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The FBI has informed all 50 governors that they will receive the letter.
April 4, 2010 8:07 AM   Subscribe

More than 30 governors have received threatening letters from an anti-government group calling itself Guardians of the Free Republics. The letters warn the governors to leave office within three days or be forcibly removed.

The FPP text is from the NPR link.
Who are the Guardians of the Free Republics? (Salon)
posted by 445supermag (166 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Civil War II is going to be awesome. Because this time we'll just say "No slaves? Great. Don't the door hit your ass."
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:13 AM on April 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


So just to make it clear, these are militia, but not terrorists. Heavens no.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:21 AM on April 4, 2010 [34 favorites]


The only thing I worry about a Freeper Nation is the Teabaggers' carbon footprint. Although hopefully their wasteful ways, and the fact that wanton drilling brings little returns, will drive up the price of gas so much they'll cut back anyway.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:21 AM on April 4, 2010


who could have predicted this rise in right wing terror

oh wait it was everyone everyone predicted it

These guys really love the phrase "de jure" don't they? Is that a dog whistle for something?
posted by synaesthetichaze at 8:23 AM on April 4, 2010


These guys have the right idea. I just sent letters to all 50 governors saying that they need to listen to me and do whatever I want or else. I gave them 3 days to comply. Your move, governors!
posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 8:23 AM on April 4, 2010 [18 favorites]


Yeah, here in Vermont this story was all over the news a couple of days ago. They stepped up security for the governor.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but threatening people to try and get your way - not cool.
posted by garnetgirl at 8:25 AM on April 4, 2010


SURRENDER DOROTHY
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on April 4, 2010 [48 favorites]


These guys have the right idea. I just sent letters to all 50 governors saying that they need to listen to me and do whatever I want or else. I gave them 3 days to comply. Your move, governors!
posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 1:23 AM on 4/5
[+] [!]

Eponydifficult-to-read
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:25 AM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


For some reason they seem to think it's only democracy when they win.
posted by ardgedee at 8:30 AM on April 4, 2010 [82 favorites]


they need to listen to me and do whatever I want or else.

It probably won't work without the military on your side, from their website:
To be clear, this is not a typical patriot “remedy.” The four step Restore America Plan was proposed by high-ranking members of the military who are tired of taking orders from a corporate CEO, and who recognize the People as the last chance to avoid a third world war.
posted by 445supermag at 8:31 AM on April 4, 2010


who could have predicted this rise in right wing terror

Seems like just a year ago...
posted by Tenuki at 8:32 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


They appear to at least have had the wherewithal to log into Wikipedia and write their own "Ideology" section.

Since it'll probably be edited soon:

"The group is a pro-government group seeking to restore constitutional and lawful government in the United States of America. The group is pro-constitutional government. Governors of all 50 States received Grand Jury indictments demanding they obey Constitutional law. On their website, the Guardians of the Free Republics calls for a "Restore America Plan" that includes a "bold achievable strategy for behind-the-scenes peaceful reconstruction of the de jure institutions of government without controversy, violence or civil war." The group advocates for the end of "tax prosecutions for resisting the transfer of private wealth to foreign banking cartels" and issuing "orders to the military and police powers to enforce the Peoples’ lawful demands that public servants obey the law. On April 2, 2010 FBI Investigating the Grand Jury Indictments of Governors interviewed Sam Kennedy the leader of the group who emphasized the lawful procedure and non violence of the group. The Guardian of the Free Republics say that they want to accomplish their goals "BEHIND THE SCENES, lawfully, peacefully, without violence and without risking civil war." A section of their website titled "Rationale" lays out the ideas behind the group’s goal to “restore Constitutional law” The group believes its plan can act as a “vehicle for relieving corporate tyranny.”"

I would add [citation needed].
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:34 AM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Their "Restore America" plan sounds like a libertarian high-schoolers' blog that a Marxist peed in.

Also, "End the perverse act of requiring the People to pray to “courts” as is now required under corporate rules and traditions."

You lost me...what are they on about? Anyone grok this?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:38 AM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


From the Christian Science Monitor link:

"Everything is going to be orderly and no one is going to be harmed in this movement," Guardians member Billy Ray Hall told the Los Angeles Times. "It's going to be really good. There's going to be funds enough for everybody."

I don't know why, but this made me laugh really, really hard. I think it's the foolish, naive optimism about wealth redistribution combined with the bad grammar and the country singer name.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:43 AM on April 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


Even though the government is using arcane legal maneuvers to undermine the constitution by implementing martial-law in the nations courtrooms, at least they have the decency to ensure gold fringe is on the flags. After all, no one - not even a shadowy pseudo-government - is above the laws heraldry.
posted by vorpal bunny at 8:44 AM on April 4, 2010 [16 favorites]


You lost me...what are they on about? Anyone grok this?

I think this is a reference to the fact that it is traditional to title the part of a court filing where the filer actually says what he or she wants the court to do the "prayer for relief." Of course, this dates back to the English common law and the word 'prayer' is used only in the sense of 'asking earnestly,' not the religious sense.
posted by jedicus at 8:47 AM on April 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Also, "End the perverse act of requiring the People to pray to “courts” as is now required under corporate rules and traditions."

You lost me...what are they on about? Anyone grok this?


I think it refers to the fact that in many US states (my home state of Georgia), in the papers filing a civil lawsuit, the part where you ask for what you want comes under the heading "Prayer for relief." That threw me the first time I saw it.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:48 AM on April 4, 2010


Please warn of links to Malkin. I hate when I get that kind froth on me.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 8:49 AM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ah, thanks jedicus & deadmessenger.

Clearly this is an injustice that needs swift remediation.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:51 AM on April 4, 2010


If not for the incoherency of their argument, it would make no sense at all.
posted by tommasz at 8:57 AM on April 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


So just to make it clear, these are militia, but not terrorists. Heavens no.

On Meet the Press this morning, they referred to it at least a few times as terrorism. Finally.
posted by sallybrown at 8:59 AM on April 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


When extra-solar planets become accessible for colonization, there will be some fun worlds revving up out there.
posted by longsleeves at 9:00 AM on April 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


Wait, technically isn't the governor of a state the commander of that state's national guard? They should just write back all, "LOL MY MILITIA'S BIGGER".

(This is why I will never be governor of anything.)
posted by Comrade_robot at 9:03 AM on April 4, 2010 [15 favorites]


After all, no one - not even a shadowy pseudo-government - is above the laws heraldry.
posted by vorpal bunny


Just like if you're a super-villain you have try to kill James Bond in some elaborate, yet un-monitored fashion, grand conspiracies have to leave a set clues in plain sight (and in Dan Brown's world, each leading to another).
posted by 445supermag at 9:03 AM on April 4, 2010


Deer right wing nut-jobs,

Keep fucking that chicken!

Yours,
Liberals trying to convince independents that the right is crazy.
posted by Mick at 9:04 AM on April 4, 2010 [25 favorites]


Why 1933? Well, funny you should ask-- I just read an article in an old binder of Time magazines about this...
January 30, 1933

". . . Whereas, there has grown up in the Eastern States a financial oligarchy, with Wall Street as the center of the Union; and

"Whereas, Wall Street interests are now seeking to obtain absolute control of the balance of the Union; therefore

"Be it resolved, that the remaining 39 States secede from the Union, carrying with us the Star-Spangled Banner and leaving them the Stripes which they richly deserve."

North Dakota's 48 State Senators meeting in a Bismarck auditorium- rose and cheered deaf 83-year-old Senator William Martin last week when for the first time since the Civil War Secession was publicly proposed in a State Legislature.
posted by shii at 9:07 AM on April 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


So their Restore America Plan is just a bunch of libertarian dismantle the government type stuff (get rid of taxes, banks, birth certificates, the DMV, etc.) that seems like a good idea to libertarian types until they actually have to live somewhere with no government services. But their Rationale section is a lot crazier:

Could we reasonably expect to restore Biblical law to a devoutly secular population that cherishes television, promiscuity, physical debasement and electronic devices with religious fervor, and that suffers the warped belief that advertisements for personal hygiene products and Viagra in our homes does not debase our children?

