Tonight, come out to Murphy's Law in Bridgeport, show your support for Jim Himes and celebrate the holiday season by matching your trivia skills with several of the best progressive bloggers in Connecticut.
OH THANK GOODNESSS I finally finished my research project for the University. It's going to take months to get the writings of Henry James and Virginia Woolf out of my mind...
Since that's behind me, I'm going to take some time to update this site, deal with more legal mumble-jumble, and finish my follow-up to stories as I promised.
Now, I'm off to shoveling my sidewalks before the next blast of snow hits us.
BTW: For those who've emailed me, the local access show Community Forum wasn't posted this week because it's a repeat show. I had no idea that the response from John Gogliettino's shows would be so great, I think he'll be happy to hear the news when I pass the info to him.
Since we're in the midst of another winter storm, I thought I'd try the live/open thread thing again.
If you're leaving work early, leave a comment here and let everyone know how the roads are out there. I'll add your comments to this thread for all to read as well as post photos and video footage of the conditions outside.
1:00 PM: From the News Channel 8 noon broadcast, here's Dr. Mel's forecast for the area.
2:00 PM: The the storm changing from snow to a mix of snow and ice, roads are REALLY bad right now. If you don't have to be out and about, stay at home and watch the Mitchell Report on steroids in Baseball (Clemens whacking Piazza upside the head back in '99-2000 makes sense seeing that he was "juiced" up at the time).
Here's a report from a reader who was around in the 1st Ward:
I tried to publish and haloscan had fits. I was outdoors when the mail arrived. The postman said secondary roads are pretty much all terrible and getting very icy. He said the plows are out. (This conversation was around 2pm DHS area.)
3:45 PM: The roads are REALLY bad so again, if you don't need to be out, stay in. The snow isn't necessarily the big problem but rather the mix of ice and snow, which is making driving on the side roads a pain in the ass.
Here's another report from a reader who resides in the third ward:
Seems like the precipitation has turned into mostly frozen rain and sleet. The roads coming home were pretty bad, but as long as people take it real slow, it should be okay. I saw a lot of plows and sanders out there, but, it didn't seem to be making a huge dent in the road conditions. I did not witness any accidents, but stuck mainly to the backroads from Kenosia to Virginia.
4:30 PM: Eugene, you're getting better with the videocamera (the audio overlay o the video is a nice touch) but PLEASE tell me you weren't driving and filming at the SAME TIME! Check out his footage of the storm over at the News-Times site.
6:00 PM: As indicated by the radar, it seems like we're almost in the clear but WHOA, are the side roads bad. Sorry for the lack of photos but I'll make up for the lack of images when the next storm hits us on Saturday.
Here's another report from the 2nd Ward:
The took forever to travel from Waterbury to Danbury and when I finally made it to exit 6, it took me almost another 1/2 an hour to make it home. I thought of ctblogger when I passed Elmer's Diner thinking who would be the first person to get hit attempting to dart across North Street.
Expect to hear more comments like this about Romney and Mormonism
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 Time: 6:18 PM
I'd like for you to meet political commentator Lawrence O'Donnell.
For those who don't know O'Donnell is also a person who makes frequent appearances o television shows such as NBC's The West Wing and HBO's show "Big Love", a series about an Utah polygamist with three wives.
Coming on the heels of the former Massachusetts governor lack-luster speech in Texas last week, On Sunday, O'Donnell's launched into what is considered the most vicious attack against Mark Nielsen's Mayor Mark Boughton's presidential man Mitt Romney and the racism behind Mormonism to date...and I have a feeling that this won't be the last we hear of people really taking Romney to task over his faith (seeing that Mormons distanced themselves from their past racist views about blacks in 1978 when Mitt was 30 years old.
So Mitt Romney cited the civil rights movement as an example of the sort of common faith-based moral causes that bring people of all faiths together. Maybe he needs to re-read about church history. Here's the April 13, 1959 Time:
Whatever they may do or leave undone about their Negro brethren, most U.S. churches hold that all men are equal before God. One notable exception: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Book of Mormon teaches that the colored races are descendants of the evil children of Laman and Lemuel, who impiously warred against the good children of Nephi and received their pigmented skin as punishment. Last week a Utah State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights drew on this Mormon scripture in a scathing report on the state of the tiny nonwhite minority in Utah.
