"Consistency was long ago sent to a death panel in Palin world." - Maureen Dowd
"...You can't understand America, where the crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy, and where elites exploit the crazy for their own narrow interests." - Rick Perlstein
Oh, I am feeling grumpy today, I don't know why I bother to sit down in front of this computer when its so beautiful outside and I've already had my coffee... instead, I roam about the house looking for places where the dogs and cat have dumped and peed, thinking I should really take a shower now and get dressed as I sprinkle some pet fresh onto the carpet...
I have previously talked about male rage, that hormonal tempest that makes us very good as predators, but can create an uncontrolled storm that clouds reasoning when we grow older. As more people loose their jobs and it gets harder to provide for a family, frustration also turns into rage, with a rising incident rate of burglaries, break-ins, and domestic abuse. The Christian Science Monitor reports on another rising phenomena, the popularity of right wing militia groups: "Right-wing militia groups are on the rise in the United States after nearly a decade of obscurity, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors hate groups and extremist activity. The report, released Wednesday, warns of "unmistakable signs of a revival of what in the 1990s was commonly called the militia movement."
Militia rhetoric is being heard widely once more, often from a second generation of ideologues, and conspiracy theories are being energetically revived or invented anew. "Paper terrorism" — the use of property liens, bogus legal documents and "citizens' grand juries" to attack enemies and, sometimes, reap illegal fortunes — is again proliferating, to the point where the government has set up special efforts to rein in so-called "tax defiers" and to track threats against judges....
Militia training events, huge numbers of which are now viewable on YouTube videos, are spreading. One federal agency estimates that 50 new militia training groups have sprung up in less than two years. Sales of guns and ammunition have skyrocketed amid fears of new gun control laws, much as they did in the 1990s." Well, I guess I had better cancel those plans to visit Texas, Idaho, and Utah before the summer ends... Remember when that Homeland Security memo was leaked about watching out for militias trying to recruit ex-armed forces folks into their folds, and it was poo-pooed by so many conservative talking heads as liberal paranoia? I don't think Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, or Rush Limbaugh are card carrying members, they are too much of wimps and just talk the talk, but their rhetorical wind can easily help fan the flames...
Rick Perlstein documents some of these events and the culpability of the media in the Washington Post: "In Pennsylvania last week, a citizen, burly, crew-cut and trembling with rage, went nose to nose with his baffled senator: "One day God's going to stand before you, and he's going to judge you and the rest of your damned cronies up on the Hill. And then you will get your just deserts." He was accusing Arlen Specter of being too kind to President Obama's proposals to make it easier for people to get health insurance.
In Michigan, meanwhile, the indelible image was of the father who wheeled his handicapped adult son up to Rep. John Dingell and bellowed that "under the Obama health-care plan, which you support, this man would be given no care whatsoever." He pressed his case further on Fox News.
In New Hampshire, outside a building where Obama spoke, cameras trained on the pistol strapped to the leg of libertarian William Kostric. He then explained on CNN why the "tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of tyrants and patriots."
It was interesting to hear a BBC reporter on the radio trying to make sense of it all. He quoted a spokesman for the conservative Americans for Tax Reform: "Either this is a genuine grass-roots response, or there's some secret evil conspirator living in a mountain somewhere orchestrating all this that I've never met." The spokesman was arguing, of course, that it was spontaneous, yet he also proudly owned up to how his group has helped the orchestration, through sample letters to the editor and "a little bit of an ability to put one-pagers together."