Hillary Clinton Compares Anti-Abortion Republicans To Terrorists

Source: Patheos.com

Author: Michael Stone

Emphasis Mine

Dropping an enormous bomb of truth, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton compares her Republican rivals’ views on women’s health issues to those of “terrorist groups.”

Speaking in Cleveland on Thursday, Clinton slammed the 2016 Republican candidates for their “out-of-date and out-of-touch policies” on women’s health issues, even going so far as to compare some Republican candidates to terrorists:

Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States, yet they espouse out-of-date and out-of-touch policies.  They are dead-wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward. We are not going back.

Clinton specifically cited Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in her speech, noting he “brags about wanting to deny victims of rape and incest access to healthcare and abortion.”

Speaking to the large crowd at the campaign speech at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Clinton defended Planned Parenthood from GOP efforts to defund the organization dedicated to healthy family planning and women’s reproductive health, saying:

I would like these Republican candidates to look the mom in the eye who caught her breast cancer early because she was able to get a screening for cancer or the teenager who didn’t get pregnant because she has access to contraception. Or anyone who has ever been protected by an HIV test.

Clinton is right to compare the radical, anti-abortion, forced-birth, religious extremists that are currently leading the GOP to terrorists. And it is good to hear someone of her political stature make the claim that needs to be made.

Bottom line: The current field of Republican presidential candidates are not interested in protecting women, families, or children. All they are interested in is satisfying their perverse religious superstitions by imposing their will on the bodies of American women.

See:http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/08/hillary-clinton-compares-anti-abortion-republicans-to-terrorists/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=progressivesecularhumanist_082815UTC010804_daily&utm_content=&spMailingID=49425253&spUserID=MTIxNzQwMzMwMDkyS0&spJobID=744241692&spReportId=NzQ0MjQxNjkyS0

5 of the Most Dangerous Delusions of the Far Right

Conservatives are outdoing themselves with the crazy on issues like climate change and abortion.

Source: AlterNet

Author: Amanda Marcotte

That the conservative movement is built on a bunch of misinformation, strange fantasies and outright lies has been the subject of thorough documentation, particularly in the past few decades. Conservative leaders deny inconvenient facts, make up lurid tales to justify their beliefs, and outright lie, if it suits their agenda. But these lies and myths rarely just sit in amber. They tend to evolve and get stranger and more baroque over time. Just when you think conservative misinformation can’t get any weirder, it does. Here’s four topics where conservatives are taking the lies and denialism to the next level.

1) Climate change.The White House recently released a report on climate change outlining how climate change is no longer a “future” issue since it’s having an impact on the environment right now. Conservatives responded by abandoning all restraint. No longer content with the line that they are simply “skeptical” of the science, George Will and Charles Krauthammer (neither of whom are scientists) went on Fox News to “explain” how all this science stuff is hokum. Will basically accused scientists of making it all up for mercenary reasons, saying, “If you want money from the biggest source of direct research in this country, the federal government, don’t question its orthodoxy.” Why the federal government would make up climate change and then bribe scientists to lie about it was left unexplained.

 

But Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post may have come up with an even more entertaining, if still chilling way for conservatives to simply wave off the overwhelming evidence about climate change. Bresciani seems to accept that climate change is happening, but claims it’s for biblical reasons. “All that the Bible reveals about climate changed is part of the pre-millennial prophetic message. It does say that earthquakes and violent storms, fires and other natural disasters will occur with greater intensity and frequency as the ‘last days’ approach, but it clearly says these are ‘birth pangs’ for a planet about to meet its creator.” Instead of blaming carbon emissions, he blames “everything perverted, liberal and dehumanizing.”

So those are the two choices facing a forward-thinking climate change denialist these days: Either claim science is a lie or say climate change is real, but it’s caused by all the sex you perverts are having.

2) Abortion.Abortion has always been a topic that causes conservatives to spin off into fantasyland, but lately it just seems to be getting worse. Unable to admit out loud that they want to ban abortion to punish women for having sex, conservatives have taken to spinning fantastical tales of how abortion is an “industry” that deliberately tricks women into having abortions in order to make money. (Never mind that many abortion clinics are non-profits.)

But even that lurid fantasy is apparently not satisfying enough. Carol Everett worked in abortion clinics three decades ago and now makes a living as an anti-choice activist, and there’s no tale too tall for her to tell. Recently, LifeSiteNews, without an ounce of skepticism, printed some of Everett’s claims about how the “industry” supposedly tricks young women into having sex, by letting them know that it exists. “We had a goal of 3-5 abortions from every girl between the ages of 13 and 18,” she told the unbelievably gullible audience at an anti-choice function. She then explained that abortion clinic workers supposedly sneak into schools and trick kids into getting abortions by teaching them the name of their genitals. Knowing your genitals have a name apparently puts them straight on the road to having sex, something she seemingly believes teenagers would otherwise have no interest in.

