The Oregon militia

Published on Jan 11, 2016 Members of an anti-government militia have occupied the headquarters of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in a remote region of eastern Oregon for over a week, protesting what they claim is an overreaching federal government. The … Continue reading

Published on Jan 11, 2016

Members of an anti-government militia have occupied the headquarters of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in a remote region of eastern Oregon for over a week, protesting what they claim is an overreaching federal government. The occupation is being led by Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan, two sons of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher best known for an armed standoff with the federal government in 2014 over a cattle grazing dispute.

The protest was sparked by the re-sentencing of two Oregon ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven, to five years in a federal prison for deliberately starting fires on their property that spread to the bordering Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

While the media has referred to the situation as an armed standoff, more specifically, the “Oregon Standoff,” the federal authorities have kept their distance, and the local authorities, led by Harney County Sheriff David Ward, are also treading lightly.

VICE News traveled to Harney County, Oregon to meet with militia leaders, attend town hall meetings, and speak with local ranchers whom the protesters claim to be representing.

In Photos: The Faces and Frozen Landscapes of the ‘Oregon Standoff’ – http://bit.ly/1ncia1i

Read “Militia Leader Ammon Bundy Met With a Local Sheriff to Discuss Ending the Oregon Standoff” – http://bit.ly/1kYVwrB

From  Washington Post and Los Angeles Times

January 4, 2016 

BURNS, Ore. — The FBI is leading the investigation into the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and says it will work with local and state authorities to seek “a peaceful resolution to the situation.”

President Obama is aware of the Oregon situation, but the White House considers it “a local law enforcement matter,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report on that standoff that the militiamen and the federal land-return movement are part of the same spectrum.

“Anti-government extremists have long pushed, most fiercely during Democratic administrations, rabid conspiracy theories about a nefarious New World Order, a socialist, gun-grabbing federal government and the evils of federal law enforcement,” the center said.

[The Oregon standoff is far bigger than a group of armed men in a forest]

As news of the encampment spread, along with photos of armed men on a snowy refuge, it drew national attention even as it was affecting people in the region. Officials in the area shuttered local schools for at least a week, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that the refuge “is closed until further notice” because of the situation.
Their illegal occupation of federal land has lasted for four days and militia leader Ammon Bundy refuses to leave until the land is turned over to local control.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who was briefed Sunday morning by the FBI, said the occupation was being monitored closely by state, federal and local authorities.

“The FBI is on this every minute,” Wyden said in an interview. “But based on comments from what we’ve heard in the community and what’s been reported, we may be in just the early stages of this.”

Wyden compared the frustrations of the activists to those of all rural Oregonians, who face a troubled economy yet to fully recover from the decline of the timber industry and dwindling federal dollars to replace lost timber income.

“There’s enormous frustration about the economy and a very powerful sense in rural communities that nobody listens to them, that they don’t have any power, that their voices don’t matter,” Wyden said. “But the next step isn’t to be led by some outsiders into doing something that doesn’t help anybody.”

Ammon Bundy, who has been described as the leader of the protest group, said they have had no contact thus far with federal law enforcement authorities. “Nor is there any police presence here,” he said in a Twitter message to the Los Angeles Times.

“We plan on staying as long as we have to,” he said. “It’s a very peaceful protest.”

He said the occupying group has made “no direct demands,” but the participants have stated that they will leave if the federal government gives up control of the nearby Malheur National Forest.

They are also demanding freedom or a reduced sentence for two Oregon ranchers whose imprisonment sparked the current standoff, Bundy said.

Bundy’s father, Cliven, is a Nevada rancher who has sparred with the government for years and who in 2014 had an armed standoff with federal agents trying to prevent him from illegally grazing his cattle on federal land. After the federal authorities backed down, experts said that the showdown “invigorated” anti-government groups in the United States.

The elder Bundy told a reporter in Oregon that “150 militia men” had occupied the federal land over the weekend, at least one person who saw them leave for the refuge said there were “maybe a dozen” people. On Monday, Ammon Bundy did not answer a reporter’s shouted question about the number of people there.

