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When “extremism” gets close to home.

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posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 12:38 AM
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I know there’s a strong anti-cop element out there in the world, but it just recently hit close to home for me. Here’s a short story about how a county goes from typical, mostly peaceful, quiet, southern locale to a hotbed of hate and a brewing war between law enforcement and an anti-law enforcement militia.

This all starts with facebook, the county GOP co-chairman- a man named Jeff Mattox, and some bad judgment. Mattox was seen “liking” a post on facebook that caught the attention of a few locals. You might wonder, how did “liking” something on facebook lead to a war? Well, let’s take a look at a few articles and the link Mattox found worthy of “liking.”

First, let’s look at the tinder.
An article titled, “When You Should Shoot a Cop” was posted on CopBlock.org. With a title like that we should know what to expect, so to sum up it up, here’s a bit of the article:

People don’t mind when you point out the tyranny that has happened in other countries, but most have a hard time viewing their OWN “country,” their OWN “government,” and their OWN “law enforcers,” in any sort of objective way. Having been trained to feel a blind loyalty to the ruling class of the particular piece of dirt they live on (a.k.a. “patriotism”), and having been trained to believe that obedience is a virtue, the idea of forcibly resisting “law enforcement” is simply unthinkable to many. Literally, they can’t even THINK about it. And humanity has suffered horribly because of it. It is a testament to the effectiveness of authoritarian indoctrination that literally billions of people throughout history have begged and screamed and cried in the face of authoritarian injustice and oppression, but only a tiny fraction have ever lifted a finger to actually try to STOP it.
”When You Should Shoot A Cop” – CopBlock.org

Now, I know there are a lot of people out there who would agree with the angle of this article, but locally this isn’t the typical way of thinking. People around here call this “extremism.” The problem is, there’s a small but growing group of people that believe this is the best way to look at the police; this is relevant because Mr. Mattox is allegedly part of one of these groups.

Now, let’s have a look at the spark that starts this all.

I’ve mentioned facebook being part of this, so here’s how it fits in. A tea party affiliated group known locally as the Kershaw County Patriots member posts a link to the CopBlock.org article mentioned above. That’s when Mr. Mattox decides he wants to “like” the article. Once Mattox’s action appears on public news feeds he is removed from his position on the GOP board since they do not want to be associated with this sort of action. When Mr. Mattox loses his position it gets the attention of a local group of people who are part of a local group embracing the Sovereign Citizens Movement (SCM).

What is the SCM?
Here’s an excerpt from the Anti-Defamation League:

The "sovereign citizen" movement is a loosely organized collection of groups and individuals who have adopted a right-wing anarchist ideology originating in the theories of a group called the Posse Comitatus in the 1970s. Its adherents believe that virtually all existing government in the United States is illegitimate and they seek to "restore" an idealized, minimalist government that never actually existed. To this end, sovereign citizens wage war against the government and other forms of authority using "paper terrorism" harassment and intimidation tactics, and occasionally resorting to violence.
Sovereign Citizens Movement - ADL

The local SCM group apparently feels as though Mr. Mattox’s rights are being trampled by the actions of the local GOP so they take action themselves. The local group of SCM adherents have apparently decided to contact a state political sight known as “Stuffed Suits” and listed what they call “cowards” which they are targeting with rhetoric and a few actions we’ll see shortly.

Why is all of this important? Their number one target, aka “coward,” is our sheriff- Steve Matthews. An article on Stuffed Suits attempts to detail what is driving the “extremist group” to action. They say the sheriff is being hateful,

It sounds very extreme and hateful for the chief law enforcement officer of Kershaw County to be fear mongering by sounding the alarm and telling his deputies to put on body armor--all in reaction to a single individual hitting the "like" button on Facebook.com. Yes, Jeff Mattox may have been referring to an intellectual, philosophical discussion somewhere far above discussing drapes or what they had for dinner. Mattox wasn't even rude: there was no vulgarity, no threats, no racist language, no slandering of other people--just a polite discussion of the facts.
Cowards of Kershaw County – Stuffed Suits
It should be clear that these guys have an agenda, but, what do they plan to do to further the agenda?

The flames!
So what does this all boil down to? Several hours of phone calls to jam the sheriff’s department apparently.


For 45 minutes Friday afternoon, the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office phone lines were under siege from four different callers. They placed more than 100 calls and were angry over former Kershaw County Republican Party Co-Chair Jeff Mattox's ouster from the party.
Extremist Group Shuts Down Phones – WIStv.com

Sounds pretty successful. Just, make a bunch of angry calls to set things straight. It’s all harmless speech right? Actually the answer is, no. Further in the article and in the attached video the callers threaten the guys from the sheriff’s office, albeit nonspecifically.

If you’ve read this far you might be wondering, why didn’t I just link the news article? Because it’s different when you live in the county that the news article happens to be from.

What does this all mean for Kershaw County?
While this movement has only just reached the news, I’ve heard talk of it for a few months at least, and now it’s been encroaching on our county. So far it seems that our deputies are a bit more aware, more observant, and more active on the radio with position and status checks; they’ve also started sending at least two units for most calls and traffic stops, especially late at night when they used to only need one. I’m not sure what to expect in the coming days in light of the threats from the SCM in our area, but our sheriff is very proactive and it’s not hard to guess that he’ll likely start a campaign against anyone who isn’t part of the status quo.

I didn’t expect to hear anything like this coming from my county, but here it is. Whether it’s a big deal or not I can’t say, and I can’t say how long these people will want to carry out this “war” on the police. Hopefully nothing crazy happens, but unfortunately at this point it’s all up in the air and we’ll have to wait and see.

If things get interesting I’ll post an update, otherwise we’ll see how things play out. Until then, I’d like to hear the thoughts of those on ATS!

