The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
In the end, the antigovernment rhetoric that so energized his defense couldn’t save Charles Dyer, the former Marine and member of the antigovernment Oath Keepers organization accused of raping his own 6-year-old daughter. Late Thursday, after four hours of deliberation, a Duncan, Okla., jury convicted Dyer and recommended a 30-year sentence.
After the verdict was read, Dyer’s hands and feet were bound in chains. His face hardened and he did not mutter a word. The only claims of innocence had come earlier as he testified. “I believe in my heart that my daughter is a victim of sexual abuse. … [But] I’ve never hurt anyone in my life, especially not my daughter,” Dyer said.
The case drew national attention after Dyer failed to appear in court for trial in 2010. (At the time of his arrest, he was also charged with possessing a grenade launcher stolen from the military in 2006; he was later acquitted of that charge.) Dyer became infamous when he went on the lam and began issuing threatening, conspiracy-laced communiqués that left no room for doubt as to his violent intentions were police to catch up with him. ( continue to full post… )
In Superman comics, Bizzaro World is a cube-shaped planet on which all normal rules of reality are reversed and everything is the opposite of the way it is on Planet Earth.
It is also the only place imaginable where Ann Coulter’s assertion that “For more than a hundred years, Republicans have aggressively supported arming blacks, so they could defend themselves against Democrats” could possibly be uttered with a straight face. ( continue to full post… )
The antigovernment “Patriot” movement is big on the U.S. Constitution. Except when it’s not.
For some reason, the far-right politicians who identify with and promote the Patriot movement can’t seem to get over the fact that the Constitution gives the federal government primacy over the states – even as they wrap themselves in the American flag. It’s a contradiction that, apparently, only antigovernment extremists can understand. Others, who study such things, call it cognitive dissonance.
Thumbing your nose at the federal government has a long history in American politics, of course. George Wallace ran an entire presidential campaign on it in 1968 – five years after he made a big show of “standing in the schoolhouse door” to block the entry of black students at the University of Alabama. Perhaps he was still peeved about being pushed out of that doorway by President John F. Kennedy and the National Guard. ( continue to full post… )
Aiming squarely at the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement, Georgia’s governor on Monday signed a law that will make it a felony to file fraudulent liens against public officials or employees, a tactic known as “paper terrorism.”
Sovereign citizens, extremists who believe they don’t have to obey most laws or pay taxes and have been known to react murderously to perceived incursions on their freedom, have wreaked havoc in Georgia over the past several years.
In one of the first cases of its kind, 12 sovereigns in North Georgia were charged last March with stealing properties worth millions of dollars, including mansions and a strip mall in Atlanta’s wealthy Buckhead neighborhood. They are being prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a federal law originally drafted to fight organized crime but now sometimes applied to other forms of criminal enterprise. ( continue to full post… )
A Houston jury has convicted three men who sported white supremacist tattoos on federal hate crime charges for carrying out a racially motivated assault on a 29-year-old black man they cornered at a bus stop.
Charles Cannon, 26, Michael McLaughlin, 41, and Brian Kerstetter, 32, face up to 10 years in prison when they are sentenced in July by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Hoyt of the Southern District of Texas. Prosecutors dismissed charges against a fourth man, Joseph Staggs, who testified against the others.
The convictions were the first in Houston under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, enacted in 2009. ( continue to full post… )
Retired psychiatrist and Columbia University professor Robert Spitzer has repudiated his own much-criticized 2001 study that has been used for years by anti-gay activists to buttress their claims that gay men and lesbians can be “cured” of their homosexuality through therapy.
In the controversial study, Spitzer claimed that some “highly motivated” LGBT people could become straight. His repudiation came in an article about the fringe “ex-gay” movement in the American Prospect. In an interview, Spitzer asked the author, Gabriel Arana, to print a retraction of the 2001 study so that he “wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.” ( continue to full post… )
This Friday, a far-right religious activist who co-authored a repulsive apologia for Southern slavery and argues that women were created to be “dependent and responsive” to men, will speak on sexuality and the Bible at Indiana University, Bloomington. Invited by a campus Christian group, Douglas Wilson’s impending visit to this major university has set off something of a local firestorm.
Wilson, who runs a religious empire in Moscow, Idaho, that includes a church, a college, a lower school, and a right-wing religious press, is best known for his 1996 book, Southern Slavery, As It Was, written with another far-right pastor. “Slavery as it existed in the South … was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence,” it claims. “There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world. … Slave life was to them [slaves] a life of plenty, of food, clothes and good medical care.” ( continue to full post… )
Anti-gay extremists in Maine have a new talking point. In their battle against a marriage equality ballot initiative, they’re asking voters to reject “sodomy based marriage.”
Interesting. The term opens up all kinds of questions. My dictionary defines sodomy as “anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex; also: copulation with an animal.”
So, we’re not sure if they’re against only marriage between same-sex couples – or all marriages where “sodomy” is practiced. And does their opposition apply only to marriages that are “based” on sodomy? Or do they include marriages where sodomy is merely incidental? We’re pretty sure they don’t mean to include sex with, say, chipmunks, though we’re almost positive they’d also be opposed to that. ( continue to full post… )
The National Rifle Association (NRA) — the powerful gun lobby that has called federal law enforcement agents “jack-booted thugs,” accused President Obama of having secret plans to strip away Americans’ guns, and been the main force behind the incredibly dangerous “Stand Your Ground” laws being used to justify the killing of Trayvon Martin — is once again flaunting its political extremism.
This Sunday in St. Louis, the NRA plans to host retired Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, a radical Islamophobe who has said there should be “no mosques in America,” as keynote speaker of a prayer breakfast at its annual conference. Boykin has asserted that “Islam is evil” and “a totalitarian way of life” that “should not be protected under the First Amendment,” among other things. This January, after controversy arose over statements like these, Boykin withdrew from a speech he had been invited to make at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. ( continue to full post… )
Two members of a Georgia militia — arrested late last year in a plot to bomb federal buildings, assassinate public officials and attack cities with deadly ricin — pleaded guilty today to conspiracy charges in a Gainesville, Ga., courtroom.
Accused ringleader Frederick W. Thomas, 73, and Emory Dan Roberts, 67, both entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiring to possess explosives and firearms.
The case was labeled by the FBI as one of its top domestic terrorism investigations of 2011 following the arrests of Thomas and Roberts and two others last November. ( continue to full post… )