Old Pat better hope he never meets Brigadier Gen. Keith Kerr in person. The 41 year Veteran (He wears the Special Forces Tab and the Parachutist Badge) would kick the Draft Dodging bastard all over the street (Link to Think Progress).
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Old Pat better hope he never meets Brigadier Gen. Keith Kerr in person. The 41 year Veteran (He wears the Special Forces Tab and the Parachutist Badge) would kick the Draft Dodging bastard all over the street (Link to Think Progress).
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
When a man questions why a policeman has pulled him over and refuses to sign the ticket, the policeman electrocutes him to make him comply:
The Deseret Morning News has the full story:
- Trooper's Taser use pops up on YouTube
By Geoff Liesik
for the Deseret Morning News
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007
ROOSEVELT — A Utah Highway Patrol trooper's conduct during a Sept. 14 traffic stop in Uintah County is being called into question after a video of the stop was posted on the Internet.
As for the use of pepper spray or ASP, forget it. Macho cowboys or cowgirls who think that they have to prove they are in charge would be kicked off the line. They are bully's and fools, not professionals.
The power we as a society invest in our law enforcement apparatus is astounding, and yet we fear very little in the way of a Pakistan or Iranian style secret police arresting us without cause, at least until the Boy King took charge 7 years ago. That the arrest of citizens without charge when sanctioned by the President should occur in the dawn of the 21st Century sounds like a plot from a bad SciFi Movie.
The creeping authoritarianism of the Bush administration. So far it is only those other people who have been brutalized, so maybe Mr. John Q. Citizen does not care what happens to Juan Q. Citizen. This is a major mistake.
In the excellent article in Salon.com by Cintra Wilson, we get a glimpse of the future if that jackboot Fascist Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, the darling of the RNC, should get elected.
- His political career may have been defined by his willingness to confront scary bogeymen, but during slower periods when there were no obvious villains around, Giuliani's interpretations of who or what constituted an immediate threat became increasingly bizarre, personal, puritanical and dangerous. Before the planes hit, when he had too much power and not enough to do, Giuliani, like an old soldier who comes home and starts abusing his family in lieu of a real enemy..., looking for vices to confiscate and sins to punish. By the mid-'90s, Mayor Rudy was abusing authority according to the whims of his own paranoid, hyper-defensive personality disorder in way that would have made Tiberius self-conscious.
...Safir's NYPD beefed up the Street Crime Unit, a corps of hyper-macho officers once described by the Village Voice's Nat Hentoff as "a rogue police operation whose members make Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry look like Mahatma Gandhi."...New York's nonwhite citizens became increasingly alarmed by a police force they perceived as hostile, overzealous and racist. Go figure: members of the Street Crime Unit, Hentoff reported, delighted in wearing T-shirts emblazoned with such intimidating slogans ..."There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it never care for anything else."
Inevitably, perhaps, "the hunting of man" resulted in the killing of man. In 1999, unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo, mistaken for a rape suspect, was shot 41 times by Safir's Street Crime Unit while he fumbled for his keys at his own doorway. "
Monday, November 5, 2007
- November 5, 2007, 8:38 am
Congress Set to Override Water Bill Veto
By Carl Hulse
Congress is poised to enact legislation over the objections of President Bush for the first time in his tenure.
The House and Senate both intend to move quickly this week to override the president’s veto of a $23 billion water projects bill, and even the House Republican leader acknowledged on Sunday that lawmakers are likely to be successful in overcoming the presidential opposition.
I have a brother-in-law who behaves very similar to President Bush. Twenty five years ago before I joined the Army I spent some 6 months at my in laws place. One day I got fed up with my wife's brother constantly demanding that everyone know toe to him. I refused his demand to turn the channel on the TV (I was much bigger and stronger then him). He walked away in shock (first time someone had told him NO), went outside the apartment to the fuse box, and proceeded to turn off the electrical breakers. Damn.
I can only imagine what new insanity the boy king might do next.
Monday, September 24, 2007
When the modern GOP was formed almost 50 years ago from the remnants of the old Dixiecrat party, it was perfectly cool to support segregation by law.
The modern GOP has not abandoned this idea, but society moved on, and naked racism is simply not acceptable. The solution for the GOP was a stealth campaign to disguise the party’s actual intent.
Instead of a poll tax to keep African Americans from voting, you now have a voter ID law. Since you can no longer lock up large segments of the minority population for the crime of looking at white women, you switch to racist drug laws (even though the majority of illegal drugs are used by whites).
And while it would be great if you could simply prevent minorities from getting an education, DE Facto segregation works just as good as De Jure (see recent Supreme Court decision : Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1) .
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Carpetbagger links to an excellent article by the Washington Monthly reporter Kevin Drum on the morphing of the Rethugs from Rubber Stamp:
to the Roadblock:
As pointed out by Margaret Talev at the McClatchy Newspapers:
- This year Republicans also have blocked votes on immigration legislation, a no-confidence resolution for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and major legislation dealing with energy, labor rights and prescription drugs.
Nearly 1 in 6 roll-call votes in the Senate this year have been cloture votes. If this pace of blocking legislation continues, this 110th Congress will be on track to roughly triple the previous record number of cloture votes — 58 each in the two Congresses from 1999-2002, according to the Senate Historical Office.
