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Posts tagged "Far Right"

As officers of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department withdrew from Cliven Bundy’s Bunkerville, Nev., ranch on April 12, the question had to be asked: How could a scofflaw like Bundy, who owes more than $1 million in grazing fees but was backed up by hundreds of armed antigovernment zealots, manage to run off federal officials who clearly were in the right for seizing Bundy’s cows as payment for what he owes? The standoff very nearly ended in bloodshed, as large numbers of Bundy supporters pointed their weapons at law enforcement officials, a felony that is now under investigation by the FBI. The BLM wisely withdrew, avoiding possible violence.

The Bundy standoff has invigorated an extremist movement that exploded when President Obama was elected, going from some 150 groups in 2008 to more than 1,000 last year. Though the movement has waxed and waned over the last three decades, antigovernment extremists have long pushed, most fiercely during Democratic administrations, rabid conspiracy theories about a nefarious New World Order, a socialist, gun-grabbing federal government and the evils of federal law enforcement. Today’s disputes with federal authority, many long simmering, are an extension of the earlier right-wing Sagebrush Rebellion, Wise Use and “county supremacy” movements.


After the climbdown: Militiamen and other supporters of Cliven Bundy head for the corral where government agents were holding the Nevadan’s cattle. Minutes later, the animals were freed. (Ryan Lenz)

Since 2009, there have been 17 shooting incidents between antigovernment extremists and law enforcement. In 2010, a father-and-son team of sovereign citizens, who believe that the law doesn’t apply to them, executed two Arkansas police officers during a traffic stop, and a California extremist shot and injured two state troopers. Another extremist in Texas tried to kill two sheriff’s deputies. Similar incidents have happened since, some ending in loss of life.

For those harboring deep hatred of the federal government, the BLM pullout was seen as a dramatic victory, one instance where the armed radicals of the right stared through their own gunsights at the gun barrels of law enforcement officials and won. Rather than being condemned, their actions garnered the support of numerous politicians, including the governor of Nevada and commentators like Fox News’ Sean Hannity — a truly repulsive spectacle. This pandering to the far right by both politicians and media figures ended in a hurry, however, when Bundy engaged in racist blather about “the Negro.” Racism was crossing a line, apparently, but the calls from the ranch for revolution and outright defiance of federal law enforcement seemed to be just fine with the Hannitys of the world.

The fallout from the BLM stand down is very troubling: an even more emboldened antigovernment movement. Just in the months since the Bundy “victory,” tense standoffs between the BLM and antigovernment activists have taken place across the West — in Idaho, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The scariest incident happened in Utah, where two men pointed a handgun at a BLM worker in a marked federal vehicle while holding up a sign that said, “You need to die.”

Although these situations have not yet led to violence, a recent encounter with two Bundy supporters ended with three dead.

In early June, two rabid government haters who spent time at the ranch, Jerad and Amanda Miller, strolled into a Las Vegas pizza parlor, walked past a pair of police officers eating lunch, turned and executed the two men. Leaving a Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a note saying the revolution had begun and a swastika on the officers’ bodies, the couple went on to murder another man before dying in a shootout with police.


Jerad and Amanda Miller, who had a certain fondness for dressing up as comic villains, murdered three people, including two police officers, after briefly joining Bundy supporters during their standoff with authorities.

Not long after the shooting, we called Sheriff Richard Mack, a prominent anti-federal government activist who had been at the Bundy ranch, to ask him about Jerad Miller. Mack and Miller had been photographed together at a Feb. 8 debate for libertarian sheriff’s candidates held in Clark County, Nev. A surprised Mack told the SPLC, “Oh, no,” adding, “I was afraid that [Miller] might have been at the Bundy ranch. As soon as I heard about it, I was afraid of that.”

Why the surprise? Bogus political theories and conspiracy-mongering by the likes of Mack are clearly encouraging an increasingly enraged movement. That Miller would be drawn to the Bundy ranch — the movement’s latest flashpoint — should have come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the movement’s tactics or its rhetoric.

