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Directed Fear and Hate

January 31st, 2011

The most recent case:

Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Army veteran from California who was reportedly angry at the U.S. government, was arrested by police in Michigan and charged with allegedly threatening to blow up a Mosque in Dearborn.

Dearborn police allegedly found Stockham inside his vehicle outside the Islamic Center of America with a load of M-80s in his trunk and other explosives, the Detroit News reported.

Note the common thread in virtually every homegrown terrorist or gunman over the past couple of decades: angry at the government. Often picks a target disliked and/or smeared by the right wing.

Just in the past year:

  • January 8, 2011: Jared Lee Loughner shoots U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others; angry at government.
  • December 9, 2010: Charles Turner Habermann made death threats against U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA); is arrested January 12; angry at local and federal governments, especially about taxes.
  • November 3, 2010: James Patock arrested in D.C. when police find several guns and ammunition, as well as propane tanks wired to four car batteries in his truck and trailer; angry at government, hated Obama.
  • July 30, 2010: Camp Hill prison guard Raymond Peake murdered a man for his gun, claiming he and another were stealing guns “for the purpose of overthrowing the federal government.”
  • July 18, 2010: Byron Williams captured in shootout in Oakland on his way to “start a revolution” against the government by killing people of the ACLU and Tides Foundation in San Francisco.
  • March 4, 2010—John Patrick Bedell fires on police officers at the entrance to the Pentagon; a Truther who is angry at the government.
  • February 18, 2010—Joseph Stack flew a plane into an IRS building; angry about taxes and at the government in general.

You will note that going back, from the man who shot three policemen in Pittsburgh in 2009 back to Timothy McVeigh and before, most cases of domestic terrorism are linked to people who are angry at and usually paranoid about the government.

So, naturally, right-wingers spouting such incendiary, vile, ridiculously fantastic accusations about the U.S. government (when controlled by Democrats) have nothing whatsoever to do with any of this. It’s just pure coincidence that this kind of violence spikes when a Democrat occupies the White House. The violent rhetoric and insane rantings about left-wing conspiracies has, we can be absolutely certain, no effect on these people at all. Yes. Right.

  1. Tim Kane
    February 1st, 2011 at 08:20 | #1


    Not sure how to reach you (didn’t dig up your email address). Apperently, Geoff may have been part of an organized campaign. Per this article from the guardian.


    The key is to what extent he chimed (or perhaps still attempts to chime) in on issues that only influenced big money.

    This makes perfect sense. He didn’t chime in consistently. So I wonder if he was only chiming in when it was an issue of interest to big money.

    The reason it makes sense to me, is because movement conservative’s can never win issues on the merits. It’s almost absurd to find an ordinary person advocating for policies that only benefit the top 2% of people at the expense of the general public. At best they debate using upside down logic: bad people are often poor, so poor people deserve no consideration, like affordable life insurance. That kind of thing.

    If this is true, you could consider reversing the lockout on Geoff, and trolls in general, for issues in which big money has no concern. What we have here, I suspect, regarding trolls, is debating in bad faith.

    On the other hand it would be interesting if you put up a number of post regarding big money interests to see if it drew in troll like behavior.

    Sorry to use this thread to post on something at best tangential to the issue.

  2. Troy
    February 1st, 2011 at 09:39 | #2

    most cases of domestic terrorism are linked to people who are angry at and usually paranoid about the government.

    And the nutter who shot up the Holocaust Museum in 2009 . . . convicted in the 80s of plotting to kidnap the Federal Reserve Board.

    And the 2008 Unitarian church shooting.

    10% of this country is simply nutso, and that goes both ways, left and right.

    Thousands if not millions on the left are attracted to the “Truther” BS, that eg. the WTC was wired for demolition.

    Alex Jones and the Lyndon Larouche axis has captured those attracted to the conspiracy theories from that angle.

    The right has had the benefit of 40 years of a building alternative narrative funded by the billionaires like Coors, the Kochs, Mellon-Scaife, etc.

    This nexus controls the neocon apparatus (AEI, Weekly Standard) and is in cahoots with the general “pro-family” Christian Right — anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-feminism.

    It’s almost absurd to find an ordinary person advocating for policies that only benefit the top 2% of people at the expense of the general public.

    well, “social democracy” can go two ways, as Europe is showing us now.

    If you do it wrong, you get Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, where the state is handing out promises that it’s not able to fulfill.

    Japan is arguably heading in that direction, and so is the US.

    Then you get the high-tax, high-service mixed economies of Scandinavia and Germany. These are working better, but require an enlightened electorate willing to put up with the high-tax part.

    So if you’re in the say the top 20% of the income pile you’d be generally better off with less government intervention not more.

    It’s also easy to convince another 20% bloc somewhere in the lower four quintiles that it’s government handouts distorting the economy and making it harder for them to succeed.

    This was crystal-clear when there were outright racial quotas on eg. entry to medical school.


    This is not a new political arrangement



  3. ef
    February 9th, 2011 at 21:42 | #3

    Without getting into the specifics of the not-so-right-wing pasts of some of the other cases you highlight:

    Roger Stockham is a self-identified Muslim convert that once tried to hijack a plane to take himself and his son to Iran after the overthrow of the Shah. He has quite a past, but most recently he’s been an associate of Code Pink and a supporter of Wikileaks and Bradley Manning. He was “angry at the government” over the Iraq war. Oh, he also conversed in Arabic with the bartender that phoned him in to the police, lest you think his conversion was less than committed.

    Not exactly your typical right-wing islamophobe type.

    As troy points out “angry at the government” is a descriptor that defies left-right pigeonholing.

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