“My goal was to get them sexually active on a low-dose birth control pill that we knew they would get pregnant on,” she triumphantly concluded. There you have it: Anti-choicers have taken to practically arguing that feminists invented sex so they can trick women into having abortions. It makes perfect sense if you’ve been knocked on the head in the past five minutes. (Research shows that contraception use is linked to lower, not higher, abortion rates.)

3) Gun culture.The great myth the right has pushed for decades is that people need guns for personal safety, to protect against home intruders who are bent on raping and murdering them. It’s hard to deny the right to self-defense, but the tactic is fundamentally dishonest because having a gun in the home significantly raises the likelihood you’re going to be murdered. But no longer content simply to lie to people about guns, right-wing media has upped the ante, now arguing that a little pre-emptive murder of teenagers who are not actually out to murder you is good for overall safety and security.

You see it with the attempts to turn George Zimmerman into a hero, even though it’s indisputable that he chased down and shot an unarmed Trayvon Martin. Sean Hannity recently experimented with pushing the envelope even further, by championing the cause of a man who entrapped his victims with the intent to kill them for stealing from him. Byron Smith knew that his victims—Haile Kifer, 18, and Nick Brady, 17—had no intention of harming anyone with their admittedly stupid teenage stunt of breaking into houses to steal stuff. That’s why he set up an elaborate ruse to trick them into thinking his house was empty (including driving away and sneaking back into his dark house on foot) for the sole purpose of shooting them dead. Smith was found guilty of murder.

But Hannity couldn’t resist trying to turn him into a hero, claiming it was somehow self-defense because the kids “broke into the guy’s house.” This goes well beyond the lie that guns make you safe. The argument here is that pre-emptive vigilantism and the summary execution of people guilty of nothing more than petty crime is somehow “self-defense.”

4) Terrorism. Your average conservative is deeply committed to the idea that the Republicans are better on security issues than the Democrats. Of course, now they have to contend with the fact that President Obama presided over the killing of Osama Bin Laden. How better to go about this than just go big when rewriting history?

During a recent discussion of terrorism, Fox News host Eric Bolling said, “America was certainly safe between 2000 and 2008. I don’t remember any attacks on American soil during that period of time.” No one bothered to correct him, even though the biggest terrorist attack in American history happened during Bush’s presidency, on September 11, 2001. Perhaps you remember it.

5) Benghazi. Fox News and various conservative pundits are notorious for going on and on with this hazy conspiracy theory trying to blame Hillary Clinton for an attack on an embassy in Benghazi that led to the deaths of Americans. But now it’s gotten to the point where every news story imaginable is being somehow linked back to “Benghazi,” no matter how tenuous the connection.

Recently, this trend reached a new low: Trying to use the kidnapping of hundreds of school girls in Nigeria by an Islamist cult to push the Benghazi hoax. Benghazi is a city in Libya, and is nearly 3,000 miles away from Nigeria. This did not stop Laura Ingraham on Fox News from implying that the embassy incident in Benghazi somehow caused the kidnapping. “I think part of the problem here is that we have a dead American ambassador,” she said, going on to suggest that the ambassador’s death emboldened Boko Haram to kidnap the girls.

Allen West went in a different, though no less disgusting, direction. Calling the attention paid to the Nigeria story “fishy,” West argued that the story is just a distraction from “all the scandals facing the Obama administration, especially Benghazi and the Select Committee.” The possibility that people might actually care deeply about what happens to innocent young girls is clearly implausible to him.

None of this should be surprising. Once the right embraced dishonesty as a favorite tactic, there’s no reason not to give into the urge to make the lies more elaborate and fantastical, all of which gets them more attention and gins up more hatred for their opposition. The lies are just going to get nuttier, as there’s very little reason for conservative pundits not to keep pushing and seeing how far they can go.

Amanda Marcotte co-writes the blog Pandagon. She is the author of “It’s a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.”

Emphasis Mine

See: http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/5-most-dangerous-delusions-far-right?akid=11815.123424.B9wocH&rd=1&src=newsletter993137&t=4

We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore

“I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.

Written in 2004.

How did the Party of Lincoln and Liberty transmogrify into the party of Newt Gingrich’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk?

By GARRISON KEILLOR

Something has gone seriously haywire with the Republican Party. Once, it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships. They were good-hearted people who vanquished the gnarlier elements of their party, the paranoid Roosevelt-haters, the flat Earthers and Prohibitionists, the antipapist antiforeigner element. The genial Eisenhower was their man, a genuine American hero of D-Day, who made it OK for reasonable people to vote Republican. He brought the Korean War to a stalemate, produced the Interstate Highway System, declined to rescue the French colonial army in Vietnam, and gave us a period of peace and prosperity, in which (oddly) American arts and letters flourished and higher education burgeoned—and there was a degree of plain decency in the country. Fifties Republicans were giants compared to today’s. Richard Nixon was the last Republican leader to feel a Christian obligation toward the poor.

