The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Coming Full Circle: FEMA Camp Theory Gains Traction on Far Left

By Leah Nelson on December 20, 2011 - 8:16 am, Posted in Antigovernment

If you Google the phrase “FEMA camps,” the first several links that come up will be websites like far-right conspiracist Alex Jones’ InfoWars (“Because there is a war on for your mind”) and the United American Freedom Foundation (“Providing International News From An Extreme Right Viewpoint”). Click around a bit and you’ll find a bevy of far-right outfits fretting that, any day now, federal agents will start hauling off law-abiding, God-fearing Americans to secret “concentration camps” run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

But if you search long enough, you may notice something strange: The theory – which began almost three decades ago with a warning from the extreme-right, anti-Semitic Posse Comitatus that “hardcore Patriots” would be imprisoned in FEMA detention camps – is no longer solely the province of the radical right.

On Dec. 14, Camille Marino, who runs the hard-left animal liberation website Negotiation is Over (NIO), posted on her website an “Alert” titled “Military Now Recruiting Guards for FEMA Domestic Detainment/Internment Camps.” The article, which first appeared on a conspiracist website called “End the Lie,” features the usual warnings about the end of civil liberties along with the announcement that the U.S. Army (supposedly) is looking for a Few Good Totalitarians to herd dissenters into camps.

End the Lie is a clearinghouse for conspiracy theories of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, whose adherents want to end the Federal Reserve, drastically shrink the government, and put most power in the hands of county-level officials, and who believe that civilian militias will be essential for keeping order after society collapses. End the Lie posts numerous articles citing Alex Jones, the chief propagandist of the FEMA camp meme. Among the “Alternative News Sources” it suggests are American Free Press, an anti-Semitic weekly founded by Holocaust denier Willis Carto; Oath Keepers, a Patriot group consisting of conspiracy-minded former law enforcement officials and military veterans who profess to be “guardians of freedom”; and blogger Wayne Madsen, who is a principal source for adherents to the obscure “Obama is Gay” conspiracy theory. End the Lie also suggests that readers check out the progressive blog Crooks and Liars (whose managing editor David Niewert has contributed to Hatewatch) – though it warns the site has a “heavy liberal bias.”

Oddly, no “heavy Nazi bias” accompanies the American Free Press link.

With the exception perhaps of Crooks and Liars, this is not the sort of material you would expect someone like Marino to associate herself with voluntarily.

According its website, NIO “strives to be an instrument of defiance, disruption, disobedience, subversion, creative & aggressive grassroots action, and a catalyst for revolutionary change. Total liberation – human animals, nonhuman animals, and the earth – will not happen by politely asking abusers to be decent. Emotion and passion drive action … not sterile debate.” Marino describes violence against animal researchers as “extensional self-defense” – a term coined by University of Texas (El Paso) Philosophy Professor Steve Best that rationalizes violence against “animal oppressors” by saying that “since [animals] cannot defend themselves … humans must act on their behalf” – using violence, if necessary.

Interestingly, Best has also drunk the FEMA camp Kool-Aid. Since at least November, the leftist professor, who portrays himself as a courageous truth-teller at the vanguard of liberation ideology and recently released a YouTube video titled “Fuck the Law – Riot Now,” has been linking on his own website to articles about FEMA’s supposedly nefarious plans – including the End the Lie piece Marino posted. Responding to a commenter on his site who asked which groups he expected the government to target, Best wrote, “[I]f your [sic] protest you are a terrorist, if you are a vegetarian you are a terrorist!! They have exceeded anything Orwell could have imagined on a bad trip.”

Speaking of which, Best’s comment about vegetarians exceeds anything that the highly imaginative Alex Jones (who complained in August that the government was rebranding veterans, gun owners, farmers, and whites as “terrorists”) could have imagined on a bad trip of his own.

Which brings us full circle.

Sometime in the last month, Marino added to her website a direct link to Jones’ vastly popular Infowars, the website on which he spins his paranoid tales.

