Mental illness is a serious and challenging subject not to be taken lightly. No one should be embarrassed if they suffer from a metal disorder, just as no one should be embarrassed if they suffer from cancer or diabetes. In fact, the more awareness about mental disorders and mental health, the more people would seek treatment. I’m a firm believer that mental health should be treated equally as physical health, including by our insurance companies.
Service in the U.S. Congress is also a serious and challenging subject not to be taken lightly. At some point, a person’s actions, statements, and overall behavior have to be examined if they consistently fall into what can easily be perceived as, well, possibly irrational.
If a Congressman is making decisions and voting on issues that affect the country, shouldn’t we be concerned if their comments and actions are seemingly not rational? Shouldn’t at least the question be raised, in a respectful and supportive manner, by that public servant’s loved ones and colleagues?
It’s entirely possible the mental health ofÂ Congressman Allen West (R-FL) is excellent, that he is totally sane and not suffering from any mental disorder that would make him unable to serve as a Congressman.
And there are certainly plenty of psychological disorders that do not preclude service. In fact:
“According to theÂ World Health OrganisationÂ (WHO), over a third of people in most countries report problems at some time in their life which meet criteria for diagnosis of one or more of the common types of mental disorder.”
The U.S. govenrment’s own National Institutes of Mental Health note:
An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older â€” about one in four adults â€” suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
So, let’s be clear, there should be no stigma or loss of respect for anyone suffering from mental health disorders.
But it’s time to ask the question, isn’t it entirely possible, given his comments, not only yesterday, but over the past few years as a U.S. Congressman, that Rep. West is suffering from some form of mental illness? Again, I’m not a mental health professional, I’m just posing the question. Ultimately, it is up to the Congressman, his colleagues, his family, and voters to decide if he is fit to serve.
Yesterday, however, Rep. Allen West posted this statement on his Facebook page:
In his speech today to the United Nations, President Obama stated six times that the attacks across the Islamic world are attributed to a silly video. Furthermore, he refused to use the words terrorist attack in referring to what occurred in Benghazi Libya at our US Consulate on the 11th anniversary of 9-11. He continues to offer up apologies instead of defending our hard earned First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression. There is no message to this silly video trailer, and it is beneath the dignity and esteem of the Office of the President of the United States to mention it at all. When tolerance becomes a one way street it leads to cultural suicide. I shall not be tolerant of the intolerant. I know about the UN Resolution 1618 which would make any statement deemed by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) â€œoffensiveâ€™ to Islam a crimeâ€¦..NOT ON MY WATCH FELLAS!
My statement to the United Nations would have been, â€œThe future does not belong to those who attack our Embassies and Consulates and kill our Ambassadors. The Angel of Death in the form of an American Bald Eagle will visit you and wreak havoc and destruction upon your existenceâ€
West, a Tea Party Republican, serves on the HouseÂ Committee on Armed Services in theÂ Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. Surely a U.S. Congressman threatening to “wreak havoc and destruction upon your existence,” and threatening to unleash the “Angel of Death in the form of an American Bald Eagle” could be viewed by foreign nations,Â as an elected member of Congress, as the making of a legitimate threat?
Irresponsible, but also, frankly, embarrassingly ludicrous and, as Noah Rothman, an editor at Mediaite put it, “cartoonish, juvenile and amateurish.”
There is little credulity to [Congressman West’s] threats â€“ not because anyone does not believe he would carry through with them. I would imagine few doubt Westâ€™s sincerity. But his pronouncements take on the tone of amateurish chest-thumping. They detract from the Congressmanâ€™s credibility and show that he is unclear on the complexities of foreign relations. They lack the sobriety and conviction that a statesman sending young men and women into war is possessed with. They reek of insecurity and rage, not confidence.
By the way, since no other news outlet has bothered to explain West’s comment, “I know about the UN Resolution 1618 which would make any statement deemed by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) â€œoffensiveâ€™ to Islam a crimeâ€¦..NOT ON MY WATCH FELLAS!,” allow me.
West wrongly referred to “UN Resolution 1618,” which is actually a 2005 UN Security Council Resolution that “condemnedÂ terrorist attacks that had taken place in Iraq, particularly those that had taken place in recent weeks, and the kidnapping and attacks on foreign diplomats.” (Wikipedia)
What West most likely is talking about is UNÂ Resolution 16/18, which, according to the non-partisan Human Rights First NGO, “urges states to train government officials to address religious tensions, to harmonize actions at local and national level, to raise awareness of negative stereotyping of persons, to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue, to foster religious freedom and to speak out against intolerance (among other recommendations. The only limitation on speech that is in the operative part of the resolution is incitement to ‘imminent violence’, which is in accordance with US law.”