What is puzzling is why the BLM allowed Bundy to get away for 20 years without paying grazing fees that all other ranchers pay. And what is equally surprising is the almost amateurish way the BLM finally moved against Bundy. What both point to is a failure of the federal government to come to terms with the true nature of the war in the West.

Cliven Bundy may have faded from public view, but the movement that spawned him is boiling. Government officials need to understand what motivates this movement because the Millers will not be the last to demonstrate their antigovernment rage with bullets. Law enforcement officials also need training on a movement that increasingly targets them. Two decades after the Waco debacle, federal officials continue to struggle with their approach to radical right extremists. What they learned from Waco was that a heavy-handed approach risks a major loss of life. Yet, allowing the antigovernment movement to flout the law at gunpoint is surely not the answer.

The recent announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder that the Justice Department is reviving its Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee is welcome news. The committee was established after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and was instrumental in bringing swift prosecutions that stemmed the tide of hardcore antigovernment activity; it should never have been allowed to become moribund after the 9/11 attacks. The militiamen and others who pointed their weapons at BLM and Las Vegas officers need to face criminal prosecution because the rule of law must be enforced or it will be challenged again.

But swift prosecutions are only part of the answer. The Justice Department is a law enforcement agency, not an intelligence-gathering one. To help law enforcement at all levels, the Department of Homeland Security must put more resources into assessing the threat of non-Islamic domestic terrorism. The unit with the primary responsibility for that task was allowed to wither in the face of conservative criticism following the leak of a 2009 report on the resurgent threat from the far right. That, too, should never have been allowed to happen.

Finally, politicians and media pundits need to be called out when they troll for votes or ratings with irresponsible rhetoric. The standoff at the Bundy ranch was news. But Cliven Bundy was certainly no hero. Treating him as such simply emboldens others like him.

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H/T: SPLC Publications

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

thepoliticalfreakshow:

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I don’t know how else to say it. But you simply must read this piece we published this morning about Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s long dalliance with the state’s local “Sovereign Citizen” movement. It will blow your mind. It’s a mix of scary, bizarre and hilarious, with LePage’s staff trying, in profound discomfort, to reel him back to reality while he keeps meeting with the group, buys into various of their conspiracy theories, has a sheriff look into some of their demands and finally has his legal staff draft an opinion on the group’s theory that the Democratic leaders of the state legislature should be arrested and executed. Truly. It will blow your mind. This guy’s a governor.

crooksandliars:

Alex Jones & Larry Pratt: Obama Training Military To Attack Tea Party

Ever since the Bush administration authorized a DHS report that concluded that home grown terrorists posed an extreme threat to America, Conservatives have been using it as a propaganda tool to rile up the militia movement and other far right conservatives as an attack on their freedom.

Conspiracy nut Alex Jones has been opining that the Obama administration has been hot on the heels of the Tea Party movement and will use tanks, drones and everything else to mount an attack on them. After the Las Vegas shooting, Jones said he was convinced that Harry Reid and others planted a false flag operation against him and other gun nuts because-freedom.

Jones kept up the paranoid claptrap with another kook, Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America and they held a conspiracy nut pity party on Jones’ radio show:

read more

thepoliticalfreakshow:

NOTE: Important points are bolded by me for emphasis. The original writer of the article didn’t bold any part of his article.

Remember in 2009, right at the start of the Obama era, when then-Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued a report (PDF) entitled: “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”? The report was truly prescient. It alerted us to the rise of right-wing extremism, such as from white supremacist groups, and warned that unchecked, it could lead to violence.

How did Republicans respond? They went ballistic attacking the report. John Boehner was especially upset that Napolitano would use the term “terrorist” to “describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation,” adding, “using such broad-based generalizations about the American people is simply outrageous.”

Well, what have we seen since 2010? An explosion in the number of hate groups and a rash of domestic terrorist acts committed by those very right-wing groups Napolitano warned us about.  Per the Southern Poverty Law Center, since 2010, there have been 32 instances of terrorism by far-right groups—that equals eight attacks per year. (Of course, citing the SPLC won’t move many on the right because they continually tell me on Twitter that the SPLC is biased. They’re correct, the SPLC is biased. Against bigotry.)

