Monday, October 8, 2007

Morning Schmoe, & a U. S. Official on Blackwater

We've already cheap-shotted Joe Scarborough a couple of times. Now we can see what a weasel he truly is: And in an op-ed in what we affectionately refer to as the "local fishwrapper," a woman who served as a "U. S. official" (apparently she was a "political officer," whatever that means) in Iraq describes her experiences w/ Blackwater contractors:

But much more appalling than the ride was the deleterious effect each movement through town had on the already beleaguered people of Iraq. I began to wonder whether my meetings, intended to further U.S. policy goals and improve the lives of Iraqis, were doing more harm than good. With our drivers honking at, cutting off, pelting with water bottles (a favorite tactic) and menacing with weapons anyone in their way, how many enemies were we creating? [...] As we approached at typical breakneck speed, the Blackwater driver honked furiously and motioned to the side, as if they should pull over. The kids in the back seat looked back in horror, mouths agape at the sight of the heavily armored Suburbans driven by large, armed men in dark sunglasses. The poor Iraqi driver frantically searched for a means of escape, but there was none. So the lead Blackwater vehicle smashed heedlessly into the car, pushing it into the barrier. We zoomed by too quickly to notice if anyone was hurt. Until that point I had never mentioned anything to my drivers about their tactics, but this time I could not contain myself. "Where do you all expect them to go?" I shrieked. "It was an old guy and a family, for goodness' sake. Was it necessary for them to destroy their poor old car?" My driver responded impassively: "Ma'am, we've been trained to view anyone as a potential threat. You don't know who they might use as decoys or what the risks are. Terrorists could be disguised as anyone." "Well, if they weren't terrorists before, they certainly are now!" I retorted. Sulking in my seat, I was stunned by the driver's indifference. [...] As we do the work of bridge building and improving our host citizens' lives, if the people providing our transportation and security are antagonizing, angering and even killing the people we are putatively trying to help, our entire mission is undermined.
"But, but, the hell w/ the (often actually physical) impression these clowns leave, not one American they've protected has been killed!" says the right-wing cowboy crowd. And of course Ms. Gans is an "ingrate" when she mentions that the activities of Blackwater subverted her mission to help the Iraqi people.

Blackwater Humour

Older People: As always, click strip for legibility.
From "get your war on." Truncated version (?) first spotted @ DOC 40.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sunday Sermon

"Ah don' care ef et rains er freezes/All Ah need's mah plastic Jee-zis/Settin' awn the dashboard of mah car." Bet this'n glows in the dark, too!
It's the Lord's Day (Doesn't the Constitution say something about no fucking "nobility" in the country? Why yes it does: "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States." Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8.) so let's look at what's up in the world of said unconstitutional activities.

Here's a whopper: Oral Roberts' son, Richard, appears to be a dick.
Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal.
Likewise Oral's daughter-in-law, Lindsay (Well, she may not be a "dick," exactly, but she seems to like the idea of "dick"):
She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."

[...]

Colleagues fear for the reputation of the university and the future of the Roberts' ministry, which grew from Southern tent revivals to one of the most successful evangelical empires in the country, hauling in tens of millions of dollars in contributions a year. The university reported nearly $76 million in revenue in 2005, according to the IRS.
Oral Roberts is 89 and lives in California. He holds the title of chancellor, but the university describes him as semi-retired, and his son presides over day-to-day operations on the campus, which had a modern, space-age design when it was built in the early 1960s but now looks dated, like Disney's Tomorrowland.
Don't you just love how these little empires stay right in the family? As feudal as their religions. And one must wonder about the "reputation" of the "University."
Cornell Cross II, a senior from Burlington, Vt., said he is looking to transfer to another school because the scandal has "severely devalued and hurt the reputation of my degree."
"We have asked and asked and asked to see the finances of our school and what they're doing with our money, and we've been told no," said, Cross who is majoring in government. "Now we know why. As a student, I'm not going to stand for it any longer."

Majoring in gov't. at ORU? Is this another one of those Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson deals where they fill the Justice Dep't. & any other agencies they can w/ little weasels more interested in their Bible than our Constitution?

Here's the lawsuit, in a pdf stylee. And here are the bullet points, well summarized by another web log operator, to save time:
• Richard Roberts ordered that university funds and resources be used to favor a candidate in a contested partisan race - an action that is illegal for tax-exempt corporations.
• The university furnishes the Roberts with complete housing benefits that include: 13 internet/cable connections, wide-screen televisions, hot tubs, and furnishings.
• The Roberts' home has been remodeled 11 times in the last 14 years.
• A longtime maintenance employee was fired so that an underage male friend of Mrs. Roberts could have his position.
• The Roberts children vandalized and damaged university property, but the university was never reimbursed for this damage.
• Dormitories received extensive structural modifications for the exclusive use of the Roberts' daughters, and all costs were passed on to the university.
• Richard Roberts' 2,000 square foot home office was remodeled into a walk-in closet to accommodate Mrs. Roberts' wardrobe. The wardrobe was paid for by the television production cost center.
• The Roberts family charged over $51,000 in clothing to the university, which was recorded as a business expense.
• Mrs. Roberts was given a white Lexus SUV and a red Mercedes convertible by ministry donors - including all insurance costs. Ministry Security was flown to Atlanta to take possession of her Mercedes and drive it back to Tulsa.
• Mrs. Roberts and her daughters frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month - the university pays this bill without limit.
• Records indicate that Mrs. Roberts replaced 21 cell phones within a two year period.
• Mrs. Roberts sent 800 text messages in a four month period. Many of those messages were sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to "underage males who had been provided phones at university expense."
• The Roberts' daughters were home schooled in a "guest house" that had been renovated into a classroom. The room remained a guest house for tax purposes, and was paid for by ORU. No guests have ever stayed in the guest house.
• Richard Roberts maintains complete control over the university's airplane. Though no vice-president or regent has access to this university asset, the plane was used to ferry one of the Roberts' daughters to her senior trip in Orlando, Florida and another trip to the Bahamas.
• During the Bahama trip, that daughter stayed at the Atlantis hotel and resort. The Ministry was billed for the trip as an "evangelistic function for the president." The bill was $29,411.
• Mrs. Roberts spent over $39,000 at one clothing store - Chico's - in less than one year. She's quoted in nine different statements as saying, "As long as I wear it once on TV, we can charge it off."
• The university and ministry maintain a stable of horses for exclusive use by the Roberts children.
• Mrs. Roberts awarded 13 non-academic, non-need-based scholarships to friends of her children, two of whom had test scores below ORU's admission requirement. When a university employee questioned the admission of the unqualified students, Mrs. Roberts ordered that they be admitted without questioning and that the employee be fired.
These two bozos, and every other one of the TV turkeys who run one of these scams, live like kings on the donations of deluded, often impoverished, fools. Paul & Jan Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting Network, for example. What money they don't scam goes to more telebision time & stations to raise more donations, not to help any one. Except of course for the "prayer lines." We've never called one (Depressed, yes. Stupid, no.) but we'd bet that there's a plea for money in the script right after the "prayer request" is taken.

Continuing on the infiltrating the gummint tip, here from the Xtian Science (there's an actually murderous, not merely financial, scam) Monitor is the story of "end-times" evangelizing, especially at the Air Force Academy, which is unfortunate enough to be located in the epicenter of this crap, Colorado Springs, CO, home to such scum buckets as "Dr." James C. Dobson, & a large assortment of other such outfits. Everybody's favorite evangelical meth-user & gay hypocrite, Ted Haggard, used to run his New Life church there, 'til they ran him out of town on a rail. Enough cheap shots, let's look at the allegations:
On Sept. 17, the soldier and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) filed suit against Army Maj. Freddy Welborn and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, charging violations of Hall's constitutional rights, including being forced to submit to a religious test to qualify as a soldier.
The MRFF plans more lawsuits in coming weeks, says Michael "Mikey" Weinstein, who founded the military watchdog group in 2005. The aim is "to show there is a pattern and practice of constitutionally impermissible promotions of religious beliefs within the Department of Defense."
For Mr. Weinstein – a former Air Force judge advocate and assistant counsel in the Reagan White House – more is involved than isolated cases of discrimination. He charges that several incidents in recent years – and more than 5,000 complaints his group has received from active-duty and retired military personnel – point to a growing willingness inside the military to support a particular brand of Christianity and to permit improper evangelizing in the ranks. More than 95 percent of those complaints come from other Christians, he says.

