On his program today, Glenn Beck blamed “Marxist revolutionaries” in the Obama administration for the closure of monuments in national parks during the government shutdown. Although the closures are actually the result of Republicans in Congress refusing to provide funding for the parks service, Beck blamed Obama anyway, claiming that the president formed a secret cabal in the White House to order the monuments close and “inflict pain” on the American people.
“I want you to understand you are now seeing what I told you about three weeks ago. I told you they have gone from nudge to shove,” Beck said. “You’re next step is shoot.”
“Understand they are into shove, every Marxist communist revolution always ends with millions dead. Always, without fail, every time.”
Beck went on to describe atrocities committed by communist regimes, which he said is the next move of the Obama administration: “They starved them to death. Why? To teach them a lesson. This is the beginning of teaching the American people a lesson: don’t you screw with us.”
A Republican official who is running to be Texas’ next attorney general has defended white supremacists, Mormon fundamentalists and a militant Jewish group that plotted the assassination of a US congressman, the Texas Observer has found.
The Texas Observer reports that Texas Railroad Commission chairman Barry Smitherman penned a letter to his daughter’s school last year criticizing them for using literature from the Southern Poverty Law Center in a lesson on intolerance in conjunction with the book “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
In the letter, Smitherman accused the SPLC of “intolerance” specifically because of its opposition to the Crusaders for Yahweh, the Jewish Defense League, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), Border Guardians and the Oath Keepers. So who are these innocent, patriotic groups?
Here’s Smitherman’s letter, courtesy of Forrest Wilder:
This is Barry Smitherman, [name omitted]’s dad. I am presently helping [name omitted] with this project. While I’m incredibly supportive of reading and analyzing “To Kill a Mockingbird,” an American Classic set in the early part of the 20th century in the rural south, I’m troubled by the “Us and Them” study material provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). “To Kill a Mockingbird” not only shows us the tragedy of the Jim Crow south of 60 years ago, played out horribly in the conviction of Tom Robinson for a rape that he didn’t commit, the book also highlights the strength and integrity of Atticus Finch, some of the townspeople of Maycomb, and even apparently a few of the jury members who struggled with their verdict. At the conclusion of the book, Harper Lee has given us hope that the South is moving away from discrimination based upon skin color and toward judging a man (or woman), as Dr. King would say, “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, however, has a more radical view of racism, hate, and intolerance. A quick review of their website shows that the SPLC considers many patriot, mormon, and judeo-christian religious groups across America, including some in Texas, to be hate groups. For example, the group “Crusaders for Yahweh” is labeled by the SPLC to be a “Christian identity” group and is placed on the SPLC’s national “hate map.” The same with the “Evangelical Latter Day Saints” (mormons), the Jewish Defense League, which SPLC calls “anti-Arab”, and the Border Guardians, which is labeled by the SPLC as “anti-immigration.” Equally disturbing, the SPLC calls out groups like “We the People”, “patriots”, The “Constitution Party,” and “oath keepers” as groups which subscribe to unfounded conspiracy theories and are “opposed to one world order”.
I identify myself as a Christian and find it intolerant for the SPLC to label me as intolerant. Same with many of the patriot groups that have organized in Texas over the last several years. I personally know members of these groups and they are focused not on racism, but on balancing the federal budget and reducing or eliminating our $16 trillion national debt.
Perhaps you are unaware of the tenants of the SPLC; I encourage you to research it thoroughly during this exercise and to explain to your students that SPLC, which allegedly fights intolerance, is itself often intolerant. Thanks for your consideration of this issue. Barry
The American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri, the state-level chapter of the national AFA led by the husband and wife team Phillip and Cathy Cosby, lists as its number one priority: “Promoting sexual integrity and confronting the pornification of our culture in all venues, secular and sacred.”
As part of this mission, the Cosbys have taken it upon themselves to wage a years-long campaign to remove one statue owned and publicly displayed by the city of Overland Park, Kansas – a campaign that has included multiple public petitions and a change in state law, and has forced the city of Overland Park to rack up $35,000 in legal fees.
Now, the Cosbys are starting the process all over again, hoping to force the city to once again pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend its right to display the art in its collection.
The statue in question, called “Accept or Reject,” was given to the city in 2011 by a Chinese artist as part of a cultural exchange and is currently on display in the town’s arboretum. I’ll let Phil Cosby describe it: "It is a nine-foot-tall bronze statue of a totally nude woman. Her arm is extended, and she's taking a picture of herself, in essence sexting herself."
