“Patriot” Watch, Ctd. 7 – Jim Crow Edition

There has not been a “Patriot” Watch post on Semi-Partisan Sam for several months now, but this does not mean that America’s true patriots (ha) have been derelict in their duties. And by “duties”, I mean their habit of saying ever more outrageous things, associating themselves with thoroughly debunked ideologies and individuals, and generally causing embarrassment to mainstream conservatives who doesn’t necessarily view every implementation of an Obama policy as a call to reach for their muskets and tri-corner hats to march to Washington.

Honoring America...
Honoring America…

Salon Magazine has been keeping tabs, and has published a list of what they call “seven crazy right wing statements” that took place in just the past seven days. It is not an edifying spectacle:

1. Ted Cruz: We need 100 more like Jesse Helms in the Senate

2. Glenn Beck: War is a progressive idea so I am now against it

3. Alex Jones: Globalist cyborgs are coming

4. Stuart Varney and Monica Crowley: EPA is trying to suffocate children

5. Minnesota archbishop: Satan is behind gay marriage

6. Texas GOP gov. candidate tweets that Wendy Davis is “too stupid to be governor.”

7. Internet advice from a nobody who wants to ruin perfect strangers’ lives: Dads, don’t educate your daughters!

Readers can delve into each of these gems at their own leisure; for the purposes of this entry I will focus on just one – Senator Ted Cruz’s unfortunate speech at a Heritage Foundation event honouring the late Senator Jesse Helms. Salon sums up Helms’ character and accomplishments thus:

For those who don’t remember, here are some of the fun-filled, wacky things Helms said and did:

  • He sang the confederate anthem “Dixie” in an elevator with Carol Moseley-Braun, the African-American senator from Illinois, and told Sen. Orrin Hatch in front of her that he was trying to make her cry.
  • He opposed integration, or “mixing of the races,” and called the University of North Carolina the “University of Negroes and Communists” because it was integrated.
  • He led a one-man, 16-day filibuster opposing the designation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday, and threatened to lead one to save South African apartheid.
  • More comically, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he seemed unable to absorb the fact that the North Korean president’s name was Kim Jong Il, not Kim Jong 2.
  • Unlike other like-minded Southern politicians Strom Thurmond and George Wallace, Helms never disavowed his racist, segregationist views even on his deathbed in 2008.

And this is the man that Ted Cruz chose to praise. In public.

Children, never meet your heroes. Never meet them, for you are bound to be disappointed. This blog has been an unabashed supporter of the likes of former Texas congressman Ron Paul and his son, Kentucky senator Rand Paul, for some time. Frankly, their libertarian, small government message and advocacy for the “real people” as opposed to the moneyed and powerful special interest and elites is a very attractive political quality, albeit one that is dulled somewhat by their obsession with gold and abolishing the Federal Reserve.

But it seems that every time a seemingly viable libertarian-leaning politician emerges on the scene, they manage to torpedo themselves by doing something terribly naive, untoward or downright foolish. In the case of Paul Sr. we had the racist articles in the Ron Paul Newsletter, and in the case of Ted Cruz, the latest rising libertarian star, we now have recorded video footage of him praising an unrepentant racist and segregationist politician for going to Washington D.C. and “saying crazy things”.

Rachel Maddow does a good a job as any of expressing revulsion at Cruz’s decision to praise Helms in such a way:

 

With the Republican Party today, it always seems to be one step forward followed by two steps back. There were initially hopes after the 2012 election that the GOP might revise its stance on immigration reform so as to avoid demographic suicide in the coming decades, but this was swiftly followed by derogatory talk of latino “wetbacks” and children with “calves the size of cantaloupes” (from hauling drugs across the border, apparently) coming from elected Republican lawmakers.

Similarly, with the (at least partial) discrediting of the big-government, big-spending, deficits-be-damned, hawkish neo-conservative wing of the Republican party, it seemed as though an influx of new voices (such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio) might lead the GOP to a more appealing, sustainable stance in favour of protecting the rights of the average person rather than the moneyed special interest. One step forward. But, of course, this was followed by lots of shrieking about the unstoppable tide of Obamaist socialism in America, and coddling up to birthers and out-and-out racists. Two steps back.

Not enough people for the GOP to win a national majority again.
Not enough people for the GOP to win a national majority again.

Most of the reasons that this stance is so attractive to Republicans in the short term but so decisively in the medium to long terms have already been covered on this blog and elsewhere. But one angle that perhaps has not been discussed enough is the off-putting effect that these unsavoury positions have on younger voters. We have already seen the GOP reduce their opposition to gay marriage in light of its growing approval, seeming inevitability and support among young people.

Senators Cruz et al. would do well to remember that young people are also, generally speaking, not great fans of racism, segregation or Jim Crow laws, and that speaking at events honouring dead politicians who unabashedly supported all of these things is terrible, terrible PR for the party among new and future voters.

