Saturday, October 27, 2007

More on James Edwards (Thomas Naylor's Hate Radio Friend) & Others

As first reported here at the beginning of this month, Thomas Naylor was on Janes Edwards' The Political Cesspool for its Confederate History Month series of broadcasts. Naylor stressed his Mississippi roots and made arrangements to stay in contact with Edwards in the future. Edwards was so impressed with Naylor that he felt moved to observed that Naylor was "obviously a good Confederate." Who could disagree with that?

Since that post there have been a series of virulent comments here that underscore the fact that even among today's new, cleaned up version of the neo-Confederate movement that now calls itself a movement for "peaceable secession," old habits, like menacing threats directed to critics, die hard.

This week my copy of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Fall Intelligence Report arrived in the mail and who should a focus for the issue be but none other than Thomas Naylor's new friend, James Edwards. The report on Edwards makes clear that while Edwards is a great admirer of David Duke, he's been careful to avoid making Duke's earlier mistakes, much like the Naylor/Sale axis has sought to avoid the earlier mistakes of often overtly racist neo-Confederates. I've listened to a number of his broadcasts now and find that even the "new" racists and anti-Semites just can't help themselves. This sidebar to the article on Edwards gives you a small sense of what he's really like. Here's one example:
On the Jews (Feb. 20, 2007):
"A lot of their motivation is that they hate Christianity. They hate what we call the WASP establishment … and they're using pornography as a subversive tool against us. Jews are by and large dominant in the porn industry. I don't need to spend time convincing people the sky is blue. You know, connect the dots and look at the names of people controlling our media, and you find out what the common denominator is. … These Zionist Jews are more interested in subverting the dominant culture, which would be the European culture here in America, than they are in helping us and assimilating into our culture."
While the SPLC piece points out that Edwards has gone to great lengths to avoid situations where he might be seen and photographed where disturbing symbols might be found, as happened to his friend and hero David Duke, here's one unusual case that I found over at this blog where he can be seen at a demonstration (at left) with a Confederate flag:

Edwards even received considerable mention in the Intelligence Report's editorial on the mainstreaming and legitimization of extremism in America. The Intelligence Report also has an interesting piece on one neo-Confederate hate group having a dustup over "political extremism correctness," to coin a new phrase.

An example of the "new look" efforts that the neo-Confederates and their friends are pursuing is the growing problem of secessionists who have been actively engaged in "cleaning up" the articles on their own groups and associates by deleting unfavorable material or altering critical text. Apparently some of this is even being done for pay. This, however, is an exercise that is doomed to fail.

One prominent player in this unethical practice has been Carol Moore, a secession advocate and blogger at "Vermont Commons." [1] In her VTCommons blog post, Carol mentions that my blog "evidently is really anti-secession." Not so fast there, Carol. Early on I was very much in the undecided camp. I really hadn't formed a solid opinion when I started out, but the clear connections to racists, anti-Semites, historical revisionists and unethical activists is something I choose not to ignore.

All the chaff that Carol throws up in her blog piece never adequately addresses the concern that many here have that if secession in Vermont leads to secession elsewhere, as Naylor and his neo-Confederate allies intend, will we not have had a hand in bad things happening to people elsewhere? Maybe that's an end result that a Carol Moore or a George Bush can be comfortable with, but I can not. In a clear example of her situational ethics, Carol has ignored Wikipedia guidelines in her attempts to "sweeten up" the secessionist articles. [2] [3] [4] [5]
Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, says the site discourages such “conflict of interest” editing. “We don’t make it an absolute rule,” he said, “but it’s definitely a guideline.” [6]
An example of the Carol Moore's whitewashing efforts on behalf of one white supremacist, secessionist organization, the League of the South, is this one on behalf of its racist head, Michael Hill. On October 7, 2007, she replaced this:
The issue of race has become a source of controversy and dispute within the LoS, and in groups like Second Vermont Republic which has members loosely affiliated with it. LoS President Michael Hill has argued for the centrality of Christian white men in the movement: "But let us never deny (for the sake of pleasing the implacable Cultural Marxists) that we, the descendants of white, European Christians, are central to a movement to preserve and advance a particular civilization, cultural inheritance, and physical place."[12] Hill has also advocated the ideology of kinism, and would outlaw racial intermarriage and non-white immigration, expel all “aliens” (including Jews and Arabs), and limit the right to vote to landowning males over the age of twenty-one.[13]
With this, that in addition to replacing racist statements by Hill with his statements about the SPLC, deletes and obscures any connection in these issues with the Second Vermont Republic:
The issue of race has become a source of controversy about, and dispute within, the League of the South. In articles on its web page Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) accuses the League, and especially its President Michael Hill, of holding racist beliefs and making racist statements.[12]After SPLC issued a year 2000 report labeling LoS a "racist hate group," Hill "welcomed the designation as a 'badge of honor'," alleging SPLC has "a very leftist agenda, these sorts of things are designed to discredit you publicly."[13]
Carol has even edited the Wikipedia article about herself more than a dozen times. [7]