In the years between Nixon and Newt Gingrich, the party migrated southward down the Twisting Trail of Rhetoric and sneered at the idea of public service and became the Scourge of Liberalism, the Great Crusade Against the Sixties, the Death Star of Government, a gang of pirates that diverted and fascinated the media by their sheer chutzpah, such as the misty-eyed flag-waving of Ronald Reagan who, while George McGovern flew bombers in World War II, took a pass and made training films in Long Beach. The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics. “Bipartisanship is another term of date rape,” says Grover Norquist, the Sid Vicious of the GOP. “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” The boy has Oedipal problems and government is his daddy.

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, shriekChristians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shreiking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.

Rich ironies abound! Lies pop up like toadstools in the forest! Wild swine crowd round the public trough! Outrageous gerrymandering! Pocket lining on a massive scale! Paid lobbyists sit in committee rooms and write legislation to alleviate the suffering of billionaires! Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight! O Mark Twain, where art thou at this hour? Arise and behold the Gilded Age reincarnated gaudier than ever, upholding great wealth as the sure sign of Divine Grace.

Here in 2004, George W. Bush is running for reelection on a platform of tragedy—the single greatest failure of national defense in our history, the attacks of 9/11 in which 19 men with box cutters put this nation into a tailspin, a failure the details of which the White House fought to keep secret even as it ran the country into hock up to the hubcaps, thanks to generous tax cuts for the well-fixed, hoping to lead us into a box canyon of debt that will render government impotent, even as we engage in a war against a small country that was undertaken for the president’s personal satisfaction but sold to the American public on the basis of brazen misinformation, a war whose purpose is to distract us from an enormous transfer of wealth taking place in this country, flowing upward, and the deception is working beautifully.

The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good.

Our beloved land has been fogged with fear—fear, the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence the opposition. And in a time of vague fear, you can appoint bullet-brained judges, strip the bark off the Constitution, eviscerate federal regulatory agencies, bring public education to a standstill, stupefy the press, lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich.

There is a stink drifting through this election year. It isn’t the Florida recount or the Supreme Court decision. No, it’s 9/11 that we keep coming back to. It wasn’t the “end of innocence,” or a turning point in our history, or a cosmic occurrence, it was an event, a lapse of security. And patriotism shouldn’t prevent people from asking hard questions of the man who was purportedly in charge of national security at the time.

Whenever I think of those New Yorkers hurrying along Park Place or getting off the No.1 Broadway local, hustling toward their office on the 90th floor, the morning paper under their arms, I think of that non-reader George W. Bush and how he hopes to exploit those people with a little economic uptick, maybe the capture of Osama, cruise to victory in November and proceed to get some serious nation-changing done in his second term.

This year, as in the past, Republicans will portray us Democrats as embittered academics, desiccated Unitarians, whacked-out hippies and communards, people who talk to telephone poles, the party of the Deadheads. They will wave enormous flags and wow over and over the footage of firemen in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and bodies being carried out and they will lie about their economic policies with astonishing enthusiasm.

The Union is what needs defending this year. Government of Enron and by Halliburton and for the Southern Baptists is not the same as what Lincoln spoke of. This gang of Pithecanthropus Republicanii has humbugged us to death on terrorism and tax cuts for the comfy and school prayer and flag burning and claimed the right to know what books we read and to dump their sewage upstream from the town and clear-cut the forests and gut the IRS and mark up the constitution on behalf of intolerance and promote the corporate takeover of the public airwaves and to hell with anybody who opposes them.

This is a great country, and it wasn’t made so by angry people. We have a sacred duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we’re not getting any younger.

Dante said that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral, so I have spoken my piece, and thank you, dear reader. It’s a beautiful world, rain or shine, and there is more to life than winning.

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Garrison Keillor is the host and writer of A Prairie Home Companion, now in its 34th year on the air and a syndicated newspaper columnist.

Emphasis Mine.

see:http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/72-72/7193-were-not-in-lake-wobegon-anymore

How the Political Right Bullied the US Government Into Ignoring the Threat of Right-Wing Extremism

After right-wingers freaked out about a report detailing the rise in right-wing extremism, Homeland Security effectively dismantled a unit tasked with tracking it.

From AlterNet, by Rania Khalek

“In the wake of the terrorist attack in Norway by right-wing Christian extremist Anders Breivik, conservative media pundits rushed to vilify anyone who brought up the underlying far-right ideology that fueled Breivik’s violence.

The uproar that follows any suggestion that right-wing extremism is on the rise works to silence the conversation about the danger of right-wing militancy. According to disturbing revelations by a former Homeland Security Intelligence Analyst, the consequences of this dynamic extend to the highest branches of the US government.

