It’s been an interesting week following the antics of the group of anarchists who call themselves “Truckers to Shut Down America.
First, their Facebook page was unpublished for allowing hateful and racists comments to be posted. Of course, that’s not the reason they gave. They claim it was because the said “God Bless America” one too many times which is patently absurd.
The page, while it was up, garnered more than 80,000 “likes”, few apparently from real truckers. If a person came on the page and disagreed, they were immediately told to shut up and sit down. They even made the libelous claim that this website and myself personally made hundred of comments and complained to Facebook about their silly little page. Neither of which claims hold any truth.
As a result of this, they claim they’re going to send trucks to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park California to wave a copy of the Constitution under Mark Zuckerburgs nose and demand their rights? What rights?
A week later, their little plan to subvert democracy and shut down America is in disarray.
Their assembly point, the Travel Center of America in Ashland Virginia seems to be off limits to them now. TA’s Tom Liutkus told Overdrive that no rally will be hosted at the Ashland location on October 10 and that organizers would have to find another more public place for their rally.
Zeeda Andrews, the voice behind all this nonsense finally came up with some equally idiotic demands as they pertain to trucking, at least in her limited intellectual capacity and they’re as ridiculous as the first manifesto demanding Obama’s impeachment.
Here’s their further demands”
1) EPA forcing the industry to put unproven technology in new trucks just to
reduce emissions. Engines and Auxillary Power Units. [I believe it is the California Air Resource Board, not the Federal government leading the charge with this. And the technologies are proven]
2) Allowing states, municipalities and businesses to pass anti idling laws even though it is federally and state mandated for drivers to get rest while sweltering in a 100+ or below-10-degrees cab. [This falls within the “States Rights clause of the Constitution]
3) Pushing insurance companies to not cover trucking companies that don’t install in their trucks expensive logging software, gps, and communication devices that force drivers to use electronic logs, thereby pushing independent truck drivers out of business because they can’t compete. Thus running small business out again. [Qualcomm is the defacto standard in 90% of the US truck fleet. This has nothing to do with government]
4) Pushing legislation thru that requires the Independents to carry $1 million bond in addition to the insurance. [First we’ve heard of this one. Most carriers carry $1 million in liability insurance now. Must of thought of this in an alcoholic haze]
5) Rumor: Obamacare actually is causing trucking companies to keep driver’s hours below 30 hours (a local fuel hauling company UPT) as they can’t afford the insurance increases. [Again, dreamed through the vapors of the vodka bottle]
6) Reduced diesel fuel prices. [About the only logical demand listed, yet the one the President can do the least about. Fuel prices are set by a number of factors outside the control of the President and while he possible could do something via Executive Order, the wingnuts would then bitch that he was trampling on the Constitution]
THE FACE BEHIND THE IDIOCY of TRUCKERS TO SHUTDOWN AMERICAN and RIDE FOR THE CONSTITUTION
Some thought that Zeeda Andrews was the person behind all of this malarkey, myself included until myself and others got to really digging into it.
Andrews, a washed up, never was country music singer, who claims to be a former trucker, a claim that has since been debunked, is simply someone relishing her 15 minutes of fame which will soon be extinguished.
When the Facebook page was unpublished for it’s racist rants, another website quickly took it’s place. RIDEFORTHECONSTITUTION.ORG quickly sprung up. A very hasty and amateurish website to put it kindly.
A quick check of whois confirmed for us the ownership of the domain and the website, a person not the least connected to the trucking industry. Peter Santilli of Santilli and Associates LLC is the registrar, and administrative contact for the website.
WHO IS PETER SANTILLI?
In a nutshell, he’s a teabaggers wet dream. On Twitter, he calls himself a “Proud Domestic Terrorist”. A Former U.S. Marine, Consumer Advocate, Former Coca-Cola Executive, Corporate Whistleblower, Radio Talk Show Host, a wingnutters wingnut. The hate junkies had been looking for a new source of confirmation bias for their irrational conspiracy theories and bigotry and Peter Santilli was there to step up to the plate.
Perhaps Santilli can be remembered most for this rant that garnered the attention of the US Secret Service earlier this year.
“I want to shoot [Clinton] right in the vagina and I don’t want her to die right away; I want her to feel the pain and I want to look her in the eyes and I want to say ‘on behalf of all Americans that you’ve killed, on behalf of the Navy SEALS,’ … the families of Navy SEAL Team Six who were involved in the fake hunt down of this Obama bin Laden thing, that whole fake scenario – because these Navy SEALS know the truth, they killed them all – on behalf of all of those people, I’m supporting our troops by saying we need to try, convict, and shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina.”
You can tell he has affectionate respect for women also.
Manny Schewitz put it most appropriately when reporting on this wingnut.
First of all, he has brought attention to the horrific sentiment that a lot of the fringe element like to express in the company of trusted friends. This isn’t just the rantings of a madman on some 3 AM radio show heard only by lonely truck drivers in the middle of the desert — this is the voice of quite a few seething nutjobs who are just one missed dose away from going postal on government officials.
Second, by doing this, he’s also just set the GOP back another election cycle. Most of them won’t publicly denounce Pete Santilli or others like him because they don’t want to possibly alienate that small segment of voters. These are the rabid base, the ones who decide primaries and put people like Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann in office.
It should also be noted that the Facebook page that was removed was mistakenly credited to Zeeda Andrews. In reality, the page was established and maintained by Peter Santilli himself. In light of the information above, and similar rants being put on that page, Facebook was justified in removing it. Now Santilli claims he plans to file a multi billion dollar class action lawsuit against Facebook. Good luck with that.
Does this movement have any support? Only amongst the wingnuts who believe in black helicopters, the truthers, the birthers and other assorted crazies. Is it gaining traction? Only within the aforementioned groups. OOIDA, Teamsters and ATA have all come out against this and those pushing for it. Even Steve Sommers of America’s Trucking Network voiced his opposition to it several times over the past week. And considering that his show is a hotbed of wingnuts, that is saying something.
35 years in the trucking business and living in Mexico for the past 15 years, make me uniquely qualified to offer my insight and opinion into the Mexican trucking industry and other border issues. A contributor to SiriuxXM Road Dog Channel 106 and to the award winning Lockridge Report, Mexico Trucker Online continues to publish the unvarnished truth about the subjects we cover.