Sunday, April 30, 2006

Wealth and Poverty - Morality Meets Money

Ethan Heitner via Tom Paine gives us Bootstraps Don't Beat Trust Funds working off several recent reports that confirm the reality that wealth is mostly a matter of the rich getting richer. Of course the Bu$hCo administration has made this even more certain. About the only new money they've created is perhaps to new kids on the block defense contractors yet more than likely contracts have gone to the usual suspects. Heck of a job Bushie! Peace ... or War!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Fighting in the "Culture War" against those armed with a "Monolopoly on Truth"

Jon Meacham writes in Newsweek, "Too many activists have convinced themselves that they have a monopoly on truth. A little humility and a sense of history could move us all forward." I concur! Good read! Peace ... or War!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Will Southern Baptists Bolt Public Schools?

Can you imagine the level of wingnuttery that has taken a hold of the SBC? Reports are indicating a strong resolution is being floated to urge Southern Baptist remove their kids from public schools. Peace ... or War!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Plan B - Meet Whacky Wingnuts at CWfA/FDA

Digby tackles FDA seemingly channeling Concerned Women for America on rejecting/delaying "Plan B" Contraceptives due to pulling a fear of "teenage sex cults" apparently from the "talking points" of this CWfA wingnut organization. Should be some exciting depositions on this disaster of the Bu$hCo administration where political goals routinely trump science. The WaPo's Marc Kaufman, along with many other mainstream media outlets, has reported on the "unusual" actions of FDA political appointments on this issue. And don't forget Alabama's DVM Lester Crawford's brief tenture at FDA and how he's landed on his feet with a plum lobbying job. Of course his wife's massive Big Pharma stock holdings would have likely keep Dr. Crawford on his feet. Peace ... or War!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Alabama Taliban Declares Jihad on Trial Lawyers

The Alabama Christian Coalition recently sent a mailer to Alabama voters that attempts to scare their flock with “liberal trial lawyers”. PDF file here but I’ve copied portions below, with my emphasis supplied for portions that I thought were especially dreadful. (My comments will appear parenthetically.) The mailer has very slick lawyers apparently representative of these evil forces.

Trial Lawyers are behind the forces undermining our rights and our beliefs. (Forces sounds really "evil" doesn't it? "Rights" to be intolerant idiots that don't know a goddamned thing about our Consitutions?)

Your Christian beliefs and rights as an American are being systematically undermined by liberal trial lawyers. Huge payoffs from lawsuits are extracted by trial lawyers, who then fund ultra-liberal politicians and judges. Lawyers are filing frivolous lawsuits across America to remove God from our schools and court houses, impose gay marriage on society, and force churches and religious not-for-profits to accept homosexuality. (Many liberals simply advocate fairness. If an organization takes government money then they should follow civil rights laws.)

Trial lawyers also funded politicians who, once elected, attack Christian beliefs and try to exclude conservative justices from our courts in order to push their liberal, anti-Christian agendas. (Radical theories like "unitary executive" and strip searching ten year old girls did it for many as to Alito. If people disagree with your ideas then they are anti-Christian?)

Trial lawyers funded politicians who:
• Opposed judges by using Roe v. Wade as a “litmus test”
• Support taxpayer funding of abortions
• Promote “gay marriage” and adoption
• Believe God should be excluded from our schools and public places
• Block appointment of conservative judges who promote traditional family values (I thought God was everywhere? He/she/they can't be excluded. Judges just judge and they don't promote.)

Supporting Liberal Extremists - Trial lawyers donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democratic National Committee and their liberal agenda. Trial lawyers are the ones who were big contributors to politicians like Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton and also funded John Kerry’s campaign in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000. (Non partisan?)

Becoming Liberal Judges - Trial lawyers are also infiltrating our courts by making sure their own are appointed to as many judgeships as possible. The Chief Justice of the court that decided the Terry Schiavo case and who over-turned Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s school voucher program because it allowed students to attend Christian schools was a trial lawyer before being appointed to the Court. (I actually looked up her record and have read summaries of the reasoning of both decisions. They followed the law. Not sharia law. Not the Dictates of Dobson. Just our law.)