Now, obviously, they've jettisoned that these days and that's not what Mitt Romney believes. But it highlights out vacuous this notion of an all-encompassing universal faith-and-goodness is. Most major religions do espouse a mostly-admirable moral creed. But old-style Mormon teaching on "the evil children of Laman and Lemuel" isn't admirable. Arresting people for naming a teddy bear "Mohammed" isn't admirable. Settlers who believe the entire West Bank is God's gift to the Jewish people aren't admirable.
Food for thought...and trust me, it would be WORSE from the Republicans if we were talking about a Democratic candidate who was an atheist.
In College Station, Romney faced an audience packed with believers of the political kind. He too spoke about religious freedom, but took no questions and barely even mentioned Mormonism. His stated excuse was that to talk about it would violate the spirit of the Constitution. He cited Kennedy.
But no one asked Kennedy about transubstantiation or why he ate fish on Fridays. There was really only one question: "Would the pope in Rome or any cardinals or bishops in America tell him what to do?"
Kennedy knew it was a fair question. The Catholic Church has long been interested in civics. You may recall the Holy Roman Empire; or the more recent battles in Ireland over divorce and contraception; or in Latin America over social justice. Kennedy flatly promised to be his own man.
Mormons have a number of striking beliefs: that American Indians are the lost tribes of Israel; that Jesus visited them in Missouri and will return there at the end of the world; that God was once a man and lives in a distant solar system.
It's none of my business. My faith may strike some as odd, including especially the notion that anyone but me would care about my salvation. It's amazing how many people you meet who think every story but theirs is ridiculous.
But the Church of Latter-day Saints is also interested in politics. The first Mormon to run for president was Joseph Smith, the first Mormon. From the start, his relations with government were rocky, often openly hostile. Vigilantes killed him before he had a chance to show the seriousness of his candidacy.
There is much in Mormon literature about the imminent collapse of America's government and the inevitability of Mormon rule of North America. I haven't a clue as to the relevant views of Romney or other prominent Mormons. (Mormons aren't much for freedom of information.)
Ours is an era in which people with strong opinions about the end of time have influenced foreign policy. It is also an era in which many seek, through politics, the virtual amalgamation of religion and the state.
People need to know if a candidate sees separation of church and state as a sometime thing. Romney says it has in fact of late gone too far. Those of us who see the Bush years differently are entitled to some elaboration.
Romney wants to reassure evangelicals that their religion would play a major role in his government. He dodges questions about his faith less out of respect for the Constitution than concern that doctrinal differences with them would be too hard to bridge.
John Kennedy read his moment brilliantly, but he couldn't know that the future he ceaselessly pondered would be lost to the atavism and fear he confronted that day in Houston. A half-century later, Mitt Romney invoked enlightened and inclusive leadership — but Romney, it turns out, is no Jack Kennedy and his speech was but the bookend of an era.
UPDATE 2: As O'Donnell's comment spreads across the internet, more people are coming out to back him up. Here's what Ryan Davis of The Huffington Post had to say:
Watching "The McLaughlin Group" on Sunday, I was impressed by Lawrence O'Donnell's fearless attack on the origins of Mormonism. I was also surprised to read Jason Linkins' piece, on this very blog, criticizing O'Donnell for a "radical assault on Mormonism" and claiming that he "lost his mind." Linkins seems shocked that someone would be so angry, but I totally understand O'Donnell - racism makes me angry too.
What Linkins completely fails to address is that nothing O'Donnell said about the Mormon faith is incorrect. Let's break down his statements:
...this man stood there and said to you "this is the faith of my fathers." And you, and none of these commentators who liked this speech realized that the faith of his fathers is a racist faith. As of 1978 it was an officially racist faith, and for political convenience in 1978 it switched. And it said "OK, black people can be in this church." He believes, if he believes the faith of his fathers, that black people are black because in heaven they turned away from God, in this demented, Scientology-like notion of what was going on in heaven before the creation of the earth.
