The dour angels of the local LaRouche Youth Movement opened today's meeting with classical praise to God. It was neither to Lyndon LaRouche nor to Chuck Turner.
At the ballroom of the Radisson in Park Square, they sang a cappella in Latin and lacked only emotion. Not aware that the youthful political cadre routinely belted 'em out, I wondered what else they could do beyond haranguing passersby like Scientologists or soliciting contributions. In this case, they didn't seem to have any fun producing fine music. Two young women were unable to stifle smiles leaving the front, but otherwise, it was as though Vulcans were preforming.
Without even the excuse of desperation, Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner was sharing lollipops with strange kids. Except for the occasional blunder such as porn confused with news, Turner's personal theatrics have been more entertaining than destructive. What has he to do with LaRouche sorts?
After his arrest and indictment for allegedly extorting a bribe to facilitate a liquor license, Turner has been on a tear. His often florid and always loosely reasoned claims went out there.
At the Radisson before the meeting, it was clear that this was a mandated event for the LaRouche youth. They knew each other and outnumbered the rest of us considerably. Under 100 attended and the 20-somethings dominated. Each was obviously trained to engage, gathering names and contact info on the way in, offering dozens of tracts as stapled magazines or perfect-bound booklets.
I now own:
- A DVD that will apparently explain why Barack Obama had better act like Franklin Roosevelt in a big hurry
- A nearly 300-page Children of Satan, anti-Dick Cheney screed
- The current Executive Intelligence Review
- A Your Enemy George Soros LaRoche PAC dossier
- The Program for World Economic Recovery
- Tantamount to Treason on the economic bailout bills
- Last fall's The Tasks Before Us in the Post-Cheney Era
- Is the Devil in Your Laptop?
If you don't know LaRouche beyond the blinking sidewalk solicitors, you can do worse that start with his Wikipedia entry. There are plenty of links to his documents, as well comments from detractors and champions. I won't touch him here, except where Chuck Turner and the LaRouche folk overlap.
The 86-year-old LaRouche remains fundamentally an economist. His people claim virtually Cassandra-class prognostication there — infallible but ignored. With that eye, he seems to see a kindred mind and spirit in Turner. Speaking at the Radisson for the LaRouche PAC, Western States Spokesman Harley Schlanger said that the group would support Turner because such fighters for the right are rare.
...it makes you sick to your stomach
Turner, Schlanger and LaRouche PAC's literature have some clear overlap in this way. In his remarks, Turner iterated some of he LaRouche argot. A recurrent term in his address, as well as Schlanger's and the lit, was the British Empire.
Woe to us who are so ignorant as to think first of King George III and later the Raj. Instead, this appears to be a shorthand for the larger evils of the cartels that secretly control the world. Schlanger twice expanded the term, first to Anglo-Dutch Empire and then to Anglo-Dutch-Saudi Empire.
Several times, Turner used British Empire á la LaRouche when he meant the old white oppressor class. Fundamentally, Turner was on solid ground when he said this country's economic system has never been fair to all, particularly to those of color, to women and to working whites. How odd though for his to parrot the code phrase.
Turner had another good point in his hit-and-miss criticism of his own prosecution. He fairly questions how U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan had the chutzpah to try to forbid Turner from talking about the case publicly when Sullivan himself has released a still shot off video before the indictment claiming that it showed Turner accepting a $1,000 bribe. Even in playground terms, that's not fair. If Sullivan can trash talk, why not Turner?
At the podium, Turner was much less substantial and much more conspiratorial when he branched from his case. In his lingo, "prosecutors will collude with the media." That seems less likely and yet harder to prove than Sullivan's challenge to show that Turner offered a tit for tat with the liquor license. In the latter case, Sullivan either has the taped evidence and witness testimony or loses his case. For his part, Turner also surmised that Sullivan wanted higher office, like commonwealth governor, which would be his motivation for pegging Turner.
The Council may have been overthinking the media angle in other ways as well. He said that after he ignored his lawyer's instructions to shut up about the case, "my campaign worked — the media backed off." He apparently did not consider Occam's razor possibility — the media got bored with him and the case, and won't report again until there's news not just noise from Turner.
Yet, to me Turner remains deliciously vivid. At 68, he is still activist frisky. He spoke of himself as a crusader, poking the bear. He expected to get poked back. In this case, he and the LaRouche folk claim that the sting that got Turner indicted followed shortly after the Councilor railed against foreclosures on property of poor people.
He continues to play the drama queen well and use fitting language. He said, "When you get in a fight, you don't think about what would happen if you lose. You think about how to win!"
On the one hand, for this case, he claims total innocence. He says he has no recollection of meeting the businessman and moreover, he's not sure that the very distinctive beard on the video is his beard on the video. Not only does he not seem to be shopping for a plea bargain, he is looking beyond his victory. He calls for prosecuting Sullivan. He added that the International Action Center would circulate a petition in his behalf to prosecute the prosecutors.
As Turner not so subtly puts it, "This country is so immoral, it makes you sick to your stomach."
This is sumo at its best. The salt has been thrown. The ring has been purified. Turner or Sullivan will end up tossed out of the ring by his loin cloth.
Tags: massmarrier, Boston, Chuck Turner, Radisson, Michael Sullivan, City Council, LaRouche, City Council