Friday, September 13, 2013

Why You Ought to Support Orcinus

There are two main reasons that monitoring the activities of the extremist Right in America -- which is the main task at hand for this blog, and for my work as a journalist in general -- is pretty much the direct opposite of a lucrative beat for a professional journalist:

1) There has been tremendous pushback from conservatives against this kind of reporting in general, and particularly against law-enforcement intelligence that makes use of it, as part of an insistent campaign to whitewash the existence of these groups and their profound impact on the body politic out of the national dialogue. They object to any attempt to point out the cooperation and collusion between extremists and mainstream conservatives as a "smear".

2) Liberals and progressives in general agree and comply. Many liberals, particularly mainstream Democrats, shy away from any confrontation with the extremist elements on either side, and particularly the conservative side of the aisle, and prefer not to raise the issue in their polite attempts at debate with the Right, believing in their hearts that such civility will be reciprocated even when it is not. It's considered gauche to even raise the subject, since many of them concur with conservatives that such talk is simply a form of reverse McCarthyism. Heaven knows that mainstream Republicans have nothing to do with such nutcases and do nothing to empower them, right? 

I grew up in conservative southern Idaho and still know how to talk the talk and walk the walk, but I long ago shed my naivete about the nature of the political beast I write about. I know from long experience that "reaching out to the other side of the aisle," when that other side is populated almost entirely with venomous Limbaughites to whom compromise means defeat, only means that you will be retrieving a bloody stump.

And I have watched, over many years, as crazy ideas that originated with the most vile and vicious hatemongers were dressed up in mainstream clothing and trotted out for popular consumption as a normative "new" idea (what I have long called the transmission belt). I have witnessed these ideas steadily migrating right into the mainstream, thanks to people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Ron Paul -- and also thanks to blinkered progressives who consider the provenance of this insanity an irrelevance.

I happen to know that this information is vital and important, and will be considered so one day again -- probably not too long from now -- to both liberals and conservatives in the mainstream. Because right-wing extremists attack the interests of all of us, and they damage the fabric of American democracy in their every activity. Eventually, the toll they take becomes unmistakable.

That's why I have made this my beat. It's why I have revived this blog. Very few people are listening right now. If you too believe this is important, do what you can to help out.

P.S. Be sure to check out my appearance at

Even Children Instinctively Know Orca Captivity is Wrong

Even children instinctively understand that there is something profoundly wrong with keeping orcas in captivity. That's why, when they speak out, it carries real weight. We can argue until we are blue in the face about it, but at the end of the day, we all know that their simple insight is right. 

Case in point:

Teachers must have their work cut out for them in today’s world, where because of media access children are bombarded with information and are witness to events from which they once were sheltered. How to help and empower them so that they can grow up to be contributing adults who work to solve problems may not be every teacher’s task, but it certainly is every teacher’s mission.
One such person is Mr. Parkinson, a computer specialist at a school in Manchester, England, who is focusing on teaching kids how to use ipads as a tool and who found the documentary film “Blackfish” touching and powerful. Because he felt that some of the content would be disturbing, he only has the children watch the trailer (below). The film is not scheduled to be released in Europe so there is no question that the kids would be exposed to the really disturbing events. Mr. Parkinson writes:
In my quest to find a topic that I want to ignite the children’s passion to write and share work through the school blog, I watched a very moving and interesting film over the summer called Blackfish. The documentary exposes the dreadful life of Killer Whales in captivity. Although I don’t feel the film is appropriate for children to watch and have emphasised this point with them (some scenes of the whales attacking trainers etc.) The message that it portrays, however, is one I wanted to share with the class. I wanted to use a real life issue to inspire writing and this is one that the film has really brought into the public eye.
From the children in Mr. Parkinson’s class:
Mr Parkinson told us about a film he watched over the summer called, Blackfish. This documentary explored the effects captivity have on killer whales. After Mr Parkinson told us a little about the film, we wanted to research some of the effects ourselves and were astonished to see how unfair and unnatural it is to keep these very intelligent animals in captivity. Mr Parkinson made it clear that the film wasn’t appropriate to watch however did show us a suitable clip that demonstrated some of the effects captivity has on Orca.
We wanted to start this topic with a bang and raise as much awareness as possible so we decided to make a class advert for this issue. We discussed features we could include to make our advert as effective and really grab people’s attention. We used camera effects and emotive music to set the mood. We used rhetorical questions to make the viewer think and persuade them to agree with our viewpoint.

