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What's going on America?
August 15, 2009 2:37 AM   Subscribe

Return of the Militias; an article by Larry Keller for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
List of Militia by State; Map of Hate Groups by State. (Constitutional Militia).
posted by adamvasco (109 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
From the first link:

In Pensacola, Fla., retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson tells a gathering of antigovernment "Patriots" that the federal government has set up 1,000 internment camps across the country and is storing 30,000 guillotines and a half-million caskets in Atlanta. They're there for the day the government finally declares martial law and moves in to round up or kill American dissenters, he says. "They're going to keep track of all of us, folks," Gunderson warns.

Having read the article, it seems that there is a frightening number of ex-/retired/former police and military folks involved in these circles, and I have to wonder why. Is it the access to power now lost that makes them want to seem "more relevant" in their communities? Them seeking out the respect they "used to" have wearing a badge or a uniform by getting "civilians" to trust them?

Or something more - a discontent about how their corner of the world (neighborhood, county, state) is getting worse because of the way it's changing demographically?

The scariest thing about the influence of these "authority figures" is that their ignorance and hate would seem, to militia members, to be based on interpretations of the law that are perfectly justifiable, like the insanity below, as they're coming out of the mouths of cops and soldiers. They would seem trustworthy and full of "inside information" that the "ordinary citizen" wouldn't be able to access.

So-called sovereign citizens are people who subscribe to an ideology, originated by the anti-Semitic Posse Comitatus of the 1980s, that claims that whites are a higher kind of citizen — subject only to "common law," not the dictates of the government — while blacks are mere "14th Amendment citizens" who must obey their government masters. Although not all sovereigns subscribe to or even know about the theory's racist basis, most contend that they do not have to pay taxes, are not subject to most laws, and are not citizens of the United States.


I wonder if these ex-civil servants wear their old uniforms to meetings. Ugh.
posted by mdonley at 3:05 AM on August 15, 2009


What's going on America?

A hunk of Americans are upset with how things are going. (Really, do you of anyone who's 100% happy with things the way they are or seem to be going?)

Within that set, there is a set of people who are willing to stand up and be noisy and "take some kind of action".

As there is no good tool to unify the "votes with the wallet", some of that loud set who are looking to take some form of action are just checking off the take action boxes.

You know the boxes, right? Soap Box, Ballot Box, Jury Box, Ammo Box-- to be used in that order.
(and given how well the 1st two boxes have worked - exactly how will that 3rd box work out?)
posted by rough ashlar at 3:07 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


What's going on America?

There's a right-wing terrorist iceberg floating around, being pushed into violence by Republicans and other right-wing criminals. Let's hope the Republican Party will be held accountable this time around, unlike the early 1990s.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:17 AM on August 15, 2009 [10 favorites]


Having read the article, it seems that there is a frightening number of ex-/retired/former police and military folks involved in these circles, and I have to wonder why.

Perhaps they've seen things or participated in things that - when someone claims there are guillotines or shows pictures of the plastic grave liners - they are willing to jump to a worst case?

Does one think abuse of power is abnormal or the normal course of business? Is the comment "What do you expect when you sue the President?" the norm in power or not the norm?

For 8 years this site had regular posts about abuse of power - does one REALLY think abuse has stopped?
posted by rough ashlar at 3:17 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


30 000 guillotines and 500 000 caskets? At least they give the Feds some credit for style and drama. There's just no gravitas with a bullet to the head and an open pit cremation.
posted by PenDevil at 3:24 AM on August 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


For 8 years this site had regular posts about abuse of power - does one REALLY think abuse has stopped?

yes, yes I do. BushCo was nutso, they blew out the pale most impressively. Tough act for the "reality-based community" to follow, as they say.

You can try to hand-wave this crap away but a solid 10% of this country is completely around the bend, the mirror image of say PETA extremists, but in a bad way.

These are the people who blew up the OKC Federal Building, and they're not going away.
posted by @troy at 3:25 AM on August 15, 2009 [14 favorites]


I grew up in a family of moderate Republicans- more George HW Bushes than George W Bushes, you know? This exposed me, as a child, to ridiculous nonsense, much of which can be seen in the political email forwards section of Snopes. My folks weren't right-wing extremists by any stretch of the imagination, but they did participate quite merrily in the right-wing psychosis about Bill Clinton despite agreeing with him on more things than they disagreed with him on. This meant I got to hear about, among other things, the Death Camps.

It was an article of faith in the militia movement of the 1990's that the Clinton Administration was working to establish what were, depending on who you listened to, either internment camps or death camps for white Christians. Never mind that the sites they cited (heh) always turned out to be abandoned and disused trainyards, or actual campgrounds, or completely nonexistent, goddammit they existed, had been built since Clinton took office, and were ready to begin operation when the time was right for martial law. This was the kind of shit I spent the 90's listening to around the dinner table.

I told you about my parents as a way of explaining how I was familiar with that sort of thing , and I told you about that to explain why I spent a good portion of the last administration trying to convince fellow leftists that the Bush Death Camps they were convinced were being set up to imprison or kill dissenters with BUSHITLER took over AMERIKKKA were simply inane rumours created by people who would've had said leftists publicly executed if they had their way. It's a batshit crazy rumour started amidst the people who were driven out of their fucking minds when they didn't get their way and a Democrat was elected to the office of the Presidency.

One of the first things I predicted when Obama won was that the militia movement would appear like a phoenix out of the ashes, and I based that on the fact that the militia movement vanished overnight on January 20, 2001. Sure enough, the very day after election day, ammunition and gun sales spiked hard and have continued to be strong, and the militias are back right on schedule. And this time it's pretty much exactly like it was last time, only this time the crazies aren't just affiliated with the fringes of the conservative mainstream, they are the conservative mainstream.

This is going to get a fuck of a lot uglier before it gets any better. If it gets any better.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:30 AM on August 15, 2009 [47 favorites]


It's cute how so many Republicans, when confronted with Bush blowing a hole in the Federal budget and engaging in various anti-Constitutional activities via wire-taps and indefinite detentions, will say something like "Well yes but Obama is that straw that broke the camel's back tea-bag militia stormtrooper death panel."

Because as someone pointed out, there wasn't a single fucking tea-bagger or militia going on before America elected a black president.

It's racism, pure and simple.
posted by bardic at 3:30 AM on August 15, 2009 [24 favorites]


Because as someone pointed out, there wasn't a single fucking tea-bagger or militia going on before America elected a black president.

It's racism, pure and simple.


This is absolutely correct. The seething, frothing rage at Clinton for taking away the Presidency from the GOP was bad enough; at least to some extent it was mitigated by the fact that Clinton was a good ol' boy from the South. Now, though, it's not just a Democrat taking away what the GOP considers to be rightfully its own and only its own, it's a black man who is unashamedly black, a black man who dares to address white men and women as though he were their equal, or worse- their superior!

At least to some extent, the change is useful. The right has spent years trying to evade responsibility for the fact that the Republican strategy has been to scream racist code words at the top of their lungs since 1968, but when confronted with a black man who doesn't know his place, they are reduced to lying on their backs, kicking and screaming obscenities and frothing at the mouth and assaulting anyone who offends them. The mask is off.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:37 AM on August 15, 2009 [15 favorites]


There's just no gravitas with a bullet to the head and an open pit cremation.

