Monday, June 19, 2017

1963: "Dear Patriot"

No enjoyment
     James B. Utt … helped Orange County gain a national reputation as a hotbed of archconservatism…. "Utt the Nut," his enemies called him. He was elected to Congress in 1952 and handily won reelection until his death in 1970. Each year Utt introduced a bill to eliminate the federal income tax. He also tried to pass a constitutional amendment which would recognize Jesus Christ as America's authority figure. He opposed all civil rights legislation, but gained national fame, however, when he argued that rock 'n roll was a communist plot.    LA Times, December 27, 1999         
     Back in 2008, on something called “Paleofuture,” blogger Matt Novak noted the existence of a “time capsule book,” named “2063 A.D.,” a copy of which was buried in the ground somewhere back in 1963.
     Novak informs us that the late California congressman James B. Utt—he of the “James B. Utt Library” at Saddleback College*—contributed the following remark for the book:
...The cost of escaping gravity will probably always curtail any commercial space travel, but the time will come when the scientists will be able to change the molecular body system and reduce the weight to zero and reconstruct the molecular system at any place and any time. Travel will then be as rapid as the mind can conceive. Personally, I do not look forward to this with any sense of enjoyment.
     Golly. Do you suppose Utt was a Trekkie?**
     In Congress, he was called “Utt the Nut” owing to his out-of-this-world ideas about Commies creeping under every rock. According to Wikipedia, “In 1963, he claimed that ‘a large contingent of barefooted Africans’ might be training in Georgia as part of a United Nations military exercise to take over the United States.” On another occasion, he warned about Chinese communists amassing at the California/Mexico border.
Utt: 1899-1970
     Utt, who mentored a young Tom Fuentes,*** promoted an organization you may have heard about: Liberty Lobby. No doubt that's where he got his best info!
     You’ll recall that Steve Frogue, the SOCCCD’s notorious Holocaust denying trustee, was a big fan of Liberty Lobby, the foremost racist/anti-Semitic publisher in the U.S. (it went bankrupt in 2001).
     It already had that reputation back in 1966, when well-known investigative journalist, Drew Pearsonreported that “Four Congressmen ... have accepted ‘Statesmen of the Republic’ awards from the Lobby for their right-wing activities.”
     Utt was among them. At one point, said Pearson, Utt mailed an appeal (“Dear Patriot”) in which he wrote: “Liberty Lobby…consistently works in the halls of Congress to oppose the international socialist takeover. …I strongly urge you to send in your subscription to Liberty lobby’s legislative report, ‘Liberty Letter,’ without delay.”
     Liberty Letter—and, later, The Spotlight—were the of the pre-internet era. (See Spotlight Archives.)
     Essentially, nothing changes, it seems.
IHR was founded by Willis Carto, who
founded and ran Liberty Lobby, 1955-2001.
See Trustee Calls Recall Effort 'Witch Hunt'

     Here are mostly "conspiracist" titles you'll find on Breitbart at this very moment:
  • Caitlyn Jenner: ‘Liberals Can’t Even Shoot Straight’
  • Caddell: Anti-Trump Resistance Rhetoric Fueling ‘Raging Fever’ in Unbalanced People
  • BBC Targets Kids with Fake ‘Islam Means Peace’ Claim Following Finsbury Park Attack
     The President is an ardent Breitbart reader. He's also a fan of Alex Jones!

     *The name was changed after the Library was significantly rebuilt and remodeled several years ago.
     **Star Trek didn't debut until two or three years later.
     ***According to Fuentes himself.