But, perhaps yesterday was just a bad day for West?
There is a rather lengthy list of strange comments and outright lies Congressman West has made, including, infamouslyÂ â€œChina is in control of the Panama Canal,â€ and:
â€œThere is a huge threat coming up out of South America through Central America, through Mexico, and into the United States. Iran is in South America. Hezbollah is in South America. I already talked about how China is in control of the Panama Canal. And even about 50 miles away from here in the Bahamas, building a port there.â€
A few other examples.
On Monday, Catholic Online reported that West believes “abortion threatens the future of the black Americans.”
Two weeks ago, Congressman West blamed President Obama for the attacks in Libya. Two days before that, the Huffington Post reported “West claimedÂ President Barack Obama’s ‘Forward’ campaign slogan was designed to push a ‘Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist theme’,” and noted:
In 2011, WestÂ called ObamaÂ a “low-level socialist agitator” well-versed in “Marxist” rhetoric.
In April,Â West said â€œI believe thereâ€™s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party.â€
In February, West suggestedÂ the Obama Administration was lying about positive unemployment numbers.
In January,Â West claimed he did not tell President Obama and others to â€œget the hell out of the United States,â€ even though thereâ€™s video of him saying just that. Also in January,Â Rep. West told military generals they should defy their Commander-In-Chief, and, they should consider quitting the armed forces because of Obama.
This past December,Â Rep. Allen West told reporters, â€œIf Joseph Goebbels was around, heâ€™d be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.â€
Last August,Â West described himself as a â€œmodern-day Harriet Tubman,â€ who will guide Democrats via an underground railroad to the promised land of the Republican Party.
Last yearÂ West will hosted a screening of an anti-Islam film about 9/11 and the efforts of the anti-Muslim community to stop the building of the â€œGround Zero Mosque.â€
Lat year in July,Â West, on the Tea Party blog Red State, wrote â€œwhen I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.â€
Then there wereÂ his strange attacks on Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Also last year,Â Rep. West said of homosexuality and Donâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell, â€œUnless Iâ€™m Michael Jackson I canâ€™t change my color. But people can change behavior.â€
Finally, last year,Â The New Civil Rights Movement posted a litany of West’s lies, fibs, falsehoods, and utter nuttiness. Here’s an excerpt:
â€œWest is certainly no stranger to outlandish statements. He made a name for himself over the past year with comments like endorsing theÂ censorshipÂ of news agencies that â€œenabledâ€ Wikileaks, arguing thatÂ nobody is getting laid offÂ in Washington D.C., saying that liberal women are â€œneutering American men,â€ and calling President Obama a â€œlow level Socialist agitator,â€ writes Scott Keyes atÂ Think Progress.
â€œI gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye,â€ said West on April 27 at the same Florida town hall.
Last month, West, who recently accused President Obama of acting with â€˜â€third world dictator-like arrogance,â€ made a statement that earned him the ire of a great many groups. He began to talk about America through the lens of Ancient Sparta, the much-heralded Greek city-state that inspired the bloody movie, â€œ300.â€
â€œWe need you to come in and lock shields, and strengthen up the men who are going to fight for you. To let these other women know on the other side â€” these planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness â€” to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient.â€
That statement prompted a local Florida paper to write, â€œCongressman Allen West Not Getting Any Less Crazy,â€ asking, â€œBe more like Sparta, eh, Mr. West?â€
â€œDo you know who else praised Sparta and told his people to be more like them?
â€œYes, of course it was Adolf Hitler, who likened his Nazi soldiers to Spartans and the Russians as the Helots. But then, what warmonger wouldnâ€™t look to the Spartans as a shining example of what a society should look like?
â€œHitler also admired the Spartansâ€™ â€˜racial superiorityâ€™ and another practice of strong Spartan women â€” the systematic murder of its weak and deformed children.â€
West, 50, has some other disturbing events in his past. In 2004 he retired from the military after violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including the article on assault, and was fined $5,000.
â€œAnd if ballots donâ€™t work, bullets will,â€ is the statement made in 2010 by Joyce Kaufman, a controversial Florida radio host who had advocated for the hanging of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. West hired Kaufman to be hisÂ chief of staff, but she was essentially forced to resign after public outrage became too great. West reportedly blamed the Left of racism and misogyny as reasons for Kaufmanâ€™s resignation.
West, 50, despite being on the HouseÂ Committee on Armed Services, last year said of gay men and lesbians in the military, â€œunfortunately, they are serving.â€Â He delivered the keynote speech at this yearâ€™sÂ CPAC.