- September 20, 2007
Congress Approval Rises Slightly to 24%
Gain almost entirely due to improved ratings from Republicans
by Lydia Saad
GALLUP NEWS SERVICE
PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's 2007 polling from January through August chronicled a nearly relentless decline in public approval of the job Congress is doing. However, after sinking to a record-tying low of 18% last month, Congress approval has rebounded to 24% -- the largest one-month increase in support for Congress seen since the Democrats took majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January.
Friday, August 10, 2007
- Troops Worry Relatives Could Be Deported
Aug 10, 6:38 PM (ET)
By JULIANA BARBASSA
Yaderlin Jimenez was an illegal immigrant facing deportation. Her husband, a U.S. citizen and soldier, couldn't help her because he was missing after an insurgent attack in Iraq.
The military has not been able to find Army SPC Alex Jimenez, of Lawrence, Mass., after he was apparently snatched in May during a raid on his unit south of Baghdad. His capture drew national attention to his wife's deportation case, prompting Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to ask immigration officials to halt the proceedings.
- Supporters of tighter immigration controls say giving the relatives of service members a free pass would only create an incentive for immigrants to enlist to legalize undocumented family members. They also oppose narrow solutions addressed at individual cases like that of Yaderlin Jimenez.
You Yellow bellied Racist Rat Bastards can go Fuck Yourselves.
Crawl back into the gutter with Mr. 5 deferments Cheney and "there was no room for patriotic folks like myself" Delay.
You pieces of excrement are not fit to exist on the same planet with these brave patriots.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
As Rolling Stones Magazine points out in an article last February, "he's the most honest man in news". Why is he an actual Journalist? Arianna nails it to a T:
- "Keith's importance, to me, is as a truth teller," says Huffington Post founder and frequent Countdown guest Arianna Huffington. "I think the way he's been represented -- as leaning to the left or catering to the anti-Bush crowd -- minimizes what he has done, which is to ignore the traditional journalistic view of the anchor as referee and stop pretending there are two sides to every issue. That's not how it is. Sometimes the truth is on one side."(emphasis mine)
- Our runner up with great regret, the blogger Mike Stark; who went to the home of Bill O'Reilly and posted signs reading Bill O'Reily, pervert... Mike Stark was the person that Bill O'Reilly...threaten to sick Fox Security on...No! Not acceptable, what ever you think of him...there is a line and the Good Guys are not suppose to cross it...leave him (O'Reilly) alone in private.
And this does not make us weak, this upholding of real American Traditional Values and the refusal to sink to the level of the threat force. In the words of Captain Amanda Garret in James Cobbs excellent book Sea Fighter:
- Quillain snorted. "You don't think those guys are actually fishing, do you?"
- "Of course not. When they tack about, you can see the lens glinting on their field glasses. They've got somebody out there pretty much all the time now. We know they're Union recon, but under the rules of engagement, we have to accept them at face value."
- "Why is that?" Quillain grumbled, popping the clip out of his M-9 and jacking the live round out of the chamber. "I mean, every damn little tin-pot terrorist and dictator out there can do anything he likes to the United States¬ blow up our embassies, torture our POW'S, kill our kids in the streets-and nobody says boo. But when it comes to hitting back, man, we sure have to play by the Marquis of Queensbury; else the whole damn world screams bloody murder. Just why is that?"
- "It's for the best reason in the world," Amanda replied, picking up the carbine and adjusting its sling. "One that I wouldn't change for anything I can imagine."
- Quillain's brows knit together. "What reason's that?"
- She smiled back at the big Marine. "It's because we're the good guys, Stone"
Friday, July 27, 2007
- I hear so much from the right about how they love the troops. But they don't seem to love the actual human beings who wear the uniform, they love those little GI Joe dolls they played with as children which they could dress up in little costumes and contort into pretzels for their fun and amusement. If they loved the actual troops they wouldn't require them to be like two dimensional John Wayne's, withholding their real experiences and feelings for fear that a virtual armchair lynch mob would come after them.
- Highway: You're dead marine, you just got your legs blown off and we'll hafta send out a search party for your testicles. Where's your cover?
- [They indicate Profile who waves to them]
- Highway: What the hell are ya doin' back there? Without any cover fire I'll get my ass shot off! While the rest of you are pumpin' the neighbors dog we'll get every swinging dick in this platoon killed!
- Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Sgt. Mulcahy!
- Sgt. Mulcahy: Sir!
- Colonel Robert G. Shaw: I have no doubt you a fair man, Mulcahy. I wonder if you are treating the men a little hard.
- [Sgt. Mulcahy pauses]
- Colonel Robert G. Shaw: You may speak freely.
- Sgt. Mulcahy: The boy is a friend of yours, is he?
- Colonel Robert G. Shaw: Yes, we grew up together
- Sgt. Mulcahy: Let him grow up some more.
- Colonel Meyers: How are your men doing Major?
- Major Malcom Powers: My men are ready to fight to the death to Protect our country.
Colonel Meyers: Well let's hope that won't be necessary.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
After the Corporate Media's™ complicity in the witch hunt against our last elected President was exposed, progressives (and perhaps a large percentage of the American Public) have long since accepted that these stenographers are no longer independent. With the exception of Keith, Bill, Jon, Stephen and occasionally Jack, any broadcast news will not be an investigation to determine the truth but a recitation of Republican/Conservative/Bidness talking points.
Furthermore, the message put out by this infotainment industry is carefully crafted so that even when a disastrous policy has been documented by the World media and even if it is clear President George W Bush and his 2nd VP Richard Cheney were responsible for the clusterf-ck, the media-whores will blame every one else except those who are responsible (Democrats are a favorite target).