None of this is inaccurate. It was assumed that "blacks inherited the curse of Ham and the curse of Cain" and it wasn't until a "divine revelation" in 1978 by LDS Church President Spencer Kimball that they were allowed to be full members of the Mormon church. Mitt Romney was thirty-one years old in 1978; he's been a practicing Mormon all his life ("My faith is the faith of my fathers - I will be true to them and to my beliefs" is what he declared last week), so either he's lying about his commitment to his faith, or he believed this racist nonsense for the first 31 years of his life. What's more, Wikipedia tells us that in the mid-1960s, a full decade before Mormonism's divine racial correction in 1978, "Romney served in France for 30 months as a missionary for LDS Church." As a missionary for the Mormon faith, did Romney fully buy into Mormon doctrine of that time? These are highly pertinent questions for a man who wishes to lead a multiracial United States.
O'Donnell then goes on to claim that Mormonism was founded by a "fraudulent criminal." He's right, of course. Joseph Smith, Jr. was the charlatan who founded Mormonism; he's also a child molester by today's standards (his thirty-plus wives included seven minors: two 14-year-olds, two 16-year-olds and three 17-year-olds). The story of Smith's "revelation" is so bizarre and silly that I won't repeat it; you'd think I was making it up. You can read it all here, as told by Christopher Hitchens, if you have any interest in wading through all the revelations and counter-revelations, angels, gold tablets, and the true origin of Native Americans according to Mormonism (their account of Native American history, incidentally, is yet another horrifying facet of the Mormon doctrine of white supremacy).
Mormons were fairly pro-slavery, with one of their founding members quoted as saying "You must not think, from what I say, that I am opposed to slavery. No! The negro is damned, and is to serve his master till God chooses to remove the curse of Ham..." Those were the words of Brigham Young, who incidentally has a college named after him in Utah, which incidentally graduated a certain Mitt Romney in 1971.
I'll resist dredging further into the swampland of Mormon doctrine; I personally think debating religious doctrine is sort of like trying to decide whether Tim Burton's Batman or Chris Nolan's Batman Begins gets closer to the truth of Batman's "actual origins." (The answer is obviously the latter.)
I don't understand Linkins' desire to defend a church with such a sordid history, a history that was at odds with our vision of American justice and equality as recently as 1978. Their beliefs make me as angry as O'Donnell was, and I'm glad he was gutsy enough to say what he said.
Hartford community groups braved the cold Monday to protest the November Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid in which 21 alleged illegal immigrants from the city’s Brazilian community were arrested.
But at least one prominent member of the Brazilian community launched her own anti-protest as she march alongside the more than 50 protestors calling for an end to the ICE raids. Ester Sanches-Naek, president of the Shaheen Brazilian Community Center said, “The ICE was doing their job.” Draped in a Brazilian flag, Sanches-Naek held a sign thanking the Hartford Police for not taking away Brazilian woman and children.
The 21 alleged illegal Brazilian immigrants were arrested by Hartford police and federal immigration agents, who are working together to find a Brazilian-born man wanted on charges of attempted murder and robbery.
As the rally was wrapping up, Sanches-Naek asked for the microphone but was denied an opportunity to convey her message to the crowd there to protest the immigration raids.
Councilman-elect Luis Cotto, who joined Monday’s protest, said Sanches-Naek wants to go back to the way things were before the raids, but that’s not going to happen. He said Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts said it’s possible that more immigrants here illegally may be arrested during the course of the ongoing investigation of an attempted murder, which has local police cooperating with ICE officials.
Labor representatives were among the speakers at the rally.
“We are a force to be reckoned with,” Rochelle Palache of SEIU told the crowd outside the federal building following a four-block march down Main Street. “We’re not here to steal jobs. We’re here to make a difference.”
Other speakers spoke about a new atmosphere of hostility toward Latino immigrants that has been created by the raids.
“I want to live in a city where people don’t live in fear,” Mayra Esquilin, president of Hartford Areas Rally Together, said.
Immigration activists were galvanized last month when 21 people suspected of being illegal immigrants from Brazil were arrested in Hartford's Parkville neighborhood by city police and federal immigration agents.
On Monday, the activists took to the streets.
They marched from South Green Park at Main and Park streets to the federal building at 450 Main St., demanding that the raids be stopped and that the city show more support for immigrants, regardless of their status.
Mayra Esquilin, president of Hartford Areas Rally Together, told about 150 people who gathered outside the federal building Monday night that immigration raids are "devastating to our community and our families."
Police have said they asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to assist in an investigation of a shooting on South Whitney Street on Oct in which a Brazilian-born man was being sought on attempted murder and robbery charges. In the process, ICE picked up 21 people suspected of being in the country illegally.
