Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bill White May Have Finally Gone Too Far

Bill White is a man with a twisted past. Starting out in his teen years as an anarchist, he slowly made a political 180-degree tern, ending up as a rabid National Socialist. He now runs overthrow.com, a website devoted to publishing some the most vile racism to be found on the internet. White has never been afraid to push the envelope, but he may have finally taken things a bit too far. He recently posted the home addresses and phone numbers of five of the six young black men referred to in the media as the “Jena 6”. As SHAC found out the hard way, posting people’s personal information on the internet with the intention of causing them physical harm is a crime in the U.S. White may soon face such charges, as the FBI is looking into his website and considering legal action. Even most other white supremacists have distanced themselves from him, feeling he has become an embarrassment to the cause. There should be some kind of special award for people who get kicked out of the white power scene for being too offensive.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Going Undercover Among The Stinky

I recently came across this interesting article on a young woman who went undercover to spy on anarchists for the FBI. After attending an anti-globalization demonstration dressed in “grunge” clothing for a school project, she was recruited by the Bureau to attend anarchist gatherings and protests and report on any criminal activity she witnessed. To play the part the woman dressed in, as she put it, the “dirtiest, smelliest” clothes she could find and dyed her hair in all of the primary colors. She eventually fell in with a group of young anarchists who were planning bomb attacks on environmentally damaging targets in California. The unnamed young lady collected over $30,000 for her labors, and then disappeared back into the mainstream world. And do you want to hear the really funny part? She met the motley crew of would-be bombers at an anarchist conference in Des Moines, Iowa. The main item on the conference’s agenda was "sharing skills on how to spot undercover law enforcement people."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nazis Spark Fear, Loathing, And Lust Among Israelis

I wrote a post a couple of months back on the small Nazi skinhead culture that has sprung up in Israel. Persons from the former Soviet Union are allowed to immigrate to Israel if they can prove they have as little as one-eight Jewish ancestry. This means that there is a group of young persons in the country who have no real connection to Judaism and Jewish culture, and who sometimes harbor anti-Semitic beliefs. The first major skinhead bust in Israel took place this week. Eight young persons were arrested and charges with vandalizing synagogues with Nazi graffiti as well as attacking orthodox Jews on the street. If all of this seems a little weird, take a look at this article I came across detailing the now-dormant genre of Nazi porn that was once popular in the Jewish state. It seems that in the 1960’s, pornography was very difficult to obtain in that country. To satisfy the demand for erotic material, some Hebrew-language publishing houses in Israel began to churn out paperbacks that allegedly described the horror of the death camps. In fact, these fictionalized accounts dwelt of sadistic tortures melded out to male prisoners by female SS officers. The books usually concluded with the male prisoners breaking lose then raping and killing their former tormentors. (These books might well have been the inspiration for the vile Nazi exploitation film genre of the 1970’s). The idea of a Jewish Israeli man being sexually aroused by thoughts of Nazi torture would of course be both ethically and politically bizarre. This just goes to show that sometimes, sexuality trumps politics.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Wiley Drake Calls Down The Wrath Of God

Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) is a watchdog group that monitors the activities of the religious right in the United States. As might be expected, some of the Christian Supremacists who are targeted by AU’s investigations are less than happy with the organization. Take Wiley Drake, pastor of a small Baptist church in California. Upon receiving complaints that Drake had endorsed Republican Mike Huckabee for president on the church’s official website, AU asked for an IRS investigation of the church. (Churches can lose their tax-exempt status if they become directly involved in elections.) Rather than directly address the charges AU had brought against him, Drake responded with a call for Christians to engage in an “Imprecatory Prayer” directed at AU’s leadership. An imprecatory prayer is a now little-used Christian prayer intended to bring God’s righteous wrath upon a deserving sinner. That wrath is usually assumed to take the form of the death of the person being targeted. Of course, this only played into AU’s hands, as they now have yet another example of religious right wackiness with which to tar the entire Christian Right. Even Mike Huckabee’s campaign felt obligated to issue a press release condemning Drake’s statement. Last I checked, AU’s staff had not suffered any instances of death or pestilence. Either they aren’t praying hard enough, or God doesn’t feel that this case really warrants a smiting.