Saturday, October 19, 2013

Argle Bargle Morble Whoosh

Holy cow. Sarah Palin sounds like she's been nipping into the ol' Rushbo 151 again, hasn't she? With a side of Peggy Noonan's Magic Dolphin Helpers.

Reminds me of Frito Bugger the evening he hung out with Tim Benzedrine. And the funniest part is watching Megyn Kelly, nobody's fool, trying to maintain her composure and put a nice face on all this.

This is classic Palin, right up there with the Great Turkey Massacre.

Bob Cesca has a transcript.

Seattle Metro’s Refusal to Run Anti-Jihad Ads By Geller Group Sparks Lawsuit

Pamela Geller
and her far-right Muslim-bashing organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, have announced they are striking back at “Sharia Enforcement” by suing the city of Seattle. Or someone.

In a press release earlier this week headlined “We Are Suing the City of Seattle,” Geller heralded the lawsuit by claiming that transit authorities in Seattle had refused one of the AFDI’s incendiary advertisements for their buses.

However, the lawsuit AFDI filed this week is actually against King County’s Metro Transit Authority, not the City of Seattle -- a much smaller entity fiscally and geographically than King County.

“Twelve years after the 9/11 jihad terror attacks, it has come to this: we have to file suit to fight against jihad terrorism, and the media calls us a ‘hate group’ for doing it,” Geller’s press release said.

As the release notes, the dispute revolves around a series of ads the AFDI purchased to appear on the sides of Metro buses. They featured mug shots of 16 “Faces of Global Terrorism” – all Arabic or black men – and all of whom are highly unlikely to be making appearances in Seattle anytime soon.

Previously, Metro had allowed the AFDI to run anti-Palestinian ads on some buses in response to similar ads run by pro-Palestinian groups. And it had run ads nearly identical to the “Faces” billboards when they were sponsored by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in June 2013. The JTTF, however, voluntarily removed those ads after U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, wrote a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller expressing concern. McDermott said the ads would “only serve to exacerbate the disturbing trend of hate crimes against Middle Eastern, South Asian and Muslim-Americans.”

Geller’s press release explains: “But then the leftists and Islamic supremacists complained that the ads were ‘Islamophobic,’ and they came down – and now  Seattle is refusing to allow my group, the AFDI, to put them back up. This is sharia compliance.”

Jeff Switzer, a spokesman for Metro, declined to comment on the pending litigation but said the ads were refused because of Metro’s longstanding policy of refusing ads if they are have false and misleading statements, demeaning or disparaging content, or material that might lead to service disruptions.

Cross-posted at Hatewatch.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Oath Keepers Pushing Oregonians to Resist Gov’t Concentration Camps

A statewide organization of conspiracy-peddling Oath Keepers has been gaining traction in small-town Oregon by convincing a series of county-level officials that they need to speak out against the enactment of the National Defense Appropriations Act by passing official resolutions defending the constitutional rights of their citizens.

Among the concerns that these county officials cite is the alleged threat, raised by the Oath Keeper activists who promote these resolutions, that federal authorities are planning to round up American citizens and incarcerate them in concentration camps.

The resolution passed by the Klamath County board of commissioners on Sept. 24, for example, warned that “Whereas Klamath County is not a ‘battlefield’ subject to the ‘laws of war’,” the county commission was declaring that “it is unconstitutional, and therefore unlawful for any person to … arrest or capture any person in Klamath County, or citizen of Klamath County within the United States, with the intent of ‘detention under the law of war’ … or subject any person to targeted killing in Klamath County.”

Most of these resolutions are the handiwork of Tom McKirgan, who heads up the Oregon chapter of the Oath Keepers from his home in rural Coquille. He first convinced the Coos County commissioners – after months of activism – to pass a resolution in late July opposing the NDAA because of its supposed violations of the Fourth Amendment’s requirements for due process. (The national Oath Keepers organization also promotes NDAA-related conspiracy theories on its website.)

McKirgan has been working in tandem with activists from the state chapter of People against the National Defense Authorization Act (PANDAA) to promote the resolutions. And while PANDAA’s portion of the presentations have remained within the realm of the rational concerns about civil liberties related to the bill, when the Oath Keepers have spoken up, it has veered into the wildly conspiratorial.

