The Return Of The Loonies…

Evidently the looney-tune folks are back–or never really went away…What’s that old saying? The more things change, the more they stay the same…

I was a teenager in the 1950s (yes, I’m old), and I still remember my mother fretting about the growing influence of the crazies of the John Birch Society. For those of you too young to remember that organization, allow me to share some lyrics from a satiric Chad Mitchell song of that time…

Oh, we’re meetin’ at the courthouse at eight o’clock tonight
You just come in the door and take the first turn to the right
Be careful when you get there, we hate to be bereft
But we’re takin’ down the names of everybody turnin’ left

Well, you’ve heard about the agents that we’ve already named
Well, MCA has agents that are flatly unashamed
We’re after Rosie Clooney, we’ve gotten Pinkie Lee
And the day we get Red Skelton
won’t that be a victory?
We’ll teach you how to spot ’em in the cities or the sticks
For even Jasper Junction is just full of Bolsheviks
The CIA’s subversive, and so’s the FCC
There’s no one left but thee and we, and we’re not sure of thee.

Do you want Justice Warren for your Commissar?
Do you want Mrs. Krushchev in there with the DAR?
You cannot trust your neighbors or even next of kin
If mommie is a commie then you gotta turn her in.

The repeated chorus explained the organization’s mission:
Oh, we’re the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society
Here to save our country from a communistic plot
Join the John Birch Society, help us fill the ranks
To get this movement started we need lots of tools and cranks.


  1. Sadly we see some of the looney folks making bad decisions in the Supreme Court.
    Soon we will see a justice refuse to recuse himself from a case where his WIFE was a key player. Looney or evil.

  2. Thank you Professor, for reminding your readers of the dangers of ignorance and intolerance. We must never forget

  3. If only it was possible to energize the complacent 70% who do not follow the clown, he could be relegated to the trash pile of history where he belongs.

  4. Will 70% of Americans allow the other 30% to deprive them of their freedoms? I don’t think so. But will the conflict be resolved by the ballot or by blood? That remains to be seen. History suggests that we are making progress toward a more consistent expression of the ideals set forth in our founding documents in spite of the many pitfalls along the way. I am hopeful.

  5. I believe there is a direct link via the Koch family from those Bircher loonies to ours…

  6. Back in 2014 I was in discussions with more liberal church pastors and leaders about how much prejudice and bigotry was alive and well and affecting minorities and disadvantaged people. They didn’t believe me and just brushed the whole idea aside, especially those in larger cities because they seemed to be surrounded by minorities and disadvantaged people who weren’t being bothered so much. But even here in Indiana, where some of those kinds of groups started, and some of those who started such groups came from, there was no ignoring it. I know because I grew up in the same area as some of them. I suppose those church leaders didn’t see it themselves, so they were able to ignore it, even though they are very diverse themselves. Yet again, we must diligently be very alert and aware of what others are dealing with as much as, and in many ways more than, ourselves. That seems to be the gene the extremists are missing . . . empathy.

  7. Some of the “loonies” are cashing in on the conspiracies. I recently caught a portion of an infomercial selling the stuff you need to build your own end of times survival shelter for when the civil war starts and your neighbors come to kill you.
    Big bucks in them there conspiracy theories.

  8. Ah, yes. Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy; sapping and and impurifying all of our precious bodily fluids since 1917.

  9. The Birchers are alive and well–spotting commies everywhere online. There are many on X because it’s a free-speech playground. Anybody who is woke is most likely a commie.

    I had an exchange with some folks upon Jacob Rothschild’s death recently. They swear that Jacob owned the Bank of England even though the Bank was nationalized and the UK government owned it for the people. They’ve been listening to Glenn Beck, who was too crazy for Fox News, which is saying something.

    As for the Civil War comment, that’s not looking too far-fetched nowadays. The South and Midwest are slipping into autocratic theologies while the rest of the US gazes in horror. You can’t count on SCOTUS to overturn these crazy decisions because the Federalist Society and billionaires run them.

    Lastly, Illinois joined Colorado and kicked Trump off the ballot, so he’ll spend more time in court than campaigning. He’s also going broke. Karma is a bitch! 🙂

  10. Back in the 50’s in rural NE Indiana, out there with the Burma Shave signs, was a Bircher billboard recommending the impeachment of Earl Warren. If it was out there in the sticks, those billboards must have been everywhere. As a kid, I didn’t know of either side but it seemed weird that organized dissent against the government was a thing.