For six years, Darryl Johnson headed a Department of Homeland Security team tracking domestic extremist groups. Now Johnson, who is no longer with DHS, says that conservative furor over the report’s findings pressured Homeland Security to abandon reporting on and monitoring the rising threat of right-wing extremism for the past two years.

In April 2009, DHS issued an intelligence assessment, co-authored by Johnson, titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” The document was one of many threat assessments shared between DHS and state and local law enforcement agencies to keep them apprised of potential and looming threats, and warned of a surge in right-wing extremism due to the election of the country’s first black president and the economic recession.

Although the report was intended only for distribution to law enforcement agencies, it was immediately leaked to the media causing a political firestorm among conservativepundits, who wrongly suggested that it labeled all conservatives as potential terrorists.

DHS initially defended the report, but within days caved to political pressure and practically disowned it, with Secretary Napolitano apologizing to the American Legion for the report’s mention of military veterans. But DHS did more than just publicly buckle under the political weight of conservative critics. According to Johnson, the department effectively dismantled his intelligence team following the right’s uproar.

In an in-depth interview published in the Southern Poverty Law Center’sIntelligence Report, Johnson reveals the level of sway the political right had in thwarting intelligence work on right-wing extremism. He says DHS deliberately mischaracterized the report as unauthorized, even though it had passed through proper channels and instituted restrictive policies that brought the important work of his unit to a virtual standstill. As a result, Johnson left DHS in dismay and was followed by almost all the members of his team, leaving a single analyst where there had been six. In comparison, there are at least 25 analysts devoted to tracking Islamic terrorism.

When questioned about Johnson’s claims — which have been confirmed by current and former department officials in the Washington Post – DHS officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have repeatedly disputed his account and insist that the level of activity by right-wing extremist groups has remained consistent over the past few years. In addition, they claim the perception of increased extremist activity may be due to increased awareness of the threat by the government and the public. But the numbers beg to differ.

Right Wing Extremism on the Rise

Johnson’s report was consistent with data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which finds that hate groups topped 1,000 for the first time since SPLC began counting such groups in the 1980s. The most dramatic growth was seen in antigovernment “Patriot” groups — militias and other extremist organizations that see the federal government as their enemy — which came roaring back to life over the past year after more than a decade out of the limelight. SPLC’s Intelligence Project identified 824 anti-government “Patriot” groups that were active in 2010, up from just 149 in 2008.

According to Mark Potok, director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, these groups are driven by resentment over changing racial demographics, which he describes as, “The idea that the country is becoming less white every day and in fact the prediction by the census bureau that whites will lose their majority about the year 2050 in the United States is very important. Virtually every white supremacist in America knows that date.” Other drivers include frustration over the economy, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and propaganda aimed at various minorities.

Potok told AlterNet that events following the 2009 DHS report have proved it to be prescient. 

In May 2009, just one month after the report’s release, an anti-abortion zealot murdered Dr. George Tiller in Kansas. In June 2009, neo-Nazi James von Brunn murdered a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In March 2010, nine members of a Michigan militia were charged with seditious conspiracy and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction in connection with an alleged plot to murder police officers.

On May 20, 2010, two West Memphis Arkansas police officers were shot to death during a routine traffic stop by a father-son duo of “sovereign citizens,” a group of US residents who believe the government has no authority over them. West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert, whose son was one of the officers killed, told me that prior to the loss of his son, he had never heard of sovereign citizens, nor had any other law enforcement officials he spoke to about the matter. After some digging and research he discovered that his son’s murder was not an isolated incident, and in fact sovereign citizens were responsible fordozens of police officer deaths around the country.

Paudert was particularly surprised to learn that the Sovereign movement is estimated at 300,000 people strong and growing, which is why he was disappointed in the federal government’s failure to alert state and local law enforcement that such a threat existed. Paudert says he is absolutely positive that had they been alerted and trained to recognize sovereign citizens, “my son would still be alive today.”

Conservatives Throw a Temper Tantrum

The loudest outcry came from the right-wing shock jocks like Rush Limbaugh, who claimed that Janet Napolitano and Barack Obama were “portraying standard, ordinary, everyday conservatives as posing a bigger threat to this country than al-Qaeda terrorists or genuine enemies of this country like Kim Jong-Il.”  Sean Hannity warned his Fox News viewers that “if you have a pro-life bumper sticker on your car, if you have an ‘America is overtaxed’ bumper sticker, if you have a pro-Second Amendment bumper sticker, they’re viewing you potentially as a radical.”

In possibly the most deranged interpretation, conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote that the report was a “hit job on conservatives” and “one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS. I couldn’t believe it was real….the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives.”