Most have since been released on bond and the suspect, Moises Coutinho, is still at large. Coutinho, 23, is accused of shooting a man in the neck in a small Brazilian restaurant on South Whitney Street on Oct. 2. The victim has since been released from a hospital.
The arrests caused alarm in Parkville's emerging Brazilian community.
A coalition of immigration, religious, student and labor groups have been meeting since the raids to develop a response, including trying to mount political pressure on the city to develop clear policies for how the police should interact with immigrants.
Luis Cotto and Larry Deutsch, elected to the city council in November as members of the Working Families Party, both attended Monday's march and said they would push for policies that limit when police can inquire about immigration status.
Cotto said immigration status should not matter to the city, whether it's the health department or police department. He said the city government has more important things to focus on than enforcing what he calleda broken federal system.
"We're not supposed to be doing their work for them, not on our time and our dime," Cotto said.
150 Immigrants Rights Supporters Marched in Hartford, In front of the ICE Headquarters this week, and what an amazing site it was. Far from the myth that the Stop the Raids movement is dead here in CT, this march proved that people from many different groups, and from all regions in CT detest the ICE Raids which are terrifying workers, and ripping apart latino families, nation wide.
While the Anti Immigrant groups such as FAIR, and NUMBERS USA would like you to believe that the Immigrants Rights Movement is a dying movement, and that they have indeed one the battle, I believe that this video footage from FOX 61 proves that there are still those who will continue to march, continue to speak out, and continue to stand up to the face of the Xenophobic Madness which is currently fueling these policies which are threatening our communities.
NUMBERS USA folks, as is par for the course with Hate Groups, continually bakes lies and misinformation, to make it seem as if their opinion, opinions based deeply in hatred, are the opinions of the majority of Americans. But, when one stacks their numbers at their own demonstrations, with the numbers of those who march in the streets at every pro immigrant rights activity, one clearly sees this as just another lie.
I've done several posts on the history of ultra anti-immigrant John Tanton, his racist ties to white supremacists groups, and his anti-immigration empire that includes such organizations as FAIR, NumbersUSA and several others that are well known to the anti-immigrant supporters.
With the assistance of local anti-immigrant groups such as Paul Streitz's Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control and Elise "deer in headlights" Marciano's United States Citizens for Immigration and Law Enforcement, FAIR's lies and MISinformation are spread across the country.
More specifically, both Streiz and Macriano organized an anti-immigration forum where past and present members of FAIR (Peter Gadiel and Sandra Gunn) spewed misinformation back in Feb. 2006. Marciano's also held an anti-immigration forum where past and present FAIR members (Gadiel, and Jack Martin) again spewed misinformation in the form of speeches and printed material at Western CT State Univ. in the spring of 2007 (sample of material at the forum is pictured to the right. You can download a sample of the material by clicking here).
The forces seeking to sharply reduce the number of immigrants coming to America won a stunning victory last June, when nativist anger at an "amnesty" for the undocumented scuttled a major bipartisan immigration reform package backed by President Bush. Many members of Congress were completely unprepared for the flood of angry E-mails, phone calls and faxes they received — an inundation so massive that the phone system collapsed under the weight of more than 400,000 faxes.
They should not have been surprised. The furious nativist tide was largely driven by an array of immigration restriction organizations that has been built up over the course of more than 20 years into fixtures in the nation's capital.
The vast majority of these groups were founded or funded by John Tanton, a major architect of the contemporary nativist movement who, 20 years ago, was already warning of a destructive "Latin onslaught" heading to the United States. Most of these organizations used their vast resources in the days leading up to a vote on the bill to stir up a nativist backlash that ultimately resulted in its death.
At the center of the Tanton web is the nonprofit Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the most important organization fueling the backlash against immigration. Founded by Tanton in 1979, FAIR has long been marked by anti-Latino and anti-Catholic attitudes. It has mixed this bigotry with a fondness for eugenics, the idea of breeding better humans discredited by its Nazi associations. It has accepted $1.2 million from an infamous, racist eugenics foundation. It has employed officials in key positions who are also members of white supremacist groups. Recently, it has promoted racist conspiracy theories about Mexico's secret designs on the American Southwest and an alternative theory alleging secret plans to merge the United States, Mexico and Canada. Just last February, FAIR President Dan Stein sought "advice" from the leaders of a racist Belgian political party.