  11. Yes. As we’ve said often, it’s the 25% – 30% who screw everything up for the rest. Coincidentally, that minority percent is about that of registered Republicans in the country. Just sayin’…

    BTW, wasn’t the original Koch patriarch a colleague of John Birch? Power, obviously, destroys brain cells.

    Clarence Thomas is so comfortable in his corruption, that he will vote to save Satan before doing anything that actually follows the law, ethics and decency. He has none of those qualities and has proved it for decades.

    Listening to Steve Bannon chant “Trump Won!” at CPAC tells anyone breathing that loonie is too kind a term. Bannon and his listeners are completely around the bend. I don’t understand why they haven’t purchased a nice bridge spanning the Everglades.

    I’m going to go play golf. It’s safe there.

  12. Democracy can be defined in many ways. I particularly like, nobody has power because everyone does.

    The right thinks people like themselves are superior and the rest of us are inferior so they are entitled to power.

    As Sharon said this morning, “Will 70% of Americans allow the other 30% to deprive them of their freedoms? I don’t think so. But will the conflict be resolved by the ballot or by blood?”

    We don’t remember the Civil War, but it always struck me as the worst of times. From the best to the worst is worth avoiding, especially when spaceship Earth, the only refuge of life, is becoming a new, unfamiliar place to many, and we must rethink our production, distribution, and energy consumption and all of its implications.

  13. The Birchers are organized into a ruling class and the ruled. It seems to me that the Bircher ruling class has to know that their conspiracies are lies, but they have a proven track record of convincing the followers to drink the Kool-Aid and send money to the ruling class. No critical thinking.

  14. I wonder if the migration of former Republicans to the Democratic Party is a source for anti-Russian rhetoric coming forth from Democrats?

    How Many times has the accusation of being a Putin bot graced the pages of this very blog?

    Americans have been conditioned for a need of enemies–no matter what political persuasion you belong.

  15. Having lived in rural Indiana all my life I have depended on a private well for water and well water has no added treatments. However, several years ago I purchased a water filter that would remove many of the chemicals and pollutants that seep into the ground. It only filters the water from my kitchen faucet that I drink or use for cooking.

    Among family and friends I am the oddball that only drinks water to quench my thirst. People that reside in cities depend on water treatment plants to make their water safe. I’ve had to drink water from city taps or water fountains and have found it to have an odd taste. How many people actually drink the water from their kitchen faucets. None of my family members or friends do – they either drink bottled water or soda pop or other types of bottle drinks that are flavored. I personally believe that money is wasted on fluoridating city water supplies.

    How many people that live in cities actually drink the water from their kitchen faucets? It seems to me that we could serve children better by saving the money spent on fluoridating city water and use those funds to treat their teeth with fluoride at city health departments, child care facilities and elementary schools.

  16. I have left those groups, but my fellow thyroid patients believe that the fluoridation of our water is what is causing a surge of hypothyroidism. It’s poison to our thyroid! There are scientific studies comparing dental health in the states vs European countries that don’t fluoridate their drinking water. It may sound like a conspiracy but the effects on our thyroid gland (which is located in your neck) have been numerous. I’d post some links but your readers probably don’t care.

  17. Back in the 50s, the Catholic Church was a stalwart in opposition to the Birchers. Now it seems as if one side has sold its soul to the devil as they sing in two part harmony.

  18. The US Supreme Clown Court continues to show us that they have no shame and there is no bottom to how low they will go.

    Who else thinks Leonard Leo and his Federalist Society of billionaire donors ordered Chief Justice Roberts and his fellow anti-democracy radical right wing justices to accept the Orange bastard’s case of claiming immunity? Who else thinks they were ordered to delay his case as long as possible? Finally, who else thinks the radical right-wing justices have been ordered to decide in his favor?

    The multi-millionaire and billionaire donors/owners of the Federalist Society will do whatever it takes to keep their authoritarian power and control over what is left of our democracy that is more of an oligarchy or plutocracy.

  19. AgingLGirl. I care. I grew up in an area where there was naturally occurring fluoride in our well water and I have hypothyroidism. However, we all drank that water and nobody else was hypothyroid. Lots of possible variables there. You piqued my interest.

  20. They live in their own Wooniverse.
    As, evidently, do some of anti-fluoride posters in this thread.

  21. I worked in a dental office years ago. If fluoride was bad for you in your water treatment plants, then why do the dentists give you fluoride treatments on a routine basis? Because it prevents cavities!!!. In today’s society, lower income folks have a distinct hardship finding the money to pay for dental appointments. So let’s just eliminate fluoride in our city water and let all the poor kids have their teeth rot and fall out. This power and control movement is just getting worse and worse. When is common sense going to rise up and put the loonies in their place???

