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Fox News and the Violent, Seditious Right

Oklahoma City Bombing: McVeigh and associates inspired by "The Turner Diaries"

COMMENT: After Glenn Beck’s exhortation to his audience to “shoot them [liberals and Democrats] in the head,” the tangible connection between the supposedly “respectable” Fox News operation and the murderous, paramilitary fascists blemishing the face of the country  should be evident.

From the vigilant ‘Pterrafractyl’ comes a story that bears underscoring.

A recently arrested militia contingent were inspired by a book laying out a violent agenda for the overthrow of the the government and the murder of countless citizens. It turns  out that the author of the book was a commentator on Fox News!

The book “Absolved” appears to be in the same category as “The Turner Diaries” and “Serpent’s Walk”–manifestos and blueprints for action.

“Feds: Men Got Terror Ideas from Underground Novel” by Greg Bluestein [AP]; Yahoo News; 11/2/2011.

In the violent underground novel “Absolved,” right-wing militia members upset about gun control make war against the U.S. government. This week, federal prosecutors accused four elderly Georgia men of plotting to use the book as a script for a real-life wave of terror and assassination involving explosives and the highly lethal poison ricin.

The four suspected militia members allegedly boasted of a “bucket list” of government officials who needed to be “taken out”; talked about scattering ricin from a plane or a car speeding down a highway past major U.S. cities; and scouted IRS and ATF offices, with one man saying, “We’d have to blow the whole building like Timothy McVeigh.”

Federal investigators said they had them under surveillance for at least seven months, infiltrating their meetings at a Waffle House, homes and other places, before finally arresting them Tuesday, just days after discovering evidence they were trying to extract ricin from castor beans.

“While many are focused on the threat posed by international violent extremists, this case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

The four gray-haired men — Frederick Thomas, 73; Dan Roberts, 67; Ray Adams, 65; and Samuel Crump, 68 — appeared in federal court Wednesday without entering a plea and were jailed for a bail hearing next week. They apparently had trouble hearing the judge, some of them cupping their ears.

Thomas and Roberts were charged with conspiring to buy an explosive device and an illegal silencer. Prosecutors would not say whether the men actually obtained the items. Adams and Crump were charged with conspiring to make a biological toxin.

Relatives of two of the men said the charges were baseless. The public defender assigned to the case had no comment.

Prosecutors said that Thomas was the ringleader and that he talked of carrying out the sort of actions described in “Absolved,” an online novel written by former Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh. In the book, the militia members build rifle grenades and drop explosives from crop dusters.

In the book’s introduction, Vanderboegh calls it a “cautionary tale for the out-of-control gun cops of the ATF.”

“For that warning to be credible, I must also present what amounts to a combination field manual, technical manual and call to arms for my beloved gunnies of the armed citizenry,” he writes. “They need to know how powerful they could truly be if they were pushed into a corner.”

In an interview, Vanderboegh said he didn’t know the four men and bears no responsibility for the alleged plot.

“I’m glad that the FBI has apparently short-circuited some weak-minded individuals from misinterpreting my novel,” he said.

Last year, Vanderboegh was denounced for calling on citizens to throw bricks through the windows of local Democratic headquarters across the country to protest President Barack Obama’s health care plan. Several such incidents occurred. Vanderboegh has also appeared as a commentator on Fox News Channel. . . .

Discussion

11 comments for “Fox News and the Violent, Seditious Right”

  1. Assuming this was a joke (because otherwise, ummmmm….), I’m not sure what’s worse, the joke itself or the timing:

    Washington Post
    D.C. officer allegedly made threatening comments about first lady

    By Clarence Williams and Mary Pat Flaherty, Published: July 12

    A D.C. police officer who worked as a motorcycle escort for White House officials and other dignitaries was moved to administrative duty Wednesday after he allegedly was overheard making threatening comments toward Michelle Obama, according to several police officials.

    The police department’s Internal Affairs Division is investigating the alleged comments and notified the U.S. Secret Service Wednesday, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give details of the investigation.

    The motorman allegedly made the comments Wednesday morning as several officers from the Special Operations Division discussed threats against the Obamas. It was not immediately clear where the alleged conversation took place or exactly how many officers took part in the conversation.

    During that conversation, the officials said, the officer allegedly said he would shoot the First Lady and then used his phone to retrieve a picture of the firearm he said he would use. It was not immediately clear what type of firearm was allegedly shown.

    An officer overheard the alleged threat and reported it to a police lieutenant at the Division, who immediately notified superiors, the officials said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 12, 2012, 9:48 pm
  2. Pterrafractyl: Since I’m unable to find just where you posted the Rob Ford fiasco article I thought I’d use this space to refer readers to today’s Globe and Mail article on the Ford’s connections to drugs and (guess who?) Wolfgang Droege! This is a rare piece of penetrating investigation journalism and should be of interest to most of your readers. It doesn’t necessarily directly implicate Rob Ford but the milieu in which he has been operating is certainly interesting. Go to their news page and you’ll find it.

    Posted by brad | May 25, 2013, 8:37 am
  3. @brad: Thanks for the heads up. You weren’t kidding. That is a great article:

    Globe investigation: The Ford family’s history with drug dealing

    Greg McArthur and Shannon Kari

    The Globe and Mail

    Last updated Saturday, May. 25 2013, 6:35 PM EDT

    This investigative report reveals that:

    Doug Ford, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s brother, sold hashish for several years in the 1980s.
    Another brother, Randy, was also involved in the drug trade and was once charged in relation to a drug-related kidnapping.
    Their sister, Kathy, has been the victim of drug-related gun violence.

    In the 1980s, anyone wanting to buy hashish had to know where to go. And in central Etobicoke, the wealthy Toronto suburb where Mayor Rob Ford grew up, one of those places was James Gardens. In the evening, the sports cars often wound along Edenbridge Drive, past the gated homes and the lawn-bowling pitches, until they reached the U-shaped parking lot. By nightfall, the public park was a hash drive-thru. One former street dealer, whom we will call “Justin,” described the scene as “an assembly line.”

    There were usually a number of dealers to choose from, some of them supplied by a mainstay at James Gardens – a young man with the hulk-like frame and mop of bright blond hair: Doug Ford. “Most people didn’t approach Doug looking for product. You went to the guys that he supplied. Because if Doug didn’t know you and trust you, he wouldn’t even roll down his window,” Justin said.

    Today, Mr. Ford is a member of Toronto’s city council – and no ordinary councillor. First elected in 2010 as his brother was swept into the mayor’s office, he has emerged as a truly powerful figure at City Hall –– trying to overhaul plans for Toronto’s waterfront less than a year after arriving. He also has higher aspirations, and has said he wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, Doug Ford Sr., by running in the next provincial election as a Conservative.

    Meanwhile, he serves as his brother’s de facto spokesman. As Toronto is gripped by allegations that its mayor was captured on a homemade video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine and his office descends into disarray – his chief of staff was fired on Thursday – Doug Ford has been the only person to mount a spirited public defence of his largely silent sibling. On Friday, after the Mayor finally made a statement about the accusation, he was the one who fielded questions from the press.