I beg the GOP, as someone who is naturally conservative and libertarian, and would have voted Republican in a previous age – courting the fringe as you are doing now is not worth the damage you are doing to the country, the two-party system or your own future political prospects.

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“Patriot” Watch, Ctd. 6 – On DOMA

 

I have been giving Alex Jones a break lately because amidst the more sensationalist, over-hyped, alarmist warnings about the New World Order that he broadcasts on his daily show, he actually did a very good job exposing the rotten corruption of our political and financial system during the recent Bilderberg 2013 conference in Watford, England, in the face of ridicule from a cowed, smirking, servile British mainstream media.

But all good things must come to an end, and now the quotation marks are firmly back around the word “patriot” in this latest report from the Patriot Watch, because on a recent show, Alex Jones decided to open his mouth and offer to the world his thoughts about the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I would say that viewer discretion is advised, but by now you should really know what to expect – you are duly warned.

So here we have it. According to our intrepid Alex Jones, being straight is now a crime.

This is a social engineering programme to break down society. On record. On record. To tell five-year-olds that Heather has two mommies or, y’know, that Bobby has two daddies. I mean, this is, this is pedophile behaviour. Uhhh… forcing down the throat of children, specifically. Sexualising them when they are supposed to be innocent.

I will note once again how amusing it is that anti-gay equality activists continually use charged and suggestive rhetoric in their arguments, complaining about things being “forced down their throats”, etc.

And it hardly needs to be said that there is a world of difference between explaining different family arrangements to children as a legitimate attempt to help children understand that being different is okay and that there is no shame in being raised by parents who are both of the same gender, and working deviously to “sexualise” them. No one serious is proposing that the mechanics of gay (or straight) sex be taught to children at the age of five. But when your argument against gay equality is being so comprehensively rejected by the population and legal minds of the country, there is little left to fall back on other than misleading straw-man arguments.

The argument also dovetails nicely with conspiracy theories that proponents of gay marriage are using propaganda aimed at children as well as “chemicals in the food supply” and other measures (just watch the video) to make people gay in order to massively depopulate the world.

But my favourite part by far is when Alex Jones – in full, majestic “rant” mode – sarcastically proposes human sacrifices of children to gay people:

And I’m supposed to go “Hey, take peoples’ kids”? I mean, it’s liberal. Maybe we should sacrifice our kids to a big homosexual altar, maybe have a pyramid. And you go up and the gay priests are there, and y’know, like, they chop your kid up with a meat cleaver, y’know, to prove you’re not racist or homophobic. I mean, every society has done this since Sodom and Gomorrah. Whether you believe the Bible or not, the men come to the door and say “Give us those men! Come out, we’re going to have sex with you”.

Where did they get this idea of a gang of men coming and saying “we’re going to rape you”? Because in every society, once this starts – the Romans, it was outlawed, folks. Cause they had seen what happened to other cultures. Rome rose, was stoic, got into this, and pretty soon it was Caligula dressed up like a werewolf raping and killing children. And I bring this up because this is what all elites end up doing. Raping and killing children dressed up like a werewolf. You don’t know about that? Look it up [..]

So they would go and do all this, and by the end it was just ripping childrens’ heads off, stabbing them, bleeeeurgh, chewing their throats out, blood spraying all over the walls. And I mean, so that’s where this goes, so just understand that that’s where this goes, that’s what’s going to happen. That’s where it ends.

That is some masterful dot-connecting from Alex Jones here. The Defense of Marriage Act is repealed on day one, and by day seven we are all having bacchanalian feasts where we gorge ourselves on the blood and flesh of children. Damn Justice Kennedy, what was he thinking?!

If you can grit your teeth and make it to the end of this short InfoWars / Alex Jones video, you will be treated to a nice segment where he tries to sell you “survival seeds”. Enjoy.

Alex Jones re-enacts the fall of Rome
Alex Jones re-enacts the fall of Rome

 

Patriot Watch, Ctd. 5 – Bilderberg Meeting

I’m removing the ” ” quotation mark symbols around this particular edition of Patriot Watch, because I think Alex Jones is right and undeserving of parody on something rather crucial currently taking place. His show from Wednesday 5th June, broadcast from London, is shown in full below:

 

Currently, the Bilderberg group of elites from the worlds of royalty, finance, media and industry are meeting at an exclusive hotel in the town of Watford, Hertfordshire, England.

For those who hear the word “Bilderberg” and immediately think “nonsensical conspiracy theory and black helicopters” – it is not – at least not as much as in the group is real and exists. They actually have a website now, which briefly details their official public aims, and meeting dates (but crucially, no minutes of those meetings or list of decisions taken or policies approved to be implemented). You can find their own website here to verify.

Why should any of this matter?