  22. If the U.S. were a “commie” state there are those of us who would cast the “capitalists” as the bad guys. Let’s call them “cappies.” Some people today would be Tories if we had a rerun of the American Revolution, and as we have seen and are now seeing, some of us would be Nazis in a rerun of WW II.

    Evidence? The governor of Florida (De Fascist) points out that slaves learned trades from their slave masters that stood them in good stead for their futures, so I suppose such former slaves should now come up with reparations to their former white plantation owners, right? And Trump tells us he will be a dictator who can kill whom he pleases while building concentration camps for migrants (and later – the rest of us), all with Supreme Court approval, and our response? Ain’t that rejuvenation of the John Birch Society awful?

    Well, yes, it is awful, but we have brought a table knife to a gunfight and it is time to arm ourselves as necessary to fight in this post-John Birch era where how we now treat fascism as a new norm in political expression with a constitutional seat at the table. Fascism and democracy are oil and water, cannot ever mix, and murder and incarceration in concentration camps do not deserve a seat at our constitutional table made available by the blood of patriots.

    To do during this ongoing political campaign? Expose the fascism of Trump and his Magas in plain language, alluding to the what “Good Germans” failed to do as Hitler rose to power during the Thirties, thinking him to be a passing fad. Today’s acceptance of fascism in this country is not a passing fad; it is a recipe for disaster, so let’s all be “Bad Germans” in defense of our teetering democracy. Loudly.

  23. On behalf of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweetie, Elmer Fudd, and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang, I must object and demand that you stop using the descriptor looney tunes to describe these people. As an alternative, might I suggest a new descriptor… In the immortal words from Blazing Saddles
    “You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.”
    Somewhat more seriously, the SC had to accept the immunity case. It’s their job. I just wish the current court wasn’t composed of so many morons. I wonder if Justice Thomas has now pretty much voted to invalidate all the precedents that underpin his right to be married to a white woman, at least in the South. Justice Kavanaugh is now concerned that if the Court outlaws bumpstocks many Americans will suddenly become felons and somehow won’t know about it. Because, maybe, they can’t put down their beer and look up at the news channel playing in the bar…?
    The abortion crusade has made the Roman Catholic Church a bedfellow of many groups which would otherwise not be near the Church. The teachings of Jesus Christ have largely been abandoned by many conservative Catholics who only hear the words of those decrying the rise of the non-white world. Let’s slaughter the Hispanic Catholic immigrants gathering at the southern border (but not bat an eye at the Irish Catholic and other Europeans streaming in through New York and Boston and illegally overstaying their visas).

  24. Glad to hear there are others who question the safety of fluoride. There are drawbacks and health research can be skewed. A four-year-old (first teeth) with carries (soft teeth) is often caused by consuming too much sugar i.e. soda, candy. I find nonchemical remedies safer in the long run.
    I remember when I was a kid in the fifties asking my Dad what was the John Birch society. He said something like they’re a bunch of “kooks” as he shook his head.
    I’m very concerned with the Supreme Court’s slow decision to take up trump’s immunity case and set the hearing for mid-April. We deserve to have definite answers before the 2024 elections.

  25. Aging Girl, the issue with fluoridated water, as I recall is that it was/is part of a vast commie plot to…whatever. I am 81, and for more than 1/2 of my life, I drank nothing but fluoridated water, in N.Y.C., with no ill effect, as did, and continue to do, for many of those I have known.
    The Loonies never left, just as the bigotry and racism never left. Welcome to yesterday!

  26. “There can be no doubt about their intentions now.” A line from the movie John Adams which now applies to the Supreme Court decision of yesterday to “hear” Trumps immunity case.

  27. A lot of guano circulating here today!

    I actually paid dues to the John Birch Society for one year. Got my eyes opened to just how bat____ crazy they were and distanced myself from them. Sorry to hear that they still exist.

    Gerald: You are absolutely correct that the 70% have to vote out the 30%. I am worried that the 30% may have more than 70% of the firepower in the possible upcoming 2nd civil war. The challenge is going to be disarming them.

  28. Tim Sullivan – the supreme court did not have to accept trump’s case. They can pick and choose the cases that they will or will not hear. Choosing trump’s case makes their intentions very clear. They will definitely exonerate him.

  29. For those that do want to learn something…

    Fluoride exposure and thyroid (dys)function.

    Or this one:

    The other “trigger” for Thyroid disease is that it’s hereditary. Thyroid Disease or Hashimoto’s (auto immune) is that one can inherit the low functioning thyroid from their parents. Thyroid disease needs a trigger. Dental decay, hormone imbalances, puberty, menopause, child birth, etc are common disorders that can trigger Hashimoto’s to be a life long battle for a person.