Moreover, FEMA camps aren’t the only rightwing theme Marino has picked up of late. An entire section of her website is now devoted to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which publishes Hatewatch. Her list of grievances is drawn from a grab bag of disparate sources, including one describing the SPLC as “Cultural Marxist poison.” Cultural Marxism, of course, is a term beloved on the right. It began as a conspiracy theory with an anti-Semitic twist, based on the idea that a group of (mostly Jewish) thinkers had developed a perverted form of Marxism intended to undermine traditional Western values.

Given Marino’s aggressive demand that humans renounce their “speciesist” ways and embrace animals as their equals, one would imagine she would either shy away from this term or self-apply it proudly. Best, in fact, is an admirer of the school of thought whose ideas underpin so-called Cultural Marxism and its offspring, the twin bogeymen of “multiculturalism” and “political correctness.”

In an E-mail to Hatewatch following her October interview (whose transcript she reviewed and approved), Marino said she did not wish to be written about in the same blog that covered “the most contemptible groups of racists, bigots, madmen, and hatemongers.” Now, in adopting their language and conspiracy theories, she has voluntarily associated themselves with the very people she claims to despise.

  • Denny Gregg

    Extremism, and then labeling (far right, far left, neo-Nazi, Zionists, Nazi, Fascist, fem-Nazi, Socialist, Communist, leftist, liberal, neoconservative, conservative, ad nauseam) seems to be the mainstay of hate. Human beings have far more similarities than differences. What does it take for people to unite under a rational flag of thought? Part of the problem in the USA is the loss of the Fairness Doctrine. The FCC in 1949 required broadcasters to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable and balanced. The Fairness Doctrine was done away with in 1987. Fox-so-called-news came along and turned the news into a propaganda machine. Others followed. Divide and conquer and get the public to vote against their own best interests. Now we have the great divide of right and left with little or no compromise in the public’s eyes. With a lack of true information the public is vulnerable to being lead down the extremist trail.
    Denny Gregg

  • Denny Gregg

    “Camille Marino, who runs the hard-left animal liberation website” I was viewing a UFO-TV film on YOU-TUBE recently and at the end of it they showed a short film on what is going on in the corporate animal farms in the USA. Frankly it’s highly disgusting brutality that I never knew was going on. I can relate to Camille Marino feelings. I’ve always been a meat eater without too much thought to how pigs, cattle, and chickens are harvested for human and pet consumption. I’m highly tempted to stop or drastically reduce my meat consumption. Or if I could only buy these products from family farms, and stay clear of corporate farm products sold in the super markets. If you watch this film displaying a torture chamber of horrors for these animals, you’d be disgusted. The human race has never been more cold—they slaughter their own by the millions in wars, and torture and waste countless billions of helpless animals for over consumption and profit by fat human slobs. I’ve never been more ashamed of being human. Is there really a compassionate God? I’m not so sure!

  • Wzrd1

    Wow! ONE person finally unmasked the grand conspiracy of silence.
    With the mention of the funding bill and the 10 foot razor wire topped fence.
    After all, leaving FEMA warehouses in only a few locations, slowly decaying with age and understocked because the population has steadily increased, while the warehouses didn’t increase is OBVIOUSLY a grand concentration plot!
    I’ve personally BEEN IN FEMA warehouses, they’re few and far between, yet demands for their contents have increased year by global climate change year.
    But, it’s all a grand conspiracy of the space aliens, deflected off of the light of Venus or something, not the simplest facts that are readily available.
    DOES FEMA operate camps? Absolutely! In a disaster, people need a place to live, get medical care, food and safe water. I guess some groups think that the only good American in a disaster is a homeless and dying American! That local communities can overcome a major earthquake that leveled their community, the flooded community can cope with that flood that washed the community away, the burned down community can cope with the massive firestorm from the forest, the blown away community can easily handle the mile wide tornado that erased most of the community.
    All because they’re paranoid schizophrenics that refuse to seek professional medical assistance.

  • Kiwiwriter

    No, Concerned Citizen, you are making the claim that there are conspiracies by our government, so you have to prove your case. That’s the way it works. We’ve already done our term papers — we don’t have to do yours.

  • Mitch Beales

    Concerned about a certain citizens mental health. …leftist convinced…there is no government copnspiracies…should proof that there are conspiracie…? Twin towels? NVC?

