Tag Archives: KKK

Why the masks, terrorists?

The thought keeps occurring to me: Why do terrorists keep covering their faces when they make these videos intended for international distribution?

Have you ever wondered?


The picture on the link here shows an Islamic State goon waving a knife at the camera. All you see are this fellow’s eyes. Why don’t they show themselves to the public? Why don’t they reveal their identity?

Is it because:

* They believe what they’re doing is wrong?

* They don’t want international cops, spooks, commandos, anti-terror analysts to identify them?

* They’re cowards?

Maybe it’s all of the above. I’m going with the coward angle, kind of like the way the Ku Klux Klan goons cover their faces under hoods.

Terrorists don’t comprehend that they commit criminal acts when they behead innocent victims. They don’t seem to have any understanding of “right” and “wrong” the way you and I do. They’ve perverted every single principle, concept and tenet under which civilized human beings live.

They’re surely hiding from the good guys, which might imply they know what they’re doing is wrong. I believe it’s more akin to the last part. They don’t want to get caught because they’re afraid of the consequence they’ll face.

Fear. Cowardice. Get it?

Some of them have deserted from military organizations in their home country, usually somewhere in the Middle East, to join forces with ISIL, Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda … whatever. They’re hiding their faces from their former military commanders.

In the end, though, it all seems to smack of cowardly acts. Just as lynchings were the acts of cowards in the United States a century ago, these terrorists have zero sense of honor and courage.


Racial issue gets in GOP's way once more

That darn issue of race relations has just bitten the Republican congressional leadership right in the backside.

Don’t you just hate it when that happens?


GOP House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., spoke to a white supremacist group in 2002. The group was founded by a fellow Louisianan, one-time Ku Klux Klan grand dragon/wizard/potentate/medicine man David Duke.

Scalise says now he “regrets” his “error in judgment.” He condemns the views of “groups like that.”

Hey, it was a dozen years ago. No harm done now, right? He spoke six years before entering Congress.

Should he quit his leadership post? Should the congressman quit his House seat? I’m not going there until we know more about what he said and the nature of the invitation.

It does kind of remind me of what happened when former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., had the poor judgment to say something kind about the late Sen. Strom Thurmond’s 1948 presidential campaign. That was when ol’ Strom broke away from the Democratic Party — of which he was a member back then — to run for the White House as a Dixiecrat. He was a segregationist back then — and proud of it, too! He just didn’t like mixing with black people — even though, as we would learn later, he mixed it big time with an African-American woman, with whom he produced a daughter.

Lott said this about Strom: “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”

Oh, brother. That got Lott into some serious trouble. Lott stepped down as majority leader.

Two questions: Did the invitation to Scalise come from a group — the EURO Conference — identified easily as a white supremacist organization? And did he know of Klansman David Duke’s association with it?

The deal-breaker well might be the Duke involvement. Let’s come clean, shall we?



This story went untold: Edwin Edwards's loss

While most of the U.S. political press was fixated on the U.S. Senate race in Louisiana, another contest ended and virtually no one cared about its conclusion.

Except me.

The Sixth Congressional District race featured a contest between Republican Garret Graves and Democrat Edwin Edwards. Yes, that Edwin Edwards. The former governor and former prison inmate.

He once was the state’s governor and served also in Congress, representing the state’s Seventh District. Edwards also was, shall we say, one of the more colorful politicians ever to serve Louisiana, a state known for colorful pols. Huey Long might have written the book on political flamboyance, but ol’ Cajun Edwin wrote a chapter, maybe two, in that book.

Edwards wasn’t your run-of-the-mill character. He was proud of the trouble he kept finding. Edwards once said (reportedly) that the only way he’d ever lose an election was to be caught frolicking with a “dead girl or a live boy.” (Maybe it was the other way around, but you get the idea.) Another quote attributed to Edwards is that Louisianans “don’t expect their politicians to be crooked, they demand it of them.”

I had the pleasure of watching his 1991 campaign for Louisiana governor against Ku Klux Klansman David Duke, who was the Republican nominee that year. I attended a couple of political events in southwestern Louisiana back when I was working for the Beaumont Enterprise. Edwards crushed Duke that year in a landslide.

Seven years later, he was indicted and then convicted of several counts of racketeering, mail fraud, extortion and money laundering. He spent two years in a federal lockup in Fort Worth. Yeah, he’s a prince of a guy.

Well, he wanted back into public life. He’s 80-plus years old now, a bit past his prime, no doubt.

I was pulling for him to score an upset. If nothing else, the House of Representatives could use a little proverbial color in its ranks. Edwards would have provided it — and then some.



Treat Klan as terrorists

A Northeastern University professor has put forward a provocative notion: Perhaps the U.S. government should include the Ku Klux Klan as an enemy in its war against terrorism.

Why not, indeed.

Max Abrahms, a political science professor and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, took on the KKK-terrorist issue in a column on Politico.com. He writes:

“There is still no consensus over the definition, but terrorism usually denotes a nonstate actor attacking civilian targets to spread fear for some putative political goal. And here we had a 73-year-old lone wolf opening fire on a Jewish community center and retirement home on Passover eve yelling ‘Heil Hitler.’”

The “here” involved the killing of three people on Passover eve in Overland Park, Kan. Police arrested a known Klan leader and virulent anti-Semite. Granted, the suspect hasn’t been convicted of anything — at least not yet — but he seems to many observers to be acting like someone who is guilty of killing those three innocent victims.

Let’s suppose, though, the Klan leader-suspect had nothing to do with it, does the Klan’s violent history make it any less of a candidate as a terrorist organization? Hardly.

Back to Abrahms’s point …

“But what does it take for a hateful act to become a full-fledged terrorist attack? You might think the distinction hinges on lethality. A year ago this week, though, the Boston Marathon bombings killed the same number of bystanders, and Americans had little trouble fingering the incident as terrorism. And over the years, the Klan has killed many more Americans than has Al Qaeda, and the group has certainly fanned its share of fear,” he writes.

Do we launch drone strikes in the back woods of some remote region in the country where KKK members are known to plot their dirty deeds? Of course not. The Klan and other domestic hate groups, though, do “terrorize” citizens with their threats and their actions.

Why not call them what they are and then act as if we’re at war with them?

Abrahms’s full essay is here. Take a look.


Edwin Edwards making a comeback?

Awesome news is trickling out way over yonder in Louisiana.

It’s that former Gov. Edwin Edwards is thinking of making a political comeback. The formerly disgraced Democratic governor, who’s now 86 years of age, might run for a congressional seat that will be vacated when the incumbent runs this year against U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.


The incumbent is a Republican, Bill Cassidy. He’ll run against Landrieu, meaning that his seat automatically becomes vacant, as he can’t run for two offices at the same time.

Edwards would create quite a stir were he to win the House seat. He has been convicted of money laundering and racketeering. Edwards has led quite a flamboyant life for as long as anyone can remember.

I had the pleasure of covering a bit of one of Edwards’s re-election campaigns while I was working in Beaumont, just about 25 miles from the Louisiana border. His GOP foe in 1991 was none other than Klansman David Duke. I’d say “former” except that Duke kept talking like an active KKK member as he campaigned around the state. Edwards won easily — thank goodness.

He’s a character of the first order.

I’ve been fond of repeating a quote that’s been attributed to Edwards. I cannot vouch for its accuracy but if he didn’t actually say it, he should have.

It’s that Louisianans don’t “expect their politicians to be corrupt. They demand it of them.”

Were he to win — and given Congress’s abysmal approval rating among Americans, it seems ol’ Cajun Edwin will fit right in.