    Well before the events of the past week, The Globe and Mail began to research the Ford brothers in an effort to chronicle their lives before rising to prominence in Canada’s largest city. Over the past 18 months, it has sought out and interviewed dozens of people who knew them in their formative years.

    What has emerged is a portrait of a family once deeply immersed in the illegal drug scene. All three of the mayor’s older siblings – brother Randy, 51, and sister Kathy, 52, as well as Doug, 48 – have had ties to drug traffickers.

    Ten people who grew up with Doug Ford – a group that includes two former hashish suppliers, three street-level drug dealers and a number of casual users of hash – have described in a series of interviews how for several years Mr. Ford was a go-to dealer of hash. These sources had varying degrees of knowledge of his activities: Some said they purchased hash directly from him, some said they supplied him, while others said they observed him handling large quantities of the drug.

    The events they described took place years ago, but as mayor, Rob Ford has surrounded himself with people from his past. Most recently he hired someone for his office whose long history with the Fords, the sources said, includes selling hashish with the mayor’s brother.

    The Globe wrote to Doug Ford outlining what the sources said about him, and received a response from Gavin Tighe, his lawyer, who said the allegations were false. “Your references to unnamed alleged sources of information represent the height of irresponsible and unprofessional journalism given the gravely serious and specious allegations of substantial criminal conduct.”

    There’s nothing on the public record that The Globe has accessed that shows Doug Ford has ever been criminally charged for illegal drug possession or trafficking. But some of the sources said that, in the affluent pocket of Etobicoke where the Fords grew up, he was someone who sold not only to users and street-level dealers, but to dealers one rung higher than those on the street. His tenure as a dealer, many of the sources say, lasted about seven years until 1986, the year he turned 22. “That was his heyday,” said “Robert,” one of the former drug dealers who agreed to an interview on the condition he not be identified by name.

    Upon being approached, the sources declined to speak if identified, saying they feared the consequences of outing themselves as former users and sellers of illegal drugs.

    The Globe also tried to contact retired police officers who investigated drugs in the area at the time. One said he had no recollection of encountering the Fords.

    Another, whose name appeared on court documents in relation to allegations of assault and forcible confinement committed by Randy Ford, said he could not recall the incident. Several did not respond.

    Since entering public life, both Fords have been ardent supporters of Toronto police and have campaigned, over the years, on increasing the police presence on Etobicoke’s streets. In December, 2011, Doug Ford showed up, unannounced, at a police press conference to trumpet the force’s crackdown on a network of drug dealers who were selling, among other things, marijuana.

    Doug, like Rob, frequently promotes the Ford family as a type of brand – one that started with their late father’s four-year tenure as an MPP in the government of former Ontario premier Mike Harris. Doug Ford is fond of invoking his family’s contributions to the community. Through his involvement with the Rotary Club of Etobicoke, he has helped to organize events like the Etobicoke Fall Fair. He frequently mentions the many sports teams that the Ford family business, Deco Labels and Tags, has sponsored over the years. He also cites the many football teams his younger brother has coached, and the hordes of people – he puts the figure at 25,000 – the Fords have entertained at their annual backyard barbecue.

    But long before he took over the family business and pursued public office, Doug Ford’s circle of friends was a group of young people who called themselves the RY Drifters, after the Royal York Plaza, a strip mall many of them frequented.

    The Fords’ neighbourhood was paradoxical in some respects. It teemed with wealth; families who settled there after the Second World War, such as the Fidanis and the Brattys, would become known as the biggest players in Toronto-area land development. As his sticker and label business flourished, Doug Ford Sr. was featured in the society pages of The Globe, rubbing elbows with cabinet ministers, senators and members of the Eaton family.

    But the prosperity disguised a disturbing trend among many of the area’s young adults – an attraction to crime that went beyond typical teenage rebellion. Former Ford associates interviewed for this story identified at least 10 RY Drifters who became heroin addicts, some of whom turned to break-ins and robberies to support their habits.

    In recent years, the Ford family home has become known for the annual barbecue, attended by hundreds of neighbours and a Who’s Who of Conservative luminaries – including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. But in the 1980s, the finished basement at 15 Weston Wood Rd. was one of the many places Doug Ford did business, the sources said.

    “Justin” recalled descending to the basement on one occasion to buy hash from Mr. Ford, and on numerous other occasions watching as it was sold.

    Like many of the street-level dealers interviewed, he said he sold hash in order to support his own smoking habits. When asked where Mr. Ford fit in the hierarchy of dealers in their neighbourhood, he replied: “He’d be at the top.”

    The eldest Ford sibling, Kathy, has been subjected to media scrutiny over the years, primarily because she has been linked to a number of bizarre, violent and sensational incidents.

    Most recently, in January, 2012, her long-time boyfriend, a convicted cocaine and hash dealer named Scott MacIntyre, was charged with threatening to murder the mayor at his Etobicoke home. He eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser offence and was given credit for time served.

    (In a brief interview with CBC after the alleged death threat, Doug Ford said: “To be honest with you, I really don’t know Scott MacIntyre.” Photographs and video taken on the night of the 2010 election show that Mr. MacIntyre was part of the small group of family members celebrating with the new mayor, his wife, Renata, and Doug.)

    Ms. Ford’s relationship with Mr. MacIntyre is even more perplexing because of an earlier incident: In 2005, he and another man were accused of shooting her in the face during an altercation in her parents’ basement. She survived the blast and was rushed to hospital, while Mr. MacIntyre fled in her mother’s Jaguar. Crown prosecutors later dropped numerous charges against him, while his co-accused, Michael Patania, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a handgun.

    But even before that, there was gunplay – and it was fatal. Seven years earlier, Ms. Ford’s lover was fatally shot by her ex-husband, a drug addict named Ennio Stirpe. At his trial, Mr. Stirpe testified that his victim, Michael Kiklas, was a martial artist, which forced him to bring along the shotgun as “an equalizer.”

    Not mentioned in the press at the time was the fact that Mr. Kiklas was a white supremacist – a group with which Ms. Ford associated in the 1980s.

    Her friends included Gary MacFarlane, a founding member of the short-lived Canadian chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as the late Wolfgang Droege, perhaps the most notorious white supremacist in Canadian history, a former Klansman told The Globe in an interview. Two other former associates of Ms. Ford confirmed her association with known white supremacists.

    Among Mr. Droege’s numerous criminal endeavours, he also sold cocaine and marijuana, which led to his death in 2005 when he was killed by a customer. Mr. Droege was incarcerated for much of the 1980s in U.S. prisons – both for drug trafficking and for his role in a bizarre plot to overthrow the government of Dominica in the Caribbean.

