I don’t get it. If people wearing keffiyeh scarves had assassinated police officers eating lunch in a Las Vegas pizza joint the media would be chock full of themselves over “Muslim terrorists.”
If an environmental activist took it upon himself to seize a courthouse and have a shoot out with police we’d be hearing Fox news calling for throwing him and others in the Guantanamo prison camp.
If a group of Black Panthers walked around openly carrying shotguns and rifles, the National Rifle Association would support anti-open carry legislation. (Actually, they did)
All of these things have happened over the past few weeks, only the perpetrators were right-wing extremists. And the silence of the sheep-media (™) is deafening.
The Attorney General of the United States (y’know, the one righties want to impeach) announced last week that the DOJ was going to reestablish the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which was shut down after the terrorist attack on 9/11, and the primary push for the Committee will be the investigation of domestic anti-government terrorism and racial animus.
The Obamapocalypse is Here, So They Say
Although Eric Holder cited the Boston Marathon bombings last year and shootings at Fort Hood in 2009 and 2014 as examples of “the danger we face from these homegrown threats,” the far right has flipped their collective wigs over this announcement.
The right has since made it very clear the only good conservative is one that lugs around multiple full-automatic shotguns in public, bombs women’s health clinics, and wraps themselves in the flag while carrying the cross and wearing White skin. For instance, Pat Dollard, who runs a far-right website, ran a measured and responsible headline “Holder Mobilizes Group To Wage War On The White Man…”
…while we’re on the topic of jokes and clowns, here’s one of the comments from Glenn Beck‘s online magazine, The Blaze:
This regime is now justifiably terrified that attempts to overthrow them and re-establish our constitutional government and the rule of law may occur. A nazi/Stalin regime like rule is about to begin where people will be arrested and detained without evidence but on suspicion alone. Unlike Germany, there are no allies to come to our rescue to stop it.
The Las Vegas Shootings
The stand-off at the Bundy ranch in Nevada has inspired the rightwing fringe vision to include doing battle with law enforcement agencies.
The Las Vegas Sun reported that the couple behind Sunday’s cop-killings ““had a reputation for spouting racist, anti-government views, bragging about their gun collection and boasting that they’d spent time at Cliven Bundy’s ranch during a recent standoff there between armed militia members and federal government agents.”
Via the Washington Post:
The tragedy in Las Vegas unfolded Sunday afternoon as two police officers ate lunch at CiCi’s Pizza — a world away from the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas strip.
Without warning, they were fatally shot at point-blank range by a man and a woman who then swiped the officers’ weapons, ammunition and badges, according to the Review-Journal. “This is a revolution,” one of the suspects shouted, according to witnesses.
The couple then reportedly covered the officers’ bodies with a cloth showing a Revolutionary War-era flag.
The newspaper reported it was the Gadsden flag, a yellow background with a coiled snake above the words, “Don’t tread on me.” Named for Christopher Gadsden, the Revolutionary War general who designed it, the flag has been more recently associated with the American Tea Party movement and, by some, with the Confederacy.
UPDATE: Talking Points Memo has uncovered some of shooter Jerad Miller’s Facebook postings. Miller was interviewed by Al Jazeera America and KRNV-TV while at the Bundy Ranch:
…while Miller appears to have taken an intense interest in the Bundy Ranch standoff, his public Facebook postings were filled with violent imagery and anti-government beliefs long before Bundy earned national headlines.
“This is a declaration to all Americans. If you don’t agree with and hold dear the second amendment of the united states constitution (sic), then you ,need to self-deport yourself to someplace where people like you can congregate,” he wrote on Jan. 1, 2013. “We are already on our way to tyranny, and your corrupt evil ass needs to leave this country before you incite another civil war.”
“Your (sic) a traitor to this nation and its people who hold their rights dear to them and deserve to die a traitors death.”
A ‘Sovereign Citizen’ in Georgia
Although it has not been widely reported in the news media, an attempt to seize the Forsyth County Courthouse in Georgia last Friday was an act of right-wing terror.
Via the Christian Science Monitor:
Dennis Marx, a former TSA employee and member of the 100,000-plus “sovereign citizen” movement, planned to lay siege to a Forsyth County, Ga., courthouse and take hostages before he was killed by a sheriff’s deputy on Friday.
Throwing smoke bombs and tire spikes, Marx attacked the Forsyth County Courthouse on Friday morning, striking a sheriff’s deputy in the leg with a bullet. The deputy, 25-year veteran James Rush, returned fire, and Mr. Marx was killed after a brief gun battle on the street, which was joined by a local SWAT team.
According to Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper, Marx had in his possession buckets of homemade explosives, ammunition, smoke grenades, as well as food and water – clues that “he came here with the purpose of occupying the courthouse.” Sheriff Piper added that Marx’s “intention was to get in that front door and take hostages.”
Beyond the Shootings–Systemic Intimidation
Not all the mighty righties are brave enough to shoot it out with the police. An even more prevalent application of terror comes via the routine practice of making death threats, usually against anybody mentioned in Faux News reports.
