What was it about Jerry Falwell that, even after his death, drives liberals crazy?Here's what makes Vigerie such a bullshitter. A real American conservative like *Berry Goldwater stood for keeping religion out of politics. Vigerie, on the other hand, welcomes religion in politics.
Journalist Christopher Hitchens called the minister "a little toad" with "chubby little flanks" and called his ministry a "get rich quick scheme,” adding that Falwell may not have read the Bible: "I would doubt that be could actually read any long book…at all.” Said Hitchens: “I think it’s a pity there isn’t a Hell for him to go to.”
Alan Wolfe of Salon.com wrote: "One never wants to speak ill of the dead, but in the case of Jerry Falwell, how can one not?"
In the Calgary Sun, Kathleen Parker wrote: "Jerry Falwell's prosaic death has elevated speaking ill of the dead to the level of sacrament.”
Bill Maher, on his HBO program, remarked, regarding Falwell, that "Death is not always sad.”
Amanda Marcotte, John Edwards's former campaign blogger, wrote: "The gates of Hell swing open and Satan welcomes his beloved son.”
In the New York Times, columnist Frank Rich wrote, "Mr. Falwell was always on the wrong, intolerant side of history...Mr. Falwell had long been an embarrassment and laughingstock to many, including a new generation of Christian leaders."
Cathleen Faisani, religion writer for the Chicago Sun Times, wrote that "my initial reaction to the Rev. Falwell’s death was, and remains a relief…The Rev. Falwell was a spiritual bully. He was Tony Soprano."
During one report, CNN lingered for 15 seconds on a protester's sign that placed Falwell's face next to Hitler’s.
Beyond these gratuitous insults were statements in the mainstream media about Dr. Falwell’s legacy that showed a lack of understanding of Falwell, his followers, and the broader world of Christian conservatives.
One reporter or commentator after, another suggested that Dr. Falwell's power waned in the last 20 years. In fact, he simply changed his focus--from a short-term emphasis on direct political activity to a long-term emphasis or producing new leaders for America and the world.
The Falwell legacy includes:
Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, which Dr. Falwell founded in 1965. In 40 years, his 35-member congregation grew to 22,000.
"The Old Time Gospel Hour," the longest-continuously-running religious program on television
Liberty Channel, a satellite-cable network offering inspirational, family-friendly programming;
Liberty Godparent Foundation, helping unwed pregnant teenagers, babies, and adoptive families through a maternity home and an adoption agency.
Elim Home, providing a place of protection and care for men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Liberty Counsel, with affiliate attorneys in all 50 states, providing free legal assistance on matters related to religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and the traditional family.
Liberty Christian Academy, an accredited institution with 1,000 students in pre-school through the 12th grade.
Liberty University, which is creating a new generation of religious-conservative leaders, with a current enrollment of 9,600 on-campus students and over 18,000 in off-campus distance learning programs. The Liberty University debate team has won national championships in all three intercollegiate debating associates for two consecutive years. The first class just graduated from Liberty University's law school.
Since Liberty University was founded in 1971, it has produced more than 190,000 graduates, including about 11,000 who have become pastors and are carrying on the ideas they learned from Dr. Falwell.
Over the next 10 years, Liberty University is on schedule to graduate over 200,000 conservative Christians who will be future leaders in ministries, the law, public policy, and politics. A school of engineering will start in the Fall and a medical school is in the works as well.
Before Jerry Falwell, most evangelical Protestants--if they were involved in politics at all--were Democrats. They made up Jimmy Carter’s base, without which he could never have been elected president.
But after Carter’s IRS falsely attacked Christian schools as segregation academies, and after Carter supported items on the left-wing agenda such as the so-called Equal Rights Amendment, Jerry Falwell helped bring millions of social and religious conservatives into politics on the side of Ronald Reagan and other political conservatives.
The Republican Party owed its 1994-2006 majority in Congress to the tens of millions of former Democrats who followed Jerry Falwell into the GOP.
At the same time, Dr. Falwell broke down ages-old barriers between conservative Protestants and Catholics, Mormons, Jews, and others.
Peter Applebome wrote in the New York Times that Falwell “helped pull off what had once seemed an impossible task: uniting religious conservatives from many faiths and doctrines by emphasizing what they had in common.”
NBC’s Tim Russert acknowledged that Falwell was able to “suggest that religious people, whether they be Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish, could come together on conservative issues and have real political influence.”
Zev Chafets, who has written extensively about the relationship between evangelicals and Jews, wrote in the Los Angeles Times that “American Jews who now take evangelical friendship for granted need to know that it is, to a large extent, a grant from Jerry Falwell.”