Okay Commander, we already know this. What is your point?
The recent revelations of chicanery at the Office of Drug Control Policy:
- White House Had Drug Officials Appear with GOP Candidates
By Michael A. Fletcher
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 18, 2007; Page A08
White House officials arranged for top officials at the Office of National Drug Control Policy to help as many as 18 vulnerable Republican congressmen by making appearances and sometimes announcing new federal grants in the lawmakers' districts in the months leading up to the November 2006 elections, a Democratic lawmaker said yesterday.
- The Doctor Who Didn't Know When to Quit
By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, July 17, 2007; Page A19
…He simply departed from the administration when his four-year term was up and said nothing about how he had been maneuvered and micromanaged -- until last week, when he told (almost) all to a congressional committee. Only then did we learn that it was suggested that whenever Carmona gave an official speech, he should mention the president at least three times a page. He declined. He was also ordered not to talk about controversial matters -- stem cell research, sexual abstinence, contraception, etc. He complied. A report on global health was withheld for political reasons.
- GSA Chief Violated Hatch Act, Special Counsel's Report Alleges
By Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Scott Higham
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, May 24, 2007; 1:26 PM
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has found that General Services Administration chief Lurita Alexis Doan violated the federal Hatch Act when she allegedly asked GSA political appointees during a January briefing how they could "help our candidates" win the next election, according to a report by the office.
The R’s were actually shocked that the D’s flipped the House and even more amazed that they took the Senate. Even in the last few weeks before the November elections the R’s were convinced that the various illegal and immoral activities from caging to voter fraud scams to out and out bribery would suppress enough votes to allow the R’s to maintain control (truth be told, even your old Sarge was surprised at the outcome).
It is the only reason why the Bush Administration finds itself unprepared for the multiple investigations currently underway in Congress; they truly believed that in the last two years they would still be dealing with rubber stamp Republicans (of course the clueless Beltway Pundits say that this is a bad idea).
Life is so unfair.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
- House Panel Rejects Bush Privilege Claim
Jul 12, 5:33 PM (ET)
By LAURIE KELLMAN
...Legal scholars said the issue of Miers' immunity is far from clear-cut. No president has gone as far as mounting a court fight to keep his aides from testifying on Capitol Hill.
The experts on Constitutional law, brilliant as they may be; do not understand Jerusalem syndrome that infects the mind of our leader.
I will bet a months pay that Commander Codpiece will once again break precedent and push this all the way to the Supremo's, assuming the D's have the cohones to push this all the way and not back down.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Short version: Shuster ripped the neocon apologist a 2nd asshole. He refused to allow the Professor to get away with half-truths (sample statement FA: Richard Armatiage was the leaker in the CIA Case. DS: It came out at trial that 7 different people talked with Scooter Libby about Plames identity) and whole lies (sample statement FA: The attacks of 9/11 and the terrorist trail preceded the Iraq war. DS: I am not going to let you end this with the idea that Iraq was part of 9/11) while attempting to justify his statement that Libby the perjurer was the equivalent of a fallen US soldier in Iraq because he is an "authority".
However, one thought did bother me after reading the comments section of Crooks and Liars for this post:
- 16 throwthembows Says:That was kinda hard to watch. I don’t think it was a very honest debate. I don’t agree with anything this jerk-off has to say, but the interview was Fox News-ish in its execution.
In short, David Shuster was being a Journalist, not a stenographer. He was investigating and if necessary instantly correcting the Professors mendacity's. He refused to play the Fox News game of two sides to every issue.
There are not two sides if one side is lyng. And it is not liberal bias when a journalist calls them on a lie. It is reporting the facts.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
The "why" Libby was pardon is easily answered, most eloquently by Ambassador Joe Wilson on NPR:
- Wilson told NPR that he is not surprised President Bush commuted Libby's prison sentence. Noting that President Bush does not give pardons or clemency lightly, Wilson suggested there may be a quid pro quo exchange for commuting Libby's sentence — and that it should be challenged.
"Congress ought to conduct an investigation of whether or not the president himself is a participant in the obstruction of justice," Wilson said, urging that it examine the text of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's interviews with President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
- As an appellate judge, Sentelle voted to overturn the convictions of Iran-Contra figures Oliver North and John Poindexter and orchestrated the appointment of Kenneth Starr to investigate Whitewater. If Libby was ever to find a sympathetic ear on the Court of Appeals, David Sentelle would have been his man.
Here is what Sentelle and his colleagues had to say this morning about Scooter Libby: "Appellant has not shown that [his] appeal raises a substantial question ... one that is 'close' or that 'could very well be decided the other way.'"
Okay, what to do. Despite Godfather Cheney's proficiency (or lack thereof) with a shotgun, another hunting accident involving Scooter would probably be too much for even the media whores to swallow. Nor could they risk pulling a Jimmy Hoffa special, as tempting as that may have been. The only possible answer was to keep the conviction but render it toothless. A $250,000 fine is chump change to these fools. Loss of a law license? Only until December 2008 when Bush pardons the perjuring bastard. Bottom line, Libby stays out of jail and does not spill the beans to Patrick Fitzgerald, a man so f-cking honest he would report his own mother if she did something illegal.
In the next few months the right wing noise machine will push three talking points, and the lapdog press will greedily slurp it up:
- The sentence was excessive.
- Libby was not convicted of any underlying crime.
- President Clinton did the same thing before he left office.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
- I really don't want to belabor this bloggy triumphalism because it is, well, unseemly. But I do have to wonder why in the hell I and other bloggers were writing about the "big story" that was all over the TV today ---- five months ago.
