Monday, October 31, 2005

Putting Things In Perspective

I’ve long maintained that while there are a few truly dangerous people involved in American extremist groups, the vast majority are basically harmless jokers who will never actually try to enact their violent fantasies. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and other watchdog groups will naturally try to exaggerate the threat posed by extremists as a way to terrify their supporters into donating more money to their already swollen bank accounts. For instance, consider this piece from the SPLC’s latest Intelligence Report. It details the deaths of fifteen law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty by extremists over the last ten years. Of course, fifteen murders are fifteen too many, but consider a couple of points. First, of the fifteen dead cops, one was killed by a white power skinhead, and one by a black separatist (the famous H Rap Brown, to be precise). Persons associated with the militia movement murdered the other thirteen. This does not indicate that most branches of extremism (such as white supremacy) are particularly dangerous, but it does make clear that among extremists, militia associated individuals are more likely to commit violent acts. Second, consider these figures, which show that throughout the same period 1,649 officers were killed in the line of duty. That means that extremists murdered les than 1% of all cops killed during this period. If you consider only police officers killed by non-militia associated extremists, the number drops to one cop out of every 800 killed while on duty. Just something to consider the next time you’re thinking of cutting the SPLC a check.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Prussian Blue: Continuing A Tradition Of Horrible Music

Back in the day, the undisputed king of white power music bands was Skrewdriver. Starting out as a fairly respectable apolitical oi band, they soon mutated into an unintentionally hilarious medium for National Socialist propaganda, recording such subtle tracks as “White Power” and “Johnny Joined the Klan”. After the death of Skrewdriver’s front man in 1994 and the dissolution of the band, the white power music scene has lacked a unifying group to rally around.

Now a new folk duo by the name of Prussian Blue has stepped up to claim the title of most well-know white supremacist band. The group consists of 13 year-old twins (Lynx and Lamb) who started the band at the behest of their neo-Nazi mother, April Gaede. They’ve recently gotten a lot of mainstream media coverage, and are all the buzz within the white power subculture. They also, as you might guess, suck. I hate to be mean to a couple of middle school girls, but at this point I’d say they have it coming. Tuneless violin and guitar playing along with botched harmonies pretty much ensure that Prussian Blue will never achieve any kind of audience outside of white supremacist circles. Of course, lack of musical talent hasn’t stopped performers like Brittany Spears and the Spice Girls from becoming famous, so given a few years and the onset of puberty, who knows…

On a more serious note, it’s a shame that a mother should push children so young into such a bizarre situation. Political beliefs aside, you have to question the judgment of a woman who would compel her underage daughters to perform at a drunken skinhead fest. It will be interesting to see what happens when they reach their rebellious adolescence phase.

(Thanks to Tom for the post concept.)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

You May Now Address Me, Commoner

That’s right! You can now directly email yours truly (check my profile for the address). So come one, come all! Send me you opinions! Your gripes! Your nude photos! (OK, OK, only if you’re of legal age. In this society, you just can’t joke around any more. I was also going to post Ted Rall’s email address suggest that you send all of your mailbombs and virus-laden emails to him. But I guess I really shouldn’t do that either.) Seriously though, any good links and ideas for new posts would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Toledo, Ohio: Nitwits March, Scumbags Riot

It looks as if Saturday’s march by the National Socialist Movement (NSM) in Toledo, Ohio turned into a complete disaster for everybody involved. The NSM members were there to hold a protest against the local gangbangers who had supposedly been harassing whites. Given that the march was set to go through a black neighborhood, violence was an almost certainty. When the two dozen or so neo-Nazis began walking, a crowd of local African-Americans as well as members of Anti-Racist Action and One People’s Project (OPP) immediately met them. There were reports that the anti-racists handed out eggs to throw at the white supremacists, though OPP denies this. Given the larger than expected number of protesters, the cops cancelled the march and hustled the NSM members off to safety. The gangbangers decided to take advantage of their numbers and commenced to riot, burring and looting several businesses as well as overturning cars and randomly attacking both police officers and reporters. At least a dozen people (mostly cops) were injured, and over a hundred persons were arrested before order was restored. As I write this, the neighborhood in question is still under curfew and has a heavy police presence.

