Nativists, Nazis, Tea, and Sarah

Normally I would not link to an Al Jazeera video report because I know with certainty that they are biased on matters pertaining to the Middle East and they have been the mouthpiece as well as distribution point for many terror organizations. (Al Qaeda screeds against the west usually appear first at AJ – same goes for Hamas and Hezbollah.)

That said they have done a factual report on Nativists and White Supremacism in the US, as well as their ties to organizations like the Minutemen, Council of Conservative Citizens, and to the tea party movement. As the tea party movement carries on it’s important to note that many of the organizers and leaders are not Republicans, but rather Constitution party, JBS, CoCC, and other like groups. I can back up the reporting in this video with links and proofs if you hesitate to rely on AJ, since I’ve seen this in my own research by crawling through the sewers of white supremacist sites on the web. I’m not going to subject my readers to that unless someone requests it in comments.

There’s a couple of important things in this video – you can see where the Tanton nativist movement is rebranding to the Flavor of the Day in politics (economy is issue one instead of the border now,) and you can see that the younger leaders of the white supremacists are working hard to mainstream their movement. Pay particular attention when one of the handlers muzzles an elder nazi when he goes off message and honestly displays what the group is really about.

Where does Sarah Palin come into the picture? Well recently she opted not to speak at CPAC since one of the sponsors is the John Birch Society. Instead she has decided to be the headliner at the Tea Party National Convention in Nashville. Since Nashville is a hotbed of activity for Council of Conservative Citizens, she’s basically jumped from frying pan into fire. You can bet CoCC will be there, and since it’s only a short drive from Millington up I-40 to get to Nashville, I would wager that the Political Cesspool might cover the event as well.

One other note about the National Tea Party convention: Judging from the high ticket prices I would also wager that the event will be an interesting mix of just the leaders from these groups, and that the media will be tightly controlled to prevent the “wrong photo op” of Sarah with one of these White Supremacist leaders. More on Rainmakers Crashing the Teaparty at Newsweek. Hint: Rainmakers aren’t the only crashers.

Update: If you think I am being unfair to Al Jazeera, here’s just the latest example of them furthering false agitprop without even basic fact checking; quotes are not that hard to verify. I trust this documentary more than their usual swill because it is from independent filmakers and because I am already familiar with the groups and facts detailed in it.

Update: As predicted above The National Tea Party Convention will be held behind closed doors without press coverage except by “selected Journalists.” It will¬† be a tightly controlled event with only sympathetic members of the press allowed. Would that be Robert Stacy McCain, Michelle Malkin and possibly the rest of the VDARE “tea-cup”white supremacists? Time will tell the tale.

Ice Curtains

Ice Curtains hide an empty nest as the glacier on my roof recedes.

Eugene Robinson Gets it Wrong on Cuba

In his first pop quiz of the decade Eugene gets the answer wrong on his own test. He states that Cuba doesn’t belong on the list of nations where passengers must undergo extra screening to fly to the US. While relations with Cuba are getting better and there are several signs of good intent in the regime lately, it’s still an origination point that we shouldn’t fully trust.

Eugene makes the same mistake that the loonier extremes of right does: he seems to think that all terror originates with Islamic radicals when all terrorism is not Islamic in origin. Cuba still harbors terror suspects from ETA, FARC, ELN, and up until 2004 they had harbored members of the IRA who were training FARC in use of explosives.(here’s a PDF from an ’04 report to Congress that examines both sides of the issues)

Above and beyond that there have been more airline hijackings from Cuba than anywhere else in the world, and some are relatively recent (2007.)

My hope is that Cuba moves swiftly to democracy and relations with all countries, and they have signed 12 international terror agreements. That said they are still a dictatorship and could change in an eyeblink on the whim of single person. So I have zero grief with the extra screening and think it’s a necessary precaution when considering the previous history.

Here’s a recent blog update on Cuba’s status and the stance of the Obama administration. (note: linking to this story does not mean I agree with the views of the blog’s author)

State Department on the designation of Cuba as state sponsor of terrorism.

Blasphemy in Ireland

Ireland’s new blasphemy law is being purposefully flouted by the atheists of Ireland. The group has put up a website that publishes 25 quotations that are blasphemous to contest the law in the courts. Right now the site is getting crushed with traffic, so I will link instead their Google cache. As a proponent of individual liberties and rights I have to show my solidarity, so please take some time to read up on this ridiculous law.