Here’s a picture of Phillip Cosby with the sculpture in question (the signage is his):
Last year, Cosby used a novel tactic to try to get the statue removed. Kansas is one of six states that allows for “citizens grand juries” – grand juries called by a petition of citizens rather than a prosecutor. The 1887 Kansas law has been revived in the last several years by right-wing activists to go after abortion providers and pornography.” In 2006 and again in 2008, anti-choice activists gathered enough signatures to launch a grand jury investigation of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller. Tiller’s attorney described the process as “a perfect example of a system which has virtually become active vigilantism.” The year after the second investigation, Tiller was assassinated by an anti-choice extremist.
So last year, Cosby returned to the “citizens grand jury plan, gathering enough signatures on a petition to convene a grand jury to investigate whether “Accept or Reject” was criminally obscene. The grand jury dismissed the case within a day, but that didn’t stop Cosby’s crusade. Instead, he contended that the jury dismissed the case because prosecutors didn’t pursue it with adequate zeal.
Earlier this year, Cosby worked with anti-abortion groups, with the support of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to change the citizen grand jury law to give more power to people who file the grand jury petitions, including letting the petition filer himself open the proceedings in the grand jury and let anybody who wants to apply to testify.
With the rules changed, Cosby’s now trying again to gather enough signatures to bring the sculpture before a new citizen grand jury, hoping that the new rules will produce a different outcome.
Cosby’s crusade is far from universally popular. Last year, Overland Park spent $35,000 defending the statue. And as the Kansas City Star’s editorial board pointed out last week, it’s far from the only nude sculpture publicly displayed in the area.
But Cosby claims that if allowed to call his own witnesses before a grand jury, he can present “a solid case on the harms to minors.” As part of his case, he’s been circulating this audio recording of a boy reacting to the sculpture with a loud “Whoa!” and claiming that “a city agency putting in front of children an act, that if they mimicked, would be the illegal manufacture of child porn by children”
Cosby must gather about 4,000 signatures to convene the grand jury.
This is the first post in a four-part series exploring how American right-wing groups have supported Russia’s recent spate of anti-gay laws and its crackdown on LGBT citizens.
This summer, as part of a larger effort to channel political dissatisfaction by scapegoating minorities, the Russian government escalated its crackdown on the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual citizens. President Vladimir Putin and his allies found support and guidance in their anti-gay efforts from a group eager for an opportunity to notch some victories in the battle against LGBT freedom and equality: the American right.
On June 11, the Russian Duma passed a law banning “propaganda” about homosexuality to minors, essentially a gag rule criminalizing any advocacy for LGBT equality. (Moscow had already instituted a 100-year ban on gay pride parades.) Weeks later, on July 3, Putin signed a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples abroad and by single people in countries that allow marriage equality. Shortly afterward, a member of the Duma proposed a law that would revoke gay people’s custody of their biological children. The bill’s sponsor said in an interview that children would be better off in orphanages than with a gay mother or father.
Russia’s crackdown on LGBT people comes amidst a broad crackdown on the rights of minorities and political dissenters or, in the words of one lawmaker, a campaign “to defend the rights of the majority.” On the same day the Duma passed its ban on gay “propaganda,” it also approved a harsh anti-blasphemy law promising jail time for “offending religious feelings.” The blasphemy measure was meant to strenghthen the laws that led to the political prosecution of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, whose members were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for a performance that was deemed to offend “religious sensibilities.”
Russia’s repression of LGBT people and the Pussy Riot case have provoked an international outcry, intensified by the the country’s role as the host of next year’s winter Olympics.
But throughout all this, one group has cheered on Putin’s actions: the American Religious Right and its international allies.
Even as tensions have grown between Russia and the United States, several Religious Right leaders have spoken loudly in favor of Putin’s crackdowns on gay people and political dissenters:
American conservative groups haven’t just praised Russia’s crackdown on gays. Working through several channels, American anti-gay activists quietly provided intellectual backing and international support that directly and indirectly fueled the resurgent anti-gay movement in Russia and in other former Soviet states like Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.
In a series of posts today and tomorrow, we’ll look at how American activists influenced Russia’s anti-gay laws by funding anti-gay activism in Russia, testifying before the Duma, providing false research to fan the flames of anti-gay laws abroad, and building an international movement to back the harshest anti-gay laws around the world.
Fox News regular Erik Rush is a champion of birtherism when it comes to President Obama, but that hasn’t stopped him from declaring that Canadian-born Ted Cruz eligible to be president. In fact, Rush hails Cruz as “a triple threat because he is conservative, Republican and an ethnic minority.”
