Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"New American Nazis" in "Documenting Hate" series on PBS Frontline

PBS Frontline (and Pro Publica) aired an episode of “Documenting Hate”, “NewAmerican Nazis” at 9 PM Tuesday, November 20, 2018 (Episode 17 of Series 36). 
The episode is written and directed by Richard Rowley and the interviewing is done largely by A.C. Thompson.

The episode focused on an informal group “Atomwaffen” of lone wolves who want to create particularly violent attacks.  Four members were living in an apartment in Tampa, FL when one teenager shot two others.  That group tried apparent to attack a nuclear power plant near Miami but was intercepted and stopped by the sheriff’s office and FBI intelligence.  One or two members of the group were said to possess radioactive materials.  It sounds plausible that the rifle attack on a power station near Sunnyvale CA in April 2013 (or a few other similar attacks) could be associated with people who have connections to this group.  One member of the group will stand trial in California for the murder of a gay male Jewish college student. 

The documentary explored various other connections, including Dylann Roof in S.C., links in the past to Timothy McVeigh and Oklahoma City, and to Charles Manson in California, particularly in the Death Valley and Scott’s Castle areas, where there were “hate camps” or “reeducation centers”, which might be outgrowths of civilian reservist groups that had been proposed in the 1980s to deal with any potential nuclear war with the Soviets. .

The documentary maintains that the group tries to “recruit” military members and claims that in a few cases young men have joined ROTC to get access to neo-Nazi contacts.

The documentary finally interviews author James Mason, who had gone dark for 15 years after being in jail.  But Mason, in a particularly chilling conclusion, talked about  Fields at Charlottesville, as well as many others, as “heroes”.  There was a strikingly irrational and superficial ideology that claims “Jews” are the “virus” and that “people of color” and “gays” are the “symptoms”. 

Thompson meets some members of the group in a country bar in Texas (it looks like Houston). 
The film presented the only collection of Mason’s follower’s literature, at the University of Kansas in Lawrence (where I went to graduate school myself in the 1960s).  Thompson also interviewed a professor at the University of Chicago.

The film presents some footage from Pittsburgh Tree of Life (outdoors only).
The obvious question is whether Trump’s presidency and behavior is adding more fuel to their fires.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Chris Hansen has resumed his "predator" sting series on YouTube and it is difficult to watch

Chris Hansen has resumed his earlier series for NBC (“To Catch a Predator”) as an independent series now online, “Hansen v. Predator”.  It is related to his “Crime Watch Daily
These videos are so disturbing that I placed this example on the “threats to freedom” blog (normally for disasters) than on the TV blog. (See also the Book Reviews blog, March 17, 2007 for Hansen’s book.)

Men enter chat rooms and talk to decoys online and drive to the sting house in Fairfield CT.

In many episodes Hansen suddenly appears after the decoy actor or actress leaves the room, and Hansen will sometimes say “Have a seat”.

Hansen has aged and developed a bit of a gut.  He behaves in an authoritarian manner and interrogates the perp on his motives.

Hansen says there has never been a female subject show up to a sting.  He also has produced arguments that this is not legal entrapment.

As the perpetrator leaves, he gets arrested in the garage. The video then will show questioning with Fairfield CT police, who confront the perp with the chat log.  Typically the perp pleads guilty, gets some jail time and must register as a sex offender for ten years.

Internet users, whatever their grasp of the (im)morality of this, should realize that it is very dangerous to arrange meetings with others who claim to be under age of consent in a particular state, from chat rooms.  Police stings are common in every state and in Washington DC.  Public knowledge of the stings should provide deterrence.  (In some states, especially California, age of consent is still 18.) 
The overwhelming majority of situations are heterosexual.  Some men may have grown up in cultures where they are used to the idea of women marrying much younger and having children earlier than the age of consent in many states. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Paradise, CA, town of 27000, destroyed by wildfire

Various media sources report that the “Camp Fire” has almost completely destroyed the town of Paradise, CA, north of Sacramento (I did visit the California capital in late September).

The town has about 27,000 residents. Almost all the homes are destroyed.
It’s a good question where the people will be housed for the next year or more.  How many people had insurance?

There is also massive destruction around Malibu.

I saw some fire damage at Apple Hill on US 50 during my recent trip.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

"Antifa Got Me Banned from America" based on apparently fake tips from far Left (for conservative from Britain)

Here’s a pretty disturbing story “Antifa Got Me Banned from America to Destroy my Life and Marriage”, by British citizen Jack Buckby.

Buckby had supported Trump, but reports multiple incidents of fake tips accusing him of having made terrorist threats.  One of them seems to an interpretation of a statement in Britain regarding assisting asylum seekers.

This is quite an ironic story, that Trump’s DHS could stop a previous supporter from returning to the US based on fake tips.
Is this an example of the combativeness of the far Left? 

Sunday, November 04, 2018

"Can Russia Invade Europe?"

Can Russia Invade Europe?” from the Infographics Channel.

The animated film (10 min) looks at the Russian 2017 Zapad maneuvers, and notes that NATO is much more advanced than Russia but much of the hardware is in the US.

Russia could invade the Baltics through Belarus and Kalinngrad and hold territory for a while.  There would be a grave risk of the use of tactical nuclear weapons by both sides.

However NATO might be able to actually hold territory in Russia, from St. Petersburg to Moscow.

Russia has conscription, but its volunteer force is growing.
Here is a Quora analysis of whether Russia could invade Finland (which also has conscription). Finland is not part of NATO but is a NATO "partner". It's not far by train to St. Petersburg.