Tuesday ReadsPosted: June 10, 2014
There seems to be a shooting or event at least monthly–if not weekly–that involves a right wing terrorist group. There are so many of them recently that there has to be a series of causes leading to an uptick of violence. At what point do right wing media groups spreading lies and propaganda pass the point of freedom of speech to inciting violence and mayhem akin to shouting fire in in crowded theatre?
There were two terrorist attacks in America over the weekend, but don’t expect the mainstream media to call them that.
On Friday, 48-year-old Georgia resident Dennis Marx was scheduled to appear at the Forsyth County Courthouse in Cumming, Georgia, to face charges on 11 different felony counts.
Marx arrived at the courthouse on-time, but while in his truck, he threw “homemade spike strips” onto the road, and tried to run over a policeman.
After police opened fire on him, Marx began shooting at them from his truck, and proceeded to throw tear gas grenades, smoke grenades, and pepper spray grenades at them.
After a three minute long firefight, a SWAT team surrounded Marx, ultimately killing him.
Meanwhile, yesterday in Las Vegas, an armed couple screaming about “revolution”opened fire and killed two Las Vegas policemen inside of a local pizza joint.
After shooting and killing Officer Alyn Beck and Officer Igor Soldo, the couple took their weapons and covered their bodies with the Gadsden Flag, a yellow banner with contains a coiled snake around the words, “Don’t tread on me.”
The flag is named for Christopher Gadsden, the Revolutionary War general who designed it. It’s also a very popular symbol with the Tea Party movement.
After killing the police officers, the couple then fled to a local Walmart, where they killed an innocent bystander, before ultimately taking their own lives in an apparent murder-suicide.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, neighbors said the couple often spoke about mistrust for and killing of police officers, and “going underground” until the time was right.
Neighbors also told the Review-Journal that the husband claimed he had been kicked off the Bundy Ranch during the protests there last month.
And back in April, Frazier Glenn Miller, a well-known right-wing extremist and member of the KKK, shoot and killed 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at a Jewish Community Center near Kansas City.
Miller then drove to a Jewish retirement home, and killed another person.
As police arrested him, Miller screamed out “Heil Hitler.”
Frazier Glenn Miller, Dennis Marx and the Las Vegas shooters were right-wing extremists and domestic terrorists. It’s that simple.
Unfortunately, the media refuses to acknowledge right-wing extremism and domestic terrorism in our country, even though they pose a bigger threat to our national security than jihadists and Islamic extremists.
According to the New America Foundation, as of April of this year, 21 people had been killed in the United States in attacks motivated by Islamic extremism since 9/11.
Meanwhile, 34 people had been killed by right-wing extremist attacks during the same time period.
The fact is, right-wing extremism is on the rise, it’s dangerous, and it’s now a major terrorist force in America.
Right-wing extremist and militia groups aren’t the fringe groups they used to be – now Fox so-called News makes members of these groups like the ones who showed up at the Bundy Ranch into media stars and heroes.
But while the facts speak for themselves, the mainstream media (CNN, MSNBC, FOX, The New York Times etc…) refuses to acknowledge the truth.
The more we find out about the husband and wife suicide pact team that murdered two police offers and a customer at Walmart, the more we can see the influence of right wing media. These folks were fans of conspiracies spun by the likes of Alex Jones.
Jerad Miller outlined his political views, which were largely based on conspiracy theories promoted by Fox News and Alex Jones, in his social media postings, and he posted frequently about firearms and violent revolution.
“We can hope for peace,” he posted June 2. “We must, however, prepare for war. We face an enemy that is not only well funded, but who believe they fight for freedom and justice. Those of us who know the truth and dare speak it, know that the enemy we face are indeed our brothers. Even though they share the same masters as we all do. They fail to recognize the chains that bind them. To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished with bloodshed.”
Jerad and Amanda Miller posted comments at InfoWars, Breitbart
A May 28, 2012, post on Jones’ InfoWars site appears to have been made by Jerad Miller, who expressed frustration with his arrest on drug charges and vowed he would rather die than be labeled a criminal.
“I am like a wild coyote,” he wrote, using the user name “Jerad” and a Gadsden flag as his avatar. “You corner me, I will fight to the death.”
He goes on to say he’s “broken hearted” to see other Americans placated by materialism and celebrity worship as they submitted to tyranny.
“So, do I kill cops and make a stand when they come to get me?” the post continues. “I would prefer to die than sit in their jail, when I have done nothing to hurt anyone.”
That post attracted an appreciative comment from another InfoWars user, Amanda, whose profile uses the same maiden name – Woodruff – as Amanda Miller, along with the same birth year and hometown as the shooting suspect.