The father of Bowe Bergdahl, the Idaho soldier released from captivity in a controversial prisoner swap with the Taliban, has received emailed death threats that authorities are investigating, an Idaho police chief said on Saturday.
The first of the death threats sent to Bob Bergdahl at his home near Hailey, Idaho, was received on Wednesday, the same day the city canceled a planned rally celebrating the release of his son, Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter said.
The senior Bergdahl, who’s had to endure Faux talking heads comparing his beard to those worn by some Muslims, is no liberal sissy. It turns out he’s a Republican and (maybe) a Ron Paul supporter.
Via the Daily Beast:
In June 2010, Robert Bergdahl, the father of released American POW Bowe Bergdahl, gave a speech at an Idaho Republican Party fundraiser. In one of his first public appearances during his son’s five-year captivity, he asked the conservative audience to show compassion for his son’s captors—and, in a twist that foretold the plot of Homeland—he alleged that the United States had killed one of those captor’s children with a drone strike…
“I grew up in a conservative family in Los Angeles,” he said with a smile. “My father was for Goldwater. He wore a Nixon button in our liberal Jewish neighborhood. I was the lone U.C. Santa Barbara surfer who voted for Ronald Reagan.” Many in the audience nodded in approval, and then Bergdahl talked about the work of retrieving his son.
Cowards with Short…Fuses
I reserve the final part of today’s rant for the enthusiasts of ‘open carry.’ These are the individuals who apparently feel it’s their sacred duty to wave their metallic phalli around in restaurants, retail stores and other public places.
Lately their Texas brethren have been getting a lot of press, scaring the crap out of people in the name of “freedom.” The NRA even condemned their actions, only to walk it back a few hours later, no doubt following some freedom loving death threats. Because that’s how these idiots operate.
Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana shed light on how these types operate in a recent comment left here at SDFP:
…in 2010, I introduced a gun safety bill (banning open carry in CA) in my final year in legislative office. My staff and I had never felt so threatened by men- and one or 2 women- who disagreed with the bill.
I withstood frequent attempts to intimidate and harass me and my staff. It got to the point we had to inform law enforcement of my schedule at public events, to make sure officers were present and/or prepared to respond quickly.
We held one event on the bill in Lafayette CA, about 1 hour west of Sacramento. It was within 1000 yards of a school, so no weapons were allowed inside under state current law. Nonetheless, 2 men (brothers) from San Diego drove 500 miles to confront me. They carried guns, ammunition and knives. One of them later bragged on his blog about smuggling the gun and ammo into the meeting, by lying to a security guard about the contents of his backpack and refusing, on privacy grounds, to allow it to be searched.
When we reported the blog to law enforcement, and they contacted him, he denied the actions. Since they had no proof, he was never prosecuted.
In the end, on the last day of my final legislative session in August 2010, my own Democratic and mostly male colleagues refused to allow the bill to be brought up for a final vote. It failed to get to the Governor’s desk that year, then was reintroduced, and signed into law, the following year- after being authored by a man.
So even today, when I read of the efforts of the NRA, open carry advocates etc. to insist on their rights to carry guns anywhere, at any time, I get angry- but also frightened.
Shortly after I termed out of office in Dec. 2010, Rep Gabbi Gifford was shot, and several of her staff were killed, in Arizona. I began thinking: that could have been me, and my staff…
In 2011, I had a few scares in San Diego (men showing up at meetings where I had been invited to speak, refusing to identify themselves to organizers, etc.), and had security lights installed on my home. I contacted SDPD and asked for their help in making my home more secure.
Fortunately, I live close to a school. Anyone carrying a gun near my house is in violation of the law. Small comfort…
So When Do Ordinary Folks Get Some Protection?
My point today is not to argue for suppression of those who have right wing philosophies, think the Second Amendment trumps all others or live in fear of the Muslim-Kenyan Socialist-Fascist in the White House. They may be wrong, IMO, but they do have the right to hold those views.
My point that when these folks cross the line between peaceful/legal into threatening/illegal they need to be classified in the news media and the courts for what they are: no better than any of the rest of the nutballs out there. Let’s shine a light on these cockroaches and make them run.
Right wing extremists have sometimes historically had protected status in the eyes of many law enforcement officers and agencies. In the deep south the KKK often functioned as an extension of law enforcement. Here in San Diego in the 1970’s an FBI supervisor hid a gun for many months used in a drive by shooting (at the house I lived in, BTW) carried out by the Secret Army Organization. Only when a bomb set by these ‘patriots’ endangered the lives of other law enforcement agencies did the government clamp down.
I argue that ‘equal protection under the law’ ought to mean just what it says. Now that the fringe-right has opened up the argument about ‘protecting their rights’ to include acts of violence towards law enforcement, maybe the threat they pose to the rest of us will be recognized and dealt with as needed.