WAKE UP SHEEPLE, TAMPON COMMERCIALS ARE DESTROYING AMERICA!
posted by burnmp3s at 9:07 AM on April 4, 2010 [26 favorites]


It's all that dadgum VAGINA talk.
posted by sallybrown at 9:11 AM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


A list of goals on the Texas-based Guardians group's Web site includes the end of "tax prosecutions for resisting the transfer of private wealth to foreign banking cartels such as I.R.S. (former Puerto Rico Bureau of Taxation)"

Apparently the IRS is the Federal equivalent of the Sheinhardt Wig Co.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:12 AM on April 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


foreign banking cartels such as I.R.S. (former Puerto Rico Bureau of Taxation)
I'd hate to be the militia lackey that has to explain to their leader that PR is actually part of the US.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:16 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


You remember those Nerf basketball hoops that you could hang on your bedroom or closet door? I had one of those back in elementary school. One day, my neighbor Aaron was over, and my older sister decided to "ref" us in a game of one-on-one, offering a Tootsie Roll Pop to the winner.

Aaron and I were both tall, even for our ages, but I was very skinny and he....wasn't. He bullied his way through me time and time again, just shoving me aside constantly. Naturally, I wound up losing and Aaron got the Tootsie Roll Pop.

It's the only time I can recall really losing my shit about getting defeated at something. I cried, screamed, threw stuff. You'd have thought Gregg Popovich was coaching me from the sidelines. I don't know if it was low blood sugar or adrenaline or what, but I really gave it my best. I'm actually still kind of embarrassed thinking about it today, some 20-odd years later.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I see that George Nigh was Governor of Oklahoma in the early 80's, and it appears he's still alive.

Mr. Nigh, I want my fucking Tootsie Roll Pop.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:17 AM on April 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Private web site under non-corporate venue. This seal conveys immunity from public scrutiny, discretion, regulation or trespass. Trespassers beware. Co-claimant fee applies to impairment. By using this site agree to the Terms of this site.
posted by fixedgear at 9:21 AM on April 4, 2010


"...a Texas talk-show host.."


:O
posted by fire&wings at 9:23 AM on April 4, 2010


Serious question...

Who, on the right, is respected enough by the right-wing nutjobs to get them to calm down and reduce the likelyhood of civil war? Rush? Malkin? Coulter? O'Reilly? Beck? A combination of all/some of them?
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 9:26 AM on April 4, 2010


Their web-hosting company is pretty great, too.
posted by fixedgear at 9:27 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is pure Posse Comitatus pseudo-legalism. Nearly all of this nonsense can be traced back to Wiliiam Potter Gale, originator of the Posse, inventor of Christian Identity, unorganized militias, "common law constitutionalism," etc. ad nauseum.

Best work on this guy is Danny Levitas' The Terrorist Next Door.

What isn't covered by Levitas can be found in Lenny Zeskind'sbook Blood And Politics.

This new excrescence is particularly hilarious given that the FBI just released a national bulletin to law enforcement saying there weren't going to be any copycat follow-ons to the Hutaree incident. About par with the Homeland Security amateurs getting it wrong last year.

The period around Easter is frequently accompanied by a flush of Christian Patriot activity. This probably has roots with the emphasis placed on Easter by the Identity followers. This is particularly true of the years following national elections, so next Spring will likely be worse that what we are seeing now. The explanation is that the political buildup for elections creates an atmosphere of perceived permission for violent criminals to act out their fantasy life and try to make a real rebellion out of all the hot talk coming from the political margins.

Incidents of political violence by the extreme right will continue until there is public recognition that things are out of control. Last cycle it took the Oklahoma City bombing as a wake up call.

In the mean time, watch this all get explained away as isolated incidents.

It's going to require direct confrontation to get the extreme right to back down. Until that happens, things will continue to unravel. Each cycle has been a little different, but there's been a roughly ten-year cycle to this for about a hundred years. There were brief interruptions such as WWII and the post 9/11 wars, but the cycle seems to be pretty durable and coming from the same mythos.

What's different about this turn in the barrel is that instead of leaking in from the margins, it's being promoted from the center by Fox News, Sarah Palin, etc. So it's bigger, wider and slightly more detached from its roots among hard core anti-Semites and white nationalist extremists.

@ swimming naked: Sorry, wrong question. The violent actors don't rely on the more mainstream right. In fact they are pretty uniform in condemning them as weak sisters. The terrorists can't be dissuaded; it requires opposition and confrontation. Better look to the left, not the right.
posted by warbaby at 9:32 AM on April 4, 2010 [48 favorites]


This country's big enough for a lotta crazies.
posted by klangklangston at 9:32 AM on April 4, 2010


Who, on the right, is respected enough by the right-wing nutjobs to get them to calm down and reduce the likelyhood of civil war?

A right-wing version of John Lennon? Just a few minor changes really:

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's there's no evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money a gold standard
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
Ah

ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change save the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao Doctor Paul
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow at all
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
posted by 445supermag at 9:38 AM on April 4, 2010 [10 favorites]


The Guardian of the Free Republics say that they want to accomplish their goals "BEHIND THE SCENES, lawfully, peacefully, without violence and without risking civil war."

I could be wrong, but I think this is what we do when we vote. Everything, except that "BEHIND THE SCENES" part, and I personally think voting is better than their attempt to change things, because voting is transparent (to a degree - you won't know your neighbor voted for/against Obama, except for that bumper sticker). That's the beauty of living in a democratic nation.

This is why I will never be governor of anything.

Or THE GREATEST GOVERNOR EVER. It's always a possibility.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:39 AM on April 4, 2010


Why can't these ppl go and take over some empty western state and show the world how well their plan works (HA HA). That will show us when they are living in their little house on the prarie lifestyles!
posted by MrLint at 9:39 AM on April 4, 2010


MrLint,

The Mormons did a pretty respectable job with Utah. I'm not at all equating them with these guys -- let me be clear about that! -- but the idea of a bunch of people saying, you know, we can make a society that works on different rules, lets go out west and *do* it -- that's been done, and with a genuine degree of success.
posted by effugas at 9:43 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


We have organized this collectivist action to fight the growing scourge of collectivism.

(And our first demand is removing the word, and idea of, "irony" from all publications, discussions, and thoughts.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:47 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unless it means "clean and neat", as in "Your clothes look all irony".
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:49 AM on April 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Hey Tony Stark, I like your suit. Very irony.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:52 AM on April 4, 2010 [16 favorites]


When extra-solar planets become accessible for colonization, there will be some fun worlds revving up out there.

Why wait for extrasolar planets? I'm for letting them have Venus right now. "Knock yourself out, guys. Oh, and watch out for the atmosphere. It melts steel."
posted by Xezlec at 9:53 AM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, and watch out for the atmosphere. It melts steel tin and lead."

FTFY
posted by pullayup at 10:11 AM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Psah, everyone knows the planets are a NASA conspiracy funded by ACORN on behalf of the federal government's agenda to make people think there is no God - just look at those lying sons o' bitches that 'landed' on the moon in some godless hollywood studio - One small step for man, one small step for mankind? Where's the dedication to the Holy Father?

Venus is about the size of a basketball and circles round the earth, just like the sun and other small satellites. You wait until we bloodlessly take control of the government behind the scenes, then we'll reveal this conspiracy along with a thousand other left-wing ones like blaming nixon for watergate and Obama's kenyan citizenship.
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:12 AM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mormons: how much on their own are they really? they do business and make out well but they also pay taxes, subject to draft, vote, etc...just gave up having loads of wives, which, from my experience is a good thing to do.
posted by Postroad at 10:14 AM on April 4, 2010


Who, on the right, is respected enough by the right-wing nutjobs to get them to calm down and reduce the likelyhood of civil war? Rush? Malkin? Coulter? O'Reilly? Beck? A combination of all/some of them?

The problem is that if, say, Rush Limbaugh were to come out and urge teabaggers to chill out and take a deep breath, he'd suddenly become uncredible in their eyes. Anyone even hinting at moderation is going to be denounced as a RINO and their endorsement of not being crazy is going to be taken as just one more reason to be even crazier.
posted by EarBucket at 10:24 AM on April 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Venus would seem ideal for people who don't believe in the greenhouse effect.
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on April 4, 2010 [18 favorites]


"These guys really love the phrase "de jure" don't they? Is that a dog whistle for something?"

Yeah. It's code for '(by) right'. Which is also the opposite of de facto, which is code for '(in) fact'. The sweet and funny, truthy irony.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:29 AM on April 4, 2010


Wait, so they're libertarians, but they also want to ban tampon commercials from TV? I don't think that's what libertarians believe in...
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:35 AM on April 4, 2010


You know who else had to live without government services?
posted by WalterMitty at 10:35 AM on April 4, 2010


The group is a pro-government group seeking to restore constitutional and lawful government in the United States of America. The group is pro-constitutional government.

