small cell. “I would describe it as Bucky Rogers and his family and close friends,” he said.

The chief said there have been no unexplained bombings in or near Montevideo, which is a rural, agricultural community of 5,600 about 100 miles west of Minneapolis.

The suspect currently doesn’t have a valid driver’s license, but the police chief said he wouldn’t describe him as a “sovereign citizen,” or someone who believes the government has no right to levy taxes or impose most laws, despite his other outspoken antigovernment views.

The Star-Tribune reported that Rogers’ Facebook postings “suggest a man with troubling interests involving racial superiority and irritation with authorities.”

One of the suspect’s neighbors, Bryan Best, told the newspaper that Buford Rogers “talked about white supremacist stuff.”

Profanity-laced postings on Rogers’ Facebook page from June 2011 express his antigovernment views: “The NWO [New World Order] has taken all your freedoms the right to bear arms freedom of speach [sic] freedom of the press,” one of his postings said, according to the newspaper.

My comment: '... At one point, officers responded to Rogers’ home after neighbors complained that he was flying an upside-down U.S. flag outdoors. That is a common public display for antigovernment activists who believed the United States is under attack by subversive foreign powers. ...'

This sounds to me suspiciously like a signal to other whackos to join the club...

A comment on above article links to:

The NRA Is More Interested In Selling Assault Weapons Than Protecting the 2nd Amendment
By: RmuseMay. 8th, 2013

In 2004 the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) enacted in 1994 reached its sunset date and expired without being renewed at the behest of the NRA, and it was curious why an organization that boasted their advocacy for firearm safety and hunting was adamantly opposed to banning weapons created for the battlefield and not duck hunting or home protection. Since then, the NRA actively promoted assault-style weapon ownership and spent no small sum of money paying congressional representatives for their votes to oppose any gun safety laws the NRA considered a direct assault on the United States Constitution Republicans are loathe to acknowledge as the law of the land. Throughout the NRA’s lobbying efforts to arm every man, woman, and child in America, reasonable Americans wondered if the NRA had an extrinsic reason for pushing the proliferation of assault weapons in the population, and if they were concealing a different intent from their stated reasons of protecting the people’s right to defend their homes and shoot birds.

When reports that a new gun advocate was taking the reins of the NRA from outgoing president David Keene, it appeared it was just another gun fanatic no reasonable American would want living in their immediate vicinity, and it appears no American except neo-confederates would welcome incoming National Rifle Association President Jim Porter into their neighborhoods. Porter is not the run-of-the-mill gun-zealot, he is a Southern fanatic who is still smarting because the South did not prevail in the Civil War, and in 2012 he appeared to reveal the NRA’s ulterior motive in arming the population with assault weapons, and it is not to shoot pheasants or for home security.

When Porter was addressing the New York Rifle & Pistol Association in 2012, he assailed President Obama as a “fake president” and emphatically labeled Attorney General Eric Holder “rabidly un-American.” The racial element to Porter’s rant became evident when he called the war to end slavery the “War of Northern Aggression.” Porter reiterated to New York gun fanatics that even though they “might call it the Civil War, we call it the War of Northern Aggression down south,” and it is an odd statement considering that it was the Confederate Army that began the Civil War by attacking and seizing a United States military installation at Fort Sumter. The resulting war killed at least 750,000 Americans and decimated the South’s infrastructure and obviously, Porter is disappointed at the outcome.

Porter explained that the NRA was started because “some Yankee generals didn’t like the way my southern boys had the ability to shoot,” and that they started the NRA “to teach and train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm. And I am one who still feels very strongly that that is one of our most greatest charges that we can have today, is to train the civilian in the use of the standard military firearm, so that when they have to fight for their country they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they’re ready to do it. Also, when they’re ready to fight tyranny, they have the wherewithal and the weapons to do it.” Thus, the NRA’s push to arm Americans with assault weapons is to train civilians in the use of standard military firearms so they are “ready to fight tyranny,” because if Americans are called to fight for their country, it is apparent to Porter that the United States military is ill-equipped to train one-time civilians in the use of the standard military firearm to use under the aegis of the United States military; so the NRA will train them to fight tyranny.

