Byron Williams prison mug shot.
“I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind.” - Byron Williams
Chilling, must-read article from Media Matters about the toxic influence paranoid wingnuts like Michele Bachmann and Glenn Beck have on gullible, unstable—and potentially violent—people:
Byron Williams, a 45-year-old ex-felon, exploded onto the national stage in the early morning hours of July 18.
According to a police investigation, Williams opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers who had stopped him on an Oakland freeway for driving erratically. For 12 frantic minutes, Williams traded shots with the police, employing three firearms and a small arsenal of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds fired from a .308-caliber rifle.
When the smoke cleared, Williams surrendered; the ballistic body armor he was wearing had saved his life. Miraculously, only two of the 10 CHP officers involved in the shootout were injured.
In an affidavit, an Oakland police investigator reported that during an interview at the hospital, Williams “stated that his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU.”
Fifteen years after militia-movement-inspired bombers killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City federal building, right-wing domestic terror plots are a fact of life in America. Since 2008, violent extremists—many of whom subscribe to the hate speech and conspiratorial fantasies of the conservative media—have murdered churchgoers in Knoxville, police officers in Pittsburgh, and an abortion provider in Wichita.
Conspiracy theory-fueled extremism has long been a reaction to progressive government in the United States. Half a century ago, historian Richard Hofstadter wrote that right-wing thought had come to be dominated by the belief that Communist agents had infiltrated all levels of American government and society. The right, he explained, had identified a “sustained conspiracy, running over more than a generation, and reaching its climax in Roosevelt’s New Deal, to undermine free capitalism, to bring the economy under the direction of the federal government, and to pave the way for socialism or communism.”
In a 2009 report, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the anti-government militia movement—which had risen to prominence during the Clinton administration and faded away during the Bush years—has returned. According to the SPLC, the anti-government resurgence has been buttressed by paranoid rhetoric from public officials like Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and media figures like Fox News’ Glenn Beck.
Just last month, Gregory Giusti pleaded guilty to repeatedly threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—including threatening to destroy her California home—because he was “upset with her passing the health care law.” His mother told a local news station that he “frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas,” adding, “I’d say Fox News or all of those that are really radical, and he—that’s where he comes from.”
Read “Progressive Hunter”: Jailhouse Confession: How the right-wing media and Glenn Beck’s chalkboard drove Byron Williams to plot assassination (Media Matters)
(Points and laughs)
Above, Iott and pals indulging in some good clean Third Reich fun!
Rich Iott, the Tea party favored Republican candidate for Ohio’s 9th Congressional district, found himself in the unenvious position yesterday of having to defend himself against The Atlantic’s revelation that he—get this—donned a NAZI UNIFORM to play act in WWII recreations a few years back. Not to fear, Iott’s got a whole mess of rightwing blowhards blogging in his defense, because, as Charles Johnson writes at Little Green Footballs, “this kind of thing really isn’t a problem for them.”
No, but it might be a problem for, I dunno, Jewish voters in his district and, let’s face it, anyone WITH HALF A BRAIN who MIGHT BE UNCOMFORTABLE voting for a politician whose judgement is so incredibly poor that he CHOSE to wear, and be photographed in, a Nazi uniform, for any reason whatsoever (professional actors aside).
It’s simply amazing to me how many skeletons (and now Nazi uniforms) are falling out of the Tea party candidate’s closets as we get closer to election day. To me, this idiot Iott and his NAZI UNIFORM are a STRIKING REMINDER OF WHAT WE ARE DEALING WITH IN THIS COUNTRY.
Tea baggers, I ask you: Do you see yourself in the below clip (taken from UK sketch comedy series That Mitchell and Webb Look)? And if so, which character do you most identify with?
Earlier in his show, he talked about how he was going to be “out west” having a battery of tests done at a hospital next week. Then the above soliloquy took place. What’s going on?
“Hi, I am a 37 year old, single male hoarder looking for a housemate. I have a two-bedroom, one bathroom house in the Silverlake/Los Feliz area of Los Angeles (pictures below). I am looking for someone to help with the rent and bills. Price is negotiable.
Please, no drugs or smoking in the house, or any late night guests or parties. No pets. Perfect for a college/grad student.”
NO PETS?!?!? And WHO would bring someone over to this dump in the first place? WOW!
Rightwing radio dolt, Bryan Fischer, the same idiotic asshat who said last month that the US should handle Muslims the way Germany handles neo-Nazis and who compares gay sex to terrorism, opened his big, dumb mouth again yesterday. Fischer declared on the American Family Association’s blog, after posiing the “What would Jesus Do?” question regarding the firefighters in Obion County, TN who let a family’s house burn to the ground, that JESUS WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING!
