Terrorism

Three Strange Claims in Mother Jones's Report on the 'Rise of Right-Wing Extremism'

Taking a closer look at the data

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This week Mother Jones posted a story headlined "The Rise of Violent Right-Wing Extremism, Explained." Alas, some of its explanations are a bit off:

• The article quotes a 2012 paper by Arie Perliger of West Point's Combating Terrorism Center to establish that "there has been a dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots" from the far right since 2007. This would be more persuasive if the Mother Jones piece didn't go on to include a chart from Perliger's report that very clearly shows a lower number of incidents when Perliger was writing than in 2007:

Combatting Terrorism Center

I should note that Perliger's figures have come in for a lot of criticism, and that Perliger's paper itself points out that it isn't clear to what extent the apparent growth from 1990 to 2011 reveals a real increase in the number of incidents and to what extent it just means our measurements are more accurate. (Bear in mind that his tally includes things like racist vandalism, which is tracked much more closely now than in the past. As Perliger puts it, "the quality of, and accessibility to, data on hate crimes and far right violence has improved during the last two decades.") But whether you buy his numbers or not, his total for 2011 is less than his total for 2007.

• The article cites data from the Southern Poverty Law Center to show that "the number of American extremist groups has also risen overall in recent years":

Mother Jones

I have some serious problems with the Southern Poverty Law Center's tallies, but the more immediate problem here is that the organization itself is very explicit about the fact that its count of "extremist" groups is currently declining; it is now more likely to trumpet the threat of "lone wolves" who don't belong to groups. Mother Jones's chart avoids this decline by cutting off in 2011. So for the record: The SPLC's latest figures show 784 hate groups, 874 "patriot" groups, and 19 organizations of "nativist extremists," all far lower than the most recent figures in Mother Jones's chart. (The militias, meanwhile, are a subset of the patriot groups. Including them as a separate line on the chart veers close to double-counting.)

• The article notes that in "February, CNN reported that [the Department of Homeland Security] circulated an intelligence assessment that focused on the domestic terror threat posed by right-wing extremists." Well, yes, CNN did report that. And then someone leaked me the intelligence assessment in question, and I posted it here at Hit & Run. If you read it for yourself, you'll see that it focuses on one narrow subculture (the "sovereign citizens"); that rather than seeing an increasing threat, it says it expects the group's violence to stay "at the same sporadic level" in the coming year; and that it never once uses the word "right-wing."

Poor Marat in your bathtub seat/your life on this planet is near complete/Closer and closer to you death creeps/though there on her bench Charlotte Corday sleeps
Paul Baudry

Finally, here's something you should bear in mind when reading any count of right-wing terror attacks: These tallies tend to be a catch-all jumble of people with different ideologies. If you compare the manifesto of the man who murdered those churchgoers in Charleston last month to the manifesto of the man who flew a plane into a Texas IRS office a few years ago, you won't find much common ground. (In the latter case, I'm not sure the author even hails from the far right so much as the far end of the political long tail.) It's misleading to reify these incidents into a unified "threat," especially since the numbers involved are ultimately so low.

Writing recently in The New York Times, Charles Kurzman and David Schanzer declared that the "main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from right-wing extremists." Here is an alternative view: Much as it might pain the counterterrorism industry to admit it, the U.S. doesn't have a "main terrorist threat" right now. As my colleague Ron Bailey noted this morning, "Americans are 69 times more likely to die taking a bath than from terrorism." And no, he's not talking about Charlotte Corday.

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185 responses to “Three Strange Claims in Mother Jones's Report on the 'Rise of Right-Wing Extremism'

  1. racist vandalism is violent right wing extremism? is it rape too?

    1. But does it include fake racist vandalism? Because that sure seems to on the upswing.

      1. I wondered that too: are they only counting cases that were resolved (i.e., that they caught the perpetrator and confirmed his racist motives)? Or do they count all of it, whether the perp was caught or not?

        Because if the latter, then that stat is useless. It seems like a solid half of all racist/sexist/whatever vandalism stories that get publicized turn out to be hoaxes.

  2. Narrative fail Jesse: ever since Richard Hofstadter all people who think correctly know that anyone to the right of Gerald Ford poses a real and present danger to the average American.

    1. That’s why a hippie environmentalist tried to kill Gerald Ford – because she was a secret right-winger!

      1. How about the communist who killed JFK or the member of the PLO who killed RFK?

        Using Epi’s point, the left projects all the fucking time.

        Weather Underground? Left or right?

        The left has committed as many if not more violent terrorist acts as the right.

        1. I’ve got well-educated friends who continue to believe that LHO was inspired by the radical right (i.e. the Kochs in their younger days).

          1. “You’re both wrong. It was the CIA and LBJ. The Grassy Knoll!!!!”

            It’s just their way of denying responsibility for their side.

            Like when the Rolling Stones sing: “Who killed the Kennedys, after all, it was just you and me.”

            No it wasn’t shit heads. It was LHO and Sirhan Sirhan.

