Thursday, May 17, 2012

Murder-suicide exposes the dark side of Arizona

This past May 2, a 911 dispatcher in Gilbert, Arizona received a call from a woman in an agitated state. She stated that her boyfriend was being disruptive, and in the background you could hear something like furniture being tossed about. Seconds later the woman shouted "Oh my God. He's got a gun. No!" and shots could be heard. The line went dead. A second 911 was made from the same location a few minutes later, by the daughter of the original caller. For nearly ten frustrating minutes the dispatcher asked and re-asked questions before police and emergency medical vehicles were dispatched. Asked who she believed the shooter was, the woman stated he was J.T. Ready, as if the dispatcher would recognize the name; but she merely repeated the name as if it meant nothing to her. If it had meant anything to the dispatcher or the police who arrived at the scene and viewed the carnage, they might surmise that Ready had finally did his hero, Adolf Hitler, proud with his “accomplishment.”

J.T. Ready, a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, founder of the U.S. Border Guard that is under investigation by the FBI as a domestic terrorist outfit, and a man who once called recently recalled Arizona state senator and anti-immigrant fanatic Russell Pearce as a “father figure,” had shot in cold blood four people before killing himself in what police are calling a “domestic violence” incident. The victims were identified as Lisa Mederos, who was Ready’s girlfriend; Amber Mederos, her daughter from a previous marriage; Lilly, a 15-month old baby whose father was an ex-boyfriend of Amber, and Jim Hiott, who was her current boyfriend. Mederos is a Spanish name, although this apparently did not bother Ready because they appeared to have more “white” in them. However, the baby’s natural father is obviously “ethnic,” and a friend of Amber stated afterwards that Ready was “disturbed” by the revelation that the baby was half-Hispanic: "He said, 'She's 50 percent ugly,' that's how he described her,’" the friend told the Arizona Republic. Although Ready had recently been allowed to move into Lisa Mederos’ residence, he showed his “appreciation” by being “cruel and controlling,” and there had been at least two previous incidents of domestic disturbances. However, when advised to seek a protection order against Ready, Mederos declined to do so.

Ready and his victims’ end could have been predicted; his search for scapegoats to explain the sad, pathetic existence he shared with many other racists and haters could be traced to at least 1996, Marine Corporal Ready was court-martialed not once, but twice. After an apparent theft of government property, Ready went AWOL for over a week; he was demoted and served three months in prison. It didn’t take long after being released from the detention that Ready was back in front of a court martial, this time for “conspiracy, assault, and wrongful solicitation and advice.” After six more months in prison, Ready received a bad conduct discharge.

A run-down of his “career,” compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, tells the sordid tale:

“In 2004, Ready tried to make a career for himself in politics, running for a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives. One of his campaign goals was to defeat the threat he claimed was posed by undocumented immigrants to American health and culture. He told a reporter that the state could improve its education system if it would “deal with this mass illegal influx of foreign students who do not even embrace the same language and culture as Americans and who spread tuberculosis, whooping cough, lice, and other third-world biological diseases to other children.” He was defeated in the election.”

The problem with Ready, as opposed to other anti-Latino race-baiters like Jan Brewer and Russell Pearce who successfully ascended to public office, is that he had a certain amount of baggage that the Republican Party shared but had the mendacity to deny sharing the same motivation. At a neo-Nazi get-together in 2009, Ready declared that “This is a white, European homeland. That’s how it should be preserved if we want to keep it clean, safe, and pure.” What self-respecting right-wing, tea-bagging extremist doesn’t want that? Today, that passes for a “mainstream” Republican talking point. In 2010 blog post, Ready also went somewhat beyond formal discussion by confessing to believing that Jews are “parasites,” Ready did not see the difference the two-legged “parasite” and those with six-legs, because they both “sucked blood,” like vampires. Noting the past resort to pogroms to end this Jewish vampire menace, Ready intimated that “Another pogrom is approaching.” This was also a frequent theme to Ready’s contributions to the neo-Nazi Stormfront website.

“The jew [sic] itself knows it is a parasite. I have had them admit as much to me and laugh in my face… But a parasite cannot carry on in its parasitic nature if it is exposed for what it really is. Their whole house of cards comes tumbling down for all to see. Like in 1933 Germany. Just because it has two legs, does not change its nature any less than a six-legged parasite stops sucking blood. There have been many pogroms when the host people stops being victims of these vampires. Another pogrom is approaching.” In preparation for this “pogrom,” Ready and likeminded racists practiced on “Mexicans,” who are particularly vulnerable in places like Arizona—and places like Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, et al; you know, the “usual suspects” for this kind of thing. Ready’s border terrorists pogrom is “The minuteman project on steroids. We’ve got people with assault weapons. We will use lawful, deadly force when appropriate.” According to the FBI, this includes explosive devices and land mines.