The idea that the government under an African American President is tyrannical did not originate with Porter’s 2012 rant; the teabaggers began crying tyranny shortly after the health care reform debate began in 2009. Since then, a quick perusal of the Internet will garner thousands of neo-conservative, teabagger, and gun fanatic articles decrying the tyranny of the Obama Administration with no basis in fact, but for disaffected revolutionary sycophants and angry neo-confederates, facts are irrelevant to their cries of tyranny. The teabagger standard, the Gadsden flag, is the revolutionary war symbol of opposition to tyranny and it is no coincidence that the incoming NRA leader made it quite clear that the organization’s new direction is to train civilians in the use of military firearms to fight tyranny Porter appears to claim is the purview of the “fake president” conservatives spent over four years asserting is stealing Americans’ rights to unrestricted ownership of weapons fashioned after “the standard military firearm.”

It is possible the NRA missed Porter’s neo-confederate rant against the North’s war of aggression the rest of the nation knows as the Civil War, but the new message cannot be any more direct and threatening to the security of the United States. And Porter’s call to arms for civilians to arm themselves with replicas of the standard military firearm to be ready to fight tyranny cannot be misconstrued as anything other than the real drive behind the NRA’s rampage to arm the entire population. Gun fanatics claim assault rifles are simply “long arm rifles” used for hunting and home protection, but they directed the American Legislative Exchange Council to create templates for states to ban restrictions on machine guns and altering semi-automatic assault weapons into fully automatic “standard military firearms.”
The incoming NRA president is a bad omen for the new direction the NRA is bound to take as they ramp up opposition to gun safety laws and push for every American to stock up on assault weapons and inordinate amounts of ammunition that belie their use as personal protection and shooting rabbits. That Porter is still angry about the outcome of the Civil War and referring to 1871 military leaders as “Yankee Generals” who “didn’t like the way my Southern boys had the ability to shoot,” and his number one goal of training civilians to use standard military firearms to fight tyranny of “a fake President” is a real danger considering the assault weapon frenzy and fear mongering that Americans’ liberties are under assault. Porter is living breathing proof that the NRA and their gun-crazed supporters threaten the security of every American not lusting for civil, racial, or revolutionary war, and there is little doubt that America is inching closer to violent conflict, and front and center are Republicans blocking any chance at reining in the proliferation of military-style weapons or the angry gun zealots ready to use them.

Why the U.S. isn't signing the U.N.'s global arms treaty
America's top allies are meeting in New York on Monday to sign a landmark treaty. The U.S. isn't among them, yet
By Peter Weber | June 3, 2013

Representatives of at least 60 nations are gathering at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on Monday to sign a landmark Arms Trade Treaty. The treaty, passed on April 2 after decades of stop-and-go negotiations, will for the first time regulate some of the multibillion-dollar global arms market. Among those signing will be top-tier arms exporters like Britain, France, and Germany.

Who won't be there? America. Says Flavia Krause-Jackson at Bloomberg News:

The absence of the world's top arms dealer at the ceremony in New York drawing some 60 nations casts a shadow over a decades-long push to stop illegal cross-border shipments of conventional weapons. By contrast, some of the world's most violent nations, from drug-plagued Mexico to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, will be among the signatories. [Bloomberg]

The U.S. absence doesn't mean the Obama administration won't sign the document. "We are conducting a thorough review of the treaty text to determine whether to sign the treaty," says White House National Security Council spokeswoman Laura Lucas. In fact, treaty supporters expect the Obama team to sign on sometime later this year. But the treaty won't actually take effect until at least 50 nations ratify it.

That's where the U.S. will probably step on the breaks, at least domestically. The treaty doesn't regulate weapons sales inside the U.S., or any other country, but nobody expects the U.S. Senate to ratify it anytime soon. So what does the treaty do? Its aim, says The Associated Press' Edith M. Lederer, is to "make it more difficult for illicit arms to cross borders," especially into war-torn countries like South Sudan and Congo.

The treaty covers battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons. It prohibits states that ratify it from transferring conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. The treaty also prohibits the export of conventional arms if they could be used in attacks on civilians or civilian buildings such as schools and hospitals.

