US Extremists

mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971


Report: Far-right anti-government group grows significantly
By REBECCA BOONE
21 Oct 2021

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A far-right group launched by anti-government activist Ammon Bundy is rapidly expanding nationwide and making inroads into Canada, according to a new report from the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.

The quick growth happened despite legal problems faced by some prominent People's Rights leaders, and continued even as some of the organization's Facebook groups were removed from the social media platform. The organization has grown by roughly 53% in the past year in large part because of continued anti-public health sentiment, according to the report.

People's Rights started in deep-red Idaho, which remains one of the least-vaccinated states with only about 43% of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The group now includes activists in 38 states, according to the report.

“I think the report underestimates their overall strength, because they've also built out alliances with a range of groups from the Tea Party to the Proud Boys and anti-vax groups,” said Chuck Tanner, IREHR's research director. “In certain places they are able to mobilize at levels that make an impact on policy.”

People's Rights started in 2020 amid a wave of backlash against public health measures taken at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Started by Bundy — who is best known for leading a group of armed activists in the occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016, and now is one of many candidates running in Idaho's gubernatorial race — the group frequently staged protests at public health districts, state Capitol buildings, schools and public officials' homes. The IREHR report analyzed internal membership data from the People's Rights network.

Bundy did not immediately respond to phone and email messages left by The Associated Press.

Last year, the organization had just under 22,000 members nationally, according to a report by IREHR and the Montana Human Right's Network. Now it has grown by roughly 53%, according to the new IREHR report, with more than 33,000 members including nearly 400 official leaders in 38 states. It also includes more than 100 members in Canada — largely in Ontario — even though most of its political ideology centers on fringe interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and Christian nationalism, according to the report.

“We noticed three or four months ago that they started having Canadian provinces listed on their website. It's not big, but it's kind of strange,” Tanner said.

People’s Rights is still mostly focused in the northwestern states, particularly Idaho, where Bundy lives and roughly 17 out of every 10,000 are members, according to the report. Most of the growth has been around COVID-19-related activism, said Tanner.

“There's been rapid growth in places that didn't have very many members to begin with, but there's also been significant growth in areas that we know are really organized on the ground, like southern Washington and central Oregon," Tanner said. "They've really built this COVID-denial activism, and as a group are playing an outsized role in the attack on public health measures to address the pandemic.”

Prominent members of the organization have faced serious legal woes. In Idaho, Sean Anderson dropped from a leadership role after he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in a police shootout last year.

Another prominent People's Rights activist, Pam Hemphill, is facing several federal charges after prosecutors said she took part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Hemphill has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Earlier this year, Bundy was convicted of trespassing and obstructing officers after prosecutors said he refused to leave a closed room at the Idaho Statehouse following protests that were attended by hundreds, including many People's Rights members.

That hasn't seemed to slow the organization's growth, Tanner said. The organization has promoted extreme political concepts including state secession and the repeal of the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments, Tanner said. The People's Rights website calls on members to be ready to defend themselves and others against government officials.

“What People's Rights does is spread really radical ideas about overturning civil rights in the United States,” Tanner said. “This is a broad-based, anti-Democratic and bigoted social movement.”

But Joe Lowndes, a political science professor at the University of Oregon who researches conservatism and right-wing movements, said it's not clear if the organization's growth will have staying power in a post-pandemic world.

“People's Rights were kind of early adopters of the anti-mask, anti-vaccine movements, and they've been able to build through that to push this vague, conspiratorial, anti-government idea,” said Lowndes. “But it's hard to say how that's able to sustain itself in the long run. I can't see that there's much staying power beyond the issue of the pandemic, unless it's kind of that general, apocalyptic-prepper stuff.”

In places like Idaho, where some far-right political factions already had a stronghold, it's difficult to tell if People's Rights was leading the anti-pandemic movement or just going along with the far-right flow, said Jaclyn Kettler, a Boise State University political scientist.

“It's a little hard right now to trace what impacts they had compared to others with similar sorts of ideologies,” Kettler said. “It will be interesting to see what happens long-term here. For instance, a lot of the Tea Party organizations aren't active like they were in 2010, but we can still see the influence of them.”



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Comments

  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain. Posts: 40,381
    "A far-right group launched by anti-government activist Ammon Bundy is rapidly expanding nationwide and making inroads into Canada..."

    Sounds a lot like this thing called "cancer". 
    "I believe in the mystery, and I don't want to take it any further than that. Maybe what I mean by that is love."
    -John Densmore











  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971
    guess this goes here....