    The former Klansman, who agreed to answer questions by e-mail on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Kathy Ford was close to the movement, but he said he couldn’t recall meeting any of the Ford brothers. He described hanging out in the Fords’ basement and being snubbed by Doug Sr. when Ms. Ford invited him to a party on the family boat. Her father, the former Klansman said, clearly did not approve of his beliefs, while she was engaging and fun but hardly a committed soldier in the race war.

    “Some people are real ‘believers’ and know all the history, dates, facts etc… Others just join to piss off their parents, or carry out some other act of personal rebellion,” he wrote. “Clearly [Kathy] was the latter camp.”

    It remains unclear how much Mayor Ford was exposed to his siblings’ escapades and their issues with illegal drugs. He is considerably younger – Doug, the closest, is five years older. But at least one of Doug’s closest and oldest friends has become an official adviser to the mayor’s office. Several sources have identified David Price as a former participant in Doug Ford’s hashish enterprise.

    Rob Ford was not a player in the Etobicoke drug trade. Several sources said they saw him around his brothers as they were doing business, but they said he didn’t seem to be involved in a significant way.

    It is difficult to determine what it was like for him growing up in this environment. His spokesman did not respond to requests for interviews. His closest friends from high school declined interview requests. Generally, it was only people who were on his periphery who agreed to speak.

    His first run for public office came when he was 27, a council election that he lost. Undeterred, he became involved in several civic-minded campaigns – including one that targeted drug dealers and buyers.

    In 1998, he teamed with his father and Toronto police for an unorthodox project, he later told The Etobicoke Guardian. In what would be the start of his unwavering tough-on-crime platform, he – at the time, 29 and unelected – and Doug Sr. – a backbencher at Queen’s Park – travelled to Scarlettwood Courts, an Etobicoke public-housing complex, to rid it of illegal drugs.

    “When people would drive through to buy drugs, we’d send the owner of the car a letter. It would tell them not come back to the area,” Mr. Ford told the Guardian after he was elected to City Council in 2000. He said his crime-fighting campaign had helped him win the election and promised to take the battle to other low-income neighbourhoods.

    But his personal war on drugs was short-lived. The year after their letter-writing campaign, he was arrested in Florida after being pulled over for impaired driving. Police also found a joint in his pocket – an offence not revealed until his 2010 mayoral campaign.

    Throughout the reporting of this story, Doug Ford made several phone calls to Globe managers and reporters to complain about the questions being asked.

    In November, 2011, he called a reporter in the evening to complain about the newspaper’s “yellow” and “gutter” journalism.

    Part of what’s so sad about this scandal is the same thing that’s sad about nearly any scandal involving elected officials and pot: at the end of the day, the fact that the mayor’s brothers were local pot dealers in their youth in probably the least scandalous or meaningful aspect of this entire story. Doug Ford was a pot dealer from the age of 15-22 according to the report. WHO CARES. Heck, if they were selling to cancer patients they should have probably been given an award. The scientific evidence is increasingly in: Pot is a friggin’ miracle plant. If anything, stories like this should be a reminder of just how much senseless damage modern civilization has inflicted upon itself by criminalizing the stuff. In an age of increasing rates of cancer, dementia, all sorts of autoimmune disorders, and growing rates of addiction to dangerous pain-relievers we’ve collectively decided to ban one of the safest substances on the planet that can benignly help treat every one of those major classes of disease. That’s not just stupid, it’s kind of evil. Canada has led the way with baby-steps like medical decriminalization so good on them for that but it’s still just a baby-step. The past pot peddling is just a giant non-scandal.

    Now, the fact that Wolgang Droege, one of the most notorious neo-nazis in Canada’s history, apparently dated Ford’s sister and hung out with them in their basement? Now THAT’s interesting. And the fact that Ford was caught being all chummy with a neo-nazi musician last year? Now THAT makes the history with Wolgang Droege even more interesting. And the large fact that the criminalization of drugs has basically given any extremist group out there a relatively ease path to significant untraceable cash? Now THAT’s REALLY interesting and we didn’t need the story of Toronto’s crackhead mayor to remind ourselves about it.

    While the media frenzy quite rightly brings up aspects of this story like the abhorrent hypocrisy of Rob Ford waging a “tough on drug crime” campaign at the same time he’s toking, it’s just sad to see the focus on decades old there’s almost no recognition of cruel attitude most of society has historically shown towards illegal drug users in general and pot users in particular. Crackheads need help and we choose to lock them up and create a highly lucrative black market in the process. Potheads need to be left alone and we choose to lock them up and create a highly lucrative black market. And the ability of citizens to simply grow in their gardens one of the most effective pain-killers on the planet is eliminated as an option. Is there any moral excuse at all for that? Even one? The complexity of life’s problems is no excuse for the blind acceptance of blatantly bad policies.

    So it will be grimly fascinating to see if the media ends up fixating on the Ford’s youth drug peddling or whether or not they explore the much more relevant aspect of this story: the history of powerful individuals pushing for an increase in the “Drug War” that they don’t even believe in and while possibly profiting from protected trafficking on the side. THAT’s the BIG SCANDAL here regardless of whether or not we the Ford family has any ongoing financial ties to the drug trade (and so far it doesn’t sound like they were taking a “cut” of the profits or anthing…he was just buying some crack). Iran Contra, BCCI, the 9/11-related terror-financing investigations and Daniel Hopsicker entire body of work all point towards the vital role the drug-trade plays in financing a large number of very negative operations around that globe that have nothing inherently to do with drugs. In other words, in choosing to criminalize drugs (because that was always just one options amongst many) we also chose to create a giant global infrastructure that could help finance and facilitate so many of the criminal enterprises and extremist movements around the globe. And we therefore also chose to create an entire new source of political corruption to throw at our governments. This was all highly predictable and voluntary AND SCANDALOUS. Being bags of biochemical stew, humans are destined to have a weird relationship with drugs and some sort of negative consequences are inevitable. We just didn’t need to add the negative consequences of creating a highly lucrative black market into the mix. Drug abuse could have been handled as a medical issue without turning it into one of the financial spigots for the rest of the global criminal underground. But that’s the route we chose because the embrace of destructive stupidity is just how we roll.

    Drug War blowback was always an inevitability even if the form of the blowback can be difficult to predict. Some easily predictable blowback timebombs are still ticking away with little being done about it, like turning our prisons into extremist factories that will be impacting society for decades to come. But the story of Rob Ford is also looking more and more like a bizarre example of blowback. Because any civilization stupid enough to criminalize pot is also stupid enough to create the kind of criminal networks that needlessly throws billions of dollars at potentially unsavory characters like Rob Ford. And that sounds like a society stupid enough to elect a crackhead mayor that pals around with neo-nazis. After all, putting aside the guy’s alleged crack-dealer/far-right ties, he advocated stupid policies and he was apparently elected in a political environment that’s seemingly rigged to elect right-wing mayors in big cities. Is a far-right crackhead mayor really all that surprising in this context:

    How Rob Ford’s Meltdown Could Save Toronto

    Mayor’s latest outrageous behavior may be catalyst city needs to open de-amalgamation debate.