Do they provide any support for their assertion that the government is unconstitutional? In November 2008 Americans voted for electors, the electors voted in December 2008, and Congress counted the votes in January 2009. Obama had the most votes, and became president. That's all by-the-book, and I don't recall any shenanigans like there were in 2000 and 2004.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:36 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, Venus is hot because it was the first draft for Earth, but then the people were so sinful God had to rise the temperature to make his wrath known. He hid the skeletons real good from all the probes we sent. The correct response to global warming is to remove pornography from the Internet and 7/11s, but the anti-Humanist greenies won't tell you that.

Some theologists believe Noah's ark actually floated from Venus (Earth 1.0) to Terra (Earth 1.1). Eventually, God will merge Heaven and Earth after the Rapture, bringing us up to Earth 2.0.

Yes, there was a great flood, a drought, and sulphuric acid rain on Venus. God was thorough in his righteousness.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:41 AM on April 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


we can make a society that works on different rules, lets go out west and *do* it -- that's been done

Yeah? Then I guess we can take back their disproportionate share of federal tax funding. And their Leninist grain subsidies. And their Maoist anti-terror money.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:43 AM on April 4, 2010 [4 favorites]



Do they provide any support for their assertion that the government is unconstitutional?


They don't like it. When they use a word, it means just what they choose it to mean, neither more nor less. "Unconstitutional", like "socialist", just means something they don't like.
posted by dilettante at 10:44 AM on April 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


Postroad: Utah's as much a part of the nation as any other state, but it is the result of a “Hey, let's head out west and set up our own society where nobody can tell us what to do!” kind of experiment. I think effugas is just using Mormons as an example of ideological separatism that turned out OK. (Not that there wasn't strife; I don't really remember the details. Wasn't there an immigration requirement for a number of years that you had to swear you weren't coming into the US to advocate polygyny? Presumably a relic of fear of the Mormon Menace or something?)
posted by hattifattener at 10:47 AM on April 4, 2010


I think it's funny they sent one of these letters to the Governor of Wyoming.

Wyoming, one of the most god-awful-right-wing-crazy states in the whole nation. Apparently these nutsos don't think it's crazy enough here?
posted by elder18 at 10:52 AM on April 4, 2010


Man, why don't these militias put their resources where their mouths are and start a theocratic-libertarian commune out in Somalia? With enough weapons (what militia is underarmed?), they'll have little intervention from the warlords, and as there's scarcely any government there, they don't need to worry about taxes, social security, welfare, or subsidies. I'll chip in a few bucks towards their plane tickets, even. Or they could work on a cargo ship if they're really so worried about the dread bailed out airline industry.

I get that they love "America," but the America they wanted probably never existed, and anything close to it is dead! Government on the small scale of the 1800s wouldn't work, as it was designed to run an agrarian society. Reagan was nowhere near a libertarian or true Misean, as he tripled the national debt. And we have way to many entitlement programs for their liking, that nobody wants to lose! Medicare is seen as a God-given right (have you seen Michael Steele's political ads?), so is social security, and as much as people gripe about welfare and food stamps, nearly everyone agrees it's better to pay into those programs than to let the impoverished starve.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:54 AM on April 4, 2010


Maybe they did 50 states because they figured it was bound to work at least once if they tried as many times as they could. They should have also gone for Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:56 AM on April 4, 2010


Isn't the three-day deadline over?
posted by blucevalo at 10:57 AM on April 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Release the monkeys!
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on April 4, 2010


It's going to require direct confrontation to get the extreme right to back down. Until that happens, things will continue to unravel. Each cycle has been a little different, but there's been a roughly ten-year cycle to this for about a hundred years. There were brief interruptions such as WWII and the post 9/11 wars, but the cycle seems to be pretty durable and coming from the same mythos.
Please. It's a couple of nut-jobs on the Internet. Even if the Hutaree idiots had pulled off their plan, it wouldn't have seriously damaged the country. I think it makes political sense to highlight these idiots, so people understand how crazy they are, but there's no real risk at this point. As long as the FBI is able to keep tabs on any serious plots that they start to develop.

I think everyone can see that they are way to stupid and poorly financed to do any real damage or hide their tracks.
The Mormons did a pretty respectable job with Utah. I'm not at all equating them with these guys -- let me be clear about that! -- but the idea of a bunch of people saying, you know, we can make a society that works on different rules, lets go out west and *do* it -- that's been done, and with a genuine degree of success.
They've repeatedly had to give up on their founding ideas, including white polygamy and white supremacy.
posted by delmoi at 11:06 AM on April 4, 2010


We should have some media criticism majors go to work explaining that the military was meant to only exist metaphorically in the constitution. After all, it's their job to creatively interpret things, not the loonies who want it to magically say "RONALD REAGAN IS OUR KING! FREE MARKET ONLY!"
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:08 AM on April 4, 2010


we can make a society that works on different rules, lets go out west and *do* it -- that's been done

Yeah, and fuck the people that already lived there and had a functioning societies.

The many Americans who wax nostalgic for the cinematic vision of westward expansion and manifest destiny as a corollary of "liberty" conveniently ignore that, as usual, their "liberty" was purchased at the expense of genocide.

I'd like to put the radical righties on reservations, actually.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:11 AM on April 4, 2010 [18 favorites]


The concern is that the FBI will be keeping tabs on the ones they can stop until they don't keep tabs on the ones they don't stop.

There's nothing in the current situation that indicates this trend is turning around soon. I expect we'll not see the crisis for at least another year. Next Spring is a good bet according to the way it's played out for the last four cycles.
posted by warbaby at 11:16 AM on April 4, 2010


These are people who spent the last 8 years laboring under the feeling that they were in control of their lives because of the way GWB talked and acted. His words, attitudes and skin color were designed to make them feel like the crap in the world was being taken care of by someone who looked, acted and thought like them. This filled a primal need in these fearful people. This was done by making them fear a whole lot of things--all of which actually had no impact on their lives. This fear inspired loyalty.

And it worked. For a time. But now that Obama is in power, these people are dragging down the GOP. Now that Bush is not in power anymore, these fears are running free. And when that happens, they construct elaborate fantasies where they are back in control. Fantasies where they can just send out letters and thirty governors will suddenly run afraid from them. Or fantasies where attacking cops starts a revolution where someone who looks, acts and thinks like them.

And the Republicans are running scared of this fear. They are stumbling all over themselves to placate these people. That's why the GOP acted like they did when HCR came up. Collaborating with the Dems on that would send these people running for the hills.

The problem is that the Dems are way smarter now. Hence the whole play of the last two weeks. There's a reason Obama's still pitching healthcare. He's trying to get the GOP to fix themselves on the ridiculous position of repealing the HCR bill. Americans do not really desire a repeat of that battle. And they want the good things in the bill.

In short, a set up. One where the Dems are trying to force the GOP to continue to move right. Hence this wild scramble of the past two weeks. People are trying to back off the repeal rhetoric so as not to fall into the trap while others try to keep the drumbeat going.

Its not going to work. Anything short of a decisive GOP victory is a tremendous loss for them. And if you take the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports polling out of the mix, the Dems actually lead the average generic congressional ballot. And there is no doubt that as bad as the Dem congress polls in the approval category, the GOP congressional delegation polls even worse. And the money side is even worse for the Republicans. The GOP is trying to target 40 Dem seats, but currently has only 200k for each of those races as of early this year. Dems have a substantial money lead.

This is why I expect this fall to go way differently than everybody thinks.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:22 AM on April 4, 2010 [29 favorites]


The Mormons did a pretty respectable job with Utah. I'm not at all equating them with these guys -- let me be clear about that! -- but the idea of a bunch of people saying, you know, we can make a society that works on different rules, lets go out west and *do* it -- that's been done, and with a genuine degree of success.

Utah Polygamy was a social and political failure. The once defiant theocratic Utah, which led to direct conflict with federal government in 1857, has since became "officially" secularized as a result of dropping the role of polygamy generally. To go around saying that Utah is sticking to its original plan is promoting a 19th century stereotype and appealing to the inbred holdout polygamists who still embarrass them and who still wage economic and legal warfare with the federal and state government. Regardless, Utah is now less than 62% Mormon, and is mostly Republican, self-conscious and devoutly consumerist, which is hardly a different set a rules. Quote from previous wiki link: In 2007 Salt Lake City was ranked by Forbes Magazine as the most vain city in America based on the number of plastic surgeons per 100,000 and their spending habits on cosmetics, which exceed that of cities of similar size.[61]
posted by Brian B. at 11:24 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


that's been done, and with a genuine degree of success.