Our Values - Liberal trial lawyers and the politicians they support are trying to fill the courts with judges that support their anti-Christian causes. In the cases of now Justices Roberts and Alito, trial lawyer-backed politicians attacked the religious beliefs of two potential judges in an attempt to exclude them from the Supreme Court. Trial lawyers are using tactics to exclude Christians from serving on juries. A recent handbook published by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) advises trial lawyers to dismiss jury members who profess a strong belief in God or Christianity because their beliefs make them unable to hear a case impartially. (I'm wondering if this brochure would not be exhibit A for that idea. 6000 year old earth and propaganda that is designed to scare the hell out of "Christians" and ... I rest my case.)

"Trial lawyers are one of the biggest threats to the erosion of our U.S. Constitution, traditional family values and religious freedoms in Alabama and America today.”
—John Giles President, Christian Coalition of Alabama

Trial lawyers are getting rich and funding the forces attacking our Christian values.

The Birmingham News has Nick Foster, Director of the Inter-faith Alliance of Alabama, providing an Op-Ed dated Sunday, April, 23, 2006 entitled “Christian Coalition should be forthcoming”. Mr. Foster questions the CC’s “logic” and “non-partisanship”, plus rightly points out that many trial lawyers are motivated by faith in helping the little man fight big business abuses. He also asks why the Alabama Christian Coalition refuses to disclose their funding sources. Margaret Ebrahim, wring in Mother Jones, reports that efforts such as these are increasingly common from fundamentalist leaning organizations.

I’m not sure where to begin on all of this yet the main effort for blogging is challenging fools with facts. James Dobson and the Religious Reich has to be challenged. “True believers” will continue "drinking the kool aid" yet reasonable people will push back and reduce their effectiveness. Political-religious radio and media, like the conservative media machine built off talk radio, has to be confronted. As more and more people realize just how extreme and bizarre many of these groups are they will perhaps lose their legitimacy. Peace … or War!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Gwinnett County GA Missionary Mom Battles the Evil of Harry Potter

John Sugg writes in The Gwinnett Daily Post "‘Potter’ fight reflects religion’s growing role in public debate" where he perhaps gives Laura Mallory more credit than she deserves in her efforts to remove the Harry Potter series from the libraries of Gwinnett County Public Schools. Gwinnett is the largest school system in Georgia. The pace of growth in this suburb of Atlanta is dreadfully fast. I also seem to recall this county, or perhaps one area there, yielding one of the top Bu$h voting percentages from 2004. John Sugg is a smart man and a wonerful writer that I have often enjoyed.

I'd like to add is that many of Ms. Mallory's arguments seem to come straight from Beverly LaHayes's Concerned Women for America effort. This massive organization, and the varied branches of CWFA, appears rather paranoid and often radically wrong. Mrs. LaHaye is of course the wife of Tim LaHaye who has been a part of the “Left Behind” series, perhaps the nastiest wingnut religion fodder of all time. As for Ms. Mallory having courage, I'm not so sure. Perhaps she wants to establish some street cred in the gang of wingnut warriors? I also expect the GOP's Mighty Wurlitzer has helped provide the poll numbers you cited where many Americans feel religion is being slighted.

Don't cut any of these shills, even if they are perhaps "courageous" or simply being used, too much slack Mr. Sugg. If they truly want to fight in their made up "culture war" then let's make them retreat at least a little bloodied. Peace ... or War!

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Anniston Star Confronts God's Ordained Party

The Anniston Star of April 21, 2006 went two for two in getting after the ReThuglicans. First, in "Politcs in 3G" they write in part,

God, guns and gays … again. All the signs for the November elections point to a Republican revival of the election strategy that has kept them in control of Congress for the past 10 years. ...

Don’t look over there, the GOP strategists will say. Instead, they will trot out the old culture war standbys that fire up their base of religious fundamentalists. ...

GOP leaders would have us believe the judge in the Terri Schiavo case is a bigger threat than Osama bin Laden. That a homosexual couple moving in next door is more of a danger to citizens than the poorly planned and awfully executed reconstruction of Iraq. ...

That an angry protester torching an American flag is a bigger threat to the nation than the damage done to our reputation in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Bagram Air Base and the secrets places where American ideals against torture or abuse are betrayed. ...

Not surprisingly, the GOP is back to old faithful. The party’s politicians will spend the next seven months campaigning that the heathens will take over if they aren’t returned to power.