Why not just use poison? Get 'em to line up, take the poison, then blame birds and swine, sleeping together - mass hysteria!

(I can understand the need for a pile of coffin liners if you have a bunch of plague-dead and you'd like to show how you respected the dead VS just pitt'n the corpses. If your goal is just making/buring the dead or having death panels - then coffin liners don't make sense.)

Pictures of a bunch of grave liners - or at least are represented as grave liners. You'll have to determine the "truthyness" of what the pictures are....
posted by rough ashlar at 3:43 AM on August 15, 2009


You'll have to determine the "truthyness" of what the pictures are....

Well, at least we know where you stand.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:46 AM on August 15, 2009


It's racism, pure and simple.

Not so simple perhaps. This is a red-county vs. blue-county issue too. Race is a driver but there's also a reverse class struggle going on, with White America not enthused about Obama's "reform" initiatives reversing the last 30 years of conservative campaign against Big Government.

ACORN villification and the "SOCIALISM!" bugbear are indicators of fears of the urban masses getting a Great Society II package of goodies that will overtax working whitebread middle-class America and turn us into a socialist dystopia on the order of France or the UK.

I think it's been shown that people are more supportive of welfare programs for people who look like them, so racism is a part of this of course, but there's still that distinct economic angle. AM radio is certainly providing a rich mixture of both outrages to its audience.
posted by @troy at 3:46 AM on August 15, 2009


The point, @troy, is that people only started caring about the economics once race became a factor.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:52 AM on August 15, 2009


Eh. Googling "coffin liner", i found a post from 2006 on Democratic Underground wondering about those same 500000 coffin liners lying around in Georgia. This mass execution thingie seems to be a bipartisan effort.
posted by vivelame at 3:58 AM on August 15, 2009


The point, @troy, is that people only started caring about the economics once race became a factor.

Bush's spending was directed towards the mililtary -- he managed to DOUBLE Pentagon spending over his admin, quite an accomplishment -- coupled with starve-the-beast tax cuts.

Here's what some random right-wing idiot was saying two years ago:

"In other words, as entitlements become 10%, then 11%, then 12%, then 13%, then 18%, then 20%, then even more of our economy, it will impair our ability to retain a military advantage over emerging threats, without much economic pain at home. Then again, maybe that's actually another reason why the [Ned] Lamont Democrats are so vested in allowing Social Security and other entitlement programs to grow into such a gargantuan portion of the American economy. They want to tie our hands behind our backs with Social Security (and Medicare, and Medicaid) rope, so we can't afford to defend ourselves against Islamist terrorism."

This is what passes for thinking in the space of their pointy heads. I've seen enough of their argumentation this decade to know it backwards & forwards.
posted by @troy at 4:15 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


This mass execution thingie seems to be a bipartisan effort.

DU is the Dem loonie bin, yes. Tough to know how badly it's been compromised by 9/11 Truther agit-prop and whatnot. But at any rate one DU post does not make a movement.
posted by @troy at 4:18 AM on August 15, 2009


If economics were the real driving force behind this, the militias would have been lobbing molotovs at the George Bush White House on a daily basis. The only reason Bill Clinton - a man who arguably hails from the same demographic as a lot of these nuts - became the recipient of their special attention was Waco, for one, and the outcome of Ruby Ridge (i.e., cash settlements for the Weaver family but no admission of wrong doing from the Feds). It's not like Clinton was a particularly liberal Democrat or anything, and Obama is only slightly to the left of him. However, dude's black, and his middle name is Hussein, so it wouldn't matter if he started touring with Toby Keith and tossing AK-47s into cheering crowds; he's the Enemy and An Agent of the ZOG.

I share PG's trepidation about America's future, and can only hope that in the chaos to come, their extremism marginalizes them further, to the point where sympathizing, associating with and giving a voice to these idiots becomes considered on par with giving Osama a talk show. I dread the road of fire we may have to travel to get to that point though.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:19 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


One of the first things I predicted when Obama won was that the militia movement would appear like a phoenix out of the ashes, and I based that on the fact that the militia movement vanished overnight on January 20, 2001

Errr, militias didn't 'vanish'.

But hey, if *YOU* want to think that the 'militia movement' "vanished" - you go right ahead and think that. I've learned over the years that trying to educate you is pointless - and your high top sneakers and hat don't make you right Pope.

(For the rest of you who *ARE* willing to learn and jump down rabbit holes - you've got REX-82 or the folks of the Ruby Ridge bought the land back in 84 and George Bush was in charge when they made the news in 1992. Just 2 simple examples to show how the "vanish" claim is selective memory.)

Anyone who thinks they are gonna out-shoot people who have robo-drones, microwave pain weapons, tanks, APCs, (et la) *AND* the generalized 'license on violence' is welcome to their coffin. But that is why you can find articles pointing out how "skinheads" are trying to join the biggest, baddest gang going - the US Military - can try to be "on the side with the big toys" when the "revolution comes".

Plenty to be afraid of. Go find John Robb's work (book and blog) for reasons to fear a return of un-happy vets.

It's racism, pure and simple.
This is absolutely correct.


Do either of you have actual proof of this - should be easy to prove, what with the "black and white" strong language you've both chosen.

Its great that you are sure its not a class issue and not people with no power 'cept to yell at a town hall VS the other side who has the power of forced detention or the power of FAR Bigger guns.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:25 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The only reason Bill Clinton - a man who arguably hails from the same demographic as a lot of these nuts - became the recipient of their special attention was Waco, for one, and the outcome of Ruby Ridge

Bill Clinton served from 1993 to 2001.

Ruby Ridge shootout was 1992.

Just because Pope Guilty and Bardic are busy making claims then reinforcing the other doesn't make them correct.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:31 AM on August 15, 2009


Well, at least we know where you stand.

Yea, I stand with actual data and links. Glad you noticed.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:34 AM on August 15, 2009


GOOGLE RON PAUL
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:36 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bill Clinton served from 1993 to 2001.

Ruby Ridge shootout was 1992.


Hey, did you notice the part where I said the outcome of Ruby Ridge? The settlements having taken place in 1995? No?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:40 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


reversing the last 30 years of conservative campaign against Big Government.

And somehow many of the people who actually VOTE for that 'conservative campaign platform' never seem to notice that no effort exists to deliver on that platform.

Big *whatever* is frought with dangers when the 'too big to fail', well, fails.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:40 AM on August 15, 2009


@troy, it was probably poorly worded, but i meant "the setting up of those death camps seems to be a bipartisan effort", ie, the OMGSOCIALIST!!11! Black Man is walking in the footsteps of the Impecably White Man who sat in his chair before him. Funny how we didn't hear from the loony right about those coffin liners back in 2006.
posted by vivelame at 4:42 AM on August 15, 2009


That's pretty much my point, vivelame. The militia fringe mostly exists as an active thing only when the GOP is feeling Congressionally and Presidentially down and out. It's a way of feeling powerful when they can't have political power.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:46 AM on August 15, 2009


Hey, did you notice the part where I said the outcome of Ruby Ridge?

