I’m pretty wiped out this morning, so this won’t be an extensive post. My mom is doing okay, but she needs help with a lot of things. This morning we’re going to have to deal with the Comcast people. It would really help if she could watch TV or listen to the radio! This afternoon I have to take her to the doctor, and then we might have to go back to the emergency room to have them put on a looser splint. They told us to do that if the one she has starts to feel too tight. But enough of my problems; let’s see what’s in the news.
deluged with angry calls from people who think that Bergdahl is an Army deserter or traitor who doesn’t deserve a hero’s welcome.
Jane Drussel, the president of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, has been fielding dozens of angry calls.
“Well, (I feel) disappointment number one, just absolutely total surprise at how bad some of them are,” she told NBC News on Tuesday….
Drussel said many of the calls are cancelling trips to the town of about 8,000.
“Well, number one is, how dare we as a community support someone who in their mind they’re thinking of as a ‘deserter,’ a traitor. That they had plans to come here on their vacation, they’re no longer coming, they’re cancelling their reservations.”
“I just find that shocking,” she said. “You know, we’re Americans, and we need to act like Americans, and to me that’s un-American. Let things play out, and if there needs to be action taken, I’m sure it will be taken. But that’s not the city of Hailey’s responsibility.”
As a consequence of the threatening calls, the town has cancelled the welcome home celebration they had been planning. According to the Washington Post, the reason for the cancellation is concern for “public safety.” The small town of 8,000 people simply can’t handle an event that might attract a large number of angry protesters.
The right wing focus on Bergdahl hasn’t kept them from carrying on the meme that Hillary Clinton is old and disabled. The former Secretary of State is pictured on the cover of People Magazine this week smiling broadly and holding onto a deck chair. But the inimitable Matt Drudge has a different theory. From Bob Cesca at the Daily Banter: Drudge Wonders if Hillary Clinton Used a Walker on People Magazine Cover.
Oh, Drudge, you magnificent bastard. There are very few right-wing trolls who are better than Matt Drudge at manufacturing an odious whisper campaign, and he didn’t disappoint today. Drudge posted the new People Magazine cover featuring Hillary Clinton, then wondered whether she was holding onto, wait for it, a walker. You know, like an old lady with brain damage. Wink, wink.
Of course he didn’t say it outright. He used the nefarious “Cavuto Mark” — a question mark at the end of a deliberately leading statement, made famous by Fox News Channel.
Yesterday afternoon, Reuters reported: Last of Navajo ‘code talkers’ dies in New Mexico.
The last of 29 Navajo Americans who developed an unbreakable code that helped Allied forces win the second World War died in New Mexico on Wednesday of kidney failure at the age of 93.
Chester Nez was the last remaining survivor of an original group of 29 Navajos recruited by the U.S. Marine Corps to create a code based on their language that the Japanese could not crack.
His son, Michael Nez, said his father died peacefully in his sleep at their home in Albuquerque….
About 400 code talkers would go on to use their unique battlefield cipher to encrypt messages sent from field telephones and radios throughout the Pacific theater during the war.
It was regarded as secure from Japanese military code breakers because the language was spoken only in the U.S. Southwest, was known by fewer than 30 non-Navajo people, and had no written form.
The Navajos’ skill, speed and accuracy under fire in ferocious battles from the Marshall Islands to Iwo Jima is credited with saving thousands of U.S. servicemen’s lives and helping shorten the war. Their work was celebrated in the 2002 movie “Windtalkers.”
May he rest in peace.
Despite all the controversy over her faulty reporting on Benghazi, Lara Logan is “back at work on CBS News’ 60 Minutes,” according The Hollywood Reporter.
The news ends a suspension that began last fall after an erroneous60 Minutes report on the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that resulted in the death of AmbassadorChristopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel. Logan had a handful of pieces in the works when she was suspended last November after her report that relied on a now-discredited interview with security contractor Dylan Davies.
She has been eager to return to work, say sources close to the correspondent, but the Benghazi report undermined her status as one of the veteran newsmagazine’s biggest stars and created a media feeding frenzy that unearthed a strident speech she gave a month after the Benghazi attacks in which she advocated for military intervention in Libya and asserted that the Obama administration was downplaying the threat from Al Qaeda.