[...]

Weinstein insists, however, that there are improper actions at high levels that not only infringe on soldiers' rights but, at a very dangerous time, also send the wrong message to people in the Middle East that those in the US military see themselves engaged in Christian warfare. For example, he says, Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who gave speeches at churches while in uniform that disparaged Islam and defined the war on terror in fundamentalist, "end times" terms, was not fired but promoted. (Speaking of a Muslim warlord he had pursued, Lt. Gen. Boykin said, "I knew my God was a real God and his was an idol." And our enemies "will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.")
"There's an eschatologically obsessed version of Christianity that ... is trying to make American foreign and domestic policy conterminous with their biblical worldview," Weinstein charges. And "there's improper pressure within the military command structure to make members join them."


[...]

Col. David Antoon (ret.), another alumnus of the AFA and now a 747 commercial pilot, says his heart was broken when he took his son, Ryan, to an orientation at the academy in the spring of 2004. An overt evangelistic approach during part of the orientation so upset them, he says, that they decided his son would reject the treasured appointment and instead go to Ohio State University. "My son had dreamed of doing what I had done, but it was no longer the institution I went to," Colonel Antoon says, his voice cracking with emotion.
The Air Force set about reaffirming basic principles in religion guidelines, as a basis for widespread training, but a pushback by Evangelicals later led to Congress setting them aside until hearings could be held. The hearings have not taken place.

What are we waiting for? Someone in Congress to grow a backbone, we suppose. Could be a long wait.

In 2006, MRFF learned of a video produced by Christian Embassy, a group that conducts Bible studies at the Pentagon and seeks to evangelize within the armed services. Aimed at fundraising for the group, the video was improperly taped in the Pentagon and involved endorsements by Army and Air Force generals in uniform.
MRFF's public alert spurred a DOD investigation. In a report critical of the senior officers, the Inspector General said they gave the appearance of speaking for the military. One general defended his role by saying "Christian Embassy had become a quasi-federal entity."
The report noted that Maj. Gen. Paul Sutton participated while he served as chief of the US Office of Defense Cooperation in Turkey, a largely Muslim nation whose military takes pride in protecting the
country's secular status. After a Turkish newspaper wrote about the video as promoting a "fundamentalist sect," General Sutton was called in and questioned by members of the Turkish General Staff.
"They had to give him a lesson in the separation of church and state," Weinstein says. "Imagine the propaganda bonanza! And how this upset Muslims."
The DOD report on the video recommended "appropriate corrective action" be taken against the officers. According to Army spokesman Paul Boyce, "The Army has not yet completed any planned actions associated with the Christian Embassy review."

The Christian Embassy (that "quasi-federal entity") has removed the "improperly taped" video from their website, but it is available at the MRFF site (TRT: 11:54). Note especially one Jack Catton, Major General, USAF, & "director on the joint staff," who states (@ 4:16 in): "I'm an old-fashioned American, and my first priority is my faith in God, then my family, then my country." Excuse me, General, did you not you swear some sort of oath to protect & preserve the Constitution? Do we want a guy w/ these priorities anywhere near a nuclear warhead? If he thinks his "god" has told him to nuke Mecca, is he going to do that, hide his family somewhere in Idaho, & then worry about what may happen to the U. S.? Or is it just nuke 'em all & let "god" sort 'em out after the rapture?
Weinstein – an intense, voluble attorney who prizes blunt, no-holds-barred language – has struck more than one nerve with his bird-dogging. He says numerous threats have been made on his life. Last week, the front window of his house was shot out for the second time. After the lawsuit was filed, talk of "fragging" (killing) Specialist Hall surfaced on some military blogs. The Army is investigating.

[...]

Several conservative Christian ministries publicly proclaim an evangelistic aim "to transform the nations of the world through the militaries of the world," and they are active at US military installations in many countries. (See: www.militaryministry.org or militarymissionsnetwork.org.)
Again we must ask, which is more dangerous to the American Way of Life™? Bearded, turbaned fundamentalist Islamic psychopaths hiding in a cave on the other side of the world, who think they can establish a caliphate by random acts of violence & destruction that are as likely as a bolt of lightning to hurt American citizens? Or slick-ass, media-savvy Christian fundamentalist psychopaths in suits & ties who are already too influential in our society, & hope to gain control of the world by controlling its militaries, w/ the eventual intention of destroying said world so their magical sky-fairy god can lead all of the "good" people to heaven? Which of these two groups are truly dangerous to us?

Sound Advice from a Not-So-Sound Mind (Ours)

Late to the party as usual, Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ only realized earlier this a. m. that October (besides being "Rocktober" @ "classic rock" radio stations nationwide) is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Then we saw Mrs. Brett Favre (a survivor) on Sunday Night Football, & even as we type this ABC News is starting a week-long series on breast cancer. All of which eventually reminded us that our mother (& her mother before her) was a breast cancer survivor. Her heart gave out a few months ago, so cancer wasn't on our minds, but she did, as John Wayne put it, "beat the Big C." (Lumpectomy & radiation treatment. Her mother had to have a double mastectomy. Progress is being made.) None of our female friends & acquaintances (NB: Men can get it too. Not common, but it does happen.) have had it (yet) but it's probably bound to happen, & none of us are getting any younger, if you know what we mean. So visit the croaker, get that mammogram (early detection via breasts-in-a-wringer gave my mother 15+ yrs. before her heart got bored w/ the whole thing) feel yourself up, whatever it takes, ladies. This is not an excuse to run photos of female human breasts, but it is a reason to link to them (Yes, some are nekkid. Happy now, you voyeuristic male gazers?) and further info, all from a second grade teaching, recovering attorney, libertarian lesbian. What, we're going to send you to some Internet public service announcement? Alright, enough w/ non-controversial public service & Just Another Blog™'s personal suffering, it's back to rage & abuse! Bastards!!!

Sinking Ship Minus Rats Equals ?

In your mind's eye, slap the manhole cover & cockroaches from this altered Michael Ramirez illustration on the Eastern Seaboard. Not that it doesn't work well on the Middle East, but for story purposes imagine that the water is the Potomac, not the Persian Gulf.
Nightmares. Lost friendships. Anger. The skies darkened by flocks of birds returning to their roosts. That about sums up the White House of late as more & more of Bush's corps of enablers/"advisers" stream out like cockroaches fleeing for darkness when the kitchen light is turned on, hoping to salvage something of their lives, careers & bank accounts.
Good luck, vermin. Aw, who are we kidding? Look where they wind up:
Most of those who have left in recent months are hitting the speaking circuit, considering book contracts or joining consulting firms. Peter Wehner took a position at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Peter Feaver returned to teach at Duke University, Inboden has been hired to open a think tank in London. Former budget director Rob Portman has gone back to Cincinnati, where he plans to practice law and maybe run for governor.
Rove already has multiple options. While on the phone from Dallas before a meeting on the future Bush library, he excused himself to answer a knock at the hotel door. A package arrived and he ripped it open. "I sign it and suddenly I'm a lot richer," he said with Rovian mirth. What kind of contract, he would not say. It was not a book contract; Bartlett said nearly 20 publishers are competing for Rove's book.
[...]
As for O'Sullivan, she has taken a fellowship at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government while she
ponders her next step.