How does Rush explain why he believes that Cruz – who was born in Canada to an American mother — can be president but that Obama — whom birthers like Rush falsely insist was born in Kenya to an American mother — isn’t? Well, he doesn’t: “There are also questions with regard to Cruz’s eligibility for the office (having been born in Canada), but given the history of this issue on the same subject with regard to President Obama, I won’t even go there.”
“Ted Cruz looks like a white guy, but he’s not – which is a non-issue to people who judge character over color,” Rush writes. “After all, our president looks like a black guy, but he’s not, and few of us make any bones about that.”
Rush classes up the column by calling Hillary Clinton “Miss Piggy” while lamenting that Cruz has been depicted as a “fringe, tinfoil hat-wearing fop.”
Don’t think for a moment that the ire, derision and ridicule of establishment Republicans and the liberal press that Ted Cruz now enjoys are merely a result of that speech. Considering the dire straits America is now negotiating (of which many of her proverbial passengers remain completely oblivious) and the designs of progressives in both parties, Cruz – who pledged to donate his salary to charity during any federal government shutdown – is a triple threat because he is conservative, Republican and an ethnic minority.
At a time when the GOP base was looking for a potential 2016 presidential nominee with testicular fortitude and without the historical political baggage, along came Ted Cruz – so it’s no wonder his name is already being floated for president amongst conservatives.
Ted Cruz looks like a white guy, but he’s not – which is a non-issue to people who judge character over color. After all, our president looks like a black guy, but he’s not, and few of us make any bones about that. There are also questions with regard to Cruz’s eligibility for the office (having been born in Canada), but given the history of this issue on the same subject with regard to President Obama, I won’t even go there.
It’s pretty apparent to anyone paying attention that unless Barack Obama declares himself emperor prior to 2016, Hillary Clinton (whom I affectionately call “Miss Piggy” due to resemblance rather than personal habits) is more or less a lock for the Democratic nomination. There have until recently been few prospects for the GOP, and it is highly probable that establishment Republicans and the Republican National Committee will do their best to ram another moderate or counterfeit conservative down our throats once again – perhaps Jeb Bush.
In this climate, someone like Ted Cruz, who has ingratiated himself to Americans in a big way simply by telling the truth, will remain a potential hazard to the establishment through 2016, unless he can be effectively neutralized. As we observed, GOP leaders united with the liberal press and politicians to thwart Cruz’s efforts to defund Obamacare, as well as conspiring to make him appear a fringe, tinfoil hat-wearing fop.
Back in April, Matt Drudge predicted that 2013 would be the “year of Alex Jones.” And what a year it’s been.
Just today, Jones donned a top hat, a fake English accent and a lizard mask — a take on his friend David Icke’s claim that shapeshifting lizards from outer space rule the world — to talk about the dangers of Obamacare.
Watch highlights here:
He said that vaccines give people syphilis and cancer while fluoride is a New World Order ploy to gain societal control and make “the state on my planet — I mean neighborhood — absolutely king.”
“This is a beautiful system being set up that would make Adolf Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer and Joe Stalin absolutely proud, this is a system where we can feed — I mean help all of you,” he said, before laughing maniacally.
Then, Space Lizard Jones brought on his special guest: “Obamacare,” represented by a guy wearing an Obamacare t-shirt skull mask.
“Here with our good friend Obamacare, who joins us to discuss all that is planned for you and grandma as well, fresh meat!” Jones said. “How are your herpes? How is your hernia?” Obamacare asked. “How is your homosexuality? I am watching you.”
Later, Space Lizard Jones told Obamacare, “I could suck the flesh off your head like a dying child, an aborted fetus, oh the beauty of it, the rapture,” while Obamacare kept asking about his herpes.
Space Lizard Jones then demanded a Nobel Peace Prize while accusing his new friend of racism against lizards: “Peace prize or you’re a racist against lizards! If you don’t accept all the vaccines you’re a racist. If you don’t do whatever I say you’re a racist. Racist; racist; racist; racist; racist; racist; racist; racist; racist. Flagellate yourself with a bull whip immediately.”
For several days now, Glenn Beck has been leading a campaign to convince Rep. Louie Gohmert to launch a primary challenge against Republican Senator John Cornyn in Texas. Today, Gohmert called into Beck's radio program where Beck told Gohmert that he had been praying on the question and the answer that he heard from God is that Gohmert should run.
Ghomert demurred, saying that he'd need to raise millions of dollars to launch such a challenge, which prompted Beck to tell him that he should not worry about that since God will provide all the funding he would need because "we live in a time of miracles."
"You are the guy," Beck assured him. "As long as we're on God's side, who could stand against us?"