Articles Featured
”When You Should Shoot A Cop” – CopBlock.org
Sovereign Citizens Movement - ADL
Extremist Group Shuts Down Phones – WIStv.com

Other Information
Sovereign Citizen Movement – Wikipedia




posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 12:41 AM
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It is rather unfortunate that one can be fired from their job simply for clicking a button on their computer.
edit on 7/30/2011 by 9Nania because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 12:42 AM
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The police are definitely going to be on the look out for people and team up on traffic stops with something like that going on. I can understand the issue, your rights are going to have more pressure applied to them. This is something that can turn serious because it involes an entire community... s/f.



posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 12:50 AM
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I've said it before and I'll say it again.
Modern communications and social networking will be the ruin of us all.



posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 12:56 AM
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reply to post by choppedbrisket
 


I can understand where you're coming from, but can you elaborate on that any more for us?



posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 01:01 AM
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reply to post by 9Nania
 


It's unfortunate that your opinion on the internet is enough to get you fired, but it looks like that's a sign of the times I'm afraid. The more real life is integrated with the digital life the more we'll see this stuff happening. It really seems that we're losing rights at the same pace we're gaining features on social networks.

reply to post by etombo
 


As I was just saying, we're slowly giving our rights away through inaction and social networking, but this sort of action is a great way to get them taken away faster. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see door to door visits to "inform" the community of the threats to our "safety" and such. We've gotten letters and visits like this before.

reply to post by choppedbrisket
 


I agree with you completely. The more features a social networking has to offer, the more likely people are to give away information. I realized what facebook was doing to my life so I cleared it off as best I could and got rid of it. It's amazing what people will give away when simply asked for it.



posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 01:05 AM
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I hate to be the guy who talks about a time before but..... There was a time when I had more respect for law enforcement.. However with new social networks I think it is also important that police try to keep the thin blue line... I see the potential problems in the future but I can also see now how the police officers should keep that secrecy. That brotherhood or good old boy mentality can be beneficial.. .



posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 01:33 AM
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reply to post by Mapkar
 


To me, this is the take-away:


The more features a social networking has to offer, the more likely people are to give away information. I realized what facebook was doing to my life so I cleared it off as best I could and got rid of it. It's amazing what people will give away when simply asked for it.


I did the same thing. I was an early facebook adopter, loved how it put me in touch with old friends, loved the easy-breezy ongoing conversation. But I hate hate hate how it is being used, so a month or two ago, I wiped out everything I could easily get to and scorched the earth around it. I think that modern communications are simultaneously pushing humankind toward new horizons and severly damaging us. My cell phone is a cheap pre-pay, just for the kids to reach me and for emergencies. I limit myself to my email and ATS.

It is hard to recultivate the letter-writing skills/behavior, but I am giving it a try and my friends and family have been responsive. Just this week, I got photos (actual physical photos) and two lengthy (and personally valuable) letters. It is so hard going back, but I am treasuring the rewards.



posted on Jul, 30 2011 @ 02:14 AM
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reply to post by gwynnhwyfar
 


I've given the letter thing a try, it's quite nice to have an actual piece of mail that's sealed, and that hasn't been copied and pillaged by who knows what alphabet agency. I have a smart phone, which I really plan on dropping as soon as the contract is done with. I like the idea of a life without all of the complex technology. I fear that life away from intrusive technology is part of a time long passed.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 06:03 PM
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I saw this coming long ago. I deleted my Facebook account around that time.

Sadly, most people are conditioned to believe this is acceptable. They won't care until it happens to them.

Internet anonyminity is essential to freedom of expression. When people abstain from expressing themselves for fear of retribution by their employer, the government, or whoever, something has gone completely wrong in this "free" country. I say boycott Facebook, but I realize the vast majority of people love their mindless forum for conversation about the truly menial so much that it will never go away. Facebook is going to be a major player in identifying and possibly silencing those who disagree with the government.

DELETE YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT - Anyone who is important enough to keep in touch with already knows how to reach you.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by Backslider
Facebook is going to be a major player in identifying and possibly silencing those who disagree with the government.

DELETE YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT - Anyone who is important enough to keep in touch with already knows how to reach you.


I wish I could express how much I agree. There's nothing better for those in charge to see what the people are thinking than a place where people openly express themselves. It uses the people's freedom against them by lulling them into a false sense of security and safety and then whacking them for it in the end.

Facebook being the most popular social network, it's a great resource for anyone in power to have a look at the general population. I agree 100% with boycotting it, I only wish everyone else would too.



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 06:25 PM
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I am wrestling with what extremism really means and who exactly gets to apply the label to whom.

Could this very label be a tool of tyranny?

I think yes. There are criminals and murderers. They are all extreme. I think we all agree on that. That's label enough for me.

When did extremism mean someone who exercises their free speech or someone who is critical of govt. Why is that extreme?



posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by hadriana
I am wrestling with what extremism really means and who exactly gets to apply the label to whom.

Could this very label be a tool of tyranny?

I think yes. There are criminals and murderers. They are all extreme. I think we all agree on that. That's label enough for me.

When did extremism mean someone who exercises their free speech or someone who is critical of govt. Why is that extreme?


I think this label is exactly that, a tool of tyranny. If you're not following the "status quo" you're an extremist. If you don't agree, you're an extremist. If you criticize the establishment, you're an extremist.

I think it's considered extreme since it threatens those who've worked to establish their position in the totem pole. It upsets the "balance" that exists in the government, and threatens to spread from an individual to a group, to a nation of people who are unhappy with the way things are.

You can probably tell I'm a little concerned with these labels being tossed around. I think I rightfully feel the way I do. There's no sense in sitting around and sucking up the pain and anger over something, eventually we have to speak out and bring stuff to the attention of others.




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