About that crazy wingnt freeper
Well, my friends, since no-one (and I mean NO-ONE) in Reich Wing circles seems to be willing to discuss the arrest of Free Republic poster, Malkininte, and domestic terrorist Chad Castanaga, I guess it's going to be up to us to put this issue into perspective and explain what it means for Right Blogistan and, by extension, us here in the Reality-Based Community. This incident gives us a valuable look into the mindset of the sad, lonely men who read Pajamas Media and the threat they pose to American society.
It can be a very dangerous thing for an ideological zealot to gain a large and uncritical audience, whether you're talking about Adolf Hitler, Muqtada al-Sadr, or Ann Coulter. The kind of solipsistic, eliminationist rhetoric these people trade in has a particular appeal to disaffected angry young men who are socially isolated and bursting with undirected rage. When you band these people together into groups, they turn into mobs. If they're religious extremists from Muslim cultures, we call them muhajadeen or jihadi. If they're political and religious extremists from Western nations, we call them freepers or just "Republicans".
Chad Castanaga is a 39-year-old, unemployed Californian who, in his own words, thinks of Ann Coulter as "a goddess" and "worship(s) Michelle Malkin and (Reich Wing Talk Radio shrew) Laura Ingraham". Up until a few days ago, Mr. Castanaga was living with his parents and seemed like a nice enough guy, sure. A quiet type. Kept to himself. You get the picture.
Radar magazine tells us more:
According to an FBI affidavit obtained by Radar, Chad Conrad Castagana, who was arrested Monday on suspicion of sending powder-filled envelopes to Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, Sumner Redstone, David Letterman, Pelosi, and New York Senator Charles Schumer, purchased a $15 money order made out to "Friends of Katherine Harris" last September at a Woodland Hills, Calif., post office while he was picking up the envelopes and stamps he employed to terrorize the liberal elite.
According to the affidavit, Castagana, an "average looking" 39-year-old white guy who lives with his parents in Woodland Hills, attempted to send 13 fake anthrax letters to the aforementioned victims starting in September. We say "attempted" because the first letter, which contained the message, "Do you know Alan Berg? You should. Death to demagogues," and a harmless white powder, was sent to a poor sap on the Upper West Side named Jon Stewart—but not that Jon Stewart. (Alan Berg is the Jewish talk-radio host murdered by white-supremacists in Denver in 1984.)
Nice. But it gets better.
One of the Stewart letters featured a "picture of a recently deceased tsunami victim with a condition known as Priapism, an erect penis on a cadaver." Handwritten on the picture were the words, "Jon Stewart, Fuck Your Wife."
Stay Classy, Katherine Harris supporters!
Here are some of Castagana's other white-powder MASH notes:
To Olbermann: "There are too many demagogues in America. All of you are poisoning the well! Time to give your kind a taste of your own medicine."
To Redstone: "Fuck You Mr Monopolist [sic]"
To Letterman: "more then one way to frag a demagogue… your kind are the real poison [sic]"
To Pelosi: "CUNTFACE. IMPEACH THIS."
Charmed, I'm sure.
This is a portait of the ideal Malkin reader, furiously angry, pathetically eager to carry out whatever he perceives as his masters' bidding, and a deeply uncritical thinker, an unquestioning foot-soldier to the Reich Wing's brand of dangerous ideological extremism. The Malkins of the world have provided a valve for the worst elements of American society; a bung-hole for all the hate, cowardice, xenophobia, and violence that simmers under the surface of our culture. They play upon people's fears and launch their very own little home-grown fatwas against people like the Dixie Chicks, the entire nation of Germany, and even the entire staff of photographers at the New York Times, going so far as to publish their ideological opponents' personal contact information on line, which, when your fans are people like Chad Castanaga, inevitably results in death threats and terroristic acts. One woman was hounded to the point that she took her own life after Malkin outed her contact information and sent her readers in for the kill, launching a campaign of harassment and intimidation that drove their target to suicide.
And Mary Katherine Ham wonders why I don't want to rub shoulders with her at a party and make nicey-nice! These people are ultimately exactly the same as the radical Islamic clerics and jihadis they claim to oppose, and it's time we called them out as such. The Right Blogosphere is a cesspool of boiling hate and howling insanity and we need to stop pretending that these are people who can be engaged rationally, appeased, or tolerated. They stand in direct opposition to everything that America is about, freedom of speech, plurality of ideas, and equality before the law regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and ideological or spiritual affiliation. To Malkinites, ALL MUSLIMS ARE KILLERS, ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE DANGEROUS, and ALL LIBERALS ARE "UNHINGED".
"Unhinged" is a favorite word of Mrs. Malkin's. It was the title of one of her illegible screeds about the dangers of allowing liberals to exist in our society, but it's hard for me to imagine anyone more unhinged than a man who sends death threats and phony anthrax to media figures in an effort to silence and intimidate them. Enough is enough. Perhaps this incident and the FBI's scrutiny of hate sites like LGF and Free Republic will mean a safer, less threatening world for us all.
We live in hope.
posted by Steve @ 1:44:00 AM