In a sad sort of irony, Johnson told SPLC that the conservative media personalities who misinterpreted and attacked his report “would have been shocked to know that I personify conservatism. I’m an Eagle Scout. I’m a registered Republican. I’m Mormon. In fact, I was helping the Boy Scouts with a fundraiser when I heard the report being attacked on the news.”

Outrage over the report’s findings quickly spread to Congress, where several conservative lawmakers demanded the ouster of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. Among them was Rep. John Carter, R-Tex., who remarked, “We shouldn’t even give her the respect of letting her resign. She should be fired by the administration for accusing honest, American citizens — because of their political beliefs — of being domestic terrorists.”

The self-described conservative and Christian non-profit Thomas More Law Center went even further and filed a lawsuit against Secretary Napolitano on behalf a Michigan-based anti-abortion group, claiming the DHS report was all part of a conspiracy between the Obama administration and liberal groups to violate their constitutional rights.

The section of the report that stirred the most controversy referred to “disgruntled military veterans” and cautioned that “rightwing extremists would attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans to boost their violent capabilities.”

This did not sit well with David Rehbein, the commander of the veterans’ organization American Legion, who wrote in a letter to Secretary Napolitano, “To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical disgruntled military veteran is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam.” Had Rehbein actually read the full report he would have discovered that this specific concern was based on factual data collected by the FBI.

The DHS assessment cited a July 2008 report by the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division under the Bush administration, titled “White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11.” Based on its findings the 2008 FBI report observed that “some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups,” and that “military experience is found throughout the white supremacist extremist movement as the result of recruitment campaigns by extremist groups and self-recruitment by veterans sympathetic to white supremacist causes.” Furthermore, based on analysis of FBI case files from October 2001 to May 2008, the report identified 203 military personnel or veterans who were active members in white supremacist organizations during that period.

It’s not surprising that conservatives threw a fit. What’s disturbing is that these conservative complaints prompted DHS to withdraw the report.

Pretending the Threat Doesn’t Exist

I spoke with Johnson, who has been following right-wing extremism in a professional capacity since the early ‘90s. Upon the Democratic nomination for president of then Senator Obama, Johnson says that based on his experience and expertise, he immediately recognized that “this would be a huge recruiting tool for groups like white supremacists, militia extremists, sovereign citizen extremists, those extremists groups that are on the fringes of the right of the political spectrum, which we refer to as right-wing extremists in the counterterrorism community.”

When it was clear that Barack Obama would win, Johnson became worried about the “potential radicalization factor” that would ensue following the election of America’s first black president. “It would agitate people to go beyond their mainstream and law-abiding protest activity to more criminal activity and violence because people would see that these ‘enemies’ so to speak, these minorities in America are actually integrated in society and they’re actually fulfilling the American dream.”

All of this prompted the drafting of the report in the early months of the Obama administration.

He chose to go public because “the conditions that existed back in 2008 and 2009 when we drafted this document still persist today….the climate in this country from a political standpoint and economic standpoint has not changed. The economy is still sluggish, unemployment’s still flirting with 10 percent, and there’s this anti-government sentiment and agitation out there in this country. That’s one thing that concerns me is that we’ve had two years now where these people have been boiling in this environment that could possibly agitate somebody to carry out a violent act.” 

Mark Potok told AlterNet that DHS’s handling of the report’s criticism was “nothing more than an act of political cowardice,” but it doesn’t change the report’s disturbing accuracy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center keeps a detailed and unsettling list of major terrorist plots and racist rampages that have emerged from the American radical right in the years since Oklahoma City, a pattern Potok says continues to this day. That prompted SPLC’s president, J. Richard Cohen, to send a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano two months ago, urging her to reassess the level of resources that DHS is devoting to the threat of non-Islamic domestic terrorism.

The letter highlights several recent examples of thwarted attacks, one of which occurred this past January, when a neo-Nazi activist was arrested for planting a bomb along an MLK Day parade route in Spokane, Washington. That same month, another neo-Nazi was arrested on his way to the Arizona-Mexico border and later charged with possessing explosive devices packed with ball bearings – to “maximize human carnage,” as a federal prosecutor put it. In March, authorities arrested five members of a militia in Alaska and charged them with plotting to murder or kidnap police officers and judges if their leader, who was then fleeing prosecution on weapons charges, were arrested or killed. Unfortunately, Secretary Napolitano has yet to respond to SPLC’s letter.

That the right’s outrage over the report managed to influence the Department of Homeland Security should raise alarm bells for anyone who is concerned about homegrown extremism. It’s frightening that the US government bowed to political pressure. The atrocity that took place in Norway is a reminder of the brutality that ideological extremists are capable of dishing out.

According to Johnson, Anders Breivik “was under the radar, he acquired relatively unsophisticated weaponry and was able to go and target people that he opposed because of his ideology and beliefs and was able to kill close to 80 people, and it was done effortlessly. He didn’t go to some place in Pakistan and learn how to build a bomb.  He learned how to do this on the Internet, and he was able to acquire these materials legally. And I know for a fact that that is going on here in this country, people are stockpiling weaponry.”

