June 18, 2012 by Bob Livingston
The Southern Preposterous Lie Center — laughably known in some locations as the misnamed Southern Poverty Law Center — has issued its summer list of “activists” heading up the “radical right.” Tenth Amendment Center executive director and Personal Liberty Digest™ contributor Michael Boldin is one of the 30 people listed.
Boldin’s sin, according to the preposterously pro-Marxist, anti-American Preposterous Lie Center, is that the TAC “is on the far right, opposing a whole array of federal laws and regulations. It has gained wide support among hard-line libertarians…” He “evidently runs the organization from his home,” the SPLC exclaims, as opposed, I guess, to a palatial estate like the one the SPLC occupies in the heart of Alabama’s capital, Montgomery, that includes six stories, cost $24 million to build — not counting a $5.5 million addition — and takes up most of a city block.
Boldin has also, the SPLC notes, “crisscrossed the country, taking the TAC’s nullification message to supporters known as ‘Tenthers.’ Its ‘Nullify Now!’ conferences have been held in cities… (as opposed to caves, where the SPLC thinks he and his fellow Neanderthals should hide?) These conferences are often headlined by prominent figures in the antigovernment ‘Patriot’ movement, which has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last three years. The Austin (Texas) gathering, for instance featured Art Thompson of the John Birch Society… and Stewart Rhodes, head of the conspiracy-minded Oath Keepers, a group that encourages police officers and soldiers to disobey ‘unconstitutional’ orders… The TAC’s partner in this endeavor is the Foundation for a Free Society, which espouses the libertarian free-market theories of Murray Rothbard and the Austrian School of Economics.”
Oh, my! What subversives Boldin rubs shoulders with. How can anyone suggest police and soldiers disobey unConstitutional orders, support organizations that espouse free-market theories or oppose some Federal laws and regulations?
That’s an interesting view coming from an organization that claims it “is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.” I suppose the SPLC believes it’s now time to give Bull Connor, Birmingham police officers and Alabama State Troopers a pass on the dogs and fire hoses. After all, they were only following orders. Martin Luther King Jr. and his “uppity” followers should have just accepted that discrimination was a fact of life. And can you say Lt. William Calley Jr.?
But such is the irrationality of the SPLC, an organization with “poverty” in its name but whose two founders draw salaries exceeding $300,000 annually; that has five more staffers drawing six figures; that took in $76.6 million in fiscal year 2011; and that was sitting on $228.7 million in assets, according to its tax return. And, yes, the organization that claims it “was founded to ensure that the promises of the civil rights movement became a reality for all” has only whites in its top eight wage earners and only one minority on its senior staff.
If that’s not enough, the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance program, reputed to promote diversity, has been headed by a white person for 20 of its 21 years.
The SPLC is about — according to its website’s masthead — “fighting hate, teaching tolerance and seeking justice.” One example of SPLC’s fight against hate and its love of tolerance can be found in a recent post on its website (since scrubbed) entitled “An Open Letter to the Good People of Iowa: Are You Crazy?” written by SPLC staffer Mark Potok.
What did Iowans do to set off Potok? Here are his words:
I used to think you were a pretty straight-ahead place, what with all that flat land and healthy vegetables and honest living. I mean, Iowans rejected slavery 20 years before the Civil War and they approved interracial marriage a century before the Supreme Court. Homosexuality was decriminalized almost 30 years before the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision did so nationwide. Today, control of the state’s legislature is split between Democrats and Republicans and, a few characters aside, it is not particularly known for political extremism. Like the corn it produces in such copious amounts, Iowa generally seemed a healthy and sensible place.
That idea of the state ended for me this morning, when I read the proposed platform released on Monday by the Platform Committee of the Republican Party of Iowa. Are you people totally insane?
The platform, as first pointed out by ThinkProgress, is absolutely thick with ideas from the extreme right, lunatic conspiracy theories, and barely concealed hatred for President Obama and anything that smacks of multiculturalism. It sneers at science, is down on poor people, and despises, really despises, the United Nations.
Now you might ask what insanity the platform proposed. Here is the text. Among the issues that Potok thought insane were (along with his commentary):
- Require candidates for president to prove that they are “natural born citizens,” beginning with the 2012 election. After all, non-citizens serving as president have been a longstanding problem in American politics.
- Reject the “claims” of global warming, which are “based on fraudulent, inaccurate information” and pushed by people using “extremist scare tactics.” The Iowa GOP “recognizes” that policies and laws designed to combat global warming are really “a plan to take our freedoms and liberties away.”