    The government is indeed “conspiring” to house people who are displaced by natural disasters in FEMA camps. You might prefer the Superdome but the Saints want to march in there and play ball.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Just a question. Since many of you leftist are so convinced that there is no government conspiracies of housing people in FEMA camps. Maybe. The left should proof that there are conspiracies by our government, In other words. Show us the money. By the way! did our governenment blew up the Twin Towels in NVC om 9/11?
    I would like to know.

  • Mitch Beales

    Wow! Some of the comments on this thread make me want to grab my tinfoil hat. This one has really brought out the crazies. On the off chance that Todzzgod is simply misinformed HR 645 makes no mention of 10 ft. fences topped with razor wire although it does provide funding for National Emergency Centers on military installations. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a “military installation” that wasn’t surrounded by a 10 ft. fence topped with barbed wire. Also Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act signed on Sunday by the president states the following, “(e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” If American citizens can be detained indefinitely by the military that sucks but Section 1031e is going to make it tough to blame the black man for that.

  • Kiwiwriter

    Don’t mince words, Chris, do tell us what you really think about black people. My only question is, which is greater in you…your hatred of them or fear of them?

  • A.D.M.

    Chris, do you really want to go there? I can pull up stories of whites killing people or acting like animals throughout the U.S. such as the white dude who butchered a 9 year old girl who he babysat in Indiana

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....meras.html

    … or the white woman who killed 5 people then herself in North Carolina

    http://www.wbtv.com/story/1611.....=printable

    …or the white guy in Sacramento, California that was convicted of felony animal cruelty for the sexual abuse of a dog

    http://sacramento.cbslocal.com.....chihuahua/

    …or the white elementary school janitor in Jefferson County, Missouri who raped a 9 year old girl

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/l.....0f31a.html

    I can go on and on. Bottom line, people of all colors, nationalities, and creeds can act like deviants. Your ethnic makeup doesn’t make one more or less moral than someone else. I do thank you for exposing what kind of person you – a waste of a sperm and an egg.

  • Sam Molloy

    We’ve had Hitler, lynchers, financial schemers and literacy tests to vote. Possibly the people in Joplin were educated to respect each other, which should be the first thing taught in schools.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AronL Aron

    Chris Schulz,

    Rappers at malls? The horror!!!

    Thank you for at last exposing yourself for the racist we knew you to be.

  • chris schultz

    A.D.M.

    Do you have an explanation as to why the rural poor who are predominately white in Iowa and through the midwest suffer through devastating floods, tornados, etc. but they do not loot and act like animals compared to say New Orleans. If you have an answer I would like to know.

  • chris schultz

    A.D.M.

    If race has nothing to do with it. Then could you explain the recent mall riots over Jordans and rumors of rappers being at malls? I can, tacit support for people who act like animals by progressive like yourself.

  • A.D.M.

    So I guess people who are stranded by natural disasters should just stay where they are and die of starvation, right, Chris Schultz? It doesn’t matter what your skin color is. If you’re starving and your starving, a will to live and survive will click on. But since you think only certain groups of people can act rambunctious, I guess explaining it to you would take a miracle.

    As for the drug testing, what makes you think whites don’t sell and use drugs? Drug use is higher among whites than other people and whites still take the bulk of welfare dollars, even though welfare usage is at all time lows. Oh, yeah, it’s true.

  • chris schultz

    Robert Carr,

    If I recall, during the devastating floods in the midwest a couple of years ago, and the tornados in Joplin authorities did not have to use force. I am sure that you will say that is a result of authorities being racist but I would argue that a more plausible scenario would be the fact that in Joplin and the midwest the population did not act like wild animals like they did in New Orleans.

    As for drug testing, if I needed welfare aid or EBT assistance I would have no problem submitting to a drug test as I would be accepting others tax money, (of course this does not take into account my deep distrust and disdain for the government) However, I would say most of the population in inner city hip hop flash mob population in Detroit, Atlanta, etc. would not fair so well when taking a drug test.

  • Robert Carr

    If you will excuse me, I must add to the above.