At the time of her suspension last November, CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager told THR that the report was a “black eye” for the venerable newsmagazine, still the most watched of its genre.
A CBS News spokesperson confirmed that Logan has returned to work. 60 Minutes typically takes something of a production hiatus during the summer months, with new pieces sprinkled throughout a schedule that includes reruns and updates of previously aired segments. Logan likely will not be seen on60 Minutes until the fall, sources tell THR. But she’ll begin appearing on other CBS News broadcasts such as the CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning in the coming weeks.
I guess we already knew that CBS is no longer a serious news organization. This is just one more piece of confirming evidence.
From the Southern Poverty Law Center, Massive Investigation Uncovers White Supremacist Criminal Network in Oregon.
“Operation White Christmas,” as the year-old investigation is code-named, so far has resulted in the arrests of 54 individuals, mostly in the Portland area, leading to 11 criminal cases in state court and another 43 in federal court.
As for its scope, the investigation based in Portland and Multnomah County rivals the prosecutions of members of another violent gang, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
The Oregon suspects variously are affiliated with at least five known street and prison white supremacist gangs – European Kindred (EK); Rude Crude Brood; All Ona Bitch (AOB); Fat Bitch Killers (FBK) and Insane Peckerwood Syndicate (IPS), authorities say.
“The scope of this case is by far the largest ever undertaken by this agency in recent memory, based on the number of suspects investigated, the number of persons arrested and the amount of guns recovered,” Lt. Ned Walls, the investigations division supervisor for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, told Hatewatch.
What initially began as an investigation of drug and firearms trafficking by white supremacist gangs blossomed into a broader probe of robberies, home invasions, burglaries, kidnapping, assaults, shootings and witness intimidation, Walls said. Some of the crimes involved gang-on-gang violence.
“The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office would have had an impossibly hard time trying to conduct this investigation on our own,” Walls said. The department, he said, got “outstanding collaborative” support and involvement from the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Clackamas and Washington County Sheriff’s Offices in Oregon, the Portland Police Bureau, the Gresham, Ore., Police Department, Klickitat County, Wash., Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
It’s good to know the Feds are seriously investigating right wing domestic terrorists, but it sounds like the investigation was initiated by local law enforcement.
A military plane crashed in a residential neighborhood in California yesterday afternoon. From the AP, via the Visalia Times-Delta:
IMPERIAL – A Marine jet crashed into a residential area in a Southern California desert community Wednesday, exploding and setting two homes on fire. The pilot ejected safely, and there was no immediate word of any injuries on the ground.
The Harrier AV-8B went down at 4:20 p.m. in Imperial, a city of about 15,000 near the U.S.-Mexico border about 90 miles east of San Diego. Witnesses described an explosion and thick plumes of smoke.
“It felt like a bomb was thrown in the backyard of the house,” said Adriana Ramos, 45, whose home is less than a block from the crash scene. “The whole house moved.”
Ramos fled with her 4-year-old granddaughter and 10-year-old daughter, who both cried at the sight outside….]
At the crash site, there was chaos as people ran in every direction, he said. The two homes were on fire and it was unclear if anyone was inside.
The plane was from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, said Cpl. Melissa Lee, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. She had no details about what might have caused the accident.
As of this morning, no injuries have been reported. You can see video of the scene at The Week Magazine.
I have a few more links for you that I’ll post in the comment thread, and I hope you’ll do the same. What stories are you following today?
I had almost convinced myself that the level of right wing hatred and ignorance that I’d noticed recently on the web was due to the increasing number of people using social media outlets that used to be fairly exclusive little clubs when I started using them. Just to give you an idea, when I got on Facebook, you had to have an email address with an .edu ending or you were basically SOL. I was also on the internet when most of the folks you bumped into were in the high tech business or were some how connected to universities. I still consider the day the internet went to pot as the same day AOL let loose their population of subscribers. Now, I get some pretty cool graphics and content but that certainly comes with the added expense of added contact with idiots and tons of businesses looking for suckers with ads.
However, I’ve just recently found out that there are actually a larger number of radical right wing groups being formed and it’s just not my inability to avoid contact with them on line. Libertarian Cults and “Patriot” style militia groups have come along with the Teabutts. I hesitate to call them patriots because most of what I read from them sounds more like crap you read right around the Civil War days coming from the Confederates.