The attacks include a plot in 2011 by members of a Georgia militia group to bomb a federal building and release deadly ricin in Atlanta; an attack by a white supremacist on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people; another white supremacist planting bombs at a Martin Luther King parade in Seattle; and numerous plots against or actual killings of law enforcement officers.  And this list doesn’t even include the anti-government LAX gunman who killed a TSA officer and wounded another in November 2013, or the attack we saw this past weekend by Jerad and Amanda Miller, who executed two Las Vegas policemen and then tossed the Gadsden flag used by the Tea Party onto the dead officers’ bodies.

So how have Republicans responded to the rise of attacks by right-wing groups? By ignoring it and keeping their focus on foreign terrorists and Muslim-Americans. Perhaps the Republican members of Congress would find it instructive to reread the oath they took upon being sworn into office that provides in part: “I do solemnly swear to defend the United States…against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Republicans won’t investigate right-wing extremists because it would not only anger their base, it would actually indict some parts of it.

I’m sure they are fully aware of these words. The actual reason Republicans won’t investigate right-wing extremists is that it would not only anger their base, it would actually indict some parts of it. Let’s be honest: In a time when establishment Republicans are concerned about getting challenged in primaries by more conservative Tea Party types, calling for hearings to investigate right-wing organizations could be political suicide.

So instead, in 2011 and 2012 we saw Rep. Peter King hold five sets of hearings about the radicalization of Muslims when he was chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. I attended the first of these hearings and listened as Democratic members of the committee urged King to broaden his investigation to look at radicalization of Americans regardless of faith. They cited studies warning of a record number of right-wing hate groups and resurgence of anti-government chatter. But King wouldn’t have any of it.

We have seen similar tactics by Republicans in state legislatures. Instead of focusing on potential far-right groups in their state, they have passed laws intended to demonize Muslims because it plays to their base. In fact, just last month in Florida, an anti-sharia measure was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott even though supporters admitted there hadn’t been even one instance of Muslims in Florida trying to impose Islamic law. Yet, in Florida there has been a documented upsurge in the Ku Klux Klan, with the group now boasting more than 1,000 members.

And some Republican elected officials have even implicitly given their blessings to the right-wing view that weapons may be needed to fight off an overreaching federal government. We saw this during the recent standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and federal officers.  Rand Paul and other GOP officialspraised Bundy with full knowledge that there was in essence an armed militia of private citizens who had their guns trained on federal officers.

The threat of right-wing domestic terrorism is very real. In fact, just last week, the Department of Justice announced that it was reviving its domestic terrorism taskforce. As Attorney General Eric Holder explained, we must be vigilant in protecting Americans against the “danger we face from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of other causes from anti-government animus to racial prejudice.”

It’s time that the GOP join in the fight against the threats posed to our nation by right-wing extremists. True, this could cause them problems with parts of their own political base, but saving American lives must trump politics.

In a perfect world, the GOP would address the threats posed by these extremists with the same zeal they’re investigating the “truth” surrounding Benghazi. But they won’t.  The hard truth is that the GOP can’t lose any of its shrinking base by alienating the lunatic fringe and their supporters, from the Ted Nugents to the Cliven Bundys to the white supremacists. You see, what we view as radicals, the GOP views as their last, best hope. 

Source: Dean Obeidallah for The Daily Beast

A man who gunned down two police officers and a woman Sunday in Las Vegas left behind social media postings that show his concerns over Benghazi, chemtrails, gun control laws, and the government’s treatment of rancher Cliven Bundy.

Neighbors identified Jerad and Amanda Miller as the suspects who shot the officers execution-style as they ate lunch at a pizza restaurant, and then shot a woman outside a Walmart in the same plaza.

The couple’s apartment was searched Monday morning, and authorities in Lafayette, Indiana,confirmed that Las Vegas police had contacted them about the case.

Witnesses said the couple announced the shootings were the start of a revolution and draped the victims’ bodies with American Revolution-era Gadsden flags — bearing the slogan “Don’t tread on me” — that have become symbols of the Tea Party movement.

