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Mind Of A Killer

The white supremacist movement and the Sikh shootings in Wisconsin.

Wade Michael Page (Southern Poverty Law Center)

Wade Michael Page (Southern Poverty Law Center)

The guiding principles of the Sikh faith are truth, equality, freedom, justice and karma.  It was not good karma in Oak Creek, Wisconsin Sunday.  As congregants gathered to pray and cook at the local Sikh temple, 40-year-old Wade Michael Page walked in and began shooting.

Before he was finally killed by Oak Creek police, six were dead, three critically wounded.  Now the headlines – Wade Michael Page and white supremacy.  The tattoos.  The mindset.  The white power music.

This hour, On Point:  The Sikh temple killer Wade Michael Page and the white supremacist movement in America.

-Tom Ashbrook


Rick Romell, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Heidi Beirich, leads the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s Intelligence Project.

Don Borelli, senior vice-president of The Soufan Group.   A former FBI agent, he overesaw hundreds of investigations into foreign and domestic terrorism cases, including: Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, 2009 plot to bomb the New York subway system by Najibullah Zazi, and the 2008 capture and extradition of Bryant Neal Vinas, who plotted with al Qaeda to plant bombs in the Long Island Railroad.

Rajdeep Singh, national executive director of the Sikh Coalition.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “The man who allegedly shot and killed six people inside a Sikh temple south of Milwaukee on Sunday was a military veteran from a neighboring community, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said Monday morning.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ‘The shooter who opened fire before worship services Sunday at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek and killed six people before he was killed by police is Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran, U.S. Attorney James A. Santelle said Monday.”

Daily Beast “Before he killed six at a Sikh temple, Wade Page was immersed in the shady culture of ‘hate music.’ Chris Lee on the racist rockers who jam at a ‘weird bar in rural Georgia.’”

Slate “Mark Potok and the Southern Poverty Law Center report that Sikh temple shooting suspect Wade Michael Page is “a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.” The best evidence for this, right now, is a 2010 interview that Page gave to Label 56, to talk about his band End Apathy.”

Video: SPLC On Hate Groups

This Southern Poverty Law Center video was created to help law enforcement agencies better prepare for encounters with skinhead groups.

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  • http://twitter.com/mofycbsj Brian

    If he were black, society would call him a thug. If he were a Muslim, society would call him a terrorist. But he’s a white American, and a vet to boot, so he must be “mentally ill.”

    • Hidan

       TOTN proves your point. Right before the Host had on Navdeep Singh, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He gave time to Dina Temple Rason to “inform” while this is being called a act of domestic terrorism it really isn’t a act of domestic terrorism and her “Sources” tell her we shouldn’t call it that and be weary of labelling it a hate crime.

      Read this


      In 2010, Page, then the leader of the band End Apathy, gave an interview to the white supremacist website Label 56.

      The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed Label56.com as a hate site
      since 2006 due to its active promotion and distribution of racist hate
      music. And while the label might have stopped selling End Apathy’s
      albums, it continues to offer such hate rock bands as Stormtroop 16,
      Children of the Reich, Total War and Bound for Glory.

      Than read/listen to Dina make excuses for the guy.


      TEMPLE-RASTON: Sure, I think that this domestic terrorism sort of label
      has taken on more importance than maybe it should at this point in the
      investigation. Essentially what happened is that this is a case that
      spans more than just Wisconsin. It spans a couple of different states
      where he lived, North Carolina where he was posted, and generally when
      you have a kind of crime that spans more than one state, the FBI steps

      In addition to that, apparently local law enforcement said that they
      felt that the FBI had more resources to investigate this. So the FBI
      assigned a unit to investigate, and the unit they assigned is from the
      Domestic Terrorism Unit. And I was told by my sources there that not too much should be read into that. I mean, clearly they wouldn’t assign a mortgage fraud unit to do this.

      Maybe they don’t have the right kind of evidence they need to make that
      kind of case, that they’ll just make it a more simple, straightforward
      murder case.So, you know, I know people in the Sikh community in Wisconsin are talking about this being a hate crime, but I’m not quite sure that they’ve determined that yet.

      Dina goes on

      “TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, it’s interesting because the witnesses who were
      there in the temple apparently very much focused on this one tattoo he
      had that was sort of a 9/11 tribute tattoo. And they focused on that as
      being a sign of his white supremacy. But in fact, these 9/11 tribute
      tattoos very often are worn by the military or at least put on by
      military people or first responders, like firemen or law enforcement

      I guess I would say that before we jump to the conclusion that this was someone who was mistakenly targeting Sikhs for – and thinking that they were Muslim, we actually have no idea what this shooter’s motive was, and we don’t know if he knew exactly what he was aiming at or not

    • Prairie_W

      That’s really good, Brian!  Thanks!

  • Hidan

    Hate groups have grown since 08 at a troubling levels espically with the rise of anti-muslim hate groups with leaders like Pam Geller (http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/pamela-geller)
    Frank Gaffney Jr. (http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/frank-gaffney-jr) Daniel Pipes (http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2011/summer/the-anti-muslim-inner-circle)

    According to the map Ma. has more hate groups than Wisconsin,

    Many others


    One can find even find promotion of anti-muslim hate on the on-point thread even some linking to hate group websites. Onpoint itself as hosted members of Hate groups like Mona Charan  who said this.

    Washington Times, 10/18/01), syndicated columnist Mona Charen made a sweeping demand for racial profiling: “Every Middle Eastern-looking truck driver should be pulled over and questioned wherever he may be in the United States.” She also called for mass expulsions based on ethnicity: “There are thousands of Arabs in the United States at this moment on student and travel visas. They should all be asked, politely and without prejudice, to go home.”

    How can Tom talk about hate groups when He himself host people like Mona?

    • Hidan

       “One can even find”

      • nj_v2

        Maybe they’ll have Michelle Bachmann as a guest.

        • Hidan

           Still amazing that Onpoint will talk about hate groups while it and NPR will have on people listed as part of Hate Groups or promote the same crap these groups promote.

          In Tom’s case he claims it for balance and hearing all sides.

    • Prairie_W

      I think the problem is not with Mona Charen, who’s mostly thinking about Mona Charen, but with On Points’ choice of panelists.  The ho-hum guest from the ta-da left and the ho-hum guest from the ta-da right. 

      • Hidan

         But again, Tom decries hate and incitement but than gives voice to people like Mona(Rush L clip was played the prior day) in the name of “balance” while asking how we can stop such hate and/or incitement.

        It seems certain forms of hate are perfectly acceptable to On-point(mostly attacks on muslims,gays,blacks, latinos)

  • Sean

    Leave it to the liberal media to play the “race-bait card.”

    … just beacause they’re white supremacist hate groups doesn’t mean they’re prejudiced.

    NPR always cowing to the left-wing nut job progressives!

    Tea-Publicans 2012!!

    • Sean

      But hey, let’s keep getting RED STATES to profile all those off-white hooligans taking all our jobs, right Tea-publicans? Get ‘em outta my state!

      That helps America and doesn’t foster a sense of hate among some of our more ignorant citizens, right Tea-publicans?

    • Brett

      Mass murdering Arab-looking people because one thinks they are Muslims has always been a periodic phenomenon in US history and has nothing to do with current trends in racism. Besides, white supremacist groups have never shown violence against ethnic groups they hate. Where does that liberal media get its convoluted ideas?

      The TP’ers strike again! 

    • jefe68

      So all those young men with the swastikas and chanting sigh heil are not prejudice. Their just misunderstood.
      Man are you one sick puppy.

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t know, jefe.  I think that this is satire.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

     “Movement” or one nut job?

    • nj_v2

      Reading comprehension impairment or willful muddling?

    • Ray in VT

      This may certainly be the act of one nut, but it’s pretty undeniable that, should his supposed links to various white supremacist groups be accurate, there are some pretty vicious racists in America, and the Internet has allowed them to spread their messages far and wide.

  • Kairos

    Terrorism (noun)  The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence to intimidate or coerce societies or governments, often for religious and political reasons.

    From the American Heritage Dictionary. 

    I wish CNN would stop pretending to be authorities on morals and logic, read the effin dictionary and report what this event unequivocally is–terrorism.

    • Wbsurfver

       If the US funds al-qaeda to assassinate government officials and blow up buildings in Syria, Iran, or Libya, those are freedom fighters. Women and children killed by drones are collateral damage. Everyday US citizens who believe in the second amendment are suspected terrorists and should have their genitals grouped at the airport to keep everyone safe.

  • Micah

    A hate group, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it hates workers.

  • Brett

    …and, of course, we’ll hear all the anti-Southern Poverty Law Center rants from commenters today…that should be fun.

  • Newton Whale

    Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the shooter reportedly ambushed Police Lt. Brian Murphy, who was tending to a wounded person outside the temple when Page walked up to him and fired 8-9 shots at him from point blank range.

    It’s domestic terrorism both because he was a neo-nazi white supremacist intent on killing non-whites in order to “take back America” , but also because he and his group see the U.S government and our police as the enemy.