Is Fischer saying that the central figure of Christianity is a cold-hearted sociopath like he is… or what??? I do not recall anything in the Gospels about Jesus liking privatization or being a Rush Limabugh-listening “dittohead,” but maybe I fell asleep that week in Sunday school…
I’m not even going to put a link to his blog because I don’t want to send a complete dickhead like Bryan Fischer a lick of traffic, but the comments were, as you might’ve guessed, kinda priceless:
10/6/2010 2:05:46 PM
You’re as dumb as a box of hair, we get that. But do you really think Jesus would have stood by rather than lend his help, especially considering there were innocent pets inside? Everything you write flies in the face of what Christ taught, so it would seem you are not in any way qualified to determine what is Christian and what is not.
10/6/2010 1:52:42 PM
The truly Christian act would’ve been to take two pieces of wood, one approximately 8 feet long with the other being slightly shorter, and attach the smaller piece perpendicular to the longer piece about 1/4 of the way from the top. Then plant it in the their lawn and use the conveniently located flames of their home to ignite the newly constructed “T” shaped device.
10/6/2010 1:45:42 PM
Whom Would Jesus Burn Out?
10/6/2010 1:41:09 PM
Yes, he failed to pay. Yes, that was foolish of him. That said, fire protection is such an important part of local government’s role that it’s unethical to offer the service on a pay-to-play basis. It runs against the very purpose of society - Christian or otherwise - for a municipal crew of trained professionals in possession of the resources to fight a fire to refuse to do so over a mere $75.
10/6/2010 1:40:10 PM
No. You are wrong. Period.
10/6/2010 1:35:21 PM
Who is my neighbor? I’m sure glad Jesus told a story about personal responsibility when asked that question.
10/6/2010 1:23:45 PM
Your argument assumes that, if one person chooses to behave irresponsibly and the mature, responsible, intelligent, compassionate people of the world help him, then, suddenly, those people will become stupid and think that it’s OK if we all make the same mistakes that the first guy did.
10/6/2010 1:05:18 PM
If secularist means caring for your neighbor as you would yourself, then sign me up.
10/6/2010 12:50:35 PM
Yeah, Jesus would have let the place burn. You’re a moron.
10/6/2010 12:48:49 PM
Mr. Fischer; I think you are Rightly Insane in trying to propose WWJD and quoting Mr. Cranick Have you interviewed both? BTW, this FD has made exceptions to this no-fee rule before.
10/6/2010 12:46:20 PM
Somehow, I get the feeling Jesus preached charity a lot more frequently than he preached “it’s your own fault, suck it up.” But no, I guess not. I must be thinking of Mohammad, or one of those other crazies. As a side note, I like the feminine/masculine comparisons going on in this piece. I bet you feel real manly right now, Broseph.
10/6/2010 12:36:51 PM
Bryan, I believe you are the one that has adopted a worldview that is in fact not Christian but rather is American. I wish you would simply admit you love America more than you love Jesus Christ and stop using the name of Jesus Christ to push your distorted view of Christianity. Read the Sermon on the Mount, read the parable of the Good Samaritan, read James 1:27. Your interpretation of the parable of the ten virgins is wrong at best and blasphemous at worst.
How much longer can people like Bryan Fischer, Sharron Angle, Jim Demint, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul, Joe Miller, and people who “think” like them share the same country with the rest of us??? My lovely and perceptive better half, Tara, has been saying for years that a distinctly uncivil war was coming, and I always laughed that off, but I’m not so sure anymore. What’s going on in our society today is ROTTEN and if you take certain things to their logical conclusions, it’s not very pretty. Not at all.
WTF??? What would these lyrics mean out of context besides nothing whatsoever?
“I want a loud answer to this question… Who’s your favorite clown?”
She claims not to be a witch, but is there any truth to the rumor that Delaware Senate candidate, Christine O’Donnell’s father used to portray Bozo the Clown on Philly TV? Apparently so, but the zany, anti-masturbation Republican wacko’s dad was only an unofficial Bozo. Has someone been padding his resume, too?
The New York Times called Daniel O’Donnell and got the scoop:
“Who told you I was Bozo?” he wanted to know.
“Your son,” I said, at which point he confirmed that yes, he was Bozo, but not an official, full-time certified Bozo, more of a part-time Bozo.
“To be an official Bozo, you had to go to a special school in Texas,” explained Mr. O’Donnell. He never did. Instead, he was asked to fill-in for the official Bozos whenever they would have to travel out of the Philadelphia area for acting gigs.
“They would leave, I would come in and work for two or three weeks, whatever, until the regular Bozo came back,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “I was the fill-in Bozo.” He worked out of a local station in Jenkintown, Pa., he said, adding that station employees did his make-up and hair. He would also do remote appearances, got to supermarkets, meet kids, sign autographs and ride around in the Bozo Mobile. His son Daniel was his assistant.
Send In the Clowns — and the Truth Squad (New York Times)
Not the real Andrew Shirvell, that twit’s not on Twitter, but as you can tell from the parody tweets here, it’s probably just about the same…