The couple exchanged gunfire with police as they pursued them into the store, but Amanda Miller apparently shot her husband to death before turning the gun on herself.

Jerad Miller’s last Facebook post, made Saturday, hinted at the couple’s plans.

“The dawn of a new day. May all of our coming sacrifices be worth it,” he posted.

A shirtless, crying Jerad Miller posted a video in July 2013 professing his love for Amanda Miller before he began serving a jail term.

“I’m going to miss your smile and your laugh, and the way you can always bring a smile to my face eventually, no matter how crabby of a mood I’m in because of the New World Order and sh-t,” he said. “I just wish we could wake up our families, I wish we could live in a happy-go-lucky world and not have to worry about none of this. I wish we didn’t have to go through this sh-t, but we do.”

Neighbors said Jerad Miller claimed he had gone to the Bundy ranch but was asked to leave, and he made similar claims on YouTube.

“I was out there but they told me and my wife to leave because I am a felon,” Miller commented April 19. “They don’t seem to understand that they are all felons now for intimidating law enforcement with deadly weapons. So don’t tell you that they need people. We sold everything we had to buy supplies and quit our jobs to be there 24/7. How dare you ask for help and shun us dedicated patriots!”

Amanda Miller set stricter privacy settings than her husband on her own Facebook page, although publicly available photos show the couple dressed as the Joker and Harley Quinn and visiting various sites along the Las Vegas Strip.

Jerad Amanda Miller Joker cosplay

Another photo shows Amanda Miller holding a pair of books — “Shooter’s Bible” and “Extreme Survival” — she received last Christmas from her grandmother, and she posted a pair of photos of herself firing an AK-47 at a shooting range in December.

Her photos also document the couple’s January move from Indiana to Nevada, where Jerad Miller worked as a street performer. Amanda Miller indicated on Facebook that he had previously rented costumes until his boss was arrested, so the couple made their own costumes and dressed up as the comic book villains to earn tips from tourists.

Jerad Miller outlined his political views, which were largely based on conspiracy theories promoted by Fox News and Alex Jones, in his social media postings, and he posted frequently about firearms and violent revolution.

“We can hope for peace,” he posted June 2. “We must, however, prepare for war. We face an enemy that is not only well funded, but who believe they fight for freedom and justice. Those of us who know the truth and dare speak it, know that the enemy we face are indeed our brothers. Even though they share the same masters as we all do. They fail to recognize the chains that bind them. To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished with bloodshed.”

He shared a viral image suggesting the U.S. trade five Democratic lawmakers for a U.S. Marine who has been held for two months on weapons charges in Mexico after crossing the border with legally purchased firearms – a suggestion jokingly made last week by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

Jerad Miller also shared a post by David Lory VanDerBeek, the Independent American Party candidate for Nevada governor, that suggested last month’s fatal shooting spree near the University of California, Santa Barbara, was a “false flag” operation enacted by the government to suppress gun rights.

“I see Obama’s Socialist agenda of anti-2nd Amendment, pro-amnesty, Agenda 21 de-industrialization is in trouble,” VanDerBeek posted. “They need to grease the wheels of fear and politicizing a shooting in CA is not going to do it. People become numbed to the politics of shootings.”

That shooting spree, which left seven people dead and another seven wounded, prompted Jerad Miller to share a viral image that described that gunman as a liberal.

“So yet another liberal left-wing wack job goes on yet another fatal mass shooting spree because he couldn’t get laid and that’s the NRA’s fault???” the caption reads. “Jeez, it’s no wonder liberalism’s regarded as a mental disorder.”

Amanda Miller posted frequently about the Bundy ranch standoff on her Google Plus page, where she also claimed she and her husband had moved to Nevada to support VanDerBeek’s gubernatorial campaign.

Jerad Amanda Miller honeymoon

Jerad Miller sketched out his interests with the groups and individuals he “liked” on Facebook, including Operation American Spring, Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Rifle Association, The Heritage Foundation, Rand Paul 2016, Three Percenter Nation, and Ron Paul.

Amanda Miller also “liked” Ron Paul, Freedom Works, and Three Percenter Nation, in addition to various paranormal groups, Stop Amnesty, and Drudge Report.