    • Prairie_W

      Should we be giving equal weight to the fact that the shooter is a veteran? as well as a member of a group that preaches violence?


    I would maintain that one of the worst hate groups that typically gets a pass for their hate-filled speech is proponents of  gay marriage.  Some of the hate speech that people like Jane Lynch have spewed out (see link below) as a result of the founder of Chick-Fil-A’s calm, respectful expression of his constitutionally protected, personal religious view that gay marriage contradicts the Bible has been totally hateful and disrespectful.  But in our society today, certain hate speech is ok as long as it it of a particular viewpoint.  If someone used the same expletive deleted language that Jane Lynch used, the ACLU and all of the left wingers would be screaming their heads off about hate speech.  But when someone expresses a politically incorrect view in a calm respective manner, it is ok to respond with hate speech as she and others have done.


    • Ray in VT

      I would maintain that you’re way off base regarding considering gay marriage proponents to be a hate group.  So Jane Lynch told Chick-Fil-A to F off.  Big deal.  I’d be inclined to basically tell them the same thing, although I’m also ticked off over the company threatening to sue a local artist because his Eat More Kale stuff is too similar to their slogan.  Do you expect people who are confronted with bias and discrimination to react calmly?  Perhaps they should turn the other cheek, but I’m not going to condemn someone for responding to such a position with some four letter words.  The First Amendment covers Jane Lynch and people ticked off at Chick-Fil-A too.

      I would say that a certain level of hate speech is okay in this country, just so long as you direct it at certain groups, like gays and lesbians.  What other group can one make it a part of one’s religious or political platform to condemn as sinful, evil, immoral or mentally ill and actually win support of praise in wide segments of society.  You can’t do that with ethnic minorities any more.  Would people flock to any business to support the position that we should separate the races or that people of a particular religious affiliation are somehow deficient?  Maybe some people would line up for the last one.

      I’m against people inciting real hatred or violence, as despicable groups like the Klan, the Aryan Nation and various other actual hate groups actually do.  To liken people who are pissed off at other people who advocate them not having the same legal protections as others to be somehow equal is just preposterous.


        Actually, people like Jane Lynch are engaging in politically correct and therefore acceptable hate speech.  If someone on the right had used a common derogatory term for homosexuals, people like you would be screaming the loudest that it is hate speech.  I didn’t hear anyone on the left scold her for inappropriate speech.

        The problem for liberals such as yourself that are supposedly tolerant is that when a faith such as Christianity correctly labels homosexuality as a sin, you have to contradict your supposed tolerance for religions (only certain religions will do).  The Chick-Fil-A person shared his Biblically justified position in a calm, respectful manner.  It was not hate speech.  Liberals always skirt that issue and resort to name calling in order to avoid the hypocrisy that they are trapped in by thinking that they are tolerant, when they are only tolerant of views that are in line with their own.

        10,000 years from now, when those who disregard the Biblical message of salvation and deliverance from any and all sin and addictions including homosexuality because of the power that is available to each individual through the death and resurrection of Christ, have spent those years separated from God and all that is good because they rejected the true Biblical message, they will realize that most people who shared the message that I am sharing did so out of love and concern for their eternal souls.  But it will be too late.  And they will have an eternity future to spend regretting their foolish lifestyle choice.

        • Hidan

           -correctly labels homosexuality as a sin
          -Biblically justified position
          -an eternity future to spend regretting their foolish lifestyle choice

          Winston what does the bible say on what should happen to Homosexuals?

          Leviticus 20:13

              If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

          Clearly a loving act

          • Hidan

             I got the quote from


            who say

            Like wise our forefathers in early Alabama
            passed laws to suppress openly homosexual behavior. Our forefathers
            did not consider homosexuals to be normal people, as they took the
            word of God the Bible seriously.
            These laws and traditions have been maintained
            to even today. Shall we remove the landmarks established by our
            forefathers? Is the human reasoning put forth by the liberal
            newspapers wiser than the wisdom of our forefathers?So putting gays to death is a acceptable act to these people.

          • WINSTON SMITH

            God graciously and mercifully proclaims the message of mercy and forgiveness for those who will genuinely repent, turn from their sin, and turn to God.  Once we die, however, the time for repentance has passed and then comes the judgment, where those who reject the message and will not have Christ’s substitutionary death applied to them.  Since we owe an infinite debt, which we can not repay through our own efforts, they will spend eternity away from the Lord.  Hell is a literal place that is spoken of many times in the Bible, whether we want to believe in it or not.

          • J__o__h__n

            None of this is real. 

          • Ray in VT

            I believe that you believe everything that you said there, however, you cannot prove it.  If your faith, or any other, had some actual hard proof, then certainly it would have won over all of humanity by now.  I don’t believe that.  Maybe I’m wrong, but maybe I’m not.  Many believe, but who really knows?

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t consider telling someone where to go to be hate speech.  Sometimes one must call a spade a spade or tell someone where to shove it.  That is certainly well within my and your right, unless you have a problem with people expressing their opinions, at least so long as they are in conflict with your own.

          The problem with conservatives such as yourself is that you seem to think that your right to freedom of speech and religion exempt you from criticism.  I have plenty of respect for your right to believe whatever you, or anyone else, wants.  That does not, however, mean that I have to like it or respect it as an opinion or position.  You see, I have this right to form an opinion and take a position that can be entirely contrary to yours and your book, and I can express that position.  If you don’t like it, then fine, say it back.  Use some four letter words if I get you riled up enough.  I don’t really care.

          The Bible, as well as other books, has been used for centuries to justify bigotry, hatred, slavery, etc., and I think that like the Biblical justifications that were used to promote racism, the religious opposition to homosexuality will also lose it’s hold on society.  You want to say that it’s love that compels you to promote views like how gays and lesbians are child molesters, as you did regarding a piece on the Boy Scouts a couple of weeks ago, then fine.  Again, I don’t really care, but I’m still going to consider it to be a form of bigotry, no matter what source is used as it’s justification.

          Believe in what you will regarding your faith, but do not believe that you can compel other believers and non believers to live by your own religious edicts.

    • Prairie_W

      Hate speech is hate and it’s hate, not speech, that we should be concerned about.  And do something about…


        I agree.  And people like Jane Lynch and others who think like her hate those who respectfully (something she lacks) disagree with her.

        • Prairie_W

          I checked out the HuffPo piece and have to say that one “f— Chicken” etc. just doesn’t seem like enough to worry about.  How great it would be if the Wisconsin guy could have just said “f— Sikhs” and left it at that.

          Jane Lynch, when I’ve seen her, has always struck me as an intensely funny person,not someone I associate with “hate.”  But listen, Winston:  I don’t usually read HuffPo for much the same reason I don’t have TV.  Because there are whole sections of the media who, for the sake of ratings, turn the world into black and white,  bad and good. I stopped wanting to be one of their suckers. Respectful disagreement got thrown out at least a decade ago. So you might consider that someone wants you to think Jane Lynch is a hater largely because they want your money or your vote.

          The media aren’t the devil incarnate, but many of them, if not most, are his little helpers.

          • WINSTON SMITH

            Would you have been as understanding of someone who would have used the F word in regards to GLBT?  Perhaps you would have.  But most people on the left would be screaming hate speech, calling for a moratorium on new Chick-Fil-A restaurants, and anything else they could do to silence the side that they disagree with.

          • Prairie_W

             Funny — yes I have.  All groups can be ridiculous sometimes. And the f-word is so much a part of our language that only people looking for trouble nowadays have a problem with it.  That may be good or bad, but there it is — another 13th century word polluting our clean, moral, peaceful, perfect 21st century world.

          • Ray in VT

            It depends, would that be in response to some GLBT person degrading the person tossing out the f bomb?  I can see a very great difference between someone responding to an action or statement made against them and someone who is just going off a group or person because of their own biases or bigoted views.

          • jefe68

            You sir are a real wanker, the very definition of one.

    • Brettearle

      Hate speech can be accomplished, successfully, without screaming or invective.

      If a private company denounces the rights of private citizens, because of their sexual orientation, that can be just as hateful, as Lynch’s excoriations. 

    • jefe68

      Your comments are off base. If you think what Jane Lynch said is hate speech you are very much mistaken.
      If you can’t tell the difference between the kind of speech being used by neo-nazis and saying f-you to Chick-Fil-A you are very much mistaken. By the way Romney’ aid told reporters to kiss his ass and I don’t see the ACLU saying a damn thing about it. Your attempt here at using this particular show to voice your sicking right wing view point is duly noted pal.


        In my and many people’s opinion, language and tone used by Jane Lynch is hate speech and would certainly have been labeled as such by people like you if it had been toward a viewpoint that people like you disagree with.

        • Patrick

          Well, when Jane Lynch, or any other vocal proponent of gay marriage, snaps and shoots up a church, then you’ll have a point.  Right now, you have none.

          • WINSTON SMITH

            Actually, when certain church groups supported denying same sex marriage in California, several left wing individuals did damage to churches.  But that is acceptable violence and vandalism because it is politically correct.  

