Idaho is a lovely state, with mountains and lakes and beautiful rolling hills and prairie. My parents eloped to Coeur d’Alene, because the age of consent was low there and 16-17 year old could get married without parental consent. I had friends who went to college at Washington State University specifically because it was right next to the Idaho border, where the drinking age was 18. WSU was a bit of a party school, although it also has a commendable recommendations as a good college. I’ve driven through the state many times — it’s on the route from Minnesota to Seattle, and also from Salt Lake City to Seattle.

It’s just too bad the state is full of losers, racists, and fascists.

They’ve also got a lot of good people, don’t get me wrong. There was a big Pride event planned for this weekend, so there are liberal, open-minded, interesting people living there. But it’s also home to swarms of redneck religious fanatics and white nationalists.

That Pride event could have been a disaster, when those two worlds collided. They would have, too, if the police hadn’t been tipped off that a mob of suspicious characters had plans to intentionally disrupt the event.

Police in Idaho arrested 31 people who had face coverings, white-supremacist insignia, shields and an “operations plan” to riot near an LGBTQ Pride event on Saturday afternoon. Police said they were affiliated with Patriot Front, a white-supremacist group whose founder was among those arrested.

Authorities received a tip about a “little army” loading into a U-Haul truck at a hotel Saturday afternoon, said Lee White, the police chief in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a city of about 50,000 near the border with Washington. Local and state law enforcement pulled over the truck about 10 minutes later, White said at a news conference.

Many of those arrested were wearing logos representing Patriot Front, which rebranded after one of its members plowed his car into a crowd of people protesting a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens.

They had to change their name after one of their own committed murder. At least the new name doesn’t associate them with the whole of Idaho, just that lamentable part of the state packed with yahoos, the northern panhandle.

In a news release posted on the group’s website, the Panhandle Patriots encouraged the community to “take a stand” against the LGBTQ “agenda.” It also suggested without evidence that “extremist groups” were trying to hijack the event to provoke violence and said the group would change its event name to “North Idaho Day of Prayer” in response.

It must have been a rough day for the police, given that many of them would have sympathized with the wanna-be rioters. I’ll give them full credit for doing their duty, though, even though the Patriot Front idiots made it easy for them. Don’t you know you don’t assemble in public first, you send everyone in via separate routes with instructions to condense at a specific time and place later? See, if you neglect to pay attention to the Commies, who know a thing or two about infiltration and guerilla warfare, you’ll keep making these boneheaded mistakes.

I wonder what “agenda” they were opposing? Near as I can tell, the LGBTQ agenda is simply to be allowed to exist with all of the rights accorded to citizens. Also, they are the extremist group, and I have to wonder what group they were trying to scapegoat with that claim.

Oh well, all’s well that ends well. Here’s what the Panhandle Patriots got:

If the roles were reversed and it had been the gay folk who ended up zip-tied and kneeling, the fascist wanna-bes would have strolled down the line with a pistol and murdered a few innocent people. Since the people doing the arresting are still constrained by the rule of law, fortunately, they were instead charged with a misdemeanor and released on $300 bail.

They’ll be back.


  1. brightmoon says

    Good! I had to deal with a stalker neighbor years ago and that first arrest and charge is IMPORTANT . It makes it easier to re-arrest for crimes later ! ( this has obviously been misused against minorities by making false charges ) but it does work

  2. says

    Those guys were almost all from out of state. They’re a gang that travels around the country to make trouble. No reflection on the locals whatever

  3. consciousness razor says

    Please leave out the “rednecks” shit next time, PZ.


    The Panhandle Patriots, a local motorcycle club, had planned a “Gun d’Alene” event on the same day as Pride in the Park to “go head to head with these people,” an organizer said in April during an appearance with state Rep. Heather Scott (R).


    In a news release posted on the group’s website, the Panhandle Patriots encouraged the community to “take a stand” against the LGBTQ “agenda.” It also suggested without evidence that “extremist groups” were trying to hijack the event to provoke violence and said the group would change its event name to “North Idaho Day of Prayer” in response.


    He said those arrested had come from several states “to riot downtown,” with riot gear, at least one smoke grenade and documents “similar to an operations plan that a police or military group would put together for an event.”