And did you notice how:
1) The outcome of Ruby Ridge was the dead marshal, Vicky Weaver and Weaver's kid and that happened in 1992.
2) The claim of "militias vanish" is bogus once one looks at actual data.

Do feel free to show how President Clinton was at fault for the 1992 deaths. Blaming Clinton on the events of Ruby Ridge is tying to make the data fit the theory that somehow guys-with-guns-shooting-at-govenment is a only-happens-when-their-is-a-Democrat-in-charge event.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:53 AM on August 15, 2009


Thanks for this. At one of the sites in the post, I found a link to a white supremacist group in my area, looked for it in Wikipedia, and found references to one of its publications in the pages for Rosa Parks and three other civil rights bios.
posted by basilwhite at 4:56 AM on August 15, 2009


Cock rock
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:05 AM on August 15, 2009


Re: mcdonley: Many of these hate sites seem affiliated with the right wing christian movement which has been highly active in recent years in the armed forces.
posted by adamvasco at 5:06 AM on August 15, 2009


Do feel free to show how President Clinton was at fault for the 1992 deaths. Blaming Clinton on the events of Ruby Ridge is tying to make the data fit the theory that somehow guys-with-guns-shooting-at-govenment is a only-happens-when-their-is-a-Democrat-in-charge event.

I never said Clinton was at fault for the 1992 deaths. However, the 1995 settlement and the Feds non-admission of wrongdoing has been cited by militia groups as an example of Why We Hate the Feds. I had no idea this needed pointing out or elaboration. But there you have it. As for the data with regards to who's in the White House when militia groups have most been active, I'd recommend reading the article. Beyond that, I don't know what to tell you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:10 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Funny how we didn't hear from the loony right about those coffin liners back in 2006.

"we" - the Metafilter.com site doesn't "lean" right so such won't "bubble up" to the top.

Alex Jones talked about 'em. 2008 tho.
http://www.infowars.com/a-half-a-million-plastic-coffins/

And the only Democratic Underground post of 2006 links back to:

Back to Enoch Ministries
Back to Enoch Ministries was launched to help people learn how to live holy lives amidst the challenges of the 21st century. We do this through live seminars, media production, and publications emphasizing the importance of a return to God's original plan for us with regard to country living, the laws of health, and a life of victory
(out of the cities project?)


Alex may or may not be your "loony right" and the same goes for a
Ministry site - but just because you didn't hear about it doesn't mean "the right" (or parts thereof) wasn't talking about it. And wasn't making up wild assed guesses.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:12 AM on August 15, 2009


113 black separatist groups in their tally, while we're divvying up.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 5:36 AM on August 15, 2009


However, the 1995 settlement and the Feds non-admission of wrongdoing has been cited by militia groups as an example of Why We Hate the Feds.

*AN* example. The court case notes a tax protester who died in 1983 Gordon Kahl. And I'm sure there are OTHER examples to salve the soul of the wanna-be revolutionary.

A non-admission of guilt is typical in court case settlements. So to blame President Clinton is trying to forge a link because one wants the link to fit the data.

To link to another blue topic this week "if you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"
(hint: like a rolling stone - Dylan song) As the people who will be called "militia" end up with less and less - lashing out with force becomes more of a possibility. Add to that a black swan like a September bank run (being mentioned in some of the darker corners of the 'net) or a simple reduction in oil flow could result in no food on the shelves in stores. And a hungry population won't be a stablizing influence. (and remember - the government told you to store Tuna....so if you go hungry its your fault.)

http://freeinternetpress.com/story.php?sid=17111
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/08/world/fuel-shortages-grow-as-truckers-strike-spreads-in-france.html
http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/biography/radical/churchill-and-the-general-strike
posted by rough ashlar at 5:39 AM on August 15, 2009


Orcinus is an excellent blog that follows right-wing terrorism in America.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:59 AM on August 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


But seriously. Guillotines? Does their credulousness know no bounds? Why is "I heard that..." suddenly becoming proof? What ever happened to "I heard that (x), so I checked to see if it were true?"

Guillotines.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:22 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Let's see...REX 84, Alex Jones, free space, Ron Paul...Yep, if someone brings up David Icke, I'll have a bingo.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:29 AM on August 15, 2009 [8 favorites]


The Militia movement was absolutely a product of the Bush I era. "New World Order" was originally a quote from a HW Bush speech. It was a fall out of the end of the Cold War, where Survivalists, as a culture, needed to find something new to survive in order to keep relevant. As they were a pretty nutty group to start with, it was easy for them to take up with the conspiracy-theory crowd. They became conspiracy theorists who hoarded guns. (Koresh went in another popular direction, he was a millenialist who hoarded guns, he was going to survive apocalypse.) Things got a little nuttier under Clinton, but I suspect they'd be equally nutty under Bush II - if 9/11 didn't happen, and the survivalists had something concrete to survive and be an enemy of again.

What we're seeing now is different - posses are being formed. The president isn't legally entitled to be president (Birfers), and is about to turn the US into Soviet Russia (Socialism) and will force everyone into a healthcare program where they're not allowed to see doctors, and IRS agents get to decide if Granma gets the plug pulled (Death panels.)

This isn't the militia movement, which sought to protect america from the Tri-lateral commission and the UN and Space Reptiles. This is an insurrection that already has its cassus belli arming for war.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:48 AM on August 15, 2009 [12 favorites]


You guys are crazy!
posted by molecicco at 6:50 AM on August 15, 2009


It's funny, they all applauded when President Bush wanted his detention camps. Can't let such a thing go to waste, I guess.

Oooh, can we start a rumor that the detention camps will be completed soon and used, rather than for holding brown people in containment, used as a processing facility to exterminate all white Christians, can we can we? It piggy-backs on what they already believe, but adds in a nice touch of "never have something built which could be turned against you."

Let's make ridiculous tales, paranoia, and terror work for us this time around.
posted by adipocere at 6:54 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was particularly struck by the SPLC's New Hampshire Hate Group the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary .
posted by IndigoJones at 7:03 AM on August 15, 2009


The guillotines thing is really a nice touch. I am almost surprised that it isn't lauded as an example of free market principles. The marginal cost of an execution is zero!
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:12 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


blame President Clinton

That's totally what I did. Well done.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:37 AM on August 15, 2009


'New World Order' was originally a quote from a HW Bush speech.
"The first Western usages of the term surrounded Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points and call for a League of Nations following the devastation of World War I."

posted by kirkaracha at 7:40 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


IndigoJones: I like how the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary site links to an article on the right sidebar about how the SPLC is a actually a fascist brown-shirt organization. I mean, sure SPLC hasn't been without controversy in recent history (related primarily to charges of corruption among its leadership), but come on... The new Nazi strategy is to accuse anti-racist activists of being Nazis?

Anti-fascist is the new fascist.

How ironic--it's starting to seem more and more likely that if existing trends hold, one day in the indefinite future, I may be forced to relocate my family to Germany to escape from Nazis.

socialist dystopia on the order of France or the UK.

Ha! Dystopias. If only we were so lucky to live in such "dystopias."
posted by saulgoodman at 7:45 AM on August 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


2004: Anyone who questions the government is a traitor and should be executed.