          • J__o__h__n

            Vandalism isn’t appropriate but it is conducted more often by the religious.  The Muslims and Christians have destroyed countless cultural treasures. 

          • Adks12020

            “The problem for liberals such as yourself that are supposedly tolerant is that when a faith such as Christianity correctly labels homosexuality as a sin…”
            That’s the end of your credibility.  It’s a sin to those that follow Christianity (and some other mainstream religions).  Those of us that don’t practice Christianity don’t find anything abhorrent about homosexuality. I don’t believe someone doing something that makes them happy, something that doesn’t harm anyone else, is a problem. Apparently you feel it’s inappropriate to allow people to lives their lives happily.   
            Religion is a contruct of the human mind; something that people use to find direction in their lives.  That’s all well and good but just because others don’t need or want it doesn’t mean they are bad people.  I often find devoutly religious people are the most intolerant of all people.  Kind of ironic considering devout people seem to think they are the model of the good human being.

          • Patrick

            Well, that’s not very nice.  Now, tell me this:  Has a gay marriage advocate ever gunned down innocent people, including an 84-year-old man, in a place of worship?

            No.  Now quit being such a tool.

          • WINSTON SMITH

            I certainly do not in any way, shape, or form support what this man did.  I own no guns and don’t like guns.  But (not all) who support gay marriage are very militant, have hatred for those who disagree with them, and can justify violence (at least to themselves) against those who disagree with them. And stop name calling. I am not a tool.  I sincerely take a different viewpoint, one which I have put a great deal of rational thought into.  Your speech is insulting.

          • Patrick

            The false equivalence that you draw, between this dirtbag skinhead murderer and a lesbian actress, is not an example of rational thought.  If my speech is insulting, then what is yours?  Slanderous, pathetic, and verging on Neo-Nazi apologism.

            If you don’t want people to think that you’re a tool, then quit arguing like one.

          • Tominator

            Winston, Ray is right: you project too much. it’s not becoming nor is it useful in any intelligent conversation.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps you would would like to project that view onto liberals and gay rights supporters, but you would be wrong to do so.  There is a time when violence is acceptable, but that would not be one in my opinion.

        • jefe68

          Do you understand the meaning of context?
          Apparently not.

          People like me? What’s that supposed mean?

          Your are a real piece of work buddy.

    • J__o__h__n

      That wasn’t hate speech.  Keep whining about being oppressed. 


        Actually, those on the left on take a calmly made comment that contradicts their left wing viewpoint are the ones who are screaming that they are oppressed.

    • Sean

      More HATER SPEW in the name of RELIGION!!

      If you’re going to use Jesus for your INTOLERANCE, you make it obvious you DON”T UNDERSTAND what the HELL he stood for!!!

  • Jonathan


    You should just remove the comment section from your web page.  Regardless of the subject, the comments are filled with cynical, partisan ranting.

    • Che’ Riviera

      You don’t have to look, you know.

    • Brettearle

       You mean, remove Free Speech?

    • J__o__h__n

      Don’t read them.

  • Yar

    Please spend some time talking about the “us VS. them” logic that is so pervasive among hate groups.  This isn’t new, the model creates ideological litmus tests to filter anyone who challenges a point of view, stirs up the base through polarizing rhetoric, and sooner rather than later some glory seeking individual will turn words of hate into acts of violence.  A example of early domestic terrorism is John Wilkes Booth in the Know Nothing Party.   ” The Know-Nothing party created their conspiracy theory along traditional lines and by appealing to three basic concepts that were strong in the American mind at that time: secrecy, patriotism, and Protestantism. ” http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=ED294283

    Sounds like the rhetoric of today!

    Booth was also a Confederate sympathizer vehement in his denunciation of the Lincoln Administration and outraged by the South’s defeat in the American Civil War. He strongly opposed the abolition of slavery in the United States and Lincoln’s proposal to extend voting rights to recently emancipated slaves.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wilkes_Booth

    An ON-Point guest last week repeatedly used the word socialism in a derogatory context while talking over the other guests as they presented their points, so much so, I turned off the radio.  I hope ON-Point demands respect for and from every participant. 

  • Matt

    The National Alliance, like most white supremacist groups, is controlled by the FBI.

    • Tominator

      Really? Give us all your citations on that, Matt.

  • Che’ Riviera

    Hate group, hate crime, hate speach.  I’m not a fan of these terms.

    I “hate” policies and ideals of American conservatives.  Does this make my friends and I a hate-group?  If I express my opinion publicly is it hate-speach?  The idea of a hate crime is redundant.  If I mug you and slug you in the jaw in the process, does it matter if I hate you or not?  Is the act of slugging you not its own form of hatred?

    How do we know who hates what, unless they tell us?  Actions cannot reasonably be defined as hatred, no matter how grieveous.

    • Wm. James from Missouri

      There must be a category of crimes that are classified as “love crimes” , right ?

      • Ray in VT

        I think that they got rid of most of those crimes when the anti-miscegenation laws were struck down.

  • Brettearle

    The sick violence, in Wisconsin, is nothing less than one extension of an extreme radical version of the much milder ignorance that we all had to endure, in 2007….when Senator McCain, at a town meeting, had to disabuse a pathetic woman, of her imbecilic notion that Senator Obama was a Muslim.

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    Talk about self hate groups! They seem to be everywhere. The things I see people doing to themselves are mind boggling ! Not educating themselves, wallowing in bad habits, living in filth, dressing like a slob all the time. Some people never wear a collar or tuck their shirts inside their pants, or pull their pants up ( This one really gets me, what a bunch of idiots ! ) . What’s with all these tattoos ? They are everywhere. Seeing all these otherwise attractive women, sometimes beautiful women, with tattoos, disturbs the entire mojo of the universe ! We need to check with the medical community’s procedures used when delivering babies. I fear doctors maybe squeezing the heads of the newborn !

    • Ray in VT

      I often agree with you, and I also dislike the baggy pants look, but we are far removed from the days when my grandfather wore a tie to go fishing.  I make good money, but I’m wearing an old t-shirt and shorts at work.  Stuff like that is just part of the changing social norms.  Some I like; some I don’t.  I do have to disagree with your opinion on tattoos as well.  They work well on some people, and they’re totally mainstream these days.  My mother in law, who is a financial executive, has gotten inked the past few years.  It’s not just for bikers and sailors any more.

      • CHK2000

        I have to agree with Wm. James.  One can dress casually in public or at work but still make an effort to look groomed and respectable.  The tattooing of the populace, in my opinion, is also stupid and upsetting.  As a 51 year old woman who is very liberal, I am dismayed also to see beautiful young women heavily tattooed.  They will most definitely regret it as they age.  This is a trend I just cannot understand, it’s not rebellious anymore – it is merely conformist! -  and am thankful that my beautiful nieces and nephews have so far been able to resist. 

    • jefe68


      • Wm. James from Missouri

        Conforming to the “Norm” or settling for lower standard is not the answer. Don’t get me wrong, we have all done it at one time or another. That doesn’t mean that we should continue to “out do” the other guy by continuing to relax standards. Why not strip down to a loin cloth , paint your face and live in a cave ? Hey, your off the grid : )

  • Mike

    No doubt the government will use these shootings to spy on Americans even more.  After all, in this post-9/11 world there is a boogieman and a “lone wolf” under every bed.

  • Prairie_W

    Having read all the comments so far (and having seen plenty of evidence over the years), I’d say the Bible has been used as the justification for a really disproportionate amount of hatred and violence.  Let’s not outlaw the Bible.  But let’s stop using it as some do:  the final word.  It is not and wasn’t, I’m pretty sure, intended to be.


      Actually, it was and is the final word.  “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”  

      • Ray in VT

        For you and other believers perhaps, but there are some 6 billion non-Christians here on Earth, and many of them just as strongly believe in their own sacred words and books.


          Unfortunately for them, The Bible will be the last and final word.  That is why we have to get the message to them.

          • margbi

             Nobody is going to come and rescue us. We have to work this out ourselves.

          • Ray in VT

            Again, that’s your belief, and many others believe that.  However, it’s not that people are unaware of the word.  Many people have heard it and just don’t believe.  People can gain faith or lose it.  Some people just never have it, and most of us are just fine with that.

          • Ellen Dibble

            So do atheists have “crises of faith”?  Do they lose faith too?  I suppose so; but it’s called identity crisis of nervous breakdown or depression or something like that.

          • Ray in VT

            A crisis of non-faith perhaps?  Some atheists fall off of, or get on, the wagon, depending upon how one looks at it.

          • J__o__h__n

            No.  I’m open to evidence to the contrary but haven’t seen any so far.  During times of stress, thoughts about the supernatural don’t enter my mind. 

          • Ellen Dibble

            I know what you mean!

          • kelty

            I have been an Atheist since my early 20′s, but had been considering it since my mid-teens. I was brought up RC, CCD teacher, parochial school, the whole shebang. Every once in a while, I will be in a church and think, “How peaceful, how soothing, that Jesus knew what he was talking about, why did I stop doing this?” And then I realize it is a total farce and start thinking about how MAN & the church use this tool to promote bigotry & intolerance toward “others” & subjugates women. Then I realize I am much happier & more peaceful using my own conscience as my guide in dealing with my fellow humans. Is that a crisis in faith (or lack thereof) or a momentary lapse of reason?   