A man, beloved by almost everyone who knew him, overcame ages-old divisions and brought millions together in a cause that changed the course of history. Dr. Falwell’s legacy will continue to be felt in our nation for decades to come.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
THE ATHEIST AND THE MARINEI fail to find anything humorous in this "joke." But it does illustrate the mindset of the right wing, a violent, militarist mindset.
( God this doesn't get any better)
A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.
One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."
The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting." It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his Chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.
The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Marine calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole. So, He sent me."
I suppose I shouldn't have used "Nazi" in my title, as it is a loaded word, but I can also well imagine the same "joke" being told in Germany, c. 1936 or so. Instead of a marine substitute your run-of-the-mill Heer soldat and substitute the punchline with something like:"The Fuhrer was too busy today protecting Germany from Jewish criminals so you can say stupid shit and act like an asshole. So, I acted in the name of Hitler! Sieg heil!!" Ha, ha, ha. Funny stuff, that.
Perhaps the "joke" is a response to piece posted earlier this month at NewsMutiny.com, a little known Internet humor site with some of the most biting satire on the Web. Let quote some of I'd Like to Thank the Troops for Fighting for My Freedom to Say Incredibly Stupid Shit by the fictional George Powers:
Which is why I'd like to thank the troops for fighting for my freedom to say such incredibly stupid shit. Because, naturally, if it weren't for the thousands of American soldiers who've been killed or injured in the civil war triggered by the toppling of Saddam Hussein's government four years ago, I wouldn't be able to go around shooting my mouth off about all the dumb crap that creeps into my head whenever and wherever I want to. The terrorists would have taken over and shredded the Constitution by now, severely impairing my capacity to get people to notice me by aggravating the fuck out of them by regurgitating with impunity the kind of mindless drivel I just got through spewing.Funny stuff, that. And a tid bit too close to reality for comfort but that is the mark of truly good satire.
Now, lest you should get the wrong impression, I'm not some communist pussy who professes unconditional support for the freedom of speech, because how controversial would that be? On the contrary, just the other day I posted a message in an internet discussion forum saying people who openly oppose the Bush administration should be shaved bald and put into work camps weaving their former hair into wigs for more patriotic Americans who've been afflicted with cancer or male pattern baldness. You should've seen how many responses I got for that one. I believe it was some kind of site record.
Of course, the scope of the kind of expression I hold the troops in gratitude for protecting from the sinister machinations of the evil-doers is not limited to the incredibly stupid spoken word alone. Rather, thanks to those soldiers' brave sacrifice, I can still wear an attention grabbing t-shirt that reads "Stop Your Global Whining!" around town or put a huge homemade poster of Barack Obama in a turbin with a talk balloon that says "I'm a fag" on my garage.
Well, that last one I ended up having to take down after the home owner's association got wind of it, but that's okay. After all, authority should be obeyed, and I could move out of the neighborhood if I don't like it. Much the same way all these pro-terrorist liberals should stop flapping their gums about the Patriot Act and saving the trees and go move to China if they don't like freedom anymore.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Cowie's mission — and dream — of serving in Iraq almost ended before it began when tests on a tumor confirmed the worst: She had breast cancer.O.K., so sue me. But how can you feel human compassion for some one who willfully walks into harms way for an unjust cause? How can you feel human compassion for someone willingly accepting the role of cannon fodder for a morally bankrupt government and political system? How can you feel human compassion for a person who volunteers to oppress the rights of people half-a-world away who have done her no wrong?
The commander said, 'Are you sure? You have an opportunity to go home and be with your family and go through this.' And I said, 'No, I have a family here. I have my civilian family, but this is where I need to be and where I'm needed,'" Cowie said.
Soldiers with a history of cancer who need monitoring every six months or less should not deploy, according to Army guidelines. But they can still deploy depending upon the soldier's condition, input from doctors and commanding officers, and conditions where the soldier is assigned.
Cowie qualified because she decided to forgo a potentially six-week radiation treatment and instead use a concentrated therapy, MammoSite. The procedure implants an angioplasty-like balloon that kills lingering cancer cells with radiation while sparing healthy tissue.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Forward this message the same day you received it. It may sound ridiculous, but it is right on time. We believe that something is about to happen. Angels exist, only sometimes they haven't got wings and we call them friends; you are one of them. Something wonderful is about to happen to you and your friends. Tomorrow at __9:12AM___ somebody will address you and tell you something you have been waiting to hear. Please do not break this chain. Send it to at least 7 of your friends.
I can't forward this. First of all I don't have seven friends, so I'm breakin' the chain. Also, I find the picture just the slightest bit disturbing. I mean what's with the sword. Is the "angel" with the sword about to decapitate the praying "angel." I wonder if the "artist" rended this work with a pun on "pray" and "prey" in mind. After all, the kneeling "praying" angel certainly appears to be "prey" for the angel looming up behind, sword in hand.