In considering whether to authorize the export of arms, a country must evaluate whether the weapons would be used to violate international human rights laws or employed by terrorists or organized crime. A country must also determine whether the weapons would contribute to or undermine peace and security. In addition, the treaty requires countries to take measures to prevent the diversion of conventional weapons to the illicit market. [AP]

Like many things having to do with gun control, the atmosphere in Congress is "absolutely toxic," Amnesty International's Adotei Akwei tells Bloomberg. "Ratification by the U.S. is a long-term strategy and it can take 10 to 15 years." Why not now? Bloomberg's Krause-Jackson explains:

Even if the treaty wouldn't affect U.S. domestic sales or impinge on the constitutional right to bear arms, it would be a political minefield at home. The accord wouldn't muster enough votes for approval by the U.S. Senate, and the influential National Rifle Association, which says it has more than 4.5 million members, has lobbied against it. [Bloomberg]

That's madness, says Rachel Johnson at Patheos. "The only opposition to this historic treaty came from the dictatorships of Iran, Syria, and North Korea — definitely not the kind of company the U.S. wants to be keeping." (Another 23 countries, including Russia and China, abstained from the vote.) And who supports it? says Johnson. "Humanitarian groups, the Pentagon, Vatican, World Evangelical Alliance, National Council of Churches, and countless generals, admirals, missions groups, and pastors."

On it's merits alone, the Arms Trade Treaty should be a slam dunk for any U.S. Senator to support. Prior to its adoption, states were left to self-regulate, creating a patch work of laws with loopholes in some cases big enough to drive a tank through — literally. Arms smugglers were able to take advantage of these loopholes to flood black and grey markets with illicit weapons that ended up in the hands of terrorists, warlords, and drug smugglers and have been used against our soldiers and aid workers.... When the option is to keep company with pastors, military leaders, and humanitarians or Iran, Syria, and North Korea, the choice should be a no brainer. Hopefully with time these Senators will realize this and do the right thing. [Patheos]

But Senate ratification — which requires a two-thirds majority — seems unlikely anytime soon. In a test vote in March, the Senate voted for a symbolic measure opposing U.S. participation in the treaty, 53 to 46, with eight Democrats joining a unanimous GOP caucus. In the House — which doesn't get a vote on the measure — the atmosphere is predictably more charged: 130 members signed a letter to Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry demanding the U.S. not sign the treaty. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) explains why he signed the letter:

The right to keep and bear arms is granted by God and protecting from government aggression by the Constitution. It is not subject to the whims of global totalitarians massed in New York City.... I oppose any U.N. treaty touching the right to keep and bear arms. It's beyond time for the United States to withdraw from the U.N.

Yes, "you will see a flood of stories from the 'news' soon assuring you the ATT has little effect on the Second Amendment," says Alan Korwin at the Western Free Press. "That's simply false."

"Small arms" are right there in the treaty language. Signatories are required to create "national control lists" of all arms and ammunition imports and exports, and since this includes parts and even metals used, it's a very broad brush. Fine imported guns could be severely affected (can you say Glock?) Make, model, and end users are covered, the U.N. is supposed to get copies of the lists, and the U.N. is supposed to give copies to every other participating nation, who are encouraged to make the lists public. "Improvements" are supposed to be made by amendment after six years. [Western Free Press]

To curb arms sales to brutal regimes, the treaty does "set up a system for tracking exports of arms to other countries and reporting those statistics to the United Nations annually," says Hayes Brown at ThinkProgress, but "the U.S. government already tracks the sale of weapons overseas, meaning very little will change in practice for American citizens." (You can read the full treaty here.) Since the NRA doesn't hold much sway at the U.N., though, it is trying hard to kill it in the Senate, and "unfortunately, the NRA's messaging already seems to have permeated Washington," Brown says. ...

My comment: the NRA evidently has no compunctions about foreign OR domestic terrorists gaining arms, and fights even background check legislation intended to help keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, crazies and terrorists.

They're a growing market for sales.

Domestic Terrorism
Focus on Militia Extremism


Last March, nine members of an extremist militia group were charged in Michigan with seditious conspiracy and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction in connection with an alleged plot to attack law enforcement and spark an uprising against the government.