        • Bea

          Ray, that’s the difference for me.  If a group is against something i.e. abortion or same sex marriages, I endorse their right not to participate in it.  What I object to is a group’s determination to prevent anyone else from participating in it either.

      • Tominator

        So, the words of a rabbinical haploid zombie written by misogynist Iron Age tribesmen appears. Hallelujah and pass the ammo?

    • Guest

      Isn’t it interesting that those who “lite the fire” in condemning the gays and LGBT people use the Bible for their condemnation. Hmmmm ;What does the Bible say about ALL the OTHER sins that the “general population” commit. And by the way , with similar penalties.   Sources say that one in two marriages end in divorce. A greater number of people live together instead of the sanctity of marriage. Greed,love thy neighbor, community responsibility , Wall street corruption and on an on an on. 
      As to the the Milwaukee shooting I would suggest that you accept the axiom: “to be forewarned is to be forearmed”. Pat Buchanan’s’ book ” Suicide of a Superpower” forewarns as to what is coming to America.

  • Mike

    Just noticed that one of the guests is a lady from the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Why do news organizations ask for the opinion of SPLC talking heads?  It is widely known that SPLC is illegitimate.  In the 1990s they and the FBI were deeply involved in Elohim City/OKC bombing episode, and most recently they have been trying to label libertarians and constitutionalists as domestic terrorists (search for “MIAC report”).  I love On Point but please never have an illegitimate organization like the SPLC on the show again. 

    • jefe68

      So Mike where do you stand on this skinhead white power stuff?

    • Tominator

      Pffffft. You have no idea what you are talking about. Your rant of illegitimacy is without any cred whatsoever. As jefe68 asks, where do you come down on white supremacy ideology, and then you may come back to an intelligent conversation.

      • Mike

        Tominator and jefe68, you guys ever go to college?  First or second semester you would have taken Speech 101 and learned what an ad hominem attack is. 

        Let’s see… when I was 16 my best friend was a gay dude from India.  When I was in my 20s my girlfriend was half Latino and my best friend was half black.

        Stop with the ad hominem nonsense and do some research on SPLC and Elohim City.

        • jefe68

          Mike, have you heard of the term putting your foot in your mouth. I asked you a simple question about your point of view.
          It was based on your comments, which were quite loaded given the topic, and you now accuse me of an ad hominem attack.
          Speaking of which, I would have thought your comment about the Southern Poverty Law Center was the very definition of an ad hominem attack. 

          As to the SPLC and Elohim City, I found this: The SPLC monitored subjects for the FBI believed to be linked to executed bomber Timothy McVeigh, the white supremacist compound at Elohim City and the mysterious German national Andreas Carl Strassmeir.

          I see you have a problem with SPLC monitoring extremist such as the shooter in Wisconsin.

          Interesting that you come on down on the side of the extremist, or so it would seem.

          Mike, this is an ad hominem attack, you are a complete tool.

          Classic response as well, some of my best friends are gay, black, from India…

          • Mike

            Let me see if I can make this clear to you.  I hope this post ends you being a jerk to me, and that we stop arguing over what “is” is.  

            Of course I am against skinheads and white power stuff.  I was raised in a colorblind home and deplore all forms of racism.  My anti-racist stance helps shapes many of my views.  For example, I am against every war that Bush and Obama has been waging because the wars are killing hundreds of thousands of this decades convenient “other” (IE brown Muslims).  I am against the war on drugs in part because it disproportionately jails young black men. 

            Does that settle it?  Or do I need to be more direct some how?  Dumb it down more?

          • Wbsurfver

             Mike is right, the media feeds you alot of misinformation. Most people have no idea what the extensive history is of the CIA and FBI. This stuff is not hard to find out from the info we have on the web, but since it seems as if hard to believe people won’t look into it generally.

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org Steve Banicki

    Guns need to be controlled

    • Ping1

      They should make them illegal.. Just like in Mexico.

      • Tominator

        And look at all the love and peace that’s being showered on the people in Mexico. Your post is woefully naive and myopic. Think.

    • Tominator

      To paraphrase Clint Eastwood: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it. (And they will always be around, so the fantasy that they can be “controlled is just that, a fantasy. Get with the reality already.)

  • Patrick

    On the one hand, there seems to be a proliferation of conspiracy theories (birtherism, trutherism, radical Islamic infiltration of the government, global warming as a liberal plot, etc), most of which have had high-profile proponents in politics or the media.

    On the other hand, factions in the government and the culture at large seem unable to agree on basic facts about anything, for fear of helping the “other side.”Both of these problems contribute to frustration, paranoia and lack of faith in institutions.  It might have been a fun game when times were relatively good, but when the economy is leaving so many people with financial stresses, it’s irresponsible. Our government and media figures need to start acting like adults.

    The connection with the Wisconsin shooting, as I see it, is the danger of dangerous ideas.  Our society tolerates dangerous ideas (which is important), but it fails to provide the counterbalance – good examples of clear thinking and productive argumentation.

    • Wbsurfver

       dangerous ideas like the second amendment ..

       How much has the ocean risen in the past 35 years ? answer: a few inches

  • Irv West

         In my small rural town in upstate New York, a few weeks ago there was a KKK member and an Aryan Nation representative, both  dressed in full garb, wandered the streets trying to recruit new members.
         The adults said and did nothing, but the high school kids rallied against them. Power to our youth! Same on the adults!!

    • Adks12020

      I actually live in upstate New York also.  If you don’t mind my asking, what town was that in…or county? I never hear anything about those groups around here but it doesn’t surprise me that much.  Lots of closet racists in rural New York.

    • Wbsurfver

      He is the alleged shooter because he is dead just like Harvey Oswald was dead; and because the media picks and chooses the story as they are told,

      Eyewitness says 4 men where involved in shooting:


       In many cases we find when there is some militia group, the people running it are “FBI informants”, or in the case of the White Supremists Hal Turner who worked for the FBI. These shootings are intended to create a fervor for gun control in the US ahead of the coming economic collapse.

  • J__o__h__n

    I’m assuming that the crazy ignorant white supremacist thought they were Muslims.  In this country, anti Sikh violence is probably due to this confusion.  I’ve heard leaders from the Sikh community on NPR trying to introduce themselves and their religion, but if I were them I’d run a PR campaign just saying that they aren’t Muslims. 

    • jefe68

      That’s an interesting thought. Somehow I think that the members of Skinhead White Supremacist gangs are not the types to be into nuance when it comes to Sikhs and Muslims.

    • Ray in VT

      That could be part of it, but it also could just have been purely racial.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Nah, I don’t think the Sikh “persuasion,” as it was laid out on today’s program would allow for differentiating itself from Islam quite like that;it wouldn’t broadcast it quite that way.  It would seem to imply that Sikhs are better, and that Muslims are the ones you ought to be criticizing and complaining about.  
          You know?  Don’t even GO there!
           And the exception always proves the rule, and there may be Muslims that ought to be complained about.  Indeed there are.  I’m sure there are Sikhs as well.
           However, out of the billions of Muslims in the world, there are probably more Muslims who adhere to exactly the principles Rajdeep Singh laid out as Sikh — which he pointed out seem to him to be the basic American principles as well — far more Muslims than Sikhs adhering to those principles, just because there are far more Muslims than Sikhs, and because those principles seem pretty universal to me.  I’d invite any religion to espouse them.

      • J__o__h__n

        As a realist if I were being targeted mistakenly, I’d point out that I was the wrong target before trying to explain why no one should be targeted. 

  • Tina

    It seems to me that the verbiage that the Faux News broadcasters spout is mainly meant to support the Republicans over the Democrats, but it is often close enough to hate speech that it could easily help propel the ideologies of the hate groups.  It’s playing with fire.

    • J__o__h__n

      Unless speech is used to incite immediate violence or combined with actual violence, we should be very careful to label it as hate speech or try to censor it. 

  • Voicelady

    This is a big tune out. I do not want to give mass murderers my time or energy. That is just what they want.  Don’t waste your precious time on the air with these sickos.  I don’t want to hear that guy’s music or anything about him.

    • Guest

      Yep; the old ” stick your head in the sand” syndrome. Don’t pay any attention to the infection. And who may I ask is to fault when the patient dies?

    • Tominator

      Wrong. Each and every American needs to know what to look for in identifying these cowards. Ignoring this issue and the potential for increased violence against anyone not in tune with crazy, right-wing ideologies such as white supremacy is just waiting to be neutralized. They recruit in schools as much as the military does. It could happen to your kids, and you wouldn’t bat a eye at the tattoos and propaganda in the living room until the FBI comes knocking. Then, who will be to blame?

  • kaltighanna

    It is painful to see things like this massacre happen simply because a group of people hates “the other” enough to be willing to commit atrocities like these. It’s not the first time, and sadly, it won’t be the last. Instead of continuing to promote the “us” versus “them” hate-filled comments in this very website, I wish the show would focus on explaining WHY people feel this way and how to get through to convince them to open their minds and understand that hate will never accomplish what they want.