            1. I always like to read those initials “El BJ.” As if it were some sort of title. 🙂

              1. I will probably read it like that from now on.

              2. And now it’s in my head.

            2. Plus, the attempt to pin it on LBJ betrays ignorance or evasion of the fact that LBJ was a democrat. But he also fits the leftoids’ cartoonish smear of the right to a Texas T, so it dovetails in a perverse, unreal way.

          2. Notorious and Raven have merely pointed out to us how unprincipled and convoluted those right-wingers actually are.

            *adds links to SPLC and Mother Jones articles on Facebook Page, smugly sips organic tea whilst reclining on fashionable sofa in stylish pajamas his Bestus Girlfriends Evah picked out for him, and adjusts econ-friendly tin foil hat before joining chat room discussion of “How the Patriarchy Prospers (Hint: It’s Because of YOU!)*

            1. Hah! Strangely enough, the behavior I most commonly associate with leftists is “smug.”

              1. I heard a heavy dose of smug over the weekend from a self-identifying progressive. Some of his audience clapped while a few actually booed. That’s how heavy the smugness was.

                I am not claiming that it is only leftists who are smug (nor did you).

                Have a safe and enjoyable 4th.

                1. Thanks. Likewise.

        2. SPLC is careful to distinguish between good terrorists and bad terrorists.

          Ringleaders of Weather Underground = good terrorist and buddy of the current President

          FALN bombers and murderers = good terrorists set free by the previous Democratic President in support of his wife’s bid to become US Senator

          Organizations that advocate the NAP = bad terrorists

          Those who would use a reference to the movie Fargo to express displeasure with a vindictive, cruel and self-righteous judge = bad terrorists

          1. Good terrorists = Black Panther Party marching into the California State Assembly Chambers with loaded guns on May 2, 1967.

            Bad terrorists = NRA members standing outside California Capital with signs stating “Support the 2nd Amendment”.

          2. I wonder if the word “Fargo” is now on the list of red flag words. Not a bad legacy.

        3. And what about the environmentalist lunatics who who vandalize laboratories or send razor blades to researchers trying to cure diseases (an action, btw, which PETA’s leader openly supported)? Are these chalked up as “left wing terrorism?”

          If the SPLC applied their standard uniformly PETA would easily be regarded as a terrorist group, just considering the groups they’ve not only supported but actually financed. But alas, these people probably think the idea of a left wing terrorist is as oxymoronic as a free market communist, so why even consider it?

  3. Best alt-text of all time?

    1. No. I think it was Suderman in an ACA post . it was a picture of the one set of footprints … because sandpeople always ride single-file to hide their numbers

  4. Stop bathing NOW! For the CHILDRENZ!

    1. If I had to guess, most members of NOW already do not bathe.

  5. “a real increase in the number of incidents”

    What’s the definition of ‘incident’?

    I’ve DL’d the west point study, but it has no convenient methodology section to reference.

    Never mind that most of the ‘study’ is basically a very overwrought rehashing of ‘extremism’ that was popular 20, 40, 60 years ago… then trying desperately to connect random events of today to those ‘movements’.

    1. Also, I would like to see the growth in incidents as it is related to population. Just, you know, for fun.

      1. Population growth is negligible in the US, being around 0.5-1% a year.

        speaking of negligible….

        the thing i’d like to see these so-called ‘right-wing’ incidents compared to … would be inner-city gang-related killings?

        Because the former (as jesse notes) are more often ‘lone-wolf’ malcontents who engage in some random violence… while the latter are in fact organized criminals. And they kill more like a few *thousand* people a year, rather than racking up a few hundred ‘incidents’.

        the point would be to simply provide context for the Moral Panic

  6. Well if your definition of ‘extremist’ is anyone who follows a set of principles rather than the whim of the mob…

  7. SPLC?

    Fucking really?

    1. It’s Mother Jones. They are trying to use someone who has more credibility than they do.

      1. They should cite Rolling Stone.

      2. They could hardly find someone with less.

      3. They could hardly find someone with less.

    2. ? The article cites data from the Southern Poverty Law Center to show that “the number of American extremist groups has also risen overall in recent years”:

      Ah….fundraising season again. Morris Dees probably wants to buy a bigger boat.

      1. Considering all of the shark attacks taking place off the coasts of the Carolinas, we’re gonna need one.

        1. Speaking of which, since right wingers hate the environment and love to fish and those are what is making the sharks mad, technically these shark attacks are “right wing attacks”,right?

      2. TWO bigger boats, so he can race ’em.

  8. you don’t need to unpack anything they say. Just know a few things

    1. If a Muslim Army officer yells Allah Akbar and kills a bundh of soldiers, that is work place violence.

    2. If some psychotic nut tries to shoot up the Family Research Council for being insufficiently gay affirming, that is just some psychotic and if it can be confirmed he has ever watched Fox News, probably right wing terrorism.