According to the federal indictment, the nine individuals planned to kill a law enforcement officer and then use bombs to attack the caravan of cars taking part in the subsequent funeral procession, hoping that this violence would incite a larger armed conflict with authorities. Fortunately, the FBI and the Michigan State Police intervened and took the subjects into custody before they could carry out their alleged plot.
It’s just one example of the dangers posed by so-called militia extremists—the latest topic in our series to educate the nation on domestic terror threats that the FBI investigates today. ...

... Who they are. Like many domestic terrorism groups, militia extremists are anti-government. What sets them apart is that they’re often organized into paramilitary groups that follow a military-style rank hierarchy. They tend to stockpile illegal weapons and ammunition, trying illegally to get their hands on fully automatic firearms or attempting to convert weapons to fully automatic. They also try to buy or manufacture improvised explosive devices and typically engage in wilderness, survival, or other paramilitary training.

Who and what they target. They usually go after the government itself—including law enforcement personnel, representatives of the courts, and other public officials, along with government buildings. When caught, most militia extremists are charged with weapons, explosives, and/or conspiracy violations.

What they believe in. Many militia extremists view themselves as protecting the U.S. Constitution, other U.S. laws, or their own individual liberties. They believe that the Constitution grants citizens the power to take back the federal government by force or violence if they feel it’s necessary. They oppose gun control efforts and fear the widespread disarming of Americans by the federal government.

Militia extremists often subscribe to various conspiracy theories regarding government. One of their primary theories is that the United Nations—which they refer to as the New World Order, or NWO—has the right to use its military forces anywhere in the world (it doesn’t, of course). The extremists often train and prepare for what they foresee as an inevitable invasion of the U.S. by United Nations forces. Many militia extremists also wrongly believe that the federal government will relocate citizens to camps controlled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or force them to undergo vaccinations.

One important note: simply espousing anti-government rhetoric is not against the law. However, seeking to advance that ideology through force or violence is illegal, and that’s when the FBI and law enforcement become involved.

What is the FBI doing to combat the militia extremism threat? In addition to our lawful use of sophisticated investigative techniques, we’ve expanded our work with other federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and with our state and local partners. And we use intelligence and analysis to help identify gaps in our knowledge, emerging tactics and trends, and effective investigative strategies.

As always, the combination of intelligence, coordinated law enforcement efforts, and an informed public is the most effective way to counter the threats posed by domestic extremists.

My comment: could this be why, under President Obama, some using the NSA are said to be pressing for passwords to gain access to people's online data - searching for possibly more organized groups of domestic right-wing terrorists?

As much as I abhor this appalling invasion of privacy, and its virtual certainty of abuse when it falls into the wrong hands, if this is the reason, I can see why - the potential alternatives are, oddly, both too easy to imagine, and unimaginable... here, the devil (the Republican -created NSA for domestic and international spying on everyone and the secret Republican-appointed Judge directed FISA court of Republican appointed judges) and the deep blue sea, (incitement of armed insurrection aimed at Right-wing/Republican created, heavily armed crazies and a potential attempt at a Republican coup over America's duly elected government, to try to take power over America and Americans by force/assassination) are both Republican initiatives..

Sheila D (194)
Monday July 29, 2013, 11:23 pm
Read some but not all - even for me this was a bit too long. Sorry Dorothy. I will come bk to it. Noted.

TomCat S (123)
Tuesday July 30, 2013, 2:06 am
Thanks everyone.

Dorothy, you need to flesh that out with a little more content. ;-)

Alice C (1797)
Tuesday July 30, 2013, 6:02 am
Thanks Tom

Sheryl G (359)
Tuesday July 30, 2013, 6:32 am
Dorothy N. why don't you just copy the link onto the thread and then people can go back to read it. Or take some excerpts out that are most important to share or comment upon.

Winn A (179)
Tuesday July 30, 2013, 6:40 am
Thanks Tom

Kit B (276)
Tuesday July 30, 2013, 7:35 am

Are you kidding me? That's not a comment it's a book.

Mitchell D (82)
Tuesday July 30, 2013, 4:00 pm
I expect you are right, about Roberts. that he, alone, can appoint people to FISA goes way beyond "anachronistic.!" Sounds to me like it time travels to the USSR!

TomCat S (123)
Wednesday July 31, 2013, 3:13 am
Thanks everyone. Great idea Sheryl.
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