    The behavior of authorities against the victims of Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans and elswhere, should have given anyone second thoughts about their purpose and ends.

    And, I saw another story today about drug testing of any who receive government aid. I DO consider that TYRANNY.

    If the law applies to all citizens (‘even the rich are forbidden to sleep under bridges’), then ALL politicians and workers , those who have authority over us, who get a state or Fed wage , should be drug tested, with the usual punishments.

    How about Rush Limbaugh? If he comes up positive, he’s gone tomorrow! Too bad, that when one is drug-tested, he must sign a waiver to accept false positives. Is that Tyranny worthy of this subject?

  • Robert Carr

    Nearly 15 years ago, during the Clinton administration, no less, I was alerted to a program that was being pushed, called Model States. I do belive the information came from the ACLU at the time, or else they knew of some details.

    The program was to be an emergecy measure, ala Stepen King’s ‘The Stand’ for all the same reasons,and with similar results, such as confiscation of fuel , food , firearms, etc.

    I wondered if it had been folded into the Patriot Act. I do have the recent Crooks and Liars article.

    http://crooksandliars.com/susi.....udall-secr

    I do know of several secrecy provisions of the Patriot Act. Surely, everyone has heard of gag rules on Libraries, while agents investigate readers. The outrages of the TSA are enough to make anyone ill. I don’t fly.

    If there is any meeting of left and right, this is one of them.

    If it’s true, of course.

  • Sam Molloy

    Adam, all that has validity, and is way ahead of where most people’s heads are at, except some in the OWS, and maybe a few in the Tea Party. However the recent surfacing of some old Ron Paul newsletters, and his flimsy denial, evaporated any respect I might have had for him personally.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    While the political spectrum is pretty nuanced, the “political compass” is basically BS. The problem is that its questions are based on liberal assumptions.

  • Adam

    I’m sorry, I realized this article was spin and B.S. as soon as it started using language like “far left” “hard right” etc., perpetuating the mythology that politics is one dimensional.

    I implored everyone to look up the Political Compass. You will realize that politics is nuanced.

    I used to think I was a leftist/socialist, until I heard a speech from Ron Paul [while not knowing who he was, what party/ideaology] and he made alot of sense to me.

    Left vs. right = collectivist/non-profit-driven economics vs. capitalist/profit-driven/free-market economics, and then you have up-down, authortarian vs. libertarian/anarchist.

    Seriously, left vs right is a form of mythology with which we (or “they” depending who you ask) keep ourselves/us in the dark.

    Just think: many so-called leftists and so-called right-wingers will claim to be interested in liberties on some issues and will toe statist lines on some issues; when it comes down to it a more important debate should be “what is the role of government,” “are rights innate or ‘given’ to us”…

  • swaneagle

    Sadly, too many so called peace and justice activists have not done their homework around the workings of the extreme racist right. I do what i can to encourage people to avoid spreading info from Alex Jones and other racist conspiracy troublemakers.

    Because of the extremes of laws being passed such as the recent Indefinite detention bill, as well as the hideous violence of police used against peaceful people involved in the Decolonize Occupy movements, many pick up on such information with no frame of reference. I encourage people to really do their research and stick to known sources of conscience.

    People are suffering very much right now and when the encampments of protesters become the only safety net in this society, we are looking at major problems with very visible, human destitution and desperation. It becomes vitally important that those in the know spread accurate information. I am not impressed with how easily the comfortable, intelligent folks who think they know better are eager to join mainstream corporate media in denouncing those sticking their necks out in ways that are not given voice or vital support. All people who have conscience need to pay close attention to what is going on in their communities act quickly with great compassion.

    While i camped with my college age daughter at her school, Seattle Central Community College, i was witness to the great influx of homeless people to the Decolonize Occupy Seattle camp. The great love and compassion shown by organizers who were mostly young people inspires me continually. They are willing to listen to truth, so please have heart and do all you can to make sure truth prevails.

    We are facing a major human crisis in this country right now. Courage, generosity and healthy information are vitally needed.