If you are religious you will most likely find these quotes offensive, and I used to really care a lot about not offending religious people even though I’ve been atheist all my life. (Even as a child going to Sunday school I never really believed, bible stories were just another genre of fiction to me – not quite as good as Tom Swift, nor the factual articles in Encyclopedia Britannica and Americana, however I’ve always taken pains not to offend the religious with my atheism.)

That has changed slowly over the past four years as the Religious Right in the US has hijacked the Republican party. Rather than being another PAC or group within the big tent, they have declared themselves owner of the tent with veto power over who gets in and who doesn’t. All of their bigotry against atheists and homosexuals and other minorities is now on virulent display across the right wing blogosphere, and some things that used to be confined to hate groups like Fred Phelp’s church and Randall Terry’s hate group Operation Rescue, are now on virulent display and just accepted. So I’m not worried about offending them anymore – there’s no God that can shut me up either.

Continue reading “Blasphemy in Ireland”

Wow: Reign of Kindo – Just Wait

Candyrat records at Youtube posts a lot of great tunes, and here is their latest from Reign of Kindo:

If you like this you can get RoK’s latest album at Amazon or at Itunes or you can order direct from CandyRat here.

Expect More Bootlegging in Russia

Russia just doubled the price of Vodka to combat Alcoholism:

Airline terror is a complex problem

David Frum at FrumForum has a post up that examines who the real culprit might be in the failed terror bombing on Christmas Day. while I agree with David on the points he makes about the breakdowns that allowed the terrorists to fly I must disagree with him on screening for bombs.

Airline terrorism is a complex problem not a simplex one, and we cannot guarantee that the next bomber will be on any lists or known to any intelligence agency; therefore we must also examine how a PETN bomb made it through at least two security checkpoints before arriving in the US where by sheer luck it failed to detonate properly. So David is missing point number four: we must have layered defenses — both bombs and terrorists must be screened for.

There’s going to be a lot of political flaming over this incident, and I’m going to forgo that. Blame can be layered in large quantities on both parties for this one and I fully expect large Federal agencies to have their failings: it’s the nature of the beast. Instead I will focus on what we should do to prevent the next attempt, without focusing on the human and agency failures since that will be examined in detail across the political spectrum and in most other media.

The ways we search for bombs now does not work for flights arriving from overseas airports. That’s evident from this attack and others. There are several high tech and low tech means to detect explosives and other threats, but as usual this boils down to bureaucracy just as the problems David examined did, and the cold calculus of risk vs. costs.

While some airports have functional “puffer machines” that can detect chemical signatures of explosives, they are highly expensive (160K,) too slow to use for every passenger in busy airports, and also take a lot of care and feeding from techs. The costs preclude them from being in airports like the one in Nigeria that the bomber originated at.

Dogs are able to detect trace amounts of explosives and are able to pick up those signatures from mines buried underground for decades in Afghanistan. That’s low tech, but it works. I have no doubt that had the terrorist passed within ten feet of such a dog that he would not have flown. Other animals and even insects can also be trained to detect the most common explosives (C4, PETN, etc,) and they can be tastefully concealed behind grills.

Another method would be full body scanners which is being proposed and which the Nigerian airport will start using. Privacy advocates and religious fundamentalists might object to these – however they appear to be a necessary evil in this day and age. As more of these come into use in a couple of years economies of scale should decrease the price and make them as common as metal detector small airports now. Like metal detectors full body scanners will only be at the security gates which leaves a security gap.

A concern that I have about airports is that a bomb in a crowded airport can be just as dangerous as bomb on a plane; the terror attack with a car bomb in Glasgow demonstrates that the terrorists are well aware of the potential for mass casualties in any given airport, or for that matter any transport nexus or place where many people gather.

We need systems that detect the most common explosives quickly, cheaply, and as efficiently as the common smoke detectors in your home work to detect fires and carbon dioxide. There’s a lot of money to be made for the first manufacturers who comes up with¬† explosives detectors designed not to detect explosives on a particular person but rather detectors that sense in general whether explosives are in an area and then send an alarm. Put these at every door of every airport, and you have a way to alert security that explosives have entered the airport. If you can’t do that go low tech and use dogs. The best solution would be layered and would use dogs, mechanical detectors at doors, and the full body scanners. I suggest some people get working on that since there is a lot of money to be made.