Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Conspiracy Comes Full Circle

I recently came across this interesting article describing how a group of black criminal defendants in Baltimore have begun using the “flesh and blood” defense in their trial. This defensive legal technique, too complicated to fully describe here, holds that when the federal government charges you with a crime, they are actually charging a “straw man” legal representation of yourself. If you assert your rights as a real flesh and blood man, the government can no longer hold you. Of course, this is all a bunch of horsesh*t, as the federal judge presiding over the case has told the accused many times. What is truly ironic here is that the flesh and blood defense was originally concocted by white supremacists in the 1960’s, as is based on the idea that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution is invalid. If that is the case, according to the defendant’s arguments, the federal government has no right to charge them with crimes that did not occur on federal property. Apparently, white power prisoners in the Maryland prison system told some of their black counterparts about the theory. At that point, black prisoners began using the defense. As the judge in this case has pointed out, if the 14th Amendment is invalid, then the defendants may have no rights at all under the law, as that was the amendment that declared no person would be denied their legal rights on account of their race. Silly or not, the defendants’ arguments have appear to have had some effect. Rather than deal with all of the complications this defense would bring to the death penalty phase of a trial, prosecutors have decided not to seek the capital punishment, and are instead asking for sentences of life without parole.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bob Barr Tells The White Supremacists Where To Stick It

As previously mentioned on this page, Republican/Libertarian Ron Paul had become the favored presidential candidate of white supremacists in the US this year. Although of course libertarianism and fascism are about as far apart as two political ideologies can be, white racists admired Paul’s promise to cut all aid to Israel and end government programs such as affirmative action. Paul caught some flak for refusing to return a $500 donation given to him by Don Black, former Klansman and current owner of the white supremacist webpage Stormfront. Now that Paul has all but officially dropped out of the Republican race, some questioned if Bob Barr, another Republican/Libertarian, might pick up some of this support from the radical right. Barr recently won the Libertarian nomination for president, meaning that his name will appear on the ballot in most states. After a white supremacist columnist recently endorsed the Libertarian candidate, Barr’s campaign manager responded with a rather strongly worded statement:

“We do not want and will not accept the support of haters. Tell the haters I said don’t let the door hit you on the backside on your way out!

Anyone with love in their heart for our country and for every resident of our country regardless of race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation is welcome with open arms.”

As might be expected, the folks at Stormfront are not pleased.
Hats off to Barr for taking the strong stand that Ron Paul was unwilling to, but you have to wonder if he just alienated one of the few demographics in America that might have actually gotten behind his candidacy.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Extreme Politics Goes Semi-Regular

As regular readers of this blog may have noticed, I don’t post here as much as I used to. When I first started writing this thing three years ago (jeeze, has it been that long?) I was unemployed and morbidly interested in extremist politics. These days, I have a steady job and stay pretty busy. And while I’m still interested in the subject, I have moved onto other hobbies as well, so I can’t say this is my main interest anymore. As a result I’ve decided to stop regular posting. I will be writing up pieces whenever I come across what I consider to be a particularly interesting story, which could range from once a week to once a month or less. In the meantime, fell free to email me at extremepolitics * hot/mail dot com with any ideas for future posts.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Michael Savage: A Study In Chutzpah

Michael Alan Weiner has led a colorful life. He grew up in the Bronx in a Russian Jewish family, and later earned a PhD. in herbal medicine. For years he made a living selling books on holistic treatments, spending his spare time hanging out with fellow beatniks like Alan Ginsberg. In the 1990’s Weiner underwent a radical political metamorphosis, and reinvented himself as the uber-offensive right-wing talk show host Michael Savage. Savage has a history of making very provocative statements, ranging from anti-gay (which got him fired from MSNBC) to anti-Jewish (which is not as strange as it sounds, given the history of anti-Semitism among Jews). He continued his over the top style this week by playing songs by the Dead Kennedys on his show in tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Savage has just made an interesting announcement, one that could have some very significant ramifications if he’s serious about it. Bemoaning the decline in conservative values within the Republican Party, Savage has announced plans to form his own political organization, which he is referring to as the Nationalist Party. He says the party’s platform will be based around “borders, language, and culture”, which can be translated as an ultra-nationalist, borderline fascist program. Not surprisingly, the real fascists on Stormfront are not impressed, claiming that this is just another trick by a wily Jew to discredit their movement. I tend to think this is all just another put on by Savage, and no concrete action will actually result. If I’m wrong, however, it could be very interesting, as there is in fact a huge reservoir of racist, homophobic, and Christian supremacist feelings among some white working class persons in America that no recent political party has been able to fully tap. Savage’s party could have the potential to become the Green Party of the right, acting as a spoiler in close contests and denying the Republican Party some victories.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Take Some Time While Strom Gets His