    White supremacists are returning to Charlottesville. But this time, they’re on trial.
    By Hannah Allam and Ellie Silverman
    October 23 at 12:00 PM ET
    As hundreds of white supremacists prepared to descend on Charlottesville in 2017, they hashed out logistics in private chat groups. They suggested a dress code of polo shirts during the day and shirts with swastikas at night. They worried about mayo on sandwiches spoiling in the August heat. And they swapped tips on how to turn ordinary objects into lethal weapons, according to messages cited in court papers.
    Such detailed planning is central to a lawsuit filed by nine Charlottesville residents who allege physical harm and emotional distress during Unite the Right, the deadly two-day rally where a torch-carrying mob chanting “Jews will not replace us!” awakened the country to a resurgence of far-right extremism. After four years of legal wrangling, a civil trial begins Monday in a federal courtroom in Charlottesville, where a jury will decide whether the organizing of the rally amounted to a conspiracy to engage in racially motivated violence.
    “Defendants brought with them to Charlottesville the imagery of the Holocaust, of slavery, of Jim Crow, and of fascism,” the plaintiffs say in the complaint. “They also brought with them semi-automatic weapons, pistols, mace, rods, armor, shields, and torches.”
    The planners’ messages, part of a leaked trove from the group-chat platform Discord, are laced with slurs against Black and Jewish people, along with violent fantasies of cracking skulls and driving into crowds. One meme showed “John Deere’s New Multi-Lane Protester Digestor,” a made-up vehicle to steamroll opponents — a macabre forecast of the car-ramming attack that would kill 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer and injure at least 19 others.
    Because only a handful of participants faced criminal charges, the plaintiffs’ lawyers say, the civil suit is one way to correct what they call a lack of accountability that paved the way for other extremist violence, including the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The racist, bigoted imagery on display in Charlottesville in August 2017 — a shock to much of the nation at the time — is now regularly spotted at right-wing gatherings throughout the country.
    “One message of this case is that these events — like Charlottesville, like Jan. 6 — they’re not these spontaneous, flukish events that just happen,” said Karen Dunn, a prominent trial lawyer serving as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “There is an enormous undercurrent of planning, of intent and of purposefulness that we all need to wake up to.”
    [‘Why Omaha?’: DHS bets on Nebraska as the future of terrorism research]
    Suing two dozen white supremacists and hate groups means that virtually everything about the trial is unusual. The judge has ordered litigants not to discuss the extraordinary security backdrop to the trial; personal security is the top expense for the plaintiffs. Potential jurors will be asked their opinions on, for example, Black Lives Matter and antisemitism. Court exhibits will include vile messages that come from more than 5 terabytes of evidence. To make their case, the plaintiffs’ attorneys are dusting off a Reconstruction-era statute that was designed to protect newly emancipated Black people from the Ku Klux Klan.
    Then there are the defendants, some of the most notorious racists in the country, including: Richard Spencer, a neo-Nazi figure who was a featured speaker at Unite the Right; Andrew Anglin, who publishes the hate site the Daily Stormer; and Matthew Heimbach, a white nationalist leader with ties to far-right factions in Eastern Europe. Defendant Christopher Cantwell, who has referred to the “supposed Holocaust” and quoted Hitler in court documents, was dropped by his own attorneys in part for allegedly threatening a lawyer for the plaintiffs.
    Some of the defendants are expected to testify, but court documents show that many have been uncooperative, failing to comply with court orders. One defendant, Jeff Schoep, former commander of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, said his cellphone “accidentally” fell into the toilet, making it impossible to recover potential evidence, the plaintiffs complained in court filings.
    A main argument of the defendants is that the violent rhetoric used ahead of that August weekend was protected speech related to a permitted rally to protest city plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The mayhem that unfolded, defendants argue, stemmed from planning failures on the part of the police and from counterdemonstrators who wanted direct confrontation with the marchers.
    “Their entire case is based around this concept that, like, we’re bad people because of the things we think, that are legally protected speech,” Heimbach said in an interview.
    Most other defendants and their attorneys did not respond or declined requests for comment.
    For Charlottesville residents, the trial will offer the most in-depth look yet at the violent incursion that stigmatized their city.
    Brenda Brown-Grooms, a 66-year-old African American pastor, recalled the fear she felt when she saw the torch-bearing mob that Friday evening, Aug. 11, 2017. The next day, she said, she was at another church near the Lee statue and had to close the doors because chemical irritants from the rally were wafting into the building, stinging her eyes and throat.
    The trial will force many residents to relive those visceral moments. Brown-Grooms calls it difficult, but necessary.
    “It’s a trauma we can’t avoid,” she said about the trial. “There’s a possibility of great good coming out of it.”
    'We are not powerless'
    In 1870, with the KKK and other White mobs terrorizing Black citizens to deny them their post-emancipation rights, Congress passed three laws known collectively as the Enforcement Act to safeguard the right to vote, hold office and serve on juries.
    The last of the laws, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, “was designed to eliminate extralegal violence and protect the civil and political rights of four million freed slaves,” according to a history section of the U.S. House of Representatives’ website.
    Fast-forward 150 years. The same law that targeted racist vigilantes after the Civil War now underpins the suit against the modern-day hate groups that planned Unite the Right. At least two KKK factions are among the Charlottesville defendants.
    “What’s dismaying for me is that it’s necessary to use a statute like the Ku Klux Klan Act from the 1870s in this day and age to address civil rights violations by white supremacists,” said Rich Schragger, a Charlottesville resident and law professor at the University of Virginia.
    The plaintiffs in this lawsuit represent the kind of American diversity that the defendants reject. They are of different religions, races and ethnicities, court documents show. They include an ordained minister, a Colombian American undergraduate at the University of Virginia, an African American landscaper, and a multiracial paralegal who was a co-worker and friend of Heyer’s.

    continues......


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • cblock4lifecblock4life Posts: 1,384
    Started watching “The Informant”.  Watching this and seeing the Somalis appreciating what little they have now in America and seeing them go to work everyday, living the American dream, packing meat at Tyson (a horrible job) because no respectable natural born American wants to do it would be an excellent learning experience for a spoiled teenager.  
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971


    Pentagon issues rules aimed at stopping rise of extremism
    By LOLITA C. BALDOR
    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Warning that extremism in the ranks is increasing, Pentagon officials issued detailed new rules Monday prohibiting service members from actively engaging in extremist activities. The new guidelines come nearly a year after some current and former service members participated in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, triggering a broad department review.

    According to the Pentagon, fewer than 100 military members are known to have been involved in substantiated cases of extremist activity in the past year. But they warn that the number may grow given recent spikes in domestic violent extremism, particularly among veterans.

    Officials said the new policy doesn't largely change what is prohibited but is more of an effort to make sure troops are clear on what they can and can't do, while still protecting their First Amendment right to free speech. And for the first time, it is far more specific about social media.

    The new policy lays out in detail the banned activities, which range from advocating terrorism or supporting the overthrow of the government to fundraising or rallying on behalf of an extremist group or “liking” or reposting extremist views on social media. The rules also specify that commanders must determine two things in order for someone to be held accountable: that the action was an extremist activity, as defined in the rules, and that the service member “actively participated” in that prohibited activity.

    Previous policies banned extremist activities but didn't go into such great detail, and also did not specify the two-step process to determine someone accountable.

    What was wrong yesterday is still wrong today, said one senior defense official. But several officials said that as a study group spoke with service members this year they found that many wanted clearer definitions of what was not allowed. The officials provided additional details about the rules on condition of anonymity because they were not made public.

    The military has long been aware of small numbers of white supremacists and other extremists among the troops. But Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other leaders launched a broader campaign to root out extremism in the force after it became clear that military veterans and some current service members were present at the Jan. 6 insurrection.

    In a message to the force on Monday, Austin said the department believes that only a few service members violate their oath and participate in extremist activities. But, he added, “even the actions of a few can have an outsized impact on unit cohesion, morale and readiness - and the physical harm some of these activities can engender can undermine the safety of our people.”

    The risk of extremism in the military can be more dangerous because many service members have access to classified information about sensitive military operations or other national security information that could help adversaries. And extremist groups routinely recruit former and current service members because of their familiarity with weapons and combat tactics.

    The number of substantiated cases may be small compared to the size of the military, which includes more than 2 million active duty and reserve troops. But the number appears to be an increase over previous years where the totals were in the low two-digits. But officials also noted that data has not been consistent so it is difficult to identify trends.

    The new rules do not provide a list of extremist organizations. Instead, it is up to commanders to determine if a service member is actively conducting extremist activities based on the definitions, rather than on a list of groups that may be constantly changing, officials said.

    Asked whether troops can simply be members of an extremist organization, officials said the rules effectively prohibit membership in any meaningful way — such as the payment of dues or other actions that could be considered “active participation.”

    Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that “there's not a whole lot about membership in a group that you're going to be able to get away with." He added, "In order to prove your membership you're probably going to run afoul of one of these criteria."

    Kirby also said that commanders will evaluate each case individually, so simply clicking “like” on one social media post, for example, might not merit punishment depending on all the circumstances involved.

    He also noted that the Pentagon does not have the ability or desire to actively monitor troops' personal social media accounts. Those issues would likely come up if reported to commanders or were discovered through other means.

    The regulations lay out six broad groups of extremist activities and then provide 14 different definitions that constitute active participation.

    Soon after taking office, Austin ordered military leaders to schedule a so-called “stand-down” day and spend time talking to their troops about extremism in the ranks.