SIGN YOUR NAME: LOCK UP the Oregon Militiamen for their acts of domestic terrorism >>

After occupying federal property, Bundy claimed that he planned to use the refuse as a militia base for years to come and would not rule out violence if law enforcement attempts to remove them.

The Oregon militia is a radicalized group committing acts of terror and anarchy. They must be held responsible for their unlawful actions.

State and federal authorities were preparing to establish a law enforcement command post to coordinate a response. So far the occupation had gone unchallenged.

Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward pleaded with the activists to leave the area. “It’s time to go home, return to your families,” he said at a news conference Monday.

In Burns, a city about 30 miles north of the refuge, hundreds had rallied to support the Hammonds over the weekend. Some residents were angry that the peaceful demonstrations were overshadowed by the armed takeover of federal property.

“That was very peaceful. That was very appropriate,” Patty Hodge, a bartender, said of Saturday’s protest. “What happened [with the occupation] angered everyone in Harney County, and from what I understand, it angered the militia.”

Law enforcement officials also dismissed the occupiers as being separate from the protest over the Hammonds, saying they came to the region with a specific and different goal.

“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers,” Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward said in a statement Sunday. “When in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.”

Republican presidential candidates were largely quiet about the takeover Sunday, including those who had supported the elder Bundy and made their own calls for limiting federal control over Western land.

On Monday, some began to speak more about the issue. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas called on the occupiers to “stand down peaceably” and avoid a violent confrontation, while Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told KBUR radio that while the government has too much control over land in the West, “you can’t be lawless.”

“I’m sympathetic to the idea that the large collection of federal lands ought to be turned back to the states and the people, but I think the best way to bring about change is through politics,” said Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. “That’s why I entered the electoral arena. I don’t support any violence or suggestion of violence toward changing policy.”


BUNDY MILITIA MUSTERS AGAIN OVER PAIUTE LAND

JANUARY 5, 2016 DEEP GREEN RESISTANCE NEWS SERVICE
By Steve Russell / Indian Country Today Media Network

Some of the same armed “militia” involved in the Cliven Bundy affair in Nevada have occupied federal land in Oregon formerly reserved for the Northern Paiute. Ironically, the “legal” basis for starting a fight with the federal government is that sovereignty “really” belongs to Oregon rather than the Paiutes, who have seen their federal trust land shrink from over one and a half million acres to a tiny remnant of 760 acres in Burns, Oregon, where this current armed standoff began.

misquoting the father

se·di·tion noun noun: sedition; plural noun: seditions conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch. It’s a simplified modern version of his original quote, the original is is 18th century English, and a … Continue reading

se·di·tion
noun
noun: sedition; plural noun: seditions
conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.

1011006_504286249681591_987890477_nIt’s a simplified modern version of his original quote, the original is is 18th century English, and a bit hard to follow since this message was much longer in its originality, but the meaning behind this means the same as his original quote meant.

Kevin Collver

A quote sometimes purported to be from a speech to Congress, January 7, 1790 purportedly in the Boston Independent Chronicle, January 14, 1790, this is actually a corruption of a statement made in his first State of the Union Address, relating to the need for maintaining governmental troops and military preparedness. If one were unaware of the misquoting, it would be nitpicking to point out the error. However, once one knows what Washington actually said, it is disingenuous to insist that he was promoting sedition against his own presidency. No government will encourage sedition against itself. The right to self defense is valid, then why the deceit of fabricating false quotes from the founding fathers?

What the actual quote shows is that in Washington’s time the term people was used as an euphemism for the State, on the bases  that the just created US government was a federal democratic republic. So when the second amendment talks about people and well organized militia, it is not talking about individuals.