Given the extreme level of work I’m dealing with right now, I’ll be taking some time off from the blog. Until I return, comfort yourself with the knowledge that Kevin Alfred Strom (one time right-hand man of William Pierce and leader of the National Vanguard organization) plead guilty to one count of possession of child porn this week and was sentenced to 23 months in prison. See you later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Politics Of Desire

Let’s say you like to be tied up and whipped. In our permissive culture, that’s all well and good. Sure, some of the old folks might give you some flack, but most of us would say “whatever floats your boat”. OK, so you’re a perv, but you have no reason to feel guilty, right? But what if you’re an anarchist? Does giving another person that kind of power over you violate your libertarian principals? What if you’re a feminist and you like having men do terrible things to you? What if you’re Jewish and you like your lover to wear a Nazi outfit while he “tortures” you? (As I’ve noted before, it’s surprising how many people are sexually attached to what should probably repel them.) In this article Liz Highleyman, being all of the above, attempts to determine if her sexual kinks are in line with her revolutionary and feminist outlook. She ultimately seems to decide that the answer is yes, but is still clearly uncomfortable with some of her own desires. One of the beautiful things about human sexuality in my opinion is its resistance to logical analysis, and its refusal to change itself despite the conscious wishes of the person in question. If all of these silly efforts by right-wing Christians to “rehabilitate” gays have shown us anything, it is that sexual preferences (regardless of if they are genetically or environmentally based) are nearly impossible to change, even if the person desperately wants to do so. So leftists like Highleyman eventually must make a choice: Deny themselves the sexual experiences they most desperately crave, or admit to themselves that desire simply does not respond to political arguments.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Limits Of The Conspiracy Theory

Extremist political ideologies are, at their core, big conspiracy theories. They describe a malevolent movement bent on world domination, which only enlightened members of the group in question can effectively counter. Who is behind the conspiracy differs depending on which group you’re talking about (Jews, capitalists, the anti-Christ, etc.) but the effect is the same. It therefore might surprise some people to know that extremist political groups in the US have for the most part rejected 9/11 conspiracy theories. In this article, lefty folk singer David Rovics describes his irritation at having members of the “9/11 Truth Movement” (who claim the US government was behind the attacks) show up at his concerts. He also notes that this group often targets well-known radicals like Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman and accuses them of being dupes of the system for refusing to see things their way. The neo-Nazis for there part have similarly rejected the claims of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. It would appear even the paranoia of political extremism has its limits.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Standing Tall Before The Man

I recently came across this piece about an Earth Liberation Front (ELF) member who was facing some serious time in federal prison as the result of his teaching others how to make firebombs at an ELF gathering. The defendant explained to the judge that he has moved away from radicalism, has a family, and regrets many of his past actions. His statements impressed the judge, leading him to sentence the man to only one year in prison. In the comments section of the story, one anarchist berates the convicted environmentalist for retracting his previous statements when threatened with prison. Others support his actions, noting it was the only way for him to avoid lengthy incarceration. These arguments often spring up in the white power scene as well, when defendants must renounce their racism in order to curry favor with the judge. The hardliners will always claim this is a sellout of conviction. If you recant in the face of prosecution, how committed were you to the cause in the first place? Of course, it’s these same hardliners who upon conviction will have lots of extra time behind bars to consider the value of their ideological purity.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bill White: Neo-Nazi Rebel Or Protected Informant?

I’ve mentioned Bill White a few times previously on this site, and the Southern Poverty Law Center has just published a detailed biography on the man. He’s a true rabble-rouser, a white power activist who actually succeeds in pissing off and offending his fellow racists. His website,, has served for years as the Internet’s best source of gossip on the white supremacist scene. Some of what he printed was true, much of it not, but it was always entertaining. White has also acted as a disruptive force within racist organizations, most recently causing trouble within the National Socialist Movement, leading to his censure and resignation from the group. White has recently gained much media attention as a result of his online threats directed against just about anyone who displeases him, as well as the posting or his target’s phone numbers and home addresses. As the SHAC 7 found out a while ago, the federal government has recently shown no compunction in charging political activists with crimes as a result of posting online threats. This raises the question of why White has never been indicted as the result of his activities. One explanation is that he has been very lucky. The second is that he is an FBI informant. Given the recent revelation that the caustic racist Hal Turner was on the fed’s payroll, it doesn’t seem to be too much of a stretch to think that White might be cashing in on the same racket. Even if he is not in fact working for the government, they could hardly ask for a better ally than White, who has succeeded in disrupting the white nationalist movement in the US better than any other single individual.