Although my fourth wife disagrees for some reason or other.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:31 AM on April 4, 2010


WAKE UP SHEEPLE, TAMPON COMMERCIALS ARE DESTROYING AMERICA!

May the god I do not believe in bless the man who first gave us "wake up sheeple".
posted by adamdschneider at 11:34 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Then again, my fifth wife taught me how to preview a moment ago, so it's a wash I'd say.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:35 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Release the monkeys!

There's so much poo-flinging going on, either somebody already did, or you're not going to be able to tell the difference once they do.
posted by DreamerFi at 11:39 AM on April 4, 2010


MoJones did a whois on the Guardians web site: they may be one guy and this whole deal is a hoax?? the story was posted yesterday and has not been updated.

FWIW: the possibility of a large, well organized Patriot group is pretty slim. These guys do not play well with others.
posted by warbaby at 12:01 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


If Glenn Beck is a mormon, why doesn't he go run off to form his perfect society and let the Americans who like America run America?
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:02 PM on April 4, 2010


The Mormons did a pretty respectable job with Utah. I'm not at all equating them with these guys -- let me be clear about that! -- but the idea of a bunch of people saying, you know, we can make a society that works on different rules, lets go out west and *do* it -- that's been done, and with a genuine degree of success.

And now back to reality: When the taxes are compared to federal receipts, Utah is one of 34 local governments subsidized by the remaining 16 states. For every dollar Utah taxpayers sent to the federal government in 2002, the state received $1.15 in return, according to the latest report issued by Northeast Midwest Institute.

Like many such whiner "WE WILL GO OUR OWN WAY" states, especially in the South, they are the "don't butt into my business" and "personal responsibility" and "carry your own weight" and "disgusting welfare is promoted by liberals for all the wrong people". All very nice, and paid for by the Federal government. Some success indeed.
posted by VikingSword at 12:06 PM on April 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


Wasn't there an immigration requirement for a number of years that you had to swear you weren't coming into the US to advocate polygyny?

It's still in there. (Page 4, question 13.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:28 PM on April 4, 2010


Good lord, those old farts sure do get cranky when the waitress at Denny's substitutes decaf in the morning.
posted by dantsea at 12:41 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Collaborating with the Dems on that would send these people running for the hills.

I think the Republican Party should be more concerned about the extremists coming down from the hills.
posted by zippy at 12:54 PM on April 4, 2010


"the warped belief that advertisements for personal hygiene products ..."

Anti-douche douches?
posted by zippy at 12:57 PM on April 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Collaborating with the Dems on that would send these people running for the hills.

I think the Republican Party should be more concerned about the extremists coming down from the hills.


My point exactly.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:22 PM on April 4, 2010


Anti-douche douches?

Ever get that not-so-fresh feeling after teabagging?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:22 PM on April 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


pulation that cherishes television, promiscuity, physical debasement and electronic devices

Sounds like a normal weekend around Mefi, I'd say....
posted by jokeefe at 1:34 PM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


I read the letter, and find it quite respectful if a bit far-fetched. Did I miss the part where they threatened violence after three days?
posted by MaxK at 1:46 PM on April 4, 2010


What do you suppose they are going to use to 'commandeer' the offices? Harsh language?
posted by cashman at 2:04 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ever get that not-so-fresh feeling after teabagging?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:22 PM on April 4 [+] [!]


eponysterical...?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:20 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but threatening people to try and get your way - not cool.

Errrrr isn't that what war is?

the America they wanted probably never existed,

But its in all the brochures - come for the free market capitalism, stay for the country under rule of law!

Are you saying that marketing was wrong?


These are people who spent the last 8 years laboring under the feeling that they were in control of their lives because of the way GWB talked and acted.

Are you sure? You have a list of names and what they were a'thinking the last 8 years? Plenty of 'libertarian-leaning' people were not amused with the last guy in charge and what his underlings were doing. (then again, "Libertarians" have been so un-amused they went off and created their own party)

It seems there is a video of one of the arrested involving a duck and some kind of GW Bush mask over the genitalia. Not really sane behavior, but for you to be right that 'these people' felt 'in control' - I'd like to see the film student de-constructs the duck/GWBush mask as an expression of control.


MoJones did a whois on the Guardians web site: they may be one guy and this whole deal is a hoax??

Not many people worry about the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party and their web site either.

Hoaxes and faked deals have happened before along with governments doing nasty things to others and blaming someone else.

Ya all remember how 'the right wing sucked' with the Census worker who was found hanging with the word "fed" on his chest? Remember your chest beatings?
The Kentucky census worker found hanging from a tree with the word “fed” scrawled on his chest staged his death to look like a homicide so that his son could collect his life insurance,
posted by rough ashlar at 2:37 PM on April 4, 2010


I kind of wish this were right-wing extremism, so that it could be added to the growing list of reasons to write-off the right wing. But it's not. This is fucking Larouche. Or, not Larouche exactly, but something very, very similar.

I'm not expecting violence, because I think these people are crazy enough to believe that their "moral high ground" is all that they'll need to succeed.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:41 PM on April 4, 2010


Honestly, when the crazy passes a certain threshold, it loses all political polarity. Code Pink, Larouche, and Orly Taitz all read the same my political geiger counter. Which would be BAT SHIT OVERLOAD, ERROR.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:43 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


when the crazy passes a certain threshold .... Larouche, .... BAT SHIT OVERLOAD, ERROR.

This refers to the famous photograph of New York Stock Exchange President Richard Grasso embracing Raúl Reyes, the head of FARC finances, in the cocaine-producing DMZ of Colombia.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:48 PM on April 4, 2010


Wikipedia: "The interview concentrated on two shows Kennedy did about the "Restore America" project, in which Kennedy set a March 31 deadline as the day to "begin to reclaim the continent."
Good, he doesn't know about Canada yet. Nobody tell.
posted by crazylegs at 3:23 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it's funny they sent one of these letters to the Governor of Wyoming. Wyoming, one of the most god-awful-right-wing-crazy states in the whole nation. Apparently these nutsos don't think it's crazy enough here?

Second term Governor Dave Freudenthal, Wyoming, is a Democrat. From the Wikipedia link: "On April 2, 2008, Freudenthal endorsed Democrat Barack Obama of Illinois for the party's presidential nomination, having cited "Obama's style of leadership and openness to discussion." Obama won the Wyoming Democratic caucus by a 61.44-37.83 margin over then U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York."

Regarding the health care debate: "Today at his press conference, Governor Dave Freudenthal said Wyoming will not be entering into litigation to contest federal health care reform although he is concerned about a provision of the law that would require all individuals to purchase health insurance. That portion of the new law, known as the individual mandate, would impose a fine on each individual who fails to purchase health insurance, something the Governor believes may be unconstitutional and should be pursed through the courts. However, Gov. Freudenthal said that the suit filed yesterday by Florida and other states is largely a political move, and one in which Wyoming will not participate."

03/11/10:
"Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal signs law establishing state health care pilot program.

Many low-income Wyoming residents would be able to get health care through a state program under a bill that Gov. Dave Freudenthal signed into law.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Charles Scott, R-Casper, calls for putting up $750,000 from the state's Tobacco Settlement trust fund to establish personal health accounts for up to 500 participants. They could use the money only to pay for health care and health insurance. (...) Scott said it's possible the state could pick up federal or private funding to help increase the number of participants in the program, which could rise up to 2,500 after the first year."

Former Governor of Wyoming, Jim Geringer (1995-2003) was a Republican, but his predecessor Mike Sullivan (1987-1995), was a Democrat.
posted by iviken at 3:23 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did Christ Christie get one? Because that may have actually been from EVERYONE IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY.
posted by GilloD at 3:38 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Code Pink, Larouche, and Orly Taitz all read the same my political geiger counter. Which would be BAT SHIT OVERLOAD, ERROR.

I know people are desperate to find a left-wing analogue to the Tea Partiers so that they can pretend that the answer is somewhere in the middle but come the fuck on.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:41 PM on April 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


Wow, the Governor of Wyoming sorta rocks!
posted by stoneweaver at 3:41 PM on April 4, 2010


Nope, I just finished reading up on Code Pink and I didn't see anyone accusing them of violence or threats of violence. Some people complained about the images used during the protests but it didn't sound too different from anti-abortion protests. If the right wants me to believe that huge photos of fetuses are an expression of free speech then flag draped coffins must be as well.
posted by irisclara at 4:28 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just finished reading up on Code Pink and I didn't see anyone accusing them of violence or threats of violence.