Someday, somewhere, we expect a thoughtful voter to ask a pointed question of these Republicans: If you control all levers of the federal government — and have done so for the past five years — why haven’t you won the culture war already?

Of course The Star knows there is no "culture war". "What's the Matter With Kansas" by Thomas Frank is perhaps the best illustration of how the boardroom knows they can't get the heartland to vote with corporate interests. So they trot out these "values" issues to get the little man to vote against his own financial interests.

The Star, in "A Bad Repeat", then tackles the proposed Constitutional Amendment banning same sex marriage that we'll be voting on in the June 6th primary. The writing, portions selected, below, points out,

Alabama gets its 2006 shot in the culture war early. In the June 6 primary, voters will have their say on a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

While Alabama could not manage to take segregationist language out of the state Constitution in 2004, it will most likely pass a ban on gay marriage.

Well sure, the typical Alabamian might say, there ought to be a law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. But such a law already exists in Alabama.

In 1998, Montgomery passed precisely such a law. It remains on the books today and has withstood legal challenges. (A similar federal statute — the Defense of Marriage Act — is the law of the land and has been so since 1996.) ...

That the state is redundantly voting on gay marriage and not on streamlining our governing document says more than we need to know about Alabama and its problems.

I'll of course vote against the Amendement as to me this is simply a civil rights issue. I could live with a Civil Union approach as a compromise yet marriage is something that government recognizes for certain benefits to each partner. Churches can make their own decisions. I'll follow the Constitution and reasoning. Peace ... or War!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"Stars Fell on Alabama" or "God Bless America?"

The Alabama legislature essentially (125-1) unanimously approved giving Alabama motorists the option to choose those slogans on their tags. This makes Alabama the first state to have that available on non-specialty tags. Folks wanting one before their tag rolls around for renewal only will have to cough up $1.25 for the God Bless version.

The Christian Post reports, "Ala. Legislature Votes Unanimously for ''God Bless America'' Plates" although one representative voted against the legislation. If I've interpreted the ALISON information correctly our lone politician with a brain and some courage was Representive Joseph Mitchell. Not bad for a Lowlander from Mobile Sir! The Montgomery Advertiser also gets a salute from The Captain.

You'd have thought these pandering politicos could have found something else that needed doing on Goat Hill don't you? Peace ... or War!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Three Alabama Editorials on Easter

The Birmingham News gave University of Alabama Journalism Professor David Sloan editorial space to publish "Evidence supports resurrection did occur".

The Sunday edition of The Decatur Daily opined "‘Hurry please it’s time’ died on Easter morning"

Compare the above two literalist, fundamentalist toned efforts to The Madison Record allowing Alabama Democrat Representative Sue Schmitz to write "Easter is a time of new beginnings" where she reminded us of real Christian Values.

I know which approach I liked. Doctrinally I'm not so sure it matters one way or the other if Jesus "arose" or even existed as the basics of the faith, and in fact most of the major world religions, can work for positive good. Whatever gets you through the night is fine for me yet spirituality is about good works and caring and sharing and ... Peace ... or War!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Pseudo Christians and Science in Sunday School

Tony Hendra of Spinal Tap fame writes at HuffPo on the Christian Right. You might want to buy his book? DarkSyde at Kos then takes us to "If I were a Christian" that made me think. Peace ... or War!

Alabama's Rising Theocrat Judge Tom Parker Gets Tacky on "Good Friday" & is Elected to CROD!

I put the post over on Captain Bama yet wanted to share these Red State Christian values on my jimi thing. Some good patriot might want to alert Faux News as this almost sounds like part of the War on Easter. Peace ... or War!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Stupid, Mean, Scared ... You're Republican Material

I once read or heard something like "Not all Republicans are stupid but most stupid people are Republicans. " FireDogLake has a few guest posters dropping in some gems today that seem to play into all of that, with the addition of some fear and hate and racism and ...