If you agree with the message in our video, please help us raise awareness by sharing our video with as many people as possible. This will hopefully provide our blog with an audience to showcase the writing we will be producing over the next few weeks. We would also love it if you can comment on our video to let us know what you think. Some of the children have already been writing about this issue and you can read them here.

I can attest to some personal experience in this regard. Below is a brief excerpt from my forthcoming book, Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us, following the story of the captures from Northwest waters of the killer whales -- named Namu and Shamu -- who provided the foundations of the captive-orca entertainment industry:

Shamu made Sea World a multi-billion-dollar business. Thanks to the presence of their performing killer whales, the onetime backwater business of marine parks has blossomed into a big-money corporate undertaking, entertainment venues that families plan their whole vacations around seeing.

I know this from personal experience. We took Fiona to Sea World in San Diego a couple of times when she was little – ages one and two, respectively. It was actually a lot of fun.

And you have to give credit where it is due: My little girl was flabbergasted and smitten by the sight of the great orcas, especially when they glided past the glass enclosure where she spent the better part of an hour oohing and ahhing over them. These parks deserve great credit in providing people the opportunity to actually see, in the flesh, one of these great creatures. Whether what they’re being shown is orcas as they really are is another question. 

At those parks, they tell a different story about killer whales. They portray them as docile and friendly, like super-smart performing dogs. Though imposing and intimidating, they are clearly dominated by their human trainers. The parks claim to give their attendees an “education” and “conservation message” through their shows, though what information they give is often muddled and sometimes downright false. There is a lot of prattle about how much the whales eat and what it’s like to train them, but almost nothing about their social lives, their backgrounds, or their population type.

But most of all, you will never, ever hear about the endangered population of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest, and most certainly not the outsize role played by the captive-orca industry, during its founding years, in driving those populations to the brink. Yes, you might be told that whales face all kinds of survival challenges in the wild, and often do not survive them – mostly as a means of rationalizing the continued captivity of killer whales by theme parks. You will be told the oceans are a scary place (as proven by the difficulties whales face in Puget Sound) and that the parks can provide the whales better food and care than they can get in the wild. You will probably also be told that their orcas live longer in captivity than do whales in the wild.

These are at best gross distortions of reality. And the last is simply a lie: Captivity has been a catastrophe for most killer whales taken from the wild. Study after study has demonstrated that whales in captivity are more than two and a half times more likely to die than whales in the wild. All the care in the world cannot compensate for the stress brought on by placing a large, highly mobile, highly intelligent, and highly social animal with a complex life into a small concrete tank.

Of the 136 orcas taken in captivity over the years, only 37 still survive. The average lifespan of all these orcas in captivity so far is about eight and a half years. In the wild, the average rises to thirty-one years for males and forty-six for females.

Then there is the upper end of the spectrum. In the wild, males will live up to sixty years, and in the Puget Sound, there is a matriarchal female named Granny who is believed to be a hundred years old. Having met Granny up close in my kayak, I can attest that she remains spry and playful. There are several other elderly females in the southern resident population.

But we don’t know how long orcas will live in captivity yet. We’re still finding that out.

Perhaps the most telling number is that, of those fifty-five orcas taken from the Pacific Northwest, only two remain alive today: Corky II, the matriarch of the Sea World orcas in San Diego, taken from Pender Harbor in 1969; and Lolita, also known as Tokitae, the only surviving orca from the horrific Penn Cove captures of 1970, who is alone in a small tank at Miami Seaquarium. Both are estimated to have been born in 1966, making them roughly co-equals as the oldest whales in captivity, though there are some estimates that indicate Lolita is older. Regardless, Corky has been captive longer than any living whale. Their stories are amazing and, in the end, inspiring – except that the ending so far is that they remain in captivity, their owners intent on keeping them.