  • legalhound

    The way this got started on the left was that there was an article with the Army’s job description for guards in a recruiting listing. It mentions something about civilian agitators, it does not say that these camps are to be in the US, there is a legal and human rights group that has questions as to exactly how civilian is to be defined and that is as far as it went. Add this piece which got picked up by Daily Koss to the stuff being spread at the Occupy rallies (We have quite a few white supremacist gang members lurking around Occupy Long Beach trying to spread a bunch of crap and stir up trouble) and you get drivel like this. When it seems like it is coming from both sides people start believing that it could be credible even when it is just fringe theories.

  • kate

    Rusian: You really should attend a GA of an Occupy in your area before making such silly statements.

    The NDAA is close to being signed into law and as others have said here, Obama has stated that he will not veto it.

    Congress, with the help of Hollywood and more likely due to Hollywood’s over-arching greed, will probably pass a law that will allow censoring of the internet.

    Already the technology exists and is in use that monitors phone calls, computer traffic and other data of most individuals who use certain technologies.

    Whether the intent to undermine the people is in place right now really isn’t even important; its that the capacity to undermine the people’s freedoms, the constitution and the bill of rights is building at a pace that most people cannot keep up with unless they do it for a career.

    We assume that there is some moral floor present with most members of Congress, but time and again, they have demonstrated that they are willing to lower the floor on our well-being in order to raise the bar on their personal profit and power.

    The only way this will change is when the majority of the people in this country become personally outraged enough to demand justice. Unfortunately, since capital is the highest priority in this country and buying and selling the people’s well being — as long as it isn’t yours — is considering just fine, we’ll all be cooked in our own soup anyway.

  • Erika

    W Malloy, don’t you know the first rule of the conspiracy theory. That is what they want you to think – yes, while Michael Brown might have appeared to be an incompetent, he was actually a criminal mastermind like G. Gordon Liddy, Boris Badenov, Ollie North, the villans on Scooby Doo, Warren G. Harding, or the guy who showed up on America’s Dumbest Criminals trying to rob a store while wearing a paper bag with no eyeholes cut in it over his head and his security guard uniform from his job as security guard at the store.

    The truth is out there – just you wait and see.

  • Chase

    Well, the only defense of the so-called “left” getting involved in such conspiracy theories is that IF such concentration camps were to ever truly emerge, they would be far more likely to be aimed at “leftists,” and set up by far right wingers. President Bachmann, anyone?

    And, hate to say it, but the passage of the recent anti-democratic, authoritarian Military Authorization Act, abrogating 600 years of Western principles of habeas corpus and other civil liberties, is more than ample evidence that it’s only paranoia if they’re NOT out to get you.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    First of all, Alex Jones is a far rightist, as he labels himself a “paleoconservative.” He is also a con-man. Most call him a nutjob but I don’t believe he truly takes himself seriously. He is making money off of rubes, plain and simple.

    Second, some posters here are a bit confused about how things work. The burden of proof is on the conspiracy theorists to show proof of these FEMA camps for rounding up citizens, not on any of us to refute them.

  • W Malloy

    One need only look at FEMA’s performance in 2005 and following (when IKE hit in 2008, some were still living in their Katrina/Rita mobile homes) to see how ludicrous these conspiracy theories are — no matter who makes the claim.

  • StopUSAGiveaway

    How many of you can verify what you state? Do you do that all the time? Is that how you live on Planet Earth making up words to fit what you need to hear? Living on quick sand…

  • StopUSAGiveaway

    Then why after Clinton blew up l50 missile sites for the Communist to view on satellite and Gorbachev living at the Presidio stating when asked in l986 “how does it feel to be out of government stated–I am downsizing your military!” I was there f o o l s…. Why do we have barbed wire fenced camps after our US military bases closed and missile sites blownup? Just a conspiracy. Who do you defend SPLC? Illegals who rape US Citizens and gangs who have control of US soil? Gangs in 300 cities documented? What are you?

  • azure

    Perhaps part of what’s being expressed by these groups, now at both ends of the spectrum is fear regarding the changes that have occurred in the US since 09/11. Although I don’t quite understand how an animal “liberationist” who thinks violence is the way to “liberate” other than human animals is considered to be a hard leftie. Hitler liked dogs & was reportedly a vegetarian.