The poster is not lumping together because of violence.

The poster is tying them together because they don't match consensus reality - that they are 'crazy'.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:42 PM on April 4, 2010


I had a brain fart and misremembered Code Pink as a Truther group. Sorry guys!
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:17 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does anyone find it suspicious that Sarah Palin got an advance copy of the letter and left office well ahead of time?
posted by Eideteker at 5:35 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Code Pink were just another anti-war protest group as far as I can recall. If demanding evidence and calling for a cessation of a needless war and calling for criminals to be held accountable is outside of consensus reality...
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:37 PM on April 4, 2010


It seems there is a video of one of the arrested involving a duck and some kind of GW Bush mask over the genitalia. Not really sane behavior, but for you to be right that 'these people' felt 'in control' - I'd like to see the film student de-constructs the duck/GWBush mask as an expression of control.

When someone thinks they are going to make it all better and start a revolution by killing a cop and then bombing the funeral, or that they can write a threatening letter to 30 governors who are then just going to step down, this is a person who wants a level of control over their world that none of us have. That's exactly what I mean.

Plenty of 'libertarian-leaning' people were not amused with the last guy in charge and what his underlings were doing. (then again, "Libertarians" have been so un-amused they went off and created their own party)

Ah yes, the belief that somehow we are not linked together and that some of us are 'doing it under their own steam.' As if somehow the construction of a harmonious society where the fruits are not so ill-distributed as to leave giant pockets of poverty isn't the key to developing into these alleged 'John Galts.' Its like they wake up the minute they start making a dollar and suddenly learn that all that stuff that made them when they were kids is somehow irrelevant to their current position. Funny how that position seems to coincide exactly with the one where one doesn't have to help pay for the country that made them everything they are.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:04 PM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


If demanding evidence and calling for a cessation of a needless war and calling for criminals to be held accountable is outside of consensus reality...

Sure seems to be.

How's that Obama 'home and change' working out for ya' all?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:40 PM on April 4, 2010


Here's my question. Let's say the Governors acquiesce & step down so these guys can take over. As a condition of their assuming power will these chuckleheads agree to step down in turn after a year & hand over the keys to my group the New Guardians of Democracy when we present our request to their De Jure Governors that they do so "or else"?

Fair's fair, yes?
posted by scalefree at 6:45 PM on April 4, 2010



Sure seems to be.

How's that Obama 'home and change' working out for ya' all?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:40 PM on April 4 [+] [!]


Could be worse.
posted by Comrade_robot at 6:50 PM on April 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Obama seems great at picking the middle road that nobody wants. I get that he got elected on a moderate platform, but I can't understand that position as easily as standard liberal or standard conservative.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:54 PM on April 4, 2010


Also, sorry to start an Iraq war derail. It was something I did 100% by accident because I forgot what Code Pink was about.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:55 PM on April 4, 2010


When someone thinks they are going to make it all better and start a revolution by killing a cop and then bombing the funeral,

And Charles Manson was gonna start the race war how?

help pay for the country that made them everything they are.

Got proof for this claim?

Cuz I've seen claims that the taxes taken in from citizens doesn't cover interest payments on the debt. (I would have provided a link but really - 'bout these parts links to actual reality doens't mean squat)

And another says that the marginal return on the debt went negative in 2009.

Alas it seems you were not one of the people who was posting in
http://www.metafilter.com/85309/US-Census-worker-found-hanged-in-Kentucky-with-FED-scrawled-on-his-chest

Too bad. I looked forward to your chest beating about "the radical right" hanging a man and putting on his chest "fed" VS the suicide finding.

Perhaps if I dug about on the 2006 threat to bomb the Sears tower I could find your support of US Leadership VS the EVIL of the terror plotters.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:57 PM on April 4, 2010


these guys can take over.

"these guys"?

Its not been established (to me anyway) that "these guys" are no better than the "return the michigan upper peninsula to wisconsin" via animal warfare web site.


Could be worse. posted by Comrade_robot

Really? That's the best you could do?

Why not comment on the Nobel peace prize winner sending *MORE* troops to Afganistan? Or how the DOJ under Obama offers up the same defense of warrentless wiretapping as the last guy?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:03 PM on April 4, 2010


How's that Obama 'home and change' working out for ya' all?
Pretty fucking great, considering.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:04 PM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, sorry to start an Iraq war derail. It was something I did 100% by accident because I forgot what Code Pink was about.

Tis Ok. Many people thought they could "take to the bank" the ending of various armed conflicts.

(Pro Tip: There had been no war WRT the US for years. Congress hasn't done the actual paperwork. These are all police conflicts.)
posted by rough ashlar at 7:07 PM on April 4, 2010


How's that Obama 'home and change' working out for ya' all?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:40 PM on April 4


I think you meant "hope," Sarah, but I know it's hard to type when BIG GOVERNMENT is hounding you about your colloidal silver supplement business. Anyway, I know you're probably not up right now, because you had to retreat to your lead-lined safe room (the MIBs set up surveillance as soon as night falls), but to answer your question, it's going pretty goddamn well. One of the signs of democratic (and Democratic) success is when insane conspiracy theorist libertarians as well as the slightly more sane racist right are freaking the fuck out.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:08 PM on April 4, 2010 [12 favorites]


How's that Obama 'home and change' working out for ya' all?
Pretty fucking great, considering.


Considering what?

Quote: "I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank. " - Barack Obama Campaign Promise - October 27, 2007

So - what bank are *YOU* doing business at?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:10 PM on April 4, 2010


Eh? I'm having trouble hearing you over the vociferous grinding of your axe.
posted by sallybrown at 7:16 PM on April 4, 2010


Oh, can I play this too?

Quote: "I think on a national level your Department of Law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out." - Sarah Palin Campaign Promise 2k8

So - what department of Law are *YOU* departmenting your law at?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:19 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


How's that Obama 'home and change' working out for ya' all?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:40 PM on April 4

I think you meant "hope,"


You are right - I did mean hope,

So - hows the AT&T warrentless wiretapping on US citizens - tracking down who did it and dragging them into the court working out?

My comment was about "calling for a cessation of a needless war and calling for criminals to be held accountable"

So again - how's that end to the "war" and the criminals (like warrentless wire tapping) working out for ya Optimus Chyme?

(Now this was on April 1st so some of you might consider it an April Fool's joke but http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/us/01nsa.html — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal. Another link http://pwtenny.newsvine.com/_news/2010/03/31/4097266-obama-administration-loses-bush-era-nsa-warrantless-wiretapping-lawsuit-it-was-illegal-federal-court-rules )
posted by rough ashlar at 7:24 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


So - what bank are *YOU* doing business at?

Um, the bank where within not much more than a month of taking office, President Obama actually did set an Iraq withdrawal plan into effect, and also, a bank in which virtually everyone who's paying attention agrees the administration has shown no signs of backing off from the date certain that the Iraqi legislature put into effect for the withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq.

Candidate Obama was always perfectly clear about his position regarding increasing our efforts in Afghanistan (as much as some supporters might have wanted to believe he was lying for political gain).
posted by saulgoodman at 7:29 PM on April 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh look - more grind!

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/01/obama-sides-wit/

The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.

But hey - that was a year ago. If I cared (and though any of the people who cared about that when it was the Bush DOJ but are Ok with it bei9ng the Obama DOJ would gain enlightment) I'd go look in the archives.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:31 PM on April 4, 2010


rough ashlar: DOJ attorneys have an obligation to be legal advocates on behalf of the US government's legal positions. If they didn't aggressively defend legal positions the US gov't has staked out for itself, right or wrong, then there'd be no one defending the US gov'ts interests in the legal system at all (of course, they always just have the option of not letting themselves be sued), and every judgment leading to a financial penalty would cost our taxpayer dollars.

Positions that gov't attorneys stake out in cases being actively litigated are not the same thing as current policy. Sometimes one administration has to defend itself against claims that stem from policies implemented by a previous administration. Part of the job of the career attorneys in the DOJ is to serve as the government's attorneys, which forces them to argue on behalf of whatever the government's legal position was at they time a particular policy was implemented. The fact that these legal positions are or are not legitimate doesn't factor into it. That's for the court system--a check on the executive's power--to decide.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:41 PM on April 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


virtually everyone who's paying attention agrees the administration has shown no signs of backing off from the date certain

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. ambassador to Iraq has told Congress that the recent spate of bombings in that country hasn't affected the U.S. schedule to withdraw its combat forces from the country by next August.