Monday, March 17, 2008

John McCain Ponders A Running Mate

Sorry to mention David Duke again, but I just found this bit of weirdness on the Internet and had to share. This site claims to be in favor of putting together a Republican Party “dream ticket”: John McCain and David Duke. There are a couple of ways to interpret this. It could all be a big joke, played by leftists intending to highlight McCain’s “fascist” attitudes. Similarly, it could be meant as an attack on the GOP nominee, hoping that some gullible voters accept the idea as plausible. The thing about satire and political attacks is that they are usually pretty easy to spot. Weather the object is humor or an attack, the writers always push it a little too hard, saying things that no serious author would suggest. Given the tone of this site, it’s either on of the most straight-faced parody pieces ever, or, more likely, it’s completely serious. Assuming they mean what they write, the site’s authors are clearly out of touch with political reality. The idea of McCain even accepting an endorsement from a known racist like Duke, let alone adding him to his ticket, is absurd. And for what it’s worth, Duke has said that given McCain’s stances on illegal immigration, Israel, and other racial issues, Duke would “put his fingers into a fire” before voting for him. So who will Duke support in the general election? He’s leaning towards Ralph Nader.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Long, Strange Trip Of Chris McIntosh

Extremist groups tend to attract persons who are somewhat unstable, and many members of these groups will in fact radically change their lifestyles over a very short period of time. Even more amazingly, some will do a complete 180-degree turn in their politics without a second thought. Consider the case of Chris “Dirt” McIntosh. He started off as an Earth Liberation Front/Animal Liberation Front terrorist, and was convicted in 2005 of firebombing a McDonald’s location in Seattle and sentenced to eight years in prison. He received support from the Earth Liberation Front prisoner network (ELP) as well as other anarchist organizations. After a few years, McIntosh began to downplay his anarchist connections while still appealing for correspondence and funds from the outside. He stated that he could not understand “why the foremost natural law – might makes right – is not held paramount [in the anarchist movement]. The fact we have no inherent rights other than what we conquer through our manifest physical will.” This is an unusual opinion within anarchist circles, given most anarchists’ egalitarian beliefs. Perhaps even more ominously, McIntosh stated, “Ignorant behavior finds some way to oppress you no matter where you turn and creates high race tension. I have fought hard and long to combat within myself the anger and hatred caused by this tension.” Given these statements, perhaps it is not surprising that the ELP recently urged its supporters to break off contact with him. The group claims that it has letters from McIntosh in which he “uses highly offensive racist language and referred to black people as ‘fucking mud people’. In his letters McIntosh talks about white supremacy and how he would be prepared to die for white supremacy. We understand he has also talked to other supporters about his belief in white supremacy.” Further, and perhaps most horribly, they claim that he has begun eating meat. The organization therefore declares “on the grounds that McIntosh is a racist, sexist, meat eating, white supremacist, who believes it is okay for the strong to bully the weak and it is okay for a man to rape a woman, ELP is permanently ending our support for Christopher 'Dirt' McIntosh.” Perhaps “Dirt” will find the support he’s looking for among the white supremacists he seems ideologically drawn to. They have their own prisoner support networks, and their women are often a bit better groomed.

Monday, March 03, 2008

In A Shocking Announcement, David Duke Declares He Will Not Support Barack Obama

In what must be a great letdown for Barack Obama, former KKK leader and noted white nationalist David Duke today declared that he in fact will not be supporting the senator in his bid to become the first black president of the United States. Duke notes that while many persons take Obama at his word when he says he can unite all Americans, “…does Obama really mean it? Or, is it just another lie in what must qualify as the most hypocritical profession on earth: politics.” Duke, a former state representative, as well as a past candidate for the US Senate and presidency, went on to state that: “Compelling evidence shows that Barack Obama is an Afro-American whose ultimate loyalty is not to ‘all the people of the United States,’ but primarily to his fellow African-Americans.” Duke is admirable in pointing out that we must reject candidates for public office who espouse openly racist rhetoric. He rightly implies that a candidate who preaches a vision of racial harmony and togetherness should receive a rousing statement of support from the public, regardless of that person’s race or creed. Indeed, David Duke’s past actions and statements reveal a person deeply concerned with creating a nation in which all persons are equally accepted and loved, regardless of their race, religion, or political viewpoint.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Changing Face Of Terrorism