Over at Green Mountain Daily, Julie Waters has an interesting post that relates to what the Naylors, the Edwards, the Moores, the Sales, the Bushes, the Cheneys, et al, try to accomplish in their efforts to mainstream what is clearly offensive - having us get so accustomed to having them around that we start to not notice some of their crummier aspects any longer. Julie Waters piece underscores for me why we must remember to not ignore the potential impacts of our actions to others far from here or to get used to bad people who do bad things. These are concerns that Naylor would pooh-pooh away with his "different strokes for different strokes" rationale that really is cover for white supremacists, anti-Semites and other hate groups, and are not the issues that he would wish us to believe that he ostensibly refers to in his writings.

What Carol Moore, James Edwards, George Bush, Thomas Naylor, Dick Cheney, Kirkpatrick Sale, the few remaining Second Vermont Republic deadenders, white supremacists, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and the like seem to forget is that, as Shakespeare said, "in the end the truth will out."

Update (10/29): Oh, my! Carol Moore's got her sweats in a knot! You can read her admissions and menacing, overwrought retort here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Secessionist Night Riders Redux, Blogstyle

This blog averages a comment every week or so.   Not very much considering the traffic but then it isn't that kind of blog.   That changed with the post below when it received a burst of comments a few weekends ago.

Blogs serve a multitude of purposes and I'm sure there's more than one opinion about the purpose of this blog that disagrees with what I said it would be about in my very first post:
"While I don't think that what I'll be saying in future posts as the long dead Thomas Rowley will necessarily "set the hills on fire," there may be some heat as I shed light on the topic of secession, where it may possibly take us and about just who may be actually guiding the secession discussion."
That said, it's generally been my practice to be responsive to comments.   If someone has taken the time to read a post and then wants to comment, I feel, as a matter of courtesy, that a response is due.   Spam is always deleted and there has only been one commenter who I've felt was so deceptive, evasive and non-responsive that he had to be banned.   I've even exchanged emails with neo-Nazi trash.   I will not, however, give individual responses to what appears to me to be an organized comment barrage that occurred a few weekends ago.

It's clear from the chatter among secessionists across the country that the Second Vermont Republic meltdown earlier this year has led to a morale problem among supporters of national dissolution.   This blog is generally being solely credited by some of these secessionists as having exposed the large racist component of the national leadership of the secessionist movement.   If only that were so.   Many of the facts presented here have long been available to the media from a variety of credible sources, as well as having been much better examined on other blogs and websites.

There's been recurring speculation among secessionists about who writes this blog.   Some of it's funny; some is of the "tin-foil-hat-wa-a-a-y-paranoid" genre; some is just plain dumb.   So, for the record, I have no association with the Democrats (funny how it's never been suggested that there's a Republican/neocon/conservative connection, despite my never having expressed a political opinion like, say, being for or against Bush) nor am I an apparatchik or employed by any other political group or organization such as the SPLC, although I'd be the first to say I've admired their work for years and am humbled by the confusion; I am not a covert government agent.

Sometimes a Vermonter is just a Vermonter, folks.

Now, about those comments.   It's been clear from what I've read elsewhere that the revelation that Naylor and Sale had both participated in being interviewed by the host of a hate radio program has struck an uncomfortable cord among second tier secessionist leaders.   Most of these people are pretty much on the outside looking in, while Naylor, Sale and League of the South President, Michael Hill call all of the shots at the (ironically) national level, and they're not liking where all of this controversy is taking them and their "movement."   Some of these people have, apparently acting on their speculations about this blog, have now crossed the line and have posted these sorts of comments:
"Gee, Mark Potok (SPLC Editor & Intelligence Project Director - TR) himself is from Vermont. How's the fundrai$ing going Mark? Manufacturing fear -- out in the open or anonymously -- is a great way to raise money, isn't it?"
"Perhaps the ranter was responding to your indiscriminate listing of people who are not known to be haters or have one or two minor faux pas in the past, so minor that only Mark Potok or his ilk would even know about it... The revolution IS coming against an increasingly facist state and all Mark and his friends whining about it can't stop it. 2010-2012 are going to be TOO Exciting."
"If Mark Potok's family still lives in vermont he's probably paranoid that some 8th generation Green Mountain man will come after them if he doesn't find a less SPLC way of dealing with real issues and real problems. Think about it Mark."
"You do NOT have to BE Mark Potok of SPLC to copy a bunch of stuff from his web pages. (However a does show what seems to be one couple named POTOK in Vermont.)"
"Candy said...
Yes, Mark, think about treating people better. I mean having Green Mountain men doing Gandhian starvation fasts outside your home or SLPC office, in Vt or the South, where ever it might be, could actually trigger your CONSCIENCE. Of course, the Patriot Act has almost outlawed that traditional Indian form of personal witness.