That claim the US Ambassador was in 2009. Next August is 2010. 4 months. (Ok, lets say 5 just to be covered.)


I have a bottle of Russian Vodka - do you have a bottle to drink to this happening?

(methinks I'll be sober and my liver will be safe yet again)
posted by rough ashlar at 7:47 PM on April 4, 2010


How does The FBI has informed all 50 governors that they will receive the letter turn into grar grar Obama grar grar?
posted by Sailormom at 7:50 PM on April 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


DOJ attorneys have an obligation to be legal advocates on behalf of the US government's legal positions.

And you are OK with trying to claim the illegal is legal?

Positions that gov't attorneys stake out in cases being actively litigated are not the same thing as current policy.

Me. I've provided links to back my POV.

Why should I believe your claim?

Sometimes one administration has to defend itself against claims that stem from policies implemented by a previous administration.

And your proof is?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:53 PM on April 4, 2010


You ever hear of reparations? Has the DOJ under any president ever failed to defend the US government aggressively from lawsuits seeking reparations? Slavery is illegal now, though it was legal under previous administrations, is it not?

How about lawsuits related to the interment camps? Did DOJ attorneys just roll over and allow those claims to go unchallenged in court? Of course not.

A DOJ attorney is an attorney who represents the US government. All attorneys are required as a condition of license to do their best to defend the clients they represent. US attorneys are no exception, and their client is not only the current occupant of the White House, but the US government as an institution.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:12 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


rough ashlar: How come you say both I've provided links to back my POV and I would have provided a link but really - 'bout these parts links to actual reality doens't mean squat? I mean, either you should argue based on evidence and merits or you should argue based on blather and unsupported opinion. Either one is fine by me, as long as you don't try to do both at the same time.
posted by hattifattener at 9:49 PM on April 4, 2010


How does The FBI has informed all 50 governors that they will receive the letter turn into grar grar Obama grar grar?

I believe Winston Churchill said it best:

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight OBUMMER on the Internet, we shall fight that Nigerian Nazi Commie with poorly woreded signs in front of the Capital, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength on the airwaves and in Internet threads that have nothing to do with the black man who claims to be President, we shall defend our misconceptions and ignorance, whatever the cost may be. We shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this nation or a large part of it were subjugated to a mildly social democratic safety net and starving for the ability to rob old age pensioners, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the vocal, completely insane conservative minority, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the rotting corpse of Ayn Rand, with all her power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
posted by cmonkey at 9:57 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


rough ashlar, I've seen some posters spoiling for a fight before on Metafilter, but your run of comments in this thread has been the single most determined attempt to whip up GRAR and shouting that I have been aware of in a very long time. Give it a rest. The "hope and change thing" seems to be chugging along, as far as I can tell-- you might recall the recent passage of the bill somewhat regulating the health insurance industry, accomplished in an absolutely poisoned atmosphere-- and the reaction about the word of that suicide of that poor man, who put the "Fed" sign on his chest was greeted with sorrow, pity, and dismay.
posted by jokeefe at 10:19 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


All this talk of Mormons reminds of that scene in Starship Troopers.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:45 PM on April 4, 2010


I believe Winston Churchill said it best:

We shall fight them in the trailer parks.

We shall fight them when we park on private property without permission and are towed away at great expense to ourselves.

We shall fight them in the men's room at the Minneapolis Airport.

We shall fight them at the Piggly-Wiggly - fifteen items or less is in the Constitution.

We shall fight them in line at Golden Corral. And Denny's. Ryan's too, damnit.

We shall fight them when the manager at Cracker Barrel refuses to let us charge our Rascals for free and then screws up our order.

We shall defend our methlabs and mega-churches to the last man.
posted by trondant at 11:01 PM on April 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh look - more grind!

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/01/obama-sides-wit/

The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.


Let's look at the technicalities, no? saulgoodman is right, the government has to defend itself against money judgments in court. This is how we do it in the legal business. Should the US just roll over and pay off the plaintiffs in the suit? That would mean that our money would go to the plaintiffs. Since they have a duty to protect the taxpayer's money, they are going to try and get the suit dismissed. That's not the same as continuing to warrantless wiretap. Not at all. Just because some journalist wants to equate the government's litigation positions with the policy positions of the Administration doesn't mean that we have to follow his or her lede. In general, in my experience, journalists don't know jack shit about the law.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:35 PM on April 4, 2010


Positions that gov't attorneys stake out in cases being actively litigated are not the same thing as current policy.

Me. I've provided links to back my POV.

Why should I believe your claim?


You don't have to believe anything. You can go ahead and believe what you want. But I litigate against the US government every single day. I've got like 12 cases going against them right the fuck now. And I would never assume that because they are opposing my position in the case that it is the position of the administration that is being defended. duh.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:38 PM on April 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


Do they provide any support for their assertion that the government is unconstitutional?

They don't like it. When they use a word, it means just what they choose it to mean, neither more nor less. "Unconstitutional", like "socialist", just means something they don't like.


I see it more as the small-r-republican version of loyalists to a discredited royal line, except instead of somebody dying and somebody else replacing them, it goes by Supreme Court decisions. In other words, they support an America that never was.
posted by dhartung at 11:41 PM on April 4, 2010


<Mormon/Utah Derail>

Utah Polygamy was a social and political failure. The once defiant theocratic Utah, which led to direct conflict with federal government in 1857, has since became "officially" secularized...

And now back to reality: When the taxes are compared to federal receipts, Utah is one of 34 local governments subsidized...

effugas' point was probably not that the Utah of today reflects the original Mormon aims in heading off to Utah to build Zion, which it clearly doesn't, but that the the Mormon Pioneers made a pretty good go at building the society they'd envisioned for a handful of decades in the second half of the 19th century, effectively colonizing the Mountain West and building something arguably distinct from the rest of the nation at the time. The most readily identifiable reason that it didn't sustain was a good deal of very active hostility from the U.S. government.

I'm just going to quote Mormon Historian Richard Bushman here:
"All told, the charges that Utah was a theocracy were well founded. It was a theocracy, a merger of church and society under God. Two complaints about Utah were directed against Mormons in the 19th century. One was polygamy, of course, but the other was theocratic rule by Brigham Young, his successors and the presidency of the church.

"This was the radical Mormonism of the 19th century, descended from Joseph Smith and continued by Brigham Young. It included a far-reaching social critique. Young criticized capitalism as often as he did philandering. Mormons were sympathetic to European revolutionaries in 1848. They saw themselves as a society set against American society with all of its inequities and iniquities.

"It was a society that, as we know, was doomed to defeat. For 40 years, Mormons resisted attempts of the federal government to end polygamy and to destroy theocracy, but finally they gave in. The government began imprisoning Mormon men who had more than one wife and denying Mormons their civil rights. They couldn't serve on juries, polygamists could not vote in elections, the government began to escheat all Mormon property - including their precious temples - and the church was actually unincorporated. By the late 1880s, it looked like the church, as a church, would be obliterated.

"That intense pressure from the federal government was backed up by every branch of government, including the Supreme Court, which was, in Joseph Smith's spirit, the Mormons' last best hope. They believed to the end that the Constitution was on their side and that they were simply claiming religious freedom, but the Supreme Court knocked down their claims one after another. Eventually they saw it was hopeless. In 1890, the president of the church announced that they would no longer practice plural marriages.

"It wasn't just polygamy that Mormons gave up; they dismantled the whole theocratic structure. The People's Party was dissolved and Mormons were instructed to join one or another of the national political parties. They were sometimes assigned: "You become a Democrat; you become a Republican." There are Democrats in Utah to this day who are Democrats only because their great-grandfathers were told they should be.

"They also began to give up all of the church businesses. Not immediately, but steadily over the course of the 20th century, they were not only turned into capitalist enterprises, but the church divested itself of ownership. The church elementary school system was given up. The hospitals have now all been turned into private corporations. All told, the Mormon theocracy was leveled.

"Mormonism gave up on its radicalism because the United States government beat it out of them."
Now, who knows what might have happened in an alternate universe where Utah Territory was somehow left to survive as a quasi-theocratic entity inside the context of the United States. It's entirely possible that the homogenizing forces of transportation and media advances would have eventually brought it to the same place Utah is now, complete with a profusion of billboards advertising plastic surgery services. Or maybe the theocracy would have headed the way of the FLDS and brought about such social problems it wouldn't have been sustainable. It's not hard to think of ways it would have failed if left to its own devices. But it wasn't; it didn't somehow fail on its own. They were giving making their own society a serious shot and they were actually doing pretty well all things considered when they finally had to face the fact they didn't really settle in a place where they could dictate their own destiny. So effugas' comment seems apt to me.