On our second visit to Sea World, we bought tickets for Fiona and her mom to go to the exclusive “Dine With Shamu” luncheon, where trainers bring whales up close to the tables where you’re gnoshing and give you a good look. The whale Fiona got to see up close was none other than Corky.

I asked her afterward if she was excited to meet Corky up that close. She seemed noncommittal. Her mom told me that she seemed more taken aback than anything. “There was something disturbing about it,” she said.

That had been in February, and later that summer, in August, we had our close encounter with orcas in the wild. That evening in camp, I asked her if she had thought about those orcas at Sea World after seeing these in the wild. She said she had. I asked what her thoughts were. She paused for only a moment.

“They should let them go,” she said. Even a three-year-old could see it.
Here's that's trailer for Blackfish that inspired the children in England.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Revival Fundraiser!

Yes, I am reviving this blog, bringing back the old mix of monitoring the extremist right and environmental reportage -- along with some old-fashioned philosophical musings. Read all about it here

Investigating the far right is the opposite of what would usually be a "profitable business model". Generally I have to scrape by. So if you want to see this kind of work continue, please pitch in.

The Other Side

Just because I like to present dissenting voices, here are a couple of responses from readers at AlterNet who picked up on my post about Ron Paul's extremism.

As usual, there's an endless supply of people who desperately want to believe that Ron Paul is the source of all goodness and light in American politics, and they are as always deep in denial about the real nature of their icon. 


Man you guys really go out of your way to trash people who disagree with you. I love how Alternet will say hes a "far-right extremist" even though he supports full equality, gay marriage no more foreign wars, he wants to demilitarize the police, stop the NSA (which he has been saying for years was happening), make drugs legal, make the penalities for drugs like marijuana non-existant and bring jobs back to America. But I guess when he was congressman of Houston and made it one of the most successful cities in America you have to slander people because you have nothing else to argue with. Oh and by the way he is going up there to discuss economics.
 And then there are the imaginative excuses:
Rob Chapman

I have to agree with Dan. This piece skirts dangerously close to scurilous character assassination.

It might be that Ron Paul wants to speak to this group to differentiate his brand of politics from the anti-Semitism espoused by the others.

It is also possible, and probably even likely that Ron Paul is unaware of the anti-semitic activities and statements of the others and merely took this engagement through his normal booking process. Do American public speakers' agents generally enquire as to whether sponsors are anti-semitic?

I hate to defend Ron Paul, who I view as a charlatan and dupe, but this article relies too heavily on right wing tactics of innuendo and smear to go unanswered.
Because, yeah, the economics experts I know go to Canada all the time to participate in conferences run by anti-Semitic cults. And are perfectly unaware of their nature when they do so. (Hint: Paul has been associating with the Fatima people since at least 1998, when he helped make that video atop the post.)

And then there was the "militiamen are really patriotic people"  contingent:

This David Neiwert guy is way off base.

Ron Paul is smart, articulate, honest and fearless. He has been around a long time and one trait have never seen in him is hatred.
You have to love America's the author's definition of Anti-semite. Anyone that states the Palestinians are being mistreated, that the Jewish lobby and AIPAC have too much power in Washington, that Israeli settlements in Palestine are illegal, that Israel is trying to drag us into this War with Syria or that Israel needs to be get rid of their nuclear weapons is an anti-semite.

Sometimes you have to wonder if clowns like David Neiwert are nothing more that the propaganda arm for the ATF, FBI and Homeland Security. His hate group propaganda Creates the demand for government infiltration, incarceration and far too often assassination of members militia movements under the ruse of hate groups and domestic terrorists. He makes great money plugging this type of propaganda.

My assessment of most militia movements are that they are informed, patriotic Americans that are offended by the conduct of this government. They like guns and know how to take care of themselves.

This is my assessment of most of the groups David claims to be hate groups or domestic terrorists.

Ron Paul is not a terrorist. He is a patriot. He is the closest leader we have in this country to an alternative of our corrupt two party system.