Is there no punishment for these people, no justice? A suggestion from Joe Klein:
In May, Klein used his Time magazine blog to directly challenge a Wehner essay on politics and the war, chastising his onetime friend for ignoring "the lives lost and shattered" and the "vast damage" to U.S. standing done by the Iraq war. "I have two pieces of career advice," Klein wrote to Wehner. "Stop writing this swill and think about penance. Take some time to clear your head, a lot of time, and pay for your sins by emptying bedpans at Walter Reed."
We'd suggest that these sub-humans serve as actual bedpans, but that's just us.

Inspiration for the crypto-Nazi tone of this item provided by Pirate's Cove & Blue Star Chronicles, as well as Michael Ramirez, the illustrator. After all, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. (We're the gander, they're the geese.)

Rule, Britannia, Britannia, Blargle, Mumble, Aaa...!

NEWS FLASH!! BRITS SURRENDER!!! QUEEN HANDS ORB, SCEPTRE & CROWN TO BIN LADEN; DIAPER-HEADS TAKE POWER!
See? It's right here in The New Media Journal. Obviously the liberal Old Media has been hiding this from us!
Democrats in Congress aren’t the only ones fighting hard to hand victory to the free world’s terrorist enemies. Now the Sunday Telegraph reports that under new Labour Party leadership, the British Ministry of Defense will reduce the number of warships in the Royal Navy. The fleet would be reduced by an aircraft carrier, two submarines, and eight frigates initially. Some observers predict that the 103-ship Royal Navy will be reduced by half in the next twenty years, leaving the United Kingdom unable to mount an operation that would match in scale the successful Falklands campaign of 1982.
We didn't know the terrorists were on islands somewhere. We thought the terrorists were hiding in caves in Pakistan's North West Territories. (See? You can spell "terrorist" & still have an "i" & an "e" left over!) Not sure what good frigates will do against cave dwellers, but Lance Thompson seems convinced downsizing is a bad thing. Let's see, the Navy of Islamic Jihad has how many aircraft carriers? And the Brits are downsizing? Horrors! Shocking!
We’ll put aside the sentimental remembrances of the centuries of Royal Navy domination of the seas, when ships flying St. George’s ensign maintained not only Britain’s far-flung empire, but also the orderly conduct of commerce throughout the world. Whether its enemies were pirates, the Spanish Armada, Napoleon’s fleet, or the German High Seas Fleet, the Royal Navy shouldered the burden of defending England and enforcing the rule of law at sea.
Yes, do put aside the sentiment for Empire & Commerce. And while you're putting it aside by reminding us of it, don't even bother to mention other enemies of the Royal Navy, like John Paul Jones & the Bon Homme Richard, or that "enforcing the rule of law at sea" included the press gangs that led to the War of 1812. Or that the United States taxpayer & Navy took over the duties of protecting empire & commerce after the Second World War.
The United Kingdom, like all nations that stand up for freedom, is at war with Islamic terrorists and their state sponsors. The focus of this war is currently in Afghanistan and Iraq, but there is no question that the terrorist enemy recruits, plots, and carries out attacks all over the world–from the Middle East to Indonesia, from Europe to North and South America. The challenges to the armed forces of free nations are staggering, even as those forces are stretched thin by the continuing fight. The Royal Navy is integral to the United Kingdom’s contribution to this struggle.
Rather, old chap. Place an aircraft carrier in the London Underground or at a tourist club in Bali, & those terrorist chaps shan't be able to recruit anyone, to say nothing of exploding one of their ruddy bombs. And submarines at the train depots in Madrid would've quashed that unpleasantness. Tally ho!
[I]t is at least unusual for a government to disarm in the middle of a war. Disarming while the fight continues can only mean one thing–Gordon Brown’s government is throwing in the towel.

But the Labour Party in England, like the Democratic Party in the United States, either does not believe their nation needs to be defended, or that it doesn’t deserve to be. In the face of the terrorist enemy, both positions serve the enemy.
No, you inane drone, no one is "disarming." The pointless military action & threats you seem to want only benefit terrorists, by increasing resentment & recruitment. The Labour Party realizes that, as terrorism is committed by civilians on civilian populations & infrastructure, perhaps the resources of the U. K. might be better used for intelligence gathering & combating the small cells that terrorists operate in, rather than steaming around the Persian Gulf or wherever, pretending it's WWII all over again. A lesson sadly lost on George W. Bush & his handlers/enablers.
Lance Thompson is a script doctor [Hollywood Insider's Note: "Script doctor" means he can't sell a script to save his life, and is reduced to turning shit into mere crap.] who has written for movies and television, and is a freelance writer and photographer for magazines and newspapers. He lives in Meridian, Idaho, with his wife and daughter and does not own a cell phone.
Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ has no truck with cell 'phones either, but we don't make a big deal of it. Chances are Lance & family live in a shack far from the nearest cell tower, & he makes his wife home-school their daughter so she doesn't get any "ideas," if you know what we mean.

And we'd be remiss if we left you w/o The New Media Journal's little disclaimer:
Photographs featured in The New Media Journal are for educational purposes only. While some of them are factual in nature others are creations meant to incite thought to further the socio-political and ideological conversation amongst of our readers. Contact the editor for a link request to The New Media Journal. The New Media Journal is not affiliated with any mainstream media or ideological organizations . The New Media Journal is not supported by any political organization. The New Media Journal is a group of non-compensated, independent writers bringing researched, fact-based commentary to the public in the midst of the mainstream media's blatant, agenda-driven bias. The New Media Journal is a non-profit educational effort.
Who, us? Agenda? No, no, it's the mainstream media that has the agenda. We're as pure & honest as the day is long.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Meet the New Boss, Etc.

Flag of Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski ("National Rebirth of Poland").
Remember when "Rummy" (Hell, do you even remember "Rummy?") made the distinction between "Old" & "New" Europe?

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently caused Paris and Berlin intense consternation by stating what should have been apparent to all: That the United States is not without allies in Europe when it comes to dealing with Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Oh, remember "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction?"

The International Herald Tribune reveals why "Rummy" was so hot about the "New" Europe: They're crypto-fascists, w/ a pinch of Catholicism:
In Hungary, Viktor Orban, leader of the opposition conservative Fidesz party, courts the far right, even refusing to distance himself from a new extreme right-wing grouping that harks back to the fascist years of the 1930s. In Slovakia, Robert Fico's socialist-led coalition depends on Jan Slota's nationalists to remain in power. In Bulgaria, extreme nationalists are in the ascendancy, and the mainstream parties are accommodating them instead of marginalizing them.
This new conservatism in Eastern Europe, so soon after most of the region joined the European Union in 2004, is spreading at the same time that conservative parties in Western Europe are moving toward the center.

[...]
"What the new self-proclaimed revolutionaries in Central Europe fear is the excesses of post-modern culture and the collapse of traditional values," said Ivan Krastev, director of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia. "They are nostalgic and not utopian, defensive and not visionary," he added.
The Kaczynski government in Warsaw supports a greater role for the Catholic Church to protect Poland against the invading secularism of Western Europe and the globalization of consumerism, social mobility and new values.

[...]
Jiri Schneider, director of the Prague Security Studies Institute, said conservative parties have failed in deciding what they want to keep or, indeed, what they want to become. "What really is their point of reference? They cannot claim to be the heirs of these original conservative parties because of their ignominious past. Yet they are not prepared to develop into modern conservative political parties in which populism will be kept from the economic and social agenda," Schneider said.
As they say in "Old" Europe, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

Behind the Blackwater Blogs

"God Bless America, or I'll have one of my goons thugsbrave retired soldiers shoot you." Blackwater founder Erik Prince being sworn in before Congressional hearing. (AP Photos/Susan Walsh)
Those of you wondering just which big PR firm was behind Blackwater "Facts" & About Blackwater need wonder no more. Looks like it might be Burson-Marsteller, whose president, Mark Penn, happens to be Senator Hillary Clinton's chief campaign strategist. From the NYT:
Mr. Penn’s firm has netted the sort of bad headlines that Mrs. Clinton would not seek: Other than Blackwater, clients have included Countrywide Financial, which has been tainted by the subprime mortgage scandal, and Cintas Corp., which has fought the unionization of its workforce.
Also covered by the AP & The Nation:
UPDATE II: Burson says its subsidiary, BKSH & Associates, run by GOP operative Charlie Black, "helped Blackwater prepare for their recent hearing before Congress. With the hearing over, BKSH's temporary engagement has ended."
Oh, well, it was a subsidiary, & it was just for the hearing. "Plausible deniability," anybody? A "subsidiary" run by "GOP operative Charlie Black." So when a right-wing entity needs spin, they go to BKSH & Associates. Doubtless there's another B-M "subsidiary" that spins for the left. Gotta cover all the bases to keep the money rolling in.