Jerad Miller posted a photo of himself Feb. 8 standing alongside former Sheriff Richard Mack, who promotes the posse comitatus idea that county sheriffs represent the supreme law of the land, during a libertarian sheriff’s debate.

He complained in a July 2013 video that the couple’s “brainwashed” family members would not help them during a dispute with their landlord, but one of those relatives disputed the characterization.

“Amanda was fine before you came around,” said Julie Clites. “Now she sits there doing everything you say because YOU have brainwashed her. Everyone of the grandkids has a future. Amanda married you and immediately lost hers. We won’t help either of you because it is disgusting what you two believe in and stand for.”

Jerad Miller indicated in the video made before his jail term that the couple had bonded over their shared views.

“I know it feels like it’s you and me versus the world – it kind of is – you know, a bunch of zombies out there, a bunch of sheeple, just ignorantly working until their deaths, they don’t even care where their money goes or nothing,” he said. “I’m so glad you’re not like that, baby, I’m so glad that I found you.”

h/t: Travis Gettys at The Raw Story

H/T: Shannon Greenwood and Ben Norton at Think Progress World

h/t: LizWoodhouse at Daily Kos

thepoliticalfreakshow:

A new law goes into effect in Russia on August 1, 2014, and if major American companies obey it, it might just kill the entire Internet.

As part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing consolidation of power and crackdown on dissent, a new Russian law will go into effect on August 1, requiring any social media company with readers in Russia to store all of its sensitive user data in Russia, on Russian servers, and make that data available to the Russian authorities, on demand, without a court order.

Oh, but it gets better. The user data the Russians are demanding be kept in Russia, and made available to the government at will, isn’t restricted to Russian social media fans. The legislation requires companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook to keep all of their user data, including yours and mine, on Russian servers, and to turn that data over to the Russian government whenever they ask for it.

Since the law’s passage the Russian government has threatened to block Twitter, Google and Facebook in Russia if they don’t abide by the new law, then turned around and said they’d never block those sites, then hinted again that they just might.

Why are the Russians doing this? So that they can find the identity of someone who writes a tweet, or a comment on Facebook, that they don’t like — and send him and his family to a gulag.

The new social media law comes at the same time as another amendment requiring bloggers to register with the government and to abide by the country’s laws governing the mass media. Again, the new law, part of a larger anti-terrorism bill, is meant to stifle dissent, by getting rid of the shield of anonymity, and subject bloggers to additional laws which give the government additional crimes with which to charge dissenters.

The blogger bill is particularly onerous as it covers anyone who receives more than 3,000 “visitors,” and that appears to include people with more than 3,000 Twitter followers, or possibly anyone who writes a tweet that’s read by more than 3,000 people.

What’s fascinating, and telling, is that while the Russian government increasingly clamps down on the Internet, and attempts to continually remove opposition political content from the Web, the Putin regime has done nothing about a nationwide network of Russian neo-Nazis who continue to use an Internet portal controlled by one of Putin’s favorite oligarchs to perpetrate and advertise the serial abduction and torture of gay, black and Jewish Russians. The neo-Nazis claim to have conducted nearly 1,500 kidnappings in the past two years alone.

As I’ve written before, the site is called VKontakte, aka VK.com, and was created and run by Russian social media entrepreneur Pavel Durov, until he was recently run out of the country, and the site was taken over by Alisher Usmanov, the richest man in Russia and a friend of Putin.  The neo-Nazi gangs, which operate under the umbrella of a group called “Occupy Pedophilia,” openly use VKontakte to post “help wanted” ads seeking assistance with the kidnappings, and then post videos of the abductions, and subsequent torture of their victims, on VK.com.

To date, there are nearly 4,000 such “gay snuff” films, as I call them (though the victims don’t die, they surely wish they were dead) on VKontakte, and the company refuses to remove them, the profiles of the kidnappers, the abduction help wanted ads, or anything else connected to the criminal enterprise.  VK’s refusal to enforce even its own terms of service in this area caused the state of California’s pension fund, CalPERS, to divest from two of Usmanov’s companies, Mail.ru and MegaFon, just last week.