Well, as Alex Jones of InfoWars.com fame (or notoriety) says, if 150 of the biggest entertainers, movie stars and other celebrities, mostly very wealthy private individuals, were meeting for several days at an exclusive resort with tight, taxpayer-funded security around it, not only would the TMZ.com helicopter be flying overhead capturing live footage, but hundreds of thousands of people would converge on the scene to see their favourite stars and find out what was taking place inside.

But when people who hold the real reigns of power in our world – the heads of the largest banks, tech companies, royalty and others – meet with people who are currently in government (both George Osborne and Ed Balls, the UK’s chancellor and shadow chancellor respectively are attending, along with various heads of state and politicians from other countries, no one seems to care.  Even though surely, the least crazy conclusion to reach is that those people serving in government are going to come away from their luxurious meeting and enact policies that primarily serve the interests of the high-flyers with whom they were consorting?

Fortunately, more people are now starting to pay attention to this hide-in-the-open-air tactic of our elites meeting in wide open but unapproachable view to stitch up policies that benefit them but harm almost everybody else. See this interview on-site outside the Bilderberg steel wall, with UKIP MEP for London, Gerard Batten:

 

As Batten correctly states, people increasingly feel that government is something that is done to them, rather than of them, by them and for them, as is the ideal that we all hopefully still share, and was so eloquently expressed by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address of 1863.

Hence, partly, the appeal of the Tea Party in America, and UKIP in Britain. Anything anti-establishment and perceived of being outside the rotten, corrupted system is being embraced with ever-increasing fervour.

I’m not writing this post to announce that I am now a card-carrying InfoWars subscriber, or that now I suddenly believe that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy, in “false flags”, or that the US government perpetrated or allowed the 9/11 attacks or the Boston Marathon bombings. Not at all.

But is it not a mightily strange coincidence that the people currently gathered at the Grove Hotel in Watford, Hertfordshire, UK – the royalty and dignitaries and media moguls and industry titans and captains of finance – have all done extraordinarily well financially and professionally, even since the great recession tore through our countries, while we have faced lost jobs, long term unemployment, fewer prospects, food insecurity, rising inflation, increased taxation and reduced living standards?

If Bilderberg were just a club for the rich of the world to get together and play golf, protected by their own privately-funded security, that would be one thing – even though, as Adam Smith wisely and presciently wrote in The Wealth of Nations:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary. (Chapter X, Part II)

But Bilderberg is more than this because (1) we the people, through our taxes, are paying for these people to be shielded with privacy and protected with armed police, and (2) our elected officials are going to meet with them, and we will have no record of with whom they met, what was discussed in their meetings, or what was decided at the outcome.

There will be no press conference or public statements, as at least you get from self-congratulatory back-slapping events such as the Davos Forum. Just silence, silence that we are supposed to accept from our elected leaders after they share lobster dinners year after year with these elites, whilst meanwhile year after year these elites magically manage to continue to prosper, even as we the people suffer.

And as for the argument that our intrepid media would of course bring it to our attention if anything untoward or bad were taking place, when it comes to journalists and their role covering and exposing nefarious deeds or acts that are contrary to the public good, their credentials and reputations are totally and utterly undermined, in the US by their fawning over power and inability to question the Bush Administration’s feeble reasoning for war with Iraq, and in the UK by the phone hacking scandal, as just two of their most recent abdications of professional ethics failures.

So it can hardly be a surprise when the BBC’s lone reporter on the scene accuses Alex Jones of conspiracy theorising, shares none of his curiosity about what might be going on behind the big steel fence, and tries to provoke him into another one of his famous Piers Morgan show-style rants:

 

This video clip is many things, but good journalism it is not, from the BBC, and I would defy any right-thinking person to disagree with me. And if this is what we get from one of the most “prestigious” news and media organisations in the world, who knows what other news organisations might have overlooked, disdained, ignored, covered up or fawned over in the past, leaving us all in the dark? Can we then trust Sky News in the UK, or Fox News in the US, given their ownership? Of course not.

I find it strange and somewhat of a stylistic and political departure to be writing this article, but I’m sick and I’m tired. I don’t think it’s right that someone like Mitt Romney can pay a far lower effective rate of tax than me because he derives his income from investments whereas I derive mine from a salary. I think that if fairness means anything, tax rates should be flat.

I don’t understand why it should be that shoplifting or marijuana possession can see a person sent to prison and their life ruined, but conspiring to fix the LIBOR rate doesn’t result in any conviction for any of the people involved.

Oh, I understand why it is, but not why it should be.

And for all of his over-exaggerations, egotism, self-promotion and tendency to see the New World Order in every single event that happens around the world, Alex Jones and others like him are some of the only ones talking about this, even while they are mocked by the haughty, semi-secure, comfortable middle class journalists and newsreaders who are much closer to the edge of the economic precipice than they realise.