Nobody gave a damn until Henry Waxman decided to issue a report that wondered why Dick Cheney was trying to shut down the agency that had crossed him. Then everyone "discovered" that Dick Cheney has created a fourth branch of government that answers to no one --- something we were talking about months ago. I don't get it.
He starts by killing some punk rockers and stealing their clothes. He robs a gun store and kills the owner only because the owner is clueless that anyone would be so brazen as to attack him (Terminator's knowledge of weapons and unemotional mannerisms made him seem like a customer instead of a killer). He then grabs a page from the phone book and proceeds to methodically execute all the Conner, S. entry's without a care that he may be caught.
Even the worst of the serial killers made pains to cover their tracks. Terminator acted more like the spree killer, except the action took place over a week, the Cyborg had a definite target in mind, and he absolutely DID NOT CARE where the murders took place ("I'll be back" , recognized by the Guinness Book as one of the five top movie quotes; shows that even a police station full of cops could not stop the Terminator from fulfilling his mission). Until this moment, who would ever believe that one man, no matter how crazy, would attempt such an assault (this was before the North Hollywood shootout).
What must be foremost in the minds of those who attempt to analyze the actions of VP Cheney is that they must never assume that law, precedent or even hypocrisy will prevent Cheney from doing what he feels is necessary to accomplish his life's ambitions. In this he is similar to the Terminator, and it explains in part the reason that a main stream press crippled by a refusal to deviate from the script can not get a handle on the OVP.
When those evil members of the net roots point this out (in their "vitriolic, unhinged tone"), the MSM goes berserk. They are handicapped by the constant idea flowing in the backs of their minds that this is just paranoid librul conspiracy™ talk. That no President even in war (Lincoln) or economic crisis (Roosevelt) had attempted to assume unlimited power with no oversight. Those lefty blogger's just have a political ax to grind with the Decider in Chief because they disagree with his policy's.
Maybe some time in the future this will change as the true extent of Darth Cheney's™ machinations are revealed. Yeah, and maybe the Commander will win the lottery.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
- The Libby prosecution clearly was the dirty work of the leftist anti-war movement in this country, just as Cohen describes. After all, the reason Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed to investigate this matter was because a left-wing government agency (known as the "Central Intelligence Agency") filed a criminal referral with the Justice Department, as the MoveOn-sympathizer CIA officials were apparently unhappy about the public unmasking of one of their covert agents.
In response, Bush's left-wing anti-war Attorney General, John Ashcroft, judged the matter serious enough to recuse himself, leading Bush's left-wing anti-war Deputy Attorney General, James Comey, to conclude that a Special Prosecutor was needed. In turn, Comey appointed Fitzgerald, the left-wing anti-war Republican Prosecutor and Bush appointee, who secured a conviction of Libby, in response to which left-wing anti-war Bush appointee Judge Reggie Walton imposed Libby's sentence.
...Indeed, it is so terribly unfair to investigate powerful government officials because, as "white-collar types," they have a "morbid fear of jail" -- in contrast, of course, to blue-collar types, and darker ones still, who really do not mind prison at all...
...The real injustice is that prison is simply not the place for the most powerful and entrenched members of the Beltway royal court, no matter how many crimes they commit. There is a grave indignity to watching our brave Republican elite be dragged before such lowly venues as a criminal court and be threatened with prison, as though they are common criminals or something...
(Hat Tip to Bartcop)
Friday, June 15, 2007
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Thursday, June 14, 2007; 1:20 PM
White House spokesman Tony Snow yesterday dismissed the issuance of congressional subpoenas to two former White House aides as an attempt to "create some media drama."
..."One constitutional-law expert said yesterday that the White House is in a difficult legal position, with little ability to refuse the subpoenas. 'They're in the unsustainable position of refusing to explain the increasing evidence of a cover up,' said Charles Tiefer of the University of Baltimore Law School.
"...White House does not have standing to try to quash the subpoenas preemptively. That leaves White House ...with the choice of a negotiated settlement or a showdown in federal court.
"If the White House refuses the subpoenas, Leahy and Conyers could move to hold the White House in contempt, then forward those citations to the full House and Senate for approval. The contempt citations would then be sent to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Jeffrey A. Taylor, who is required to impanel a grand jury to consider indictments. Taylor may have to recluse himself because of his involvement in events as a U.S. attorney."
Richard B. Schmitt writes in the Los Angeles Times: "Except in cases involving national security or military secrets, the executive branch enjoys no absolute privilege to withhold documents from Congress. In most disputes, courts balance the interests of the administration to keep the documents private, against the public or congressional interests in learning about the material
But this President has demonstrated the personality of a petulant 4 year old, one who figuratively held his breath and stamped his feet because he did not get his own way during the recent War Funding bill. And unlike Reagan who at least showed a willingness to compromise, the Cheney Administration has held Congress as the equivalent of dog excrement that must be wiped off his shoe.
So let us assume that the D's actually show some spine and really push it and it ends up in Court. The DC Circuit is Chock full of Federalist Society members that specializing in twisting, ignoring or reinterpreting the law to conform to their ideology . Under any other Court that actually followed the law and precedent the President would be screwed, but I will bet a months pay that alchemist of the DC Circus will turn lead into gold (Claims of executive privilege denied to Clinton will change to Claims of executive privilege approved for Bush. )
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
- What's missing from every single one - every one: a single forthright statement about the magnitude of the offense for which he'd already been convicted.