Here is a snippet of one of the 4,000 kidnapping videos from VKontakte. In the original, you can hear their kidnapper singing while the men, in tears, are forced to dance on camera after having their heads shaved and painted. VK claims that these videos, taken by kidnappers of their victims being tortured, and broadcast on the Internet, in a country that is supremely homophobic, in order to destroy the lives of the victims, is “free speech.”

vk gay kidnaping

Two presumably gay men, kidnapped, and forced to dance with each other while the neo-Nazi leader sings in the background. The men’s heads were shaved down the middle and a rainbow flag was painted on their scalp. The video was then posted on VKontakte.

VK says it simply can’t remove the videos unless the victims themselves come forward as ask for them to be removed. Some of the victims are as young as 13 years of age, and agreed to meet their captors after being told they’d be paid for sex. So if those victims came forward, they could be charged with a crime. Let alone, VKontakte is expecting a possibly-gay 13 year old to out themselves to a company tied to the exceedingly homophobic Russian government.

Yes, “free speech.”

But more interesting than VK.com’s complicity in these ongoing hate crimes is the Russian government’s refusal to do anything to stop them.  There’s been no indication that the Russian government has asked (or demanded that) VK to stop aiding and abetting the kidnappings, and the government itself refuses to arrest the kidnappers, whose identities in many cases are already known.

This goes to a larger problem with the Russian government embracing a new wave of fascism to achieve its neo-colonial goals on its boarders, and worldwide.  While claiming it intervened in Ukraine to stop “Nazis,” the Russian government is actually using neo-Nazi and far-right groups to further its policy goals, such as Occupy Pedophilia’s nationwide network in Russia.  There was a fantastic article on this in the New Republic recently, by Timothy Snyder, which I highly recommend.

More from Snyder – it’s a long piece, and well worth the read if you care about the Ukrainian issue, or the broader problem that is Russia:

People who criticize only the Ukrainian right often fail to notice two very important things. The first is that the revolution in Ukraine came from the left. It was a mass movement of the kind Europeans and Americans now know only from the history books. Its enemy was an authoritarian kleptocrat, and its central program was social justice and the rule of law. It was initiated by a journalist of Afghan background, its first two mortal casualties were an Armenian and a Belarusian, and it was supported by the Muslim Crimean Tatar community as well as many Ukrainian Jews. A Jewish Red Army veteran was among those killed in the sniper massacre. Multiple Israel Defense Forces veterans fought for freedom in Ukraine.

A pro-Nazi post from VK.com.

A pro-Nazi post from VK.com.

The Maidan functioned in two languages simultaneously, Ukrainian and Russian, because Kiev is a bilingual city, Ukraine is a bilingual country, and Ukrainians are bilingual people. Indeed, the motor of the revolution was the Russian-speaking middle class of Kiev. The current government, whatever its shortcomings, is un-self-consciously multiethnic and multilingual. In fact, Ukraine is now the site of the largest and most important free media in the Russian language, since important media in Ukraine appears in Russian and since freedom of speech prevails. Putin’s idea of defending Russian speakers in Ukraine is absurd on many levels, but one of them is this: People can say what they like in Russian in Ukraine, but they cannot do so in Russia itself. Separatists in the Ukrainian east, who, according to a series of opinion polls, represent a minority of the population, are protesting for the right to join a country where protest is illegal. They are working to stop elections in which the legitimate interests of Ukrainians in the east can be voiced. If these regions join Russia, their inhabitants can forget about casting meaningful votes in the future.