Among the dire warnings these commissioners heard during the process were allusions to the Oath Keepers’ oft-stated belief that the NDAA creates the legal pretext for federal authorities to begin rounding up right-wing citizens and placing them in concentration camps, or that they might begin labeling Tea Party leaders “enemy combatants” and start assassinating them. At times – particularly in Klamath County – it seemed some of the commissioners shared those fears.

The same warning showed up on the Oath Keepers website in a discussion of the Oregon successes around the NDAA issue. A commenter named “D. Bertrand” explained: “One reason for the NDAA, (or maybe two reasons) is because, at some point in the near future, a massive round-up of any particular group and/or activists/journalists, would be so many that DUE PROCESS would be virtually impossible and would clog the legal system. The other reason would be … These massive arrests would be un-constitutional without legal probable cause, and a violation of 1st and 4th amendment rights, therefore….they will just go for it !!”

“Bertrand” then explained that, out of eight levels needed to reach that dire stage, “we are currently at Level Five,” adding: “Unfortunately, most Americans slept through Levels One thru Four and the NDAA is creeping through the back-door. Oregon Oath Keepers, and California, are going head to head with the NDAA. If when the NDAA goes live…that means WE ARE IN A WAR.”

McKirgan has weighed in on local issues in the Coos County area with a similarly conspiratorial perspective. When local night-sky watchers in the coastal town of Bandon promoted an ordinance to regulate residents’ lighting, he warned in a letter to the editor: “This is another avenue exploited by the [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service] to greatly expand their ulterior motive of turning the entire Coquille Valley into a massive mosquito bog unfit for human habitation.”

At an Oath Keepers gathering in Reedsport, he warned: “We are living under a soft form of martial law.” He also dismissed President Obama’s authority: “Obama is not a president,” he said. “He is nothing but a communist trying to usurp his power and bring us under the United Nations banner.”

“We’re trying to nullify, actually the Constitution nullifies it, we’re trying to reject and repeal section 1021 and 1022,” McKirgan told the Reedsport City Council. “Oath Keepers is not a militia. We are an organization of education. We reach, teach and inspire others to follow the oaths of office that they swore to uphold the Constitution. This is an unconstitutional act that places America on the battlefield, where everybody inside that battlefield are subject to the rules of military law.”

However, both the Reedsport and the Coos Bay city councils did turn him away in his efforts to get them to similarly endorse his conspiracy theories. But McKirgan has turned his sights to other precincts, with Douglas County next on his list, he says. And he promised: “We have other counties in our cross hairs.”

In the meantime, the Oath Keepers may not yet be calling their operations militias, but they are functionally becoming one: President/founder Stewart Rhodes recently announced that Oath Keepers were “going operational” with the formation of “Civilization Preservation Teams.” Last week, the organization announced it was forming an “honor guard” at the nation’s war memorials to prevent their closures during the government shutdown.

Cross-posted at Hatewatch.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gun-Rights Group Wants to Make Sandy Hook Anniversary 'Guns Save Lives Day'

Ah, nothing like the gun nuts, keeping it classy:
A national Second Amendment group based in Bellevue has decided to sponsor “Guns Save Lives Day” on Dec. 14 — the anniversary of last year’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
The 650,000-member Second Amendment Foundation, which announced the event Thursday with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and, has not yet decided what it will entail. But Alan Gottlieb, the president of the group, said the goal is to show “there’s a good side of guns.”

“People every single day use guns to save lives,” Gottlieb said. “We don’t think anybody should have been a victim at Sandy Hook, and we don’t think anybody should be a victim in the future.”

Gottlieb estimated that some 200 gun-rights groups from all 50 states would participate in the event.

“Quite frankly, we don’t want the gun prohibition lobby to own that day,” he said. “So we’re starting early.”

Critics blasted the event as disrespectful.

Cheryl Stumbo, a victim of the Seattle Jewish Federation shooting on July 28, 2006, said that if gun-rights groups tried to sponsor a similar event on July 28, it would feel like “a slap in the face.”

“It’s an attempt to blame victims, and it shouldn’t be tolerated,” said Stumbo, the sponsor of a 2014 initiative campaign to require background checks for all gun sales, not just those by licensed dealers.
Gottlieb's group is probably the second-most influential gun-rights outfit in the United States after the NRA. It's also one of the more radical: In the 1990s, Gottlieb was closely associated with the "Wise Use" movement and its leader Ron Arnold, and the two of them were involved in militia organizing in the Northwest.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.