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Fear and Loathing on the Far Right

March 17, 2010

By Kevin Osbourne

CityBeat

Molly Ivins, the late syndicated columnist from Texas, got it right when she wrote, “Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant — it tends to get worse.”

For the truth of that statement, look no further than the agenda for an April 17 event planned by the Springboro Tea Party just north of Cincinnati.

The event, called “Bringin’ Back Conservatism: Doin’ It Again in 2010,” is one of several planned by Tea Party groups across the nation that are timed to coincide with the federal tax filing deadline.

I’ve written before that most Teabaggers have little in the way of a coherent political philosophy other than their shared hatred of Big Government, which they simplistically and erroneously view as the source of all problems. (I’d argue that problems stemming from a bloated government are less harmful than those caused by a reckless, unfettered free market, although that’s really a false dichotomy anyhow.)

To kick off the Springboro event, Teabaggers will watch a movie on DVD. The actual film is being selected by an online poll now underway, but the choices have such titles as Shadow Government, Camp FEMA, Fall of the Republic and — in a nod to anti-Obama “birthers” everywhere — A Question of Eligibility. Be sure to bring popcorn.

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Stephen Baldwin Takes Christian Indoctrination to the Xtreme

March 16, 2010

By Sarah Posner

AlterNet

Actor Stephen Baldwin has a message for the millennial generation: Jesus is cool, Jesus is rad, Jesus will kick your butt, Jesus will help you kick the butts of secular liberals. Yet while Baldwin seeks to be the hip new face of evangelicalism, promoting the Jesus of skateboarders and cool kids, beneath his radical chic is the ideology of the old men behind the Cold War-era John Birch Society and Christian Crusade.

Together with Christian activist and radio host Kevin McCullough, Baldwin launched a youth-targeted for-profit Christian media company, Xtreme Media, LLC, and the radio program Xtreme Radio with Stephen Baldwin and Kevin McCullough. The aim of Xtreme Media, according to Baldwin, is to create “a content reality we want to utilize to fire up the conservative movement to stand up and push back louder and more ferociously.”

Addressing a 2008 religious-right conference, the annual Values Voter Summit sponsored by FRC Action, Baldwin — the baby of the Baldwin brothers acting family first put on the Hollywood map by brother Alec — explained that he uses “extreme sports” to recruit young evangelicals “because I believe the way to ensure a better America in the future is make more Christians.” At religious right conferences across the nation, Baldwin struts before young and not-so-young audiences, deploying his uber-masculine Christianity as a rebuke to the Hollywood liberals he claims are ruining America.

“We are the hands of the Lord Jesus in this realm,” he told the Values Voters. “And I don’t know about you — I’m not tryin’ to be dramatic — I’m puttin’ some boxing gloves on mine.”

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COINTELPRO, Private Intelligence & Democratic Freedoms

March 16, 2010

Excerpt from Our Enemies In Blue: Police and Power in America:

Beyond COINTELPRO

COINTELPRO was only one aspect of the relationship between local red quads and the federal government. Beginning in 1968, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration supplied grants to intelligence units for training and equipment. At about this same time, the Justice Department’s Interdivisional Information Unit (IDIU) provided the means for intelligence agencies at all levels, and from around the country, to share information. According the Church report, this established a system through which

The Attorney General received the benefits of information gathered by numerous agencies, without setting limits to intelligence reporting or providing clear policy guidance. Each component of the structure – FBI, Army, IDIU, local police, and many others – set its own generalized standards and priorities, resulting in excessive collection of information about law abiding citizens.

Nor was this the extent of federal involvement: Throughout the late 1960s New York City’s red squad gave daily briefings to Army intelligence. In Chicago, the U.S. Army Region I, 113th Military Intelligence Group not only trained and traded information with the local police, but participated in interrogations.

Never willing to be left out of the action, the CIA offered a six-week training course for local law enforcement personnel, teaching cops the basics of surreptitious entry, photographic surveillance, electronic eavesdropping, and the manufacture and use of explosives. Members of at least forty-four state, county, and municipal police departments received this training, and in return the locals helped the agency gather information, protect informants, and harass its critics.