This is the second thing that goes unnoticed: The authoritarian right in Russia is infinitely more dangerous than the authoritarian right in Ukraine. It is in power, for one thing. It has no meaningful rivals, for another. It does not have to accommodate itself to domestic elections or international expectations, for a third. And it is now pursuing a foreign policy that is based openly upon the ethnicization of the world. It does not matter who an individual is according to law or his own preferences: The fact that he speaks Russian makes him a Volksgenosse requiring Russian protection, which is to say invasion. The Russian parliament granted Putin the authority to invade the entirety of Ukraine and to transform its social and political structure, which is an extraordinarily radical goal. The Russian parliament also sent a missive to the Polish foreign ministry proposing a partition of Ukraine. On popular Russian television, Jews are blamed for the Holocaust; in the major newspaper Izvestiia, Hitler is rehabilitated as a reasonable statesman responding to unfair Western pressure; on May Day, Russian neo-Nazis march….

russian gays occupy pedophilia

Russian neo-Nazi leader Maxim Martsinkevich painted the Star of David on this Ukrainian abducted. His head was shaved, a rainbow flag was painted on it, and he was forced to pose with a sex toy. The abductees are usually beaten as well.

Russian propaganda insists to Westerners that the problem with Ukraine is that its government is too far to the right, even as Russia builds a coalition with the European far right. Extremist, populist, and neo-Nazi party members went to Crimea and praised the electoral farce as a model for Europe. As Anton Shekhovtsov, a researcher of the European far right, has pointed out, the leader of the Bulgarian extreme right launched his party’s campaign for the European parliament in Moscow. The Italian Fronte Nazionale praises Putin for his “courageous position against the powerful gay lobby.” The neo-Nazis of the Greek Golden Dawn see Russia as Ukraine’s defender against “the ravens of international usury.” Heinz-Christian Strache of the Austrian FPÖ chimes in, surreally, that Putin is a “pure democrat.” Even Nigel Farage, the leader of the U.K. Independence Party, recently shared Putin’s propaganda on Ukraine with millions of British viewers in a televised debate, claiming absurdly that the European Union has “blood on its hands” in Ukraine.

It’s really quite fascinating that our pique with Russia over its treatment of gays, and the Kremlin’s refusal to do anything about the neo-Nazi menace at home, fits nicely into a larger context of Putin’s grand plan to recreate a mini-me version of the Soviet Union. It’s not surprising, I suppose, that the gay issue has proven itself a window into Putin’s soul, as it were, but it is fascinating. And scary.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The results are in from the largest election in the world’s history. Narenda Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not only won the election, pushing the long-ruling Indian National Congress from power for the first time in a decade, but in a huge way. The votes are still being tallied, but so far it appears that the BJP will have won enough of the electorate to not only top any government, but to rule without forming a coalition. There’s a lot to unpack in this news from the world’s largest democracy, but here are the basics:

Indians are betting on the potential for economic growth.

One of the largest issues going into this election — and the platform on which Modi ran and won — was the state of the Indian economy. A Gallup poll released just as voting was set to begin found that a record one in three Indians say that their economy is getting worse. While the country is still doing far better than the United States in terms of annual growth, it’s still been lagging over recent years, plunging to 4.7 percent in 2012 from 10.3 percent in 2010. Modi made a name for himself as the chief minister of Gujarat state in India, whose economic growth the prime minister candidate put forward as a main reason for him to replace outgoing prime minister Mohammed Singh and the Congress. Whether the policies enacted at the state-level can be replicated at the national level is a question that remains uncertain, but given the fact that 102 million people still live on less than $1.25 a day in India, any increase in economic growth that also includes them would be welcomed.

Large margin of victory = fewer extremist groups.

One of the biggest concerns for observers of Indian politics was that in victory, Modi’s party would be unable to have enough votes in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, to govern without drawing in support from some of the smaller parties. Given the right-wing nature of the BJP, the smaller, more extreme of Indian parties would likely have been the ones to fill the void. This would include its coalition partner during the last time they were in power, Shiv Sena, which many have called extremist for its ultra-Hindu nationalist positions. Current estimates, however, show that the BJP alone is on course to win at least 275 seats in the lower house — 272 are needed to be able to choose the Prime Minister According to The Economist, this is the first time since 1984 that a single party has had enough to rule without assistance. This could also end some of the gridlock seen in the Lok Sabha, as the coalition governments have had difficulty passing major legislation.

There are worries about rising Hindu nationalism.