    Carry on.

  30. Re the Supreme Court and Trump, I believe that they (the majority) took the case to slow down the criminal cases against Trump, to put a finger on the scale in the election as it were. They will make a relatively reasonable ruling that is not favorable to Trump and then put a stay on it until after the election because “the people should decide.” Then, if he wins, Trump will pardon himself – or some other such nonsense.

    Do I sound paranoid? Yes.
    Is the Supreme Court capable of doing this? Absolutely.

  31. Roberta, I had to ask that I not receive anymore fluoride treatments at the dentist with my cleanings. The fluoride burned my throat so bad, I could barely speak for 2 days. This was a dental rinse that I was told to hold in my mouth for 5 minutes. I spit it out after about 3 minutes because it was hurting my throat so much. The dental assistant looked horrified. I told her I was a thyroid patient and fluoride was toxic to me and she had never heard that. She was about 50 so her training was probably 30 years ago. I knew it was bad for me but since I was in Germany, thought maybe their fluoride was better. It was worse.

    Professor: I got a message that my previous comment was pending moderation. I had some links to the NIH in the comment for those that wanted to follow up.

  32. I cannot help but notice there are those within this forum questioning the merits of fluoride who are the very same persons often found to deride those that question the merits of covid medications.

  33. forgot one: “Socialism is the ism dismalist of all ” and “have you heard they’re serving vodka at the WCTU.”
    I’d have to replay the 78, which I still have, for all the words

  34. I think children have rotten teeth when they ingest too much sugar, which is present in a variety of foods. I will take the fluoride treatment every time I go to the dentist because I know it helps prevent those nasty little gum-line cavities we older folks are prone to get when our gums recede. (I find the whole subject somewhat disgusting.)

    As far as the loonies go, I think they did begin in their present form with the John Birch Society back in the 50’s. For them, anything they didn’t like was a “Communist Plot” of some kind – everything from fluoridation of the water to civil rights activism to health care for the elderly to certain books to food stamps etc., etc. And the Society was begun with the connivance of a guy named Koch, father of the two we know nowadays. (Read “It Was All A Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump” by Stuart Stevens) for the full sweep of what’s been going on for years. How did this all happen? Compare the white, evangelical supporters of Trump with another white, evangelical group, the KKK. I strongly suggest reading “A Fever In The Heartland” by Timothy Egan to get a clear picture of how these people operate. The KKK took over the state of Indiana during the 20’s and raised animosities that resulted in a lynching in Marion, Indiana, during the 30’s. That racism is still out there, under the surface, please believe it.

    We need to be ever vigilant to keep the loonies from taking over our country, as they seem to be determined to do.

    Ass far as

  35. First, I should point out that fluoridation began because of natural experiments. Places that had higher natural level of fluoride had lower incidents of dental caries. The first city to respond was conservative Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    I won’t respond to trolls, but I will respond to AgingLGirl – Thank you for sighting reliable sources. I truly appreciate that.

    Science has three big problems when it deals with issues that effect large populations. The first is the general noisiness of data. The second is the multitude of factors involved. The third is interpretation, often poorly done by the press.

    As for the papers you sight. One states that dentists must adjust treatments in patients with thyroid disease. Nothing there about causation. The other, a Canadian study, says that an iodine/fluoride imbalance may lead to thyroid disease. You may interpret this as flouride being to blame, while I may suggest that lack of iodine is the issue.

    Just the view of a retired neurochemist

    I do want to note the change in arguments. Fluoride used to be blamed for “sapping the male vital essence” (probably from a movie) aka male impotence. Now it is “fetal brain development”. I think San Diego held off for decades, until 2011 before they began treating their water because to the impotency claim.

    Thank you, Tim, for defending Looney Tunes.

  36. Nancy: while I’m not a lawyer, I have slept in Holiday Inns, and know a bit about the functioning of the Supreme Court. Yes, they have absolute discretion as to the cases which they accept, with a few exceptions.
    But they had to take this case, even though I (and apparently you) am quite concerned as to their ultimate resolution. They had to take it because such an issue cannot be left hanging around on a Circuit Court of Appeals decision. It is a defining moment for the country case, and those are the cases the SC needs to take up. There has to be an ultimate answer, and perhaps some guardrails put around whatever immunity the Court may decide exists. This is not a question that can be left unanswered by the Court which in Marbury vs. Madison decided it was the ultimate arbiter of our nation’s Constitution. That’s the Supreme Court’s job, not a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

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