Every Now And Then The Tree Of Sanity Must Be Refreshed With The Blood Of Right Wing Idiots

LOS ANGELES TIMES: As Greg Mitchell asks at the Nation, isn’t it about time we started calling such right-wing extremists what they are: terrorists? […] The violence from the far right has surged and ebbed for two generations now. The sovereign citizen movement began among the white-supremacist crowd in the 1970s and blossomed in the 1980s before fading somewhat (Timothy McVeigh being a notable exception). It seems to be surging again; the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks extremist groups, lists 43 violent showdowns between police and extremists from 2009 through 2013. “Of these 43 incidents, fully 39 of them involved extremists sporting some sort of extreme right-wing ideology,” the ADL says. “White supremacists took part in 21 incidents, while anti-government extremists were involved in 17 more. An anti-Muslim extremist was involved in one incident (the other four incidents included one with a left-wing extremist and three with domestic Islamic extremists). In these shooting incidents, the extremists shot 30 officers, 14 fatally. Many other officers sustained non-gunfire injuries during some of these encounters.” The common factor, beyond a right-wing anti-government ideology? Lots and lots and lots of guns and ammunition. MORE

MOTHER JONES: Two years before Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda, allegedly gunned down two police officers and a third person in a Las Vegas shooting spree, before taking their own lives, he pondered when it might be justified to kill law enforcement officers on the website of conspiracy-peddling radio personality Alex Jones. In a May 28, 2012, post titled, “The Police (To Kill Or Not To Kill?)” Miller wrote on Jones’ Infowars.com website: “I live in Indiana and recently a law was passed named the right to resist law. As i can make out from it, if a police officer kicks in my door and is not there legally, then I may shoot him.” His posts on Infowars depict an angry, down-on-his-luck man who blamed his woes—decaying teeth, lack of health insurance, and inability to find work—on the tyranny of government. (Alex Jones has insisted the shooting spree Miller and his wife allegely carried out was “absolutely staged” by the federal government.) MORE

LAS VEGAS SUN: Miller’s online presence over the last year includes dozens of Facebook posts and 20 YouTube videos posted under the username USATruePatriot. The posts and videos depict Miller as a man frustrated with the government to the point where he considered violence. “To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished with bloodshed,” Miller wrote in a lengthy rant posted on June 2. One video posted on Oct. 15, 2012 shows Miller dressed up in full face make-up as the Joker, Batman’s comic book nemesis. The video, titled “joker for president” shows a costumed Miller ranting in front of an American flag. “Year after year I’ve watched you Americans, my fellow citizens, vote for tyranny,” Miller said. “His other online posts mention having visited the Bundy ranch during Cliven Bundy’s showdown with the federal government in April. They also touch on topics ranging from Benghazi to gun rights to the militia movement. MORE

RELATED: On April 9, he wrote on Facebook:

I will be supporting Clive Bundy and his family from Federal Government slaughter. This is the next Waco! His ranch is under seige right now! The federal gov is stealing his cattle! Arresting his family and beating on them! We must do something. I

During his time on Bundy’s ranch, he told a reporter: “I feel sorry for any federal agents that want to come in here and try to push us around or anything like that. I really don’t want violence a href=”http://www.phawker.com/2014/06/10/every-now-and-then-the-tree-of-sanity-must-be-refreshed-with-the-blood-of-right-wing-idiots/jerad-miller/” rel=”attachment wp-att-73129″>toward them, but if they’re gonna come bring violence to us, if that’s the language they want to speak, we’ll learn it.” Not long after the couple made their pilgrimage to Bundy’s ranch, Miller noted on Facebook that he and his wife were asked to leave because of his criminal past:

I was out there but they told me and my wife to leave because I am a felon. They don’t seem to understand that they are all felons now for intimidating law enforcement with deadly weapons. So don’t tell you that they need people. We sold everything we had to buy supplies and quit our jobs to be there 24/7. How dare you ask for help and shun us dedicated patriots.