Kevin C. of Catch fame gives us Late Night FDL : Fear and Loathing in the Nuttersphere and Taylor Marsh gives us Chocolate Eggs, Faith and the Democratic Party . If you head over to Taylor Marsh you can get another take on Democrats and Faith with an opening quote that I liked, repeating hereafter,
At the center of this early evangelical doctrine (1820s - 1830s) was the idea of original sin: we were all born stained by corruption and fleshly desire, and the true purpose of earthly life was to redeem this. The trials of economic life--the sweat of hard labor, the fear of poverty, the self-denial involved in saving--were earthly tests of sinfulness and virtue. While evangelicals believed salvation was ultimately possible only through conversion and faith, they saw the pain of earthly life as means of atonement for original sin. These were the people that writers like Dickens detested. ... Evangelicals interpreted the mental anguish of poverty and debt, and the physical agony of hunger or cold, as natural spurs to prick the conscience of sinners. They believed that the suffering of the poor would provoke remorse, reflection, and ultimately the conversion that would change their fate. In other words, poor people were poor for a reason, and helping them out of poverty would endanger their mortal souls. It was the evangelical who began to see the business mogul as an heroic figure, his wealth a triumph of righteous will. LET THERE BE MARKETS The Evangelical Roots of Economics, by Gordon Bigelow (Harper's Magazine)
This sort of work helps us see how the market "ideas" of the right are even formed on misinterpretations of morality/religion. Social justice is really the best part of the Christian faith and yet so little of that is offered by the local churches in my area. Certainly I know some few true conservatives and libertarians that are reasoned in their positions and rather "compassionate" yet they are rare. Peace ... or War!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Easter & Resurrection - Eyes and Mind Wide Open?

United Church of Christ Minister Madison Shockley tackles this thorny issue at TruthDig with his piece "You Mean Jesus Didn't Have a Bodily Resurrection?". Some of his writing states,

According to Burton Mack, this spiritualization of the Resurrection was in keeping with the Greek sensibilities of the Gentile Congregations of [the] Christ that were springing up in the eastern Mediterranean regions of the Roman Empire. Greek notions of immortality did not include the body. Immortality was more a matter of the mind or spirit leaving the body to experience eternal existence ...

So all you progressive Christians rest assured as we celebrate Easter, we are in good (if unexpected) company as we continue to ask questions, challenge dogma and seek to understand God not through blind obedience to tradition but with our eyes and mind wide open.

Peace ... or War!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

12 Frames in "Home Movie" of 6 Million Years

The science of human evolution has gotten a big boost by recent discoveries in the Middle Awash in Africa. Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press via MSNBC reports "Fossil discovery fills gap in human evolution" with the quote of ‘We just found the chain of evolution, the continuity through time’ as his byline. Comments from Alabama's favorite theocrat Roy Moore are awaited. Peace ... or War!

So the "Secular Socialists" Are Against Roy Moore?

A Texas man named Mike Sutton, claiming to be a son of Alabama, wrote to my local paper urging locals to vote for Roy Moore in Alabama's Republican Primary on June 6th. Here's a portion of his "logic":

I hear the same mantra over and over from those who oppose Judge Roy Moore. "He broke the law, he broke the law because he refused to remove the Ten Commandments from the courthouse." Nonsense! Judge Moore was the one who stood for the law and the truth. And the law he supposedly broke was no law at all. It was a ruling by Myron Thompson, an arrogant, unelected federal judge who holds in contempt America's foundation principles. ...

On Jan. 21, 1973 the law in America protected unborn babies. The very next day Hugo Black, a misguided U.S. Supreme Court judge from Ashland, Ala., ruled that the law allowed the wholesale slaughter of these same babies. Similarly, throughout history man's laws separated from God's law have led to oppression, bondage and genocide. And throughout history cowardly men have used the word law as an excuse to avoid taking a stand on critical issues. Too often these men are preachers who wrap their cowardice in pious rhetoric, causing their congregations to buy into their treachery.

Thomas Jefferson is the patron saint of those who are feverishly working to separate America from its Christian roots. The historical reality is that Jefferson was an arrogant, slave raping elitist who set about to establish his own scripture because he didn't like some of the more spiritual parts of the Bible. But the last time anyone checked Jefferson's bones were still rotting somewhere in Virginia.

On Easter Sunday most Americans observe the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the man whose teachings have formed, built, and sustained America since the day the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. It is these teachings that the secular socialists so despise, exposing their contempt for America's past and present, exposing themselves as the greatest threat to America's future.

It is your call Alabama. Whose vision of America will prevail on June 6? Will it be politics as usual with Bob Riley, or will you stand with Judge Roy Moore, a man you know you can trust to stand for the principles you hold dear. Will you stand with Judge Moore and send a strong message to the secular socialists that the defense of America's Christian heritage begins in Alabama.