West, who had said, â€œ[t]he truth is not subjective,â€ as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a candidate forum,Â â€I had a Top Secret/Security Compartmented Information classification, that is the highest you can have in the United States Army. You donâ€™t get a security classification like that if you have financial issues like that. I still retain a Secret security clearance. And I tell you, if you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background.â€
Who knows the true condition of Congressman Allen West’s mind? What we do know are his comments.
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Musk’s Twitter Is ‘Welcoming With Open Arms’ a ‘Full-Fledged Nazi’ – and Recommending Users Follow Him: Reports
Elon Musk‘s Twitter on Friday allowed Andrew Anglin, the neo-Nazi behind the infamous Daily Stormer website to return to the social media platform after a nine-year ban. Several Twitter users reported the social media platform is now recommending they follow him.
“Anglin has publicly indicated that the goal of his operation and adherence to white nationalist ideology is to ‘ethnically cleanse White nations of non-Whites and establish an authoritarian government. Many people also believe that the Jews should be exterminated,'” reported Rolling Stone on Friday. “Anglin is a staunch supporter of Nazi ideology and regularly espouses Holocaust denail. In 2018, Anglin wrote that he ‘[hates] women. I think they deserve to be beaten, raped and locked in cages.'”
WUSA 9 investigative reporter Jordan Fischer tweeted a screenshot of the Twitter recommendation.
Twitter is currently recommending I follow neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin. Incredible stuff. pic.twitter.com/F2f9c75Tla
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) December 2, 2022
As did other Twitter users.
— Camas Defense Alliance (@CamDefAlliance) December 2, 2022
Last month veteran journalist Nick Martin, who investigates hate and extremism, reported that “Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene shared a thread calling on Elon Musk to reinstate an array of racists, conspiracy theorists and serial harassers. The list includes fugitive neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, white supremacist David Duke and British neo-Nazi Mark Collett.”
Earlier today, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene shared a thread calling on Elon Musk to reinstate an array of racists, conspiracy theorists and serial harassers. The list includes fugitive neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, white supremacist David Duke and British neo-Nazi Mark Collett. pic.twitter.com/FadEr3ZcUm
— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) November 23, 2022
At the top of that list is Milo Yiannopoulos, a right wing extremist and provocateur who has advocated for older men having sex with underaged teen boys. Yiannopoulos is also Greene’s intern who was reportedly part of the Kanye West–Nick Fuentes dinner with Donald Trump.
“Andrew Anglin is the founder of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website, which takes its name from the gutter Nazi propaganda sheet known as Der Stürmer,” the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported. “True to that vintage, Anglin is infamous for the crudity of his language and his thinking, a contrast to his sophistication as a prolific internet troll and serial harasser. Anglin’s organizing and harassment on the Daily Stormer led to lawsuits, and courts have awarded millions of dollars in damages to plaintiffs suing Anglin in recent years. But with his whereabouts unknown, Anglin has so far escaped full accountability for his actions.”
Indeed, just last month a federal judge issued an arrest warrant for Andrew Anglin, who is “accused of ignoring a $14 million judgment against him for orchestrating an antisemitic harassment campaign against a Montana woman’s family,” The Billings Gazette had reported.
SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah responded to Anglin’s return to Twitter by reminding him he still owes him “$4.1 million dollars for sending your Nazis to kill me. Do you have the $?! I want to donate it groups that counter the very hate you spew!”
“Musk is helping normalize a Nazi,” he adds.
Amy Spitalnick, the executive director of Integrity First for America (IFA) called Anglin “a full-fledged Nazi who runs the Daily Stormer and, among many other things, was found liable for the Charlottesville violence in our lawsuit. A perfect example of the vile, violent extremists Musk is welcoming with open arms.”
Image: Elon Musk, photo by NASA/Aubrey Gemignani via Flickr
Anti-LGBTQ Slurs on Twitter Up Over 800% as Musk Allows Thousands of Previously Banned Users Back: Reports
In the wake of the Colorado Springs hate crime mass shooting last month at an gay nightclub’s drag show event that left five people dead, the anti-LGBTQ slur “groomer” and other anti-LGBTQ hate speech posts on Twitter skyrocketed, “peaking at 885% over their highest level before the shooting,” NBC News reports.
“Barely 24 hours after the Colorado Springs hate crime attack,” Salon reported last week, “Elon Musk’s new Twitter responded to the massacre by reinstating the account of James Lindsay, the right-wing activist responsible for popularizing the anti-LGBTQ slur ‘OK groomer,’ which over the last 10 months has been used to imply that demands for LGBTQ rights or representation are tantamount to child molestation. In August, Lindsay was banned from Twitter for using a variation on the term, which under Twitter’s old regime was prohibited as a form of hateful conduct. But by Monday night, not only was Lindsay back, but ‘OK groomer’ was trending on the platform under its new ownership.”