“Jerad, baby, I love you with all my heart and I’ll stand behind you no matter what,” wrote Amanda, whose avatar appears to be Amanda Miller. “It’s true that its not fair that i can’t have a gun because you live with me. I know its not right that my rights get taken away from me because I live in the same home as you but I would love to see them try and enforce that. My love for you is deep and forever and f-ck what they have to say cause they have no right to do what they say is not right.”
The InfoWars user Amanda also claims the same job — head of the needlepoint department for Hobby Lobby — as Amanda Miller’s Facebook profile.
Yes, that’s the same Hobby Lobby whose extremist christian owners want to deny access to birth control to employees. Perhaps the funniest and yet truly pathetic right wing meme started about these shootings today came from Alex Jones himself who stated that the shootings were a false flag operation by Harry Reid and the Democratic Party.
During his InfoWars.com radio show Monday, Jones accused the U.S. government of staging theLas Vegas shooting allegedly committed by Jeradand Amanda Miller that left two police officers and one civilian dead over the weekend in an attempt to smear conservatives before the midterm elections.
“There is so much proof of this being staged yesterday, when I first read about it, and this morning, that my mind exploded with hundreds of data points, and quite frankly it’s conclusive,” Jones said, before outlining why he believes this event is one in a long line of similar “false flag” operations perpetrated by the Democrats.
Jones cited the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the chemical attacks in Syria and the “Fast & Furious” gun deal in Mexico as examples of other “false flag” operations committed by the U.S. If the government would stage those, he said they would “absolutely” use the Millers to kill two police officers in Las Vegas.
“Would they do this to get our guns and blame the tea party that’s sweeping in every runoff election and primary right now?” he asked. “I kept telling, they’re getting ready to false flag, and it happens right in Harry Reid’s district, right in his state, right in his city, with his police department.”
But what I am saying is this: there are some particular features of conservative political rhetoric today that help create an atmosphere in which violence and terrorism can germinate.
The most obvious component is the fetishization of firearms and the constant warnings that government will soon be coming to take your guns. But that’s only part of it. Just as meaningful is the conspiracy theorizing that became utterly mainstream once Barack Obama took office. If you tuned into one of many national television and radio programs on the right, you heard over and over that Obama was imposing a totalitarian state upon us. You might hear that FEMA was building secret concentration camps (Glenn Beck, the propagator of that theory, later recanted it, though he has a long history of violent rhetoric), or that Obama is seeding the government with agents of the Muslim Brotherhood. You grandfather probably got an email offering proof that Obama is literally the antichrist.
Meanwhile, conservatives have become prone to taking the political disagreements of the moment and couching them in apocalyptic terms, encouraging people to think that if Democrats have their way on any given debate, that our country, or at the very least our liberty, might literally be destroyed.
To take just one of an innumerable number of examples, when GOP Senator Ron Johnsonsays that the Affordable Care Act is “the greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime,” and hopes that the Supreme Court will intervene to preserve our “last shred of freedom,” is it at all surprising that some people might be tempted to take up arms? After all, if he’s right, and the ACA really means that freedom is being destroyed, then violent revolution seems justified. Johnson might respond by saying, “Well, of course I didn’t mean that literally.” And I’m sure he didn’t — Johnson may be no rocket scientist, but he knows that despite the individual mandate going into effect, there are a few shreds of freedom remaining in America.
But the argument that no sane person could actually believe many of the things conservatives say shouldn’t absolve them of responsibility. When you broadcast every day that the government of the world’s oldest democracy is a totalitarian beast bent on turning America into a prison of oppression and fear, when you glorify lawbreakers like Cliven Bundy, when you say that your opponents would literally destroy the country if they could, you can’t profess surprise when some people decide that violence is the only means of forestalling the disaster you have warned them about.
To my conservative friends tempted to find outrageous things liberals have said in order to argue that both sides are equally to blame, I’d respond this way: Find me all the examples of people who shot up a church after reading books by Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman, and then you’ll have a case.
Just consider the number of death threats made to the Bergdahl family and their small home town since the right wing media has upped the volume on the deserter and traitor memes.
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.
“There were four specific emails with death threats given to the FBI and they are looking into it,” Gunter told Reuters in an interview.
Authorities are providing security to Bob Bergdahl and his wife, Jani, but Gunter declined to elaborate on those measures.
Bergdahl’s release after being held for nearly five years in Afghanistan provoked an angry backlash in Congress among lawmakers over the Obama administration’s failure to notify them in advance. Some of Bergdahl’s former comrades have charged that he was captured in 2009 after deserting his post.
U.S. military leaders have said the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture are unclear, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urging critics to wait for all the facts to be known before rushing to judgment on Bergdahl.
The threats came as Hailey, a tourist community of some 8,000 people in the mountains of central Idaho, was buffeted by hundreds of vitriolic phone calls and emails.
What’s on you reading and blogging list today?