Anyways, “Ready made headlines in March 2006 when he fired a pistol at a Latino man armed with a BB gun (no criminal charges resulted from the incident). At the time, he was running for the Mesa City Council. His campaign was further derailed when, shortly after Ready volunteered to act as master of ceremonies at the Mesa Veteran’s Day parade, it came to light that he had been court-martialed and drummed out of the Marines.” In 2006, Ready demonstrated his foreign policy acumen by leading his brown shirts to protest in front of the Mexican consulate in Phoenix; his aim, according to the Republic, was to have Mexico declared a “threat nation”; presumably he wanted Mexico to replace Iraq as part of the “axis of evil.” Running unopposed for the apparently disinteresting post of Republican precinct committeeman in an obscure Mesa district, Ready won his only elected office. Perhaps to burnish his “foreign policy” and military “cred,” Ready joined the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, which sufficiently embarrassed the Bush administration into denouncing it as a “vigilante” group.

By now Ready had infiltrated the upper echelons of the Arizona Republican power brokers, at least in the form of State Senate Republican leader Pearce; Pearce was not only a “father figure” and political mentor, but his Mormon “elder” when Ready was baptized into the church; one suspects that “I am a Mormon” ad campaign has as much to do with Mitt Romney’s presidential aspirations as it does trying to fake out the public about its racial underpinnings. Although Pearce denied he knew about Ready’s neo-Nazi history, there is no doubt they had much in common ideologically, Pearce’s claims of innocence aside; even some Republican voters in his recall election admitted that they didn’t “hate” Latinos like Pearce did. No doubt many of Ready’s Republican friends were concerned when he was seen marching in Omaha, Nebraska with his brown shirts; perhaps the uniforms could be rationalized, but not the Nazi flag that accompanied them. Although the thinking observers inside and outside the state of Arizona thought it was fairly obvious what kind of race extremist Ready was, it wasn’t until 2008 that the state Republican party decided that association with Ready—despite his ability to excite the “base”—was the kind of media lightening rod that might be the kind of unwanted publicity that observers outside the state might see as red meat.

Calling himself “Viking Son” and consuming that “blue print” for a race war—the Turner Diaries, that Timothy McVeigh found so influential—he became an official party member in the National Socialist Movement. Instead of hunting Jews, the group patrolled the border in search of “illegals.” Ready continued to pretend that he was just a “concerned citizen,” but in a 2009 demonstration in front of the state capitol building, he held-up a poster of Hitler, as if revealing the rot in his mind wasn’t already bad enough given his increasingly rotund frame. Ready joined-up with NSM “regional director Jeff Hall to set-up a gang of thugs who would be ready to have their Glocks cocked and ready to “rock.” Unfortunately for Hall, his ten-year-old son, himself a convinced Nazi, decided to kill his father because he tired of getting beat-up.

Although local law enforcement preferred to operate with the help of Ready and his Nazi Bunch, “That didn’t seem to crimp Ready’s style,” according the SPL Center. “In a June 2010 New Saxon forum post, he wrote, ‘I would eventually like to fund a whole plattoon [sic], full-time, against the Narco-Terrorists. This will take a group effort, however. But we will take it Direct Action against the enemy and kill them (lawfully).’ On the New Saxon forums, Ready requested that his supporters donate guns, smoke grenades, and pepper spray to aid the effort.”

Like most racists, Ready was “ready” and eager to put his beliefs into practice, such as extermination, at least in his fantasies. Right up till the end, Ready was busy readying for war against the Zionist Occupation Army, which fellow neo-Nazis accused of staging the “assassination” of Ready—to be organized by Israeli intelligence and carried out by Mexican narco terrorists.

The fact that illegal immigration occurs is sufficient to call it a “problem,” even though the cross-border “informal” labor arrangement between the U.S. and Latin American has been a fact of life for over a century and a half. This was so accepted as a matter of course that the 1924 immigration act did not even address immigration from Latin America. But now that it is a “problem,” the question then is just to what extent are Nazis like Ready and anti-immigrant fanatics like Pearce motivated not so much by concerns of “law” but of that of racial “purity?” Ready’s anti-immigrant stance cannot be separated by his neo-Nazi philosophy; to do otherwise is shear hypocrisy. With Pearce’s SB-1070 law giving Sherriff Joe Arpaio the cover he needed to continue to run a fascist fiefdom in Maricopa Country—and who continues to thumb his nose at Justice Department attorneys, the white right’s terror of a future where they might lose “control” of the country must be delayed at all costs, and that means ratcheting-up the propaganda out of all proportion to reality. That Ready himself proved to be a murderer—and coward—reveals the true nature of those who drive the anti-immigrant and anti-government “movement.”

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