    3. Some psychotic thinks he is the Joker and shoots up a movie theater, is totally right wing violence and proof all white males need to be disarmed and monitored.

    Remember these three things and you know everything you need to know about MJ and this subject.

    1. If the militia movement were populated by Muslims instead of white guys, do you think FOX News would treat them somewhat differently?

      1. A militia by definition is populated by anybody in the near the vicinity of a cry for help that owns a gun, knife, phased plasma rifles or sharp stick.

        1. So yes that includes muslims.

      2. That would kind of depend on how many muslims from that transformed militia movement went on to commit mass murder, wouldn’t it?

      3. Yes.

        Who the fuck is going to defend FOX news here? Do you even know where you are?

        1. it is a sock, it has no awareness, It can be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you stop responding to it.

      4. What militia movement? Those seven guys in Ohio who got arrested for having some illegal guns and a printer to make little pamphlets?

        You guys have to see how ridiculous you are being at this point, trying to spread panic about “militia movements.” How many people have all the militia groups in the country killed this year?

        Consider the fact that in all likelihood, every street gang or organized crime group with more than a few hundred members has killed more people than all the militias combined, then reflect on how often newspapers write big articles about how ascared we should all be of the Vice Lords or the Gambino Family or MS13. And of course, even when they do write about those groups, they’d never think of implying that it reflects something wrong with black culture, Italian culture, or Salvadorean culture that these groups exist and do bad things.

        Just admit what this is: a red herring designed to help people like you avoid having to actually think. Now you can just accuse everyone who opposes raising the capital gains tax of being a potential violent anti-government terrorist instead of having to argue with him.

  9. Animals kill more than terrorists:

    http://www.planetdeadly.com/an…..th-america

    1. That’s because animals are noticeably more competent.

  10. like Rick Dees is credible on who is and isn’t violent.

  11. Can someone explain to me how neonazi’s are right wing?

    1. Cause they’re icky.

    2. The well tailored uniforms are a clear identifier of right-wing. Lefties buy off the rack.

      1. now, wait a minute. Wasn’t Obama’s pant crease a clear marker of his superiority? And no one is accusing him of right-wingedness.

        1. Except for a bunch of my proggie friends since the TPP went through…

          1. all the things he’s done and THAT’S the one they wet the bed over. I should be surprised and yet….

        2. Mom jeans are definitely left wing.

    3. I’m sure too they had Jared Loughner in as a right wing extremist attack.

  12. There is nothing remotely to do with classic notions of free markets, economic and political classes and the relationship of local to distant power in most of these nut jobs who would best be characterized as “mental health survivors” who were “freed” from “prisons” for mental health care by “caring” and “progressive” people whose “compassion” lets them rot on grates in public where, praise be the Lord, loitering laws were quashed.

    1. This is basically the left wing version of the argument that goes: “you support welfare; welfare is socialist; nazis are socialist; ergo, you want to eradicate the Jews.” Except the latter argument generally doesn’t seem to make into the Wall St. Journal the way the left wing version makes it into the major leftist rags.

      Fundamentally, all the hand-wringing by lefties over “right wing extremism” and trying to make it relevant is about as logical as claiming that lobsters are technically a vegetable because they’re red like tomatoes.

  13. Can someone explain what right wing and left wing are?

    1. Sure. Left wing is socialists, right wing is NATIONAL socialists. You’re welcome!

      1. I don’t wanna be in the middle with you!

        1. He said, “69”, he he he…

        2. “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…”

      2. You are on to something here. Traditionally, in developed countries, the right wing is nationalist, and the left wing is internationalist. That’s probably one of the main reasons why the Nazis and Bolsheviks were opposed to each other. In less developed countries, like Vietnam or Canada, the left wing is more nationalist. Islamist groups tend to be right wing and internationalist.

        1. “That’s probably one of the main reasons why the Nazis and Bolsheviks were opposed to each other.”

          You mean after they were allied to one another, and agreed that they should both divy-up the independent nations in-between them? OMG yeah such fundamental differences and stuff.

          1. To be fair, Stalin was gearing up for war and the pact bought more time. Hitler and Stalin were pretty pragmatic when it came to international politics. Hitler wasn’t contemplating an invasion until the Soviets annexed Bessarabia and threatened the Romanian oil fields that supplied the German war machine.

            1. “Stalin was gearing up for war”

              And Hitler wasn’t gearing up for war?

              “Hitler and Stalin were pretty pragmatic when it came to international politics.”

              Hitler, the pragmatic politician. I have to say that’s a first for me.

              “Hitler wasn’t contemplating an invasion”

              Have you heard of a book called Mein Kampf? Hitler wrote it in the early 20s and reveals his truest and most sincere ideas and wishes. He wrote about forcedly seizing land from the racially inferior Slavic peoples, including Russians.

              1. trueman, you lie constantly.
                Nothing you post is worth shit.

                1. “Nothing you post is worth shit.”

                  Evidently worth enough to warrant a reply from you.

                  1. what a brilliant retort.