    He did not see firearms at the scene of the arrest, he said, but emphasized the situation was “very fresh.”

    However, firearms were present in the vicinity of the park, White said. Police had been in contact with the FBI “all day,” he said.

    So that’s what they mean by “thoughts and prayers.” Now I finally get it…. Was I the only one?

    Anyway, I take it all back. If you think about it, they really have been keeping themselves very busy with that sort of stuff all along. My mistake.

  4. Ted Lawry says

    NPR this morning interviewed people at the rally. They said a number of people (not Patriot Front) were wandering through the rally openly carrying pistols and long runs, which is allowed under Idaho law. So a lot of gun carriers, presumably mostly locals, were engaged in blatant intimidation and displaying open hostility even if it wasn’t organized and they didn’t break the law. The fact that many police were present, busily arresting those who clearly came to riot, presumably deterred the gun toters from doing anything more. So I would not give the “locals” a pass.

  5. says

    Of course the word “staged” was trending on Twitter this morning, with people claiming that the feds staged the event to discredit the right-wingers, based on nothing more than what #3 above says: the feds had people handcuffed but hadn’t removed their masks.
    Actually, one series of pics did show the cops removing a guy’s mask in classic Scooby Doo fashion. No word if the guy said anything about getting away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.
    So easy now to claim “fake” on any news story you don’t like. Well, we’ll see how it plays out.
    I too have been to Coeur d’Alene, spending nights there with the family on our trip from Oregon to North Dakota and back, in 1968. All I remember is that the restaurant we ate at botched the order both times.

  6. Muscadine says

    Why did the cops allow people under arrest to retain their face concealment?

    They de-scarfed them one by one later in the process. There are twitter threads with pictures and lists of names from the public booking info.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    Marcus Ranum @ # 3: Why did the cops allow people under arrest to retain their face concealment?

    To protect themselves (the cops) from getting breathed on by almost-certain defiers of common-sense pandemic prevention?

    /optimist mode

  8. says

    I’ve been to the panhandle. It’s the most racist place I’ve ever been. I pop into the bar for a drink or three and I over hear someone calling Obama “that n-word”. This was when he was still president. Next thing I know, this guy is going on about “The Jews”. I held my tongue and drank my beer. I didn’t want to get shot. 100% guaranteed someone in the bar that day was armed.

    Fun fact: In Idaho, you can buy an assault rifle at 12 as long as you have your parents permission. If you ever go there, assume everybody armed.

  9. cates says

    It appears they were restrained and herded together as they came out of the van, so still masked. Once the van was cleared they were unmasked and identified individually while being processed. All their names and images are available on the web.

  10. wzrd1 says

    @3, they individually unmask them, rather than just go running around willy nilly yanking cloth from faces for no realistic reason. As they move to identify individuals, obviously they have to be unmasked.
    Booking photos are also in an unmasked state.

    From one news story, which is a fitting epitaph for their debacle:
    ‘There was no violence or significant disruption before the arrests were made, White said, adding, “Today ended up being relatively uneventful overall.”‘

    I like uneventful. Every time in my life that became eventful, somebody died. Uneventful is good, I really love uneventful.
    I’m sure that felony charges will soon follow. If for no other reason, conspiracy and weapons charges, even if they can’t tie them to firearms.

  11. James Fehlinger says

    Idaho is a lovely state. . .

    It’s just too bad the state is full of losers, racists, and fascists. . .

    They’ve also got a lot of good people, don’t get me wrong. . .

    Calvin Jarrett (Donald Sutherland): I saw Mort Swain.
    His sister died.

    Beth Jarrett (Mary Tyler Moore) offscreen: The one from Idaho?

    Calvin: The one with the restaurant.

    Beth: Did she die in Idaho?

    Calvin: I guess so. Why?

    Beth: You said she was always travelling.
    I just. . . wondered if she died in Idaho.

    Calvin: I don’t know. Maybe she died in Idaho.
    (sotto voce) Maybe Kansas City.

    Conrad laughs. Calvin too. Calvin is first surprised, then
    pleased by his son’s reaction. . .