    By Mitchell Anderson, 23 May 2013, TheTyee.ca

    Rob Ford may be the best thing to happen to Toronto in a long time. Alleged crack-smoking and ass-grabbing aside, the political meltdown of the embattled mayor of Canada’s largest city may inadvertently help undo one of the most disastrous public policy decisions in Canadian history: the amalgamation of Toronto by former premier Mike Harris.

    In 1998, the Harris government forced a shotgun wedding on Toronto and five surrounding suburbs, in spite of local referendum results opposing the move more than three to one.

    Not a single municipality affected was in favour of the merger, and all but one joined a legal challenge opposing it. The amalgamation bill was rammed through the Ontario legislature in one of the most bitterly contested battles in provincial history with opposition parties tabling 13,000 amendments over a two-week period in an ultimately futile filibuster.

    Machiavellian motives

    Harris did not need to worry. Under our antiquated electoral system his government enjoyed virtual dictatorial powers winning 64 per cent of the seats in the legislature with only 45 per cent of the popular vote — most of this support concentrated in the right-leaning suburbs. He didn’t need to represent the province, just his political base.

    The stated reason for forcing the merger was to save money, which has proven to be an abject failure. Harris predicted the new mega-city would save $300 million annually. The city’s operating budget has instead ballooned from $5.6 billion in 1998 to $10.8 billion in 2013 — an increase of 93 per cent.

    In 2010, the C.D. Howe Institute released a damning report “Local Government Amalgamations: Discredited Nineteenth-Century Ideals Alive in the Twenty-First“. The study bluntly stated: “Amalgamations forced on municipalities by provincial governments are the product of flawed thinking and a bureaucratic urge for centralized control… Smaller and more flexible jurisdictions can often deliver services to residents at lower cost, throwing in doubt the financial assumptions typically used to defend amalgamations.”

    The real reason for Harris’s unannounced intervention into Canada’s largest city was likely more Machiavellian than monetary. Harris was no friend of then Toronto mayor Barbara Hall, who had strong connections to the NDP and had led a protest at Queens Park against the Harris “Common Sense Revolution”. Amalgamating Toronto would not only throw Hall out of office, Harris also correctly calculated that the new mega-city would likely elect right wing suburban mayors in perpetuity based on simple demographics.

    This is exactly what has happened. Assuming His Worship Mayor Ford lasts until the end of his mandate without being thrown in jail on a narcotics felony, Toronto will have been governed by suburban right-wing mayors for 10 out of 17 years. A map of voting patterns in the last election shows that the boundaries of former City of Toronto almost exactly match the wards that voted for Ford’s main rival, George Smitherman, while the surrounding suburbs were the solid Tory blue of so-called “Ford Nation”.

    A beaming Mike Harris attended Ford’s victory celebration along with members of Stephen Harper’s cabinet. The political hobbling of progressive Toronto seems an important neo-conservative project, given the GDP of the city exceeds that of six Canadian provinces, and the alleged ascendancy of Calgary as the new national seat of power.

    An era of anti-urban mayors

    What was unleashed on Toronto in 1998 was a diabolical masterstroke: a perpetual culture war between the suburbs and the city, where the later will almost always be outvoted by suburbanites with different values, priorities and motivations.

    Transit is a pregnant example. If the TTC only had to serve the former City of Toronto, it would actually turn a profit. Instead the beleaguered transit authority is whipsawed by populist politics and asked to deliver astronomically expensive subway service to the surrounding low-density sprawl. One of the first actions of Mayor Ford was to rip up Transit City, the guiding planning document for public transport even though it had been developed through years of consultation and had $1.3 billion in signed contracts.

    The proposed mega-casino is another example of a clash of values and priorities. The suburban mayor touts the “golden opportunity” of jobs and tax revenue, knowing the externalized social costs will happen far from his Etobicoke home. Not surprisingly, the residents of downtown Toronto were not enthused with the prospect of organized crime and compulsive gambling infusing their neighborhoods and successfully killed the project after a long, hard fight against their own mayor.

    De-amalgamate, or self-destruct

    Rather than subways to sprawl or mega-casinos, there is another “golden opportunity” that should instead be seized on: de-amalgamating Toronto. Mayor Ford has so thoroughly discredited himself, the time may never be better to revisit the creation of the political Chimera that is Toronto. His meltdown and those of Mel Lastman are not mere political gaffes, they are symptoms of a deep seated malaise of governance created by Harris 15 years ago.

    One urban academic recently referred to Ford as the “worst mayor in the modern history of cities, an avatar for all that is small-bore and destructive of the urban fabric, and the most anti-urban mayor ever to preside over a big city.”

    The political Left would be mistaken if they believe this presents a problem for “Ford Nation.” Exactly the opposite is true. Ford was sent downtown by suburban voters to bring home the bacon while cutting their taxes — essentially sabotaging the city. Mission accomplished. And if he thumbs his nose at Toronto elites along the way, so much the better. Ford himself may self-destruct, but the city will largely be ruled by suburban populists for the foreseeable future.

    The above article is right: A scandal like this really is a kind of opportunity too. When a story this zany comes along it can sometimes force a populace to reflect a bit. And Canada’s voters have a history of demonstrating some semblance of sanity on drug-related issues. So let’s hope they don’t become too fixated on the fact that the mayor’s brother apparently sold pot decades ago or even that the mayor was smoking crack (although that is a big deal…you really don’t want coke-heads in leadership positions). Instead, let’s keep our fingers crossed that the Toronto voters take this moment to recognize that the fundamental problem in this Rob Ford “situation” is a problem with voters electing politicians that appear to be embracing the kinds of political platforms that could only make sense to a far-right crackhead. The historical public embrace of the War on Drugs is only one example of that fundamental problem.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 25, 2013, 7:21 pm
  4. @Pterrafractyl, Brad & Corndogger;

    Definitely glad I don’t live in Toronto. I think Rob Ford is in the wrong country.

    He’d fit right in with the American GOP.

    Some points about Ford’s sister’s erstwhile companion Wolfgang Droege:

    He was among the neo-Nazis to sing the praises of Osama bin Laden after 9/11 (http://spitfirelist.com/news/the-swastika-and-the-crescent/)

    “. . . . The Philadelphia-based Amer­i­can Front thinks highly of Osama bin Laden, too, describ­ing him as “one of ZOG [Zion­ist Occu­pa­tion Gov­ern­ment, the name many extrem­ists give to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, which they believe is run by Jews] and the New World Order’s biggest enemies.”

    And it is not alone. Wolf­gang Droege, one of 17 Cana­dian racists who trav­eled on a “fact-finding mis­sion” to Libya in 1989, is sim­i­larly enam­ored of bin Laden, see­ing par­al­lels between bin Laden’s strug­gle and oth­ers sup­port­ing “racial nation­al­ism” in North America.

    “I’ve had deal­ings with Black Mus­lims, I’ve had deal­ings with Arabs, I’ve had deal­ings with peo­ple of var­i­ous races, and I real­ize that some of these peo­ple are as moti­vated as I am in work­ing for the inter­est of their race,” Droege told MacLean’s magazine. . . .