2009: The government is evil and wants to kill us.

The worst thing about the radical right is they really do take the rest of us for a bunch of idiots.
posted by UseyurBrain at 7:59 AM on August 15, 2009 [12 favorites]


Worrying but insightful post.

Q. Can anyone tell me why Minutemen groups are allowed to operate in any US state? Do states like CA and AZ allow people to engage in self-help and enforce laws that ought only be enforced by agencies like DHS (or whomever handles immigration now)? If not, why don't state or federal prosecutors go after them?
posted by Azaadistani at 8:04 AM on August 15, 2009


The Militia movement was absolutely a product of the Bush I era. "New World Order" was originally a quote from a HW Bush speech.

I think they got a little bigger then, but they pre date Bush as president. The first time I heard of them, my dad told me about a group of what I think he referred to as "dumbasses" holding military type training in the woods next to where he was working at the time. When arrested they declared themselves to be a militia type group who had a constitutional right to do what they were doing.

You see, at the time dad was working at a nuclear power plant, and the power company, the AEC and others took a dim view of this sort of thing on the property. My point is that this was, at the earliest 1985 and probably few years earlier so it definitely predates the Bush I presidency.
posted by lordrunningclam at 8:09 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seriously, guys, read rough ashlar's link and the comments underneath. From the post I learned about the Georgia Guidestones, which are like this gigantic granite Dr. Bronner's bottle in the middle of a field. From the comments I learned that the claim of a world population of over 6 billion is a lie promulgated by "the Overlords, WHO, the World Bank, the UN, International Corps, the U.S. gov (across the Boarder, kit & caboodle: Feds, Congress, whitehouse, Housing Developers, Bankers, Wall Street, alphabet agencies."
posted by escabeche at 8:16 AM on August 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


My point is that this was, at the earliest 1985 and probably few years earlier so it definitely predates the Bush I presidency.

Coincidence?
posted by FuManchu at 8:22 AM on August 15, 2009


My point is that this was, at the earliest 1985 and probably few years earlier so it definitely predates the Bush I presidency.

Yeah, the Aryan Nations was huge in the 80s, when Bob Mathews was out robbing armored trucks and such. I think the point being made by the SPLC and others is that there's a definite spike in militia recruitment and/or activity in Clinton's time, and since Obama has been elected, with a relatively subdued period during the W years. Naturally militia types distrust and despise the federal government regardless of who's in the White House, but Clinton had (OKC?) and Obama has, by all observable data, managed to become extra special targets of their hatred. In Obama's case I think there's a definite strong motivation of Fear of The Other behind it. I do hope that since Obama seems like a sharp character who's probably pretty aware of the threat, that they're doing what they can to keep tabs on these guys.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:30 AM on August 15, 2009


This random person's blog offers a pretty thorough debunking of at least one of the coffin stories going around (scroll down to the heading 500,000 coffins in Atlanta; there's no anchor or I would have linked to it):
As it turns out, there ARE thousands of coffins stored near Atlanta, GA. Here are the FACTS. The "coffins" are really non-biodegradable plastic coffin liners manufactured by Vantage Products Corporation located in Covington, GA. This company has been around since 1978 and has been manufacturing and selling these coffin liners to individuals for many years. It's a profitable business because most localities require coffin liners to prevent coffin cave-ins, grave disturbances, protect water-supplies, etc. Because of the size of their business and the dimensions of their primary product (the coffin liners), warehousing for surplus and reserved liners (many individuals reserve these liners prior to death) would be cost-prohibitive. Because of this and the fact that their liners are completely non-biodegradable, they realized the most cost-effective solution would be to simply begin storing the liners outside. They leased land from a nearby sand and gravel company located in Madison, GA, and began stacking their surplus and reserved liners on the property. They've been storing liners on the property since 1998, adding and removing liners periodically. In total, they claim to have no more than about 50,000 liners stored on this property at the current time. Not even close to the 500,000 number being thrown around. This is actually a mathematically provable fact. By examining aerial imagery of the property, you can see that there are no more than about 7,700 stacks (19 blocks, 12 rows wide, about 34 in each row). Half of these stacks are the liners (stacked about 16-18 high), the other half are the liner lids (again, stacked about 16-18 high). This can be clearly seen in video shot by conspiracy theorists snooping around the property. So even if those 3,800 stacks of liners were all 18 high, that would still only come out to about 68,000 liners in total. To store 500,000 coffin liners of that size would take an order of magnitude more land than is currently being used.
...

Hopefully putting this rumor to rest, a statement by Michael Lacy, the vice-president of Vantage Products Corporation (poor guys...) –

The property on Lions Club Road in Madison, Georgia is leased by Vantage
Products.

The product stored on the property are standard burial vaults, please see our web page for information on this product - http://www.vantageproducts.com/
posted by saulgoodman at 8:36 AM on August 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


(Interestingly, the debunking above comes from someone who apparently is one of the more rational among a community of end-timers.)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:39 AM on August 15, 2009


How sad is it that someone had to go through the trouble to prove that the Coffin Warehouse for the Bodies of American Dissidents was a myth?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:39 AM on August 15, 2009


These Georgia Guidestones are pretty awesome. Thanks rightwing racist loons for bringing these to my attention!
posted by vivelame at 8:54 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Guillotines.
bees????
rof...l?
posted by camdan at 8:56 AM on August 15, 2009


I love URLs like freeinternetpress.com - saves so much effort. Might as well read dontbotherclickingthisonecrazycrazycrazy.nut.
posted by WPW at 8:57 AM on August 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


I saw reference to that same Coffin Warehouse last year on some left wing blog as proof of the coming institution of martial law to keep Bush/Cheney in power, where it was quickly debunked.
The far right seems to have the ability to suspend disbelief better, which may be self selecting to a degree when considering these are the same people who believe every word of the bible and distrust main stream media and science ( the blog referenced above, SherrieQuestioningAll misattributes MSM as "Main Street Media").

Know you enemy Sherrie.
posted by readery at 9:15 AM on August 15, 2009


Guillotines

It's brilliant as a rallying point, really. So arcane. So violent. So French.
posted by rokusan at 9:25 AM on August 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


the blog referenced above, SherrieQuestioningAll misattributes MSM as "Main Street Media"

What an odd mistake. The news of Main Street sounds positively benign, like "Ol' Hank the barber got himself a new razor strop" or "Penny candy goes up 3 cents". How could they think Main Street would be the source of ZOG WORLD GOVERNMENT LIES?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:27 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can I suggest, completely without evidence or authority, that maybe the reason that these inward-looking hatey-hate militia groups seemed to fade from the public scene during the Bush years isn't political, really?

Seems to me that 'round about Sept 2001, they received a shiny new outward-facing surprise target to hate for awhile (and one that it was much safer to rail against and hate in public) and now that that target has been unsatisfying they're looking back to more familiar hobbies.

Brown's brown, and all that.
posted by rokusan at 9:30 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


SherrieQuestioningAll misattributes MSM as "Main Street Media"
What an odd mistake.