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WACL, Moonstruck & Singlaub’s Warriors

March 15, 2010

An excerpt from Washington’s War on Nicaragua:

World Anti-Communist League

While researching their book on the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), journalists Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson received a letter from a former League member: “In considering the World Anti-Communist League you have entered a world of ideological fanaticism, racialism, ignorance and fear which is almost beyond the comprehension of the average American…Your subject matter is a collection of oriental fascists, militarists, rightwing terrorists who put bombs in civilian aircraft, death squads, assassins, criminals and many people who are as opposed to democracy as they are communism.”

With chapters now in over 90 countries on six continents, WACL was founded in 1966 by two dictatorships, South Korea and Taiwan, and the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), which united East European fascists who were valued for their anti-communism and resettled in the West with the aid of the Vatican and U.S. and British intelligence. Formed with U.S. government funds, the ABN is described as “the largest and most important umbrella for Nazi collaborations in the world.”

The late Yaroslav Stetsko, chairman of the ABN and a longtime WACL leader, met with President Reagan in the White House in 1983. The Ukrainian Stetsko assisted in the 1941 Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union and led the occupation of Lvov. “During the period in which Stetsko was in Lvov and, by his own claim, in charge of the city, and estimated seven thousand residents, mostly Jews, were murdered.”

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Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues

March 15, 2010

Hoax Sparks Panic In Georgia

March 15, 2010

By Nick Holdsworth

Variety

MOSCOW — A pro-government Georgian television station sparked widespread panic in the Caucasian country when it ran a spoof documentary claiming the Russians had invaded again.

The half-hour show — which aired Saturday night — brought chaos to the country after it claimed Russian troops were already in the capital Tbilisi and aired “unconfirmed reports” that pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili had been assassinated.

Mobile telephone networks crashed, cinemas emptied as parents called their children home and people spilled out on to the street of towns and cities across the country to seek safety.

But the report on Imedi-TV — once Georgia’s leading independent station until Saakashvili took it off air following the death of its owner, opposition figure Badri Patarkatsishvili in 2008 — was nothing but a hoax, apparently aired by a pro-government station in an attempt to discredit the opposition before key municipal elections in May.

Georgia Media Production Holdings, which now owns the station, claims the broadcast was designed to show the “real threat” of how events in a fresh Russian invasion might unfold.

Screened as a 30-minute news report, the broadcast said Russia aircraft had bombed Georgian air and seaports and that opposition leader Nino Burdzhanadze — just back from a trip to Moscow — had taken power.

She later denounced the report as “outrageous” government propaganda.

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Seeds of Strange: Beckistan Invades Kunstlerland!

March 12, 2010

‘Survival Seed Bank’ is a sponsor of Alex Jones Radio show

By Kerry Trueman

Huffington Post

Are the teabaggers ready to stop throwing tomatoes and start growing tomatoes? Glenn Beck’s latest sponsor, The Survival Seed Bank, is banking on Tea Party paranoia to sell a product it calls the “Full Acre Crisis Garden.” As Stephen Colbert noted on Wednesday, “nothing moves product like the hot stink of fear.”

For $164, you get a vacuum-sealed tube of PVC pipe filled with enough seed “to feed friends and family forever,” because, “in an economic meltdown, non-hybrid seeds could become more valuable than even silver and gold!”

But hang on to your credit card! It turns out that the folks flogging the Full Acre Crisis Garden are nothing but horticultural hucksters, as Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas revealed on Tuesday.

The Survival Seed Bank claims to offer “the peace of mind knowing that if things were to get scary, that you and your family could still eat.” But those vacuum-packed seeds “will be dead within the first year,” according to Seed Bank Scams, because “seeds need an airtight, but not airless environment…if you take away all the air, you will kill the seeds.”

Glenn Beck has made a fortune by stoking his viewers’ sense of persecution and their fear that shadowy, corrupt forces are hard at work conspiring to rip them off.

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