Tag Archives | Extremism

Destroy the World… and Feel Good About It

Derrick Jensen identifies the world’s environmental extremists (spoiler: they’re capitalists) at Fair Observer:

I have been sometimes labeled an environmental extremist, primarily because I believe the real world is more important than the economy, and because I believe we should do whatever is necessary to stop this extractive culture from killing the planet that is our only home.

FPL Power Plant Smokestack Explosion

Labeling someone an extremist is a standard rhetorical device to demonize the “extremist” and dismiss the person’s perspective. It’s kind of the loco-motion of the rhetoric world in that everybody’s doing it. The Nazis said the Jews were extremists. Slavers said abolitionists were extremists. The Founding Fathers of the United States complained of how poorly the Indians were treating them as they stole the Indians’ land.

Today, the US bombs extremists all over the world, oftentimes using as their reasoning the fact that extremists want to bomb the Americans, whom they label as extremists.

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The Internet is Making People Mad as Hell


Back in September of 2014, Newsweek ran this article: The West’s Greatest Threat is the ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorist, Say Security Experts. The article mentions that, “Jean-Pierre Filiu, professor of Middle East studies at Paris School of International Affairs…is sceptical about the term ‘lone wolf’ in its purest sense, because only very rare cases – like Norway’s Anders Breivik – involve no outside help at all, but he says the threat from IS figures is becoming big.”

The term “outside help” is left undefined.

Last week, I came across this article: GOP senator warns of threat of ‘imminent’ terror plots. “…Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, said he has no doubt a lone wolf attack will eventually be successful in the U.S. The terror threat environment has shifted from terrorist groups focusing on complex terror plots like the 9/11 attacks to smaller-scale attacks carried out by lone wolves who may have been inspired by groups like ISIS.” It basically says that since individual (and presumably Isis-inspired Muslim) terrorists don’t coordinate with anyone else, they are simply harder to anticipate, and capable of “slipping through the cracks” in security.… Read the rest

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From the Bacon’s rebellion to the Boston Bombing: How well do you know American extremism? a quiz

The Christian Science Monitor has a rather thorough quiz on the history of homegrown extremism in the United States.  This test surprised me as it sets high standards for a history of extremism—broad in its scope between history and more modern events.

I got a 48% on the quiz at CSMonitor. The average person gets a 45%. Click here to take the quiz.

Related: The New Face of the KKK: Black, Jewish and Gay.

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The Right to Think Dangerous Thoughts

Pic: Felipe Micaroni Lalle

Gabe Rottman writes at the ACLU’s Blog of Rights:

Earlier this month, the White House blogged about its commitment to empower “members of the public to protect themselves against the full range of online threats, including online radicalization to violence,” and announced the creation of a new interagency working group for that purpose. The working group will coordinate the government’s efforts and develop plans—alongside private industry—to “implement an Internet safety approach to address online extremism.”

The White House initiative raises a basic question: Is it appropriate for the government (in cahoots with private industry) to repurpose programs that, for instance, urge consumers to install anti-virus software and protect their credit card information into something that warns them against “bad” ideas?

My colleagues Mike German and Dena Sher have written at length about how “radicalization” models assume, falsely, that you can predict future violence from present sympathies for “radical” or “extreme” beliefs.

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The Problem With Moderates

Plato And AristotleIn a world of ever-widening extremes – from weather patterns to wealth disparities to polarized politics – what does it mean to be a moderate? More specifically, how does this term apply to religion?

Viewed in the context of most everyday activities and situations and in line with Aristotle’s idea of the “Golden Mean” (which states that virtue lies at the midpoint between two vices; i.e. courage lies between cowardice and recklessness, etc.), it could be said that a moderate stance is generally better than an extremist one. For example, being a moderate drinker seems to strike a pretty good balance between being healthy and having fun, as opposed to the opposite extremes of being an ascetic teetotaler or a raging alcoholic. Likewise, being politically moderate, if nothing else, tends to generate far less strife during dinner conversations amid mixed company or at large family gatherings.

Then again, for some activities moderate is still too far from the bell curve – particularly in cases where conventional wisdom has taken up residence at one of the distant ends of the spectrum of possibilities. … Read the rest

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Ron Paul and Right Wing Extremists: It’s Complicated

Lew Rockwell. Photo: Mises Institute

Lew Rockwell. Photo: Mises Institute

Now that Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy is undeniably viable, no stone can go unturned in the effort to paint him as an extremist. Jim Rutenberg and Serge F. Kovalesky for the New York Times:

The American Free Press, which markets books like “The Invention of the Jewish People” and “March of the Titans: A History of the White Race,” is urging its subscribers to help it send hundreds of copies of Ron Paul’s collected speeches to voters in New Hampshire. The book, it promises, will “Help Dr. Ron Paul Win the G.O.P. Nomination in 2012!”

Don Black, director of the white nationalist Web site Stormfront, said in an interview that several dozen of his members were volunteering for Mr. Paul’s presidential campaign, and a site forum titled “Why is Ron Paul such a favorite here?” has no fewer than 24 pages of comments.

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The Muslim ‘Radicalization’ Myth Debunked

Justin Elliot at Salon.com talks with the author of a report from the Brennan Center for Justice on the difference between Peter King’s hysterical homeland security hearings and actual work to combat terrorism:

When Rep. Peter King’s controversial hearing on Muslim “radicalization” finally convened on Thursday, members of Congress had the opportunity to take some good shots at each other, and the relatives of two Americans who became extremists gave emotional testimony about their experiences.

What the hearing did not feature was any serious, evidence-based consideration of the actual issue of so-called homegrown terrorism by Muslim Americans.

King and other Republicans spent a lot of time going after the Muslim group CAIR and defending themselves from Democratic complaints that the hearing was bigoted. As TPM put it: “Peter King Hearing Focuses On Whether Peter King Hearing Was a Good Idea.”

As it turns out, there is rigorous academic work being done on the “radicalization” issue.

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Sarah Palin Calls Criticism “Blood Libel”

Sarah Palin has posted a video statement about the shootings in Arizona by Jared Loughner, entitled "America's Enduring Strength," on her new Vimeo Channel. She accuses journalists of a "Blood Libel" against her, calling it "reprehensible": [UPDATE from disinfo ed.: Presumably realizing how awful she sounds, Mrs. Palin has since made the Vimeo stream "private" so we have replaced it with a YouTube stream, but don't be surprised if she has it taken down.]
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Finally, Some Goddamn Truth Expressed on U.S. TV News

Don't freak with the BS topic of yesterday in this clip, wait until around 2:45 minutes in where Dylan Ratigan (the only mainstream journalist as far as I'm concerned has been calling out these Wall Street crooks for some time) goes on a well-deserved rant on MSNBC's Morning Joe regarding the unsaid truth about America's "War on Terror" — he directly calls out the "extraordinary failure of our politicians and our media" to explain the money route behind these operations. Thank you, Mr. Ratigan.
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