Happens. Too many Sarah Palin rallies.
posted by rokusan at 9:31 AM on August 15, 2009


In all fairness, Sherrie's anti Main Street Media beef is on the opening salvo of her blog where she postulates that we are not hearing enough about the Bilderbergs and New World Order.
And she's right, media whether street or stream is not UPDATING US DAILY ON THE BILDERBERG PLOTS. I had to wikipedia it to learn it's just the new great satan trilateral commission top secret scary bad guy.
posted by readery at 9:45 AM on August 15, 2009


She's also worried about our boarders, which is a sweet way to think of illegal aliens.
posted by readery at 9:46 AM on August 15, 2009 [11 favorites]


I, for one, am appalled by these redneck retarded racists' paranoia, railing against things no decent and intelligent Mefite could possibly quibble with.

If only there were some sort of camp in which we could concentrate them....

Is it fundraising time at the SPLC already?
posted by codswallop at 9:56 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of the Georgia Guildstones, Sherrie writes: The Guidestones are impressive - especially the way they rise out in the middle of nowhere. I do not like or agree with what they say at all!

Me neither! I mean, holy crap, as Sherrie quotes at length, the Guildstones' satanic and cruel recommendations for how humanity should govern its affairs after an apocalyptic event shock the conscience:
"Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
Unite humanity with a living new language.
Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
Balance personal rights with social duties.
Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature."
posted by saulgoodman at 10:00 AM on August 15, 2009


What's going on America?

A dissenting view: interest groups aligned with the party in power tend to see dissent as dangerous dissent, and over-publicize the scariest splinter-groups on the other "side" as a way to control the mainstream. Raising the specter of violent threat is a way to solidify support for the rulers.

Think of the Bush-era scares about radical anti-war protesters, environmental terrorists, voluntary extinction activists. These were used to suppress dissent and to drum up support for using the surveillance apparatus of the state to infiltrate domestic political organizations. The Clinton administration did it too, although of course the villains were different.
posted by grobstein at 10:26 AM on August 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


In re-reading my comment I meat "at the latest..."
posted by lordrunningclam at 10:31 AM on August 15, 2009


Me neither! I mean, holy crap, as Sherrie quotes at length, the Guildstones' satanic and cruel recommendations for how humanity should govern its affairs after an apocalyptic event shock the conscience

Reading the Wired article, it's that first one that set a lot of people off, as maintaining a population of 500,000,000 would mean wiping out the vast majority of the planet. Population control tends to make people edgy. That's about the only obejction I can fairly sympathize with. But things like equating a global tongue with a Satanic reign over the people of the Earth seems, I don't know, off the mark a bit?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:37 AM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Think of the Bush-era scares about radical anti-war protesters, environmental terrorists, voluntary extinction activists. These were used to suppress dissent and to drum up support for using the surveillance apparatus of the state to infiltrate domestic political organizations. The Clinton administration did it too, although of course the villains were different.

Code Pink didn't blow up any Federal Buildings, so I'm gonna go ahead and say that this is a false equivalence.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:54 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Think of the Bush-era scares about radical anti-war protesters, environmental terrorists, voluntary extinction activists

How many violent crimes did the American extreme left actually commit (or attempt) during the Bush era, though?

There may well be examples that I'm just not thinking of, and if so please jog my memory. But if there aren't, that would seem like a key difference.
posted by naoko at 11:02 AM on August 15, 2009


(Pope Guilty, by a nose.)
posted by naoko at 11:03 AM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


wondering about those same 500000 coffin liners lying around in Georgia. This mass execution thingie seems to be a bipartisan effort.

Agreed, and the next person I run across who raises a stink about "FEMA Camps" will get a size 11 in their rear. With all the damn tinfoil lately I swear I'm gonna buy shares in Alcoa.
posted by crapmatic at 11:40 AM on August 15, 2009


What we're seeing now is different - posses are being formed.

Really? Is there proof to this? Or is 'posses' the new word for the old smack talking drinking buddies?

It's funny, they all applauded when President Bush wanted his detention camps.

That's a neat thing - using "they" to paint with a broad brush. Can you point to individual "them"s who commented on the 'detention camps' (or even the 500K plastic coffin liners) as a good plan under Bush II and now are saying its a bad plan?

Let's make ridiculous tales, paranoia, and terror work for us

As you must know some of these - do post the links that back up your claim about what "they" say.

And for 'detention camps' - lets stick to the sites that are supposed to house tens of thousands and at present not housing anyone VS places like Gitmo.

(Glenn Beck comments post Obama here on said matters. I know of no Bush II era comments on the same matter to compare/contrast and if Beck was consistant - it would not prove adipocere position as Beck sounds reasonable in that link.)

It was a fall out of the end of the Cold War, where Survivalists, as a culture, needed to find something new

And that is the 'neat' part of placing labels - are todays 'militia' yesterdays survivalist, who used to be Birchers, who used to be States Righters, who used to be ..... ?

Do keep in mind:

Title 10 U.S.C. 311. Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are -

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

(and Survivalist != militia as one can be interested in their survival and not give a damn about government and your place as if you are really 'surviving' - odds are there is not a functioning government to worry about. The Venn diagrams overlap but the one set isn't the same as another. The 'civilization will collapse' survivalists moved onto Y2K, then peak oil, and now collapse of money. If one waits - perhaps they'll latch unto pandemic or nuke war if the Middle East gets "hotter".)

Can anyone tell me why Minutemen groups are allowed to operate in any US state?

I'd hazard the guess that, because gun ownership is not a crime and talking about shooting 'people in general' is "usually" considered talk, not a conspiracy to commit a crime.

Imagine the outrage of a group of people talking about killing others who'd get locked up over (insert 1st person shooter) on (platform) if talk and being in a group was all that had to be met?

From the post I learned about the Georgia Guidestones, which are like this gigantic granite Dr. Bronner's bottle

You say it like its a bad thing *wink*

I just posted the link because it was a set of pictures with a narrative.
Either the pictures are real or not. (and from the pictures shown there is not 1/2 a million)
Then one has to decide if the narrative is correct or not.

Rather than call the pictures BS I note the response is to ignore them and instead post 'GOOGLE RON PAUL'.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:00 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sure, there are lots of factors and triggers at work, but this can all be boiled down to the usual suspects:

Race and class.

Stating the obvious, yes, Southern prosperity of 150 years ago was built on racial subjugation; when the Old South was violently destroyed, there followed not only economic dislocation but moral stain. So poverty, shame, and rage at that shame were brewed into resentment.

With the advent of World War I and the motion picture industry, the sense of regional difference ebbed; with World War II and the success of Pax Americana, those regional faultlines were even more completely covered over.

Vietnam, though, with its sharp racial, educational, and economic distinctions (with poor and lower middle-class whites, as well as blacks, being drafted, while upper-middle class whites got deferments) -- and its regional distinctions, between the at least notional legacy of Southern Scots-Irish warrior culture, and the craven, lily-livered, parasitic, unwilling-to-die for-America cowards of the rest of the country-- exposed those old fissures.