"The sad fact is that attempts to reform our immigration system are being sabotaged by organizations fueled by hate," said Henry Fernandez, a senior fellow and expert on immigration at the Center for American Progress, a "progressive" think tank. "Many anti-immigrant leaders have backgrounds that should disqualify them from even participating in mainstream debate, yet the American press quotes them without ever noting their bizarre and often racist beliefs."
The Founder: Early Hints
For decades, John Tanton has operated a nativist empire out of his U.S. Inc. foundation's headquarters in Petoskey, Mich. Even as he simultaneously runs his own hate group — The Social Contract Press, listed for many years by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its anti-Latino and white supremacist writings — Tanton has remained the house intellectual for FAIR. In fact, U.S. Inc. bankrolls much of FAIR's lobbying activity and, at least until 2005, Tanton ran its Research and Publications Committee, the group that fashions and then disseminates FAIR's position papers. In its 2004 annual report, FAIR highlighted its own main ideologue, singing Tanton's praises for "visionary qualities that have not waned one bit."
But what, exactly, is Tanton's vision?
As long ago as 1988, when a series of internal 1986 documents known as the WITAN memos were leaked to the press, Tanton's bigoted attitudes have been known. In the memos, written to colleagues on the staff of FAIR, Tanton warned of a coming "Latin onslaught" and worried that high Latino birth rates would lead "the present majority to hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile." Tanton repeatedly demeaned Latinos in the memos, asking whether they would "bring with them the tradition of the mordida [bribe], the lack of involvement in public affairs" and also questioning Latinos' "educability."
Echoing his 19th-century nativist forebears who feared Catholic immigrants from Italy and Ireland, Tanton has often attacked Catholics in terms not so different from those used by the Klan and the Know-Nothing Party of the 1840s. In the WITAN memos, for instance, he worried that Latino immigrants would endanger the separation of church and state and undermine support for public schooling. Never one to miss a threatening and fertile Catholic, Tanton even reminded his colleagues, "Keep in mind that many of the Vietnamese coming in are also Catholic."
The leaked memos caused an uproar. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Walter Cronkite quit the board of a group Tanton headed, U.S. English, after the memos became public in 1988. U.S. English Executive Director Linda Chavez — a former Reagan Administration official and, later, a conservative commentator — also left, calling Tanton's views "anti-Hispanic, anti-Catholic and not excusable."
In 1994, Tanton's Social Contract Press republished an openly racist French book, The Camp of the Saints, with Tanton writing that he was "honored" to republish the race war novel. What Tanton called a "prescient" book describes the takeover of France by "swarthy hordes" of Indians, "grotesque little beggars from the streets of Calcutta," who arrive in a desperate refugee flotilla. It attacks white liberals who, rather than turn the Indians away, "empty out all our hospital beds so that cholera-ridden and leprous wretches could sprawl between white sheets … and cram our nurseries full of monster children." It explains how, after the Indians take over France, white women are sent to a "whorehouse for Hindus." In an afterword special to Tanton's edition of the novel, author Jean Raspail wrote about his fears that "the proliferation of other races dooms our race, my race, to extinction."
Tanton has repeatedly suggested that racial conflict will be the outcome of immigration, saying in the WITAN memos that "an explosion" could be the result of whites' declining "power and control over their lives." More than a decade later, in 1998, he made a similar point in an interview with a reporter, suggesting that whites would inevitably develop a racial consciousness because "most people don't want to disappear into the dustbin of history." Tanton added that once whites did become racially conscious, the result would be "the war of each against all."
In 1997, Tanton spelled out his views on the inevitability of immigration overwhelming American whites. "In the bacteriology lab, we have culture plates," he explained. "You put a bug in there and it starts growing and gets bigger and bigger. And it grows until it finally fills the whole plate. And it crashes and dies."
The Founder's Friends
It's no surprise that Tanton employs people with similar views. His long-time deputy, for example, is Wayne Lutton, who works out of Tanton's Petoskey offices and edits the journal, The Social Contract, published by Tanton's press. Lutton is not just linked to white supremacist ideas, many of which he publishes in his journal — he has actually held leadership positions in four white nationalist hate groups: the Council of Conservative Citizens, the National Policy Institute, and The Occidental Quarterly and American Renaissance, both racist publications. Lutton has written for the Journal of Historical Review, which specializes in Holocaust denial. Early on, Lutton and Tanton collaborated on The Immigration Invasion, a nativist screed that has been seized by Canadian border officials as hateful contraband.