While the more mainstream anti-government Tea Party movement faded from view as the GOP co-opted it in the past few years, the action has moved to the fringes, where the number of radical right-wing Patriot groups reached an all time high in 2012, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. What’s more, it’s the fourth year in a row that the record has been broken.
Conspiracy-minded Patriot groups first entered the public consciousness in the 1990s with the rise of the militia movement, and then the Oklahoma City bombing. Now, the SPLC is warning government officials that they see eerie similarities between the current era and that leading up to the bombing.
“As in the period before the Oklahoma City bombing, we now are seeing ominous threats from those who believe that the government is poised to take their guns,” the group’s president, Richard Cohen, wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
The number of Patriot groups peaked after the bombing in 1996 at 858, before falling off steeply and remaining low under George W. Bush. However, since the election of Barack Obama, the number of groups tracked by the SPLC has skyrocketed and continued to climb.
Last year, the SPLC found 1,360 Patriot groups in the country — up more than 500 over the ’96 peak — including 321 militia groups.
The report does indicate which factors seem to be contributing to this rise.
“Now, in the wake of the mass murder of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school and the Obama-led gun control efforts that followed, it seems likely that that growth will pick up speed once again,” the center noted.
The report also cites the election of Obama, efforts to grant more than 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, and a troubled economy as contributing factors in the growth of the far-right groups.
“We are seeing a real and rising threat of domestic terrorism as the number of far-right anti-government groups continues to grow at an astounding pace,” said Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center senior fellow and author of the report. “It is critically important that the country take this threat seriously. The potential for deadly violence is real, and clearly rising.”
August Kreis, a longtime neo-Nazi who in January stepped down as leader of an Aryan Nations faction after being convicted of fraud related to his veteran’s benefits, told the Intelligence Report that it was all about income inequality.
“The worse the economy gets, the more the groups are going to grow,” he said. “White people are arming themselves — and black people, too. I believe eventually it’s going to come down to civil war. It’s going to be an economic war, the rich versus the poor. We’re being divided along economic lines.”
At the most macro level, the growth of right-wing radicalization — a phenomenon that is plainly evident in Europe as well as the United States — is related directly to political and, especially, economic globalization. As the nation-state has diminished in importance since the end of the Cold War, Western economies have opened up, not only to capital from abroad but also to labor. In concrete terms, that has meant major immigration flows, many of which have drastically altered the demographics of formerly fairly homogenous populations. In Europe and the U.S. both, white-dominated countries have become less so. At the same time, globalization has caused major economic dislocations in the West as certain industries and kinds of production move to less developed countries.
The sorry U.S. economy also may offer the best single explanation for the huge expansion in the so-called “sovereign citizens” movement, a subset of the larger Patriot movement. Although the size of the sovereign movement is hard to gauge — sovereigns tend to operate as individuals rather than in organized groups — law enforcement officials around the country have reported encounters. The SPLC, for its part, has estimated that some 300,000 Americans are involved.
I hate to be in the position of agreeing with a NAZI but I do think income inequality and the ability of many southern and republican politicians to scapegoat minorities problems they created has contributed to this problem. Rather than looking at the policies of the government and the role of the rich in usurping legislative agendas, right wing populists groups frequently turn their outrage on others. It would be nice they focus on the root cause of their issues like corporations having bought their representatives. We’ve see many left wing populist groups with similar economic justice issues recently but they don’t appear to be heading towards the same types of violent agendas that many leftist groups took in the 1960s. This does not appear to be true of right wing populists. They tend to like paramilitary organizations because of their love of guns.
Anyway, I’m going to be interested to see if the conversation on this study find its way to congress. Last time we had this conversation, congress scapegoated the nation’s Muslim population. The Sandy Hook massacre might make this less possible. However, I do think you should go look at the list of groups. They’re in nearly every state.
In his latest column, Dana Millbank takes the Village journalists’ “both sides do it” routine to such irrational extremes that he loses all credibility.
Human Rights Campaign [HRC], the nation’s largest gay rights organization, posted an alert on its blog Tuesday: “Paul Ryan Speaking at Hate Group’s Annual Conference.”