Religious Rupture, Not Rapture, Regarding Rudy

The Council for National Policy got together in Salt Lake City last wknd. An earlier take on the Council, from this very web log (quote from Mother Jones):
The Council for National Policy—a group that holds meetings for right-wing leaders, once dubbed “the most powerful conservative group you’ve never heard of”—was founded in 1981 as a project of top John Birch Society figures. Its members included Rushdoony, Gary North, Tim LaHaye, former Reagan aide Gary Bauer, and activist Paul Weyrich, who famously aimed to “overturn the present power structure of this country.”
Make no fucking mistake about it: These people are serious, they are powerful, and an organization like Blackwater fits right into their plans. Note the connection between Erik Prince's father, Edgar, & Gary Bauer (from Blackwater Runs Red):
The elder Prince was widely known for his close association with anti-choice crusader Gary Bauer. Bauer was a domestic policy advisor in the Reagan White House before succeeding Jerry Regier (a former Reagan official, as well) for the leadership role of the Family Research Council (FRC) in 1988. With Edgar's help, Bauer put the FRC on the map.
According to the NYT, some of the evangelical power brokers in SLC had an extra super-secret meeting, on the subject of Rudy "The Catholic" Giuliani & his lead in the polls.
The participants said that the group chose the qualified term “consider” because it had not yet identified an alternative candidate, but that it was largely united in its plans to bolt the party if Mr. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, became the nominee. [...] Gary L. Bauer, a Christian conservative political advocate who was a Republican primary candidate eight years ago, said that, speaking by phone to the meeting, he urged the group to proceed with caution. “I can’t think of a bigger disaster for social conservatives, defense conservatives and economic conservatives than Hillary Clinton in the White House,” Mr. Bauer said. He added, “But I do believe there are certain core issues for the Republican Party — low taxes, strong defense and pro-life — and if we nominate someone who is hostile on one of those three things it will blow up the G.O.P.” [...] Participants in the group that endorsed the resolution said they had reached their position after hearing an assessment of the state of the Republican primary from Mr. Perkins, who acts as a point man in Washington for the movement. Mr. Perkins told them that Mr. Giuliani could plausibly win the primary if he carried Florida, which has many conservative Christian voters, and that now was the best chance to stop any momentum behind his campaign.
Old fool James C. Dobson (see a scathing analysis of his son Ryan's website) cranked out a column for the Times on the extra super secret meeting:

Reports have surfaced in the press about a meeting that occurred last Saturday in Salt Lake City involving more than 50 pro-family leaders. [...] Although I was neither the convener nor the moderator of the meeting, I’d like to offer several brief clarifications about its outcome and implications. [...] After two hours of deliberation, we voted on a resolution that can be summarized as follows: If neither of the two major political parties nominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity of human life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate. Those agreeing with the proposition were invited to stand. The result was almost unanimous. The other issue discussed at length concerned the advisability of creating a third party if Democrats and Republicans do indeed abandon the sanctity of human life and other traditional family values. Though there was some support for the proposal, no consensus emerged. Speaking personally, and not for the organization I represent or the other leaders gathered in Salt Lake City, I firmly believe that the selection of a president should begin with a recommitment to traditional moral values and beliefs. Those include the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage, and other inviolable pro-family principles. [Go fuck yourself, you hate-filled Yankee Taliban. — Ed.] Only after that determination is made can the acceptability of a nominee be assessed. [...] The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday, for example, that supporters of traditional family values are rapidly “splintering.” That is not true. The near unanimity in Salt Lake City is evidence of much greater harmony than supposed. Admittedly, differences of opinion exist among us about our choices for president. That divergence is entirely reasonable, now just over a year before the national election. It is hardly indicative of a “splintering” of old alliances. If the major political parties decide to abandon conservative principles, the cohesion of pro-family advocates will be all too apparent in 2008.

On the other hand, Lew Rockwell questions Dobson's sincerity:
I have long thought that the Christian Right would have no trouble supporting the Rudester because he is as pro-war and pro-police state as they are. And James Dobson won't be an exception, after he is promised patronage. That is the point of his protest. And now John Hagee says on TV that he can endorse Giuliani--despite pledging never to support a pro-choice candidate--because Rudy is more pro-Israel than Hillary.
On the Catholic front, from Taki's Underwear Drawer:
And that, I’m afraid, is frightening confirmation of the extent to which politically active conservative Catholics in America have become enslaved to the Republican Party. If Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination, we will hear dozens of reasons why Catholics should vote for him. Some will declare a vote for Giuliani a positive good, deciding that his support for the war in Iraq (and, more broadly, the “War on Terror") is more important than his position on abortion. Others will make the (dubious) argument that he’s still more likely to appoint pro-life judges than any potential Democratic candidate. Still others will tell us that, of course, Giuliani is hardly better than a Democrat, but the alliance of pro-lifers with the Republican Party ”necessarily places voters in the situation of in effect having to buy a whole political package”--even when that package now includes abortion “rights.” And finally, and most pathetically, we’ll be told that pro-abortion “conservatives” are our most faithful allies in the fight against “Cultural Marxism"--as if Rudy and his ilk aren’t Cultural Marxists themselves.
"Cultural Marxists." Some of these bead-rattlers are just plain nuts. Does too much fish on Fridays lead to mercury poisoning & brain damage? From the AP:

Viguerie would not give specifics of the proposal or reveal additional names of participants, but said President Bush "would not have been elected in '04 without the people in that room." "There is such jaundiced feelings about any promises or commitments from any Republican leaders," he said in a phone interview. "You could almost cut the anger and the frustration with a knife in that room it's so strong. Because they don't know what else to do, they're talking third party." [...] The participants were in Salt Lake City for a separate meeting of the secretive Council for National Policy, a group of conservative business, religious and political leaders that was co-founded years ago by Tim LaHaye, author of the "Left Behind" series of books. Vice President Dick Cheney flew into the city Friday to address the group, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Christian conservatives, who hold considerable sway in the Republican Party, have been deeply unhappy about the field of GOP presidential candidates. Dobson has said he wouldn't support Giuliani, calling the former New York mayor an "unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand." Dobson has also rejected former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson as wrong on social issues, and wouldn't back John McCain because of the Arizona senator's opposition to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. [...] "Conservatives have been treated like a mistress as long as any of us can remember," Viguerie said. "They'll have lots of private meetings with us, tell us how much they appreciate it and how much they value us, but if you see me on the street please don't speak with me." A third-party run would be a long shot, requiring millions of dollars and challenges to ballot access. Such a bid could prove disastrous for the GOP by splitting the vote. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, was not at the meeting. But he said no one floating the idea of a third party thinks there's much chance the candidate would win. He considers the proposal a reaction to "moguls of the Republican establishment" who think conservative Christians will support the GOP no matter what. "A lot of them won't hold their nose and do it," Land said.

Looks as if the Republicans can't depend on the cultural conservatives, conservative Catholics, religious reactionaries & so forth for too much longer. Maybe a Ron Paul-Alan Keyes third-party ticket is the answer. Just Another Blog™ would love to see that. And if Sen. Clinton gets the Democratic nod, maybe a fourth, leftist, ticket. If nothing else it could lead to the end of the Electoral College. And (fingers crossed here) political violence in the streets. Only 13 mos. to go, get your guns & ammo now. You won't want to be the last one looting the gun store.