    As discussed in AFA #13, Miscellaneous Archive Show M52, the white supremacist coup attempt aimed at Dominica spurred that country’s chief executive Eugenia Charles to beef up her military. (Droege was one of the participants in the coup.)

    That beefed-up military then had perfunctory participation in the American invasion of Grenada. The participation of Dominica and other small Caribbean principalities served as a “coalition of the willing” facade for the American campaign.

    Despite being a conspirator in the coup, David Duke was never indicted, further fueling suspicions that he was an intelligence officer of some kind.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | May 26, 2013, 9:27 pm
  5. Neo-Nazi psychopath working on Conservative campaign?

    http://drdawgsblawg.ca/2011/04/neo-nazi-psychopath-working-on-tory-campaign.shtml

    The only thing that shocks me is…the shock.

    After all, this sort of thing goes right back to the Preston Manning days:

    The next month, on June 12, 1991, the Reform Party of Canada held a massive rally in Mississauga, Ontario. The event, which drew some 6,000 people to hear Preston Manning, marked the first high profile event for the security group directed by Droege’s employer, Alan Overfield. During the June Mississauga rally, Grant Bristow served as an escort/bodyguard for Preston Manning, at the direction of Al Overfield and Wolfgang Droege.

    The security group impressed some local Reform organizers who attended the event and they drew upon the group’s free services to protect other meetings until January 1992. Details about the security group and the Reform Party of Canada are provided in chapter VII (7.5).

    On June 13, 1991, several Heritage Front members attended a meeting of Paul Fromm’s Canadians for Foreign Aid Reform (C-FAR) where Overfield from the Reform Party set up a table to sign people up for the Party. The dates on the membership forms for Droege, Polinuk, Dawson and Mitrevski, however, show that they had joined the Party before that meeting.

    On June 19, 1991, Droege’s racist agenda was profiled in a “Toronto Star” article. He stated then that “Preston Manning has given us some hope.”

    Strange bedfellows? Or just bedfellows?

    UPDATE: Anti-Racist Canada has a revised take on the individual in question. I’m sceptical, but they’re good folks, and you should read what they have to say.

    UPDATE: (April 27) And our Conservative volunteer, outed by the good people at Anti-Racist Action, is given the boot.

    Posted by participo | May 27, 2013, 8:28 am
  6. And now the story of Toronto’s crack smoking mayor just took a twist reminiscent of The Ring: it’s looking like a man murdered in Toronto back in March could have been the original owner and creator of the now-notorious mysterious mayoral crackhead video. You don’t want to mess with a crackhead. Especially when he’s the mayor:

    Talking Points Memo
    Mayor Crack Scandal Now Possibly Tied to Murder

    Josh Marshall May 27, 2013, 9:47 AM

    Up until now every day seems to bring a new revelation of Toronto’s fun-loving politics and drug underworld family, the Fords. Yesterday, after calling the Toronto media a “bunch of maggots”, Mayor Rob Ford denied the very existence of the purported video at the center of the evolving scandal. But today, the Globe and Mail reports the story is moving to a whole new and potentially terrifying level – much more serious but no less bizarre.

    Two sources have confirmed to the paper that Toronto police last week interviewed a senior member of Mayor Ford’s staff in regards to a murder that may be related to the video of Mayor Ford smoking crack.

    The details are a little complicated here so bear with me.

    From the beginning of the scandal, claims about the existence of the video have been tied to a photo of Ford with a man named Anthony Smith, a 21 one year old Torontonian who was gunned down back in March. The new theory is that Smith was originally the owner of the video (perhaps the one who made it?) and that his murder was tied to his possession of it.

    Smith’s murder itself isn’t news. As noted, it happened back in March. And photos of Smith and the Mayor surfaced with the first news of the crack smoking scandal. In fact, the alleged current owners of the video (Toronto-based Somali drug dealers, according to Gawker and The Toronto Star) apparently used the photos to establish the bona fides of the video, or at least to confirm that Ford was spending time with crack dealers.

    Now here’s one part of the Star story which raises even more questions about what’s going on here …

    A senior member of Rob Ford’s office was interviewed by police last week about a tip linking a video allegedly showing the mayor smoking illicit drugs to a recent Toronto homicide, two separate sources have confirmed.

    The staffer felt compelled to share the tip, which came to him from someone else in the mayor’s office, with police because it could constitute evidence in a homicide investigation.

    If you pick these two paragraph’s apart – the lede of the piece – this information seems to have been circulating within the Mayor’s senior staff. The staffer who went to the police got it from another member of the Mayor’s staff, who it seems did not choose to share the information with the police.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 27, 2013, 7:41 pm
  7. Crack is back!

    Police have alleged crack video; Ford friend re-arrested in connection

    Patrick White

    The Globe and Mail

    Published Thursday, Oct. 31 2013, 10:59 AM EDT
    Last updated Thursday, Oct. 31 2013, 1:36 PM EDT

    Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said today that police are in possession of the video allegedly showing Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.

    The Chief’s comments come on the same day it was revealed that the mayor was one of the targets of a months-long investigation known as Project Brazen 2, which resulted in charges against Alessandro Lisi, the mayor’s friend and occasional driver. The information comes from a 480-page police document released Thursdsay that outlines police evidence against Mr. Lisi.

    1. Police have alleged crack cocaine video

    Police have recovered a video that appears to show Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine, Chief Bill Blair told reporters.

    “The TPS is now in possession of a digital video file and that evidence will be presented in court” relating to the extortion charge, Chief Blair said.

    The Chief said the mayor does appear in the video, “but I’m not going to get into detail.”

    Chief Bill Blair said the video was recovered “in the examination of a hard drive” that was seized June 13 as a result of the Project Traveller investigation. Police computer technicians recovered the deleted file on Tuesday, Chief Blair said.

    2. Lisi charged

    Toronto Police have charged Ford’s friend and occasional driver Alessandro Lisi with extortion, Chief Bill Blair told reporters.

    Mr. Lisi committed extortion related to the video, Chief Blair said.

    “The evidence will be presented in court where it belongs” he said.

    3. Reason for investigation

    The Toronto Police investigation, code-named Project Brazen 2, was launched under Detective Sergeant Gary Giroux following news reports of alleged video showing Rob Ford smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine. On page 186 of the document, Mayor Ford was listed among 17 other targets in the investigation.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 31, 2013, 9:51 am
  8. Today’s Toronto Star also has extensive coverage of the latest developments.

    Posted by Brad | November 1, 2013, 8:53 am
  9. Here’s a reminder that politicians pushing an “anti-urban” agenda tend to be allied with a larger anti-almost-everyone agenda:

    rabble.ca
    The middle class could soon be up for sale in Ontario
    By
    Trish Hennessy
    | November 12, 2013

    A leaked Progressive Conservative document reveals a deep disconnect between ideologically driven wedge politics and the realpolitik of Ontario’s struggling middle class.