Judge Moore's stand broke the law? No! Hitler's law broke the law. The Dred Scott Decision broke the law. Hugo Black's ruling broke the law. Myron Thompson's contempt for our foundation principles broke the law.

As June 6 approaches I beg you to consider what the future will be like for our children and grandchildren if we allow the secular socialists to rewrite our history and tear America away from its roots. As a son of Alabama I beg you to stand with Judge Roy Moore and let the battle for America's future begin with you.

"A position not founded upon reason cannot be swayed by argument." so I'll not offer a response beyond some likely wondering where the "socialist" portion of his label comes from. At best this is a decent illustration of the "thinking" of the extreme right wing. Maybe you and Reverend Roy can get together and figure out how to ignore this latest evolution support? I know the fossil is fragmented into many pieces, sort of like the Judge's campaign. No wonder Dubyah was elected as Governor of Texas with folks like Mike Sutton out there. On behalf of Alabama, I'm sorry. You can keep him. Peace ... or War!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Do Christians have the right to practice intolerance?

The LA Times Stephanie Simon reports "Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies : Many codes intended to protect gays from harassment are illegal, conservatives argue. Citing circumstances at several colleges and workplaces, including Atlanta's GeorgiaInstitute of Technology, Ms. Simon reports on this disturbing movement. She writes,

The Rev. Rick Scarborough, a leading evangelical, frames the movement as the civil rights struggle of the 21st century. "Christians," he said, "are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian."

In that spirit, the Christian Legal Society, an association of judges and lawyers, has formed a national group to challenge tolerance policies in federal court. Several nonprofit law firms — backed by major ministries such as Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade for Christ — already take on such cases for free.

The legal argument is straightforward: Policies intended to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination end up discriminating against conservative Christians. Evangelicals have been suspended for wearing anti-gay T-shirts to high school, fired for denouncing Gay Pride Month at work, reprimanded for refusing to attend diversity training. When they protest tolerance codes, they're labeled intolerant.

Ms. Simon continues,

A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League found that 64% of American adults — including 80% of evangelical Christians — agreed with the statement "Religion is under attack in this country."

"The message is, you're free to worship as you like, but don't you dare talk about it outside the four walls of your church," said Stephen Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Assn. Center for Law and Policy, which represents Christians who feel harassed.

Critics dismiss such talk as a right-wing fundraising ploy. "They're trying to develop a persecution complex," said Jeremy Gunn, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

Others fear the banner of religious liberty could be used to justify all manner of harassment.

"What if a person felt their religious view was that African Americans shouldn't mingle with Caucasians, or that women shouldn't work?" asked Jon Davidson, legal director of the gay rights group Lambda Legal.

Christian activist Gregory S. Baylor responds to such criticism angrily. He says he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race and gender. But he draws a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when he argues that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait.

By equating homosexuality with race, Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists. He predicts the government will one day revoke the tax-exempt status of churches that preach homosexuality is sinful or that refuse to hire gays and lesbians.

"Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don't address this now, it will only get worse."

Indeed one could ask Reverend Scarborough about the morality of Hot Tub Tom DeLay. Also, I've learned the student at Georgia Tech asserting her right "as a Christian" to be intolerant is somebody I've blogged on before, namely Ruth Malhotra. Ms. Malhotra also earned the attention of Jesus General for her remarkable lawsuit. What a bizarre bunch of wingnuts! Might Wurlitzer is really working well in the evangelical community. Peace ... or War!

Christian Coalition Wandering in the Wilderness?

Alan Cooperman and Thomas B. Edsall of The Washington Post reports "Christian Coalition Shrinks as Debt Grows" with everyone from Pat Robertson to Ralph Reed to Bill Clinton to the IRS to ... blamed. Now if we can just muzzle John Giles and the Alabama Christian Coalition! Peace ... or War!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

USNWR - James Tabor's "The Jesus Dynasty"

Jay Tolson of U.S. News and World Reports, the favorite news mag of the Captain's sire, gives us "The Kingdom of Christ : A bold new take on the historical Jesus raises questions about a centuries-long quest". Long piece but very interesting. Mr. Tolson writes,
" ... The investigator in this case is James Tabor, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. And his provocative new book, The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity, takes the search for the historical Jesus to a bold--some would even say fanciful--new level. According to Tabor, Jesus, in partnership with his cousin John the Baptizer, saw himself as the founder not of a new religion but of a worldly royal dynasty. Fulfilling ancient prophecies, the dynasty, descended from King David, was destined to restore Israel and guide it through an apocalyptic upheaval culminating in the Kingdom of God on Earth. And all of this was to happen not in the distant or metaphorical future but in the very time in which they lived. Although their message was one of peaceful change, Jesus ..."

