Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm doing my best not to incite you

But don't worry -- if I get out of line, the Department of Homeland Security has your back.

The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in "rightwing extremist activity," saying the economic recession, the election of America's first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.

A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines "rightwing extremism in the United States" as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

"It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration," the warning says.

Emphasis mine. I'll try to be more careful. Really -- wouldn't want to do anything that would cause anyone to "reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority."

So beginning today, just to be safe I'm going to ignore any directives from Gov. Pawlenty or New Brighton Mayor Steve Larson and I recommend that all my readers do the same.

Gotta get our minds right, people.


Night Writer said...

What in the name of Albert Jay Nock...?


Night Writer said...

Incitable boy, they all said...

Mark Heuring said...

That would appear to be the opposite of a Che t-shirt. Maybe we ought to wear those to Picklesworth's bachelor party.

my name is Amanda said...

Oh, so do extremist right-wing groups not reject Fed gov in favor of State/Local gov? Are they not likely to include single-issue voters who concentrate on abortion/immigration? Just wondering why the Dept Homeland Security warning about that would pique your interest. I tried to click on the link, but it kept coming up as an error. (Probably the fault of my work's stringent internet policy.)

Mark Heuring said...

Piques my interest because it's an awfully broad brush. I tend to oppose the federal government's ministrations because, in the main, I think government does better when it is closer to the governed. I prefer to have matters that directly affect my life handled at the local or state level, because I have a better chance of getting my concerns heard at that level.

There are some things that the City of New Brighton can't do, like raise a standing army, but it is more likely to understand the situation on the ground in most other matters than someone in Washington, let alone the dim functionary at the Department of Homeland Security who authored this white paper.

BTW, I believe the link got picked up at Drudge, which means it's getting flooded with traffic. You should be able to hit the link later.

Night Writer said...

This is similar in tone to foofaraw last month in Missouri where a report was released under the auspices of the DHS that warned that people with Ron Paul, Constitution Party and/or Libertarian bumperstickers could be profiled as likely belonging to a militia. At first it sounded kind of like a Jeff Foxworthy gag, "You might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group if ..."

It turned out to be not that funny. (See http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/03/23/fusion-centers-expand-criteria-identify-militia-members/) Wonder what kind of coverage the story would have received a year ago if Green Party or GreenPeace bumperstickers were similarly described?

The article begins:
Do you like Ron Paul or oppose abortion? You may be a member of a militia, according to a new report by a government information collection agency. If you're an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or a certain Republican member of Congress, if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.

That's according to "The Modern Militia Movement," a report by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), a government collective that identifies the warning signs of potential domestic terrorists for law enforcement communities.

"Due to the current economical and political situation, a lush environment for militia activity has been created," the Feb. 20 report reads. "Unemployment rates are high, as well as costs of living expenses. Additionally, President Elect Barrack [sic] Obama is seen as tight on gun control and many extremists fear that he will enact firearms confiscations."

MIAC is one of 58 so-called "fusion centers" nationwide that were created by the Department of Homeland Security, in part, to collect local intelligence that authorities can use to combat terrorism and related criminal activities. More than $254 million from fiscal years 2004-2007 went to state and local governments to support the fusion centers, according to the DHS Web site.

During a press conference last week in Kansas City, Mo., DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano called fusion centers the "centerpiece of state, local, federal intelligence-sharing" in the future.
The MO governer and Napolitano had to do some fast backing and filling after that, and the report has been "recalled."

Night Writer said...

Amanda, are folks who believe the States have priority over the Federal government, or believe that the 10th Amendment means what it says, extremists? Folks like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, that is, among others.

Gino said...

thing is, they throw out lots of concern and accusations, but offer not one shred of supporting evidence that any such threats exist.
cept for maybe an NRA or Pro-Life bumber sticker.

imagine the outcry if the Bush admin had done similar.

and why cant there be mention of just 'right-wing groups', without the term 'extremist' thrown in to gin up emotional fear?
but, i guess to the media, and most democrats, to be right wing is to be automatically extremist.

Anonymous said...

The topic about extremist groups is tiresome...Don't you think it's time we all move on.org.....

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Hey, if you want to buy me t-shirts I'm all for it! In addition to Nock (with whom I was not familiar) I'd dearly love a t-shirt with Hayek on it. I haven't read Open Society yet, but I'm thinking Karl Popper would make the list as well. I'll leave it to your judgment. Size L.

my name is Amanda said...

Nah, I don't think automatically think that those who believe State gov should have priority over Fed gov are extremists... My point (other than getting more info) was that conservative Republicanism does attract those who vote single issue on abortion/immigration and those who would eschew Fed gov in favor of local. But that doesn't mean that in general, all conservative Republicans can be considered "extremists" about whom the Dept of Homeland Sec should warn the public.

I would hope that "extremists" is being further defined by them as those who implement measures of lawlessness/violence - obviously also not typical of the average law-abiding citizen, Republican or Democrat.