The “hate group” that the Republicans’ vice presidential candidate would be addressing? The Family Research Council [FRC], a mainstream conservative think tank founded by James Dobson and run for many years by Gary Bauer.
The day after the gay rights group’s alert went out, 28-year-old Floyd Lee Corkins II walked into the Family Research Council’s Washington headquarters and, according to an FBI affidavit, proclaimed words to the effect of “I don’t like your politics” — and shot the security guard. Corkins, who had recently volunteered at a gay community center, was carrying a 9mm handgun, a box of ammunition and a backpack full of Chick-fil-A — the company whose president recently spoke out against gay marriage.
Mercifully, the gunman was restrained, and nobody was killed.
Apparently Millbank made the logical leap of assigning cause and effect to two unrelated events that are close in time. Corkins must have read the HRC website and rush out to shoot someone. Or maybe Corkins was browsing the internet and came across the Southern Poverty Law Center website where the FRC is listed as a hate group.
Human Rights Campaign isn’t responsible for the shooting. Neither should the organization that deemed the FRC a “hate group,” the Southern Poverty Law Center, be blamed for a madman’s act. But both are reckless in labeling as a “hate group” a policy shop that advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions, on issues from stem cells to euthanasia.
I disagree with the Family Research Council’s views on gays and lesbians. But it’s absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church. The center says the FRC “often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.” Exhibit A in its dossier is a quote by an FRC official from 1999 (!) saying that “gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
Millbank seems to believe that the FRC is “mainstream” because it has been headed by Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer, and with his exclamation point after “1999” he seems to be implying that there is some kind of statute of limitations on hate speech.
I can’t follow his reasoning at all. He’s twisting himself into a pretzel in order to defend an organization that clearly works overtime to drum up hate, not only against the LGBT community, but also against women and anyone involved in providing family planning or abortion. Perkins has even argued against anti-bullying policies in schools, claiming they are part of the “homosexual agenda” to “redefine families.”
Millbank even quotes the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to support his arguments!
The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes gay marriage, is right to say that the attack “is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end.”
Here’s a little background on the NOM from Mother Jones:
Spokespeople for the National Organization for Marriage, such as Rev. William Owens, who exaggerated his civil rights background to justify his opposition to same sex marriage, have compared homosexuality to bestiality and child abuse. NOM’s man in Maryland, Bishop Harry Jackson, has compared gay rights groups to Nazis whose actions recall “the times of Hitler.” Most of NOM’s more high-profile spokespersons are more careful with their words, but beyond rhetoric, NOM has argued that gay judges should be barred from ruling on LGBT rights issues and embraced junk science to argue that gays and lesbians make worse parents.
I guess “Pro-marriage” is like “pro-life”–supporting certain kinds of marriage like the anti-abortion crown supports only fetal life.
Millbank may not want to actually blame the SPLC for the shooting, but Tony Perkins didn’t hesitate to do so.
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins accused the Southern Poverty Law Center — a civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry — of providing “license” for a man to shoot a security guard in the arm on Wednesday.
“Floyd Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy,” Perkins declared during a press conference on Thursday afternoon. “I believe the Southern Poverty Law Center should be held responsible that is leading to intimidation of what the FBI has characterized as domestic terrorism.” Corkins has since been charged for assault with a deadly weapon and could soon face federal charges. The guard, Leo Johnson, is in stable condition.
Asked by reporters why he thought the shooter was motivated by his distate for the group rather than mental incapacity, Perkins quipped, “How many unhinged individuals walk around with 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches?”
So does that make the FRC responsible for the murders of abortion doctors like George Tiller?
Here are just a few examples of statements from the FRC on gays and lesbians. You can go to the links to read more.
Mother Jones: What the Right Gets Wrong about the FRC Shooting.
Perkins’ Family Research Council has practically cornered the market on anti-gay junk science. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s classification of the FRC as a hate group stems from FRC’s more than decade-long insistence that gay people are more likely to molest children. Spokespeople for the FRC have said that homosexual sex should be outlawed, and Perkins himself has said as recently as 2010 that “the research is overwhelming that homosexuality poses a danger to children.” Research from non-ideological outfits is actually firm in concluding the opposite. Some of the FRC’s more outrageous “studies,” such as the 1999 paper claiming that “one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order,” have been scrubbed from the group’s website, but the FRC has not disavowed their contents.