    The document lays out a provincial election plan for the party that is premised on an explicit attack on workers and a promise to bring in American-style low-wage policies.

    In other words, the middle class could soon be up for sale in Ontario — at bargain basement rates.

    It’s a path Ontario would be wise to avoid.

    In the U.S., where the Progressive Conservative party is getting its policy ideas these days, there has been a concerted effort to drive down workers’ wages.

    As the Economic Policy Institute has documented, between 2011 and 2013, nine American states passed laws that prohibit government from implementing paid sick leave rights. More than 40 million Americans don’t even have the legal right to take a single paid sick day.

    In 2011 and 2012, four American states passed laws lifting child labour restrictions. Several states stripped workers of overtime rights. And several states made it harder for workers to recover unpaid wages.

    Fifteen states passed laws restricting public employees’ right to bargain collectively and to collect fair share dues from members.

    Essentially, all these laws make it harder for households to stay in the ranks of the middle class in America.

    In Ontario, Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak seems committed to campaigning in the next election on similar attacks on workers, unions, and the middle class At the centrepiece of this strategy, copied directly from the U.S., is his pledge to prohibit the Rand Formula.

    The Rand Formula was introduced by Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ivan Rand in 1946. It ensures that once a democratic decision has been taken by workers to form a bargaining unit, then everyone who benefits from the resulting contract will pay their fair share toward maintaining that contract and the union that negotiated it. It’s a democratic majority choice — but Mr. Hudak’s party wants to prevent workers from being able to come together in that way.

    They would prohibit the Rand Formula, and replace it with provisions of the U.S. Taft-Hartley Act — passed in 1947 in a climate dominated by Cold War McCarthyism and racism. Incredibly, Mr. Hudak calls this “modernizing” Ontario’s labour laws.

    In America, there are now 24 states that have passed laws that prohibit any form of dues check-off. It’s certainly not a gift to workers. In those states, workers make less money: median household incomes are $6,437 less than in other states. And 26.7 per cent of jobs in states which banned union dues check-off are low paying, compared to 19.5 per cent of jobs in other states. Poverty rates are higher in these states. And the number of workplace deaths is 36 per cent higher.

    And this downward pressure on wages doesn’t simply stop at the border. A recent CIBC report by Avery Shenfeld and Emanuella Enanjor say U.S. practices may already be reducing Canadian workers’ bargaining power, in turn suppressing wage growth.

    This is simply part of a long-term, concerted political agenda to weaken workers’ right to bargain for a fair and decent wage as well as to reduce government’s power to protect workers’ health and safety on the job.

    And as a political agenda, its promise rings hollow: numerous independent research reports have shown that restrictions on union rights have not, in fact, helped these U.S. states to retain manufacturing jobs.

    These attacks on workers and their unions are not the answer to Ontario’s economic woes. In fact, the political agenda Mr. Hudak is espousing would drive down workers’ wages and family incomes.

    It would foster a divisive narrative that pits workers against workers in a mad scramble to fight for crumbs from a shrinking income pie.

    It would condemn the next generation of workers to a future of low wages.

    And it would strip workers of rights long ago secured through the courts.

    Ontario has come too far to turn back the clock to pre-1950s working conditions.

    Before the 1950s, Ontario didn’t have a strong middle class. Income inequality was higher. The quality of life was not what it is today.

    With the rise of the middle class came the ability for people to collectively pool their tax contribution to pay for public services that benefit everyone: universal health care and education, to name just two.

    Those public services would become another casualty of American-style low-wage laws in Ontario — partly because public sector workers would be among those forced into the race to the bottom, and partly because government tax revenues (essential to paying for those services) would also shrink in line with workers’ incomes.

    Just FYI people in Tornto: If your elected officials suddenly show up covered in scales, don’t be too alarmed. Yes, it could be some sort of alien invasion but it also might just be a medical issue. It’ll still suck either way.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 14, 2013, 9:52 pm
  10. Here’s a quick reminder that if it seems like there’s a giant contemporary psychological operation designed to intellectually cripple the American public’s ability to reason its way through our collective challenges and push people towards Serpent’s Walk-style violent meltdowns, that might be because there really are forces applying psychological warfare techniques designed to intellectually cripple the American public’s ability to reason its way through our collective challenges and they’ve been operating for a long time:

    Salon

    How “4th Generation Warfare” helps to explain the rise of Donald Trump
    Sociologist Dr. James Scaminaci III talks to Salon about Trump’s connection to extreme elements in the right wing

    Chauncey DeVega
    Tuesday, Jul 5, 2016 07:00 AM CST

    The mainstream news media and the pundit classes have framed Donald Trump’s rise to power in the Republican Party as something unpredictable and incomprehensible. In reality, Trump’s domination of the 2016 GOP presidential primary field is a function of larger trends in Right-wing American politics.

    One of the most important—and little discussed—aspects of Donald Trump’s political ascendance is his borrowing from the military concept known as “4th Generation Warfare.”

    I recently spoke with sociologist and former United States Army civilian senior intelligence analyst Dr. James Scaminaci III about this strategy and what it reveals about Donald Trump’s connections to the most extreme elements of the American right-wing.

    One of the dominant frames in the mainstream news media is that Donald Trump is some type of surprise, an aberration of sorts, that has come out of nowhere to bulldoze the 2016 Republican presidential field. Is this narrative accurate?

    Trump is the logical outcome and expression of what has always been present in the Republican Party.

    White supremacy is the operating system of America and it is strongest in the Republican Party. Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler in their book Authoritarianism & Polarization in American Politics demonstrate that the two major political parties have sorted their supporters out along the authoritarianism dimension, with the Republican Party stronger on authoritarianism and the Democratic Party weaker. That is not to say that every Republican is an authoritarian or vice versa. But, authoritarianism is correlated with being anti-black, racial resentment, anti-immigrant, against reproductive rights, and against gay rights, for example.

    We also know from George Lakoff that the family model of the right-wing is the strict father model which is based on authority, obedience, discipline, and punishment. This is consistent with the extreme rightward turn of the Republican Party.

    Trump’s right-wing populism is also consistent with academic studies of the Tea Party movement in which supporters favored Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for people like themselves and opposed all types of social welfare programs for non-whites, people they thought were undeserving.

    If you look at these deep, swirling undercurrents, why should it be a surprise that Donald Trump has triumphed?

    In your writing and research, you have suggested that Trump’s policy goals are not something cobbled together, random, or a product of his political naïveté and pandering to the GOP base, but rather, an example of what has been described as “4th generation warfare” (4GW) applied to American domestic politics. Can you explain this concept and how it helps us to understand contemporary movement conservatism, more generally, and Trump’s rise, specifically?

    Fourth Generation Warfare is a conflict between a state actor and a non-state 4GW actor. The 4GW actor can be driven by ideas, religion, or the defense of the “purity of its race.” The central objective is to undermine and destroy the legitimacy of the state actor, to deny the state actor a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, and to use manipulations of moving images and other psychological warfare techniques to remove affective support from the state actor. Psychological warfare would be more important than military operations.