    Focusing on how peaceful the Sikh religion is will be a waste of time. The point is that they look different and think different from what the “group” thinks is the right way. They would attack Gandhi himself if he was there that day. It’s not about the size of the threat the “out” group poses, but about the size of the hate some people feel for whoever looks and thinks differently.

  • Andrew

    Let’s not confuse the skinhead subculture associated with punk/ska music scene (including our own Dropkick Murphys here in Boston, especially in their early days) with this awful “hate rock” that is being discussed on air.  They are not related and this bears distinction. 

    • Ray in VT

      Agreed.  The music is just a way for them to express their horrible message.  We should also not condemn pop music because of Prussian Blue, who I once heard described as the Olsen twins of the white power movement


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    This latest outrageous mass murder in WI is only the most recent of several in the state since 2004. This does not mean that the people of Wisconsin have all lost their marbles. There’s something else going on, nationwide.

    Deliberate pre-planning of these deadly assaults suggests, to me, that too many white men have way too much money to spend on guns & ammo and way too much idle time on their hands to fantasize about using them, for real.

    No matter what, this atrocity is just another profit windfall for the gun & ammo industries, not to mention the lobbyists who will scream like banshees for even greater proliferation of automatic handguns in America.

  • Jim_T

    Thank you Tom for having Heidi from the Southern Poverty Law Center on with you today.  These good folks have been doing great work, often unnoticed, in tracking these hate groups that pose both a potential and real threat.  It is unreal how many crimes these groups and members have been involved with.  The SPLC really made a difference in holding these hate groups accountable by suing them and getting judgments against their founders and/or the organizations.
    I live about 90 minutes from Laurens,SC where these groups have gathered and have a store that sells swastika flags, armbands, buttons, posters portraying Hitler as a hero.  It’s a free country, but we must keep an eye on these folks. SPLC is in the forefront of leting us know about these groups, who they are, what they do and where they are.

    Jim in Fort Mill,SC

  • J__o__h__n

    It is ironic that these losers who get their self esteem from their skin being white cover it up with lots of tattoos. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    Do these groups explain why they hate this or that?  Is there a reason that non-whites are targeted?  Just asking.  In a few years, whites will BE the minority.  And I don’t think we’ll be that much different.  

    • Ray in VT

      I think that they often do.  Christian Identity has a whole world view and a theology that claims that Jesus was white and the Europeans are the true descendants of his chosen people, and the Nazi related groups certainly have their own beliefs stemming from the Third Reich.  It’s some pretty crazy stuff.

      I think that one thing that some of these groups are afraid of is that they are going to be the minority and that their “natural” place atop society is and has been undermined.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Natural place atop society — I actually do know whereof you speak.  It is interesting though to see Christian evangelism confident that those naturally beneath them can be lifted up, all the way to heaven, simply by imposing a different set of rituals and beliefs.  If the nonwhites are not chosen, then why try so hard to choose them?  Actually, why do Christians think of themselves as chosen at all?  The chosen people were Abraham’s descendants, and maybe we are all that, genetically, but in terms of continuous faith, Christians are no longer waiting for the Messiah.  Jewish people are.  Hold it.  I am still waiting for the Messiah, in a certain way.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DY6HPE4GZ3GNNNMVJUMGGT6IZE Andrew

     White Supremacists, as sad bunch of people that are unable to accept or incorporate all other facets of society.  Even with the worst of their actions, they have my pity more than my disdain.

  • Ellen Dibble

    If unfounded hate is an aspect of a personality seeking to displace self-doubt and insecurity onto the “other,” the scapegoat, whatever your group allows you to select, then hate groups suggest identity crisis, adolescence writ large.  What about the children of these sorts?  Do children absorb the hatreds of their parents?  Probably.  Or they might hate the haters.  

  • Jon

    The use of the term skinhead is being used inappropriately. The culture behind skinhead doesn’t traditionally include neo-nazi or racist beliefs. One of the largest groups of skinheads in the US are SHARP skinheads (SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice). There are plenty of examples of black, latino, and queer skinheads. Neo-nazis have co-opted the term skinhead and media continue to propagate the misuse of the term. Saying all skinheads are nazis is no different than saying all white people are nazis. 

  • Mass_Mark

    In response to the caller, Mark, from Buffalo, talking about the neo-nazi scene in harcore music:

    I know these scenes exist, but I would also point out that there are strong anti-nazi and anti-hate movements within punk rock, hardcore, ska, etc. This can be seen in bigger bands from Rancid to the Clash, (every Anti-Flag song…), NoFX, Suicide Machines… In the punk scene I grew up with, any real hate speech would have been intolerable and, I would guess, would have led to a beat down of that person. Hating haters, I guess. My band even had a expletive-laden song I wrote when I first learned about whitepower record labels. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    The government stepped in during the 1950s to block the South from pigeon-holing the black population; I suppose it can block any group from basically bullying.  There is such a thing as a joint venture, offering support and encouragement.  Groups and ideologies could be answerable before the law, it seems to me.

  • Zach

    Just a comment about “skinheads”. It is important to recognize that punk and skinhead is an identity that people choose to identify with and that are typically non-racist, nor tolerant of racism. The neo-nazi, “hammer” skin movement is a branch of that identity that combines far-right politics and hate with an identity that others have found to be positive influences in their lives. The skinhead identity was co-opted in the 1980s by hate groups to subvert a pre-existing punk and hardcore punk scene and recruit young, impressional teenagers. As someone with many non-racist punk and skinhead friends it is important to not stereotype a social identity that is largely misunderstood as wholly violent or racist.  

    • Andrew

      Agreed, well said.

    • Zach

      And just to follow off of that, we are an extraordinarily diverse nation of varying identities and social groups. In such horrible times, a time of so much hate and vitriol in politics and the streets, the national discourse should be rejuvenated over multiculturalism and a celebration of our vibrant and beautiful nation. There are so many different people that have so many positive things to make our country better and we should put that right at the forefront and celebrate diversity.

      • Troy

         Thank you Zach for setting the record straight.  I am a Skinhead and have been for the better part of  15 years.  I am Jewish and I have no place for politics in my scene.  We are NON-Racist, like the movement has always been.  When using the term “Skinhead” synonymously with nazi and white power you are doing an injustice with our whole scene, and promoting the wrong connotation.  Please Tom, do your research – a simple google will teach you the history in about 5 minutes.  I can’t speak for my brothers and sisters in the movement – but for me, Skinhead has always meant: Taking pride in doing the best you can, in everything you do.  Stick by a strict moral code of truth and honesty, and more than anything else Fun, Music, & Friends.
        -Just setting the record straight.

        Kind Regards,


    • jefe68

      Zach you might want to look up the skinhead movement in the mid 60′s Great Britain. They were racist and committed acts of violence against people from Pakistan, India and Blacks living in Britain. The skins from that period are the ones who started wearing Doc Martins with red laces and tattoos. Back in that period you had skins, rockers and mods.

      • Zach

        No I know, I am familiar with the movement and the history and have many friends involved with the original movement. The problem I have is with the word “they”. Even in the 60s there were many non-racist skinheads – especially considering that the entire identity was originally brought by Black Jamaicans who moved to Britain in the 1950s alongside ska, dancehall, and reggae music. For Britain, the racist element was infused through working class elements that were already racist and perceived newly arriving post-colonial populations immigrants into the country. The point is that it is an element of an identity. My comment was primarily speaking to the American nazi-skinhead movement, which was co-opting a punk/skinhead identity that had already arrived in the U.S. via non-racist British punk bands. The origins of the racist skinhead in the U.S. does not really kick off until the mid to late 80s and is almost wholly sponsored and promoted by hate groups – with many of those early racist bands being nothing more than groups assembled by hate groups to preach racism through the punk scene.

        • Zach

          “perceived newly arriving post-colonial populations immigrants into the country as a threat”

        • jefe68

          I agree, the nazi-skinhead movement has co-opted the skinhead identity here in the US. If I’m not mistaken this was already happening in the late 70′s in GB when the more violent skins were getting media attention. I seem to remember that the Specials (great two tone band) wrote Ghost Town which was about the violence effecting the club scene.

          The Skinheads were influenced in the Rude-boys from Kingston from what I’ve read about this. From what I understand there was a split between non-racist skins and the skins who joined up the National Front in the late 70′s early 80′s.

          There is a good film about this period called “This is England”, well worth watching.

          • zach

            Great film!

          • http://onpoint.wbur.org/about-on-point/sam-gale-rosen Sam Gale Rosen

            “This is England,” is amazing, one of the most powerful films I’ve ever seen.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Hmm, skins, rockers, and mods.  Never judge a book by its cover; never judge a person by their tattoos?  They’re just pretending to be x, y, z; it’s sort of a screen name.  Just thinkin’.