Under Lutton's editorial leadership, Tanton's journal has published dozens of articles from prominent white supremacists. One special issue was even devoted to the theme of "Europhobia: The Hostility Toward European-Descended Americans" and featured a lead article from John Vinson, head of the Tanton-backed hate group, the American Immigration Control Foundation. Vinson argued that multiculturalism was replacing "successful Euro-American culture" with "dysfunctional Third World cultures." Tanton elaborated in his own remarks, decrying the "unwarranted hatred and fear" of whites that he blamed on "multiculturalists" and immigrants.
Presumably, these articles and more are well known to Stein, the president of FAIR — until 2003, he was an editorial adviser to The Social Contract. And Stein had lots of company. FAIR board members Sharon Barnes and Diana Hull also have been on the journal's board of editorial advisers. FAIR's current media director, Ira Mehlman, was an adviser in 2001 and 2002, and his essay, "Grand Delusions: Open Borders Will Destroy Society," was published in the journal's pages. Today, FAIR still advertises The Social Contract on its website, saying the journal "offers in-depth studies on immigration, population, language, assimilation, environment, national unity and balance of individual rights and civil responsibilities."
So where does FAIR stand on the matter of Tanton's views? The group has never criticized or sought distance from its founder. In 2004, in fact, Stein insisted that Tanton "never asserted the inferiority or superiority of any racial, ethnic or religious group. Never." The same year, FAIR hosted a gala event honoring Tanton for his 25 years of service. To this day, Tanton remains on FAIR's board.
The Eugenics Connection
Probably the best-known evidence of FAIR's extremism is its acceptance of funds from a notorious, New York City-based hate group, the Pioneer Fund. In the mid-1980s, when FAIR's budgets were still in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the group reached out to Pioneer Fund, which was established in 1937 to promote the racial stock of the original colonists, finance studies of race and intelligence, and foster policies of "racial betterment." (Pioneer has concentrated on studies meant to show that blacks are less intelligent than whites, but it has also backed nativist groups like ProjectUSA, run by former FAIR board member Craig Nelsen.)
The Pioneer Fund liked what it saw and, between 1985 and 1994, disbursed about $1.2 million to FAIR. In 1997, when the Phoenix New Times confronted Tanton about the matter, he "claimed ignorance about the Pioneer Fund's connection to numerous researchers seemingly intent on proving the inferiority of blacks, as well as its unsavory ties to Nazism." But he sounded a different tune in 2001, when he insisted that he was "comfortable being in the company of other Pioneer Fund grantees." Today, Tanton's defense is that he is no different than the "open borders crowd" that accepts money from the liberal Ford Foundation, which was founded by Henry Ford, the anti-Semitic auto manufacturer. What he ignores is that the Ford Foundation, unlike the Pioneer Fund, is not promoting racist ideas.
Some have called for FAIR to return the Pioneer money, but that has not happened. In fact, when asked about it in 1993, Stein told a reporter, "My job is to get every dime of Pioneer's money." One reason for Stein's lack of hesitation may be that FAIR has long been interested in the pseudo-science of eugenics.
One of FAIR's long-time leaders, and a personal hero to Tanton, is the late Garrett Hardin, a committed eugenicist and for years a professor of human ecology at the University of California. Hardin, who died in 2003, was himself a Pioneer Fund grantee, using the fund's money to expand his 1968 essay, "The Tragedy of the Commons." In it, Hardin wrote, "Freedom to breed will bring ruin to all."
Keep that into consideration as the article continues...
Hiring Haters In late 2006, FAIR hired as its western field representative, a key organizing position, a man named Joseph Turner. Turner was likely attractive to FAIR because he wrote what turned out to be a sort of model anti-illegal immigrant ordinance for the city of San Bernardino, Calif. Based on Turner's work, FAIR wrote a version of the law that is now promoted to many other cities. (The law almost certainly violates the Constitution, but that has not stopped many municipalities' interest.)