Check Out the SDFreePress Calendar
Thanks to the efforts of Brent Beltran, the San Diego Free Press now has an on-line calendar of events. You can see events in the arts, performances and political gatherings of every persuasion by clicking on the ‘Calendar’ Tab at the top of the page. To get your event listed, drop us a line: email@example.com
On This Day: 1790 – John Barry copyrighted “Philadelphia Spelling Book.” It was the first American book to be copyrighted. 1865 – Birthdate of Helen Marot organizer for the Bookkeepers, Stenographers and Accountants Union in New York, Leader of the city’s 1909-1910 Shirtwaist Strike. In 1912, she was a member of a commission investigating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. 1993 – The U.S. Postal Service debuted its Legends of American Music, Rock and Roll-Rhythm and Blues stamp collection. The set featured Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Clyde McPhatter, Otis Redding, Ritchie Valens, Dinah Washington, and Elvis Presley.
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Dave Chase says
Thanks Doug for good report about the threat from right wing gun nuts. Perhaps the only good news is that their kind and their incoherent half baked thoughts (not coherent enough to be an ideology), is only a small minority, and it is next to impossible that any cult leader could gain widespread support, such as a Hitler in 1930’s Germany.
Laurie Macrae says
Right on Doug!
A friend of mine recently returned from a camping trip to Utah where he ran into a bunch of ATVers , armed to the max, ready to do battle with the Park Service. They are everywhere and they are very dangerous.
bob dorn says
Gun freaks form a large cult — not nearly a majority yet — and so do the Tea Baggers, but less influential white cults like the birthers and secessionists might account for a certain percentage of add-ons. There’s a militant Christian movement, also. It accounts for all the anti-Islam crap forced down our throats.
Large regions of the South and lower Midwest already contain enough of these marginals to control local elections. Where did the House majority come from?
I’m with Doug. The attention paid by media to all their bullshit has now made of the Constitution an exclusive talking point of rightwing extremists, a mockery of environmental protection and the closing down of public education a potential national policy. I think media is terrified already by a blog world that seems larger than it is because a good number of the right are making money doing it. That gives them time to sit in front of their machines all day flooding the bandwidth, making mainstream journalists fear they might be caught airing some serious reservations to the inroads these obsessed lunatics have made into official Republican policy.
“multiple full-automatic shotguns”
YOWZA, gotta git ME one o’ them!
Are you advocating for ALL media making the same rush-to-judgement with everyone as the obvious right-wing media now only do with lefties?? That’s what it sounds like you’re wanting — call right-wing nut jobs by the “T-word” even when they’re truly just crazy and working by themselves.
I’d rather cut back on the emotional rhetoric from ALL sides. Including yours, sir.
Return with us now to those less-thrilling days of yesteryear when Murrow and Chronkite made sure about their facts before broadcasting emotion.
Journalism ranger rides again.
Doug Porter says
All I’m saying is the RWNJs get handled with kid gloves, as if their faux patriotic motivations were somehow special. An asshole is an asshole– right, left, Christian, Hindu.
Hoping for the media to have a reasoned and nuanced discussion about any of this these days is just too much to ask for, IMO. I’d love it; I’d also love a new pony and a trip to New Orleans for the jazz festival.
We are in general agreement. As I alluded, clear reasoned discourse by the MSM would be the preferred goal. I too rail at the stupidity of most “news reporting”. I just don’t think that painting all with an unfair brush — as you seemed to advocate — increases fairness.
And Jazz Fest is much too hot and humid (been there). Even June Gloom is better.
Doug Porter says
I lived in the Caribbean for the better part of a decade. A little heat and humidity is okay by me as long as I get bbq shrimp from Liuzza’s by the racetrack …plus I have family there
Well, I lived in NYC for my first 21 years and I still HATE the humidity. But family trumps just about everything else ;-) But, as I’m sure you know, you’ll hafta plan for next year.
Off topic but I was there for Jazz Fest three years ago and the weather was actaully really nice. Warm but not brutally hot and surprisingly not humid at all. In fact it was pretty similar to San Diego weather. Just good timing I guess.
Perhaps more “evidence” of climate change? ;-)
bob dorn says
michael-learned, it’s hard to take all this certainty in your voicings
when you’re capable of writing lines about white and right gun freaks
who are “just crazy and working by themselves.” They held off the
ICE agents at Cliven Bundy’s ranch, didn’t they? The NRA has 22
open carry states, right? That seems like a movement to me.
And if it isn’t, who cares if you don’t think two nut cases in Las Vegas
can’t be called terrorists. Porter’s showing you that your two isolated
nut cases in Las Vegas (and Tucson, and Virginia, and…) are cloining
Well, right there in disagreeing with me you are supporting my point: more reasoned discourse not emotional terrorist-calling is what’s needed.
Yes, there IS a movement and yes, it IS well-organized. But, except for a few isolated nut-jobs it ISN’T a terror movement. Yet.
Do we need more light shone on these ideological idiots by the MSM? Absolutely. Do we need more rants of terrorists in our midst? I don’t think so.
Thanks for your reply, Mr. Dorn.
John Lawrence says
Thanks, Doug for calling a spade a spade. Between the right wing terrorists and the mentally ill mass murderers, the total number of American on American killings must be comparable to the number of deaths caused by the terrorists overseas.
Was it over not okay to call these nut jobs terrorists?
This is downright scary here:
This is actually a sailing website but with an off topic ranting section.