Sunday, October 26, 2008

Who is Hal Turner?

My friends continue to send me intriguing YouTube videos that alternatively make me laugh, prompt feelings of nausea and disgust, or add just a hint of extra anxiety to my life. Among these little nuggets of the American mental landscape was a short featuring a man named Hal Turner, who is convinced that our government is planning to introduce a new currency. Turner claims that the "Amero" will replace the US dollar sometime in the next six months. This substitution, he claims, will be a significant step toward a consolidation of the North American Union, which will include the United States, Mexico and Canada. Turner's message seems to be assisted in its perpetuation by the current crisis on Wall Street.

But who is Hal Turner? Wikipedia characterizes him as a white supremacist, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, Holocaust denier, who is dedicated to promoting far Right "conservatism" and "libertarianism" through various radio and web-based information outlets. He was a "warrior-host" of the airwaves during the limited run of the program The Right Perspective. Sean Hannity regularly used him on his program, and used to consider him a friend until being forced to denounce him after Turner's extreme beliefs were exposed by "New Black Panther" Malik Zulu Shabazz. In 2006, Turner advocated for the assassination of candidates running in a state election. He's also called for violence against a Massachusetts school superintendent.

I feel comfortable in pronouncing Hal Turner a despicable man. Still, some of his supporters might suggest that the government has prosecuted a "black ops"-type campaign to discredit him. Others, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, have seemed to suggest that Turner is a paid FBI informant. But regardless of the truth, does the type of man Turner is disqualify what he says about the Amero? Truthfully, I'll admit that it makes me resistant to believe anything that he says. However, I still want to investigate any claims that the feds plan on introducing a currency to replace the current one. The main piece of evidence Turner uses to advance that accusation is a gold coin he presents in his video.

When I watched his clip, I wondered why Turner would attempt to back up his position with a coin he asserted was diverted from its path to the Chinese Government. It was particularly telling that the "Amero" he held out for the viewer was blurred to the extent that all of its details were obscured. Was Turner really that technologically incompetent, or was he trying to fool those who are naturally suspicious of anything the government does? Perhaps this site could suggest an alternative source for Turner's hazy coin. The problem is that there is so much stuff to pay attention to nowadays that few have the time to look for alternative explanations. If you are generally distrustful of the national government, then you are more likely to accept Turner and his arguments at face value.

I understand why my fellow citizens would believe that our leaders are deceptive, manipulative, and self-serving. The proof is all around us. No one seems to truly know what is happening with our economy. The majority of Americans felt like fools (or should have) when they finally realized that they had been taken in by the Bush Administration's strident warnings that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was tied to Islamic terrorism, and that it was a threat to the United States. But in our cynicism, we shouldn't fall prey to those who would exploit that quality within us. Everyone has an agenda, and that includes people that are not agents of the government. Take the time to learn about those delivering the message.

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Anonymous Steve said...

I agree with you about Turner. He's trash and most of what comes out his mouth is digusting. However, one thing he said made me stop down. The fact that at some point the interest on the money we owe is going to be so large it will consume the entire federal budget.

I know this guy is a whack job, but that actually sounds like something that could happen. Especially given all the recent bailouts that we so happily gave out, when we know we don't actually have that money. Obama's trillions of dollars in new entitlement programs aren't going to help this problem either.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Well... I expect that whatever new military adventures McCain would cook up would at least equal any prospective spending programs... add in McCain's 300 billion dollar tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, and he'll continue the record of GOP presidents like Reagan and the Bush's... major increases to the federal debt. Republicans haven't been fiscally conservative in more than 40 years.

2:32 PM  

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