    Their own private Idahos:

    Idaho Project Kindle Edition
    by Michael Anissimov (Author)

    A nationalist manifesto that integrates futurism, survivalism, and simple
    common sense into a proposal for concrete action. Multiculturalism and lowering
    standards have made it difficult for intelligent Europeans to thrive in the
    United States. This book proposes an alternative point of view called enclavism,
    the idea that we should create our own desired societies by coalescing in
    low-population, defensible regions of the United States like Idaho. Here it would
    be possible to build new societies with high social trust which demonstrate
    great resilience and cultural strength. The alternative is being chained to
    a federal behemoth which is quickly running out of the ability to go into
    debt to pay for its own excesses.

    This autobiographical work shows the train of thought that the author went
    through in his years of futurism and politics. Detailed reasoning behind the
    Idaho Project is explored, including the threat of EMP, nuclear warfare,
    the benefits of survivability, the social trust benefits of living in
    traditional village-based arrangements, and more. This work will be of
    interest to nationalists and American survivalists alike.

    In Slant , I had Green Idaho developing which was kind of a
    secessionist state in the northwest. It looks like we’re heading into
    that region now with states like Texas threatening to secede or at
    least hinting that they might like to.

    In the sixth decade of the 21st century, the world has been transformed.
    Nanotechnology has been perfected, giving humans the ability to change their
    environment and themselves on the cellular level. And the study of the
    mind has brought about a revolution in both human psychotherapy and
    artificial intelligence.

    It’s a sane and perfect world. Almost.

    A man called Jack Giffey is planning to break into the Omphalos, the most
    secure building in all of separatist Green Idaho. Rumor says that the Omphalos
    houses the not-quite-dead, the very wealthy deceased who are still alive,
    their brains connected directly into Thinkers, Artificial Intelligences that
    provide a virtual reality. Data is the great treasure of the new millenium,
    and Giffey plans to tap into the Omphalos datastream, to steal the knowledge
    gathered by the inhabitants of the Omphalos.

    In the offices of Mind Design, Inc., the most advanced Artificial Intelligence
    in the world has had a unique experience. She has received a request for contact
    from a new AI, one she does not know and did not help to design. Jill has never
    met a stranger of her own kind before; is it an alien Thinker, or the offspring
    of some vast conspiracy?

    Ah, the 90s. We were on the doorstep of The Future.

    Please leave out the “rednecks” shit next time, PZ.

    Rednex – Nowhere in Idaho (Official Video) [HD]
    Premiered Jan 14, 2021
    Rednex Videos

  12. Larry says

    Apparently, the FBI was involved, meaning there are some federal laws that were possibly violated (crossing state lines to incite a riot, perhaps?). This has raised the discussion of just how far the Idaho locals and staties might have gone with these fecal maggots had the Feds not been present. My belief in the police doing the right thing has been so severely comprised lately, I’m inclined to believe the answer would be “not much”.

  13. mandrake says

    It’s interesting how none of those young men’s faces had to be pushed down into the dirt with the knee of one of those officers pressing down on the back of their necks.

  14. rabbitbrush says

    It must have been painful for [some of] those cops to arrest people with whom they sympathize.

  15. James Fehlinger says


    (via https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/northwest/idaho/article262430397.html )

    The arrested men of “Patriot Front” arrived in Coeur d’Alene inside a
    U-Haul truck that police pulled over for a traffic stop. Only one was from Idaho.
    The rest came from Washington, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, South Dakota,
    Texas, Virginia and Wyoming. . .

    All with Dog on their side, I suppose.

    Homophobic Preacher Calls For The Mass Execution Of Gay People In Wild Rant
    Jun 10, 2022
    The Young Turks

    The comments were made during Pride Month by Dillon Awes of Stedfast Baptist Church,
    a Texas-based, anti-vax, racist, transphobic and homophobic church, which has
    created several documentaries including titles like The Sodomite Deception and
    AIDS: The Judgment of God.

    The church is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

  16. wzrd1 says

    @Larry, let’s see, interstate communications, likely by computer, interstate conspiracy for starters.
    That’d bring DHS and the FBI running, especially after so many epic failures, most directed by Congress blocking right wing terrorist investigations initially. Yet more fruit from 1/6.