    Anyone who paid attention to the changes either pushed for or simply performed (torture, etc.) by the Bush II administration has had legitimate cause for alarm. The Obama administration’s continuation of these policies (i.e., permanent “suspension” actually effective repeal of some of the Bill of Rights) and now the failure of the Udall amendment to the Defense Authorization Act, and prez Obama’s refusal to veto that legislation.

    Note how the LAPD treated some peacefully resisting/protesting OWS, which is probably very similar to how they’ve been treating black & some Hispanic Americans for some time. Ditto the NYPD and the Seattle PD and the evidence supporting the federal gov’t’s increasing militarization of the police.

    The Congressional GOP’s efforts to create a separate judicial system (run by the military) for terrrerissts. And of course just who is “terrorist” is defined very broadly, although it’s clear it excludes, the banksters & the CEO, et al, of AIG whose greedy & reckless machinations nearly brought the economy down.

    There does seem to be a strong trend towards terminating several of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights, and destruction of the right to due process in general. As to whether the US is targeting certain US groups, who knows, my guess is it’s anyone who challenges the corporate “elite” or the ultra wealthy of the US, the so-called 1% or class war with the upper class wielding the power of government to win the “war.” can become a target.

    So, FEMA camps or indefinite detention w/out trial or access to legal representation by the military, take your pick. I don’t think those groups are being specifically targeted but since I’m not a member of the Koch family or have a position high in the federal gov’t hierarchy, how would I know who’s being targeted or will be in the future? Because that’s who will do the choice whether it’s directly or through a proxy, i.e., a Congressperson or presidential administration.

    The response to the OWS has been bad enough–and different from that of the police/gov’t in the EU & the UK to similar actions. Reminiscent of how efforts at unionizing and integration were greeted by the PTB, which were violent (Joe Hill, et al) and often violent w/no provocation.

  • lgold

    I don’t consider Alex Jones to be ‘Far Right.’ He is just awake. FEMA camps are not a conspiracy theory. FEMA camps are are a reality.
    Wake up.

  • A walkaway

    I might suggest that projection is also a bit at play here.

    The precursors to the NAR used to rant about how a “one world government” was going to take over, and what is their present goal? Taking over the US government, abolishing most of the constitution (those parts they don’t like because they give equal rights to the Other), and then taking over the world “for Christ”. I see projection at play all the time from the conservatives/theocrats, why not from people that also want to micromanage our lives?

    I’ve had run-ins with militant vegans and vegetarians, and some of what was said sounds a lot like that character. The ones I had problems with were trying to force me into their lifestyle and harassing me because I didn’t go along.

  • Toddzzgod

    I heard a lot of name calling (and what side does that remind you of?) but no facts to refute the FEMA camps existence. Just goes to prove the point that the right and the left are two sides of the same coin. Equally ignorant and blinded by their own ideologies. Ripping on other people because you dont believe what they have to say without any evidence is what Fox news is for. Or so i thought before now. HR 645 is the bill that appropriated the funding for the camps. Why do “national emergency centers” (what they are called in the bill) need 10ft high fences topped with razor wire? With Pres. OBama about to sign a bill (with a provision he asked for namely due-process-free military custody for American citizens) your saying we shouldn’t be even a little paranoid? That sounds foolish.

  • Terry Washington

    Clint Eastwood once quipped, as did George Orwell, that the farther you go to the Left, the same loonies come at you from the Right- ’nuff said!

    Terry

  • CitiznX

    Sigh… trying doing the research on REX84, COG preparation, P.E.O’s 10994- 11004. PLEASE… a “F.E.M.A. camp” is just your local sports stadium or multiplex theater… can you say SUPERDOME? KATRINA? Blackwater roaming New Orleans as videoed by Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill? I love SPLC, but you have to separate the person from the data.

  • Reynardine

    In fact, in the mid- ’80′s, Ollie North had just such ideas in mind. Just because most people don’t most of the time doesn’t mean nobody did, or could.