Slurs against gay men on Twitter have increased by a daily average of 58% in the weeks following Elon Musk taking the critically influential social media platform private, firing its board, and welcoming back thousands of previously-banned accounts, according to information from NBC News and The New York Times.
“Travis Brown, an independent software developer in Berlin who tracks Twitter suspensions and screen name changes as part of a project studying extremism,” NBC News reports, shared data “that showed a wide variety of far-right accounts had been reinstated since Musk’s announcement” of a so-called “general amnesty.”
“In that time, Brown has logged an estimated 12,000 reversals of past bans, in a set that, while not a definitive list of reversals, provides a window into the types of users being welcomed back to the platform and leaving experts alarmed.”
In addition to “spammers, copyright rule-breakers, adult-content creators and high-profile accounts, Twitter has reopened the door to a growing and emboldened community of trolls, white nationalists, conspiracy theorists and extreme right-wing activists,” NBC adds.
Musk’s general amnesty “has restored hundreds of accounts of right-wing activists and QAnon adherents, according to data reviewed by NBC News. The reinstatement of far-right accounts has coincided with a series of bans of left-wing accounts, leaving users unsure of how the company is now applying its rules.”
The New York Times adds, “Before Elon Musk bought Twitter, slurs against Black Americans showed up on the social media service an average of 1,282 times a day. After the billionaire became Twitter’s owner, they jumped to 3,876 times a day.”
“Slurs against gay men appeared on Twitter 2,506 times a day on average before Mr. Musk took over. Afterward, their use rose to 3,964 times a day,” The Times reports. “And antisemitic posts referring to Jews or Judaism soared more than 61 percent in the two weeks after Mr. Musk acquired the site.”
“I see good things about Hitler,” West told Jones. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
Musk apparently personally had West’s Twitter account suspended when the artist who goes by “Ye” posted an image of a Jewish six-pointed star embedded with a Nazi swastika. The account, at least for now, remains suspended.
The Times reporting, which includes information from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups, calls the increase in hate speech on Musk’s Twitter “unprecedented.”
“Accounts that Twitter used to regularly remove — such as those that identify as part of the Islamic State, which were banned after the U.S. government classified ISIS as a terror group — have come roaring back. Accounts associated with QAnon, a vast far-right conspiracy theory, have paid for and received verified status on Twitter, giving them a sheen of legitimacy,” The Times reveals.
Musk himself set the stage. At the end of October he retweeted a false, anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory involving Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband, who had recently been bludgeoned in a “near death” attack in their San Francisco home, allegedly by a man who has promoted far right extremism. He later removed that retweet.
Just last week Bloomberg News reported Musk was “restoring a string of accounts previously suspended for harassing transgender people, rolling back protections for the LGBTQ community as the country confronts the aftermath” of the Colorado Springs mass shooting. “Advocates say the shooting… highlights the potential real-world violence that can stem from rhetoric against the trans community. They noted that anti-trans abuse has been mounting on the platform since the shooting.”
As Musk welcomes back thousands who were banned for various reasons, from hate speech to disinformation to spamming to attacks on minorities and more, NBC’s reporting makes clear that left wing activists are finding their accounts suspended for apparently no legitimate reason.
“Chad Loder is an independent journalist in Los Angeles with more than 137,000 followers whose reporting on the Jan. 6 riot has been cited in Justice Department charging documents. Loder, who uses they/them pronouns, recently had their account suspended, briefly reinstated and then suspended again without a clear reason.”
For his part, Musk took to Twitter to refute reports hate speech has increased dramatically.
Image: Elon Musk by Duncan.Hull via Wikipedia
15-Year Old Campaigning Door-to-Door for Raphael Warnock Shot Through Door– ‘No Indication’ Politically Motivated: Police
A 15-year old boy campaigning door-to-door for U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) was shot by a 42-year old man through the front door, according to Savannah Police who claim “there is no indication the shooting was politically motivated.”
The man was arrested after police responded to the shooting on Thursday around 5:35 PM, “and discovered a 15-year-old male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg.”
His injuries are not life threatening.
“According to the preliminary investigation, the teen was campaigning for Raphael Warnock for the upcoming run-off election when the incident occurred. While at the front door of one of the residences on Hartridge Street, the suspect fired a shot through the closed door, striking the teen,” according to the Savannah Police statement.
The 42-year old man “was booked into the Chatham County jail on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated battery.”
“I am saddened to learn about this incident,” said Sen. Warnock, who faces off against Herschel Walker in the U.S. Senate runoff Tuesday, as WSAV-TV reports. “I am praying for the victim and their family and wish them a full recovery.”
Watch the video from WSAV below or at this link.
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