    The new rules apply to all of the military services, including the Coast Guard, which in peacetime is part of the Department of Homeland Security. They were developed through recommendations from the Countering Extremist Activities Working Group. And they make the distinction, for example, that troops may possess extremist materials, but they can’t attempt to distribute them, and while they can observe an extremist rally, they can’t participate, fund or support one.

    The rules, said the officials, focus on behavior, not ideology. So service members have whatever political, religious or other beliefs that they want, but their actions and behavior are governed.

    In addition to the new rules, the Pentagon is expanding its screening for recruits to include a deeper look at potential extremist activities. Some activities may not totally prevent someone from joining the military, but require a closer look at the applicant.

    The department also is expanding education and training for current military members, and more specifically for those leaving the service who may be suddenly subject to recruitment by extremist organizations.

    More than 650 people have been charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, including dozens of veterans and about a half dozen active duty service members.


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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971

    Closing arguments next in Michigan Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot
    By ED WHITE
    Yesterday

    Jurors will hear closing arguments Friday in the trial of four men accused of a brazen conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a case built with informants, undercover agents, secret recordings and two people who pleaded guilty and cooperated.

    Only one defendant, Daniel Harris, chose to testify in his own defense. But his denial of any crime Thursday was met by an aggressive cross-examination in which prosecutors used his own words to show his contempt for Whitmer and even suggestions about how to kill her.

    Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr. and Brandon Caserta declined to testify, and defense attorneys called only a few witnesses. The four deny any scheme to get Whitmer at her vacation home in fall 2020, though they were livid with government as well as restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The men were arrested in October 2020 amid talk of raising $4,000 for an explosive that could blow up a bridge and stymie police after a kidnapping, according to trial evidence. Fox twice traveled to northern Michigan to scout the area.

    Defense attorneys, however, insist they were under the spell of informants and agents who got them to say and do violent, provocative things.

    Harris repeatedly answered “absolutely not” when asked by his lawyer if he was part of a plot. His testimony was perilous because he exposed himself to numerous challenges by prosecutors who had been offering evidence against the group for days.

    Harris and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Roth sometimes talked over each other. At one point, Harris snapped, “Next question.”

    “Everyone can take it down a notch,” U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker said later.

    Roth confronted Harris with his own chat messages about posing as a pizza deliveryman and killing Whitmer at her door. He reminded Harris, a former Marine, that he worked with explosives while training with the group, especially in Luther, Michigan, in September 2020, about a month before their arrest.

    Roth played a conversation of Croft talking about militias overthrowing governments in various states and “breaking a few eggs” if necessary.

    “When this man talks to you at a diner about killing people, you don’t stand up and walk out, do you sir?” Roth asked. “You don’t say, ‘This group is not for me,’ do you sir?”

    “No,” Harris answered.

    A “shoot house” that was intended to resemble Whitmer's second home was a key part of the Luther training weekend, according to the government. Harris admitted that he brought materials but said he didn’t build it with her house in mind.

    He didn't participate in an evening ride to Elk Rapids, Michigan, to scout Whitmer’s home and a bridge during that same weekend. Harris said he had purchased $200 of cheap beer and cigarettes so he could return to the camp and “get wasted” with others.

    continues.  



    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971

    Jury deliberations underway in Michigan Gov. Whitmer plot
    By JOHN FLESHER and ED WHITE
    2 hours ago

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A jury in Michigan started its deliberations Monday in the trial of four men accused of designing a plan to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

    The jury picked a leader Friday and went home for the weekend, following hours of closing arguments from lawyers on the 15th day of trial.

    Adam Fox, Barry Croft Jr., Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta can be found guilty of conspiracy, even if it wasn't possible to pull off the kidnapping in fall 2020, U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker said during jury instructions.

    A key factor, if the jury finds it, would be a “mutual understanding either spoken or unspoken” between two or more people in the group, the judge said.

    Fox, Croft and Harris also face charges related to weapons.

    “Deciding what the facts are is your job, not mine,” Jonker told the jury.

    Prosecutors said the plot was simmering for months, leavened by anti-government extremism and anger over Whitmer's COVID-19 restrictions. With undercover FBI agents and informants embedded in the group, the men trained with a crudely built “shoot house” to replicate her vacation home, prosecutors allege.

    There is no dispute that the alleged leaders, Fox and Croft, traveled to Elk Rapids, Michigan, to scout the governor's property and a nearby bridge that same weekend in September 2020.

    Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, who pleaded guilty and testified against the four men, were on the same road trip, along with covert investigators.

    Garbin said the goal was to get Whitmer before the fall election and create enough chaos to create a civil war and stop Joe Biden from winning the presidency. Much of the government's case came from secretly recorded conversations, group messages and social media posts.

    “You heard them in their own voices over and over again,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler told jurors, “talking about kidnapping her, murdering her, blowing up bridges and people and anybody who could get in their way. And it wasn't just talk.”

    The men were arrested in October 2020.

    Defense lawyers, especially those representing Fox and Croft, attacked the government's investigation and the use of a crucial informant, Dan Chappel. They claimed Chappel was the real leader, taking direction from the FBI and keeping the group on edge while recording them for months.

    continues.....


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971

    2 acquitted, jury hung on 2 more in Whitmer kidnap plot
    By JOHN FLESHER and ED WHITE
    48 mins ago

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A jury on Friday acquitted two men of all charges in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer but couldn’t reach verdicts against the two alleged leaders, a stunning defeat for the government after a weekslong trial that centered on a remarkable FBI sting operation just before the 2020 election.

    The results were announced a few hours after the jury said it was struggling to find unanimity on all 10 charges. The judge on the fifth day of deliberations told the panel to keep working, but jurors emerged again after lunch to say they still were deadlocked on some counts.

    Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were found not guilty of conspiracy. In addition, Harris was acquitted of charges related to explosives and a gun.

    The jury could not reach verdicts for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., which means the government can put them on trial again.

    “Obviously we’re disappointed with the outcome. We have two defendants that are awaiting trial and we’ll get back to work on that,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said, declining further comment.

    Harris and Caserta embraced their lawyers when U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker said they were free after 18 months in jail awaiting trial. Family members moments earlier gasped and cried with joy when the verdicts were read.

    Over 13 days of testimony, prosecutors offered evidence from undercover agents, a crucial informant and two men who pleaded guilty to the plot. Jurors also read and heard secretly recorded conversations, violent social media posts and chat messages.

    Ty Garbin, who pleaded guilty and is serving a six-year prison sentence, said the plan was to get Whitmer and cause enough chaos to trigger a civil war before the 2020 election , keeping Joe Biden from winning the presidency.

    The six including Garbin and Kaleb Franks, who also pleaded guilty and testified for the government, were arrested in October 2020 amid talk of raising $4,000 for an explosive to blow up a bridge and stymie any police response to a kidnapping, according to trial testimony.

    Prosecutors said the group was steeped in anti-government extremism and angry over Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions. There was evidence of a “shoot house” erected in Luther, Michigan, to practice going in and out of tight spaces at her vacation home.

    But defense lawyers portrayed the men as credulous weekend warriors prone to big, wild talk and often stoned on marijuana. They said agents and informants tricked and cajoled the men into targeting the governor.