                    1. Hitler had no interest in war on Russia or anywhere else, and he was a very pragmatic politician.

          2. “You mean after they were allied to one another”

            A pact is not necessarily an alliance. Don’t mistake one for another. Even though a pact was signed, it was not enough to make them allies. The agreement of Yalta did not make Stalin an ally of Roosevelt and Churchill, even though it was essentially an agreement to divy up your oh so precious independent states which lay between them.

            1. Tell it to the Czechs or the Poles, you lying twat.

              -jcr

              1. Look, the Germans, not the wonderful Soviets, executed those +20,000 Polish Officers at Katyn. the Soviets only brought love and peace.

            2. Actually Roosevelt did cozy up to Stalin considerably at Yalta, and often left Churchill feeling out in the cold. Churchill of course took a more critical view of the Soviets than Roosevelt, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Stalin successfully manipulated Roosevelt; Roosevelt gave Stalin a lot more of Europe than he had to, and did not make full use of the cards he held (the presence of the US army in Europe and the fact that it was fresher and in much better shape than the Russians, who were ravaged and war-weary. Roosevelt let a lot of people in Eastern Europe down at the negotiations. Maybe out of some fucked up sense of gratitude for Stalin defeating the Germans, but gratitude has no place in diplomacy, and anyone who doesn’t know that shouldn’t be involved in it.

              “your oh so precious independent states which lay between them.”
              The fact that you say this sarcastically really says a lot about your views and your character (and I mean this as an insult, btw). Within a few years of the end of the war the Soviets would crush the Czech Republic and Hungary, murder political dissidents en masse in these countries, not to mention massacring hundreds of thousands of German and Hungarian civilians for “revenge.” The fact that Stalin got his hands on those regions is one of the greatest tragedies in history. I have no idea what point you can possibly think you have.

              1. “Roosevelt gave Stalin a lot more of Europe than he had to”

                Gave more than Hitler did. Hitler insisted that he keep half Poland to himself.

                ” I have no idea what point you can possibly think you have.”

                Only that Bolsheviks and Nazis were not allies, despite what GILMOUR might have you believe.

                1. “Gave more than Hitler did. Hitler insisted that he keep half Poland to himself.”
                  I believe around 1941 Hitler went ahead and took the whole thing and a big chunk of Russia too.

                  Whether two entities are allies has little to do with how similar they are to each other. Hell, often times similarity exacerbates conflict. Case in point: A German nationalist military dictatorship going to war with a Polish nationalist military dictatorship and later a Russian nationalist militarist dictatorship. Carlists and Bourbonists have more in common with each other than either does with republicans, yet the Carlists allied with the latter against the former. Similarity in principles can often be a source of friction.

    2. A mostly-useless heuristic?

  14. As a Liber-woodchippin’-tardian, I’m not sure what I am categorized as: hate group or nativist extremist.

    Maybe Motherfuckin’ Jones would categorize me as ‘ALL OF THE ABOVE!”

    1. Well from your wood chiping I think it’s safe to infer you hate indigenous trees/appointees/politicians/bureaucrats so the answer is hate group.

      1. Indigenous trees are a scourge in a land of immigrant petty bureaucrats.

    2. If you have a woodchipper, then you must be part of the militia. Maybe Mother Jones would count you 3, 4, or even 5 times under those “different” groups.

  15. The spectrum should be more like a cylinder with two balls at the base.

    1. The top of the cylinder has a dab of astroglide which represents libertarians.

      1. I figured we were represented by the flagellated cells contained within the balls…

        1. “All sploogers unite!”

        2. Negative, we are the crusty ring of excess material sometimes cut off from the top end of the cylinder.

  16. I started thinking to myself, I wonder how many attacks are perpetrated by left-wing extremists?

    Then I remember that only right-wingers are hateful and violent. So if a leftist group committed an act of hateful violence, they would automatically make themselves right-wing.

    My heart was put at ease. It’s so nice inside my little cocoon. So nice and warm.

    1. Earth First,ergo, clearly right-wing. Ditto the folks who attacked clinics where animal research was done. By the calculus SPLC uses, the rescinding of speaking invitations to non-liberals qualifies as such an attack.

      1. “Earth First,ergo, clearly right-wing.”

        What makes them clearly right wing?

        1. Fuck your are dense.

          1. No, I’m clearly dense. ie I’m not dense at all.

    2. left wing attacks are social justice protesters no matter how much damage they cause.

    3. So the Weathermen were right wingers, and so was Stalin? Of course! It all makes sense now!

      -jcr

  17. Are pacifists leftwing or rightwing?

    1. I don’t know, but clearly, *something* needs to be done with those whacko, extremist pacifists. They’re obviously dangerous!

      /obligatory sarc tag for the humor-impaired

  18. nativist extremists,”

    like the American Indian Movement?

  19. There’s nothing like watching the pathetic partisan blame game. They spend untold amounts of effort trying to “prove” that the other TEAM is violent, dangerous, unstable, and vicious.