When most Americans hear the word “terrorism”, they probably think of al-Qaeda, and of course with good cause. But as this interesting article from the Associated Press notes, almost all of the terrorist actions carried out in this country after 9/11 were committed by American citizens, not foreign Muslim extremists (it appears likely that this is true even for the yet-unsolved anthrax mailings that directly followed the Sept. 11th attacks). Although none of these domestic terrorism cases come anywhere close to reaching the monstrous impact of the 2001 attacks (most of them are in fact property destruction incidents), they do illustrate that our most potent and potentially dangerous extremist elements come from within rather than from a foreign source.

The above article contains a link to the Terrorism Knowledge Base, an exhaustive listing of every major terror attack that has occurred in the world since the late 1960’s. It is interesting to note that excepting a couple of jihad-inspired incidents and attacks on anti-Castro groups in Florida, every terrorist incident recorded in the US after 9/11 can be attributed to the Earth Liberation Front, the Animal Liberation Front, or a related organization. To be fair, none of these attacks involved any sort of personal violence, being merely property crimes. Still, this does make clear that the far left in the US is much more prone to direct action at this point than is the far right.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Extreme Book Reviews: Inside Out by Alexandra Stein

OK you internet fiends, time to unglue your eyes from your monitor and read an actual print book. Alexandra Stein’s Inside Out: A Memoir of Entering and Breaking Out of a Minneapolis Political Cult is recommended for anyone who has a serious interest in political extremism or cults in general. Stein is a red diaper baby, raised by Communist activists. She drifted into the San Francisco leftist scene in the 1970’s, integrating herself into what was left of the radical underground there. Eventually, she came into contact with a mysterious group called simply the O. The O promised a strict system of internal discipline designed to turn its members into committed Maoist revolutionaries. Impressed with the group’s seemingly high levels of organization and purpose, Stein moved to Minneapolis to immerse herself completely in the O’s teachings. Separated from her family and friends, she soon came to depend on the group for her social as well as political needs. The rest of the book describes Stein’s journey from loyal member to questioning apostate, and her eventual separation from the group. The O was unusual in that it was a cult based on political rather than religious principals, and its leader was not particularly charismatic. (In fact, Stein did not so much as know the identity of the group’s leader until she was already in the process of leaving. Stein suggests that this leader, Theo Smith, may have been able to exert such control over his followers in part due to the fact that they were all white persons while he was an African-American man. The O may have been, to some extent, an extreme example of the power of white guilt.) The book does not only describe the inner workings of the cult, but also delves into Stein’s personal experience, allowing the reader to understand how an intelligent and perceptive young woman could come to surrender herself to a political organization so completely. These personal observations are what make the book such a pleasure to read, and what gives it such value to those studying the psychology of political extremism.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Food Not Bombs Learns The Dangers Of Democracy

I’m sure Andrew Stankevich is a nice guy. He started a Food Not Bombs chapter in Rochester, NY several years ago with the aim of feeding the poor persons of that city. Mr. Stankevich’s operation became successful enough for him to open a distribution center/store called Friends Helping Friends. Everything went swimmingly until members of a violent black separatist cult called the Nation of Yahweh (NOY) began attending the organizational meetings. Apparently, the cultists were offended by a white activist running a non-profit institution in a predominantly black neighborhood. As Friends Helping Friends is run under a democratic model of organization, it was fairly easy to force Stankevich out. The NOY members simply packed the organizational meetings with their themselves and their supporters, then voted him off of the managing board based on bogus charges of embezzlement and attempted murder (!). If Stankevich was more familiar with how extremists operate, he might have seen this coming. The old Communists Party USA had a long history of taking over unions and other leftist organizations using this method, and recently the Sierra Club had to fend off an effort by anti-immigrant extremists trying to do the same thing. Stankevich has probably wisely decided to move on with his life and not challenge the NOY takeover. This whole episode however might serve as a good lesson for those trying to start grassroots organizations: Sometimes, democracy is overrated.