    Harris was the only defendant to testify in his own defense, repeatedly telling jurors “absolutely not” when asked if he had targeted the governor.

    “I think what the FBI did is unconscionable," Caserta's attorney, Michael Hills, said outside court. "And I think the jury just sent them a message loud and clear that these tactics — we’re not going to condone what they’ve done here.”

    Fox's attorney, Christopher Gibbons, said the acquittals of Harris and Caserta demonstrated some serious shortcomings in the government's case.

    “We’ll be ready for another trial. ... We’ll eventually get what we wanted out of this, which is the truth and the justice I think Adam is entitled to,” Gibbons said.

    Deliberations resumed earlier Friday with a court employee handing over a large plastic bag containing pennies, known as exhibit 291. The pennies were requested before jurors went home Thursday.

    Pennies taped to a commercial-grade firework were intended to act like shrapnel, investigators said.

    According to evidence, a homemade explosive was detonated during training in September 2020, about a month before the men were arrested.

    In his closing argument on April 1, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler said Croft wanted to test the explosive as a possible weapon to use against Whitmer's security team. He quoted him as saying the pennies would be so hot they could go “right through your skin.”

    The trial covered 20 days since March 8, including jury selection, evidence, final arguments and jury deliberations.

    Croft is from Bear, Delaware, while the others are from Michigan.

    Whitmer, a Democrat, rarely talks publicly about the plot, though she referred to “surprises” during her term that seemed like “something out of fiction” when she filed for reelection on March 17.

    continues....


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,020
    jury of their peers. i did not expect any other outcome to be honest. 
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 20,827
    Nobody. Fucking. Cares.

    Shithole country with a shitty justice system.
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • Go BeaversGo Beavers Posts: 8,537
    jury of their peers. i did not expect any other outcome to be honest. 

    I've spent a good amount of time in Northern Michigan and was about to say the same thing.
  • static111static111 Posts: 4,889
    jury of their peers. i did not expect any other outcome to be honest. 

    I've spent a good amount of time in Northern Michigan and was about to say the same thing.
    I’m from northern Michigan and I’m not the least bit surprised.  It’s a beautiful place with some very backward people.
    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • Hi!Hi! Posts: 3,095
    static111 said:
    jury of their peers. i did not expect any other outcome to be honest. 

    I've spent a good amount of time in Northern Michigan and was about to say the same thing.
    I’m from northern Michigan and I’m not the least bit surprised.  It’s a beautiful place with some very backward people.
    Where were the jurors from? I don’t consider Grand Rapids northern.

    Detroit 2000, Detroit 2003 1-2, Grand Rapids VFC 2004, Philly 2005, Grand Rapids 2006, Detroit 2006, Cleveland 2006, Lollapalooza 2007, Detroit Eddie Solo 2011, Detroit 2014, Chicago 2016 1-2, Chicago 2018 1-2, Ohana Encore 2021 1-2, Chicago Eddie/Earthlings 2022 1-2, Nashville 2022, St. Louis 2022

  • cincybearcatcincybearcat Posts: 16,047
    Shouldn’t we merge this with the GOP thread already? Man what has happened to that party 
    hippiemom = goodness
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,020
    Shouldn’t we merge this with the GOP thread already? Man what has happened to that party 
    besides the racism, homophobia, and the fascism? 
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 36,203
    Shouldn’t we merge this with the GOP thread already? Man what has happened to that party 
    POOTWH and Putin on the ritz took it over lock, stock and barrel.
    09/15/1998 & 09/16/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/27/2008, Hartford; 06/28/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield; 08/18/2009, O2, London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA; 09/08/2022, Toronto, Ont; 09/11/2022, New York, NY; 09/14/2022, Camden, NJ; 09/02/2023, St. Paul, MN;

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  • Shouldn’t we merge this with the GOP thread already? Man what has happened to that party 
    You mean the party that is going to take the House, Senate, and POTUS coming years.  Time to buy more stock in cleanex and pacifiers… 
  • cincybearcatcincybearcat Posts: 16,047
    Shouldn’t we merge this with the GOP thread already? Man what has happened to that party 
    You mean the party that is going to take the House, Senate, and POTUS coming years.  Time to buy more stock in cleanex and pacifiers… 
    I really hope not unless there is a massive shift back to the party's core values and away from Trump values.  There are very few left that have any business calling themselves the party of Reagan and Lincoln.  Most of them are either bat shit crazy or complicit....as it seems most of their voters have become.
    hippiemom = goodness
  • BentleyspopBentleyspop Craft Beer Brewery, Colorado Posts: 10,502
    Shouldn’t we merge this with the GOP thread already? Man what has happened to that party 
    You mean the party that is going to take the House, Senate, and POTUS coming years.  Time to buy more stock in cleanex and pacifiers… 
    I really hope not unless there is a massive shift back to the party's core values and away from Trump values.  There are very few left that have any business calling themselves the party of Reagan and Lincoln.  Most of them are either bat shit crazy or complicit....as it seems most of their voters have become.
    It's the party of fear, hate, ignorance and lies. That openly encourages and supports public displays of anti-semitism,  homophobia, racism, trans-phobia, xenophobia,  etc
    And owning libs. Almost forgot the most important part of the Qop owning libs. 
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon Winnipeg Posts: 35,712
    Shouldn’t we merge this with the GOP thread already? Man what has happened to that party 
    You mean the party that is going to take the House, Senate, and POTUS coming years.  Time to buy more stock in cleanex and pacifiers… 
    yeah, that happens every 2 or 4 or 6 or 8 years, on both sides. it's a cycle. it's called pendulum politics. but some people think their side has actually "won" when it was merely their turn. 
    1993 Gimli Sun/Mudfest
    2003 Fargo
    2005 Winnipeg
    2011 Winnipeg
    2014 St. Paul




  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,020
    Shouldn’t we merge this with the GOP thread already? Man what has happened to that party 
    You mean the party that is going to take the House, Senate, and POTUS coming years.  Time to buy more stock in cleanex and pacifiers… 
    I really hope not unless there is a massive shift back to the party's core values and away from Trump values.  There are very few left that have any business calling themselves the party of Reagan and Lincoln.  Most of them are either bat shit crazy or complicit....as it seems most of their voters have become.
    it is all about branding. they have to call themselves the party of lincoln because he is widely considered the greatest of american presidents. funny thing is that many of the party's current voters would have probably seceded and taken up arms against lincoln and the north had they been alive in 1861.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
  • PJ_SoulPJ_Soul Vancouver, BC Posts: 49,404
    So disturbing.
    The part that really caught my attention was this: "The organization has promoted extreme political concepts including state secession and the repeal of the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments"

    Those include the right to vote for African Americans and women!!!! Radical indeed. Jesus fuck.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. ~ Desiderata
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971

     
    By MICHELLE R. SMITH
    2 hours ago

    BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — The crowd swayed on its feet, arms pumping, the beat of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” thumping in their chests. The people under the revival tent hooted as Michael Flynn strode across the stage, bopping and laughing, singing the refrain into his microphone and encouraging the audience to sing along to the transgressive rock anthem.