While we are on the subject of terrorism I should also mention that Ron Paul wants to end the Drug War. The closest most Americans will ever come to real domestic terrorism is this government's involvement in the war on Drugs. This war, and the Drug War NAZIs that profit from it terrorize our communities. It is out of control, corrupt and their policies have to answer to nobody. In my case, my opposition to the war on Drugs made my family a target and a parent got killed. I know what terrorism looks like.
 Just for the record: We define anyone who posits and aggressively promotes conspiracy theories claiming that Jews secretly are plotting to rule the world and enslave America (or Russia, or whatever country they're operating in) as anti-Semitic. And the Fatima folks fit that description in spades.

Also, be sure to check out the foulmouthed response from the Threepers that was directed at the folks at the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights for their investigative report on the Threeper plans to build a backwoods compound in Idaho called The Citadel. Definitely NSFW!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Deep-Woods Lunatics Have High Hopes for Idaho Hideaway

You remember the most recent entries in the "let's move to the Idaho wilderness so we can escape liberals and get eaten by mosquitoes" tradition -- the people who have bought property in Benewah County and plan to build a place called The Citadel -- right?

Let's recall their residency requirements:
The Citadel is not to be a closed society, instead a refuge for genuine Patriots who wish to live without neighbors who are Liberals and Establishment political ideologues.
That's right: Their community "bans Liberals from living among us." But it's not closed.

In the event, my friends at the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR) did a proper and thorough investigation of The Citadel and its would-be organizers.

The results are now available for all to read at The Nation:

Is America’s Militia Movement on the Rise?
Up an unpaved Idaho road, self-styled “patriots” gather to plan and train in close-quarters battle.

... Now, after a year of justifiable skepticism about the walled city’s prospects, expressed by the Benewah County Sheriff, and criticism of the project’s leadership by rival militia factions, the group behind the Citadel is taking the next steps. On September 6–8 it gathered at a twenty-acre plot it had already purchased as a starter base-camp, according to county records.

A couple dozen or more militia-types are thought to have traveled off the main highways and up the unpaved logging roads for close-quarters battle training and a self-styled patriot convention. They housed themselves in tents and RVs. Jim Miller, a fully licensed arms manufacturer at the heart of the Citadel’s plans, was in attendance. Perhaps he sold some of the guns he has recently built, AR-15s—a civilian replica of the American military’s M-16s. Chris Kerodin, the Citadel’s central idea man and principal propagandist, taught hand-to-hand combat courses known as CQB—close-quarters battle.

They also were slated to make plans to eventually attract 300 “patriots” to their ranks, people willing to “go into harm’s way,” and “clear Black Panthers from the voting stations,” according to one of Kerodin’s frequent blog posts.
At IREHR's site, there's more detail about what they found there -- including the reaction of locals, including the sheriff of Benewah County, who is not much impressed:
On his desk and others in the office sat a stack of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, pocket-sized editions provided by the Cato Institute. "I believe in the Constitution," Resser declared. "These guys claim to have a mindset in the Constitution, but that's not what they're about," he said about Kerodin's Threepers. The Citadel was against the Jeffersonian ideals they claimed to be protecting, he claims. "From the sounds of it, only a few honchos would be calling all the shots, which makes it an oligarchy, not a republic," he explained.

Resser also had his doubts about the future of the operation, however. "A scam. It's obviously some sort of scam," Resser added, tipping back his hat. He compared the Citadel plan to a cult and drew parallels between it and the disaster of Jim Jones and Jonestown. Resser later added that Kerodin and his ilk were "preying on the fears of well-intentioned good-minded people."
Be sure to read the whole thing.

The Pacific Northwest Inlander has also been reporting on The Citadel plans, and noted back in February that locals have long memories about far-right separatists moving into the northern Idaho backwoods:
“You’re a little worried because it’s a little out of the box, and you always worry a little about the anti-government types,” says Bryan Chase, who runs Timber Country, a sports apparel store his mother owns on Main Street. “I think back to when Coeur d’Alene had the Aryan Nations, and that gave all of North Idaho a bad name.”

Notably, these cultural separatists were given a big shot in the arm by Glenn Beck not too long ago. This should not come as a surprise, really, since Beck has a long record of endorsing and empowering various kinds of far-right extremism -- particularly the notion of such cultural separatism and eliminationism directed at liberals -- as well as inspiring various acts of extremist violence. There's a reason we call him the "fearmonger in chief."