- Which brings us to, oddly, what for me was the most telling moment of the Libby trial today. It is customary for those found guilty to express contrition during the sentencing phase...Libby expressed none. Zero, zip, bupkis...Libby that he thought himself a great man to whom a terrible wrong has been done. Today Scooter's career as a man on trial ended and his life as professional right wing victim began.
- On the basis of my research and experiences, I am convinced that if President Clinton were an ordinary citizen, he would not be prosecuted for his allegedly false statements, which were made in a civil deposition about a collateral sexual matter later found inadmissible in a case eventually dismissed and then settled. If President Clinton were ever to be prosecuted or impeached for perjury on the basis of the currently available evidence, it would indeed represent an improper double standard: a selectively harsher one for the president (and perhaps a handful of other victims of selective prosecution) and the usual laxer one for everyone else.
- We cannot have one law for the ruler and another law for the ruled...If that understanding is lost ...the American democratic experiment and the freedom it guarantees is in jeopardy.
...Let's look to the future, to the children of today who are the presidents and members of Congress of the next century. And let's not crush their hope that they too will inherent a law- governed society.
- Jewish World Review /Nov. 24, 1998 /5 Kislev 5759
For months, I have tried to understand the attitude of millions of my fellow Americans who, faced with unrebutted evidence of presidential law breaking, shrug their shoulders and say, "Let's move on." If I've heard one, I've heard a hundred callers to radio and television programs say, "What the president did was intolerable. But it wasn't impeachable. So drop it."
...we should probably go ahead and remove perjury from the criminal code as well. After all, people lie all the time out of embarrassment about money, drugs...There are as many rationalizations about lies as there are liars.
- Jewish World Review Feb. 2, 2007 / 14 Shevat, 5767
- Libby's crime, according to Fitzgerald, is perjury and obstruction of justice. The grounds? People's memories of who said what to whom more than three years ago differ. Good Lord, may I never be subject to a grand jury inquest, as I forget appointments, names, faces, passwords, jokes, what I told my husband yesterday and whether or not I paid the phone bill last month.
This is not about paying phone bills Mona, it's about payback for your enemy, real or imagined. When Joe Wilson wrote that oped in the NYT about his trip to Niger, shooter Cheney decided he was an enemy that had to be destroyed. The present Administration is filled with such men and women, big ego's with small minds who view the slightest insult as an excuse to attack.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Jerry Falwell was the founder of one of the first of the newly formed Christian Political Organizations that sprung up after the Supremos ruled in favor of legalized abortion. He called it the Moral Majority and it exercised some minor influence during the 80's (Ronnie Ray Guns was much more interested in saving us from the Communist) before dissolving in 1989 (He revived the group as the Moral Majority Coalition in 2004).
The sex and drug scandals that brought down the two other members of the God squad (Swaggert and Bakker) had a serious effect on the cash flow of all the other televangelist, and the good Reverend was reduced to pedaling conspiracy videos about President Clinton to finance his ministry.
This was not enough however, and Falwells Liberty University accumulated some $80 million debt before his bailout by a couple of businessmen (who received their money from the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. This stuff is true, even if freaky) in 1995.
Update-31 May 2007
I'll end this here. I never did finish it because I had to abandon this blog for the last 3 weeks do to personnel issues. Sufficient to say that the Rev Falwell's influenced had diminished to the point of no longer being welcome to speak at the Republican Convention of 2004:
- Religious leaders such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson say that not only have they not been offered any speaking roles at this year's convention, but just three weeks before the event, they have yet to be invited.
Could it be that in a race so tight every swing vote is being chased like the most popular kid in school, the Republicans don't want to alienate moderates with the in-your-face religious oratory of its most partisan supporters?
Thursday, May 10, 2007
In a most recent example; U.S. Navy veteran David Miller writing the Daily Kos as the Iowa City Akiva details his struggles as an Orthodox Jew receiving treatment at a Veterans Hospital that was a hotbed of Dominionism.
- When a veteran moves to the area or in any way begins to access services at the Iowa City VA they are required to attend an orientation class – this class is held in the Christian Chapel, decorated with the Stations of the Cross ...I am a disabled veteran who served...in the US Navy. I am also an Orthodox Jew.
When I moved back to Iowa and notified the Iowa City VA that I would be accessing their services, they directed me to attend the orientation class. When I refused to enter the chapel...the staff attempted to pressure me; however, I held my ground and in the end the staff told me that I would just miss out on the information provided in the class (and threw the hand-outs at me.) At that point I dutifully lodged a formal complaint with the patient advocate. This has been about two years ago now, but orientation classes are still only held in the Christian Chapel. Could it be that the Iowa City VA is really trying to establish their underlying Christian intent with every orientation class?
- Regarding proselytizing, Assembly of God Chaplain David Brown expressed that he couldn’t imagine why I would have a problem with his visits. He asserted that he had regularly visited many Jewish patients at the Iowa City VA over the years without a complaint; although he did admit that he continued to visit one patient after he had specifically requested a Rabbi visit him instead – according to Chaplain Brown, the patient didn’t seem to mind too much, at least he hadn’t protested strenuously like me. Chaplain Brown made it clear that he was absolutely confounded by my objections since he found no basis for them. Clearly this guy just doesn’t get it!
- Who's afraid of freedom and tolerance?
Why are fundamentalists so frightened by liberal family values? A look at competing worldviews.