- Oppose “the diabolical collusion of the United Nations” in promoting its Agenda 21, a non-binding global sustainability plan signed by President George H.W. Bush and the leaders of 177 other nations in 1992. Like the Republican National Committee, the Iowa GOP apparently believes Agenda 21 is part of an effort to impose global political control on the U.S.
- Eliminate the Federal Reserve Act and implement a “sound commodity-backed currency” with a gold or silver standard.
- Fight the North American Union, “which would do away with our borders and sovereignty, and … [battle] the Amero, which would do away with our currency.” Although there actually are no secret plans to merge Mexico, the United States and Canada into a single entity — and replace our dollars with “Ameros” — that hasn’t stopped the conspiracy theorists.
- In the same vein, “oppose so-called ‘World Government.’”
- Entirely eliminate the departments of Agriculture, Education, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Energy, Interior, Labor and Commerce, along with the Transportation Safety Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- Likewise, abolish the Internal Revenue Service and repeal the 16th Amendment, which legalized the federal income tax.
- Require judges to instruct jurors that in addition to judging cases, they may pass on the law at issue. Commonly known as “jury nullification,” this is a highly controversial notion that is embraced by the radical right.
- Pass a “stand your ground” law, like the one that many believe led to the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. By a large margin, most prosecutors and police oppose such laws, which make prosecuting many killings difficult.
- Allow parents to refuse to have their children immunized.
- Reject the teaching of multiculturalism.
- Only teach evolution as a theory, along with creationism.
- Repeal compulsory school attendance laws.
- Eliminate the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which oversees job safety.
- Repeal smoking bans because, as the platform statement asserts, “We believe this to be an issue of liberty.” Air quality in all businesses should be left up to owners’ “freedom to choose.”
- Repeal all hate crime laws.
- Oppose the imposition Shariah, or Islamic religious law, in the United States, along with any other foreign or “United Nations Law.”
- Build a fence along the entire U.S. border with Mexico.
- Oppose abortion and reject the Supreme Court’s decision authorizing it.
- Build a fence along the entire U.S. border with Mexico.
- End minimum wage laws.
- Oppose abortion and reject the Supreme Court’s decision authorizing it. Encourage adoption and aid to unwed mothers — but only if every dollar of support comes from the private sector.
- End subsidies to agriculture.
In other words, advocating for personal freedom, a return to the Constitution and opposition to global governance is insanity.
In 1994, the Montgomery Advertiser wrote a series entitled “Charity of riches” that exposed the graft and corruption of the so-called “civil rights charity.” Ken Silverstein of Harper’s Magazine wrote in 2010 that the SPLC’s chief mission was to separate wealthy liberals from their money. If only that were the case.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media regularly go to the SPLC’s listing of “right wing hate groups” for story ideas and use the organization as a source for information on racism and intolerance. These serve to advance the false meme that all liberty lovers are terrorists and racists who are plotting to march on Washington with guns blazing.
Progressives, socialists, Marxists and other totalitarians can’t abide dissent because their ideas, when exposed and explained, are rejected by most Americans. So people like Brett Kimberlin and groups like the SPLC are used by them in an attempt to shut down opposing voices — Kimberlin and his ilk through intimidation and violence; the SPLC by spreading lies and misinformation in its attempts to brand freedom lovers as haters, racists and bigots.
Calling someone a racist simply for disagreeing on policy is a typical tactic of fascists on both sides of the false political spectrum (it is often done in commentary on this site, and no doubt will appear below), and it has become increasingly popular in this age of the “post-racial President.” The SPLC uses its preposterous lies, straw man arguments and logical fallacies to promote a leftist, anti-American, totalitarian agenda.
But back to Boldin. He and his Tenth Amendment Center are doing good work in exposing the unConstitutional laws being pushed upon us by government and educating Americans about the Constitution and legitimate — according to the likes of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson — ways of resisting and rejecting government overreach.
I hope he wears his listing as a badge of honor. And while I didn’t make the cut, I’m on the radar. Two years ago, the SPLC fabricated from whole cloth a story about a racist-themed picnic and poetry contest I was supposedly hosting for my employees. That story, posted under Hatewatch, had as much legitimacy as the SPLC’s “charity work,” its Hatewatch blog and the various (un)intelligence reports it puts out daily to push its agenda.