When the Constitution was written and ratified, the US did not have a strong centralized government, and that was intentional. When the second amendment refers to the “State” it is referring to the State in which one resided. States were much more powerful then then they are now. It is claimed that he reference to “people” in the second amendment is truly a reference to the people of each State because the intent of the Constitution was to outline the specific powers granted to each branch of the government by “the people” and that is also why in the Constitution itself it states that any powers NOT specifically outlined in the Constitution reside with “the people“. Amendment IV also refers to “the right of the people to be secure”, referring to individuals. However, the note about well organized militia in the second amendment makes the term ambiguous. Many gun-ownership advocates  do believe the the Constitution is a document that was inspired by God. But the Constitution is not holy scripture. It is a distillation of the thinking of the french aristocracy of the XVIII century.

Nevertheless, it is the World experience that when the State losses its monopoly on Force what one gets is feudal war-lordships in a state of affairs far removed from democracy. Right now in Mexico that experiment is taking place with groups that claim to be civil self-defense fighting against narco gangs. It is not clear where this will end.


Spurious attributions

Statements which evidence indicates are fabrications, never actually said by anyone prior to their being attributed to Washington.
  • I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet.
    • The earliest source of this quote was a famous anecdote in The Life of George Washington, with Curious Anecdotes Laudable to Himself and Exemplary to his Countrymen (1806) by Parson Weems, which is not considered a credible source, and many incidents recounted in the work are now considered to have sprung entirely from Weems’ imagination. This derives from an anecdote of Washington, as a young boy, confessing to his father Augustine Washington that it was he who had cut a cherished cherry tree.
    • Variant:Father, I cannot tell a lie, I cut the tree.
  • What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.
    • A modern fabrication. Washington did use the phrase “above all the religion of Jesus Christ” on 12 May 1779 in a reply to a petition from a Lenape delegation asking for assistance in promoting the missionary activities of David Zeisberger among their people: “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do every thing they can to assist you in this wise intention…” He did not say anything about “What students would learn in American schools,” though earlier in the same reply he did say “I am glad you have brought three of the Children of your principal Chiefs to be educated with us.” While there’s nothing in the reply about how those “Children” might be educated (in fact Congress put two of them through Princeton) it’s possible that suggested the fabricated portion. See Louise Phelps Kellogg, Frontier Advance on the Upper Ohio 1778-1779 (Madison WI, 1916), pp. 317-324, for the episode. Washington’s reply is also found in John C. Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, vol. 15, (Washington D.C., 1936), p. 55.
  • Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon and citizen’s firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good. When firearms go, all goes— we need them every hour.
    • Sometimes purported to have been made in an “Address to the Second Session of the First United States Congress, 7 January 1790, according to the Boston Independent Chronicle (14 January 1790)”, this quote is palpably bogus, as this essay at a pro-gun site makes plain.
  • A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.
    • A further quote sometimes purported to be from a speech to Congress, January 7, 1790 purportedly in the Boston Independent Chronicle, January 14, 1790, this is actually a corruption of a statement made in his first State of the Union Address, relating to the need for maintaining governmental troops and military preparedness:
A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.
The proper establishment of the troops which may be deemed indispensable will be entitled to mature consideration. In the arrangements which may be made respecting it it will be of importance to conciliate the comfortable support of the officers and soldiers with a due regard to economy. .
  • It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
    • Washington is known to have made some official statements of public piety, but this is not one of them. Though this assertion is very widely reported to have been said in Washington’s Farewell Address (17 September 1796), this is not actually the case, as any search of the documents would reveal. It has also been presented as having been part of his Proclamation on January 1, 1795 of February 19th, 1795 as a day of national Thanksgiving in this form:
It is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe, without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being. Religion is as necessary to reason, as reason is to religion. The one cannot exist without the other. A reasoning being would lose his reason, in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to.
In the above paragraph the italicized portion appears to be entirely bogus, and there is no actual record of such a statement ever having been made by Washington. The first sentence is an almost accurate rendition of one from Washington’s official proclamation, being a portion of this segment:
In such a state of things it is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience. Deeply penetrated with this sentiment, I, George Washington, President of the United States, do recommend to all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever, within the United States to set apart and observe Thursday, the 19th day of February next as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, and on that day to meet together and render their sincere and hearty thanks to the Great Ruler of Nations for the manifold and signal mercies which distinguish our lot as a nation…
It is to be noted that there is genuine piety expressed in this statement, but it is not of any sectarian kind, Christian or otherwise. The last portion of the bogus statement which uses it is a truncation of a statement attributed to him in an undocumented biography written for children. In A Life of Washington (1836) by James K. Paulding, Washington is quoted as having stated:

It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being. Religion is as necessary to reason as reason is to religion. The one cannot exist without the other. A reasoning being would lose his reason in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to; and well has it been said, that if there had been no God, mankind would have been obliged to imagine one.
In the spurious version of the Thanksgiving proclamation which uses a portion of this, Washington’s allusions to Voltaire‘s famous statement that “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him” has been omitted. In the cases of these “quotations” it seems that if statements suitable to their sectarian interests do not exist, some people feel it necessary to invent them.
  • The Jews work more effectively against us than the enemy’s armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in. It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pests to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America.
    • Sometimes rendered : “They (the Jews) work more effectively against us, than the enemy’s armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in… It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pest to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America.”
    • Both of these are doctored statements that have been widely disseminated as genuine on many anti-semitic websites; They are distortions derived from a statement that was attributed to Washington in Maxims of George Washington about currency speculators during the Revolutionary war, not about Jews: “This tribe of black gentry work more effectually against us, than the enemy’s arms. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties, and the great cause we are engaged in. It is much to be lamented that each State, long ere this, has not hunted them down as pests to society, and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America.” More information is available at Snopes. com: “To Bigotry, No Sanction”
    • This quotation is a classic anti-semitic hoax, evidently begun during or just before World War Two by American Nazi sympathizers, and since then has been repeated, for example, in foreign propaganda directed at Americans. In fact it is knitted from two separate letters by Washington, in reverse chronology, neither of them mentioning Jews. The first part of this forgery are taken from Washington’s letter to Edmund Pendleton, Nov. 1, 1779 {and the original can be found in the Library of Congress’s online service at http://memory.loc.gov/mss/mgw/mgw3h/001/378378.jpg }. I have tried to reproduce Washington’s spelling and punctuation exactly. In that letter Washington complains about black marketeers and others undermining the purchasing power of colonial currency:
… but I am under no apprehension of a capital injury from ay other source than that of the continual depreciation of our Money. This indeed is truly alarming, and of so serious a nature that every other effort is in vain unless something can be done to restore its credit. …. Where this has been the policy (in Connecticut for instance) the prices of every article have fallen and the money consequently is in demand; but in the other States you can scarce get a single thing for it, and yet it is with-held from the public by speculators, while every thing that can be useful to the public is engrossed by this tribe of black gentry, who work more effectually against us that the enemys Arms; and are a hundd. times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in.
The second part of this fabricated quote is from Washington’s letter to Joseph Reed, Dec. 12, 1778 {and can be found at the Library of Congress using the same URL but ending in /193192.jpg}, which again condemns war profiteers (the parenthetical list in the quotation is Washington’s own words which he put there in parentheses):

It gives me very sincere pleasure to find that there is likely to be a coalition … so well disposed to second your endeavours in bringing those murderers of our cause (the monopolizers, forestallers, and engrossers) to condign punishment. It is much to be lamented that each State long ere this has not hunted them down as the pests of society, and the greatest Enemys we have to the happiness of America. I would to God that one of the most attrocious of each State was hung in Gibbets upons a gallows five times as high as the one prepared by Haman. No punishment in my opinion is too great for the Man who can build his greatness upon his Country’s ruin.

Glad he had a gun

Glad he had a gun or the would-be robber (who also had a gun) would have been able to have his way with anything and anyone in the store. Instead, the robber ran away as soon as the other man … Continue reading

Glad he had a gun or the would-be robber (who also had a gun) would have been able to have his way with anything and anyone in the store. Instead, the robber ran away as soon as the other man presented his gun. How differently this would have gone if we didn’t have the Second Amendment!