Not that you could readily compare the 19th century Mormons to libertarians philosophically, so, yeah, maybe it really is true that the libertarians never do put up, despite a lot of talk.

</Mormon/Utah Derail>
posted by weston at 2:06 AM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Should the US just roll over and pay off the plaintiffs in the suit? That would mean that our money would go to the plaintiffs. Since they have a duty to protect the taxpayer's money,

Protect the tax payers money? How well has the government been doing with that? The Pentagon was unable to account for 2 trillion back in 2001 and what's been done to track that down. There was that multi million dollar bill to deliver a few thousand in LP gas that was paid as another example.

But here's a thought - part of fines is to make someone whole. Another reason is to make the fine-ee think about what they've done. Would each and every person who was involved in that deal have went "gee, I best not do this 'cuz the law says I can be subject to fines of $10,000 per person per incident and I'm actually responsible for making this happen and therefore fines come out of my pocket." if the fines come from the lawbreakers? You have the old trope about how if you don't know about a law that is not an excuse, What was the dis-incentive to have participated in the wiretap issue?
posted by rough ashlar at 3:15 AM on April 5, 2010


the reaction about the word of that suicide of that poor man, who put the "Fed" sign on his chest was greeted with sorrow, pity, and dismay.

And the reaction to the actual death was greeted with "crazy right wing asshole." claims it was "anti-government terrorism" et la. Because that fit the metafilter "narrative".

At this point in this 50 letter thing "we" have no idea who the parties are beyond what's been reported. Or even if 50 letters were sent. The reporting says the letter contain no threat - yet the spin is security needs to be increased.

We've got a reaction by law enforcement that may very well be justified. The reaction may also fall under 'make the narrative fit a political goal' or even CYA - I said something so if the bad thing happens I did my job. But under the past dude in charge doing the same would have been greeted by a few posters here as an overreaction - the same posters who are now hurf-durfing racism or whatever.

Heaven forbid that one shows the new guy is doing the same things as the last guy - and ask 'if the last guy had people who made up things for political gain could this guy be doing the same'? And to bring up the excesses of the 60's/70's (things like the black panther coloring book) that brought things like FISA into existence - well they don't apply cuz its the new guy....who's our guy...who'd never EVER do something like the old guy.

This letter reaction may very well be political theater and you should be careful what you wish for as a reaction because you think it'll somehow reign in "teabaggers" "birthers" or whatever group you think needs to be curbed. New laws/efforts are usually not undone and the next guy may not be someone you like and that new effort may just bite you later.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:06 AM on April 5, 2010


Obama seems great at picking the middle road that nobody wants.

Well, yeah—he's a lawyer.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:51 AM on April 5, 2010


From The Salon Link:
The Restore America Plan, as laid out online, basically involves dismantling most of the federal government. The "territorial jurisdiction United States Federal Corporation, posing as the de jure United States of America," for instance, would be "terminated." So would marriage licenses, which the group says give too much power to courts that aren't established properly under the Constitution, and birth certificates. (Don't worry, though; according to one like-minded Web site, "Social Security payments will not be interrupted.")
Damn Federal Government! Get out of my business! But, uh, keep sending me my check!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:16 AM on April 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


So Guardians of the Free Republics isn't a sequel to Knights of the Old Republic? Shucks.
posted by pfarner at 5:57 AM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


lol c'mon you guys, it's almost not funny any more. sillies!
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:07 AM on April 5, 2010


rough ashlar: Why not comment on the Nobel peace prize winner sending *MORE* troops to Afganistan?

Sure!

1) Obama was quite clear about his position on the Afghan war all during his campaign; nothing he has done gone against his stated position, nor has he broken any promises made about that war.

2) Other people decided to give Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, for their own reasons. He never said, "Hey! Someone give me the Nobel Peace Prize!", so I don't see what one thing has to do with the other. If I gave Obama the "International Tzikeh Prize For Most Awesome White House Kegger," does that mean Obama is now required throw a kegger party at the White House? If he doesn't, is he to blame?

(I would totally go to that, btw, and I don't even like beer.)
posted by tzikeh at 7:43 AM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Should the US just roll over and pay off the plaintiffs in the suit? That would mean that our money would go to the plaintiffs. Since they have a duty to protect the taxpayer's money,

Protect the tax payers money? How well has the government been doing with that? The Pentagon was unable to account for 2 trillion back in 2001 and what's been done to track that down. There was that multi million dollar bill to deliver a few thousand in LP gas that was paid as another example.

But here's a thought - part of fines is to make someone whole. Another reason is to make the fine-ee think about what they've done. Would each and every person who was involved in that deal have went "gee, I best not do this 'cuz the law says I can be subject to fines of $10,000 per person per incident and I'm actually responsible for making this happen and therefore fines come out of my pocket." if the fines come from the lawbreakers? You have the old trope about how if you don't know about a law that is not an excuse, What was the dis-incentive to have participated in the wiretap issue?


The government cannot fine itself. And it would be a violation of the Code of Professional Responsiblity for lawyers to make the decision to throw any case.

First, let's get into the factual details of the case. Contrary to what you may think, you and I know next to nothing about this case. Filings in a typical Federal District Court case are going to be hundreds of pages. In a case like this, thousands as big litigants like the ACLU and the U.S. Government go toe to toe in a high-profile matter. So, have either you, I or the reporters read all of those filings? Of course not. It would take weeks. The only people who have read everything submitted are going to be the lead attorneys, the judge and his clerks. That's it. Not even all the attorneys will have read all the filings, its too long. So we can start by stop acting like we understand the merits, ok?

Second, this is how our justice system works. This isn't a decision for the President. This is a decision for a federal judge who is looking at the filings of both sides who are fighting it out as hard as each can. The idea is that this provides us with the best result because two parties hacking it out against each other gets a lot closer to the truth than a decision by fiat, which is what you want Obama to do. And if you think you know better, the system dates back to Athens. The system isn't perfect, but it has worked effectively for thousands of years.

And what if the government just rolled over on this one? It does have secrets to protect, secrets we want protected. Even if what the government did is wrong, we do not want the technical details of its abilities given to people who would use that knowledge to harm innocent people. So the government does have an interest in protecting some secrets. And just like maybe the government lawyers might be overusing the State Secrets Privilege in order to avoid losing the case, the ACLU and the plaintiffs are going to use the threat of getting that information out there to induce a settlement. So there are no angels here. None.

Finally, it is very, very, very important that we don't make these decisions based on whomever thinks is the right or wrong thing at the time. Stupid political decisions got us into this mess. A knee-jerk political decision to obtain the political approval of certain groups is exactly the wrong way to get these important questions answered.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:32 AM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Restore America Plan, as laid out online, basically involves dismantling most of the federal government. The "territorial jurisdiction United States Federal Corporation, posing as the de jure United States of America," for instance, would be "terminated." So would marriage licenses, which the group says give too much power to courts that aren't established properly under the Constitution, and birth certificates. (Don't worry, though; according to one like-minded Web site, "Social Security payments will not be interrupted.")

Even the militia movement won't touch the third rail of politics.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:34 AM on April 5, 2010


Heaven forbid that one shows the new guy is doing the same things as the last guy - and ask 'if the last guy had people who made up things for political gain could this guy be doing the same'? And to bring up the excesses of the 60's/70's (things like the black panther coloring book) that brought things like FISA into existence - well they don't apply cuz its the new guy....who's our guy...who'd never EVER do something like the old guy.

Here's the deal. So far, Obama's kept his promises. The guy has two things going on. First, he speaks about things that no American President has had the balls to talk about for a long time. He discusses lofty goals. And in those goals people see their own policy programs.

Second, when he does make an actual policy statement, he makes a much more practical goal and then works hard to get it done. Afghanistan? He said we needed to win this war and that he was going to step up the pressure. The dude has flat the fuck out done this. Stimulus? Passed. Health Care? Passed. Iraq? They are pulling out of there like a bat out of hell--a former client now living there told me that the plan is to pull out of Iraq even faster and that we are beating timetables so as to send stuff to Afghanistan as fast as possible. DADT? He's put out a policy and had the Sec Def and the Joint Chief's Chair go out there and shove it down GOP throats on the Hill. Although it is moving slower than people would like, many don't really realize the number of laws that will have to be changed by Congress to get this done. Gitmo? Well, he didn't make that one on time. I can't go into it, but from little birdies I know, there are legal sticking points that are making it much tougher to craft a policy to cover this.