The issue is not right wing racists who MIGHT secede and stop paying taxes, but the right wing anti-muslim/arab racists NOW in the white house armed with nukes and looking to first strike china and russia - right after they nuke iran and pakistan!"
Well Candy, you and the rest of the present day secessionists might want to consider this: if you don't want comparisons made to the intimidation tactics that are eerily similar to those of an earlier group founded by yesterday's failed secessionists, try not launching a comment barrage laced with specific, menacing references to a man and any member of his family that you think that you might be able to locate here in Vermont.

Oh, and y'all probably meant Green Mountain boys, not Green Mountain men, putzes.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Thomas H. Naylor: "Obviously A Good Confederate"

I received a message last week regarding an unusual Naylor sighting.   It seems that the Second Vermont Republic's founder, Thomas H. Naylor had been booked for a segment (scroll to just past the mid-point of the program where his segment starts) on a well-known hate radio program called The Political Cesspool on Memphis' WLRM during TPC's month long "celebration" of Confederate History Month this past April.   The show's host, James Edwards, is a longtime racist, anti-Semetic, white supremacist, white separatist activist [1] [2] whose Confederate History Month broadcasts were sometimes also hosted by his friend and associate Winston Smith, reputed to be the well known white supremacist and former head of the neo-Nazi group, the National Socialist White People's Party, also known as Harold Covington.  Maybe, maybe not, but it wouldn't be surprising considering that Edwards' guest list reads like a Who's Who of America's anti-civil rights, anti-Semetic, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, white supremacist, white separatist, racist, umm, cesspool:
Michael Hill, the League of the South president

Thomas DiLorenzo, a Second Vermont Republic advisory board member, a League of the South member and instructor at the LoS Institute for the Study of Southern History and Culture, as well as an anti-civil rights, anti-union writer.  Here's a recent promotion of Edward's program at the notorious hatesite featuring the SVR's DiLorenzo. NOTE: Stormfront often takes down these links after they discover that people they consider unsympathetic to their "cause" are using them, so don't be surprised if it's gone missing when you get there.

Gordon Baum, CEO of the Council of Conservative Citizens (formerly known as the Whites Citizen's Council)

Steve McIntyre, a reenactor whose specialty is Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who founded the Ku Klux Klan and is reputed to have ordered the massacre of black POWs during the Civil War

Larry Pratt, an anti-Semitic, white supremacist, militia advocate

J. Stanley Lott, a slavery/Lincoln history revisionist

Sam Dickson, a former Ku Klux Klan lawyer and a Holocaust denier, Lincoln history revisionist and Council of Conservative Citizens member

Ted Pike, a Cesspool regular, anti-Semite and white supremacist (for a taste of his anti-Semetic bile, watch this or this)
A few of the other past "guests" on Edwards' show:
David Duke, who needs no introduction; read the praise that the people at his website give Edwards here

Mark Weber, a renown Holocaust denier

Jamie Kelso, a racist, anti-Semite, neo-Nazi kingpin at the notorious website

Peter Gemma, a Council of Conservative Citizens member

Robert Barkdoll, a white supremacist and head of the Missouri League of the South chapter

Peter J. Peters, a Christian Identity leader, white supremacist and anti-Semite

... and many, many more of this bigoted, hateful ilk
For the first time in the Edwards interview Naylor admits to having commissioned his methodologically challenged poll of Vermonters on the subject of secession, conducted for him by UVM's Center for Rural Studies.  You can see for yourself Naylor's questionable, paid for, 2006 Vermonter Poll questions that he often refers to as a UVM poll in a third person manner that doesn't disclose his direct involvement or reveal UVM's contract-only relationship to his poll. [3] [4]  Naylor now says:
"A year ago we commissioned a statewide poll (to be conducted) by the University of Vermont to find out how many secessionists there were in Vermont."
According to his "poll," 47 people said they would support secession and from that he has extrapolated that tens of thousands of Vermonters directly support secession.  When you add to the equation his "thumb on the scale" questionable methodology and the margin for error, it's more likely that the true number of supporters could meet in a phone booth.

Naylor continued:
"We're always asked, "How many people support your cause?" and we didn't know.  The answer one year ago was 8% of the eligible voters supported secession.  One year later that number had jumped from 8% to 13%."
"Jumped?"  Let's not extrapolate too much there, Tom.  If you bothered to factor in the two polls margins for error, you haven't even filled that phone booth yet.  Your increase could be, in fact, a decrease.  Once again Naylor is keeping the actual poll questions for the 2007 poll to himself as he did with the 2006 poll.   He has to since he's no doubt employed the same type of cheesy polling questions as he did last year.