    "We’ll fight the powers that be just/Don’t pick our destiny ’cause/You don’t know us, you don’t belong!"

    The emcee introduced him as “America’s General,” but to those in the audience, Flynn is far more than that: martyr, hero, leader, patriot, warrior.

    The retired lieutenant general, former national security adviser, onetime anti-terrorism fighter, is now focused on his next task: building a movement centered on Christian nationalist ideas, where Christianity is at the center of American life and institutions.

    Flynn brought his fight — a struggle he calls both spiritual and political — last month to a church in Batavia, New York, where thousands of people paid anywhere from a few dollars to up to $500 to hear and absorb his message that the United States is facing an existential threat, and that to save the nation, his supporters must act.


    continues.....


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
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  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971

     
    Lengthy prison terms for 3 who aided Whitmer kidnap plotter
    By JOEY CAPPELLETTI and ED WHITE
    1 hour ago

    JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A judge on Thursday handed down the longest prison terms so far in the plot to kidnap Michigan's governor, sentencing three men who forged an early alliance with a leader of the scheme before the FBI broke it up in 2020.

    Joe Morrison, Pete Musico and Paul Bellar were not charged with having a direct role in the conspiracy. But they were members of a paramilitary group that trained with Adam Fox, who separately faces a possible life sentence on Dec. 27 for his federal conviction.

    The trio was convicted in October of providing material support for a terrorist act, which carries a maximum term of 20 years, and two other crimes.

    Musico was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years in prison, followed by his son-in-law Morrison at 10 years and Bellar at seven. They will be eligible for release after serving those terms, but any decision rests solely with the Michigan parole board.

    Speaking in a recorded video, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged Judge Thomas Wilson to "impose a sentence that meets the gravity of the damage they have done to our democracy.”

    “A conspiracy to kidnap and kill a sitting governor of the state of Michigan is a threat to democracy itself,” said Whitmer, who added that she now scans crowds for risks and worries “about the fate of everyone near me.”

    Wilson presided over the first batch of convictions in state court, following the high-profile conspiracy convictions of four others in federal court. Fox and Barry Croft Jr. were described as captains of an incredible plan to snatch Whitmer from her vacation home, seeking to inspire a U.S. civil war known as the “boogaloo.”

    Whitmer, a Democrat recently elected to a second term, was never physically harmed. Undercover FBI agents and informants were inside Fox’s group for months, and the scheme was broken up with 14 arrests in October 2020.

    Someone convicted of more than one crime in Michigan typically gets prison sentences that simply run at the same time. But Wilson took the unusual step of ordering consecutive sentences for Musico and Morrison, making their minimum stays longer. Besides a conviction for supporting terrorism, the three men were also convicted of a gun crime and for being members of a gang.

    A judge hands down the longest prison terms so far in the plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor (Dec. 15) (AP video: Mike Householder)

    Musico, Morrison and Bellar belonged to the Wolverine Watchmen. The three held gun training with Fox and shared his disgust for Whitmer, police and public officials, especially after COVID-19 restrictions disrupted the economy and triggered armed Capitol protests and anti-government belligerence.

    They were running a “terrorism training camp in Jackson County,” Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani told the judge.

    The men expressed remorse, moments after Whitmer in her video said they had failed to take responsibility.

    Musico, 45, cried while acknowledging a “lack of judgment.” Morrison, 28, said he was “renouncing, disavowing and detesting” anti-government ideologies. Bellar, 24, was the last to speak, publicly apologizing for abhorrent remarks about the governor.

    “I was caught up highly in the moment,” Bellar said. “I felt I had lost a lot of camaraderie after being discharged from the Army. That was the reason I joined the Wolverine Watchmen in the first place."

    Defense lawyers still plan vigorous appeals. They argued at trial that the men had cut ties with Fox before the Whitmer plot came into focus by late summer of 2020; Bellar had moved to South Carolina in July.

    They also didn’t travel with Fox to look for the governor’s second home or participate in a key training session inside a “shoot house” in Luther, Michigan.

    “If Mr. Bellar wanted to be part of the kidnapping of the governor, he would have stayed here. ... He could have held on like a rock, like a tick in that apartment,” defense attorney Andrew Kirkpatrick said.

    A jury, however, quickly returned guilty verdicts in October after hearing nine days of testimony, mostly evidence offered by federal agents and a pivotal FBI informant, Dan Chappel, who secretly recorded conversations.

    “The Wolverine Watchmen misappropriated the word ‘patriot’ all the time for a really unpatriotic objective, you know, killing fellow Americans. ... Dan is what really a patriot is," Doddamani said Thursday.

    Separately, in federal court in Grand Rapids, Fox and Croft face possible life sentences this month. Two men who pleaded guilty received substantial breaks: Ty Garbin is free after a 2 1/2-year prison term while Kaleb Franks was given a four-year sentence. Brandon Caserta and Daniel Harris were acquitted by a jury.

    When the plot was foiled, Whitmer blamed then-President Donald Trump, saying he had given "comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.” In August, after 19 months out of office, Trump said the kidnapping plan was a “fake deal.”

    ___

    White reported from Detroit. Joey Cappelletti is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971

     
    Co-leader of Whitmer kidnapping plot gets 16 years in prison
    By JOEY CAPPELLETTI and COREY WILLIAMS
    Today

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The co-leader of a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in prison for conspiring to abduct the Democrat and blow up a bridge to ease an escape.

    Adam Fox’s sentence is the longest of anyone convicted in the plot so far, though it's significantly shorter than the life sentence that prosecutors sought.

    Fox, 39, returned to federal court four months after he and Barry Croft Jr. were convicted of conspiracy charges at a second trial in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    They were accused of organizing a wild plot to whip up anti-government extremists just before the 2020 presidential election. Their arrest, as well as the capture of 12 others, was a stunning coda to a tumultuous year of racial strife and political turmoil in the U.S.

    The government said Croft offered bomb-making skills and ideology while Fox was the “driving force urging their recruits to take up arms, kidnap the governor and kill those who stood in their way.”

    But Judge Robert J. Jonker said that while Fox’s sentence was needed as a punishment and deterrent to future similar acts, the government’s request for life in prison is “not necessary to achieve those purposes.”

    “It’s too much. Something less than life gets the job done in this case,” Jonker said, later adding that 16 years behind bars “is still in my mind a very long time.”

    Jonker said he also considered the emotional baggage Whitmer has to carry due to the plot.

    “It undoubtedly affects other people who are in public office or are considering public office," he said. "They have to count the cost. That does need a forceful sentence from the court.”

    In addition to the prison sentence, Fox will have to serve five years of supervised release. He’ll also get credit for more than two years in custody since his arrest.

    “Responding to domestic terrorism plots has been a priority for the Department of Justice since its founding and we’re going to continue to spare no expense to make sure we disrupt plots like these,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge told reporters outside the courthouse following the sentencing.

    Fox wore orange prison clothes with long slicked-back hair and a full beard. He showed little reaction when the sentence was read.