The South, Rising From Its Grave

Maybe if you sign this petition we can get rid of these dead-ender losers once and for all. Click on the signatures to read some fine commentary.
Like this:
We fought for home, family and God. The North fought for personal gain and the reunification of the Union that only they were prospering from. That is the difference. We fought for our God, others, and ourselves. The yankees fought for - themselves. "Dulce et Decorum est pro partia mori" A.P. Hill. Latin for "It pleasant and fitting to die for one's country." Your country consists of your religion ( and therefore your God), your friends and kin, and yourself. What is more important? Nothing, to a true Southerner. Deo Vindici. Sic Semper Tyrannis.

Do the people who sign this petition in earnest really believe the south will ever rise again or whatever? This has got to be one big joke. I've lived in Mississippi for a couple years now, and from what I can tell, the only real components of Southern Culture are stock car racing and a firm belief in the god-given right to dispose of old sofas and washing machines in the woods.

Southern Culture Is the oldest continuous eurocentric culture in North America, and we MUST defend it at all cost!

Bill, Hillary, Al, Jesse, and all other Communist..............You are not welcome down here!

As a descendant of those who nobly fought and died for National Socialism, I have absolutely no hesitation in affixing my name to the cause of the Master Race. It is my duty to undertake this, to help preserve the cause that my ancestors died for.

The South Will Rise Again, go away Nigs

God Save the South from 'Hegelian' cultural Marxism, unfettered egalitarianism, Federal tyranny, and the advance of global government! Deo Vindice!

This is pathetic. This petition has been up for years, and has managed 1850 or so signatures, and a good many of those are ridiculing you nutters. You guys are impotent.

No dead, male, Jew is going to save any whites whatsoever. Moving south not soon enough; hate the North especially Taxachusetts and Khaneckticut. Give us our OWN land free of lying, immoral Jews loyal to IL and blacks loyal to Africa. I enslaved no one; we were enslaved thousands of years without handouts.

The Confederate States of America is our home. The south ( Under God ) is more important than aything. Any southern person can esily say, "My parents raised me to believe in God". Our southern morals, political views, faith in God and many other things differ extremely from those in northern states. We are still a nation and that nation is the C.S.A. I don't see how anyone would want to be to lay claim to being a citizen of the U.S. being a genuine believer in the Lord God Almighty and the Lord Jesus Christ. The C.S.A. is just as real now as it ever was. Take pride in the Lord my Confederate Brothers and Sisters because he will lead us to victory!! If you're to blind to see that the south is the "Nation within a Nation" writen about in the Bible then you must not be southern. C.S.A. Independence Now!!!

My, some people can really hold a grudge, can't they?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Let's Have a War (On Science, This Time)

Clownhall™ columnist "Michael Fumento is a, journalist, and attorney specializing in science and health issues as well as author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World ." (And a comma abuser.) The delightful Mr. Fumento, first brought to our attention by World O' Crap, is not given to irrational fears, other than those inspired by cave dwelling religious fanatics, of course.

Certainly anything based on evil, anti-God, pro-evolution science should be taken with a teaspoon of salt (And don't worry about any effect that might have on your blood pressure.) All this talk of avian flu? Doesn't really further the War of Terrorism, does it? OK, then.

New scientific discoveries keep eating away at the prophecy that “bird flu,” avian influenza type H5N1, will become readily transmissible from human to human and unleash a disastrous pandemic. This leaves little but rhetoric to counter the reality, such as massive death estimates.

We'll leave that last sentence alone. You try to figure it out on your own.

Taking this to heart, neo-con novelist and essayist Mark Helprin has proposed spending 2.5 percent of the national budget, or about 1 percent of GDP, to counter the alleged threat. This when defense spending has gone up only 0.8 percent of GDP since 9/11 to fight the war on terror and two ground wars.
May we point out that we are involved in one ground war & one occupation/quagmire, which is diverting resources & attention from the actual, necessary war. And that we already spend more on "defense" (or corporate welfare, if you will) than the rest of the world combined.
Since I began writing on avian flu back in early 1998 and then during the more recent panic in 2005, I’ve driven the scare-mongers – most of them left-wing like the mega-blog Daily Kos – absolutely nuts by pointing out there’s no evidence for a pending pandemic.
Ah, lefty bloggers. There's the culprit. This guy is to epidemiology what Megan McArdle is to economics.

Will this affect media perceptions? Pshaw! “Doctors warn the H5N1 virus is dangerously close to mutating so that it would pass easily between humans – which could spark a global pandemic that could kill millions of people orldwide,” declared Voice of America News shortly thereafter. Space limitations prevented it from saying which doctors.
[...]
All of this also helps explain one of the least-known facts about H5N1. The strain’s discovery in poultry dates back not to 1997, as we’re constantly told, but rather to 1959 when it was identified in Scottish chickens.
In other words, we’ve been exposed to this thing for half a century and yet it’s refused to go pandemic.
Small increases in the counted numbers of bird-to-human cases over the last four years probably represent little more than better reporting. Yet virologist Robert Webster, perhaps the most respected of the alarmists, last November in the New England Journal of Medicine specifically cited the annual increases in bird-to-human H5N1 cases since 2002 as cause for alarm.
So what does it mean that, according to the WHO, throughout this year such cases
have significantly lagged behind those of last year? You already know: “It’s even worse than we thought!”

Of course, it's just better reporting! Do you get the impression that whatever science & health attorneying he does is on behalf of large corporate entities & doctors being sued for malpractice? "Members of the jury, you're not going to let all these pointy-headed so-called scientists pull the wool over your eyes with their big fancy words, are you?"
And of course, viruses mutate like nobody's business. Maybe Atty. Fumento shouldn't be so certain in his steady state view of the universe. His column,, entitled "More Bad News for Bird Flu Chicken Littles," appeared 20 September. You don't suppose any of those pesky little bugs could have done anything sneaky since then do you? Like mutate somehow?
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The H5N1 bird flu virus has mutated to infect people more easily, although it still has not transformed into a pandemic strain, researchers said on Thursday.
The changes are worrying, said Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"We have identified a specific change that could make bird flu grow in the upper respiratory tract of humans," said Kawaoka, who led the study.

"The viruses that are circulating in Africa and Europe are the ones closest to becoming a human virus," Kawaoka said.
[...]
All flu viruses evolve constantly and scientists have some ideas about what mutations are needed to change a virus from one that infects birds easily to one more comfortable in humans.
Birds usually have a body temperature of 106 degrees F, and humans are 98.6 degrees F usually. The human nose and throat, where flu viruses usually enter, is usually around 91.4 degrees F.
"So usually the bird flu doesn't grow well in the nose or throat of humans," Kawaoka said. This particular mutation allows H5N1 to live well in the cooler temperatures of the human upper respiratory tract.
In parts not extracted from Mr. Fumento's brief, he referred only to studies conducted in Indonesia.

"So the viruses circulating in Europe and Africa, they all have this mutation. So they are the ones that are closer to human-like flu," Kawaoka said.
Luckily, they do not carry other mutations, he said. "Clearly there are more mutations that are needed. We don't know how many mutations are needed for them to become pandemic strains."

Panic? Scare tactics?
"I don't like to scare the public, because they cannot do very much. But at the same time it is important to the scientific community to understand what is happening," Kawaoka said in a telephone interview.
Dirty liberal scientists. We're supposed to be scared of invisible terrorists, not invisible bugs.