  • Sam Molloy

    The Tea Party and the OWS have a lot in common when it comes to the obvious collapse of the American dream. It’s their solutions that are different, the Tea Party tends to trust the corporations, and the OWS tends to think the government can fix the problems. I hope the gay camp will have a library so I can study this conondrum more thoroughly.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Chris, the OWS movement is a very broad one, and it’s difficult to claim that “they” are hypocrites when “they” are so diverse. The Tea Party on the other hand, consists mainly of people who didn’t care about wasteful spending in 2003, but suddenly began bursting with rage in 2009.

  • red-diaper baby 1942

    Aron: the problem with extremists and true believers — ideological, religious or whatever — is that sooner or later they decide the end is so important that it justifies any means. Once you pass that barrier, there is nothing stopping you from the most appalling violence against anyone who disagrees with you about either the end itself (salvation, getting rid of gays, keeping black people subservient) or the means to achieve it. This would be just as true of a centrist as of anyone else, although the scenario is hard to imagine; a centrist by definition is someone who tries to reach a sensible compromise. In fact, that’s one way to define democracy.
    That does not necessarily mean a solution that makes as many people as possible happy; unfortunately, a compromise usually means a solution that makes as few people as possible unhappy. But an extremist by definition cannot accept compromise. As we’ve seen over the last two years in American politics.

  • Dick Lancaster

    As I understand this article, it was the right wing haters that influenced the left wing haters. Are the left wing haters so incompetent that they can’t learn to hate on their own? La Raza is a left wing hate group but learned that on their own and doesn’t criticise the SPLC. Therefore, they are a “centrist advocacy group” according to Robert Stienbach, Hate Watch Deputy Editor. Now I’m beginning to see how this works. Thanks, Leah.

  • Karen Luce

    It seems to me you’ve missed the obvious trigger for these animal rights activists to buy into the FEMA camps theory. An incredibly broad piece of legislation created their justifiable concerns of prosecution without due process. This law obviously protects bad actors in the corporate world who deal with animal operations and creates a system treating even mainstream activists at risk of imprisonment as a terrorist.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/lo.....7711.story

  • chris schultz

    Ruslan,

    The OWS movement like the tea party are a bunch of hypocrites. Just as you can lure the tea party away from their protests with NASCAR related products. You can lure the OWS crowd away with Steve Jobs dying or free Ipads.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AronL, Aron

    Red Diapers,

    As I’ve always said, the only good thing the JBS ever accomplished was costing Goldwater the presidency.

    That being said, I would be curious to examine the principles of an extreme centrist. I doubt that could hardly be as bad as a rightist or leftist, no?

  • red-diaper baby 1942

    This once again demonstrates that extremism — on whatever side — always leads to irrationality, often followed by violence and destruction. We all remember (well, at least people my age do; I was in graduate school when Goldwater ran for President) the lines: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” And oh, how wrong he was — and is, and always will be!

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Leah Nelson,

    Just goes to show that not all nut jobs are on the right.

  • Erika

    Jello Biafra is another far-leftist believer in the FEMA concentration camp conspiracy theory.

  • Gregory

    Fortunately for Marino, the FEMA camps are just as fictional for her as for the militia nutters.

  • CM

    Back in 1969, I saw a group of Nazis that showed up outside the D.C. office of the antiwar group New Mobilization, apparently thinking the crowd of peaceniks hanging around there was ripe for recruitment. They were notably unsuccessful and finally left after throwing a stink bomb into the building. But given the fact that some of the most hard-left people in the SDS, for example, ended up founding the neoconservative movement, it might not have been quite as misguided a strategy as it seemed.

    As for the FEMA camps, there’s one on the list that happens to be right here in my neck of the woods. It’s cleverly disguised as a federal prison.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    This is what happens when leftists in the Occupy movement don’t educate themselves about right-wing populists. “Oh I’m sure no neo-Nazis or racists would try to pass out their propaganda at our Occupy protest! They’d probably be at a Tea Party!”

    For the record, yes, Neo-Nazis and right-wing populists find much more fertile ground in the Tea Party movement, at least for recruits. But these types will show up to any anti-system rally just to slip their message in. I believe that’s how this happened.