By Doug Muder
Fall 2005 8.15.05
Like most religious liberals, we Unitarian Universalists imagine ourselves to be nice people. It is those in the Christian Right, we believe, who want to force their moral code on everyone else and use public resources to proselytize for their faith. We, on the other hand, believe in tolerance, free choice, and letting people be what they have to be. What’s so scary about that? If the rank-and-file of organizations like Focus on the Family or the Christian Coalition feel threatened by us, we think, it can only be because they have been duped by their unscrupulous leaders.
True, preachers of the Christian Right have said a lot of unfair things about liberals, both religious and political. But conservative Christian fears have not been created ex nihilo. As overstated as those fears may at times become, they have a basis, and we would do well to understand it.
- Fundamentalists themselves would claim that the Bible is the center of their worldview, but scriptural support for their more controversial positions is often scant ... [James]Ault notes that members of the pseudonymous Shawmut River Baptist Church “generally held such views before they were ‘saved’ and became born-again Christians. Their pro-family conservatism could not be explained, then, by doctrines or practices found in any particular religion.” Instead, Ault attributes Shawmut River’s conservatism to a “village like” web of multi-generational family ties very different from what he observed among his academic acquaintances.
- By contrast, the liberal worldview puts a much greater emphasis on commitments undertaken by choice, rather than obligations imposed from birth. Naturally, this is a difference of degree rather than kind. Unitarian Universalists have obligations and Baptists make choices, but choice plays a far greater role in the liberal worldview than in the conservative. Choice is entirely a good thing in the liberal worldview, whereas it is ambiguous to the Christian Right.
Shawmut River’s members value their ability to choose how to fulfill their obligations (without, say, interference from the government), but they condemn people who choose to slough off their obligations entirely. If “freedom” means the ability to take the easy way out without suffering the consequences (as they might describe the freedom to choose an abortion), then they’re against it.
It matters because our life free of congenital obligations works, and it works well. And this threatens the very existence of those who see family obligations as not subject to choice:
- In popular mythology, the Christian Right comes from the morally upright heartland of America and liberalism from its corrupt and decaying cities. Strangely, both sides have reasons to promote these stereotypes. Fundamentalist communities like to see themselves as embattled citadels, islands of eternal values in the storm-tossed sea of Anything Goes.
- Conservative Protestants are more likely to divorce than the national average.
- Conservative Christian men are as likely as non-Christians to view pornography.
- Evangelical teens are “only a little less” sexually promiscuous than non-evangelicals.
- Those who make abstinence pledges are, on average, as likely as non-pledgers to contract sexually transmitted diseases.
- Wives in traditional marriages “where the husband was dominant” are three times more likely to be beaten than wives in egalitarian marriages.
It is this damnable fact, that those who choose to live by a set of obligations freely chosen rather then by requirement seem to have a much richer, more satisfying lifestyle. Mr. Muder sums it up thus:
- Choice is the serpent in this Garden of Obligation. As soon as choice exists, I have to look at all the people in my life and wonder what they’re going to do—and they have to wonder about me as well. If other people have choices, then maybe fulfilling my timeless obligations just makes me a sucker. Maybe everyone who does his or her duty is a sucker.
One of the best-kept secrets in American society, however, is that religious liberal families are holding together at least as well as any other kind of family. Unitarian Universalists not only raise children, we do a pretty good job of it. I am consistently impressed by the quality of the young people I meet in my church and in the other churches I visit. Somebody is doing something right.
If there is one basic thing conservatives do not understand about religious liberals, it is this sense of commitment. They see us champion choice over obligation, but misunderstand our reasons. They understand us to be advocating a superficial and nihilistic way of life. They think we want to choose our own moral codes so that we can pick easy ones that rationalize our every whim. They believe that we want the freedom to define our relationships so that we can walk away from anything that looks difficult.
Most people do not want to believe they are suckers. They fight against the free thinker because they can not deal, can not accept that their system of obligation is going to fall, and to use a familiar saying among the fans of Star Trek: Resistance is futile.
Mr. Muder ends the article with the plea that those of us who believe that the liberal or progressive lifestyle must not "roll back history":
- It is tempting, human, and (to an extent) inevitable for religious liberals to respond with our own feelings of persecution, helplessness, and anger. But in doing so, we fall into the vicious cycle of polarization: Our anger feeds their sense of persecution just as theirs feeds ours.
We have a way out of this cycle: a message of hope that the Right cannot match. Our way of life works in this new world and does not demand that we roll history back. We need to broadcast this Liberal Good News loud and clear.
Friday, May 4, 2007
Veteran political columnist David Broder set off a firestorm recently when he called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid an ``embarrassment'' for declaring the Iraq War ``lost.''It is easy to tell when she is not levelheaded and goes off on an ideological tear. In writing about the Broder column she distorts or ignores two central issues:
From the assault subsequently directed at Broder -- from other journalists, political operatives, left-wing bloggers and even the entire 50-member Senate Democratic Caucus -- you'd have thought Broder had had an intimate encounter with an intern.
Broder committed no such dastardly deed, but merely did what he has done for the past 35 years. He called it as he saw it -- just as Reid claims to have done, and that his defenders seem to find so refreshing.
Nevertheless, the 50 Democratic senators felt compelled to respond. Doesn't the U.S. Senate have more important matters to attend to than David Broder?
- The distortion, that Mr. Broder is “just a columnist”. No, he is a senior columnist for the Washington Post, not the Podunk times. His opinions, even when stupid, are read by thousands, if not tens of thousands on a National level.