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

Reviving Orcinus

Back in January of 2003, when I started up this little blog, I barely could have conceived the path that would follow. Indeed, it was kind of a toss-off thing, something to while away some time while my baby daughter napped and to get some of the material I had in my files in at least a form of print.

Then it became much more than that. Suddenly I had hundreds, then thousands, of readers daily, and just like that I was posting almost daily and attracting a regular audience. Five years later, I was editing and managing a blog on a national scale -- first (rather briefly), and then Crooks and Liars for the better part of four years.

When I first hired on as a national-blog editor, I tried to keep Orcinus running by cross-posting my material there over to here. But I didn't anticipate the crushing load imposed by those jobs, and the difficulty of monitoring two sites at once. So, as most of you who once may have read here regularly are aware, I slowly let Orcinus fade into the sunset, occasionally reawakening to insert back posts. But it was an enterprise in which I was not very involved any longer.

I quit holding the reins at C&L last January, though I still contribute there as a senior editor and occasional writer (see my blog there). To some extent I was burned out on blogging and needed a break, but more importantly I needed to prepare to promote And Hell Followed With Her, and to begin work on Of Orcas and Men. It has been a crazy busy spring and summer.

But now it's past and I'm settling into writing mode full time for Of Orcas and Men, and it seemed like an opportune time to restart my old blog here at Orcinus.

I'm going to try to get back to posting daily, or mostly daily. And the posts will feature my traditional mix: an emphasis on watchdogging the radical right in America and all its permutations, documenting extremist violence, thuggery, and acts of domestic terrorism, combined with a healthy dose of environmental reporting, with a strong emphasis on an animal I write about a great deal, the killer whale, aka Orcinus orca. 

I'll continue writing for C&L and cross-posting here, but as many of you know, there's a lot of material I liked to post here that was never appropriate for a national political blog and is mostly fun or interesting stuff. That will be back.

But I'm also going to be doing something I did more in the early days of the blog -- that is, waxing philosophic (some of you may even recall my failed Media Revolt Manifesto). After all, I have studied philosophy for years and over them have developed some ideas of my own. And I like discussing them with other people who are interested in having a real conversation.

I am struck by the overwhelming need for a progressive movement -- political, cultural, and personal -- predicated on enshrining the innate and intrinsic worth of every individual human being, and doing so through the power of communitarian action and institutions. I would call it a Human Movement. And I would like to bring it to shape through the power of collaborative discussion that's really only possible through Internet-based media, such as a blog like this one, where we can keep it small and personal.

As I did in gradually transforming the conversations that resulted from Rush, Newspeak and Fascism and The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism into a single book -- The Eliminationists -- these conversations may well result someday in becoming part of a larger written thesis. Certainly, those ideas were shaped and sculpted by those conversations (I really still think of that book as a collaborative effort), and I consider the democratic/egalitarian approach to shaping movements the healthiest thing for them.

So come join in the conversation. I'm going to be busy writing Of Orcas and Men over the next few months, and I have another exciting book project waiting shortly behind it.

But the conversation about a new kind of political movement is one we need to have, and it really can't wait any longer. I'm hoping you all will come and join.

Secondarily, I am making very little money at any of this (sorry gang, the book-writing business does not pay the bills unless you write a young-adult fiction series or hit the jackpot with a bestseller). I am in fact barely staying afloat these days.

So if you want to help contribute to the work I'm undertaking here -- knowing what I've done in the past -- I would deeply appreciate any donation you can come up with. It will definitely make a difference in my ability to keep doing this work.

See you all in the weeks ahead. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Is DA Shielding Old Pal Chris Simcox on Child Sex Abuse Charges?

I thought the nativists who populate the Republican Party in Arizona would at least have enough sense and basic decency to just run away from Chris Simcox after his arrest on child-molestation charges. I was wrong.