        • Zach

          They are all social identities that people (usually youths) choose to participate in and are always accompanied by their own social mores and codes to make themselves identifiable to each other. They are usually associated with specific genres of music. I wouldn’t say they are “pretending” per se, any more than any identity that one chooses to adopt or is enculturated into from birth tends to be “performative”. I mean this in the sense of feminist author Judith Butler, where social identities on varying scales are performed according prescribed cultural norms and expectations. Thus people “perform” their gender on a large scale based on a combination of social pressure and personal development/choice, whereas on a small scale they perform social identities such as “punk” or “christian” based on the same forces. A screen name implies a false identity to mask a “true self”, which, while this is a real phenomena, is different to the types of social identities explained above.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Thanks for those explanations.  I was thinking in another direction though, by “screen name.”  I’m thinking of very young nieces sporting tattoos, courtesy of their parents, which may in some way indicate a nascent sense of independence (you’d have to know these nieces…), but which are not (could not be) grafted onto a personality and way of life that matches the tattoo.  I suppose plenty of middle-school children — as described on the program — are attracted to the kind of identity and group cohesion, the belonging and selfhood, that certain tattoos stand for.  However, there are several layers to their identity, it seems to me.  Actually, even an adult may sport one identity in public, however it is signaled, and quite another one in other places.  Tattoos are interesting in that they imply permanency.  Identity is more fluid, it seems to me.

          • zach

            You are absolutely right, identity is entirely contextual, in my opinion. It is definitely an interesting choice of parenting for your family to allow their daughters to get tattoos at a young age for the very reasons you point out. There are other ways to let your kids experiment with independence (I suppose a bit of a paradox there haha).

        • jefe68

          Sorry to break this to you but the mods and skinheads took their identity very seriously and the type of gear one wore was a way of identifying were you stood in terms of music and culture. These folks were not pretending. When you come from a counsel estate and from a community with over 15% unemployment in Thatchers Britain life was not about pretending.  

          • Ellen Dibble

            I hear you, but I also think that the social pressure in communities like that is such that you wear the uniform, no matter what your reservations might be.  Otherwise you end up bullied, ostracized, etc., etc.  There isn’t a lot of choice.  There is such a thing as guilt by association, but our legal system is designed to tease out circumstantial togetherness from these latencies — from active participation, at any rate.

  • Joe in Philly

    The sad reality is that we will see more of these tragedies. Why? We are in the middle of a secular demographic change, wherein minorities are becoming the majority; the labor market is unlikely to improve, which will exacerbate the condition of poor whites and foment anger against non-white and government; and we do not have the political courage to rethink our inane weapons laws. Time for some “soul searching.” I would like to know how these hate groups are being funding. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      That’s an excellent question. I, too, often wonder how loser-type guys get their hands on so many lethal weapons. They’re not cheap. Hope we get some good answers.

  • Greyman

    Just curious: has the SPLC in the past two years or so issued any exclamatory report(s) on the threats to property and safety posed by anarchist or revolutionary socialist groups? Anarchists in the US have a history of murder and mayhem going back to the 19th century: are we sufficiently alert to the threat they pose, or is their political vehemence simply not commensurate with the threat posed by disaffected groups on the right? Socialists were setting off bombs back in the 60s and 70s: how many of these (or their successor) groups bear the close monitoring that the SPLC cheerfully provides? How many groups on both ends of the political spectrum does the SPLC routinely monitor? The SPLC’s status as self-appointed thought police bears consideration whenever their input and participation is invited.

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me the Muslims here tend to dress western-style, whereas the Sikhs wear turbans and what I’ll call Muslim-style dress.  There are some around here, and it’s occurring to me that Sikhs are maybe mistaken for Muslims.  What exactly is the difference in dress?   The difference in the faiths — I suppose they both derive from the desert, where that kind of garb makes a lot of sense.  

    • J__o__h__n

      The Muslim men do.  Many of the women are still “freely choosing” to wear headscarves and clothing that covers their faces. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.kniess Heather Kniess

    They aren’t just “white supremacists,” most of them are part of the Christian Identity movement, which uses the Bible to support their belief in the inherent white male supremacy over everyone, including “their” white women. Not something I expect anyone to include in this conversation because people will object to it as christian-bashing, but that is a pretty big part of their ideology and it’s unfortunate that it is ignored. 

    Ironically, the racists of the White Power movement basically use the Bible the same way that Muslim terrorists use the Koran. Which is a proper label as both groups *are* terrorists committing hate crimes which are intended to subjugate and instill fear in everyone in the group that they identify as the enemy.

  • nj_v2

    Wow, now comments get “flagged for review” by the “moderators” when the author tries to edit them. Half the things i post need editing simply for formatting issues because Disqus butchers line spacing and other aspects of formatting, especially for clipped and pasted material.

    Does On Point just make up the forum terms of use as they go?  How hard would it be to append a simple “guidelines for posting” somewhere on the site? This is just basic operating procedure for any online discussion forum.

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.kniess Heather Kniess

    They aren’t just “white supremacists,” most of them are part of the Christian Identity movement, which uses the Bible to support their belief in the inherent white male supremacy over everyone, including “their” white women. Not something I expect anyone to include in this conversation because people will object to it as christian-bashing, but that is a pretty big part of their ideology and it’s unfortunate that it is ignored. 

    Ironically, the racists of the White Power movement basically use the Bible the same way that Muslim terrorists use the Koran. Which is a proper label as both groups *are* terrorists committing hate crimes which are intended to subjugate and instill fear in everyone in the group that they identify as the enemy. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    If the Sikhs see themselves as protectors of the weak, the innocent, then I see a parallel with the Quakers in colonial New  England, where they were not Puritan/Congregational, and were persecuted — for being too interested in justice, peace, that sort of thing.  
        Some people just have to fight for the right to be bigoted and violent.

  • Michael

    First off my heart goes out to the victms and their family’s as well as the Sikh community as a whole.

    Please draw a distinction between between neo-nazi and racist skinhead groups and the skinhead culture as a whole. Refering to these groups broadly as Skinheads, is akin to calling all Muslims terrorists.
    Bald, Tattooed, Listening to loud music, and certainly not a racist

    • http://www.facebook.com/heather.kniess Heather Kniess

      I stopped expecting outsiders to understand the difference among American skinheads a long time ago, that’s just not how the world works. I was drawn to and part of the SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) movement briefly in the early 90s, however I dropped out of it because regardless of the clear divisions within the skinhead community where there are polar opposite ideological differences it ultimately doesn’t matter because to outsiders there is only one kind of skinhead– neo-nazis. It didn’t matter that among the skins I hung out with were a very diverse group– we even had some black and latino skins– SHARPS were perpetually stuck fighting with the neo-nazis AND with outsiders who mistook us to be racists.  It was nauseating. Ultimately it felt like a bizarre, nonsensical choice to look so similar to the people that we so vehemently deplored and concluded that there have to be better ways to stand up against prejudice and racism.
      I can think of no other subculture where to outsiders the group’s symbols– bald heads, boots, punk/hardcore music, tattoos, etc.– all look the same and overall are perceived to be racist and dangerous. 

  • Rebecca

    Any time this happens, ALL of our state and national leaders, of both parties and all political persuasions, should be immediately and vocally condemning all acts of violence against others as contrary to the aims of a civil, democratic, and tolerant society. This drumbeat must keep sounding. Alarming to know that these events have increased in frequency since we elected our first black president.

    • trish marbury

      of course it did. they have lost their minds over the very idea of a black in charge of “their” country.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

        That appears to be evident. At the same time, more automatic weapons have been sold to more civilians than ever before. The law that banned these sales expired under Bush II. Who knew, then, how useful this backsliding gesture would be to white supremacists with a lethal grudge? It’s just getting worse. Beat those drums of non-violence, folks. Never surrender to hate.

    • nj_v2

      Don’t expect it from the Republicans, some of whom coddle/kowtow to/placate/excuse hate and racists groups…

      For example (1):


      GOP Strives to Make Hate Groups Look Respectable

      [[ Sometimes Republicans go out of their way to demonstrate their approval of racist and homophobic organizations that we should all find objectionable.

      Case in point: Haley Barbour, the Governor of Mississippi.  Of the civil rights era, he said “I just don’t remember it as being that bad,” he told the Weekly Standard. “I remember Martin Luther King came to town, in ’62. He spoke out at the old fairground and it was full of people, black and white.”  In Barbour’s world, the races lived side by side during Jim Crow segregation, and the White Citizens’ Council—known to many as the white collar Klan— was a force for good in his hometown of Yazoo City: ]]


      • jefe68

        I would like to bet James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner would beg to differ. However they were murdered by Klansman in Philadelphia, Neshoba County; Mississippi on June 21, 1964.

        The three civil rights workers were lynched.

  • Witterquick

    Rajdeep Singh

    Rajdeep Singh’s last comment was absolutely correct.

  • TribalGuitars

    There’s a deliberate ignorance among bigots and racists that they use to paint non-whites with a broad brush to justify their perception that they (white people) are being kept down socially economically, religiously, and politically.   Worse is that actions like this shooting are then used by the bigots and racists around the world justify their hatred and ignorance by painting white people, Americans, Christian, liberals, et al with their own broad brush in the exact same manner.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Good point.  If the object was to do more than noodling their hatred on the net and actually “put down” a hated group, just the reverse has happened.  Totally upside down.