- Ignore what he wrote. The title of the column was not “My thoughtful analysis of Senator Reids Performance”. It was titled “The Democrats Gonzales”.
- The Democrats' Gonzales
By David S. Broder
Thursday, April 26, 2007; Page A29
Here's a Washington political riddle where you fill in the blanks: As Alberto Gonzales is to the Republicans, Blank Blank is to the Democrats -- a continuing embarrassment thanks to his amateurish performance.
If you answered " Harry Reid," give yourself an A. And join the long list of senators of both parties who are ready for these two springtime exhibitions of ineptitude to end.
The Kathy Parkers and David Broders of the world are shocked, shocked. Democrats fighting back? You’re not supposed to fight back. You’re supposed to go along. Wahhh! It isn’t far. You cheated. I want my Daddy (the R’s are the Daddy party after all. High Lady Dowd said so).
The Parker’s and Broder’s and Krauthammer’s of the world still believe it’s pre-November 2006, and that the Colbert Rule of the press still applies:
Over the last five years you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.Well with apologies, no screw it no apologies to the gang of 500, welcome to Politics 2007. Your boy Commander Codpiece (no relation to the writer of this blog) and his Republican Rubber Stamp toadies got a free pass these last 6 to 12 years, BUT IT IS OVER. Yeah, it’s true we can not get more then a single progressive voice in the MSM, but thanks to those “Internets”, we do not have to. The power of the net roots combined with the new progressive AM talk radio means that we can call bullSh*t when it is bullsh*t.
But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!
If Broder or Parker does not like it, f*ck’em. If Malkin or some other War Blogger continues to push a lie, we will push back (good job Eric and Glen). If the cowardly Journalists continue to dismiss allegations that the Bush Administration broke the law, we will beat them over the head with the story until they say okay, I get it (Josh, what can I say? Is mere thanks enough for the extra ordinary job you do. I think not).
I will leave Ms. Parker with the following, in case she still does not get it:
Saturday, April 28, 2007
This brings us to an article last week in the WaPo, but one that did not get a lot of National Airtime:
- Administration Yields on Wiccan Symbol
Pentacle to Be Permitted on Tombstones in U.S. Military Burial Grounds
By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 24, 2007; Page A12
Facing lawsuits by veterans and their families, the Bush administration relented yesterday and agreed to allow the Wiccan pentacle -- a five-pointed star inside a circle -- on tombstones at Arlington National Cemetery and other U.S. military burial grounds...for nearly a decade, the department had refused to act on requests for the pentacle, without a clear reason.
In yesterday's legal settlement, the VA agreed to grant all the pending requests within two weeks and to approve new ones on an expedited basis for 30 days...The settlement stipulates, however, that the plaintiffs must not keep or disclose any documents handed over by the government during the discovery phase of the lawsuit. Lawyers familiar with the case said that some documents suggested the VA had political motives for rejecting the pentacle.
The war against Wicca was an attempt to slip into the mainstream ideas that the average Joe/Josephine would reject if they substituted Cross for Pentagram (religious tolerance in America is mixed but improving). The “faith-based” inmate ministry is another example of this.
When Judge Robert Pratt ruled against the InnerChange Freedom Initiative, American Enterprise Institute Professor Joseph Knippenberg agreed with him. Some major points:
- There is no comparable secular or religious program elsewhere in the Iowa prison system. Inmates who want a long-term comprehensive rehabilitation program have no other choices.
- The living conditions and privileges afforded InnerChange participants are sufficiently superior to those afforded the general prison population as to be incentives to join the program. In effect, inmates are rewarded for their participation in a religious program.
Why does the idea of freedom of conscience so offend the Dominionist. That is for my next entry. The answer may not be what you think.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Somethings however are not funny, even if they do not make the Six O'clock news:
Manifestations of the devils agents, and therefore worthy of death. While this is truly an amazing coincidence, it does illustrate a major point in my previous blog entry (thank you for the education Mr. Clarkson) about how the Dominionist think and why. Even in 2007 under the reign of King George II , they have not gone away.
They’re at it again: A week since the SCOTUS began dismembering Roe anti-choice lunatics are terrorizing women’s clinics, as reported by the Associated Press in a very brief piece headlined, “Explosive found at Austin women’s clinic.”
...The national press? Aside from 97 words from the AP and a brief mention from CNN —nothing (according to a Nexis search at 5:15 pm today).
(Hat tip to Femniste. Mr. Clarkson has a post on Talk to Action about Lake of fire, a film that explores the taboo subject of Domestic Terrorism against Providers and Clinics).
Update I: They caught the Son of a B*tch. Score one for the good guys. Still not much about this in the national press.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
- Ban on Prison Religious Program Challenged
U.S. Judge Ruled Evangelical Rehabilitation Effort in Iowa Is Unconstitutional
By Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 25, 2007; Page A13
CHICAGO -- Interested inmates at Newton Correctional Facility in Iowa receive teaching material that declares: "Criminal behavior is a manifestation of an alienation between the self and God. Acceptance of God and Biblical principles results in cure through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State...sued to stop the program...U.S. District Judge Robert W. Pratt sided with Americans United, ruling last year that the Iowa program is "pervasively sectarian." He heard testimony from prisoners of other faiths who felt unwelcome in a program that gives advantages to inmates who accept the intensive religious teachings.