The article ends with,
" ... That is the great argument of our time, the cultural, intellectual, and social debate pitting religion against science, faith against fact. But perhaps the many conclusions coming out of the quests for the historical Jesus suggest that none can ultimately claim to find the "real" or "true" man. It may be that the elusiveness of Jesus, his life and his meaning, is part of his enduring power and mystery."

Worthy of a look. Peace ... or War!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Vast Anti-Christian Conspiracy Takes Down DeLay

Plenty of bloggers and traditional media are covering the inconsistencies of Hot Tub Tom DeLay's talk and walk but Robert Scheer writing at Truth Dig is a fine place to start. Peace ... or War!

Virginia Culture Warrior/Senator George Allen says, "Onward Christian Soldier "

Virginia Senator George Allen is wanting the Pentagon to tap Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin to lead the U.S. Special Forces Command. General Boykin first came to the attention of many of us, and certainly the Christian Right, for his controversial comments, many made while in uniform in various evangelical churches, that linked Satanic forces to Islamist and other enemies of the United States. Liz Sidoti of the AP, appearing in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, tells us in "'War on Satan' general pushed for top post" that

In a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Sen. George Allen, R-Va., recommended Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin, now the Pentagon's deputy undersecretary for intelligence, for the post at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.

The current commander, Army Gen. Bryan "Doug" Brown, is retiring. ...

"I am told, and I believe it to be true, that no special operations officer currently on active duty is more highly respected or admired by his superiors, peers or subordinates alike, than Jerry Boykin," Allen wrote in the letter dated March 31 and obtained by The Associated Press.

General Boykin comes across as a genuine beliver in this interview and is certainly an asset to our nation, despite of (or perhaps because?) of his faith. Would Senator Allen be seeking even more support from the Evangelical Right with this move? Since the idea of moving the General up the line is foundationally stupid from a geo-political view, Allen is either pandering or he is perhaps as clueless as Dubyah and balance of Bu$hCo. William Fisher appearing in Truth Out hits the nail on the head when he writes

But there is a much larger point here. Even if we forget what Gen. Boykin believes, the Muslim world will not. They remember Abu Ghraib. And they remember, as reported by the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, that the prison abuse scandal grew out of a decision to give greater influence to the Defense Intelligence unit, led by Stephen Cambone, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence - and his deputy, guess who? Lt. General William G. "Jerry" Boykin.

They know all about the CIA's private airline carrying out US kidnappings of suspected terrorists and their "extreme renditions" to black hole prisons in Eastern Europe, and to such pillars of democracy as Egypt, Syria and a host of other hospitable venues.

They know all about the "diplomatic assurances" the US gets from these countries, which routinely vow not to torture or abuse those we deliver into their gentle hands.

They know about Guantanamo Bay. They know about Bagram. They know about our then-attorney general, John Ashcroft, rounding up anyone who looked like "a Middle Easterner" after the 9/11 attacks, convicting no one of any terror-related crime, but deporting many.

Bunch of idiots! I've been watching Senator Allen for some time. He's certainly a candidate that might appeal to the Dobsonites. He and Kansas Senator Brownback may fight over the "true believer" Evangelical vote. At least one of them would likely be tapped as VP should a more mainstream candidate like McCain get the GOP nomination. Peace ... or War!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Scientists Nail Down Fish to Land Link

Check out the WaPo's Guy Gugliotta's "'Link' Between Fish and Land Animals Found : Discovery Called Key Evidence Of Vertebrates' Ocean Origins". Here's the bottom line,
The discovery provides the best evidence yet that fish emerged from the oceans and rivers of the early Earth between 380 million and 360 million years ago and evolved into terrestrial vertebrates beginning with amphibians and reptiles, and ending up with mammals and, ultimately, humans.

Darwin rules! Peace ... or War!