    Daniel Harris, who was acquitted by a jury earlier this year for his involvement in the plot, sat next to Fox’s mother in the gallery and hugged her after the sentencing was read. Fox looked into the gallery multiple times, often mouthing words.

    He shook his head and repeatedly smirked while Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler spoke. Kessler said Fox’s smirking was a sign that he showed no regret.

    Fox and Croft were convicted at a second trial in August, months after a different Grand Rapids jury couldn't reach a verdict but acquitted Harris and one other man. Croft, a trucker from Bear, Delaware, will be sentenced Wednesday.

    In 2020, Fox and Croft met with like-minded provocateurs in Ohio, trained with weapons in Michigan and Wisconsin and took a ride to "put eyes" on Whitmer's vacation home with night-vision goggles, according to evidence.

    “People need to stop with the misplaced anger and place the anger where it should go, and that’s against our tyrannical ... government," Fox declared that spring, boiling over COVID-19 restrictions and perceived threats to gun ownership.

    Whitmer wasn't physically harmed. The FBI, which was secretly embedded in the group, broke things up by fall.

    “They had no real plan for what to do with the governor if they actually seized her. Paradoxically, this made them more dangerous, not less,” Kessler said in a court filing ahead of the hearing.

    At the time, Fox was living in the basement of a Grand Rapids-area vacuum shop, the site of clandestine meetings with members of a paramilitary group and an undercover FBI agent. His lawyer, Christopher Gibbons, said he was depressed, anxious and smoking marijuana daily.

    Gibbons had said a life sentence would be extreme.

    “My client stands on the record, maintains his innocence and he looks forward to getting it all before the panel at the Court of Appeals,” Gibbons told reporters after Tuesday’s sentencing.

    Jonker said there was nothing that made him think of Fox as a “natural leader,” but said conspiracies like the plot to kidnap Whitmer take "a lot of fuel” and that Fox “provided it.”

    “It’s important to recognize the likelihood of this ever happening, thank God, was low because law enforcement was on it early,” Jonker said. “I think the chances of this actually happening were incredibly remote.”

    In arguing Tuesday for a life sentence, Kessler said, “I think you could say that none of this would have happened if Mr. Fox was not involved.”

    “They wanted a second civil war or revolution,” Kessler said of the conspirators. “They wanted to ruin everything for everybody. This wasn’t about masks or about vaccines. They were talking about overthrowing the government before the coronavirus pandemic. They had enough guns and armor for a small war.”

    Fox was regularly exposed to “inflammatory rhetoric” by FBI informants, especially Army veteran Dan Chappel, who “manipulated not only Fox’s sense of ‘patriotism’ but also his need for friendship, acceptance and male approval," Gibbons said.

    Two men who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and testified against Fox and Croft received substantial breaks of between 2 1/2 years and four years behind bars.

    Three members of a paramilitary group that trained with Fox were convicted in October of providing material support for a terrorist act. Their sentences, handed down earlier this month in state court, ranged between 7 to 12 years.

    Five more are awaiting trial in Antrim County, where Whitmer's vacation home is located.

    When the plot was extinguished, Whitmer blamed then-President Donald Trump, saying he had given “comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.” In August, Trump called the kidnapping plan a “fake deal.”

    ___

    Ed White in Detroit contributed to this story. Joey Cappelletti is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971

     
    'Invasion' language continues after El Paso Walmart shooting
    By MORGAN LEE and PAUL J. WEBER
    Today

    EL PASO, Texas (AP) — From inside a Texas Walmart in 2019 during one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, Adria Gonzalez heard the gunman shout epithets against Mexicans as she helped panicked shoppers toward the store exits.

    She won't be there Wednesday when Patrick Crusius is expected to plead guilty in an El Paso courtroom to federal hate crime and firearms charges for the killing of 23 people. But she is angry federal prosecutors won't seek the death penalty over a racist attack that, according to investigators, was preceded by the shooter posting an online screed that warned of a “Hispanic invasion” of Texas.

    “It's a slap in the face for us Latinos," Gonzalez said.

    The expected guilty plea would amount to the first conviction in a case that has dragged on more than three years, and Crusius could still face the death penalty over separate state charges. But for Democrats and immigrant rights groups, there is a separate disappointment: How the description of an “invasion” on the U.S.-Mexico border has continued in American politics even after the El Paso shooting.

    From campaign stumps to hearings in Congress, Republicans have increasingly described high numbers of migrant crossings into the U.S. as an invasion threatening public safety and overwhelming border communities. Critics have condemned the characterization as anti-immigrant and dangerous in the aftermath of El Paso and other racially motivated attacks.

    The issue flared again Tuesday during a hearing on border security in the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, where Democrats accused the other side of fanning rhetoric against migrants. Republicans pushed back.

    "For my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who want to state that we’re using this hearing for white nationalism, I’m not doing that,” said Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, who is Black.

    The Aug. 3, 2019, shooting happened on a busy weekend at a Walmart that is typically popular with shoppers from Mexico and the U.S. In addition to those killed, more than two dozen were injured and hundreds more were scarred by being present or having a loved-one hurt.

    Many of the dead and wounded were citizens of Mexico.

    Crusius, 24, surrendered to police after the massacre, saying, “I’m the shooter,” and that he was targeting Mexicans, according to court records. Prosecutors have said he drove more than 10 hours from his hometown near Dallas to the largely-Latino border city. Crusius published a document online shortly before opening fire that said his shooting was in response to what he called “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

    Republican Gov. Greg Abbott was criticized for a fundraising mailer dated the day before the attack calling on his supporters to “defend Texas” from immigrants entering the country illegally. He responded at the time by saying “mistakes were made” over the mailer, though did not elaborate or assign fault.

    But Abbott has more recently embraced using the word “invasion” while authorizing a series of hardline immigration measures, including a letter to state police and the Texas National Guard in November with the subject line “Defend Texas Against Invasion."

    Abbott has defended his statements by saying he is invoking language included in the U.S. Constitution. Some legal scholars have called it a misreading of the clause.

    “If this is not an invasion, what is it?" Abbott told CNN's Jake Tapper during an interview last month. "Think about the volume of people coming across the border."

    Abbott's office did not return a request seeking comment Tuesday.

    Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district includes South Texas, said the language needs to stop. “We are not at war here,” he said.

    America's Voice, an immigration reform group, said it tracked more than 80 Republican candidates during last year's midterm elections who amplified what they called “invasion” and “replacement” conspiracies.

    “I think it’s been creeping over the years,” said Zachary Mueller, political director of America's Voice. "What I would say is that in 2021, there was a marked shift where it went from the fringes of the Republican Party into the mainstream of the Republican Party.”

    A database of mass killings in the U.S. since 2006 compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University shows that the number of deadly mass shootings linked to hate crimes has increased in recent years. Among 13 prominent instances, the 2019 Walmart shooting was the deadliest. The database tracks every mass killing — defined as four dead, not including the offender — in the U.S. since 2006.

    It remains unclear when Crusius might still face trial on separate state charges in Texas. Gonzalez, who has been credited with saving lives in the Walmart, believes the death penalty would send a message.