Gays are like a gun to the head of America
“That’s what we’re talking about whenever you’re talking about gay rights. You’re talking about giving somebody a gun to put at the head of anybody who disagrees with them, whether it’s the Boy Scouts, whether it’s a local dry-cleaning establishment or a giant corporation like Shell Oil.” – Robert Knight, http://www.frc.org/net/st96d2.html
Gays oppose monogamy
“one thing that has been interesting to me is the gay literature has come right out and said we can’t keep monogamy in our definition of marriage. We may have a significant relationship we’ll call marriage, but things like monogamy and fidelity, faithfulness, and lifetime kind of till-death-do-us-part commitments are a little unrealistic. So we want it to be marriage, but we don’t want it to be monogamous.” – Kristi Hamrick , http://www.frc.org/net/st96d2.html
Gay parents lead to prison, voyeurism
“I know a guy who has just entered jail, tragically, because he grew up in a lesbian household. He still loves his mother and doesn’t really blame her, but he said, ‘You know, as a boy in a lesbian environment where it was intensely anti-male’ — that’s all he heard, this bitterness toward men — he said that he felt totally disenfranchised, began having sexual problems. He eventually became a voyeur, and he is in on a peeping Tom charge. He was so curious about how normal people have sex. We have other people that are cases like this.” – Robert Knight, http://www.frc.org/net/st96d2.html
See also this “Refresher on Tony Perkins’ Anti-Gay Hits.”
The SPLC posted a response to Perkins on its website, calling the FRC claims “outrageous.”
Perkins’ accusation is outrageous. The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage. The FRC and its allies on the religious right are saying, in effect, that offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tantamount to suggesting that the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence.
As the SPLC made clear at the time and in hundreds of subsequent statements and press interviews, we criticize the FRC for claiming, in Perkins’ words, that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem” — an utter falsehood, as every relevant scientific authority has stated. An FRC official has said he wanted to “export homosexuals from the United States.” The same official advocated the criminalizing of homosexuality.
Perkins and his allies, seeing an opportunity to score points, are using the attack on their offices to pose a false equivalency between the SPLC’s criticisms of the FRC and the FRC’s criticisms of LGBT people. The FRC routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse — claims that are provably false. It should stop the demonization and affirm the dignity of all people.
The Family Research Council is an extreme right wing organization. Dana Millbank should hang his head in shame. Perkins is trying to make his group look like the victim of bigotry instead of the proponent of it, and Millbank is working overtime to help him do it.
So Good Evening!
For the last four days, I have taken care of an OPM, other people’s munchkin. This boy is one of a few friends of my son that we have watched grow up before our eyes. So I’ve been busy with the extra “things” that go with having an extra teenager in the house…and it has made me think about some things.
Both his parents work, his mom works nights…his dad can’t find a job locally, so he works in construction with a crew that travels around the US, so he is gone for weeks at a time. On those days that his mom is working, if his grandma can’t come up to stay with him, he stays at a friend’s house. This week he is with me.
My thought is this. We help each other out…as caring individuals. Whether it is watching someones kid, taking another kid to school or practice, or even bringing someone dinner when things are rough. It is part of a decent way to live because…well, it is just unthinkable not to do it. We are not Jesus freaks or hypocritical Christian church goers. We are not perfect either, we have our problems and issues…but we are good people…and we don’t really talk about what we do for each other. It is just done.
I’ve seen a lot of crap (articles) lately about Ayn Rand and her selfish belief system. Folks running for office and asking for votes based on the attitude that helping others is against their principles and that people should live their lives with no support or assistance of others…at least the help and assistance that they feel the government, or their taxes, should not provide. Oh, and of course they seem to take the benefits offered to them, without a thought about the ironic nature of accepting this support.
Yes, independence is one thing…but part of being a considerate human being is that element of helping or giving support to another human being. And even independent, strong and determined people need a hand sometimes, support and encouragement, or a lift into town.
I am completely disgusted with the beliefs and policies of these Randian men and women who seem to take being a selfish asshole to a deeper level in their heartless hearts.
Oops, I mean selfish hearts, because they only care about one thing, themselves.
Now just a few links:
This is an open thread…