Russ Feingold Speaks The Truth - Twice

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold doesn't hold back away from what he believes. Accordingly, that might cost him some votes. Yet it might earn him some as well. On the issue of same-sex marriage, according to reports rolling out today with The Captain using Dan Balz's "Feingold Backs Legalizing Same-Sex Marriages", Feingold is quoted as follows:
"Obviously, it's a very difficult issue and evokes a lot of emotions," Feingold said in a telephone interview yesterday. "I think it's something ultimately that people throughout the country will accept, but it's not an easy issue." He accused the Bush White House and the Republican Party of using same-sex marriage as a wedge issue "to hurt Democrats who are against discrimination."
He nails first the issue as one of discrimination, with me telling folks that men or women ought to be able to make their own personal choices as far as partnering up and then having the benifits that traditional Americans have, and then Senator Feingold also points out a second truth that the ReThuglicans wedge the electorate via this "moral" issue. If he's in the race I'll likely support. Peace ... or War!

Al Franken Bitch Slaps Ann Coulter!

Head over to Al Franken's Midwest Values PAC for his opening statement in a recent "debate" with "Crazy as a Run Over Dog" Ann Coulter. She's vile Mr. Franken and yet so useful for showing what is wrong with the Reich Wing ReThuglicans. It will take time and work to expose her and Rush Limbaugh and Mad Michelle Malkin and ... This Scot will help you and other true patriots fight the "Culture War" against these flaming idiots. Peace ... or War!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, How Does Your God ...?

Digby, recalling an interview with Oklahoma's Mary Fowler from last year, tells us that simple Evangelical foot soldiers can be told to lay down their arms and return to their churches if we reveal the phony Jesus pimps for what they are. Liars and hardly Christians! Sinners even! Exhibit A is Tom DeLay. Peace ... or War!

Holy Hammer! Will Hot Tub Tom Go Colson?

Digby is thinking he'll be a preacher or at least play one on GOPTV/Faux News for the Values Voters project. Or maybe he'll just golf? That is if he stays out of Club Fed! Peace ... or War!

Monday, April 03, 2006

"Lock and Load!" if you love Jesus!

I've already posted today at Captain Plaid on some work of People for the American Way regarding the "Imperial Presidency" of King George Bu$h. However, PFAW also provides a superb piece via their "Right Wing Watch" entitled The Liberal “War” On Christians and Values Voters - Hysterical Females, Perverted Sodomites, and the Collapse of “Christian America” covering the recent DC meeting hosted by Vision America. I'd previously posted on Jimi about this "conference". Scary stuff! Peace ... or War!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The GOP Trinity - Oil/Military, Religion, & Finance

Kevin Phillips, writing in today's WaPo, gives us "How the GOP Became God's Own Party" where he summarizes some of the arguments I understand he puts forth in "American Theocracy: The Perils and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century" In one portion of his WaPo writing he argues

Unfortunately, more danger lurks in the responsiveness of the new GOP coalition to Christian evangelicals, fundamentalists and Pentecostals, who muster some 40 percent of the party electorate. Many millions believe that the Armageddon described in the Bible is coming soon. Chaos in the explosive Middle East, far from being a threat, actually heralds the second coming of Jesus Christ. Oil price spikes, murderous hurricanes, deadly tsunamis and melting polar ice caps lend further credence. ...

Besides providing critical support for invading Iraq -- widely anathematized by preachers as a second Babylon -- the Republican coalition has also seeded half a dozen controversies in the realm of science. These include Bible-based disbelief in Darwinian theories of evolution, dismissal of global warming, disagreement with geological explanations of fossil-fuel depletion, religious rejection of global population planning, derogation of women's rights and opposition to stem cell research. ...

No leading world power in modern memory has become a captive of the sort of biblical inerrancy that dismisses modern knowledge and science.

Just last week I was talking with my kids about "terrorism" as we wound up a World Geography Unit on the U.S. and Canada. I've yet to have so much participation and "insightful detail" on any topic as various end of the world theories. "My preacher said ..." or "In Revelations it says ..." and "You know the anti-Christ ..." and ... Lots of these poor country kids can't find Europe on a map yet they've already been brainwashed into perfect rubes for the ReThuglicans of tomorrow. As an extra, Mr. Phillips' ideas on the credit-finance complex will likely haunt me for days. We seemingly have a real mess looming folks! Peace ... or War!