    Tending to her 3-month-old infant at home in El Paso, Gonzalez says she lives in fear of further attacks and now carries a small handgun with her for protection after completing firearms training.

    “This stays with us, the ones that were inside that Walmart shooting that August morning," she said. "We’re the ones that saw everything, and we’re still hurting inside.”

    ___

    Weber reported from Austin, Texas. Associated Press reporters Acacia Coronado and Jake Bleiberg in Dallas contributed to this report.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • Here is one that went under the radar.

    https://www.reuters.com/legal/fbi-arrest-two-including-neo-nazi-leader-plot-attack-baltimore-grid-2023-02-06/

    More and more attacks on our power grids.
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,020
    Here is one that went under the radar.

    https://www.reuters.com/legal/fbi-arrest-two-including-neo-nazi-leader-plot-attack-baltimore-grid-2023-02-06/

    More and more attacks on our power grids.
    this is getting scary. i guess if nothing else is working start going after the things that are going to inconvenience a large amount of people.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971

     
    Oregon, a hotbed of extremism, seeks to curb paramilitaries
    By ANDREW SELSKY
    Today

    SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge. Over 100 straight days of racial justice protests that turned downtown Portland into a battleground. A violent breach of the state Capitol. Clashes between gun-toting right-wingers and leftist militants.

    Over the past decade, Oregon experienced the sixth-highest number of extremist incidents in the nation, despite being 27th in population, according to an Oregon Secretary of State report. Now, the state Legislature is considering a bill that, experts say, would create the nation’s most comprehensive law against paramilitary activity.

    It would provide citizens and the state attorney general with civil remedies in court if armed members of a private paramilitary group interfere with, or intimidate, another person who is engaging in an activity they have a legal right to do, such as voting. A court could block paramilitary members from pursuing an activity if the state attorney general believed it would be illegal conduct.

    All 50 states prohibit private paramilitary organizations and/or paramilitary activity, but no other law creates civil remedies, said Mary McCord, an expert on terrorism and domestic extremism who helped craft the bill. The Oregon bill is also unique because it would allow people injured by private, unauthorized paramilitary activity to sue, she said.

    Opponents say the law would infringe on rights to freely associate and to bear arms.

    The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dacia Grayber, a Democrat from suburban Portland, said the proposed reforms “would make it harder for private paramilitaries to operate with impunity throughout Oregon, regardless of their ideology.”

    But dozens of conservative Oregonians, in written testimony, have expressed suspicion that the Democrat-controlled Legislature aims to pass a bill restricting the right to assemble and that the legislation would target right-wing armed groups like the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, but not black-clad anarchists who have vandalized downtown Portland and battled police.

    “This bill would clearly put restrictions on who could gather in a group and for what reasons they chose to,” wrote Matthew Holman, a resident of Coos Bay, a town on Oregon's southwest coast.

    The pioneering measure raises a host of issues, which lawmakers tried to parse in a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week:

    If residents are afraid to go to a park with their children while an armed militia group is present, could they later sue the group? What constitutes a paramilitary group? What is defined as being armed?

    Oregon Department of Justice attorney Carson Whitehead said the proposed law would not sanction a person for openly carrying firearms, which is constitutionally permissible. But if a paramilitary group went to a park knowing their presence would be intimidating, anyone afraid of also going to the park could sue for damages, Whitehead said.

    “This particular bill is not directed at individuals open-carrying. This is directed at armed, coordinated paramilitary activity,” added McCord, who is the executive director of Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.

    On the other side of the country in Vermont, a bill making it a crime to operate a paramilitary training camp got final approval from the state Senate on Friday. The measure, which senators earlier approved by a 29-1 vote, also allows state prosecutors to seek an injunction to close such a facility.

    “This bill gives the state the authority it needs to protect Vermonters from fringe actors looking to create civil disorder,” said state Sen. Philip Baruth, a Democrat and Progressive from Burlington.

    Baruth introduced the measure in response to a firearms training facility built without permits in the town of Pawlet. Neighbors frequently complained about gunfire coming from the Slate Ridge facility, calling it a menace. Baruth’s bill now goes to the Vermont House.

    Under the proposed Oregon law, a paramilitary group could range from ones that wear uniforms and insignia, like the Three Percenters, to a handful of people who act in a coordinated way with a command structure to engage in violence, McCord said.

    Rep. Rick Lewis, a Republican from Silverton, asked pointedly during the committee hearing whether rocks and frozen water bottles, which Portland police said had been thrown at them during demonstrations in 2021, would fall under the proposed law.

    A frozen water bottle and rocks could cause serious injury or death, so they would be considered dangerous weapons under Oregon law, responded Kimberly McCullough, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's legislative director.

    Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, whose jurisdiction encompasses Portland, testified in favor of the bill, expressing frustration that police often can't single out violent actors lurking among peaceful protesters.

    “Our current inability to get upstream of this violence before it starts leaves us vulnerable to organized criminal elements who enter into a protest environment with the express intention of escalating the situation into an assault or arson or a riot,” Schmidt said.

    McCord, the terrorism expert, said the measure would mark a milestone in the U.S., where the FBI has warned of a rapidly growing threat of homegrown violent extremism.

    “This bill as amended would be the most comprehensive statute to address unauthorized paramilitary activity that threatens civil rights,” she said.

    The tactic of enabling private residents to file lawsuits against paramilitary groups may be a novel one, but it has been used in other arenas.

    Environmental groups, for example, can sue businesses accused of violating federal pollution permits. In Texas, a 2021 law authorizes lawsuits against anyone who performs or aids in an abortion. In Missouri, a law allows citizens to sue local law enforcement officers who enforce federal gun laws.

    But the Oregon bill differs from these laws because only people who are injured by unlawful paramilitary activity could sue, McCord said. The Oregon bill also opens a path for a government enforcement mechanism, since it allows the state attorney general to seek a court injunction to prevent a planned paramilitary activity, she said.

    Whether the bill will pass is unclear. It needs a simple majority in both the House and Senate to go to Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek for her approval or veto. Kotek's spokesperson, Elisabeth Shepard, said the governor generally doesn't comment on pending legislation.

    ___

    Associated Press reporter Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vermont, contributed to this story.


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971
    goes here now ......


     
    Detective: Colorado Springs club shooter ran neo-Nazi site
    By COLLEEN SLEVIN
    41 mins ago

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The 22-year-old accused of carrying out the deadly mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs in November ran a neo-Nazi website and used gay and racial slurs while gaming online, a police detective testified Wednesday.

    Anderson Lee Aldrich used racial slurs while gaming, posted an image of a rifle scope trained on a gay pride parade and used a homophobic slur when referring to someone who was gay, Detective Rebecca Joines testified on the first day of a three-day trial to determine if there's enough evidence to warrant hate crime charges against Aldrich.

    Aldrich, who wore an orange jail jumpsuit at the hearing and cried at times, identifies as nonbinary and uses the pronouns they and them. Joines said another witness told investigators that Aldrich said their mother, Laura Voepel, is nonbinary and forced them to go to LGBTQ clubs.

    Joines said evidence also indicates that Aldrich was considering livestreaming the Nov. 19 attack at Club Q in which five people were killed and many others were injured.