Potok believes the right’s ability to silence the conversation about right-wing extremism will have fatal consequences, warning, “The danger of pretending this movement doesn’t exist is that it will grow more and more deeply entrenched in our society and more dangerous. There’s an immediate criminal danger. Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 men women and children in 15 seconds. It absolutely could happen again. It hasn’t because we are lucky and because law enforcement has done a fine job overall.”

Similarly, Daryl Johnson fears that, “These incidents are starting to add up. Yet our legislators, politicians and national leaders don’t appear too concerned about this. So my greatest fear is that domestic terrorists in this country will somehow become emboldened to the point of carrying out a mass-casualty attack, because they perceive that no one is being vigilant about the threat from within. This is what keeps me up at night.”

Rania Khalek is a progressive activist. Check out her blog Missing Pieces or follow her on Twitter @Rania_ak. You can contact her at raniakhalek@gmail.com.

Emphasis Mine

see:http://www.alternet.org/story/152033/how_the_political_right_bullied_the_us_government_into_ignoring_the_threat_of_right-wing_extremism?akid=7406.123424.6GLo_-&rd=1&t=5

Our Biggest Security Threat Is Global Warming-Induced Extreme Weather

We risk losing our country to permanent droughts and extreme natural disasters.

From Alternet, By Scott Thill

“Scientists have been predicting for years that global warming would produce record-breaking extremes on either side of the thermometer. This past winter, America survived its so-called snowpocalypse, and now that summer has arrived, we’ve got a heat dome.

If you’re wondering what the hell that is — it’s just another obvious climate change assassin that we could see coming miles away, if some of us were paying better attention. If you’re looking for a more technical definition, according to National Geographic a heat dome is a seasonal high-pressure system of dense hot air, albeit one with a highly unusual (for now) strength and size, stretching one million square miles from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast. It’s already killed a couple dozen people, adding to a swelling death toll resulting from recent tornadoes and floods that bedeviled the nation this year.

It conforms easily to the ravages of Kevin Borden and Susan Cutter’s so-calledDeath Map — academically known as “Spatial patterns of natural hazards mortality in the United States” — which in 2008 peered into climate change’s crystal ball and found intensifying natural disasters capable of regionally reshaping the nation with every catastrophe. According to University of South Carolina scholars Cutter and Borden, heat and drought were the main death-dealers, along with extreme summer and winter events. Borden now works for homeland security risk management specialist Digital Sandbox. If his post-academic career choice doesn’t confirm it outright, then recent warnings from theUnited Nations Environment Program should: These global warming nightmares, not domestic or international terrorists, are the most dangerous threat to global security in existence.

In other words, the heat dome may be really bad news, but it’s only part of a much bigger picture: We are facing extreme weather from climate change that is challenging life as we know it.

“I think we need absolutely realistic reporting on what’s going on now, and what we can expect in the future,” explained 350.org co-founder, author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, who in May connected the dots between climate change and the lethal tornadoes that leveled Missouri and Alabama in a popular article for the Washington Post. “I think the fact that the climate is coming unhinged already is starting to break through. How could it not with simultaneous Dust Bowl-scale drought in the Southwest, and Noah-scale flooding in the middle of the country?”

Scientists have been right in predicting that things are going to be bad, but just how bad is a more complicated scenario. Next time a report or study divulging the latest lethality of climate change surfaces, check for a quote from a well-intentioned scientist explaining that everything is happening faster than previously thought. It won’t take long, whether you’re reading about how nature is not as efficient in slowing global warming as once assumed, or that the North Pole is melting much faster than everyone thought it would. For all of its supposedly radical activism, if you ask the denialists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), along with most other scientists have all been extremely efficient at one thing:Underestimating the severity of global warming.

“Scientists are by nature conservative, so it doesn’t surprise me that the earliest estimates of climate change’s impact would be underestimates,” McKibben told AlterNet. “But since the rapid melt of Arctic ice in the summer of 2007, scientists have been trying to send the message that things are happening faster and more violently than expected. The political community, including the United Nations bureaucracy administering the climate talks, hasn’t caught up.”

It could be too late for them to counteract that fatal mistake, according to writer James Howard Kunstler. They may have been better off striking while the iron was hot, especially given how little the American public wants to hear what they have to say. “The scientific community is demoralized by its realization that the public and our leaders are not sane and rational,” he told AlterNet. “The so-called Climategate scandal of 2009, organized by right-wing denialists, pretty much did in the scientists’ hopeful sense of activism. They’re just stuck now with the awful results of the science, and nobody wants to hear about it.”