  • Hidan

    “Investigators are looking for evidence of arson after a mosque in southwest Missouri was burned to the ground in the second fire to hit the Islamic centre in little more than a month.”

    A fire reported around the same time on July 4 has been determined to be arson, but no charges have been filed.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Unless an arsonist/group of arsonists are extremely blatant (which happened in my area lately; you couldn’t miss them), a community has a challenge in zeroing in on someone burning buildings, cars, churches.   People can quickly deduce that if they are suspected of having “the goods” on the perpetrator, or even giving voice to that, then one’s own car is likely to be the next to be torched.  Blanketing an area with video cameras is a possibility, but that’s ex post facto.

  • Dirk

    Honestly, I think organized religion is as dangerous as lax gun control.  Sikhs just like Muslims, and Christians, and Jews, Catholics, and Protestants all have radical and violent sub groups.  Sikhs blew up planes in Canada and killed hundreds of innocent people.  Let’s not give them a pass just because they are the latest victims. 
    As long as individuals think that their belief system holds the moral high ground, this type of violence will continue.  It is found throughout the whole of human history.  Religion + Guns = Gasoline + Match
    God? Really?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Are there any fundamental rights that you’re not willing to give up for the illusion of safety?  In your comment, you appear ready to toss out freedom of religion and gun rights.  What else?

      • Sensimania

        The more security you have the less freedom you have

    • asingh

      We don’t need your free pass. We know very well how to cope with these situations. Whoever blew up plane were not real Sikhs and were terrorists.

      • Sensimania

        Thats what all religious people say when one one of their own commit a crime because of their beliefs

        • asingh

          Sure. What will you say if somebody from your religion commits a crime? Nodbody has right to kill another human being.

  • asingh

    There are good and bad people. Whoever kilss innocent is not a sikh. You need to understand the root of the problems before saying anything like that.

  • asingh

     Thanks Tom. Please visit your near sikh temple(Gurudwara- Gateway to the Guru) to understand more.  On the web


  • Maximiliano Zapata

    By highlighting the whys and wherefores of this man’s actions, one is giving him exactly the kind of platform he and people like him want. Why does this need to be discussed more? He was a lunatic and a coward. End of story.

    • Info

       Sadly, that’s not the end of the story. This man was part of a larger context of organized hate groups and white supremacist culture. To understand is not to condone. Know your enemy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MKYVSA5DN6XM57MZV52JCM6B54 Alsand Pine

    here in N. Idaho we had an neo-nazi problem in the 80s but we ran them out of the area… literally! i had a couple of run ins with their youth too. the change happened when a local priest who was active in human rights was pipe-bombed and the entire community rose against the nazis. it was really awesome to be part of a community that moved so concertedly. the nazis had tax issues too so they were hit from all sides all at once and they were ejected. since then, we have had a major change in our population. most of those here were not here when we cleared the area. i hope we will not become to complacent and let racism back in. i am completely disgusted with prejudice of all kinds, racism being, perhaps, the ugliest.

  • LaurenceGlavin

    One of Tom’s callers identified himself as a Sikh and claimed it was a “received religion”  Not so.  It’s a made-up religion like so many others with “holy books” and sky gods.

    • Ray in VT

      From the position of a skeptic who believes that religion is a human construct, all religions are made up religions.  Some have just been around longer or have more followers.  I’m unlikely to tell a believer that out of respect, though, unless he or she really ticks me off.

      You said like so many others.  Does that mean that there is one that you think is not made up?

      • J__o__h__n

        Jesus personally told me that Scientology was real.

  • Brenda

    not sure why no one is watching what people are purchasing…why can anyone buy assault weapons with rounds of ammunition and no one pays attention…in my opinion anyone who purchases these types of weapons should be closely watched by the local police…by waiting until they do a heinous crime (like the ones recently committed at the temple and at the movie theater) the innocent public is at risk!!

    • Lindyo

      Brenda Couldn’t agree more and when I hear guns are not at fault I think how stupid is that comment.  When someone mentally ill sets out to send a message what would that message look like if he/she did not have a gun or at the very least did not have an assualt weapon?  How many lives would be saved if a mentally ill person did not have a weapon of mass destruction purchased lawfully.  Did we not go to war to fight weapons of mass destruction!!!!???

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         A weapon of mass destruction must be capable of killing many people in one act–nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.  Firearms do not qualify.

        • esthermiriam

          Assault weapons with large ammo capacity — close enough!

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Define “assault weapon” in a way that isn’t solely about cosmetic differences.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       How would you feel if you were closely watched for your comments?  Rights are rights.  Just because you like some and not others doesn’t mean that you get to decide which ones I’ll enjoy.

  • 2Gary2

    I work around the corner from the Oak Creek Temple and several of the people from the temple were customers of mine.  They are all very wonderful people and I can not understand why anyone would do this to them or anyone else.  I am probably too close to the issue to take a objective look at this so I will defer to the experts.

    • Irv West

      I work with troubled youth, although I do not consider myself an expert. I also worked in Seolma during the civil rights movement. What I observed is that hate is all-consumming and is really a sickness. Most often it appears to be masking low self-esteem. Hate blinds us. One quote I like is “If we practice an eye for an eye, we will all go blind.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000888026081 Portable Weirdness

      Objectivity is good; speaking up for someone who deserves support and goodwill is just as good.

  • Carol Kelly

    Here is something that puzzles me…Commentators keep referring to this terrible individual whom we KNOW perpetrated this heinous crime as “the alleged shooter.”
    It is quite obvious wthat he did the shooting; he is dead and therefore cannot be tried for the crime. At what point may we call this guilty person “the murderer”?

  • Kjunes

    One movie to revisit is ‘Divided We Fall – Americans in the Aftermath’.  The 2008 documentary of hate crimes following Sept. 11.

  • Rebeccadipti

    Ironic that Nazi’s appropriated a lot of South Asian symbols and philosophy to promote their ideas back in Germany in the 30s and 40s.

  • LAS

    I agree with Carol- stop calling him the “alleged shooter”- he did it. Furthermore, I’m fed up with “hesitance” to draw conclusions or link others to a hate crime like this. How come when a Muslim or an undocumented immigrant (not to mention members of other minority and/or disenfranchised groups) commits a crime the public and press are so quick to generalize the group, but we tread so lightly around white supremacists, even when clearly organized in identifiable groups, gangs, prison gangs, and music groups?

    Stop the double standard. People known for hate speech and threats should not pass background checks for getting weapons. They should be reported to law enforcement as potentially dangerous people. Their communities and families should not turn a blind eye when they could “see something and say something” that could save the lives of innocent civilians! 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       1.  How many background checks did you have to pass the last time you bought a book, went to a meeting, or expressed an opinion?  Rights are rights.

      2.  There is a difference between saying, “I hate X” and saying, “I intend to kill X.”  The former is an opinion; the latter is a threat.

      3.  Your apparent inability to distinguish between a music group and a prison gang is disturbing.

    • Brettearle

      The presumption of innocence is technically required until the formality of jurisprudence is carried through.

      The court of public opinion likes to hold a defendant guilty–before the process even begins.

      In the case of the death of an alleged defendant, it is much easier to condemn that individual, than when a defendant is still alive and will go to trial.  

      Have it your way, if you like–but such rhetoric does nothing but to pierce a hole, subtly, and not so subtly, in the preservation of civil liberties and individual rights in our country.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000888026081 Portable Weirdness

    Disgustingly enough, hate is alive and well, and I’m concerned that it’s only going to get worse as people look for easy scapegoats for our social problems that allow them to blame anyone but themselves.

    What I’m particularly sick and tired of is these sorry specimens’ heinous stealing of the icons of old Pagan and Heathen religions in an effort to gain some twisted sort of historical ethnic validity. I’m a modern Pagan, and have been accused of racism and bigotry merely for wearing jewelry depicting a Thor’s hammer, neolithic petrogylphs, and even Celtic knotwork.

    I’m sick of their dishonorable baseness, their petty inhumanity, and their spitefully willful ignorance. The only way we’re going to  beat them is for the other people who are willing to live as a pluralist community and are sick of them to stand up together and say “no more”. Free speech is free speech, but one person’s right to swing their fist stops at another person’s face.

    Heather “Snooze” Hamilton
    Concord NC USA

    • Brettearle

      To repeat what you’ve heard, many times:

      We live in a Judeo-Christian society, here, in America.

      Anyone who adorns symbols, foreign to these beliefs, are likely to meet up with opposition–sooner or later.

      As you point out, it is quite possible that more ignorant people will look for easy scapegoats, in the future–IF life becomes difficult, here, in the United States, especially because of the Economy.

      However, if people do scapegoat, it isn’t always necessarily because they should be blaming themselves, instead.

      Many of our country’s problems may not be solvable.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000888026081 Portable Weirdness

        Which part of your statement are you certain I’ve heard many times? Since we’ve never spoken that I’m aware of, you may want to revisit/clarify that.