• Saddleback College's "Nutt" Memorial Library  ~ (2009) ~ According to Wikipedia, Utt, born in Tustin in 1899, was a “conservative Repubican Congressman” who held that office from the early fifties until his death in 1970. (His successor: John Schmitz!) That means that Fuentes, as OC Supervisor (and Republican) Ronald Casper’s bagman (er, executive assistant), may have known the guy. It’s hard to say. I guess I could ask Tom.
• Utt the Nut, Jesus, and rock 'n roll ~ (2010) ~ He opposed all civil rights legislation, but gained national fame, however, when he argued that rock 'n roll was a communist plot.
• James B. Utt remembered ~ (2010) ~ In February 1970, just a couple of weeks before his death on March 1, Utt attended the three-year anniversary celebration of the founding of the Saddleback [Community College District]. On a long walk around the campus, he and Vogel discussed the future of the district. It was at that time Vogel told Utt that the trustees had decided to name the first permanent structure – the library – in his honor. Upon hearing this he was quite humble and expressed his gratitude. He was, obviously, very pleased.
• Mentor and friend and wacko ~ (2010) ~ I FORGOT TO MENTION one funny moment during last night’s board meeting. Saddleback College’s "Utt" library is going through renovation. The building is named after a notorious OC Congressman. Trustee Tom Fuentes therefore found it necessary to announce that “James B. Utt was a mentor and friend in my youth….” Why, of course he was!
• Benighted Orange County: conspiracism central ~ (2010) ~ Nowhere is that particular American trait more apparent than in Orange County. How many other places have had a community college board trustee offer to teach a seminar with a guest speaker espousing the theory that Israeli intelligence agents helped assassinate JFK, as Steven J. Frogue did in the 1990s? More recently, how many have elected an official such as former Orange Unified School District trustee Steve Rocco, who alleged that the county was secretly controlled by “The Partnership,” a dark alliance that included a supermarket chain and a sausage manufacturer, and who operated a website devoted to the theory that comedian Andy Kaufman had faked his 1984 death from lung cancer?
• "Apegate" festers at the party of “too many Mexicans on the beach” ~ (2011) ~ [In 1972, Republican OC Supervisor Ronald] Caspers, annoyed that a Mexican-American group of county employees were demanding affirmative action …, called them "bandidos" during a board meeting, then asked county counsel to explore moving the county seat from [Santa Ana] to whiter environs because "we are in an area which does not have a normal ethnic balance."
• Renaming Saddleback College's "Butt" Library ~ (2011) ~  …How about the “Bedtime for Bonzo” Library—in honor of Saint Ronald, who was on hand for the campus’s opening? “Bonzo” Library is more pithy. Also “Bedtime” Library (which gets a plus for fidelity to fact). Or just “Library.” That would be cool, pithy-wise. You can’t call it the “Gaucho” Library because, as you should know, the “Gaucho” moniker/mascot is controversial and, indeed, there’s some sort of committee working on its replacement. How about “Gabacho” Library? From “Gaucho” to “Gebacho” is cool, I think, in a meta kind of way.
• Utt the Nut helped put "under God" in the Pledge ~ (2011) ~ But get this: according to the Utt article on p. 38 of 100 People, James B. "helped lead the effort to add 'under God' to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954."
• Congressman Utt's racist remark ~ (2012) ~ Well, the Lariat article repeats that factoid without explaining its significance. We are supposed to guess, I suppose, that one might object to Utt's suggestion that "'a large contingent of barefooted Africans' might be training in Georgia as part of a UN military exercise to take over the U.S."
• James B. Utt on the radio, 1969: in his own seriously wacky words ~ (2012) ~ Utt: "And why should we, the tax payers and the moral people of America be supporting the ... these pornographic uh ... mills that are making so much money in California in fact all over the United States. And I became concerned mainly because, time after time I was getting letters from concerned mothers enclosing some of the pornography ... pornographic literature that they were receiving and that their children were receiving and wondering what they could do about it.”
• James B. Utt: conspiracy theorist, whack job ~ (2012) ~ Utt: :The Council [on] Foreign Relations dictates—they together with the international bankers who actually are in the Conference of [sic] Foreign Relations—dictates the moves of this country. I’m inclined to agree with [the Congressman]. But it doesn’t have to be so. ….We should be an independent and free country. … When the people want a change they should get the change they want and not still be subject to a hidden government such as the Council of Foreign Relations [sic]. I’ve put out newsletters on the CFR, …and they are controlled by the international bankers.:
• More on Utt the Nut: "Extensive experiments in hypnotism and rhythm" ~ (2012) ~ Utt: “The Beatles and their mimicking rock-and-rollers use the Pavlovian techniques produce artificial neuroses in our young people. Extensive experiments in hypnotism and rhythm have shown how rock-and-rock music leads to a destrtuion [sic] of the normal inhibitory mechanism of the cerebral cortet [sic] and permits easy acceptance of immorality and disregard for all moral norms.”
• Utt the Nut gets Patch job ~ (2012) ~ Peter Schelden (MVP editor) mentions Utt’s curious slam of the Beatles and his appearance on “Dr. Burpo’s” evangelical radio show, in which he connects a sex education advocacy group to communism and pornography.
• The great UN anti-property rights conspiracy: Wackitude from James B. Utt—to Newt Gingrich ~ (2012) ~  A couple of days ago, the New York Times published an article that explains that Tea Partiers in Virginia and elsewhere have embraced a conspiracy theory, again focusing on the UN (and its alleged agenda of “one world government”), that views efforts at sustainability and the like as part of a plot against private property rights and other individual rights.
• Right-wing paranoia and foolishness c. 1970: "The depths of your own mind" ~ (2013) ~ Robert Lowery, the architect, explained that “We cut out the second floor outdoor reading balconies … in order to eliminate the chance students will throw books down from them to other students as you [trustees] suggested.” 

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