The clerk is a competent fighter that used proportional limited force to fend off an armed assault. But it would have been simpler if no guns were available. The use of guns requires a lot if infrastructure, at the very least a supply of munition. Yes, guns can be restricted but it is not done because supplying guns and munition to the general public is good business, one of the few left in the States. Guns are not restricted because there is a lot of money supporting the availability of guns. Guns are very big business and the gun lobby is very influential.

The USA is a singularity. There are different degrees of gun control already in place all over the world. Nothing to invent. But in the United States gun advocacy is a religious issue, the Second Amendment a gift from God. Religious believes cannot be argued away. For people that believe in gun ownership any incident reinforces their belief. If there is a massacre, that means that everybody must have a gun. If someone gets killed in an armed assault, that means that everybody must have a gun. If an armed vigilante kills a couple of burglars because they got into the neighbors house, that means that everybody must have a gun.

Let me just said that the problem is not one of control, but the availability itself of guns. It’s not an issue of background checks or the like. The United States has a very violent history. The USA has been built on violence and one of the principles of the American ethos is the worship of the individual. The obvious lesson is that might makes right and the everyone by himself sohould be able, and has the duty, to fight off to protect possessions, family, and life. However, everything is connected and at the end the path of violence will leads us all to self destruction.

I hope, wish, that it is possible to live in peace. How? Getting away from the abstraction of money and giving value to human beings, as the brothers and sisters that we are. How? I Do not really know. Is it our best answer to violence to claim our right to be violent ? Woudn’t be better to eliminate the need, conditions, or the incentive to be violent?

We humans are violent beasts. It is our nature. If you press me on the mechanics of peace I do not know what specific things need to be done to eradicate violence in our society. Maybe there is no way out other than be exterminated by ourselves. We definitely going in that direction. One thing I know is that the problems of our time cannot be solved by individual action. It has to be a communal effort. Also, if we believe in peace, we must walk the way of peace. Not only avoid the use of weapons, but be active in resisting the use of violence by our government.

I am not strong or brave. If my family is in danger, or my house compromised I will feel anger. I know myself quite capable to be violent with the weak and meek with the powerful, but I can make the reference of Gandhi: He said that the way of peace is a manly way, and one must be willing to be cut down by machine fire, but that if one does not have the will to go the peaceful way we must still fight for our convictions.

Today there is enough wealth in the world to eradicate war and hunger. NO need for countries to fight for resources, NO need to have a gun in the house to fend off people. Yet we live in a system that no only tolerates hunger and poverty but that actually generates and needs poverty to function, that treats humans as materiel and constantly is pressing for more work for less pay. In a system that not only gets caught in wars but that fabricates wars for profit of the few.

Is not a problem of better gun control. Th system must be changed in a fundamental way. And it is not a question of socialism in the pejorative sense that most American understand it to be. No, it is a question to put human life and dignity above monetary profit.

The answer is in serving God and others, not ourselves. A stronger sense of community is necessary. The harder part is to transcend our sense of us and them. There is no them, we are all us. To have everybody really understand this is the challenge.

Conspiracy theory sickos

If you thought the “9/11 Truthers” were crazy, get a load of these crackpots who claim that the Obama Administration plotted the Sandy Hook massacre as a means of pushing gun control!

We’re all familiar with the crazy ideas of the “9/11 Truthers”, who claim that the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were a great conspiracy by the Bush Administration to push their agenda and get public support for invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The entire topic has consumed many blogs on this site, and whole issues of Skeptic magazine, and need not be rehashed here. The simplest retort to the “9/11 Truthers” is the gross incompetence of the Bush Administration, and the fact that they couldn’t get their act together on things we know they were doing. Yet the supposed “Bush conspiracy” worked like a charm (except for the passengers of Flight 93 crashing their plane when they overpowered the hijackers), and not a single leak from all those people allegedly involved in that Byzantine plot has ever emerged. Given how many leaks have occurred since those events on many other failed Bush and CIA policies, it’s impossible to believe that they managed to keep this big a conspiracy secret for over 12 years now.

