by Sally Jo Sorensen
The Belle Plaine Herald has published a remarkable letter by Gene Thomas Kornder, who received 13.38 percent of the vote in the 2012 Senate District Republican primary.
Here's the whole of the letter:
By proclaiming November to be "Muslim Appreciation Month," the current occupant of the White House has reached a new low.
Paradoxically, I agree. Americans do need to thoroughly appreciate Islam and its' Muslims.
To fully appreciate Islam, I recommend these books: 'What Americans Need to Know About Islam' by Michael Federer and 'Barbarian Cruelty' by Francis Brooks. First published in 1693, 'Barbarian Cruelty' is available from T.B.R. Book Club, P.O. Box 15877, Washington D.C. 20003 for $9 and $4 S&H.
A word to the wise is sufficient.
Gene Thomas Kornder
Bluestem believes a word to the wise is not only only sufficent, but necessary for those reading this letter. Let's unpack this one, beginning with "Muslim Appreciation Month."
Pants on fire: Polifacts and Snopes on "Muslim Appreciation Month"
Apparently, the editors of the Belle Plaine Herald have not learned that Google is their friend, as it's possible this missive might not have seen the light of day had they simply tossed "Muslim Appreciation Month" into the search engine.
Polifact checked it out in ‘Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month,’ bloggers claim:
The headline flew around the conservative blogosphere: "Obama Declares November National Muslim Appreciation Month."
The piece was packed with fake details designed to press anti-Muslim buttons: President Barack Obama held a news conference to make his declaration. He said Muslims "are not all bad. In fact, most of them are good."
His announcement was hailed by a "member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party." He said he would work with Congress to make it easier for Muslims to earn U.S. citizenship.
"Mr. Matei of the Muslim Brotherhood assured me they want to come to this country to help us, not harm us," he was reported to say.
Following other attempts to paint Obama as a Muslim -- such as this one that we rated Pants on Fire -- the National Report’s gambit worked.
"How dare Obama declare November, the month when we give thanks to God for our blessings and great nation, National Muslim Appreciation Month!" wrote a blogger for Tea Party Nation.
The PolitiFact inbox saw email after email with links to such stories from readers who got it from outraged friends.
Urban-legend debunker Snopes.com quickly confirmed that it originated with National Report.
The headline was utterly invented, and the event was entirely fabricated. . . .
Snopes.com's debunking of the bloggers' inability to understand satire closes with the recognition of a nice touch on the part of the National Report writer:
The phone number given at the end of the National Report article for contacting the "24-hour National Muslim Appreciation Hotline" actually belongs to the notorious Westboro Baptist Church.
White nationalism: the Barnes Review and Willis Carto
Bluestem doesn't wonder that Kornder missed that one, since he's recommending books available through the TBR Book Club, an adjunct venue of the notorious white nationalist publication, the Barnes Review. Unlike the folly of witless bloggers failing to understand satire, the Barnes Review and its founder Willis A.Carto are no laughing matters.
The Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Files entry for the Barnes Review begins:
Founded by Willis Carto in 1994, The Barnes Review (TBR) is one of the most virulent anti-Semitic organizations around. Its flagship journal, The Barnes Review, and its website, Barnesreview.org, are dedicated to historical revisionism and Holocaust denial. The organization is also a moneymaking enterprise. Besides journal subscriptions, its TBR Book Club and online bookstore promote and sell a wide range of extremist books and publications. The Barnes Review also hosts nearly annual conferences that attract an international crowd of antigovernment extremists, anti-Semites, white supremacists, and racist conspiracy theorists.
The Wikipedia entry for Willis Carto notes:
Willis Allison Carto (born July 17, 1926) is a notable figure on the American far right. He describes himself as Jeffersonian and populist, but is primarily known for his promotion of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.
Carto is today considered to be one of America's most influential political racial theorists through the Liberty Lobby and successor organizations which he helped create. Carto ran a group supporting segregationist George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign which formed the basis for the National Youth Alliance which promoted Francis Parker Yockey's political philosophy. Carto helped found the Populist Party served as an electoral vehicle for White nationalist and Ku Klux Klan members such as David Duke in 1988 and Christian Identity supporter Bo Gritz in 1992. Carto's current American Free Press continues in the spirit of the Liberty Lobby's The Spotlight, running columns by Joe Sobran, James Traficant, Paul Craig Roberts, presidential candidate Ron Paul, and others. It continues to promote alternative theories to the 9-11 attacks and support presidential candidates favoring individual liberty. Carto's many other projects also include the Institute for Historical Review which was founded by Carto to promote revisionist history about Nazi death camps.
The New York Times reported in a 2011 article that Paul Disowns Extremists’ Views but Doesn’t Disavow the Support.
Kornder Kray in 2012
Local Republican delegates endorsed retired FBI agent Mike Dudley in 2012, a candidate who ran a strong race in the district; his 74-vote election-night loss to Senator Kevin Dahle(DFL-Northfield) triggered an automatic recount.
Before taking on Dahle, Dudley had to defeat the quixotic quirks of Kornder. Mankato Free Press political reporter Mark Fischenich wrote in Republican candidates in Senate District 20 clearly different choices:
Voters in most of Le Sueur County and other parts of state Senate District 20 won’t be able to use the old “they’re all the same, anyway” excuse for not voting in the Aug. 14 primary election. . . .
At times Kornder sounds like other Republican candidates: “More people work for government than for private enterprise, and this situation is unsustainable.”
Mostly, though, he sounds different.
Kornder wants to look into whether powerful energy companies are suppressing revolutionary new forms of energy such as small-scale nuclear fusion reactors. He’d like to abolish the income tax and believes property taxes are unconstitutional under the Minnesota Constitution.
He wants to shut down the Metropolitan Council and shift its revenue into a new “Bank of Minnesota,” patterned after the Bank of North Dakota formed by the Nonpartisan League a century ago. That would allow the state to pay interest to itself when borrowing, Kornder said.
Kornder would shrink government and fund it with sales and excise taxes, making the excise taxes progressive when possible — applying higher rates, for instance, to luxury cars than to lower-end models. That’s much preferable to property taxes, which are a tax on wealth, and income taxes, which tax the production of wealth, he said.
“If you tax wealth and the production of wealth, you’re actually limiting or destroying these things,” said Kornder, who has previously run unsuccessfully for the Belle Plaine School Board and the state House (in 1978 as a member of The American Party).
In response to a questionnaire from the Northfield News, Kornder summed up his motivation for running: “I offer those who are disappointed with the current leadership, those who support Ron Paul, Tea Partiers, 911 Truthers, Birthers and Conspiracy ‘freaks,’ the opportunity to put someone in the Minnesota Senate who will make a difference.”
Kornder told the Belle Plaine Herald (among other things):
What facets of the Republican Party would you change?
In recent decades, the neo-cons, evangelical-Zionists and RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), have transformed the Republican Party into a tool of the New World Order. I am determined to reverse this.
It's no wonder that Dudley won; what we wonder about is the sanity of the 400 people who voted for this guy, as well as the discernment of the editors who ran the letter.
Photo: A double facepalm from Washington.
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