    A sub-component of 4GW is William Lind’s conspiracy theory of the internal war for supremacy between what he called “cultural Marxists” and their ideology of “Political Correctness” or “multiculturalism” and the “traditional American culture” or “Judeo-Christian culture.” Lind argued that “cultural Marxists” hate America’s “Judeo-Christian culture” and were seeking to destroy it. The losers were to be rich, white, conservative, Christian, heterosexual men.

    This is where religious supremacy and white supremacy link up, and where Trump is attempting to fuse in his own person.

    Internally, this clash of cultures is weaponized as propaganda campaigns designed to delegitimize whole classes of peoples: Blacks and civil rights and voting rights; women and reproductive rights; the LGBTQ and gay rights; workers and labor rights; environmentalists and environmental laws and science.

    Outside the country, the clash of civilizations is between Christianity and Islam. In fact, Weyrich and Lind began in the early 1990s to target Islam as a violent, illegitimate religion. One can draw a straight line from the anti-Muslim views of Weyrich and Lind in the early 1990s to the Islamophobia of today.

    Trump’s core policies are all consistent with Lind’s writings since 2005. Lind called for a Berlin-style wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, supported the Minutemen militia on the border, likened Latino and Muslim immigrants to invaders that had to be stopped, considered Muslim immigrants an imported cultural disease, and, if good immigrants came in, it was the destructive Black culture that turned them bad, and opposed Wall Street conservatives.

    Lind’s ideas have circulated throughout the right-wing for just over a decade. Trump is just telling the Republican base what they have already heard or read.

    Can you provide some more details about William Lind and Paul Weyrich? How influential are they for conservative elites?

    The late Paul Weyrich was one of the four horsemen of the Christian Right who created that movement with the help of money from Coors and other billionaires. Lind is an acknowledged expert on military strategy and is a formidable opponent. Lind was his director of cultural conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation.

    Weyrich was the strategic genius of the Christian Right. His first master stroke was to convince the mainstream media that he and others had created a secular “New Right.” Weyrich created the Free Congress Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Council for National Policy, and the Moral Majority. The secretive Council for National Policy brought together conservative funding sources, political operators and strategists, and Christians to put financial resources into culture war campaigns. Weyrich created the ad hoc Arlington Group to bring together political operators from inside and outside D.C. in order to have a centralized strategy with decentralized operations.

    Weyrich and Lind allowed the racist Council of Conservative Citizens to take their video on “Political Correctness”, i.e. “multiculturalism,” and spread that into the white nationalist and white supremacist segments of the right-wing.

    Mike Vanderboegh, the militia strategist and founder of the Three Percenters, is an avid promoter of Fourth Generation Warfare.

    Of note, in 2001, Karen Yurica uncovered a Paul Weyrich-commissioned strategy document on the “New Traditionalist Movement.” Weyrich and Lind endorsed the following 4GW operational strategy: “Our strategy will be to bleed this corrupt culture dry. We will pick off the most intelligent and creative individuals in our society, the individuals who help give credibility to the current regime…. Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them…. We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left…. We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime….Sympathy from the American people will increase as our opponents try to persecute us, which means our strength will increase at an accelerating rate due to more defections—and the enemy will collapse as a result.”

    Lind’s and Weyrich’s strategic documents are the writings of radical revolutionaries out to destroy an entire society and an entire belief system. This strategy, however flawed the execution and the candidate, is now in the hands of Donald Trump.

    Why hasn’t the mainstream media spent more time discussing the hold that Lind’s strategies have over the GOP?

    Well, the mainstream media is not interested in ideas or policies or anything other than he-said, she-said journalism, horse race journalism, or stenography.

    We need to move beyond the prevailing progressive model of preventing “hate speech” crossing the imaginary Maginot Line between the fringe and the mainstream. As David Neiwert so persuasively argued in his brilliant book The Eliminationists, there is a conveyer belt that takes the most noxious, toxic ideas from the fringe, sanitizes them, and then spreads them into the mainstream media and the right-wing blogosphere. The imaginary Maginot Line has already been breached and is hemorrhaging hate and bile. There is a real need for progressive analysts to come together and understand the strategy, organization, networks, campaigns, and tactics of this right-wing movement. We cannot continue to do business as usual.

    Apparently, a photo of Donald Trump with William Lind was posted on the latter’s official website. Lind also wrote a white supremacist novel that is considered by many to be the spiritual successor to the infamous Turner Diaries. This is not the first time that Donald Trump has been linked to white supremacists. Is this just one more sign of how today’s Republican Party is the country’s largest white identity organization? Alternatively, even by those low standards, does Donald Trump’s association with Lind represent something even more problematic and sinister?

    I think the linkage between Donald Trump and William S. Lind should alert progressives and Democratic Party operatives that we are no longer in an era of normal politics.

    Everything the Christian Right has been doing since 1980 was designed to delegitimize an entire society—its governing philosophy (liberalism), its mainstream political parties, its main institutions, the secular version of the Constitution, science (creationism, climate change hoax), and broad classes of people. The Christian Right incorporated white supremacy and religious supremacy. We did not appreciate the 4GW “cosmic war” coming with a growing gale force into our politics.

    Trump is reaping what the Christian Right, Fox News, conservative talk radio, Christian radio and television, and the blogosphere has sown.

    There has been much discussion of the “horse race” aspect of the 2016 election and how Trump was able to win the GOP presidential nomination. I do not think that he will win the general election. I am actually more concerned about what happens when Trump loses and where his racist, authoritarian supporters go next. Given the rise of the White Right in the Age of Obama, and Trump’s fascist leanings, how do you think the militia movement and other violent Right-wing extremists will exploit Trump’s defeat? In short, what happens next?

    I think there is a need to worry about what happens when Trump loses. The base may conclude that the establishment and/or the mainstream media defeated him. There will still be hard core believers in his message. There will be another Trump. I do not know how someone could not see how relatively easily Trump destroyed his political rivals with a mixture of economic populism—saving Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and maybe even supporting universal health care—with racism, nativism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, and authoritarianism.

    As neoliberalism fails and the Democratic Party does not address its destructive consequences for ordinary people, the more likely the next Trump will be more successful.

    The key strategists of the Christian Right—William S. Lind, Gary North, and Edwin Vieira—have written strategic assessments that the financial system will collapse.

    The Patriot militia and other paramilitary groups are simply waiting for their turn to have fun.

    “Of note, in 2001, Karen Yurica uncovered a Paul Weyrich-commissioned strategy document on the “New Traditionalist Movement.” Weyrich and Lind endorsed the following 4GW operational strategy: “Our strategy will be to bleed this corrupt culture dry. We will pick off the most intelligent and creative individuals in our society, the individuals who help give credibility to the current regime…. Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them…. We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left…. We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime….Sympathy from the American people will increase as our opponents try to persecute us, which means our strength will increase at an accelerating rate due to more defections—and the enemy will collapse as a result.””