And that ideal of Scots-Irish warrior culture stopped being specifically Scots-Irish, and stopped being specifically Southern, but instead became class-based. At this point, the economic fears of the 70s combined with the anger over the Vietnam Debate (Serve or Dodge? Fight or Abandon?) to create the foundation of a movement. And the seeming failures of the Great Society and the War on Poverty (both of which, of course, were actually pretty successful, when you look at the numbers-- but that's irrelevant), along with heavy-handed experiences like the forced busing in Massachusetts, helped to create a new bogeyman: The Liberal Egghead Government Do-Gooder Elitist Who Says He Knows Better Than Us But Really Just Wants to Push Us Around.

Then, of course, the despair of the mid and late 70s began to fuel a Christian Revival. This sense of Christian Revival now combined with the Red-Blooded Common Man Vs. The Arrogant Elitist narrative to create a new, energized segment of the American right-wing; and the success of Reagan created a sense, for this segment, of destiny, made manifest.

The transition from Reagan to Bush I, however, began to alienate the most segments within that segment: It alienated the most extremely Christian millenarian, and the most extremely anti-government. Bush I, on an instinctive level, seemed to embody the elitist stereotype-- a rich, patrician Yalie with a nasal voice and awkward manner, with connections to equally rich, patrician, educated folks all over the globe. He compensated by bragging of eating pig skin, Kickin' Ass, and invading small countries, but the most extreme segments didn't find him all that persuasive, and the backwoods, back-to-the-land survivalists (influenced not a little, if indirectly, by the hippie romanticization of the bucolic lifestyle) were born.

Since the American manufacturing base had been gutted, and jobs had gone overseas, and we were plainly dependent on oil from elsewhere-- yet we were still the most militarily powerful country on Earth (except for the Soviets, who could overrun us at any time!!!, and the fact that we weren't stocking up on more weapons was proof that Someone was controlling our government), but in spite of all this military power, our government wasn't DOING SOMETHING about economic dislocation and that sense of national decline... meant that Big Government was not being operated for the common man's benefit. In fact, since it wasn't being operated for his benefit... it was plainly being operated for the purpose of his enslavement and destruction.

Then came Ruby Ridge and Waco. Clinton wasn't president during Ruby Ridge, but that didn't matter-- his election contributed to the sense that Big Government, specifically, Big Government that wants to take from you and your kin and give to those undeserving minorities, was so all-pervasive, unreasoning, arbitrary, and out of control that it would now come to your house and kill you, just to make an example of you and make sure you fattened Caesar's purse. Soon, very soon, Black Helicopters full of Black Panthers would come from the Hidden Imperial Bases of the Global UN to shoot your family and/or make you join a union, abort your children, and swear fealty to the Anti-Christ.

All this culminated in OKC, which softened support for this kind of thinking; then, as rokusan noted, 9/11 channeled this group's sense of grievance in another direction.

Now, of course, the economy is again a mess-- and now in control of Big Government, there's a Black Man backed by International Cosmopolitan Globalist Socialist George Soros and a Kenyan army of blood-linked Muslim birth certificate forgers paid by ACORN that is... etc., etc.

At any rate, barring far more severe economic dislocation than we've seen so far, the Birther Right seems like a last-gasp movement-- the final, concentrated, and most completely absurd form of the Southern Strategy. (In its institutional, GOP-backed form, anyway-- the most disaffected segment of the Right will no doubt persist as a subculture, because once you've made a lifestyle out of stocking up on gold, guns, and beef jerky, there's no reason to declare surrender and call it quits, just because some suit in DC says that corporations are donating to the right causes again.)
posted by darth_tedious at 12:02 PM on August 15, 2009 [12 favorites]


rough ashlar, you didn't see the comment that explained the presence of the coffin liners?
posted by billysumday at 12:03 PM on August 15, 2009


You know what, rough ashlar? I was too nice. I should have written that comment in the defensive, mocking tone that you've employed throughout this thread.

Rather than call the pictures BS I note the response is to ignore them and instead post 'GOOGLE RON PAUL'.

Rather than read the comment which explains the presence of the coffin liners, I note the response is to ignore it and instead attack a strawman.

Ha! That was fun.
posted by billysumday at 12:09 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


At any rate, barring far more severe economic dislocation than we've seen so far, the Birther Right seems like a last-gasp movement-- the final, concentrated, and most completely absurd form of the Southern Strategy. (In its institutional, GOP-backed form, anyway-- the most disaffected segment of the Right will no doubt persist as a subculture, because once you've made a lifestyle out of stocking up on gold, guns, and beef jerky, there's no reason to declare surrender and call it quits, just because some suit in DC says that corporations are donating to the right causes again.)

I'd like to believe this, but I'm curious how you come to the conclusion we've reached what seems like a "last gasp movement". Is this your intuitive impression? Because to be fair, I base my belief that we've still a long ways to go partly on intuition, and partly on the fact that Obama's only been president for a few months now, and certainly there are more wild theories about him and wilder groups to come who see him as an emblem for all that must be destroyed.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:21 PM on August 15, 2009


WPW, actually, .nut could be a handy new top level domain.
posted by Harald74 at 12:25 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


How many violent crimes did the American extreme left actually commit (or attempt) during the Bush era, though? There may well be examples that I'm just not thinking of

Earth Liberation Front and the burning of cars/condos comes to my mind, but they might not be 'radical', 'left' or the destruction property might not be 'violent' like the sniper killings of female reproductive healthcare doctors.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:30 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I did think about ELF, and I think it's fair enough to call them radical left. But they don't kill people, and it's an explicitly stated part of their mission NOT to inflict harm on people (just property).
posted by naoko at 12:43 PM on August 15, 2009


Man there are some serious false equivalencies going on up in here.
posted by billysumday at 12:44 PM on August 15, 2009


rough ashlar, you didn't see the comment that explained the presence of the coffin liners?

No, I did not. I don't preview as a habit. I started the post then went and did other things and came back and hit send.

Looking at one of the pics from the Sherri link
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xnuJc4cwdz4/SoSI3ZcBYQI/AAAAAAAAADw/uqYZf_pIURQ/s1600-h/georgia+guidestones+014.jpg
I count more than 34 long - but really, who cares......planning for a pandemic and removing the bodies *IS* what FEMA's supposed to be doing....right? Imagine FEMA reacting to the bodies floating in New Orleans with a plan to store/bury 'em!

And you'll note that the glenn beck link also attacks the 1/2 a million number.

(my memory had talk about a memo or purchase order with a 1/2 million claim - but my memory and unwillingness to listen to hours of Alex Jones/call into/contact Alex to request where the 1/2 million comes from means I'm not going to go dig'n for it - if such even exists. Odds are he'd launch into all about how the railroad cars have shackles - and I really don't want to hear all about that.)

I'd like to believe this, but I'm curious how you come to the conclusion we've reached what seems like a "last gasp movement".

Yup. After this, they'll start chest thumping over the IL state bar paperwork and
posted by rough ashlar at 12:51 PM on August 15, 2009


It is true that resistance on the left has typically gone out of its way not to kill people. Not always, but typically. Woo hoo. Bully for the left. The right on the other hand thinks its more honest because it likes to kill people and feels comfortable putting the term "violent" in air-quotes.

The extremists on both sides are still prats tramping all over the flower beds of those of us just trying to take Voltaire's advice and tend our own gardens.