And as always w/ Clownhall™, do read the comments. What fools those mortals be.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Who Is This Woman, Exactly? (UPDATED)

An excuse to run this picture? Hell, we're not even sure this is Jeri Thompson, though it's been claimed as her image. (Compare & contrast w/ these, we think from 2006.) When was it taken? What happened to her hair? If it is she, she's been dropping the lbs. like husband Freddie has. (Or is it an old photo & she's gained a few lbs. & some hair length & Botox™ since marrying?) And here they are together, in Newton, Iowa, on Monday (1 October) from The New York Times. Interesting body language, expressions, etc. (Personally, we think the one above is a shot of Judith Light that's been misidentified, but it's all guesswork here on the web. First seen here, but no credit/attribution given.)
Oh, speaking of the NYT (pronounced "nit") looks as if "D. A. Branch" isn't exactly riding the Straight Talk Express. More like the Lead Balloon Special:
Then he stood face to face with a silent audience.
“Can I have a round of applause?” Mr. Thompson said, drawing a rustle of clapping and some laughter.

[...]
In an interview with Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa on Wednesday, in talking about Iran, he referred to the “Soviet Union and China.” (Ms. Henderson, at the end of her blog post on the exchange, wrote: “No, I did not mistype. Thompson said Soviet Union rather than Russia.”)
Freddie, you don't have much time to drag yourself into the current century.
Mr. Thompson said that perceived stumbles by him, like appearing not to know anything on a visit to Florida about a dispute over oil drilling in the Everglades, had been seized upon by rival campaigns who had begun coming after him before he even got into the race. Not, he was quick to add, that he had a problem with that. “As I like to say, it’s not my first rodeo,” he said.
May be your last, cowboy, may be your last.

We see that firedoglake, who apparently have to get up before 1400, were on this a bit earlier today.

UPDATE (19 October 2007 @ 1621): See the comments. The "mystery woman" is probably country vocalist Lorrie Morgan, who dated ol' Freddie a few yrs. back. Compare here, & witness the wonder of Photoshop™.

Tin Ears & Tin-Foil Hats

"Koo-Koo" Kucinich in his aluminium chapeau.
The image above is taken directly from the Blackwater Facts web log. Tee hee. How clever. Just how old is the PR firm intern running it? Here's another example:

Rules for posting comments
Readers are welcome to post comments as
long as they:

1. Keep the discussion civil.
2. Do not use slander or libel.
3. Try to act like adults and avoid using potty language.
Written like a middle schooler. Just a note, Junior: "Grown-ups" (as we're sure you call them, not being one yourself) don't use the phrase "potty language" unless speaking to a child less than five yrs. old. And #s 1 & 2 are essentially the same. It's called redundancy. Look it up. As of this morning, readers are no longer "welcome to post comments." BF is no longer allowing anonymous comments, & is moderating those submitted. Way to do a thorough job of running your site, sonny.

And for further puppetry, see About Blackwater, also from the keyboard of "Standish," the pseudonym apparently an attempt to link Blackwater to the Plymouth colony & "the civilization that became the United States." 'Cause, you know, "[p]rivate security contractors, or PSCs" (please don't call them "mercenaries") are as American as apple pie or the Ku Klux Klan.

Disclaimers:
Facts about Blackwater USA. Blackwater USA is not responsible for this site. [BF]

This is an independent site and is not affiliated with Blackwater USA.
[AB]
Really?

A Totally Independent Web Log & Not A Sockpuppet in Any Way

And if you believe the title of this item, Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ has oceanfront property you may be interested in, & some swell parcels in the mountains as well. In the meantime, try to keep a straight face if you bother to peruse Blackwater Facts, a web log started (allegedly, posting times & dates can be altered) in April 2006, w/ a second post 11 mos. later. Suddenly, 17 September 2007, the day after the most recent "incident" in Baghdad, Blackwater is all over the news & Blackwater Facts is posting as if there's no tomorrow (which there may not be for the flack writing it if things don't go well) w/ 26 items in September, & 24 in the first three days of October. Note the first four words of the most recent item (@ 0549 PDT): "Elite Blackwater security men." For a blog sympathetic to Blackwater, but probably not written by someone on the payroll (or subcontracted) try The White Rabbit. Just before publishing this item, we scrolled through all 50 items, reading the comments. And in that time, they suddenly wised up, stopped taking anonymous comments, & began moderating comments. Haw!!

It Can't Happen Here? The Red, White & Black

Palau @ progressive gold links to Inhuman Interest Stories, a new web log that looks to have potential, & some immediate takes on, yes, Blackwater. As a matter of fact, there are six posts on IIS, & each is worth reading. As is progressive gold.
And speaking of fascist iconography, self-confessed "odd fellow" Nebris, A/K/A The Divine Mr. M., Auteur & Guru, has some going as well.

Stairway to the Stars (Think I'll Write "Good Health to You")

"At 22 hours, 28 minutes and 34 seconds Moscow time on 4 October 1957, the world could see an artificial star that was created not by the gods but the hands of human beings." Thus spake Boris Chertok, last living Soviet rocket scientist who was involved in the project, Tuesday 25 September, in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, where the congress of the International Astronautical Federation was held. And so our hideous species established itself in space, a mere 50 yrs. ago. The only mission of Sputnik 1 was to emit radio signals at around the frequencies of 20.005 megahertz and 40.002 megahertz—which it did for twenty-two days before its battery power supply died. Its orbit deteriorated over the next three months, & it burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere on January 4, 1958, having traveled about 60 million kilometers. An earlier attempt to get Vanguard up & away. Ooops! The second successful American satellite, Vanguard I, remains in orbit. Telemetry stopped quite a while ago, however. Hysterical reactions:
The United States was shocked. Senator Lyndon Johnson said the Russians had jumped way ahead of us in the conquest of space: "Soon, they will be dropping bombs on us from space like kids dropping rocks onto cars from freeway overpasses!" Jim Dawson, science writer for the Star Tribune, wrote about how his third grade teacher was very nervous at the time. His school at Omaha, Neb., was just a few miles from the Air Force's Strategic Air Command headquarters. A fleet of F-100 fighters appeared in the sky coming right for the school. MiGs!" the teacher shrieked. "MiGs!" She ran, hysterical, from the classroom, convinced they were about to be nuked by Russian fighter jets. The kids, mostly Air Force brats, ran to the windows to admire the F-100s, the coolest jet of its day.
The Economist has a "think piece" on fifty yrs. of space. TIME offers 50 highs & lows of getting off the planet. Sputnik: Celebrating 50 Years of Spaceflight. The NYT waxes nostalgiac.Sputnik's beeps, & some from other early birds. Serious history of Sputnik. Serious history of Sputnik & the U. S. space effort at the time. A more personal history, from both sides.Idiotic Attempt at Propaganda Dep't.: The stupid, it burns. Bear in mind that w/o the Commies beating us to orbit, we might not have had ARPA (now DARPA) which lead to ARPANET, &, eventually, today's cyberspace, dominated by Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™, & a few other, less significant, nodes on the web.