Even the scientists are starting to crack under the pressure. University of Washington paleontologist Peter Ward, who is continuing his study of planetary mass extinction this summer by studying the 500-million-year-old living fossil Nautilus in the remote Pacific, is severely pained by his ability to be right on the data but wrong on people actually caring enough about it to awake from their mediated, medicated stupor.

“I wrote a book in 1994 called The End of Evolution: A Journey in Search of Clues to the Third Mass Extinction Facing Earth that said, within in a decade or two, we’d be seeing these monumental destructions, and people laughed at it,” he told AlterNet. “I wrote just last year about sea-level rise in The Flooded Earth saying that things look pretty desperate for the next 60 to 80 years, and got almost no reviews. Luckily, I’m not going to be alive to see the worst of it. But the sad thing is that it’s horrible to be right, just horrible. Somebody gave me the foresight to see what’s coming, and I don’t like it.”

We’re headed toward a great extinction, McKibben told AlterNet. “The only question is how great. That still remains within our ability to influence. Job one is to stop pouring more carbon into the air.”

The other job? Stop pouring more people onto the planet.

“The single driver going on here is the increase in human population,” added Ward. “Everything goes back to that. It explains every one of these phenomena: Global warming, marine extinction, changes in living patterns and even in the economies of the world. Way too many people, way too fast. And it’s running away.”

Perhaps, there are those who feel there is no connection between mass extinction and their evidently more important sociopolitical and economic troubles. But they would be much better off realizing that, like the Earth itself, all of these problems are interconnected. Our continuing economic recession was specifically built upon hyperreal stratagems designed to distract people from the fact that they were — like pretty much everything we’re doing these days — wholly unsustainable, and would benefit only the filthy rich global elite who havedisconnected from national interests altogether.

The fact that American politicians, who are mostly millionaires, are currently playing chicken with New Deal standouts like Social Security or, in the case of Republican senator Eric Cantoractually shorting U.S. Treasuries, should be about as surprising as territories in Borden and Cutter’s Death Map being torn apart by droughts, firestorms, floods and worse.

There is no difference between rapacious mortgage robosigners and what Kunstler calls climate change’s “professional denialists.” These are all callous cashouts of the American people, and their cities and states, by the powers-that-be. Losing that F-150 that you should never have bought or that mortgage contract you should never have signed is just a phase of the new nightmarish normal. Next comes losing your country to a global elite invested in its downfall, and after that comes losing the country to permanent droughts and extreme natural disasters.

And so here we sit in the barely new decade of our barely new century, quagmired in game theories above our head, governed by a global elite who have little care for our welfare or even our going-broke cities. To think they’re not as invested, literally, in our ignorance of climate change’s myriad massacres as they are in pulling the plug on our social safety net is suicide on a global scale. Drowning in debt, deceit, natural catastrophes — what’s the difference? If we don’t start seriously sweating the existential crisis of climate change and ignoring the small-time drama of terrorism and partisan sellouts, then we’re finished.”

Scott Thill runs the online mag Morphizm.com. His writing has appeared on Salon, XLR8R, All Music Guide, Wired and others.

Emphasis Mine

see:http://www.alternet.org/story/151885/our_biggest_security_threat_is_global_warming-induced_extreme_weather_?page=entire

Don’t Fall for the GOP Lie

Don’t fall for the GOP lie: There is no budget crisis. There’s a job and growth crisis.

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Blog

Don’t fall for the GOP lie: There is no budget crisis. There’s a job and growth crisis.

“A friend who’s been watching the absurd machinations in Congress asked me “what happens if we don’t solve the budget crisis and we run out of money to pay the nation’s bills?”

It was only then I realized how effective Republicans lies have been. That we’re calling it a “budget crisis” and worrying that if we don’t “solve” it we can’t pay our nation’s bills is testament to how successful Republicans have been distorting the truth.

The federal budget deficit has no economic relationship to the debt limit. Republicans have linked the two, and the Administration has played along, but they are entirely separate. Republicans are using what would otherwise be a routine, legally technical vote to raise the debt limit as a means of holding the nation hostage to their own political goal of shrinking the size of the federal government.

In economic terms, we will not “run out of money” next week. We’re still the richest nation in the world, and the Federal Reserve has unlimited capacity to print money.

Nor is there any economic imperative to reach an agreement on how to fix the budget deficit by Tuesday. It’s not even clear the federal budget needs that much fixing anyway.

Yes, the ratio of the national debt to the total economy is high relative to what it’s been. But it’s not nearly as high as it was after World War II – when it reached 120 percent of the economy’s total output.

If and when the economy begins to grow faster – if more Americans get jobs, and we move toward a full recovery – the debt/GDP ratio will fall, as it did in the 1950s, and as it does in every solid recovery. Revenues will pour into the Treasury, and much of the current “budget crisis” will be evaporate.

