Michelle Dally Johnston's July 4 piece on the Shattuck contamination, "Down in the Dump," was an excellent piece of work. There was one point that I was disappointed she did not address, however.
Although the radium industry was once a thriving business, five decades later everyone had forgotten about it, and it came as a huge surprise that so many sites in the city were polluted. So who is going to be around to remind us fifty years from now that the Monolith in the Overland Park neighborhood is a pile of deadly contamination rather than a pretty hillside?
Ward Harkavy's July 4 article "Still Crazy After All These Years," on the dubious "patriots" like Colonel Arch Roberts, illustrated the two-dimensional, short-sighted and ludicrous views of the lunatic right (and to some extent, the mainstream liberal left). The racialist, and sometimes clearly neo-Nazi, ideology espoused by some of these fools has no relationship to empirical science or objective history. Their opposition to an overbearing, infringing and potentially authoritarian government is invalidated by their attraction to an ideology that is totalitarian, all-pervasive and murderous. Any sincerity in their love of real American patriotic ideals is undermined by their clearly missing the point. It was Washington himself who stated categorically that the U.S. was not a Christian nation, just as it was not a Mohammedan nation, or any nation with an established state religion. What it clearly was to the Founding Fathers was a nation of individuals with their own personal relationship with the Deity, uninfringed upon by the state. That sacred relationship is also uninfringeable by so-called "Christian patriots" with their own agenda on how other people in the USA need to conduct their private lives.
But the other side of ludicrous views belongs to the liberal left. It is they who refuse to distinguish between racists, neo-Nazis and arrogant scam artists (like the Freemen), and the majority of the patriot movement who are libertarians, constitutionalists and basically people alarmed at the rising pervasive intrusions of governments in the everyday lives of people. Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center (of which I happen to be a member) published its topical report, "False Patriots," about the far-right paramilitary groups. It might have been a valid, informative compilation of the hate groups in the U.S. if not for its inclusion of persons and groups that have no relationship to them.
Among those included were the former L.A. station chief of the FBI, who had strongly expressed opposition to the federal government's handling of the murderous Waco fiasco; the respected constitutionalist who runs the American Agricultural Movement; a Jewish libertarian gun-and-book shopkeeper (Bob Glass of Boulder); and the Hawaiian-Asian leader of a patriot group (Stan Hashimoto, also of Boulder). The left-liberal media has focused on the potentially dangerous pinheads with their copies of The Turner Diaries in their back pockets and represented them as the "patriot" movement. But at the the same time, they have failed to give any attention to people like the Michigan Militia's Olsen, who proudly refers to his Jewish grandparent and lambastes the racists and Holocaust revisionists, or the Ohio Militia's Johnson, who is an African-American alarmed at what he sees as civil liberties violations of fellow African-Americans. The putative patriot movement in the U.S. has a complexity and diversity of components and individuals that pragmatically challenges the agendas of the liberal left in this country.
And Mr. Harkavy, please be more exact in defining Don Weideman's "Messianic" congregation and others of this kind. Fundamentalist Protestant congregations with Jewish embellishments are absolutely not Jewish, despite their self-proclamations of being Jews for "Yeshua." Literal and aware mainstream Jews will never buy it, and non-Jews are not obligated to, either.
As a reputed militia patriot "kingpin," according to the Denver Post and the FBI in a Sunday, January 25, 1995, front-page Post story, I can perfectly illustrate just what kind of propaganda the Clintonista regime and the FBI and the Justice Department involve themselves in. And Ward Harkavy falls into this trap, this propaganda, that so many of his fellow liberal-media brethren fall into with all these militia hysteria stories.
In this recent installment, on the so-called "militia patriot" guys up at KHNC in Johnston--the former Patriot Network, now the American Freedom Network--Ward really dispels most of the stuff we're told about militias being white supremacist and anti-Semitic when he discusses the Hebrew faith of Norm Resnick and Don Weideman. But, oh, of course, they're being duped, right, Ward Harkavy? Is that what you want us to believe? That they're just covering up?
But more important, let's look at who the real criminals are in America and who the real terrorists are in America. How many drive-by shootings, armed carjackings, drug deals and murders are militias really proven to be connected with? Oh, I know, lots of people have been led to believe that Timothy McVeigh was part of some big militia movement. There is no substantiation anywhere of that, and in fact, he was kicked out of a Michigan militia meeting he once tried to attend.