        You personally may live in a Judeo-Christian society. I live in a society that doesn’t stop there, and began as much more than that.

        Not sure you understand the definition of scapegoat:

        scapegoat [ˈskeɪpˌgəʊt]n1. a person made to bear the blame for others
        2. (Christian Religious Writings / Bible) Old Testament
        a goat used in the ritual of Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16); it was
        symbolically laden with the sins of the Israelites and sent into the
        wilderness to be destroyed
        Political and social scapegoats aren’t new or unique to America; the major reasons people use them are either to transfer blame directly or to distract and deflect focus from something else.

        Also have to differ on the notion that a stone age cave painting, an icon from a classical mythos that your Judeo-Christian society takes its days of the week and many other terms from, and decorative symbols from a major Western European Bronze/Iron Age culture that your Judeo-Christian society is also heavily influenced by as “foreign”. The fact that we’re a nation of foreigners makes that idea nonfunctional.

        Either way, if someone is going to stoop to opposing someone merely for wearing an item that is not Judeo-Christian symbology, and go as far as to accuse them of bigotry based only on that criterion, I submit that their personal problems may not be any more solvable than those of the cretins that are the show’s subject.

        Heather “Snooze” Hamilton
        Concord NC USA

      • J__o__h__n

        The extremist Christians only add “Judeo” when they want to try to gain legitimacy for selective enforcement of old testament rules, to try to pry away some Jewish votes from Democrats or to appease Joe Leiberman. 

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  • Dirkam

    What a load of rubbish.The Sihks in India are a warrior caste
    and not at all “peace and love” as their spokespeople would like us to believe . I remind you that the prime minister of the world’s
    largest democracy India was killed by her “trusted” Sihk

    As to the long dissertation on tatoos among skinheads
    its hardly unusual among violent minority groups.

    Tats on Latino and black street and prison gangs and Russian and Japanese organizd crime members serve the same purpose,they are labels that tell the initiated what level of violence you have committed and your capabilities for further violence.

     Skinhead  music is no worse than the racist lyrics
    of mainstream rap and it even mimics it,but rap is socially
    acceptable skinhead music isn’t because it doesnt generate enough revenue for the music industry. I can assure you that
    if skinhead music generated as much money as rap there
    would be a “Snoop Hitler”.

    Finally the whole conversation about diversity in the USA
    is especially ironic on the 67th anniversary of the USA’s
    all white military’s slaughter of over 100,00 “heathen Japs”
    in Hiroshima.

    • Brettearle

      You know, you make some very good politically incorrect points.

      But I would disagree with you about “Snoop Hitler”:

      The stigma of Nazism will last for eons.  As well it should.

      The symbols of Nazism will never be noticeable money-makers in our society–unless it’s through an underground culture.

      • Dirkam

        The Communists,Stalin and Mao,especially. slaughtered far more people than Hitler but Communism was “in”
        so the world ignored their excesses.

        As to the value of “symbols of Nazism” go on Ebay and see how much real Nazi gear commands. The male gay’s especially love SS uniforms, as they should, since they were designed by Hugo Boss’s father.

        It has been obvious for some time that the truth
        has become a “politically incorrect point”

        Einstein was right in his definition of insanity . It’s
        become the guiding light of our mainstream media.

        May you live in interesting times”

        • Brettearle

          You may be forgetting that by comparison, Nazism had more transparency and, I believe, better record-keeping.

          Stalin and Mao contained societies that were much more closed.

          No one’s saying The Third Reich was ‘open’–but by comparison, I don’t believe that it was closed.

          We may may never know the true comparison numbers.

          But I take your point about Stalin–being as how he was our ally in WWII.

          Mao’s a different matter….he became a major adversarial symbol, during the Cold War.

          Mao’s “Marxism” was NOT in.

          Your examples of EBay regalia, however, are not necessarily compelling in terms of commerce, revenue, and marketability.

          Of course that Nazi crap is a commodity.  But it doesn’t make a big dent in our overground culture.

          Generals Paton and Bradley gear might still do better–and if not those items then others that have no genocidal stigma attached to them. 

          In an ironic, crazy and darkly mystical way,  of course, it was Einstein who started the insanity–under which we all still live.

    • stephenpower

      Sikhs were pacifists until Muslim rulers killed successive leaders. A portion of Sikhs then developed themselves into a militia to defend themselves from Muslim attacks.  It should be mentioned that they got along with Muslim clerics and holy men but were persecuted by political rulers.  
      They usually only use violence in self defense.  The killing of Mrs. Gandhi was an exception.

  • TomK in Boston

    I’m afraid that these terrorist attacks are part and parcel of the atmosphere created by the TeaOP and hate radio personalities. Limbaw and Bachman might as well have pulled the trigger.

    The talk about how sikhs shouldn’t be confused with muslims is disgusting. Is that supposed to mean it’s OK to kill American muslims? The point is that there is so much hate in the far right universe, anyone who is “different” is a potential target.

    • William

        “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” – Barrack Obama.

    • Brettearle

      I don’t like Limbaugh or Bachmann anymore than you do–but you can’t hold them personally responsible.

      You could say that–like Palin and the Giffords’ tragedy–part of the Right Wing rhetoric creates a culture that helps to encourage such atrocity, as happened in the Sikh Temple.

      But you can’t make a direct link–and it is unfair to do so.

      That doesn’t mean, however, that Right Wing propaganda isn’t filled with hatred, vitriol, myth and lies. 

      Of course it is.

      But pointing fingers at one culprit is to ignore so many other culprits–who, and which, are complicit.

      America’s got serious problems–plain and simple.

      And neither the Democrats nor the Republicans nor the Media nor the Electorate have an exclusive hold on spreading the infection.

  • esthermiriam

    No one listening to the show about attack on Sikh community would know from your discussion that there were other than men in turbans who are Sikh –  yes, they are visible for that, and the dagger which wasn’t mentioned, but the women have other issues and identifying attributes.

  • Wbsurfver

    The Klu Klux Klan was largely run by the FBI, 25% of all klan members where FBI informants: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/FBI/COINTELPRO_Untold_Story.html  What is the part of history of the Nazis that is missing ? That they where funded by banks in the USA. SPLC and the FBI have informants in these groups whom they incite to violence and use for political means such as the current push for gun control. Crazy people are less organized and focused than they would seem, the organization for these things comes from elsewhere ..

  • Michael Clifford

    First do not lump him in as a Vet.  He was kicked out of the Army because of his anti social attitude.  He did not learn it from the Army.

    Anyone who commits these types of violence or is a member of a hate group whether it is the KKK, white supremacist, the new black panthers or some street gang they are mentally defective.  However they do know right from wrong and should be held fully responsible for their actions.  When they are caught and there is no doubt in their guilt they should be executed as soon as possible i.e. timothy McVeigh. No reason to feed them any longer than necessary.

    It bothers me to think that because he may have been one of the less than 1% of Americans who volunteer to serve the country in uniform that it is somehow expected that he would be a violent anti social misfit.  Actually it disgusts me to see Veterans being eyeballed as possible terror threats by individuals who have never faced death while defending the nation.

    As for a reason for hate groups.  Who knows. The politicians certainly don’t.  They are only looking for scapegoats, individuals who they can target and use to further their own political careers. Remember that guns and bibles comment made by the President?

  • S. Keyron McDermott

    NPR does NOT seem to understand that American myth makes some tacit promises to citizens that are being reneged on. To many people, it seems as if anybody anywhere who loves liberty, freedom, justice, and the pursuit of happiness can come here and avail themselves of what our ancestors created. People losing their homes, stuck below the poverty line and unemployed conclude being an American counts for nothing.

    I don’t sanction shooting, but I understand where it is coming from and NPR would do well to acknowledge these realities instead of inviting guests who seem oblivious to this reality.

  • wbsurfver

     The second amendment is there in case there ever needs to be an armed revolution because the govt becomes too corrupt and collapses. Say if the economy gets to the point where many people are destitute and voting machines are all rigged and corporations run rampant ignoring people’s rights. Yes there was a great depression here once. Most countries in the world like mexico, north korea don’t allow citizens to have guns for good reason. These shootings are also stagged events because the system wants to restrict guns. If you are really anti gun, then start by asking the police to disarm or use lighter weapons, instead they are ramping up all the time. People say that what can citizens do anyway, but what about the Sioux, the Appache, The Viet Kong, or the Alamo ? Being outgunned is not an excuse to give up the fight for justice and freedom and one’s rights. Stop trying to categorize all gun owners as crazies because it is not reality at all. It just shows you are ignorant and have fallen prey to the propaganda. 

  • stephenpower

    Hi, my name is Stephen Power.  I wrote an article about American Sikhs for the Boston Globe a few years ago and I’ve written a book about them entitled “Spirit Warriors.”
    An analogy I use to explain Sikhs is that they are like militant Unitarians.  They believe it is up to each person to choose his or her path to God.  And they will defend your right to choose your own path with their lives

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Jul 30, 2014
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. (AP)

Social media is changing how the world sees and talks about Israel and Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians. We’ll look at the impact.

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Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

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This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

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