The same goes in Britain for the “7/7″ bombings of several buses and other sites in downtown London; there is a clique of conspiracy nuts mainly in England who could be called the “7/7 Truthers”. For the same reasons, they claim the “7/7″ bombings were orchestrated by the British government, even though they did not have the motive of Bush and Cheney to push the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. There are actually a wide range of other bizarre conspiracy advocates out there, and they all seem to form a large, poorly organized group of paranoid conspiracy nuts who believe that the U.N./Trilateral Commission/ Illuminati/ Freemasons/whatever big organization is out to get us, with their “black helicopters” and secret sleeper cells, ready to take power in the U.S. when the signal comes.

If that wasn’t crazy and paranoid enough, guess what? There is a whole gang of even crazier people out there who believe that the Obama Administration orchestrated the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre! Yeah, you read that right.  And what is the supposed motivation for arranging this elaborate conspiracy to perform such a heinous act? Allegedly, the Administration wanted a national outcry over a massacre so they could push for gun control. The Obama Administration, which has avoided the gun issue like the plague both during the campaigns and during its first four years, suddenly decided to go after our guns. This at a time when it already faces more than enough political challenges with the debt ceiling, the immigration issue, and so many other important topics on its agenda that are better uses of its post-election capital in a government prone to stalemate due to the GOP hold over the House. In fact, a lot of political commentators have remarked that the gun control issue is poorly timed for Obama, distracting the voters from issues he had planned to push after the inauguration, and expending a lot of political capital he needs elsewhere. Only in the mind of a gun crazy/conspiracy nut does this make any sense, but then these people already are scared of the U.N., the Trilateral Commission, and the “black helicopters”.

Their evidence for this bizarre notion? They claim that one of the little girls killed in Sandy Hook is still alive! As explained by Alex Seitz-Wald:

The girl in question is Emilie Parker, a 6-year-old who was shot multiple times and killed at Sandy Hook. But for conspiracy theorists, the tears her family shed at her funeral, the moving eulogy from Utah’s governor, and the entire shooting spree are fake. Welcome to the world where Sandy Hook didn’t really happen.

There are dozens of websites, blog posts and YouTube videos extolling the Emilie Parker hoax theory. If you Google her name, the very first result is a post mocking her father for crying at a press conference after the shooting. One popular video, which already has 134,000 views, was made by the producers of a popular 9/11 Truther film. “Just as the movie ‘Operation Terror’ shows the 9/11 attacks were a made-for-TV event, so too were the mass shootings … There can be no doubt that Sandy Hook was a staged event,” the narrator intones. He goes on to say that the adults who participated in the media coverage of the shootings “should be prosecuted as accessories after the fact in a mass murder” — i.e., the parents whose children were murdered in the massacre should be thrown in prison.

The crux of the theory is a photograph of Parker’s sister sitting on President Obama’s lap when he visited with the victims’ families. The girl is wearing the same dress Emilie wore in a pre-shooting photograph of the family shared with media, so she must be Emilie, alive and well. “BAM! I cannot believe how idiot these people are [sic]… That’s her,” one YouTuber exclaims as he watches the two images superimposed on each other. (Apparently missed by these crack investigators is the possibility that the sister wore Emilie’s dress and that they look alike because they are sisters, after all.)

The supporting details to the hoax theory explanation are reminiscent of the arcana of any well-developed conspiracy theory. What about the car? What about the rifle? Why does someone off camera allegedly tell Parker’s father to “read the Card” (as in a cue card) before he goes on CNN? Why is he laughing? Who is the guy running into the woods? Why is there police audio referring to multiple shooters? Why does one boy who survived the shooting tell Dr. Oz it was like “a drill”? Why was the principal quoted by a local paper after she died? Why do some of the parents look like some of the victims of the Aurora shooting — are they “all actors”? All of these questions have simple explanations, but in each case, the theorists have sided more with less likely, but more nefarious possibilities.

One man has taken it upon himself to catalog all of the theories at SandyHookHoax.com. By way of credentials, creator Jay Johnson explains: “I am the only person in the world to solve LOST,” he writes (yes, the TV show).