    Methinks there may be some projection going on.

    1. The funniest thing is how they constantly accuse the other side of being terrorists and then in th next breath have all kinds of revenge fantasies about finally murdering the other side.

      1. Fantasies?

        Of all the presidential assassins and would-be assassins, which were right wing?

        Of all the riots in our lifetime, which were perpetrated by right wing groups?

    2. They think of themselves as Weimar Social Democrats being attacked by Nazi mobs, I think. Since that’s not true, they need to tell themselves that it’s true and make up bullshit statistics “proving” that it’s true. I dunno. Delusions seem like a bad thing to base your life around, but what do I know.

      1. I think you give partisans too much credit. They don’t think that far. As far as I can tell, partisan thinking maxes out at around “my TEAM good, other TEAM bad”. They spend insane amounts of energy and time trying to prove exactly that in the dumbest, most pathetic ways possible.

        It’s really quite amazing to watch.

        1. Pretending your enemies are evil and greater than they are gives people a sense of self importance. They demonize their enemies as a way of feeling important.

          1. John,

            In the context of Epi’s post to which you responded, it rather looks like you just did a touch of demonizing yourself.

            Wait – did I just do the same?
            Drat. I was striving to stay principled.

            “No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.
            Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful.”

        2. Oh, but they have oppression and persecution fantasies, too. It’s part and parcel of the modern Left, and increasingly of the Right too. Witness the current freakout over homos.

  20. A few points.

    The SPLC has evolved into an absurd scam, mainly to enrich Morris Dees, who’s now a multi-millionaire in a fabulous mansion. Their tally of “hate groups” now includes pick-up artists and religious organizations that don’t believe in gay marriage.

    Also, how is it that tallies of “left-wing extremism” never seem to include the violence associated with “peace demonstrations” and race riots? The SF Bay area alone has had dozens of incidents of vandalism and arson by left-wing groups. True, they may not have killed anyone (yet), but they are a heck of a lot more common than public violence by right-wing groups.

    1. All violence is from the right wing. The left merely has political expression which might appear violent, but isn’t, in much the same way as blacks hating whites or Asians is not, and never can be racist.

    2. They also include Juggalos as a hate group when in reality they’re just a bunch of losers that listen to ICP and drink Faygo.

  21. Yes but when you include Lena Dunham’s mustachioed college Republican boyfriends/attackers, that chart looks much more like the hockey stick it needs to be.

  22. So, those subscribing to an ideology that murdered over one hundred million people accuse those not in their camp of rape, murder and terrorism.

    A right-wing president arms our erstwhile allies against a leftist dictatorship and there are congressional hearings broadcast primetime for weeks on end and people go to prison. A left-wing president has his secretary of state arm islamonazis and creates a deadly enemy of the united states and we get….crickets.

    1. Sad but true.

    2. See, it’s ok when they do it.

  23. So, Mother Jones published a “viewing with alarm” article on the Right Wing, and quotes the Southern Poverty Law Center. And I’m supposed to take this as a politically neutral discussion of an issue, am I?

    Pull the other one; it has bells on it.

  24. How much of the increase in the number of hate groups have to do with splitting into smaller groups – eg, the Judean People’s Front splitting off from the Judean Popular People’s Front?

    1. Or the Coalition for the Liberation of Itinerant Tree-dwellers, a well known offshoot of Liberate Apes Before Imprisoning Apes

      1. How tasteful.

      2. I AM THE C.L.I.T. COMMANDER!

  25. Yo reason. Your Youtube autoplay ads (which suspiciously look non-official) are fucking up scrolling and are generally shitty. Make it stop.

    1. get ad blocker for chrome. It will change your life.

      1. Not possible at work. I do like it at home.

        Maybe I could just pay more with my annual donation whatever the average value of a readers’ clicks on adverts is and not see any ads ever? Hell, I will pay double.

    2. I see no such ads, and I have Reason whitelisted in AdBlock. Methinks you may need to do a spyware scan.

      1. My scrolling is f’ed up too.

        1. I had a scrolling problem a couple weeks ago. Every minute or so it would automatically go to the top of the page. Annoyed the hell out of me, could never get to reading the comments :(. And it was only at reason that this happened, no other sites.

    3. I agree and second this request.

  26. Does the SPLC count itself as a hate group?

  27. Has mother jones even seen any of the Dirty Harold movies?

  28. Mother Jones: mendacious apparatchiks or useful idiots?

    1. Why not both?

  29. Have the squirrels been acting up again, or is it just me?

    1. You’ve been acting up a bit too.

  30. Why not just go straight ahead I hate making turns.

  31. I don’t understand the logic behind the study.

    If there is a rise in right wing violence, what do they plan to do about it?

    Outlaw organizations? Ban books?

    I don’t give a damn how much of a risk the gay community presents as a conduit for HIV. IF IF IF they’re an extreme risk, I wouldn’t argue for discriminating against gay people or their rights anyway.