I’ve had enough of it. I want to know who my elected representatives are meeting at that sealed-off, taxpayer funded security protected site for wealthy private individuals. I want to see the pertinent minutes after the meeting detailed lists of what was discussed with elected officials, what was decided, and what new cack-handed policies we can expect to germinate in our national and EU legislatures as a result of the super-rich gala bash taking place in Watford this week.

Call me an idealist, but I still believe that my government should be first and foremost accountable to me, a British citizen, and not to Amazon or Starbucks or Google or Jeff Bezos or Eric Schmidt or Bill Gates (for all the excellent philanthropic work his foundation may do), or anyone or anything else other than other living, breathing, British citizens.

Semi-Partisan Sam is saying No.

Exit Bachmann

Well, this is a very sad day for American comedians and political junkies across the land. Our thoughts (but certainly not our prayers) must especially go out to Bill Maher at this difficult time. Why?

Because US Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota’s 6th district – otherwise known as Minnesota Palin – will not be running for re-election in 2014.

And she made this incredibly cheesy YouTube video to break the devastating news to her constituents:

 

She assures as that her decision has nothing to do with any of the following potential juicy reasons:

1. The fact that she barely held on to her seat in 2012, and the same Democratic Party challenger is gearing up to take her on again in 2014.

2. Her 2012 presidential campaign is being investigated by the Federal Elections Commission for potential serious improprieties.

3. She goes on dirty, McCarthy-ite, partisan witch hunts against loyal public servants.

4. She’s quite clearly insane.

So what, oh what could the real reason be? Did Michele Bachmann jump or was she pushed?

Normally I wholeheartedly agree with the likes of Glenn Greenwald, who argue that this type of Politico-esque process and personality-obsessed gossiping should not be part of our political discourse, and that it distracts from real journalism, and serious discussions of policy when we need them most. Quite right. But this particular dose of schadenfreude is too good to pass up.

Farewell, Michele Bachmann.

At least she was looking directly at the camera this time around.

“Patriot” Watch, Ctd. 4

It is very easy to make the cheap shot argument that right-wing / ultra-libertarian journalists such as Alex Jones from InfoWars make a quick – and often very easy – buck by playing on the fears of their listeners, and stoking the notion that the great unraveling of society is mere days or weeks from taking place, based on whatever bad piece of geopolitical news flits across the newswires on any given day.

Indeed, it is rather self evident that this is the only way that their business model works – it becomes significantly harder to sell water purification systems, survival seed vaults or home security systems to your loyal listeners if the threat to public order is only vague, and several years down the road.

The writers at Salon.com do an excellent if somewhat sensationalist job of breaking down the economics of the conspiracy-theorist right wing media industry, and I can leave that to speak for itself along with my own assessment.

But as much and as often as the people at InfoWars may get things wrong, or exaggerate them out of all realistic proportion, sometimes they do get it right. As with any rigidly-held ideology, on some issues you are almost bound to be right as often as you are wrong.

And so it was with great interest that I listened to this radio interview of neo-con darling Ann Coulter on the Alex Jones radio show, in which he and his (in some cases quite knowledgeable callers) totally and systematically deconstruct Coulter’s defence of then-president George W. Bush and the war on terror:

 

As Coulter’s neo-conservative house of cards totally and utterly falls down on her head, she eventually resorts to exclaiming:

“This is the nuttiest conversation I have ever had! We are at war right now, this is no time to be looking for black helicopters…”

The nuttiest element, however, is almost completely on her side of the argument, as she doggedly continues to insist that the non-existent weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq.

What also makes the interview excellent is the fact that although Jones begins his interview with Coulter in a very polite and courteous manner, going to great lengths to praise her many New York Times bestselling books and many media appearances, he shows no hesitation in calling her out, mocking and even goading her when she insults his listeners and their principled defence of civil liberties.

At one point, when he realises that Coulter is utterly beholden to the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld militaristic view of the world, and will not be persuaded to come around, he goes as far as to taunt her and make fun of her lack of knowledge on the very subject on which she had just completed her newest book:

“I appreciate your ‘courage’ coming on… Ann Coulter, you are a neo-con. You are out there shilling for the trojan horse, George W. Bush is a gun-grabber… We’ve been trying to be nice to you, but you’ve just denied things that are in the mainstream news… Stay on the line Ann Coulter, if you’ve got the nerve to do it…”

Boom. Alex Jones 1 – 0 Ann Coulter.

This edition of Patriot Watch is not in any way an endorsement of Alex Jones, or his overall belief system. But at a time when almost everyone in the mainstream media, and most Democrats as well as Republicans cravenly followed and rubber-stamped every one of the Bush Administration’s capricious excesses in curtailing civil liberties in the name of “freedom” and “security”, he and his followers were pushing back and voicing their opposition.

At the same time, many people who would now mock Alex Jones were nowhere to be found.