Tuesday, February 07, 2023


This story is being taken seriously:
Two people, including a known neo-Nazi leader, were arrested last week after the FBI interrupted their plot to attack the Baltimore power grid, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland announced Monday morning.

The FBI views the two people, identified as Sara Clendaniel and Brandon Russell, as "racially or ethnically motivated" extremists.

NBC News reports that Russell is a known neo-Nazi and founder of the Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group bent on "ushering in the collapse of civilization," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group admires Charles Manson and supports "the idea of lone wolf violence," according to the Anti-Defamation League.
It's good that these two were caught before they could carry out an attack. As a story at Insider notes, there was a 72% increase in attacks on the U.S. power grid between 2021 and 2022. The fencing around many power substations is in disrepair. The security cameras (if there are any) often don't work. Local police can be slow to respond. So the facilities are soft targets for the extreme right.
... four extremism researchers who spoke with Insider all agreed that the far-right had become the dominant player in targeting the grid. A study released last year by George Washington University's Program on Extremism found that as Salafi-jihadist plots from Islamic State supporters began to wane in about 2017, neo-Nazi attempts on infrastructure grew.

"We saw a huge spike in white supremacist cases starting targeting critical infrastructure between 2020 and 2022," Ilana Krill, a research fellow at the Program on Extremism who was one of the study's authors, told Insider. "A disproportionate amount of these cases focused on the energy sector and substations."

We care about attacks on the power grid. But here's a story about anti-Semitism from Media Matters that doesn't suggest an obvious imminent threat, and that features a clownish protagonist, so it didn't get much traction. However, the anti-Semitic clown is well known in some circles, and is only two degrees separated from a former (and possible future) president of the United States:
Eric Trump has been touring with antisemitic conspiracy theorist Scott McKay, who claims that many Jewish people are working “under the cover of this religion called Judaism” to carry out a massive and evil conspiracy. In McKay’s telling, these fraudulent Jewish people have perpetrated 9/11; set up banking systems “in exchange for the child blood sacrifices”; and engineered presidential assassinations, among many other crimes....

McKay, who is also a QAnon conspiracy theorist, has begun to gain more prominence because of his featured speaking role on the ReAwaken America tour....

The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer recently reported that Trump’s Miami hotel is scheduled to host the ReAwaken tour in May....
* McKay has claimed that Jewish people “built Hitler. ... He was created by them” because they needed a catalyst to profit from a military conflict. He also praised Hitler for supposedly attempting to spurn his Jewish creators by trying to break “free of the Rothschilds’ corrupt money-magic fiat system” and create “a banking system for the people and the free world.”

* McKay claimed that 9/11 was perpetrated by “the same group of people that has done a very good job at hiding under the religion of Judaism."

* McKay claimed that Jewish people were responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing and the assassinations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and William McKinley....

* McKay claimed that Jewish people practice “satanism, child sacrifice, bleeding them out, torturing them, consuming them, eating their heart.”
I'll admit that McKay, who's also known as Patriot Streetfighter, can be hard to take seriously. Here he is claiming (among other things) that Nazis have colonized Mars:

But if he's talking about Jews this way in public appearances with a former president's son, and he might be in the lineup of speakers at a property owned by the former president, and that former president might become president again, I think that's more alarming than anything that's been credibly alleged against Hunter Biden. (Or Ilhan Omar.)


Finally, there's this:

This was posted at Reddit's r/Teachers; it's been taken down, and from the moderator's comment, it's easy to see why:

Here are some theories about what the teacher posted, from the comments:

This isn't new. I remember Nazi jokes in my 1970s adolescence -- we grew up on Hogan's Heroes, The Producers, and "Mr. Hilter" in Monty Python's "North Minehead By-Election" sketch, and all that was an influence. The jokes I remember can't be justified, but I don't think anyone ever expressed real admiration for Hitler, even half-seriously. We didn't know adults or authority figures who felt that way; we weren't that far removed from World War II. (My father and two uncles fought in that war.)

Laughing at Hitler diminishes the horror of the Nazi era, but it also diminishes Hitler. O But if edgelord media figures are making Hitler seem semi-respectable, that's going to have consequences sooner or later.

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