For all that Modi came into power on the promise of economic growth for everyone, there’s still the fact that his government will be far more right-wing that the outgoing leaders to consider. While the BJP will be able to rule without the support of Shiv Sena in the cabinet, the party remains nationalist in nature. The principle belief of the BJP has been described as “Hindutva, Hindu-ness, an unabashed belief in the supremacy of Hindu religion and culture over Christian, Muslim and other minorities,” a mindset that has some of India’s large Muslim population concerned. And while Modi himself is viewed at least somewhat positively, other members of the BJP have voiced opinions that many in the U.S. would find repugnant. During a diplomatic row with the United States, one BJP official suggested arresting all gay Americans in India to prove a point. Another has been recorded describing just why Hindus should not sell property to Muslims. Given this company, Modi will have a lot of ground to make-up to convince the world that his government believes different.

The specter of the Gujarat Riots will be prominent.

The violence that took place in Gujarat in 2002, while Modi was executive in the state, will hang like a shroud over the new prime minister’s time in office. That year, a train filled with Hindu pilgrims making their way back from Ayodhya — the scene of 1992 riots over the destruction of a mosque built on top of a Hindu holy site — stopped in the town of Godhra. There several passengers got into an altercation with some of the local Muslims, leading to an escalating series of events culminating in one of the train cars being lit on fire.

Though the Indian government later ruled that the car’s ignition was an accident and not set by Muslims, the violence spread throughout Western Gujarat and in the following weeks Hindu mobs sought vengeance on Muslims. “About 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, are killed. Some 20,000 Muslim homes and businesses and 360 places of worship are destroyed, and roughly 150,000 people are displaced,” the New York Times says in its timeline of the riots. While Modi’s reputation has clearly improved since then, and he has never been officially implicated as being behind the riots, they still happened on his watch — a fact that not all of India’s voters have forgotten.

China, Pakistan, and the U.S. will be watching for foreign policy changes.

While Modi is going to be primarily focused on domestic challenges and economic issues, India’s role, at times, as a seemingly reluctant potential heavyweight in the region will mean that the BJP government will have to grapple with foreign policy. With his victory still fresh, key countries are already extending a hand to Modi to ensure stable relations with the incoming government. Modi had been previously banned from obtaining a visa into the United States, a situation that the State Department now says will be reversed once Modi takes office and forms a government. And Modi has already been in contact with his counterpart in Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, according to Indian newspaper Desh Gujarat. “Pakistan and India will wage a war against poverty,” the paper cited Modi as saying.

This outreach doesn’t mean that the potential for problems in relations between Modi’s India and other states no longer exist. While Modi is known for his economic acumen and is well aware of the potential for growing links with China, he has also warned of Beijing’s “expansionary mindset” when it comes to territory. And with Modi potentially looking east, towards southeast Asia and other neighbors, as opposed to west, the lynchpin of the Obama administration’s ‘rebalance to Asia’ may be at risk. Indo-American relations under Singh and Obama have had their high and low points, but finding common ground with the Modi government on matters such as managing China’s rise and engaging in counter-terrorism strategy in Afghanistan will be all the more difficult — and important.

Source: Hayes Brown for ThinkProgress

Narendra Modi’s going to ruin India for a long time to come. 

Unfortunately, Nebraska is stuck with this asshole for a Senator for the next 6 years. 

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Josh Israel at Think Progress Justice

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Progressives Today’s site is co-founded by notorious right-wing smear merchants Jim Hoft (aka The Gateway Pundit) and Kyle Olson from EAGNews.org.

h/t: Conor P. Williams at TPM

addictinginfo:

Bundy Supporter Threatens Civil War, Says Harry Reid Will ‘Have His Balls Ripped Off’ (VIDEO)

Mike_Vanderboegh

Mike Vanderboegh is a self-described “wolverine” and leader of the Three Percenters, a right-wing militia group whose specific purpose is to prepare to fight a war against an imaginary tyrannical government. Yet, he blames Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for attempting to incite an epic second Civil War. Vanderboegh sent Reid a clear warning during his speech to the collective troops at the Cliven Bundy Nevada ranch.

“Don’t poke the wolverine with a sharp stick, Harry, unless you want your balls ripped off.”

Horsford Letter

h/t: Dylan Scott at TPM