(I mean, shouldn't grown adults have better things to do than to go skulking around industrial yards with video cameras, fearfully turning their lenses on whatever images they can find to take completely out of context and construct child-like conspiracy fantasies around without even bothering to do anything as basic as public records checks or to call the owners of the lot on the phone--I mean, shit, seriously: I used to do exactly this kind of thing. When I was 9--10 years old. Sneaking around a neighborhood at random looking for evidence of nefarious plots is child's play, literally.

As for the Guidestones thing, my understanding (as gleaned from cable TV features on the thing) is that all that anyone knows is that the Guidestones were reputedly built to offer guidance for the human race in the aftermath of a large-scale catastrophic event: A naturally occurring or man-made event of the everyday, non-manufactured to establish a NWO variety.

Presumably, after such an event the challenge would be to get the population back up to 500,000,000 before there'd have to be any killings. If humans could even exercise the tiniest amount of collective self-restraint, I'm sure a compromise could be reached with the remaining right-wingers to maintain those population levels through abstinence and contraceptives, if they'd at least allow the world to retain the use of those.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:55 PM on August 15, 2009


David Vitter hopes stirring up teabaggers with extremist rhetoric will make everyone forget those diapers
posted by homunculus at 1:05 PM on August 15, 2009


I love URLs like freeinternetpress.com - saves so much effort.

Oh look. The same information from a different messenger.

Factories close, supermarkets empty and jets run out of fuel as truckers' strike bites

Strike action by thousands of Spanish and Portuguese truckers produced ominous knock-on effects on food supplies, aviation and industry yesterday, as Lisbon airport ran out of fuel, car factories shut down and petrol stations and supermarkets reported shortages.
In a worrying sign for other European countries that face rising discontent at the spiralling cost of diesel, a third day of strikes generated widespread mayhem and the mood turned ugly after the first casualties of the standoff: two strikers died in clashes on picket lines.


Now, what happens if oil shipments out of the middle east drop suddenly to the US supply chain...and who'll be doing the blaming of whom?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:06 PM on August 15, 2009


Yeah, I did think about ELF, and I think it's fair enough to call them radical left. But they don't kill people, and it's an explicitly stated part of their mission NOT to inflict harm on people (just property).

Fair enough - with the constraint of human death, I can't think of a "radical left" "violent crime" - but I don't listen to Rush who I'd guess would take such an issue and have it the talking point for a long time. I can't remember to be snappy enough to quote the #3 guy in the Bush Administration who called the US an Empire to shut down a fox-listening-liberals suck rant.....How the hell am I supposed to keep track of ALL the data points for some Metafilter post tangental to the topic 3-10 years after whatever happened?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:15 PM on August 15, 2009


As this is meant as advice to be taken post-apocalypse, I read the first guide as suggesting not to allow population to grow past 500,000,000 again; this isn't a guide for how much to trim the world population today.

Also, thanks to Sherrie's third commenter for:

Metafilter: this life of surfdom.
posted by jaruwaan at 1:17 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


all you need is a bunch of people prepared to believe wild claims without evidence and a few other people to make wild claims without evidence. what do you have? no, not a religion (well, yes, that) but a political movement!

most of us in the rest of the world think of americans as a fairly credulous people. the religiosity isn't so much a cause as a consequence. same goes for the political insanity. same goes for the tremedous influence of people like oprah winfrey, deepak chopra and jenny mccarthy. at some point the villification of critical thinking comes home to roost.
posted by klanawa at 1:17 PM on August 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


In a way, this is kind of sad :( Think about it, if these conspiracy theories aren't true - if the gov't isn't really out to get John Q. Survivalist - then these guys are just poor, ignorant, gun-nut, irrelevant and inconsequential morons.

BUT

if Obama's really out to get them, then they're heroes! Patriots at the vanguard of our last line of defense, or whatever! Saving the princess from Bowser, or some shit!

So see, this is all just one big cry for help... these groups need a big hug, not nastygrams from mean ol' SPLC.
posted by R_Nebblesworth at 1:20 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


~ Presumably, after such an event the challenge would be to get the population back up to 500,000,000 before there'd have to be any killings. If humans could even exercise the tiniest amount of collective self-restraint, I'm sure a compromise could be reached with the remaining right-wingers to maintain those population levels through abstinence and contraceptives, if they'd at least allow the world to retain the use of those.

~ As this is meant as advice to be taken post-apocalypse, I read the first guide as suggesting not to allow population to grow past 500,000,000 again; this isn't a guide for how much to trim the world population today.


Ah, that makes more sense. Hadn't thought of it that way.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:21 PM on August 15, 2009


> I'd like to believe this, but I'm curious how you come to the conclusion we've reached what seems like a "last gasp movement".

Wishful thinking.

But here's another way of looking at it. Racial grievance is really tribal grievance, which is a combination of resource dispute and the ability to distinguish groups that behave differently in relation to that dispute. The Birther/Militia corner's growth is promoting itself aggressively and expanding quickly in the confidence that the economy will remain weak, and that therefore more and more disaffected folk (Volk?) from the center will eventually join them. When/if the economy turns around, that confidence will disappear, and the movement will consolidate, sharpen its ranks, and probably marginalize itself further. This corner of the Right doesn't have much room to grow; it can, however, grow more fervent, which is a genuine danger.

Still, I think that the debacle that was Dubya has had a real chastening influence; were anything like the present situation to have occurred before the presidency of George W. Bush, I think things would be approaching real violence and unrest at a much faster pace. (It's also true, of course, that the present situation-- and specifically, Obama in the White House-- wouldn't be possible without the massive failure of W.; without that, there probably wouldn't have been a reasonable shot for an African-American politician for at least 16 or 20 years.)

Also, there's a generational element to the racial animus-- the American polity will no doubt find some new tribal line to split over in the next ten to thirty years (Who Sold Us Out to the Chinese?!!!), but I suspect race, for the political center, will become less and less important.

The Right is taking the niche marketing approach, radicalizing and energizing itself but at the expense of popular reach.

That said, the worrisome element is that Obama is such a convenient focal point; Clinton was personally hated, but he was personally hated as the vanguard and enabler and stalking horse of an idea... and Obama pretty much is that idea.
posted by darth_tedious at 1:26 PM on August 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


i think people are misunderstanding some things - although obama being president has been a real goad to the increase in the extreme right wing and although the mainstream republican party has been increasingly friendly to these people, the truth is that when bush 2 was president, many of these groups were going on about how he was part of the world conspiracy and started 9/11 and all that happy bullshit

i don't see the republican embrace of some of these elements as anything but a deeply cynical ploy to keep a political base, any political base - and i think they do not realize that they are playing with fire - that, if my reading of political history is correct, the extremists tend to be much harsher and dangerous towards those who claim to be their "allies" than they are towards the people who are their enemies

what worries me isn't that the mainstream conservatives are trying to control and persuade the extreme right - what worries me is that they think they're controllable and persuadable - they're going to find out that the militia groups aren't on their side at all ...

people aren't desperate enough for this to be a true mass movement - yet
posted by pyramid termite at 1:55 PM on August 15, 2009


Rough ashlar, it's just interesting to see where people are getting their information from, is all. I remember the drivers' strikes, it was big news here in Europe, mostly minus the apocalyptic slant.
posted by WPW at 1:56 PM on August 15, 2009


if the gov't isn't really out to get John Q. Survivalist....if Obama's really out to get them

While you can find some who think it the Big O as the problem, you'll find plenty the Militia-branded who think the things been off the rails for a long time.....and the O man is just the latest in the line. Same with the survivalists. For people looking for a quick, easy answers I fear someone will get to be the next Samuel Byck.