The Enemies at Home

We know them, we love them. Well, we love how pathetically ignorant & foolish they are. Michelle (John Doe) Malkin. Charles (Little Green Footballs) Johnson. Pamela ("Shrieking Harpy") Geller. Debbie (Debbie Schlussel) Schlussel. Yes, four of the all-time leaders in the paranoiac stupidity sweepstakes that is the right-wing side of the blog-o-sphere. (Not that there aren't many, many, more, but these are the top of the urine-soaked panties heap.) Campus shooting? Asian suspect? Oh, the PC media is saying "Asian," but they're hiding that he's a Pakistani jihadi! Bridge collapse in Minnesota? One of our commenters saw a guy in a turban driving on the very same bridge last week! Industrial accident? Refinery explosion? Five-car pile-up on the freeway? Eeeek!! Look! There's a mosque w/in two miles of the explosion/accident! Foot-baths for Moooslim students? A woman wearing a headscarf on the windiest day of the year? Holy Cow, it's the end of Western Civilization & Judeo-Christian values! Yes, these sad, frightened little people are convinced that This Great Nation of Ours™, and all of "The West," are in immediate mortal danger from the Islamo-fascist hordes. Never mind that this is the sole military superpower on the face of the Earth. Forget that the "Islamic hordes" are a few thousand, at most, fanatics, holed up in caves, whose navy may consist of a few dhows, and whose air force consists of no less than zero aircraft. Part of the thrill of their narrative is that sissified, immature, multi-culturalist, left-wing America-haters within are going to sell us out to the Red BrownMoon God menace. Because, as we all know, ever since the post-World War I Red Scare, the agenda of the Democratic/liberal/leftist/progressive conspiracy in the United States has been the elimination of labor unions, imposition of religious rule, subjugation of women & religious, racial & ethnic minorities, & the summary execution of homosexuals. You know, the Democratic Party platform that made Al Gore lose to George Bush by 500,000 votes in 2000. If there is an actual internal threat to these United States, besides greed, unbridled capitalism, and sheer lust for power, you won't hear about it from The Four Horsemen mentioned above. It doesn't mesh w/ their Us vs. Them, "Clash of Civilizations" story. Because the only real threat to the American Way of Life™ comes from their side. Recent revelations (Click here, then keep moving up; maybe a third of the items between then & now concern Blackwater, etc.) about the political & religious inclinations & connections of the founder & executives of "private security contractor" Blackwater USA, & its various subsidiaries & affiliates, have brought this danger into sharper focus. Let's take a gander at what can only be called Christo-American sharia, starting from the pages of Mother Jones:
Christian Reconstruction [is] an obscure but increasingly potent theology whose top exponents hold that Christian crusaders must conquer and convert the world, by the sword if necessary, before Jesus will return. [..] Reconstruction has slowly absorbed, congregation by congregation, the conservative Presbyterian Church in America (not to be confused with the progressive Presbyterian Church [USA]) and has heavily influenced others, notably the Southern Baptists. George W. Bush has called Reconstruction-influenced theoretician Marvin Olasky “compassionate conservatism’s leading thinker,” and Olasky served as one of the president’s key advisers on the creation of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Bush also invited Reconstructionist Jack Hayford, a key figure in the Promise Keepers men’s group, to give the benediction at his first inaugural. Deposed House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, though his office won’t comment on his religious views, governs with what he calls a “biblical worldview”—one of Reconstruction’s signature phrases. And, for conspiracy buffs, two heavy contributors to the Chalcedon Foundation—Reconstruction’s main think tank—are Howard Ahmanson and Nelson Bunker Hunt, both of whose families played key roles in financing electronic voting machine manufacturer Election Systems & Software. Ahmanson is also a major sponsor of ultraconservative politicians, including California state legislator and 2003 gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintock. Yet for all its influence, Reconstruction is almost invisible to the media and secular society. Atlanta is ground zero for most Reconstruction activity—home office to DeMar’s publishing house and home district to movement prophet Larry McDonald, who served four terms in Congress in the 1970s and 1980s—but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has done only one major article on the movement. The entire Lexis-Nexis database includes only 43 articles from all of the U.S. media that make reference to Reconstruction, and only a handful of those explore the movement. [...] “The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise,” Gary North, a top Reconstruction theorist, wrote in his 1989 book, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism. “Those who refuse to submit publicly…must be denied citizenship.” [...] The Old Testament—with its 600 or so Mosaic laws—is the inflexible guide for the society DeMar and other Reconstructionists envision. Government posts would be reserved for the righteous, as long as they are male. There would be thousands of executions a year, with stoning a preferred method because it would turn the deaths into “community projects,” as movement theologian North has noted. Sinners in line for the death penalty would include women who commit adultery or lie about their virginity, blasphemers, witches, children who strike their parents, and gay men (lesbians, however, would be spared because no specific reference to them can be found in the Books of Moses). DeMar told me that among Reconstructionists he is considered something of a liberal, because he’d execute gays only if they were caught indulging in sodomy. “I’m happy to just drive them back into the closet,” he said. [...] Besides facilitating evangelism, Reconstructionists believe, government should largely be limited to building and maintaining roads, enforcing land-use contracts, and ensuring just weights and measures. Unions would not exist, and neither would unemployment benefits, Social Security, and environmental protection laws. [...] And, perhaps most importantly, the state is “God’s minister,” as DeMar puts it in Liberty at Risk, “taking vengeance out on those who do evil.” A major task for the government key Reconstructionists envision is fielding armies for conquest in the name of Jesus. [...] Rushdoony, who died in 2001, articulated a doctrine called “presuppositionalism.” All issues are religious in nature, he posited, and people don’t have the right or the ability to define for themselves what’s true; for that they must turn to a literal reading of the Bible. His defining tome, the 800-page Institutes of Biblical Law, was published in 1973. But because of its extremism and overt racism—Rushdoony denied the Holocaust and defended segregation and slavery—Institutes and its author were largely ignored in mainstream circles until the movement launched by Schaeffer found its intellectual grounding in Rushdoony’s writings. [...] Adam and Eve broke their covenant with God, and Satan seized dominion. Christian Reconstruction claims it has a reconstituted covenant with God and the right to a new dominion in his name. In this worldview, the mandate for Christians is not just to live right or to help their neighbors: They are called upon to take over or eliminate the institutions of secular government. [...] Gary North wrote in 1982, in an effort to reach Baptists,“We must use the doctrine of religious liberty…until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.” [...] Reconstruction’s major impact has been through helping to found and guide cross-denominational and secular political organizations. The Council for National Policy—a group that holds meetings for right-wing leaders, once dubbed “the most powerful conservative group you’ve never heard of”—was founded in 1981 as a project of top John Birch Society figures. Its members included Rushdoony, Gary North, Tim LaHaye, former Reagan aide Gary Bauer, and activist Paul Weyrich, who famously aimed to “overturn the present power structure of this country.”
Make no fucking mistake about it: These people are serious, they are powerful, and an organization like Blackwater fits right into their plans. Note the connection between Erik Prince's father, Edgar, & Gary Bauer (from Blackwater Runs Red):
The elder Prince was widely known for his close association with anti-choice crusader Gary Bauer. Bauer was a domestic policy advisor in the Reagan White House before succeeding Jerry Regier (a former Reagan official, as well) for the leadership role of the Family Research Council (FRC) in 1988. With Edgar's help, Bauer put the FRC on the map.
Information from the horse's mouth on the American Taliban & sharia: The American View The Chalcedon Foundation Christian Exodus The Council for National Policy/Policy Counsel

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

M. Dowd Finds Something More Interesting than Haircuts

The Duchess of Dowd prepares to sign a copy of her book. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Ah, now that Mr. Sulzberger has torn down the wall, the world at last has full access to such New York Times luminaries as Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich, & Thomas "Oh, hell, give it another six months or so, & see what happens" Friedman.Perhaps in response to her new-found liberty, Ms. Dowd has decided to devote a column to something other than Cost Analysis of Presidential Candidate Hair-Cuts. Something worthy of the op-ed page of the self-proclaimed "paper of record." And she quotes Nietszche. Shall we look?
Once there was the military-industrial complex. Now we have the mercenary-evangelical complex.

Mr. Prince, a former intern to the first President Bush and a former Navy Seal, is from a well-to-do and well-connected Republican family from Michigan.

He and his father both have close ties to conservative Christian groups. His sister was a Pioneer for W., raising $100,000 in 2004, and Erik Prince has given more than $225,000 to Republicans.

Blackwater, in turn, has been the beneficiary of $1 billion in federal contracts, including a no-bid contract with the State Department worth hundreds of millions.
Not much there. Not much at all. Indeed, she appears unable to write a paragraph lengthier than two sentences. Really, this was an excuse for us to run the picture of Ms. Dowd at the Top of the Sixes or wherever she is, & to link to Doghouse Riley's MoDo Glossary. Enjoy!

