Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Militias - R - Us

Meghan McCain
Christopher Buckley
Eugene Robinson
Dana Milbank

"The most serious threat of domestic terrorism has come from the growing ranks of paranoid, anti-government hate groups that draw their inspiration, vocabulary and anger from the far right." - Eugene Robinson

I updated the link to David Frum's blog, which had changed from The New Majority to the Frum Forum. I find that former conservatives who have become moderates like David, Christopher Buckley, Bruce Barylett, and Meghan McCain are more fun to read, they have a sense of humor, and almost all of them were fired from their jobs in retaliation for expressing criticism of their conservative friends. In Chris Buckley's opinion piece we get a twofer, with him writing about the firing of David Frum.

Which one looks like a federal agent?

Back in the 1970's a popular recreation when among friends was to partake some LSD and to read the Bible. A few had spiritual conversions and joined churches where having visions and talking in tongues were a regular part of Sunday service. Those churches are still here today, having gone mainstream, with larger congregations, and different content that is preached.

Ed Sanders relates another tidbit about one of the New York freaks who had their life altered by LSD. "Over at the Psychedelicatessen they kept a chalk board with a running tally of customers who had come in announcing they were Jesus. It was up to sixty-five. This guy was one of them... at the time we all felt sorry for J - so lost, so eery, so utterly insane, wxcept that now, going on to forty years later, he owns his own Bible college in the South, and his revivals on cable TV pull in hundreds of millions of dollars each year."

Stepping into this great tradition of mixing drugs with religion, often with twisted and bizarre results, come the Hutaree, which is a made up name given the meaning of God's Warriors. Because it sounds so obvious, the founder of the Hutaree must have had a flashback to watching F Troop when he has a kid. Hutaree sounds too much like Fukawee, the Indian tribe on the series. Shows like F Troop and Get Smart were produced during a time when each network had their own censor, and each script had to be approved that it didn't contain anything sexual or obscene. It became a game that the comedy writers tried to put jokes in the scripts that went over the heads of the often illiterate censors. The Fukawee was the best joke, because it was used over and over during the life of the show.

Picture the two main heroes of the show, Union soldiers stationed in Indian territory, and they are out doing some reconnaissance. They are huddled down among some large rocks on a hillside, one is looking through binoculars. "I don't see them anywhere," he says. Suddenly, the other one stiffens, as if he senses something. "I think we may be surrounded," he says. "What? Fukawee? Where the Fukawee?" the first soldier would exclaim.

So the alliteration from a TV show watched when he was a kid became transformed into a made-up word that David Stone says means God's Warrior. Mix in alcohol and god knows what tainted drugs, and you begin to perceive the world of today's amateur militias. Further mix in a fervent, evangelical spirit, and you get on like the Hutaree, with their bizarre interpretations of the Bible. We're not dealing with scholarly interpretations here, more on the level of comic books and one's limited imaginings.

The Feds arrested nine members of the Hutaree: "... the Justice Department said they were part of a group of apocalyptic Christian militants who were plotting to kill law enforcement officers in hopes of inciting an antigovernment uprising, the latest in a recent surge in right-wing militia activity.

The court filing said the group, which called itself the Hutaree, planned to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer and then bomb the funeral caravan using improvised explosive devices based on designs used against American troops by insurgents in Iraq."
“The F.B.I. takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.” - the FBI
“In Michigan, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to be in a militia,” - A Neighbor.
Of course, this brings up the paranoia of another Waco, where government forces surrounded and burnt down the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, prompting rallying cries of "fascist government takeovers" that has echoed through every fringe right wing evangelical group since, including our present day tea party rallies. Attention should also be focused that local militias and hate groups have been on an exponential rise over the last couple of years, and many of them spurred on by the fact that we have elected a Black man as President.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, who tracks such groups, Colorado has 17 radical groups:
        Name                                                 Type                                            

Aryan Nations Revival                          Christian Identity                  

Creativity Movement                            Neo-Nazi                              

Family Research Institute                     Anti-Gay                                

Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints        General Hate                          

Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints        General Hate                          

Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints        General Hate                        

Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints        General Hate                        
Knights of the Nordic Order                Neo-Nazi

MSR Productions                                Racist Music                          

Nation of Islam                                   Black Separatist                      

National Knights of the                                                                    
 Ku Klux Klan

National Socialist Movement              Neo-Nazi                                  

Nationalist Coalition                           Neo-Nazi                                

New Century Productions -               White Nationalist                        
Racist Music

Rescue Without Borders                   Anti-Immigrant                        

Scriptures for America                      Christian Identity                    

United Northern and Southern                                                        
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

"I want to just take a moment to thank the Teabaggers. Thank you so much for helping us pass health care, for resurrecting the Obama presidency. I know they're saying, 'Why are you thanking me? I was so against it, I marched on Washington with tea bags hanging off my Founding Fathers costume, with a gun on my hip and a picture of Obama dressed as Hitler, screaming about his birth certificate.' And America saw that and said, 'I think I'll go with the calm black man.'" –Bill Maher

As long as our economy remains as bad as it and people are still being laid off from their jobs (my brother-in-law's work laid off 41 people two days ago), folks are going to turn away from the government and towards alternative groups. Because we have been involved in wars for the past nine years and our military has grown, the fascination with guns will continue, and violent outbursts will only escalate. Who loses the most, besides those figure who will get shot at, will be our children, and in a few years they will pass judgement on us. Personally, I hoped to be judged lightly, but who knows? I promised to take one grand-daughter shooting and teach her how to use a gun, but I never did. Did I prevent the next Columbine-type incident, or have I become a pacifist in my old-age, who couldn't see the target, much less kill it...

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