So this dichotomy of broad statements and specific policy goals is a little hard to read because it is way different than what we are used to. This guy is different, period. And that is making everybody mad. But somebody is doing something right when the Right is calling this bill a socialist take over and the left is calling it a sellout to the greedy insurance companies.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:50 AM on April 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


And the reaction to the actual death was greeted with "crazy right wing asshole." claims it was "anti-government terrorism" et la. Because that fit the metafilter "narrative".

Also because it was at a time when right-wing terrorist violence was ramping up in the wake of the 2008 election, and because his suicide was elaborately staged to suggest that he'd been murdered by right-wing terrorists.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:51 AM on April 5, 2010


RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS THREATEN VIOLENCE.

OBAMA NOT EVERYTHING WE MIGHT HAVE WANTED.

Not following how point one led to point two, except that some people can make a path from anyplace to the garage where their axe waits to be ground.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:55 AM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Release the monkeys!

Fuck that; release the Kraken.
posted by grubi at 12:21 PM on April 5, 2010


Old School Kraken or Cloverfield?
posted by Artw at 12:24 PM on April 5, 2010


Good question. Let's try Cloverfield first. That way, if it breaks, we haven't harmed the antique.
posted by grubi at 12:40 PM on April 5, 2010


These folks seem crazy. I am sad for them. I hope they get help and can find happiness without bringing harm to themselves or others. I'm glad folks here have the maturity and perspective to tell really great, really insightful jokes about stuff. America doesn't have nearly enough of that.
posted by waxbanks at 12:42 PM on April 5, 2010


(A small point of clarification: Since the deadline has passed I was suggetsing it was time for the whackjobs to release the monkeys. Or cloverkraken. )
posted by Artw at 12:48 PM on April 5, 2010


Mmm.... fresh cloverkraken on a bed of lettuce, drizzled with horseradish dressing.
posted by grubi at 1:01 PM on April 5, 2010


How about a nice 2.5ft isopod?
posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on April 5, 2010


dilettante : When they use a word, it means just what they choose it to mean, neither more nor less. "Unconstitutional", like "socialist", just means something they don't like.

I'll be stealing this technique just for the fun of it. I bet if I say it with enough conviction, people won't even notice.

"Ugh, this socialist pizza is terrible! What the hell? Did they put anchovies on here? Gross. It's completely unconstitutional."
posted by quin at 2:10 PM on April 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'll be stealing this technique just for the fun of it. I bet if I say it with enough conviction, people won't even notice.

Me, I use "racist" and "fascist".

"Those are fascist movie posters. And this chowder is racist."
posted by grubi at 2:23 PM on April 5, 2010


That comment is an astronaut. I totally cannot deal with you right now, because you are from space.
posted by Artw at 2:57 PM on April 5, 2010


"Fuck that; release the Kraken."

In this economic climate, I don't think we can afford to lease the kraken again for FY 2010-11. Have you thought about leasing a smaller monster, perhaps a land-based one? Corporate is really pushing for us to use fewer off-shore contractors; seems that's in vogue this quarter.
posted by Eideteker at 5:09 AM on April 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Eideteker, you tell those bean-counters in Corporate that you get what you pay for. I told them fifteen years ago that we ought to just buy the kraken, and if they'd listened to me, we'd have an asset that we could be renting out to others during the times we don't need him. But no, it's always penny wise and pound foolish with those guys.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:18 AM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Gentlemen, ladies, let us not forget why we're here. The more we focus on NUMBERS, the more we lose sight of our original mandate: to terrorize villagers near shorelines and to trample cities.

Let's get back to what got us here.
posted by grubi at 5:34 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've done a bit of commenting on a few ultra-rightwing blogs, which earned me an email with this message. I'm sure the Supreme Court will be pleased to know their services will still be required under the new regime.
Fellow Patriot:

For the last 18 months, a collection of several thousand dedicated patriots has worked strenuously under the auspices of a Google group known as The Unrepentant Patriots to peacefully and philosophically oppose the efforts of the Legislative and Executive branches of the United States Government as those bodies have attempted to subvert and circumvent the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and thereby usurp the individual liberties of everyday Americans. Our efforts have been recognized as singularly useful and effective, drawing praise from numerous quarters of the Patriot community.

We have recently decided that Google's platform is no longer suitable for the continued growth and development of The Unrepentant Patriots, and accordingly we have established a new Yahoo group by the same name to support our efforts.

This is an official invitation for you to join the new Yahoo group. You are receiving this invitation before members of the public at large because we want you to have the preferential opportunity of membership before the anticipated explosive growth of the group in its new environs. We hope you will join us as we continue to work to "secure the blessings of Liberty" for our fellow citizens and the generations of Americans yet to come.

If you are a dedicated patriot seeking to network with like-minded Constitutionalists and lovers of liberty, please navigate to the following link to apply for membership. Your request will be approved immediately.

The Unrepentant Patriots

Please note that upon completion of the transition process from Google to Yahoo, the current Google group will go into a dormant status as far as message posting is concerned, but its archives will still be accessible for reference and research purposes.

If by chance you have already received an invitation to join the new Yahoo group, please excuse our oversight and simply discard this message.

Thanks, and

“Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing the best he can.”

May God save our Republic

MOOSE

The Unrepentant Patriot

“Making a virtue
of
unapologetic
political
incorrectness”
posted by scalefree at 6:55 PM on April 6, 2010


MOOSE?
posted by jokeefe at 11:02 AM on April 7, 2010


MOOSE?

Moosist.
posted by scalefree at 5:05 PM on April 7, 2010


Also because it was at a time when right-wing terrorist violence was ramping up in the wake of the 2008 election,

Its been OVER a year. Go ahead, produce the FBI crime data to back up your claim.

If "right-wing terrorist violence" was up as you claim, the numbers should show it.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:26 AM on April 20, 2010


If "right-wing terrorist violence" was up as you claim, the numbers should show it.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:26 AM on April 20


Yup, no right-wing terrorism ramping up here

Man Crashes Plane Into Texas I.R.S. Office

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting

Arrest Follows Threat to Kill Senator

Assassination therats against Preisdent Obama

Health Care Bill Spurs Assassination Calls on Twitter

Governors Receive Threats From Extremist Group
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:58 AM on April 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


He said right-wing terrorist violence, OC, not left-wing plants sent by the Obummer adiministration to discredit the Tea Parties.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:08 AM on April 20, 2010


My memory was wrong - the hanging->suicide was Sep 12, 2009. So not a year from that event. But its been over a year from the election. So show actual numbers. It be nice if you can run the numbers VS "left wing extremists" and the normal crime numbers for shootings and property crime to see if its way above the background - ya know if you stalkers want to 'prove me wrong'.

Yup, no right-wing terrorism ramping up here
Man Crashes Plane Into Texas I.R.S. Office
Arrest Follows Threat to Kill Senator
Health Care Bill Spurs Assassination Calls on Twitter
Governors Receive Threats From Extremist Group

All happened after Sep 12th 2009. Isn't using false data and calling it fact something the non-fact based community does?

Assassination threats against Preisdent Obama
Sadly - standard fare. Unless you want to claim that magically Pres. Obama is the 1st to be threatened.
What makes Pres. assassination threats interesting is it all depends on who's doing the counting and their criteria. I don't have access to raw data to be able to claim its 'worse' now than for others in the past. But if one wants to say its worse, do you have access to the raw data and wanna share?

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting
This is the only 'unique' one that happened BEFORE the Census worker with FED on chest event. Now to say a white supremacist/holocaust denier was somehow 'radicallized' because of the Nov 2008 election seems a tad over the top given he had an issue with the Feds in 1981.

So one 'event' beyond the standard 'threats VS the pres' is "a ramp up of right wing violence" ? And the best "supporting evidence" is mass quote events post Sep 12th 2009?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:55 AM on April 20, 2010


All happened after Sep 12th 2009

what
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:05 AM on April 20, 2010


All happened after Sep 12th 2009
what


Do try to keep up Optimus Chime.

http://www.metafilter.com/90712/The-FBI-has-informed-all-50-governors-that-they-will-receive-the-letter#3026033
posted by rough ashlar at 9:11 AM on April 20, 2010


Cool thanks a multi-paragraph conspiracy rant sure clears up why it's important that right-wing terrorist actions that you claim don't exist happened after September 12th of last year
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:30 AM on April 20, 2010


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