The white power community’s response has been mixed, with some disparaging the NSM for their lack of common sense, while others note that the footage of blacks looting their own neighborhood might be useful for propaganda purposes. The anarchists are predictably lauding the rioters for their “revolutionary” actions, and excusing the property destruction as being a blow against “the rich” (which apparently means anyone who owns a car or a business). The NSM is complaining that the cops set them up by deliberately routing their march past the counter-demonstration. The mayor of Toledo has stated that if the NSM tries to march again in his town, he will seek a court order to stop them. Given the text of the first amendment, he may find that difficult. Which in turn means that if the NSM wants to get a bit more free publicity, they need only start making plans now for a second protest.

On a final note, for a completely hilarious Onion-like parody of the whole chain of events leading up to the march, check out the Toledo Tales blog.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ted Rall: Al-Qaeda’s American Apologist

Ted Rall is a syndicated cartoonist whose work appears in many left-leaning alternative weeklies. He is also a political commentator whose essays are hosted by yahoo news among others. What makes Rall’s relatively mainstream acceptance so amazing is that he acts as Al-Qaeda’s de facto point man in the United States. In column after column, Rall spews his venom on America, declaring that in this war “We are the bad guys.” He refers to the indigenous Iraqi terrorists as “Iraqi patriots”, while rather affectionately dismissing the foreign Al-Qaeda fighter “naïve adventurers”. He defends the murder of police recruits by saying: “Cops who work for a foreign army of occupation are not innocent. They are collaborators. Traitors. They had it coming.” In a recent column, Rall shows himself to be not only a tool of radical Islamists, but also a person with an extremely warped view of American and Iraqi culture. In said column, Rall attempts to justify the terrorist attacks of the Iraqi insurgents by suggesting that Americans would behave in a similar manner if they were subjected to foreign occupation. During the course of the article Rall compares the Baathists of the old regime with the current Democratic and Republican parties, and the Bush twins with Saddam’s sons. I lack the time and inclination to pick apart all of the absurdities in the essay, and I’m sure any readers of this site will be able to demolish it with relative ease.

I have always laughed off the notion of a “liberal media” as being a delusion used by American conservatives to dismiss any criticism leveled against them by the press. Stuff like this makes me reconsider this opinion. Every time a conservative commentator like Bill O’Reilly or Pat Buchanan says some offensive, the mainstream media is on it like white on rice. But guys like Rall seem to get a pass. Can somebody provide me with an explanation that allows me to avoid admitting the conservatives might actually have a point on this issue?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Roy Moore For Governor

Roy Moore has declared that he will challenge Bob Riley, the current governor of Alabama, in the 2006 Republican state primary. Moore, as you might recall, is the Christian fundamentalist former chief justice of the Alabama supreme court who was removed from office in 2003 after refusing to remove a large monument to the Ten Commandments he had had placed in the state judiciary building in Montgomery. Since them Moore has become something of a hero to Christian Right, and a fawning website has been created in his honor by a group of conservative preachers in Alabama. (Among the many Moore-related items that are available for purchase on said website is a wall clock that plays a recoded recitation of the Ten Commandments every hour.) Here’s their statement of purpose with my own comments:

1) Defend America and her citizens' right to acknowledge Almighty God, by participating, directly and indirectly, in litigation involving the acknowledgement of God.

[So far so good. All Americans have the right to express their religious convictions.]

2) Educate the public about the U.S. Constitution and the Godly foundation of the United States of America.

[Funny, the Constitution does not contain the word “God” anywhere in its text. If this country was indeed founded on Godly principals, you would think they would have mentioned it in there somewhere.]

3) Promote public policy through appropriate legislation and other government actions. In other words, to assist in reestablishing society with good morals and values as set forth in the Holy Bible.

[So I guess we’ll start stoning homosexuals and witches again. Can’t wait.]

I’ll be paying close attention to this one. Perhaps my general cynicism will prove to be unfounded in this case, and Moore’s candidacy will flop before it gets off the ground. Then again, we’re talking about a state in which 40% of the electorate voted in favor of keeping a prohibition on interracial marrage in the state constitution a few years back. If this guy does in fact win the election, I think I’ll be staying away from Alabama for oh, the next couple of decades.