Get it? We’re really in a “jobs and growth” crisis – not a budget crisis.

And the best way to get jobs and growth back is for the federal government to spend more right now, not less – for example, by exempting the first $20,000 of income from payroll taxes this year and next, recreating a WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps, creating an infrastructure bank, providing tax incentives for small businesses to hire, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, and so on.

But what happens next week if Congress can’t or won’t deliver the President a bill to raise the debt ceiling? Remember: This is all politics, mixed in with legal technicalities. Economics has nothing to do with it.

One possibility, therefore, is for the Treasury to keep paying the nation’s bills regardless. It would continue to issue Treasury bills, which are our nation’s IOUs. When those IOUs are cashed at the Federal Reserve Board, the Fed would do what it has always done: Honor them.

How long could this go on without the debt ceiling being lifted? That’s a legal question. Republicans in Congress could mount a legal challenge, but no court in its right mind would stop the Fed from honoring the full faith and credit of the United States.

The wild card is what the three big credit-rating agencies will do. As long as the Fed keeps honoring the nation’s IOUs, America’s credit should be deemed sound. We’re not Greece or Portugal, after all. We’ll still be the richest nation in the world, whose currency is the basis for most business transactions in the world.

Standard & Poor’s has warned it will downgrade the nation’s debt from a triple-A to a double-A rating if we don’t tend to the long-term deficit. But, as I’ve noted, S&P has no business meddling in American politics – especially since its own non-feasance was partly responsible for the current size of the federal debt (had it done its job the debt and housing bubbles wouldn’t have precipitated the terrible recession, and the federal outlays it required).

As long as we pay our debts on time, our global creditors should be satisfied. And if they’re satisfied, S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch should be, too.

Repeat after me: The federal deficit is not the nation’s biggest problem. The anemic recovery, huge unemployment, falling wages, and declining home prices are bigger problems. We don’t have a budget crisis. We have a jobs and growth crisis.

The GOP has manufactured a budget crisis out of the Republicans’ extortionate demands over raising the debt limit. They have succeeded in hoodwinking the public, including my friend.”


Robert Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including “The Work of Nations,” “Locked in the Cabinet,” “Supercapitalism” and his latest book, “AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America’s Future.” His ‘Marketplace’ commentaries can be found on publicradio.com and iTunes.

Emphasis mine

see:http://www.readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/6813-dont-fall-for-the-gop-lie

Solving Global Climate Change can Help Ensure American’s Security

Solving Global Climate Change can Help Ensure American’s Security

At the Ohio AeroSpace Institute, 3 March 2010

Participants:     Senator John Warner
Retired Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn
Dr. Mike Heil, President and CEO of the Ohio AeroSpace Institute
Dr. George Schmidt Dept. Dir. of Research and Technology at NASA Glenn
Ms. Rebecca Bagley CEO of Nor Tech
Phyllis Cuttino PEW    Charitable Trust

The theme of this Conference concerned the intersection of security, energy and climate, and how they are linked and interrelated.

John Warner covered the connections between Climate Change, energy dependence,  military security., and economic growth through green jobs and green industries.

Dennis McGinn reviewed some of our current and future world’s problems: conflict over scarce resources: water, food, and energy.  These create desperation etc, which produces fanaticism and terrorism.  There are many threat multipliers, such as environmentally  caused refugees.  Conclusion: Energy Dependence constitutes a serious and urgent threat on our military, and the DoD can contribute as an early adapter.

Mike Heil, CEO of OAI, covered some achievements and current projects of the organization.

George Schmidt reviewed the past and present of energy at NASA, including photovoltaic (solar) cells, improved batteries, fuel cells,and nuclear power.  The space program created demand for photovoltaic power, and fuel cells.  There are many current projects on Stirling cycle, nuclear power and flywheels (for energy storage).  NASA can make a difference

Rebecca Bagley CEO of Nortech spoke on what her company has and can do for NE Ohio and the world.

In summary, all of the panel – which is traveling around the country, commented on how good an event this had been.

Ms. Cuttino: “A Chinese shared with her that ‘we missed the Industrial revolution, and were late to the IT revolution, but we will own the green revolution”.

There were several questions/observations of interest.  One person stated that: “In 1909 global warming was proven false.”  I have at least two issues with that statement: ‘1909’, and ‘proven’.  Lots of data since 1909, and the word ‘prove’ does not belong in the realm of physical science.

Another (me) covered the origin of the space race in which we succeeded in part because both science and science education became respected and trusted – a trust which was vindicated when Armstrong stepped on the Moon. Today, that trust is no longer there, and we are paying the price in pollution, cost, inefficiency, and vulnerability, as well as the potential premature extinction of our and many other species: how can we regain it?  Do we need another Sputnik Moment?  Ms. Cuttino said we had had a Sputnik Moment, but I shared with her that “.. if a tree falls in a forest…”