And even though this story is a week and a half old already (I missed it while off in the wilderness), if your outrage-o-meter hasn't hit at least a 9 recently, well, just digest the latest news in Simcox's ongoing drama, courtesy of Stephen Lemons of Phoenix New Times. Mine's at 11:
At a pretrial conference Wednesday before Commissioner Virginia Richter, deputy county attorney Yigael Cohen signaled that the Maricopa County Attorney's Office will be offering a plea deal in the case of former minuteman leader Chris Simcox.

Simcox, 52, was arrested June 19, and is currently being held nonbondable on six felony counts related to child molestation and sexual conduct with minors under the age of 10.
Initially, the allegations involved three kindergarten-aged girls, one of them his own daughter. (Simcox was a kindergarten teacher in Los Angeles, before his move to Arizona.)

Since his arrest, the prosecution has dropped one victim -- a little girl Simcox allegedly bribed with candy to show him her underwear. Now, the other two victims in the case, each of whom say they were molested by Simcox, may be denied the justice they deserve.

The prosecutor did not describe the plea offer to the court. In fact, he said he still had to write it up for review by the defense.

And, significantly, at the mention of a plea deal, Simcox, who was standing in the jury box in stripes and shackles, shook his head, as if to reject the offer out of hand.
One of the victims' parents, at least, appears shaken and outraged:
After the hearing, outside the courtroom, I saw the prosecutor speaking with Michelle Lynch, the mother of one of Simcox's victims.

Lynch was in tears and very upset. I overheard what the prosecutor had to say to her.
"I will let your views be known," he said at one point before rushing off. "It's not set in stone."

Lynch declined comment for this report.

Whatever the plea offer is, based on Lynch's reaction to it, we can assume it is not good for the victims.
And why, we might ask, would the Maricopa County DA be interested in letting off a notorious hatemonger who appears to have forced little girls to watch porn films and to be molested as they took showers with him?

Because the DA is a big fan of the Minutemen and Simcox!
An irony of Simcox's current situation is that his minuteman movement was once supported by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Both the website for Simcox's now-defunct Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, and the morgue of the Tucson Citizen newspaper indicate that Montgomery participated in an "Arizona Operation Block Watch Kick-Off Rally" in 2006, when he was running as the Republican nominee for state Attorney General.

One of the photos on MCDC's site shows Montgomery speaking at the event. Other speakers included Simcox, GOP congressional candidate Randy Graf, Michelle Dallacroce from Mothers Against Illegal Aliens, and someone from the national nativist organization Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Montgomery may have gone on minuteman patrols, as well.
Go read it all. I love the part about how one of Montgomery's chief benefactors is none other than Simcox's recent employer.

Of course, it's also worth remembering that this is the county run by Montgomery's friend and ally Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- whose mishandling of sex crimes cases is already legendary. It's obvious he has a partner in that component of his broad misfeasance of his duties.

There's a special kind of corruption in Arizona, enabled and fueled by hardnosed partisan and ethnic hatred. It remains that state's real and lasting stain.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.

Ron Paul Reveals Yet Again Who He Really Is: A Far-Right Extremist

Freed from the constraints of running semi-permanently for president, Ron Paul is letting his skirts down by appearing as a speaker at a convention of some of the most fascistic far-right global ideologues in the business.

The SPLC's Hatewatch explains
that both Paul and the president of the John Birch Society are part of a phalanx of Americans participating at the upcoming gathering:
In early September, the men are all scheduled to speak – along with a lengthy list of archconservative clergy, lawyers and academics – at a conference in Canada sponsored by the Fatima Center, part of the “radical traditionalist Catholic” movement, perhaps the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America.

Paul, the former Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate, is the keynote speaker of the weeklong conference slated for Sept. 8-13 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. ...
The conference is titled, “Fatima: The Path to Peace” and “is a call,” according to a Fatima Center press release, “to a return to sanity in the government of the world and the Church, for the two cannot be separated.”

Also scheduled to speak is Roberto Fiore, an Italian politician, who, when he won a seat to the European Parliament in 2008, was described by a fellow member of the body as “absolutely the most extreme person who has ever served in the European Parliament.”