    I don’t care if minorities have a higher incidence of crime. I’m certainly not going to support using the government to discriminate against any particular minority even IF IF IF they’re associated with a higher incidence of crime.

    In fact, when I see someone talking about gays and HIV or minorities and crime, my first thought is: Well there goes a homophobe lookin’ to justify government discrimination against gays. There goes a racist trying to justify government discrimination against blacks.

    Is it wrong to think that someone that’s trying to build a relationship between certain political ideologies and terrorism might be trying to justify government discrimination against people because of what they think?

    Whether the relationship between ideology and terrorism exists is a secondary question. What they want the government to do about what other people say, write, and think is the primary question–and if the answer is something other than nothing, then somebody should spell out the ideological relationship between the authors of such a study and elementary fascism.

    1. I don’t understand the logic behind the study

      There is not any logic. Anyone who does not share the beliefs of the SPLC is deemed a “hate group”.

    2. “In fact, when I see someone talking about gays and HIV?”

      Then you’ll have a huge problem with the CDC. Their HIV Surveillance Reports tie gays and HIV together quite easily?.and rightfully. And last I checked, Pat Robertson does not run the CDC.

      1. You’re missing my point.

        I don’t care if gays are associated with higher rates of HIV transmission.

        Their rights aren’t mine, yours, or anyone else’s to take away or violate anyway.

        And I don’t care if right-wing extremists are associated with more violent attacks.

        Their right to think, speak, and write what they please are all still inviolate.

        Is any of this getting through?

        If this bunch does prove there’s a relationship between right-wing extremism and terrorist attacks, what do they want to do about it? Stop people from thinking what they want? How are they going to do that?

        If persuading people to use the coercive power of government to change what other people think isn’t the purpose of this study, then what is?

        I don’t care if there’s a high correlation between Islam and terrorism. People still have a right to subscribe to whatever religion they want anyway.

        All the cowards who think they can violate gays’, blacks’, right wing extremists’, Muslims’, gun owners’, or libertarians’ individual rights–in the name of public safety–can all go fuck themselves.

        Other people’s rights do not exist for you to violate for your benefit.

        1. “If persuading people to use the coercive power of government to change what other people think isn’t the purpose of this study, then what is?”

          Do they want to make a database of people with suspect ideologies and use federal background checks to prohibit people in the database from purchasing guns?

          The SPLC is a legal advocacy group.

          What could the SLPC possibly want to use this information to advocate that doesn’t involve the government discriminating against people because of what they believe?

          I can’t think of anything, but I’m open to discussing suggestions.

          However, I wouldn’t discuss anything about this study without first emphasizing that the government shouldn’t discriminate against anybody because of what they believe–regardless of whether there’s a real correlation between ideology and violence.

        2. Well put.

  32. This is a trip down (Bad) Memory Lane. I’m old enough to remember when there was a whole slew of books by “liberals” (and by “liberals” I mean of course “tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping State-fellators”) with scarifying titles such as THUNDER ON THE RIGHT, etc. in which pro-freedom, non-aggressive people were linked with the likes of the KKK. Talk about a “broad tent”! If you lump a no-government pacifist such as Robert LeFevre with the American Nazi Party, you’re obviously either a loon or (more likely) a deliberate prevaricator. The Statist Left needs these kook groups the way a pickpocket needs a diversion: “Hey, look, over there! Yeah, over there! Look what those weird guys with the Confederate Flag are doing!” “Yeah, that’s awf–hey, you! COME BACK WITH MY WALLET!!!” The basic message is the same: “Shut up, peasants, and submit quietly to your betters.” King George III had essentially the same attitude.

  33. People do realize the goof Roof was a lone nut who likely suffered from some kind of mental illness, right?

    Why can’t he just be seen as such?

    1. “People do realize the goof Roof was a lone nut who likely suffered from some kind of mental illness, right?”

      Why would you take these people seriously? They don’t have the benefit of training or study of mental illness nor have they had the chance to examine Root. I understand your impulse to attribute Root’s actions to illness, absolving him from personal responsibility, comes from the kindest and most liberal motives, but I think it’s premature. Brevik, the Norwegian mass murderer, was found not to be suffering from mental illness. Like it or not, sane people are capable of committing horrendous acts.

      1. mtrueman|7.2.15 @ 3:06PM|#
        “People do realize the goof Roof was a lone nut who likely suffered from some kind of mental illness, right?”

        Truman, you admit that you simply lie if you don’t like the facts. As such, you are an admitted liar and nothing you post is worth shit.

        1. Like I said, unless you know a thing or two about mental illness and have had the chance to examine Root, your diagnosis of illness, however admirably motivated, is worthless. Whether I’m a liar or a Trueman is irrelevant.

          1. mtrueman|7.2.15 @ 8:20PM|#
            ‘Like I lied,…’
            Fuck off.

            1. “Fuck off.”

              Looks like I hit a tender spot. If you want to exculpate Root for whatever reason, calling me a liar won’t be enough.