    @James Fehlinger, that bullshit will fade as people come to realize that AIDS is rare now, thanks to antiretroviral treatments and PrEP treatments. Meanwhile, their congregation will suffer increasing numbers of dead and chronically ill children from vaccine preventable disease outbreaks within their conclave.
    Dying and chronically ill children, because of him and his church in a state with more guns than Carter has little liver pills, sounds like a recipe for eventual high velocity lead poisoning to me. Especially from members of a group who forget their own bible’s input on whom vengeance belongs to…

  17. leerudolph says

    It is amazingly unsafe to have anyone, much less a couple of dozen people, riding in the back of a U-Haul moving truck. It must surely also be against U-Haul’s rules (though I couldn’t find anything to that effect in the U-Haul standard contract on the company’s site).

  18. James Fehlinger says

    . . .that bullshit will fade as people come to realize that AIDS
    is rare now, thanks to antiretroviral treatments and PrEP treatments. . .

    Well, no.

    There’s no end of what can be attributed to Dog’s wrath
    resulting from mankind’s iniquity. And Dog’s wrath over
    the toleration by the righteous for the iniquity of
    the, er, iniquitous among us.

    Hurricanes, heat waves, gas prices, mass shootings — you name it,
    it can all be blamed on The Gays. Among other malefactors: The Transgenders,
    loose women having abortions, pedophile purveyors of pizza,
    video games and the internet — computers in general, for that
    matter. Boomers, Doomers, and Groomers. Sex, drugs, and rock-‘n’-roll.
    You know the drill.

    Lynching, burning at the stake — these are all a hair’s breadth
    from coming back into vogue.

    Indictment: The McMartin Trial (TV Movie, 1995) (James Woods)
    Apr 30, 2020

  19. James Fehlinger says

    There’s no end of what can be attributed to Dog’s wrath
    resulting from mankind’s iniquity. . .

    ‘Like We’re Being Cursed’: First Covid and Now Waterlogged Homes

    Basics remain scarce in some parts of Texas, and many already battered
    by a year of the coronavirus now face a costly recovery.

    By Jack Healy
    Feb. 22, 2021

    . . .

    At the San Antonio food bank, Diana Gaitan joined a two-mile line
    of cars waiting for hard-to-find groceries. . . The storm’s aftermath
    loomed as one more miserable obstacle to confront after Ms. Gaitan
    contracted the coronavirus and stopped working last year as her stress
    and anxiety spiraled.

    “It’s kind of like we’re being cursed,” Ms. Gaitan, 66, said. . .

    Also, it’s a short step from “kind of like we’re being” to
    “we’re being”. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if
    Ms. Gaitan has already taken it.

    David Drayton: Want another reason to get the hell out of here?
    I’ll give you the best one. Her. Mrs Carmody.
    She’s our very own Jim Jones. I’d like to leave before people
    start drinking the Kool-Aid.

    Mike Hatlen: He’s right. Flakier people get, the better she’s gonna look.

    Amanda Dunfrey: No, I don’t buy that. It’s obvious she’s nuts.
    Look, a few people maybe, but…

    David: No, I count four. She’s preachin’ to ’em right now.
    By noon, she’ll have four more. By tomorrow night, when those things come back,
    she’ll have a congregation, and then we can start worryin’
    about who she’s gonna sacrifice to make it all better.
    Hmm? You, Amanda? My little boy?

    Dan Miller: He’s right.

    Amanda: You don’t have much faith in humanity, do you?

    Dan: None whatsoever.

    Amanda: I can’t accept that. People are basically good, decent.
    My God, David, we’re a civilized society.

    David: Sure, as long as the machines are workin’ and you can dial 911.
    But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark,
    you scare the shit out of them — no more rules — you’ll see how
    primitive they get.

    Dan: You scare people badly enough, you can get ’em to do anything.
    They’ll turn to whoever promises a solution, or whatever.

    Amanda: Ollie, please, back me up here.

    Ollie Weeks: I wish I could. As a species, we’re fundamentally insane.
    Put more than two of us in a room, we pick sides and start dreamin’ up reasons
    to kill one another. Why do you think we invented politics and religion?

    Amanda: Oh, Jesus, that’s just — wrong.

    Mrs. Carmody – The True Christian (from “The Mist”)
    Jul 10, 2011

    5 years ago

    For me, the most depressing thing about this scene (and all the
    other ones related to it) is that it could totally happen in
    real life today. There doesn’t even have to be a supernatural
    or sci-fi cause. Just recreate a scenario similar to this in
    real life and it will be just as horrible as this, if
    not worse.