Survivalists are more inclusive. Some are WAY off in the 'gonna stay safe from the alien invasion' to more mundane civilization will collapse for reason X. X can be government, but can also be corporations, various religions - in short - any way that would collapse the 1st world society readers of MEtafilter know. Government doesn't HAVE to bring about the end of civilization ya know......

(and for the end of the world that no survivalists will live thru I present:
2009/08/22 : The Sun will be hit by a long dead dwarf star. It has been named Hellion-1957. At least that will be proven/disproven in a week. You might want to buy some sunscreen just in case *wink*)
posted by rough ashlar at 2:38 PM on August 15, 2009


i don't see the republican embrace of some of these elements as anything but a deeply cynical ploy to keep a political base, any political base - and i think they do not realize that they are playing with fire - that, if my reading of political history is correct, the extremists tend to be much harsher and dangerous towards those who claim to be their "allies" than they are towards the people who are their enemies

Look no further than Hitler on this one. A large part of his rise to power was made possible by various "respectable" right wing interests who cynically saw the value in his populism. The intention was use him for a while, then get rid of him. But Hitler was no idiot. He got rid of them first.
posted by philip-random at 2:41 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


the truth is that when bush 2 was president, many of these groups were going on about how he was part of the world conspiracy

Yes. +1.

It goes back father than that - Bush 1 with the 'new world order' speech + Granddads WWII record, various 'continuation of government' documents, a 1960's law that the US was going to try for world peace by outlawing nukes and guns, accusations that Rosevelt sold out to Stalin, that the Fed Reserve was a plot, that ....

You can pick any point and find someone grumbling for some reason. Cherry pick and they are all part of some grand plan. (VS a series of 'how do I benefit' plans of small greedy men) Most of the ones who've stuck around have a general complaint, then frame based on that complaint. If one 'doesn't like government screw ups' - given the size and range of talent in 'government' - you should have SOMETHING to use as grist for the mill weekly....

The best one can do is track one of the talking heads of the "movement", see if their basic rant has changed and try an noodle out who taught them.

they're going to find out that the militia groups aren't on their side at all ...

At the point where one thinks you have a chance to stand up to the tanks/APCs/remote controlled war-bots you've already lost touch with reality.

Besides, militia groups that actually TRY do do something beyond talking and beer drinking will bring about the oppression they seem to be concerned about - to keep the childern safe....Americans seem to be willing to do most anything to keep the childern safe. (Cept lock 'em in a safe - that's considered bad form.)
posted by rough ashlar at 3:01 PM on August 15, 2009


That's right, minorities- it's not institutional racism, police abuse, and the prison system we should be afraid of. It's Timothy McVeigh and some fat camo-clad hicks with flashlights on their rifles.
posted by hamida2242 at 4:22 PM on August 15, 2009


The bullying demi-racism displayed by health care protesters has made me wonder if America's failure to adopt a single-payer method of health care, either federally or by individual state actions, has to do with these same racial fault lines. It seems as if other countries with such health care are either largely ethnically homogenous, or were when they instituted their health plans. But a majority of Americans are hard to convince about expanded health care coverage for the poor, because the poor are easily labeled a THEM. Irish, Italian, black, Hispanic -- there's always been some group of racial Others to personify lazy, shiftless poverty in the American twentieth century. And so we have arrived here, when sign-carriers call for death to a sitting president because, ostensibly, of health care reform.

I'm sure this isn't an original thought of mine but if I read it, I don't know where. This thread has reminded me, as threads do, of my favorite musical:

There's another national anthem, folks,
For those who never win,
For the suckers, for the pikers,
For the ones who might have been...

posted by Countess Elena at 4:30 PM on August 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


None of this will matter as soon as 2012 comes around, anyway.
posted by Kloryne at 7:06 PM on August 15, 2009


The Sun will be hit by a long dead dwarf star. It has been named Hellion-1957.

I loved the 1957 Hellion. The tail-fins, the chrome. Heck of a ride.
posted by rokusan at 7:38 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lentrohamsanin said: Let's see...REX 84, Alex Jones, free space, Ron Paul...Yep, if someone brings up David Icke, I'll have a bingo.

Well, sure: I can work that in. Ok see...here's the thing. The government has all these Rex 84 camps, right? And swine flu is sweeping the world, because Ron Paul secretly injected Alex Jones before Mr. Jones went on his world-wide "We're All Going to Die" tour. But, what Ron Paul didn't know, that David Icke did, is that Alex Jones is actually the descendant of an unholy alliance between A Grey and A Lizard People. Alex was first offered up to the Unholy One, Lord of the Free Market, Bearer of Interest Bonds, as a sacrifice, on the altar at the Bilderburg Retreat, while the legions of Lizard People anointed him with the sacred petroleum oil.

David Icke, being of course the worlds foremost experts on Lizard People, has been tracking the trajectory of Alex Jones career as the spokesperson for the "Get yer gun Ethel, they ain't from around here" crowd with interest, as David thinks that Alex is a prototype, which if successful means future breeding programs between the lizards and the aliens, which will obviously force all the "real" humans into death camps where they will be ground into lizard food...after the aliens drain their precious bodily fluids to run their time machines. Naturally.

There. A Conspiratorial Unified Theory. We're all going to die. Or be used as spaceship fuel. Or both. Either way, it's the way Ron Paul would have wanted it.
posted by dejah420 at 11:00 PM on August 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Global fascism update.
posted by hortense at 12:38 AM on August 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


2009 Summer of Hate
posted by adamvasco at 1:22 PM on August 16, 2009


From what I've tasted of this fpp, I hold with those who favor *wink*.
posted by ~ at 10:06 AM on August 17, 2009


Alex Jones is actually the descendant of an unholy alliance between A Grey and A Lizard People. Alex was first offered up to the Unholy One, Lord of the Free Market, Bearer of Interest Bonds, as a sacrifice, on the altar at the Bilderburg Retreat, while the legions of Lizard People anointed him with the sacred petroleum oil.

Having once met Alex Jones, I can wholly confirm this portion of your postulate. What you've missed is that he was not delivered unto us via stork, but rather via black helicopter.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:12 AM on August 17, 2009


Twelve Carry Guns -- Including Assault Rifle -- Outside Obama Event
posted by homunculus at 3:33 PM on August 17, 2009


Twelve Carry Guns -- Including Assault Rifle -- Outside Obama Event

"Two police officers kept close by. Carrying guns, including the AR-15 assault rifle, is legal under Arizona law."
posted by vorfeed at 3:51 PM on August 17, 2009


This is one of the major reasons I don't like uneducated people.
posted by kldickson at 8:29 PM on August 17, 2009


When 1st and 2nd Amendment Conflict: Protests, Guns and Double Standards
posted by homunculus at 6:35 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


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