          2. Uh, one does not need to have a degree in psychology to know certain things about mental illness, like the fact that killing bunch of strangers, with no chance of getting away with it, seems like a bug symptom of mental illness. Perhaps not the only explanation, but it is a fairly conspicuous possibility.

            Much as you like dealing with straw men and attributing racist motivations to anyone who disagrees with you, I don’t see anyone trying to exonerate the guy. Rather, they’re noting that what led him to act was not, as the media and leftists have claimed s a knee jerk reaction, necessarily the result of “society” or “culture” or “white privilege” or general patterns of racism.

            Even in a perfect world with no racism, no bigotry, no poverty, etc. random acts of violence will still occur, if only because there is a small fraction of the population that is innately sociopathic or mentally disturbed in some other way, and some of them will commit such crimes regardless of the social conditions, and many will find for themselves some absurd motives for doing such things as well. Such acts are therefore not necessarily evidence of a ‘social/cultural issue’ like widespread racism, any more than the actions of John Hinckley are necessarily evidence that there is something evil about the Catcher in the Rye or the actions of uni-bomber are necessarily evidence that some evil homicidal environmentalist sentiment is widespread out there in ‘society’ driving people to blow stuff up.

            1. “Uh, one does not need to have a degree in psychology to know certain things about mental illness, like the fact that killing bunch of strangers, with no chance of getting away with it, seems like a bug symptom of mental illness.”

              You skipped over the part I mentioned Brevik? Didn’t understand what I was referring to? Don’t be afraid to ask me questions.

              You seem determined to attribute Root’s actions to a mental illness. This absolves him of responsibility for it. Why is his being ill a position you want to defend? What have you got invested here?

              “Much as you like dealing with straw men and attributing racist motivations to anyone who disagrees with you”

              You misunderstand. I honestly don’t care whether you are racist or not. It was you who raised the topic of racism, rather gratuitously, I think.

              1. “You skipped over the part I mentioned Brevik? Didn’t understand what I was referring to?”
                You were referring to Root when lecturing us about our ignorance of mental illness. Know how I know? “…unless you know a thing or two about mental illness and have had the chance to examine Root”
                Unless Root is a one of Brevik’s nicknames.

                “You seem determined to attribute Root’s actions to a mental illness. This absolves him of responsibility for it. Why is his being ill a position you want to defend? What have you got invested here?”
                I am not determined to attribute his actions to anything. I’m pointing out a likely counter-hypothesis in reference to those who are determined to attribute Root’s actions to some unseen, latent white supremacy that is supposedly ubiquitous throughout our culture. And I do have something invested here: I would rather like to avoid being held implicitly responsible for someone else’s actions because they are of the same race as me and their actions were racially motivated. The notion that I am infected with a pathological social disease of racism and need to be reeducated (as some notable people have insinuated) is not one that pleases me, so obviously I intend to see it refuted.

                “You misunderstand. I honestly don’t care whether you are racist or not. It was you who raised the topic of racism, rather gratuitously, I think.”
                Yes, we’re talking about Root and Brevik and yet the topic of racism was the farthest thing from your mind. Uh huh.

                1. Honestly, I have no interest in what race you are or whether or not you are a racist. I don’t know why you carry on as though I do. I am questioning the urge here to absolve Root of personal responsibility for his mass murder. I would have thought that Libertarians would agree with me on this point, but all I get from the commenters here are hurt feelings and identity politics.

                  1. “I am questioning the urge here to absolve Root of personal responsibility for his mass murder.”
                    Again, you’re basically getting it ass backwards. The primary urge here is to absolve everyone but him of responsibility. In case you haven’t followed the left wing narrative on the shooting, the theme is ‘white culture made this happen’ or something to that effect. White people “not doing enough” to end the scourge of racism are to blame for the fruit cake going on a rampage. Not to mention university professors equating “whiteness” with terrorism (sounds like hate speech, I’m sure the SPLC is on it).

                    You seem to have difficulty distinguishing between denial of collective responsibility from denial of individual responsibility.

                    1. “The primary urge here is to absolve everyone but him of responsibility.”

                      I haven’t seen anyone here arguing that. Could you point to such a post?

                      “In case you haven’t followed the left wing narrative on the shooting”

                      I haven’t followed the left wing narrative, haven’t spoken about it here and I’m not interested in discussing it. It’s irrelevant to the point I’ve made. You want to discuss the left wing narrative, find someone who is more qualified to discuss it.

                      “White people “not doing enough” to end the scourge of racism are to blame for the fruit cake going on a rampage.”

                      Good lord man, can’t you post anything without ranting on about identity politics? What’s this obsession with white people? On second thought, don’t bother to answer. I’ll leave you to exorcize your racial demons on your own. Leave me out of it.

                  2. As far as I can see, you’re the only one talking about absolving Root of personal responsibility. Mark LastName was simply pointing out that Root was a lone nut, not part of a larger group, organization, or such. Saying he was mentally ill does not absolve him of responsibility, at least as far as libertarians are concerned. Only liberals tend to think insanity does that.

