Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy


Tim Murphy is a reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. Last summer he logged 22,000 miles while blogging about his cross-country road trip for Mother Jones. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in Hayden Lake, Idaho

| Fri Oct. 1, 2010 9:01 PM EDT

Moscow, Idaho—Okay, a confession: We never actually saw the site of the former Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake. We got really bad directions and drove around for a while looking for it, but we had to be in Moscow at a decent hour, so we kept on going. Sorry. Basically, though, the story is this: For about three decades northern Idaho was the notorious base of operations for the Aryan Nations, who'd turned to Hayden Lake because of its isolation and general absence of non-whites. By day they'd attend services at their shrine to Adolf Hitler,* or conduct exercises at their 20-acre wooded compound outside town; by night, they'd unwind to pagan death metal. Once a year, white supremacists from around the world would converge upon Hayden Lake (population 494) for a big conference.

Of course, if you happened to live in Hayden Lake and didn't hate the rest of the planet, this was a really frustrating situation. But it wasn't until 1998 when things finally reached a tipping point. That's when a bunch of Aryans Nations guards opened fire on a mother, Victoria Keenan, and her son, Jason, who had stopped on the side of the road to look for a wallet. The guards—drunk, I should note—hopped in a truck, assault rifles in tow, and followed the Keenans for two miles, spraying the car with bullets until the Keenans swerved into a ditch. Then the guards held them at gunpoint and beat them.

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The View From My Windshield: We the People

| Tue Sep. 28, 2010 11:30 PM EDT

(Photo: Tim Murphy)(Photo: Tim Murphy)

I told you about a mini brouhaha at the 9/12 rally in Denver, but I didn't realize I actually had a photo of the scene until just now. So here you go.

From the Sketchbook: Tea Party Catharsis

| Mon Sep. 27, 2010 4:36 PM EDT

Denver, Colorado—Just a quick sketch: Andrew Breitbart is midway through his keynote address at the Colorado 9/12 rally (on 9/13) when he's interruped, loudly, by a middle-aged black man in an orange Broncos hat and a Hawaiian shirt, with a fundamental disagreement: "You Tea Partiers are racist!"

"Go back and watch television and they'll affirm your worldview," says Breitbart.

Breitbart continues his remarks (about ACORN—maybe you've heard of it?) but the focus shifts away from him for a few moments as the dissenter keeps up his charge. He's quickly encircled, but shows no sign of relenting. "You white people out here are splittin' the country up with your hateful views!" Now he's surrounded, by video cameras looking to capture this moment for posterity, and a dozens faces flush with vindication. This is what we're up against; this is what the media never show you; this is the real racist.

To his right, a man and two women are holding hands tightly and bowing their heads; they're praying, out loud, for his soul. A Tea Partier wants to know: "Did your mother teach you to talk like that?" Answer: "Did your mother teach you to be so goddam stupid?" The situation is not defused. Finally, he unleashes a furious: "Why don't you all go down to Mississippi and burn some goddam crosses," and makes his exit. Throughout all of this, a woman is standing just a few feet away from the spectacle, pleading with the crowd not to encourage him. "Don't give him an audience! Don't give him an audience!"

The View From My Windshield: November

| Sat Sep. 25, 2010 12:14 AM EDT

Denver, Colorado: (Photo: Tim Murphy)Denver, Colorado: (Photo: Tim Murphy)

Is the Yellowstone Supervolcano an Illuminati Plot?

| Fri Sep. 24, 2010 12:05 PM EDT

Someone Walked: The National Park Service doesn't mess around when it comes to terrifying signage. Serious question, though: Why is the one adult in this scene walking away completely unfazed by the screams of his children? (Photo: Tim Murphy).Someone Walked: The National Park Service doesn't mess around when it comes to terrifying signage. Meanwhile, why does the one adult in this scene seem totally unfazed by the screams of these poor children? (Photo: Tim Murphy).Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming—Back on the planet Earth where I was raised, I'd never given much credence to the notion that the Yellowstone Supervolcano was part of a New World Order plot to exterminate two-thirds of the world's population, bring about the Messiah, and restore large swaths of the continent to their original wilderness state. Then I discovered the Internet:

"The Illuminati may be planning to use the destructive nature of the Yellowstone Super Volcano as their major tool to accomplish their coveted 'Re-wilding' project."

I guess Lady Gaga was just a decoy. Fortunately, there's a whole community of independent Internet researchers who have committed themselves to constant vigilance of all things supervolcano—they monitor seismographic charts, earthquake patterns in the shape of a "Y" (Yellowstone has a calling card, apparently) in the western part of the continent, and the National Park Service's Old Faithful webcam (which you can, and absolutely should, do as well). Rest assured that, should things start to get hairy, you'll be able to plan accordingly and move somewhere remote like Montan—oh. Oh.

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