As if to underscore his complete detachment from the real political world in Vermont, Naylor states that his goal and strategy is,
"(T)o persuade the (Vermont) state legislature to convene a convention... convened to consider one issue, namely articles of secession."
He goes on to say that he envisions a 2/3 to 3/4 vote of the 180 or 200 members at that convention being needed in support of the articles of secession for them to be passed credibly. He believes that this can and will happen in Vermont and at the Legislature's behest.

Yeah, right.  And he's got his political ace, Peter Moss, working on that.

Later in the interview, Naylor repeats one of his regular talking points about the dissolution of the "Soviet empire" and the six satellite states shaking off their "shackles" and asserting their independence [5], which got Edwards all warm and fuzzy, saying, "What can happen in Europe can easily happen here."

What?  Don't any of these guys know that as soon as those six countries shook off those shackles they immediately joined NATO and European Union, a mega-state of nearly 500 million people?  I'm beginning to think that they're all missing a few stars and bars.

Now before the "let's not have any guilt by association" crowd gets all lathered up, I should point out that Naylor did not just participate in the broadcast.  He acknowledge knowing that his interview was a part of a series of interviews for Confederate History Month (see companion guest list above that was available to him at the time) and he later asked for contact information from Edwards so that he could keep in touch with these scum.  Moreover, Naylor has been pretty diligent about posting on his website his appearances, interviews and press.  Actually, he's been something of a media whore about it, and yet oddly this one didn't seem make into his media scrapbook.  Nor has Rob Williams at "Vermont Commons" been crowing about the interview on his blog, as he usually does whenever someone in the media mentions SVR. Why's that, Tom?  You too, Rob.  Why is it that I always have to dig up the dirt for Vermonters?  Why did you hide from this one?

Fortunately, Edwards & company ran out of time before Naylor could launch into another one of his self-described "fantasies" about Vermont seceding and then joining the Canadian Atlantic provinces to form a new country that he calls New Acadia. [6]

At the risk of transgressing Godwin's Rule, all this talk about Europe with a couple of white separatists whose programs are feature at a neo-Nazi website with a man who has a weak grasp of European history and some far fetch fantasies about redrawing the map of North America reminds me of another mid-20th century European who moved nonexistent armies around maps of his make believe empire while eastern European artillery pounded his bunker.

Edwards closes the program calling Naylor a "good confederate" and, while acknowledging a female guest from an earlier segment of the show, he admits that
"(A) lot of the times (sic) The Political Cesspool is like a prism... it's all male; it's all white."
Prism probably isn't what he meant but I'm sure he'd be the first to say that metaphorically speaking, he's not a bright light.  Nor can Thomas Naylor be called particulary bright for having done this interview.

Update (10/4): Two months after the Naylor visit to the nasty, racist Political Cesspool radio hate show, Kirkpatrick Sale, Middlebury Institute partner of Thomas H. Naylor, did a segment with the Cesspool host, James Edwards and his co-host Eddie "The Bombardier" Miller, on the July 2, 2007 Political Cesspool show.   You'll need to wade through a half hour of bigoted bile where Edwards and Miller first joke about napalming liberals and then move on to heap praise David Duke, calling him "(A) great friend of ours & a great man," along with saying toward the end of the program, "We are blessed to have a good friendship with the Duke people and Duke himself," as well as describing the "Duke-meister" as "(O)ne of our heroes; one of our good friends."   The reading of fan mail comes at the end of the show, like one listener's paean of sorts to their show's musical selections (always white), who signs himself as being from "OntariJew, the Zionist Republic of Canada," and who they thank profusely for his comments.   When Miller compares Bush to Hitler, Edwards chastises Miller to not disrepect "the German gentleman," and later Edwards goes onto critcize "the media, the establishment, Zionist press."   Yuck!

Sale does the usual fan dance employing all the familiar talking points: a poll "by university people" without ever mentioning the that the four questions were written and paid for by his friend Naylor (with possible input from himself); the ludicrous notion that the Vermont legislature will overwhelming vote to secede; that Vermonters, by some kind of referendum process not presently provided for under the state constitution will also vote overwelming for secession; an appeal to the UN for recognition (of whom Naylor has said, "It's hard to imagine a more impotent institution than the... UN"; etc., ad nauseum.

If you have the stomach for it, research for yourself as I have some of the sponsors and promotional spots on the program. It's an eye-opening look at the type of folks Sale and Naylor value contact with more than the Vermonters that have been purged from the SVR.