                    1. “Saying he was mentally ill does not absolve him of responsibility, at least as far as libertarians are concerned.”

                      Which Libertarians are you talking about? Many if not most of the ‘libertarians’ who post here are merely resentful conservatives. I wouldn’t put much stock in their idea of libertarian thought.

    2. “Why can’t [Dylann Roof] just be seen as such?”

      Because that would be letting a perfectly good tragedy go to waste.

  34. Mother Jones lies for po0litical ends?
    Almost as shocking as Tony’s constant mendacity for the same reason.

  35. Don’t buy into this “left wing/right wing” bullshit: organizations radicalize youth through envy, greed, fear, and anger. The differences between theocrats, communists, socialists, and fascists are minor and irrelevant.

    1. Theocrats, communists, socialists, and fascists are all left wing.

      1. So you disagree with Win Bear and insist on buying into this left wing right wing bullshit.

        1. mtrueman|7.2.15 @ 8:33PM|#
          “So you disagree with Win Bear and insist on buying into this left wing right wing bullshit.”
          You’re an admitted liar; you lie and your posts are not worth shit.

          1. I know you buy into this left wing right wing bullshit Win Bear warns us of. Old dog, new tricks and all.

    2. I always thought everyone joined for the costumes?

  36. We’re in the same stultifying and stupid culture as we were in the 50’s/early 60’s, just from the left instead of the right. People would shit their pants over anyone whose hair was an extra half inch long circa 1958. Now we’ve got the same thing, only with a different protocol. In short, there has always been people who are scared of their own shadows, see specters around every corner, and want to swing wildly and blindly in every direction not caring if they’re hitting the right chins or not. It’s simply are we going to have a government who is going to do the swinging on their behalf or not. There will as be Puritans and Fundamentally Frightened, it’s a case of how much the Pol’s and the Bureaucrats are apt to use Force and be the conduit for the Frightened. Unfortunately we’re at a peak right now.

  37. One thing that hasn’t really been mentioned is that there are supposed to be hundreds of extremist right-wing groups…and since 2001 they’ve allegedly killed like 60 people. So what are these 1000 or so dangerous extremist groups doing with their time?

    1. What percentage of the 60 people they supposedly killed were other “right wingers?” Just wondering. My guess is it’s the same with the redneck militias as it is with the street gangs. Murders are more likely to happen as a result of a dispute over which of the 11 Bumpkin brothers gets to marry their only sister than a premeditated terrorist attack.

  38. It’s a good thing that left-wingers (socialists) and left wing ideology (socialism) did not kill 100s of millions of people over the course of the last century. Oh, wait…

  39. Any hate crime based on race is left wing extremism. The Confederacy was an entirely Democrat institution. The Confederate flag is the Democrat’s battle flag. The Democrats have a violent and extreme racist heritage.

  40. The graph is pretty clear. Republican presidents reduce right wing extremism. MJ should advocate voting Republican then, I guess.

  41. Leftists like the SPLC and Mother Jones exist to stoke liberal paranoia, which is made easier when they claim right-wing violence is a serious threat to them. Truth is irrelevant to them.

  42. Some highlights from the “right wing” acts of “terror”.

    http://securitydata.newamerica…..tacks.html

    Raymond Peake – murders a man at a gun range to steal his gun to be used for anti government group he won’t name.

    Eric Frein – a survivalist who kills one cop, was discovered to have anti government and anti cop sentiment.

    Wade and Christopher Lay – murders one security guard in a bank robbery, which was payback for WACO.

    Curtis Holley – Killed one police officer, held anti-government belief.

    If you’re anti-cop and anti-government, you’re right winger now. So logically victims of Chris Dorner and whoever executed the 2 NY cops should added to the “right wing tally”?

    “Deadly Jihad attacks” should (arguably) be a part of larger “left wing extremism”, What, ethnic gangs don’t shoot rival ethnic gangs? Knockout games don’t count? To this day, black gangs shoot black kids for wearing the wrong color.

  43. You know what’s worse than racist vandalism?

    Obama’s racist war on drugs.

  44. The “Extremist” group that needs to be carefully, and closely, monitored is the SPLC.

  45. Left wing = Tyranny and Right wing = Liberty.

    Both parties fall into the Left camp as both parties increase spending, increase taxation and increase legislation, while growing government. Both parties rely heavily on the federal reserve, devaluing the purchasing power of the dollar, increasing national debt and deficit. Both actively participate in rampant crony capitalism and corporatism. Both actively curtail the freedoms of ordinary citizens to choose the life style of their choice.

    Sadly, there is no Right wing in America, there is no Right wing in the Western world.

  46. right (archaic)
    1. morally good, justified, or acceptable.
    2. true or correct as a fact.

    right (modern)
    1. morally bad, unjustified, or unacceptable.
    2. false or incorrect as a fact.

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