    So, has Trump read any of Lind’s work yet? They’ve definitely met and seem like a natural fit:


    Trump’s core policies are all consistent with Lind’s writings since 2005. Lind called for a Berlin-style wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, supported the Minutemen militia on the border, likened Latino and Muslim immigrants to invaders that had to be stopped, considered Muslim immigrants an imported cultural disease, and, if good immigrants came in, it was the destructive Black culture that turned them bad, and opposed Wall Street conservatives.

    Keep in mind that William Lind is the same guy who that wrote the Dominionist snuff piece published in the Washington Post that fantasized about a future second American Civil War won by shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. So at least Trump is following Lind’s post-2005 writings and not the earlier ones. Although that column did inspired to write an entire white supremacist novel (under the Thomas Hobbes pen name) celebrating a future American ethnic cleansing entitled “Victoria: A novel of 4th Generation War” published in 2014. And this is one of the guys who helped develop the concept of “Fourth Generation Warfare” for the US military.

    Considering all of the other questions Trump keeps raising about his white supremacist ties, learning more about Trump’s ties to the far-right strategic political think who just published a white supremacist revolution novel kind of seems extra important. Hopefully some intrepid reporter can get an answer from Trump about his Lind influences. Good luck with that!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 6, 2016, 1:40 pm
  11. Beyond the lives lost and families destroyed by the mass murder of Dallas police officers that just took place during a police-brutality protest, part of what an incident like this so tragic is that when someone commits an act that is obviously intended to divide and violently polarize a society, there’s rarely a shortage of people more than happy to facilitate the mass murderer’s divide and conquer strategy. Chaos and despair are two of the best allies for all sorts of extremists. And, sure enough, less than a day later we’re seeing the usual suspects excitedly declaring war:

    Mother Jones

    High-Profile Right Wingers Declare “War” in Wake of Dallas Police Shootings
    And the New York Post goes with a cover that provokes a fierce backlash.

    Hannah Levintova
    Jul. 8, 2016 12:08 PM

    On Thursday night, at least one sniper in Dallas opened fire near a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, killing five police officers and injuring seven others. The shooting marks the deadliest attack on law enforcement in the United States since 9/11. While there has been an outpouring of grief and anger on social media, some high-profile individuals—including a former congressman and a veteran policy adviser to Republican leaders—stirred threats of violence and impending “war” against the Black Lives Matter movement.

    From former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, in a post that has since been deleted:
    [see pic of deleted tweet]

    More from Walsh:

    10 Cops shot. You did this Obama.You did this liberals. You did this #BLM.Time to defend our Cops. Wake up. https://t.co/Zoc3x2xlMk— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 8, 2016

    From Alex Jones, conspiracy theorist and radio show host:

    This is the start of Obama/Soros destabilization race war. #Dallas— Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) July 8, 2016

    The New York Post’s front page declared “Civil War”—which quickly drew a fierce backlash.

    [see pic of NT Post “Civil War” cover]

    On his radio show today, right-wing host Rush Limbaugh called Black Lives Matter “a terrorist group committing hate crimes”:
    [click for Limbaugh audio]
    The full transcript of Limbaugh’s remarks: “I found a story from March, I think, of 2015, in which President Obama welcomed two founders of Black Lives Matter to the White House and commemorated them and their efforts and praised them as being better organizers than he is. And… Black Lives Matter was just exactly who they are then as who they are today. They’re a terrorist group. They’re quickly becoming a terrorist group committing hate crimes.”

    “The New York Post’s front page declared “Civil War”—which quickly drew a fierce backlash.”

    Be sure to check out the front page declaring “Civil War” of the Rupert Murdoch owned New York Post. And then take a moment to ask yourself if a front page image that declared civil war in the wake of a tragedy like this is the type of response that makes future acts of violence against police more or less likely? Because it sure seems like the editors of the New York Post, along with folks like Rush Limbaugh and Joe Walsh, would love to escalate the tensions and see even more violence. And that would obviously include more police mass murders. Stoking that kind of conflict sure seems like the kind of behavior that someone who either hates the police or doesn’t care about them at all would engage in. Are the police just more fodder for the culture wars? that would appear to be the case. Tragically.

    It’s also worth noting in that the Dallas Police Department is one of the departments blazing the trail in police sensitivity training specifically designed to address conscious or subconscious biases. So the department that was targeted in this attack is one of the departments around the nation that’s been taking one of the most meaningful steps that any police department can take in addressing issues that led to the Dallas protest in the first place.

    That’s something that really needs to be recognized. In part because it’s adds to the senseless nature of the tragedy but also because that’s the kind of context to this slaughter that points towards a productive path forward. Why? Because there’s no reason sensitivity training needs to be limited to the police. Isn’t the American society in general in dire need of more sensitivity towards each other? Or at least awareness? Isn’t a general lack of awareness among Americans about what’s going on in the lives of people very different from them a huge factor driving the kind of sociopolitical dysfunction today? What about all the outright disinformation that’s been spread and consumed in the modern media environment by people like Rush Limbaugh? It’s a lot harder to get the consensus needed to address deep, systemic problems in a sea of ignorance and disinformation.

    And while we obviously wouldn’t want to distract from the necessary national conversations around policing and the challenges of poor minority communities, there’s no reason we can’t also use this brewing tension between police and minority communities to start a long-overdue national conversation about how Americans are generally clueless about the major challenges facing their fellow Americans, whether its inner city poverty, rural poverty, or just people with tough, dangerous jobs…like police officers. Who knows, by framing the current debates over policing within the context of a society that is increasingly unaware of the realities of itself, that might be an effective way to indirectly address some of the issues around minority communities and policing. One of the common retorts to the “Black Lives Matter” slogan is that “All Lives Matter”. Well, ok, doesn’t the “All Lives Matter” slogan come with the expectation that people at least try to be much more aware and empathetic about the challenges facing all their fellow Americans? And is that happening? Are Americans even trying to understand their fellow Americans these days? The people following the above right-wing trolls certainly don’t appear to be trying very hard.

    So how about we start a national ‘awareness’ campaign that’s based on a simple concept: If, at the age of, let’s say, 30, you aren’t personally much more aware of challenges facing people that aren’t your same race, religion, gender, or whatever than you were at the age of 20, you basically failed your 20’s in terms of being a more aware individual. And if at age 40 you aren’t substantially more aware of these issues than you were at 30, you failed your 30’s. And if age 50,….etc. Let’s create the social expectation that individuals aren’t simply expected to grow a little wiser with age. They’re expected to growing substantially wiser with age, especially when it comes to understanding the lives of people very different from them.

    Of course, if you think about it, a national ‘awareness’ campaign is just a fancy phrase for a society that generates high quality journalism that most people actually consume over the course of their lives. And while we already have a mass media, it’s pretty clear that much of it is more interested in stoking a race war and seeing more cop killings than actually solving anything. Changing that will also have to be part of the awareness campaign.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 8, 2016, 3:57 pm

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