In an email exchange with Salon, Johnson said he initially “wanted to help the kids express their feelings and memorialize the victims … But then I saw how the local paper interviewed the principal after she was dead, and I realized it was 99% odds another psychological operation that was going on,” he explained.

Noting that he started the website on “12/21/12” he explained, “since I am the New Age Messiah, with my Look Your Heart in the Mirror™ as the new revelation from the Goddess Tefnut, aka Ma’at, of Egypt, I thought the date was significant.”

But the hoax theory has even earned the backing for some presumably more credible sources. James Tracy, a tenured professor of communications at Florida Atlantic University, sparked controversy this week after he wrote a blog post suggesting the parents were “crisis actors.” “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place — at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described,” he wrote.

Websites owned by Alex Jones [yes, the same clown who embarrassed himself in the national media last week with his foaming-at-the-mouth attack on Piers Morgan], the conspiracy theory pundit who helped start the 9/11 Truther movement and has millions of readers, are a virtual one-stop shop for Sandy Hook “false flag” miscellanea. So far, mainstream conservative figures haven’t hopped on board, though Gun Owners of American head Larry Pratt told Jones this summer that he thought there was a good chance the Aurora massacre was perpetrated by government agents.

Then there’s just the downright bizarre subgenre of theories. One posting on the community forum of Jones’ website connects Sandy Hook and Emilie Parker to Satanism, postulating that the school was a “recruiting center” for the Church of Satan. There’s even a low-budget slasher flick called “Sandy Hook Lingerie Party Massacre” — could that be connected?

Whether there is a connection or not, we can count on the Internet’s conspiracy theorists to find one, even if it means denying the legitimacy of the mourning families’ grief.

And if this were not enough, the conspiracy crazies are harassing and threatening Gene Rosen, the Good Samaritan who took in a bunch of the first graders when they fled the school after their teacher was killed, and sheltered them until their families could come find them. This kind, gentle man, who did a simple good deed from the heart, is now being harassed and threatened non-stop by these sick bastards who don’t want to believe any of the truth in this story.

And that is the sickest, most perverted part of it all. Never mind that these crazies are accusing our President and the people who work with him with the cruelest and most outrageous of criminal acts, all based on zero evidence and lots of crazy thinking and false pattern recognition. The President and the Administration can take care of themselves. The real victims in this demented view of the world are the Good Samaritans like Gene Rosen, or the poor families of the victims, who are not only grieving for their very real loss, but are now being accused of being actors, and hoaxers whose children are not really dead. Haven’t they suffered enough? At long last, conspiracy wackos, have you no shame?

Only in America

Jill Filipovic guardian.co.uk, Friday 21 December 2012 15.00 GMT “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” That line of defense from gun proponents comes up again and again in the wake of mass shootings, like last week’s at Sandy Hook elementary … Continue reading

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

That line of defense from gun proponents comes up again and again in the wake of mass shootings, like last week’s at Sandy Hook elementary school that left 20 children and seven adults dead. It’s true, in a sense: when holding objects that are specifically designed to be the most effective killing machines possible, people do, in fact, kill people.
And yes, people have gone on murderous rampages for all of human history, and have used whatever tools were at their disposal – rocks, knives, swords, their own hands – to inflict violence. The problem comes in when the tools at their disposal are really good at killing others without much work on the part of the killer, which is why lots of folks would like to see the United States institute some reasonable laws regulating gun ownership.
Time and again, though, the pro-gun right’s answer is the same: people will find a way to kill, and violence is inevitable, so taking away guns won’t work. Their solution seems to be a society where every citizen has a gun in one hand and crossed fingers on the other.

Only in America do we collectively shrug our shoulders when yet another young white man goes on a shooting spree.
Only in America do we remain convinced that people will kill no matter what, so we may as well give people virtually unlimited access to some of the deadliest hand-held weapons ever invented.
Only here, in America, do we think that the best we can do is a Facebook page and a plea to God.