    2 years ago

    It’s now called the Trump Era.

  20. jrkrideau says

    They said a number of people (not Patriot Front) were wandering through the rally openly carrying pistols and long guns, which is allowed under Idaho law.

    Interesting cultural differences between countries. In Canada a single firearm carrier in such a situation would bring out a SWAT team, possibly even including police snipers. And, of course it would mean a few years in a federal prison.

  21. ldamon says

    I don’t know if the drinking age in Idaho was ever 18. When I was growing up in eastern Washington it was 19. At the ages of 19 and 20 I spent a lot of time in State Line and in Oldtown, Idaho. Later, I lived in Lewiston for a period. I still love the state, but mourn its politics.

  22. says

    @26 ldamon it’s 21 now, has been since the mid 80s. Every state is. My dad and his friends used to dash across the border for a night out. I was born in Grant County. Right on the edge of the Malheur Forest. Again I must say that the age for fire arms in Idaho is 12. With parent’s permission a 12 year old child can purchase an assault rifle at 12. I have looked this up, I have researched it. Idaho has the worst (lack of) gun laws in the whole country. As an Oregonian, I fucking hate Idaho.

  23. abn0rmal says

    delurking to say: my spouse and I went to Pride in the Park (we live in Spokane but thought they could use the support of a straight-appearing white couple). We had a lovely time, supported some local artists, got approached by the preachers lurking at the periphery… then as we were leaving we saw two things.

    a group of apx 10 police having a chat with a young person clad all on black with the requisite AR pattern rifle. No arrest
    outside of the event at the edge of the park, a group of white mem jumped out of a minivan to follow a gender non-conforming young person, who called out for help to a passing police car. I recorded, my gusband approached. The police separated the parties, and soon there were at least four law enforcement vehicles there. The young person left… then, in response to verbal prococation, came charging back down the sidewalk. That was enough to get them arrested, while the white men (their vehicle still blocking traffic) went free. I later read in the paper they were charged with a misdemeanor.

    After dropping me off at home, my spouse returned to the park. He engaged with the religionists on the periphery, using everything he learned as a evangelical kid to distract them from their intended targets with a JAQ style friendly conversation.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    Here is another criminal loser:
    Stormy Daniel’s lawyer, whom the media thought might be a hope for the Demicratic party- as there were so few on the left talking tough (Farron Cousins idenrified him as a grifter right away).
    And after Avenatti was revealed as a fraud and grifter, media went on to crown Cuomo as the Great Democratic Hope.

  25. littlejohn says

    Idaho has become a sort of Mecca for white racists, perhaps because very few non-white people live there. You may recall that Mark Fuhrman, the police detective revealed to be a racist during the O.J. Simpson trial, moved there after Simpson was acquitted. That doesn’t mean Simpson didn’t do it – he obviously did. But you can frame a guilty man.

  26. rietpluim says

    Patriot Front

    A lack of taste and imagination really is a requirement for establishing another fascist militia, isn’t it? They all have the stupidest names.

  27. whywhywhy says

    #32 They are fascists. If they were creative, they would come up with a better ideology.

  28. Dunc says

    @rietpluim: A friend of mine has taken to referring to them as “Potatriot Front”, which I find mildly amusing.

  29. says

    littejohn@31 out and out white power creeps figured Idaho was a great place to hang out decades ago.. Richard Butler and the Aryan Nations had a big compound just outside Hayden Lake, established in 1974.. They ended up losing it in a lawsuit backed by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2000. This also bankrupted Butler. On top of that Butler’s lawyer, Edgar Steele ,was eventually convicted of plotting the murder of his wife Cyndi with his handyman. The plot fortunately failed. A really nice bunch.

    rietplum@32 one of the more notorious Canadian racist groups was the Heritage Front. This sort of fool definitely seems fond of the term front.

  30. drewl, Mental Toss Flycoon says

    Yeah, drinking age was 19. All the Wazzu kids would drive over to Moscow and drink. Now that they have legal weed, it”s all the UI kids going to Pullman.

  31. microraptor says

    And now all 31 of them have been released on bail while they await trial. Wonder who paid that and wonder how many of them are actually going to stick around long enough for the trial.