April 22, 2009

Calling Glenn Beck! Here's another "frustrated Americans" event for you to champion!

David Weigel at the Windy happened to catch the latest idea from the militiamen who are starting to see their paranoid ranks rising:

A peaceful demonstration of at least a million — hey, if we can 10 million, even better — but at least one million armed militia men marching on Washington. A peaceful demonstration. No shooting, no one gets hurt. Just a demonstration. The only difference from any typical demonstration is we will all be armed.

As Weigel says, lotsa luck getting a permit for that.

It's all very reminiscent of Linda Thompson:

[I]n 1994, Thompson declared herself "Acting Adjutant General" of the "Unorganized Militia of the United States" and announced plans for an armed march on Washington, D.C. which was to be held on September 19 of that year, in which an ultimatum demanding the repeal of such laws as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Brady Bill would be delivered to members of the United States Congress, and those members refusing to comply with the ultimatum would be arrested and tried for treason. The proposed march was almost universally denounced by groups on the right wing, from the John Birch Society to the militia organizations. Thompson canceled the march, claiming publicly that the announcement was never anything more than a publicity stunt and the march was never intended to actually happen, while claiming to her supporters that operatives in the Federal government had plans to detonate a small nuclear device in D.C. and blame her organization for the act. Publicity stunt or not it effectively spelled the end of her time in the limelight.

It may have ended her time in the limelight, but Thompson's legacy is still with us; a video she shot in the 1990s has been one of the primary sources of the "FEMA concentration camps" conspiracy myth.

Still, there's no doubt militias are bubbling back up to the surface these days.

In Stockton, California, the militia being organized in the event of a police shortage this summer is sounding increasingly scary:

I was most interested to hear from Alan Pettet himself. Pettet, 66, is the organizer of this group, which he said numbers 270. Pettet said he has a rainbow coalition (my words, not his) of rifle-wielding men and 11 women ready to be sworn in by an unidentified federal judge on the steps of Stockton City Hall on July 1.

That's scary enough, although you have to question why any judge would participate in this ceremony.

Now here is a turn that sounds even more ridiculous. But don't take my word for it, here it is in Pettet's own words:

"Five minutes after we're sworn in, we oust the mayor and City Council and then we can declare martial law."

Over in Michigan, militiamen are preparing for the depredations of the evil Obama administration too:

"Am I angry?" asked the unemployed commander, with a semi-automatic rifle strapped across his pectorals. "Yeah, it sets you off a little bit."

Come to a Michigan Militia picnic and you realize the commander is not alone. The farm where they rallied was chockfull of people like him, people boiling on the back burner, struggling to make ends meet, carrying around a knapsack of resentment for a government that they claim has taken almost everything from them and given nothing in return.

"Liberty," says the commander, 33, whose Christian name is Matthew Savino, of Adrian. "You cannot take my liberty. Eventually a man draws a line in the sand."

Why, he sounds just like Glenn Beck!

Indeed, doesn't all this seem right up Beck's alley? That's how you make those dire prophecies conveniently self-fulfilling.

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