Lets continue as SPLC makes the connection between Tanton, Turner, FAIR, and another popular sites among the anti-immigrant community such as Vdare and Save our State.
But there was more to Turner than FAIR let on. In 2005, Turner had created, and then led, a nativist group called Save Our State. The group was remarkable for its failure to disassociate itself from the neo-Nazi skinheads who often joined its rallies — something that virtually all other nativist groups, worried about bad publicity, worked hard to do. Save Our State's electronic bulletin board, too, was remarkable for the racist vitriol that frequently appeared there.
It was in that forum that Turner made one of his more controversial remarks, amounting to a defense of white separatism. "I can make the argument that just because one believes in white separatism that that does not make them a racist," Turner wrote in 2005. "I can make the argument that someone who proclaims to be a white nationalist isn't necessarily a white supremacist. I don't think that standing up for your ‘kind' or ‘your race' makes you a bad person." The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed Save Our State as a hate group since it appeared in 2005.
Turner's predecessor in the FAIR organizing post, Rick Oltman, was cut from the same cloth. Oltman has been described as a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) in the publications of that hate group, which is directly descended from the segregationist White Citizens Councils and has described blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity." He has spoken at at least one of the CCC's conferences and has taken part in one of its rallies. And he wasn't alone.
According to the CCC newsletter, FAIR's longtime associate director, Dave Ray, was scheduled to speak at another CCC event. And, in September 2002, FAIR Eastern Regional Coordinator Jim Stadenraus participated in an anti-immigration conference on Long Island, N.Y., with Jared Taylor. Taylor is both a CCC member and the founder of the racist eugenicist publication, American Renaissance.
FAIR has also produced programming featuring hate group leaders linked to the CCC. According to the anti-racist Center for New Community, FAIR's now defunct television production, "Borderline," featured interviews with Taylor and Sam Francis, who edited the CCC's newsletter until his death in 2005.
Donald Collins, a member of both FAIR's board of directors and its board of advisers, has his own ties to white supremacy. Collins posts frequently to a hate website called Vdare.com, which is named after Virginia Dare (said to be the first white child born in the New World) and publishes the work of white supremacists and anti-Semites. Collins also has been published in The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, a periodical run by longtime academic racist Roger Pearson. (Pearson founded the Eugenics Society in 1963 and worked with at least one former SS officer in England. He is also the recipient of several Pioneer Fund grants.)
Collins is not FAIR's only link to the Vdare.com hate site. Joe Guizzardi, a member of FAIR's board of advisers, is the editor of Vdare.com. He writes there frequently about how Latin American immigrants come to the United States in order to "reconquer" it — a conspiracy theory pushed by numerous hate groups.
One of the reasons I'm a admirer of SPLC is that they really keep a close eye on hate crimes, hate-groups such as FAIR, and links between anti-immigrant groups and white supremacists organizations. Make sure you bookmark their site and visit it frequently.
Now, I haven't commented much on this joke of a man because my objective for readers to contact Comcast and demand that they take action regarding his outrageous on-the-air behavior and violation of the cable access guidelines was accomplished back in August. Many of you who don't live in the area, but followed the antics of Tom "Big(o)T" Bennett via this site and YouTube, wanted to know what happened after his live show was yanked. Well, the one man lying hate-machine took the term disgraceful" to a new high issuing threats (which earned him a write-up with the police) while pathetically attempting to play the victim card.
As we wind things down here for the holidays, we'll take a look back and get everyone up to date on everything Bennett, his co-host John McGowan and their pathetic cast of characters (such as Bethel's local freak Frank Monda and former "teacher" Al Bruhn) whined about after The BigT Talk show best days were numbered.
Good riddance Bennett, as you learned the hard way, you won't be missed.
• Eileen FitzGerald wrote an interesting piece on the recent discussion at Western Connecticut State University regarding the history of slavery. You gotta love this comment from one of the local bigots:
Everyone knows that slavery was the best thing to ever happen to bla-ck people. They were savages, running around in their underwear and eating each other. Africans had a long history of non-achievement, both technologically and culturally. Look at Africa now. The countries ruled by blac-ks are horrible. Europeans lifted African **** out of the dark agaes, bringing them to civilization in the new world. B-lacks should thank every white person they see.
I bet this is the dolt who sent the email of the African with the AK47 and iPod to Pauline.
04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school
06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"
On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.