Jerad Miller’s Facebook “likes” include the NRA, American Patriot Media Network, Support the 2nd Amendment, The Patriot Party, Rand Paul 2016, Ron Paul, the Washington Examiner, Legalize Weed, Draft Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Heritage Foundation, FreedomWorks, American Crossroads, and Allen West. MORE

RELATED: The involvement of armed militiamen—and Bundy’s promise to “do whatever it takes” to reclaim his cattle—doesn’t appear to phase conservative activists who have turned Bundy into a cause célèbre. Before this weekend’s confrontation, National Review Online, Fox & Friends, and American Thinker all blamed the government for mounting tensions. Two groups affiliated with Americans for Prosperity, a political organization funded primarily by the Koch brothers, spent the weekend tweeting their support for Bundy, Media Matters reported. Sean Hannity, who on Friday hailed Bundy as a capitalist hero—”When your cattle graze there, that keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer”—invited Bundy back on the air Monday for a second, easygoing interview in which he made only glancing reference to the armed confrontation. MORE

RELATED: A few days later, Miller shared a photo that proclaimed, “The police have never attacked a pro gun rally.”  On her YouTube page, Amanda Miller liked videos called, “Shooting Cops,” “Citizens Can Shoot Police,” and “When Is It Okay To Shoot a Cop.” She posted a video of Jerad Miller interviewing people at the Bundy ranch. Her Facebook page contains photos of a woman posing with guns and she shared a picture of the “best coffee table ever”—it was a table with a drawer full of guns. MORE

SALON: [Five years ago], I thought it might be worth asking whether Fox’s increasingly shrill attacks on Obama could be contributing to a spike in violent rhetoric, and actual violence. For context, my conversation with O’Reilly wasn’t just about Tiller: an African American security guard at Washington D.C.’s Holocaust museum, Stephen Tyrone Johns, had just been murdered by a white supremacist birther. That came months after a fan of Glenn Beck (then at Fox) murdered four police officers in Pittsburgh. We were heading into a summer of hate that would soon spawn “town hells” trashing Democrats (and moderate Republicans) over healthcare reform, and gun-carrying “patriots” waving Gadsden flags at Obama rallies.  I thought Fox might want to take a look at its role in fomenting an unhinged opposition that was starting to move from rhetoric to violence. Of course, I was wrong.

Five years later, just as Fox promoted anti-Obama extremism in the first months of his presidency, so did it try to turn Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters into the second coming of the American Revolution, rising against the “tyrant” in the White House. Over 12 days in April, Fox spent almost five hours covering the ranch standoff, led by Sean Hannity. (To be fair to O’Reilly, he actually challenged one Bundy backer he interviewed. Some Republican lawmakers joined in: Nevada Sen. Dean Heller called the Bundy Ranch defenders “patriots,” and 2016 contenders like Rand Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry also jumped on the Bundy bandwagon – only to disembark when their hero made predictably racist statements about “the Negro.” They never explained – and they never were forced to explain – why they endorsed an armed militia threatening federal agents with violence, merely because those agents were threatening to enforce the law.

And now we have the Millers, who were, to be fair, too extreme for even the Bundy encampment; apparently Jerad Miller was turned away because he had a felony record. But it’s not just the Millers; they were almost upstaged in the past week by “sovereign citizen” Dennis Marx, who shot a sheriff’s deputy and planned to take over the courthouse in Forsyth County, Georgia, before he was killed by police. The sovereign citizen “movement” doesn’t acknowledge the legitimacy of the U.S. government. (Oh, and by the way, Forsyth County was the site of an early 20th century race riot which resulted in 98 percent of its black population moving away. Fun fact.) Meanwhile, the parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are facing what the FBI considers credible death threats for the crime of trying to get their son out of captivity by the Taliban. The beat goes on. MORE

RELATED: The sovereign citizen movement is a loose grouping of American litigants, commentators, tax protesters and financial scheme promoters. Self-described sovereign citizens take the position that they are answerable only to common law and are not subject to any statutes or proceedings at the federal, state, or municipal levels, or that they do not recognize U.S. currency and that they are “free of any legal constraints”.[1][2][3] They especially reject most forms of taxation as illegitimate.[4] Participants in the movement argue this concept in opposition to “federal citizens” who, they say, have unknowingly forfeited their rights by accepting some aspect of federal law.[5] Many members of the sovereign citizen movement believe that the U.S. Government is illegitimate.[6] JJ MacNab, who writes for Forbes about anti-government extremism, describes the sovereign citizen movement as consisting of individuals who believe that the County Sheriff is the most powerful law enforcement officer in the country, with authority superior to that of any federal agent, elected official, or local law-enforcement.[7] The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) classifies some sovereign citizens (“sovereign citizen extremists”) as a domestic terrorist movement.[8] In 2010 the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) estimated that approximately 100,000 Americans were “hard-core sovereign believers” with another 200,000 “just starting out by testing sovereign techniques for resisting everything from speeding tickets to drug charges.”[9] MORE