    Earlier Wednesday, another detective testified about the two men credited with stopping the attack.

    Detective Ashton Gardner told the courtroom that surveillance video from inside the club showed that a Navy sailor, Petty Officer Second Class Thomas James, grabbed the red-hot barrel of Aldrich's AR-style rifle in an effort to wrench it away and burned his hand. He said James and Aldrich then tumbled off a landing and began struggling over Aldrich's handgun, which Aldrich fired at least once, shooting James in the ribs.

    After being shot, it is clear from the video that James was tiring, “but he continues to do what he can to subdue the suspect until police arrive,” Gardner testified, noting that James later gave up his spot in an ambulance to someone else who was injured.

    As James was grappling with Aldrich, Army veteran Richard Fierro rushed over to help, grabbing the rifle and throwing it, Gardner said. Fierro then used the handgun to beat Aldrich, telling officers, “I kept hitting him until you came.”

    Aldrich shook during the testimony about the people they shot and cried while being led out of court for the lunch break.

    James, who issued a statement days after the attack saying he “simply wanted to save the family that I found,” didn’t appear to be at the hearing. But Fierro, who sustained scrapes and bruises, sat in the back row. His daughter's boyfriend was killed in the attack.

    After the gunfire ended and police arrived, Aldrich tried to pin the shooting on one of the patrons who subdued them while also claiming that the shooter was hiding, Officer Connor Wallick testified. Officers didn’t believe it and shortly afterward confirmed that Aldrich, 22, was the shooter, he said.

    Police found several high-capacity magazines at the scene, including a drum-style one that carries 60 rounds and was empty and others that carry 40 rounds, Gasper said. A state law passed after the 2012 Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting bans magazines that carry more than 15 rounds.

    Unlike the other charges Aldrich faces, including murder and attempted murder, hate crime charges require prosecutors to present evidence of a motive — that Aldrich was driven by bias, either wholly or in part. That could include statements Aldrich made on social media or to other people, said Karen Steinhauser, a trial lawyer, former prosecutor and current University of Denver law professor who isn’t affiliated with the case.

    Coming into the hearing, prosecutors hadn't revealed anything about why they charged Aldrich with a hate crime.

    Although Aldrich identifies as nonbinary, someone who is a member of a protected group such as the LGBTQ-plus community can still be charged with a hate crime for targeting peers. Hate crime laws are focused on the victims, not the perpetrator.

    Prosecutors usually win preliminary hearings since the standard of proof is lower than at trial and the evidence must be viewed in a light most favorable to them. But defense lawyers sometimes still want to proceed with preliminary hearings because they offer the chance to question witnesses under oath, including investigators, and to learn more about the government’s case than might be available in the reports that likely have already been turned over to them, Steinhauser said.

    Surveillance video from that night showed Aldrich entering the club wearing a red T-shirt and tan ballistic vest while holding an AR-style rifle, with six magazines for the weapon and a pistol visible, said police Detective Jason Gasper. Soon after entering, Aldrich opened fire indiscriminately.

    At Aldrich’s apartment, investigators found gun-making materials, receipts for weapons and a drawing of the club. In Aldrich's mother's room, they found round gun range targets with holes in them, Gasper said. Aldrich's mother had taken them to the gun range.

    During cross-examination, Gasper said investigators found “concerning writings." But he said they didn't find a manifesto or a plan to target members of the LGBTQ community either on Aldrich or at their home.

    The night of the attack wasn't Aldrich's first visit to the club. An identification scanner showed that Aldrich had been there six times before the shooting, Detective Rebecca Joines testified. Aldrich's attorney also revealed during a recent hearing that Aldrich was at the club earlier on the night of the shooting for about 1 1/2 hours, but he didn't say why or elaborate.

    Questions were raised early on about whether authorities should have sought a red flag order to stop Aldrich from buying guns after Aldrich was arrested in 2021, when they threatened their grandparents and vowed to become the “next mass killer,” according to law enforcement documents.

    Authorities said two guns seized from Aldrich in that case — a ghost gun pistol and an MM 15 rifle — weren't returned. That case was dropped, in part because prosecutors couldn't track down Aldrich's grandparents and mother to testify, so Aldrich had no legal restrictions on buying guns.

    Former District Attorney George Brauchler, who prosecuted the Aurora theater mass shooting case but who isn’t affiliated with the case against Aldrich, said if Aldrich illegally obtained the gun or guns used in the attack, that would make it harder to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, if that's what Aldrich chooses to do. Circumventing gun laws would show that Aldrich knew right from wrong, as would showing that Aldrich was motivated by bias, he said.

    “Hate isn’t insane. Hate is a choice,” Brauchler said.

    Defense attorneys have not publicly raised insanity or Aldrich’s mental health as an issue and they haven't been asked to enter a plea yet. However, an insanity plea is one of the few options Brauchler said he sees for the defense.

    “It’s not a whodunit. It’s not a what happened. It’s a why did it happen,” he said.

    ___

    This story was updated to correct the spelling of Richard Fierro's last name, which was misspelled “Fiorro” in one instance.


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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,971


     
    US mass killings linked to extremism spiked over last decade
    By LINDSAY WHITEHURST
    2 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. mass killings linked to extremism over the past decade was at least three times higher than the total from any other 10-year period since the 1970s, according to a report by the Anti-Defamation League.

    The report, provided to The Associated Press ahead of its public release Thursday, also found that all extremist killings identified in 2022 were linked to right-wing extremism, with an especially high number linked to white supremacy. They include a racist mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 Black shoppers dead and a mass shooting that killed five people at an LGBT nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    “It is not an exaggeration to say that we live in an age of extremist mass killings,” the report from the group's Center on Extremism says.

    Between two and seven extremism-related mass killings occurred every decade from the 1970s to the 2000s, but in the 2010s that number skyrocketed to 21, the report found.

    The trend has since continued with five extremist mass killings in 2021 and 2022, as many as there were during the first decade of the new millennium.

    The number of victims has risen as well. Between 2010 and 2020, 164 people died in ideological extremist-related mass killings, according to the report. That’s much more than in any other decade except the 1990s, when the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City killed 168 people.

    Extremist killings are those carried out by people with ties to extreme movements and ideologies.

    Several factors combined to drive the numbers up between 2010 and 2020. There were shootings inspired by the rise of the Islamic State group as well as a handful targeting police officers after civilian shootings and others linked to the increasing promotion of violence by white supremacists, said Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the ADL’s Center on Extremism.

    The center tracks slayings linked to various forms of extremism in the United States and compiles them in an annual report. It tracked 25 extremism-related killings last year, a decrease from the 33 the year before.

    Ninety-three percent of the killings in 2022 were committed with firearms. The report also noted that no police officers were killed by extremists last year, for the first time since 2011.

    With the waning of the Islamic State group, the main threat in the near future will likely be white supremacist shooters, the report found. The increase in the number of mass killing attempts, meanwhile, is one of the most alarming trends in recent years, said Center on Extremism Vice President Oren Segal.

    “We cannot stand idly by and accept this as the new norm,” Segal said.


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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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