John F. McManus, the president of the archconservative John Birch Society (JBS) is also listed as a speaker at the Canadian conference. JBS has been dogged for decades by charges of anti-Semitism, accusations society leaders vehemently deny.
This is, of course, nothing particularly new. A significant chunk of Paul's radical right voting record in Congress revolves around his various efforts to promote the Birch Society agenda by getting the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations. And indeed, Paul's obsession with the "New World Order" is a reflection of the same paranoid belief system, a product of old-line anti-Semitic far-right organizations.

As Rachel Tabachnik at Talk 2 Action explains, neither is it new for Paul to be openly embracing these anti-Semites:
This is not the first time that Paul has been involved in a conspiracy-themed project with Father Nicholas Gruner, the founder of the Ontario-based Fatima Center. In 1998 the John Birch Society produced and marketed a film promoting the American Sovereignty Restoration Act, a bill sponsored in the U. S. Congress by Ron Paul calling for withdrawal from the United Nations. The film includes the participation of Fr. Gruner and a total of five speakers who are also speaking at the Fatima Conference. In the film Paul claims that the United Nations is coming to get your guns and your property. Resistance will be futile, Paul warns, and "If the United Nations has their way, there will be curtailment of our right to practice religion."

The 30-minute John Birch Society film includes five of the speakers who will be participating in the Fatima Center conference this coming week: Ron Paul; Fr. Nicholas Gruner, founder of the Fatima Center; John McManus, president of JBS; William Jasper, editor of the JBS magazine New American; and Cornelia Ferreira. Ferreira is another radical traditionalist Catholic who writes and speaks about claimed takeover of the church by a Masonic conspiracy and "liberal churchmen" who are in league with a "Luciferian revolution."
See the video atop this post for a pared-down version. The complete 30-minute video is here.

Tabachnik has more details
about the deeper (and more disturbing) nature of the Fatima Society's radicalism:
Most mainstream press coverage has focused solely on the anti-Semitism of the Fatima Center and affiliated schismatics, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America." The SPLC isolates the Fatima Center, claimed to be the largest international Fatima apostolates, as one of the "Dirty Dozen" of traditionalist Catholic groups preaching anti-Semitic hatred.

But the anti-Semitism is part of a larger story.

The Fatima Center is one of several examples of rightwing fascination with Russia as an emerging world leader and counter to American liberalism on social issues.

... The Fatima Center was founded by Father Nicholas Gruner as part of a larger movement dedicated to fulfillment of instructions believed to be given by the Virgin Mary to three Portuguese children in 1917. The message was in the form of "Three Secrets." It is the Third Secret of Fatima, kept confidential until announced by the Vatican in 2000, which has been the source of international controversy. This third secret is described as prophetic information about the conflict between Russian-sourced communism and the Roman Catholic Church and is supposed to include the instructions for the "Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

... The Fatima Crusaders attacks on the Vatican and warnings of destruction are strikingly similar to the anti-Catholic narratives of televangelist John Hagee and other marketers of fundamentalist Protestant end times prophecy. (Hagee is an independent Charismatic.) In these narratives, the Roman Catholic hierarchy partners with an Illuminati conspiracy and pave the way for the reign of the Antichrist. In Hagee's version, evil on earth is orchestrated by "half-breed Jews" and in the Fatima version by a "Judeo-Masonic" conspiracy. Both are fixated with claims that the Federal Reserve is owned by Rothschilds. One of the speakers at the "Fatima: Path to Peace" conference is G. Edward Griffin, author of one of the most popular, although somewhat sanitized, versions of the Rothschilds' enslavement of humanity through manipulation of the dollar.
It's not a coincidence that mainstream Russian politics has taken on a strong odor of brownshirt-style fascism in its thuggish approach to gay rights and similar issues: These politics are being espoused and promoted with the help of international far-right factions such as the Fatima Society.

And foremost among these elements are American far-right figures, including most prominently Ron Paul. As Tabachnik explains:
Paul has a long history as the link between a diverse array of groups that promote anti-Semitic conspiracies as well as a deep hatred of U.S. government. As we face the challenges of the next few weeks on the issues of Syria and conflict in the Middle East, we should be aware that some of the voices calling for peace are not partners looking for a less militaristic America, or a plan to lead the world toward a more progressive future. Some of the voices for "peace" are coming from people who would take us back to the Middle Ages.
Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.