Let's Have an (Air) War

From Pere Ubu's Debraining Machine:

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I hope I'm just being paranoid

Well, what with the present experiment in Middle East Liberation and Democracy going so well that U.S. Embassy workers in the "secure" Green Zone are being told to wear protection, not only do we have Bush & Rice (sounds like an entree at Outback) insisting that the "military option must stay open" and Shotgun Dick growling at Iran that the Persian Gulf is OURS, dagnabbit, and must therefore stay open to traffic or by golly he'll shoot someone in the face, I'm getting kind of anxious about this Iran thing again.
What's brought it to a head is the festival of low-flying jets over our house this past week. Jets probably from McIntire Air National Guard Base (check out the creepy disclaimer at the bottom of that Web page). McIntire hosts the 169th Tacitical Fighter Wing, whose primary mission is what's known as "SEAD":SEAD [link added] by (pronounced: see-add or seed), or Suppression of Enemy Air Defences, also known as "Wild Weasels" and "Iron Hand", operations are military actions to suppress enemy surface-based air defences (Surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and anti-aircraft artillery (AAA)), primarily in, but not limited to, the first hours of an attack.
Just sayin', I don't think there are a lot of antiaircraft batteries in Iraq or Afghanistan. Iran, now, that's a different case entirely. These guys are doing some heavy training for
SOMETHING.

Never mind me. I'm just being nervous, that's all.
posted by Pere Ubu at
8:55 AM
Yes, it's from the merry month of May. As was this item. But they're at it again, according to Père.

Jonah Goldberg Infects America (UPDATED)

Wandering through the wilds of the Amazon, we again encountered Doughy Pantload's latest (Or is this his first?) hardcover excrescence, Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Hillary ClintonWhole Foods. The good news (for Jonah) is that they've finally replaced "Hillary Clinton" w/ "Whole Foods" on the low-resolution image of the cover. The good news (for humanity) is that the publication date has been pushed back again, although only by a week, to 8 January 2008. Expect it to see the light of day by about March of next year, then.

Twofer:

Better Together
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Oh, Sweet Blood of Jeezis! Those liberal fascist secular-progressives!! It's all their fault!!!
And we quote:
The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.
These assertions may sound strange to modern ears, but that is because we have forgotten what fascism is. In this angry, funny, smart, contentious book, Jonah Goldberg turns our preconceptions inside out and shows us the true meaning of Liberal Fascism.
Forgotten what fascism is? Take a look at Blackwater. True meaning of "Liberal Fascism?" There is no such thing. Fascism involves state & corporate power combining to render the individual citizen a powerless cog in the corporate machine. That's why "conservative fascism" would be redundant, and there is no "liberal fascism." We haven't looked at Goldberg's Tuesday L. A. Times column yet, but it will doubtless be an equally stupid exercise. Not going to link to it, but it's (surprise) more culture warrioring. And as stupid & ignorant as expected. How does he do it?

UPDATE (3 October 2007 @ 0520 PDT): Came across this w/in the hour:

Archon (not verified) says:
JJRousseau, you wouldn't know a Fascist if it bit you on your butt. "Fascist" is such an overworked word on the left that it has no meaning anymore except that you think the person is "mean." And we all know from the childish bumper sticker that "mean people suck." Actually Fascism and Nazism, as in National Socialism, are left-wing ideologies, (yes, that's right Mussolini and Hitler were leftists) so please spare us your
ignorance and stupidity.October 02, 2007 1:15 PM

So mean people don't suck? Yep, Mussolini & Hitler were leftists alright. That's why Hitler came to power railing against "Jewish-Bolsheviks" & attacked the Soviet Union. (Might've won the war if he hadn't, but he did.) Big "leftist," alright. Turned Germany into a worker's paradise by turning control of the means of production right over to the proletariat, just as soon as that Bolshevik burned down the Reichstag, didn't he? Mussolini may have been some sort of socialist when he started, but he soon enough found where the power was & went right to it. Jesus fucking Fuck, is it any wonder we despise right wing fools? "Spare us your ignorance and stupidity," our ass!! Talk about the Big Lie. Hope you're proud of yourself, Goldberg.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Blackwater Anticipation

Short on time, we'll merely link to various stories from the nation's leading cageliners, fishwrappers, & cat pan liners concerning Blackwater's activities & behavior, in advance of today's Congressional hearings. Knock yourselves out. Also, from Salon, more details of connections to the current administration.

Prince of Blackwater to Testify Today

With Blackwater founder Erik Prince scheduled to testify before a House committee today, let's look at the testimony earlier this year of Jeremy Scahill, author of a book about Blackwater, & his exchange w/ some Congressman from Georgia named Jack Kingston:

REP. JACK KINGSTON: Let me ask you now, being a conservative Christian, there’s a problem with that?
JEREMY SCAHILL: No. There's no problem with being a conservative Christian. The problem --
REP. JACK KINGSTON: Well, you said now -- you said -- I mean, you're saying he gives money to the Republican causes, and then you say to the religious right, and I’m having trouble
connecting that.
JEREMY SCAHILL: OK. Well, let's unpack that a little bit. I have an issue --
REP. JACK KINGSTON: I want to give you an opportunity to -- when you say a guy’s secretive, which is, you know, derogatory. “Multimillionaire who bankrolls the President” is derogatory. And then you put that he’s a conservative Christian. I want to just, you know, give you an opportunity to explain yourself.
JEREMY SCAHILL: I have a concern when someone is running a company that's being tasked with mission-critical activities in a Muslim country who’s a board member of an organization that believes that the Bible is the only infallible word of God. I have a problem with a company whose -- one of its senior executives is an open member of the Military Order of Malta, a Christian militia dating back to the first Crusades. Our president has used that term “crusade.” I think it's disturbing.
REP. JACK KINGSTON: Well, let me claim my time here now. So you wouldn't want a Christian running it. Would you want somebody who’s Jewish? Because, you know, as you know, probably if Iraq --
JEREMY SCAHILL: It's not about the individual religion, Mr. Kingston.
REP. JACK KINGSTON: Israel --
JEREMY SCAHILL: It's not about the religion. It’s about the politics --
REP. JACK KINGSTON: I didn’t bring religion --
JEREMY SCAHILL: It's about the politics of his --
REP. JACK KINGSTON: Reclaiming the time, I didn't bring religion up. You brought it up. You put here that he's a conservative Christian, and then you just stated the reason why you have concern about it. And I can understand what you're saying. But I would also say if Iraq falls, it's quite likely Israel would be next in line. And so, you know, there would be concern from, you know, our Jewish neighbors over there that -- so I just was a little perplexed here.

What a fucking weasel. "Our Jewish neighbors over there..." What, he doesn't want to call Israel his friend, so he'll settle for "neighbors," except there's an ocean & a continent between us & our "neighbors." How much you wanna bet he's got one of those Southern Republican "dry look" hair-dos?Well, he doesn't quite have the full "Trent Lott" going yet, but once he gets a little balder...

Here's a bit from an interview w/ Scahill, from New American Media:
Has it been helpful to be given the name of contractor instead of mercenary?
It’s part of a sophisticated re-branding operation. The mercenary trade association has the very Orwellian name of International Peace Operations Association and its logo is a cartoon lion. When you are talking about Blackwater you are talking about mercenaries.
What does it mean that now they are regarded as part of the “U.S. total force”?
In February 2006 Donald Rumsfeld issued the Pentagon’s quadrennial review which lays out the Pentagon’s vision for years to come. There he classified Blackwater and other contractors as a legitimate part of the total force making up the U.S. war machine. This was legitimacy that they could not have dreamed of. Now Blackwater has taken that designation and used it in two wrongful death suits filed against it – one for the incident in Fallujah and one for a plane crash in Afghanistan. They have said they should be immune from civilian legislation inside the United States because they are essentially part of the U.S. national security apparatus. At the same time it lobbies against placing its men under the US court-martial system.
A tip of the Bouffant chapeau to Marisacat for both of these Q&A sessions.

Popularity. Like Junior High. This is mostly because I'm curious. You should all be ashamed.