Now we have to define two things up front: Who am I talking about and what do they believe? I am referring to a political movement, NOT A RELIGION. It is not as organized as the DNC or GOP, but it does have it's own party website. And while this sounds like the ravings of a lunatic, the Constitution Party really does want to replace our Democratic form of Government with a Theocracy based on their interpretation of the Old Testament.
Not all believers in Reconstructionist theory belong to the CP. The Republican Party has been infiltrated by these religious fascists over the past 25 years. But how do Dominionist or "Constitutionalist" differ from standard conservatives (even religious ones) when it comes to dealing with the opposition party.
Constitution Party Mission Statement
The mission of the Constitution Party is to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity through the election, at all levels of government, of Constitution Party candidates who will uphold the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations.
Okay, while it seems incredible it is none the less true: Dominionist elements of the Christian Right believe that those who oppose them are not political opponents with a different governing philosophy. They see them as demons or agents of Satan, literally the Devils minions on Earth. And because they believe that fighting against liberals/gays/ clinic workers is a form of religious warfare, then anything goes, including voter disenfranchisement (Florida), arrest with out trial (Gitmo), arson (abortion clinics) and murder ( abortion doctors).
At this point, some will think the Commander is smoking the good stuff. No I am not:
- Utah County GOP delegate links illegal immigration to Satan
By Deborah Bulkeley
Deseret Morning News
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The devil is sticking his pitchfork into the nation's immigration politics. At least that's what one of Utah County's Republican delegates thinks. Don Larsen, a district chairman, has submitted a resolution equating illegal immigration to "Satan's plan to destroy the U.S. by stealth invasion" for debate at Saturday's Utah County Republican Party Convention. Referring to a plan by the devil for a "New World Order ... as predicted in the Scriptures," the resolution calls for the Utah County Republican Party to support "closing the national borders to illegal immigration to prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion.".
- The Covert Kingdom
Thy Will be Done, On Earth as It is in Texas
By JOE BAGEANT
- ...Evangelical born-again Christians of one stripe or another were then, and are now, 40% of the electorate, and they support Bush 3-1. And as long as their clergy and their worst instincts tell them to, they will keep on voting for him, or someone like him, regardless of what we view as his arrogant folly and sub-intelligence. Forget about changing their minds. These Christians do not read the same books we do...and in fact, consider even CBS and NBC super-liberal networks of porn and the Devil's lies.
- Given how fundamentalists see the modern world, they may as well be living in Iraq or Syria, with whom they share approximately the same Bronze Age religious tenets. They believe in God, Rumsfeld's Holy War and their absolute duty as God's chosen nation to kick Muslim ass up one side and down the other. In other words, just because millions of Christians appear to be dangerously nuts does not mean they are marginal.
70% of White Evangelicals, those that are mostly likely to follow Christian Reconstructionist or Dominionist beliefs still voted for Bush despite Iraq/Katrina/Jobs disappearing, so the first part seems to be true. But Bageants claim not withstanding, the fact that the D's regained control of Congress demonstrated that it was not enough. The followers of Dominion beliefs and their lackeys do not yet have the numbers to get themselves elected unless the majority of their fellow citizens remain politically silent.
The movement is very patient and tends to take the long view. But they are not omnipotent, and sometimes individual Dominionist forget that they only hold elected office by not calling attention to themselves or openly defying the law. The folly of Roy and his Rock or the Schiavo affair shows what happens when a Dominionist abandons the Stealth Strategy that bought them to power.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
- Did I Violate the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban?
A doctor ponders a new era of prosecution
By Warren M. Hern
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003, at 7:17 PM ET
As the misleadingly titled "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban" makes its way to the president's desk, anti-abortion groups are celebrating their public relations victory. But beneath the hoopla, the bill's medical consequences remain murky. Exactly which procedures will be banned, and which doctors prosecuted? Will the anti-abortion lobby be happier with the alternative methods to which doctors will resort? If not, which methods and doctors will be targeted next? Will this ban have a chilling effect on related procedures? If so, will it prevent abortions—or births?
Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child... Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision...While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained... Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow...Oh puhleese doctor Kennedy, spare me such a choice, I am getting the vapors. I'll just head back home and bake you some cookies like a good little wifey.
In a decision so fraught with emotional consequence some doctors may prefer not to disclose precise details of the means that will be used, confining themselves to the required statement of risks the procedure entails. From one standpoint this ought not to be surprising. Any number of patients facing imminent surgical procedures would prefer not to hear all details, lest the usual anxiety preceding invasive medical procedures become the more intense. This is likely the case with the abortion procedures here in issue.
As Justice Ruth the convert says in her minority opinion, sexist crap:
Revealing in this regard, the Court invokes an antiabortion shibboleth for which it concededly has no reliable evidence: Women who have abortions come to regret their choices, and consequently suffer from "[s]evere depression and loss of esteem." Ante, at 29.7 Because of women's fragile emotional state and because of the "bond of love the mother has for her child," the Court worries, doctors may withhold information about the nature of the intact D&E procedure...The solution the Court approves, then, is not to require doctors to inform women, accurately and adequately, of the different procedures and their attendant risks...Instead, the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety.
This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution--ideas that have long since been discredited. Compare Bradwell v. State(1872) ("Man is, or should be, woman's protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life. ... The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfil[l] the noble and benign offices of wife and mother."), with United States v. Virginia(1996) (State may not rely on "overbroad generalizations" about the "talents, capacities, or preferences" of women; "[s]uch judgments have ... impeded ... women's progress toward full citizenship stature throughout our Nation's history")