I always thought guardian angels were more of the Hansel and Gretel variety. Or
on the order of this Nineteenth Century drawing of a newly emancipated
black man, shooing away flies away while a genteel white lady dines. This picture, we are told, was executed in 1876 by one James Wells Champney and simply titled The guardian angel--Eagle Hotel, Asheville .
But I suppose it's a sign of the times that a "guardian angel," as comely as she may appear, would be armed and prepared for action, dealing out mayhem and death when the need arises. I can well imagine a young christian mother whispering softly, as she tucks her darling children into bed, "Sleep tight, little ones. Your guardian angel, with her razor sharp sword will protect you from terrorists and liberals."
Monday, June 18, 2007
So this morning BuzzFlash.com starts the day off with this headline:
Surprise! The "Surge" Was Just an Excuse to Increase Long-Term Troop Levels in Iraq! Dang, You Could Have Fooled Us! "Conditions in Iraq will not improve sufficiently by September to justify a drawdown of U.S. military forces, the top commander in Iraq said yesterday." Commitment to Last For Years, Petraeus Claims.
Which links us to a news story out of the Washington Post.com that says:
Conditions in Iraq will not improve sufficiently by September to justify a drawdown of U.S. military forces, the top commander in Iraq said yesterday.Why am I not surprized. What with 14 permanant bases being constructed at this very minute in Iraq. With the Democratic failure to even send a stripped-down war funding bill to the White House with a timeline for withdrawal last month. With Cindy Sheehan resigning as the public face of domestic resistance to the Iraq occupation. Nope, the country's stuck in Iraq for at least the next ten years. And that's about the only truth in General Petraeus' remarkds.
Asked whether he thought the job assigned to an additional 30,000 troops deployed as the centerpiece of President Bush's new war strategy would be completed by then, Gen. David H. Petraeus replied: "I do not, no. I think that we have a lot of heavy lifting to do."
Asserting steady, albeit slow, military and political progress, Petraeus said that the "many, many challenges" would not be resolved "in a year or even two years." Similar counterinsurgency operations, he said, citing Britain's experience in Northern Ireland, "have gone at least nine or 10 years." He said he and Crocker would make "some recommendations on the way ahead" to Congress, and that it was realistic to assume "some form of long-term security arrangement" with Iraq.
There is another reason that the United States will not get out of Iraq anytime soon.
Take for example the poor slub seen here, 34-year-old Army Pfc Michale Pittman of Davenport Iowa.
The Des Moines Register story implies, Pittman enlisted rather late in life out of economic necessity, "Pittman attended Rock Island High School and worked as a painter before joining the Army." Apparently the poor deluded bastard was also one of these *quote-unquote* Christians who is out to prepare the world for christ's second coming, convert heathens and kill infidels.
Mr. Pittman's mother, co-pastor of some bible-thumping church or other in Moline, Il, is quoted in Sunday's Quad Cities Times.com
“I thought it was going to happen to anybody’s son, not Michael,” Sandra Hughes said Saturday night when asked whether she worried about this day coming. “I put him in God’s hands and I prayed. I don’t understand it. But you don’t question God. God works out everything for good for those who love him, and I know Michael is in heaven.”Awww,how charitable of Mrs. Hughes, thinking, hoping that god might not visit a grusome, pointless death upon her Michael. But now he's a christian martyr up in Jesus's heaven waging war on those terrible Muslim martyrs from Muhammand's heaven. Just fuck all of them.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Besides the fact that the local option sales tax proposed by Project Destiny is regressive (meaning, for those of you who don't know, than even small purchases by children will be subsidizing Principal's property tax), the one-third earmarked for "cultural attractions" smells of corruption and cronyism even before it gets out of the gate. Look at the track record of another unelected, not-accountable-to-the-voters area-wide board, CIETC; imagine the cesspool another such board will be, overseeing who gets what and how much for the tri-counties' so-called "cultural attractions."
For instance, if pro-sales tax leaders are so clearly concerned about new, and expanding existing, bicycle trails, a "cultural attreaction" by their accounts, why didn't they simply take the $177,500 donated by the five top corporate contributors to Yes To Destiny and use it toward the purpose?
If yes To Destiny wants my vote, and as of this time it is firmly in the NO column, then it will drop all talk of one-third of total sales tax receipts going to "regional and/or cultural attractions."
I'm no philistine but, sorry, bicycle trails and waterparks ain't gonna cut it with me.
If Project Destiny wants to pitch a project I can endorse, then start talking about construction of a high-speed light rail system connecting all the major urban ares of the tri-county area. I mean with no end in sight to rising gasoline prices and no political will to stop urban sprawl, high-speed light rail would be a better utilization of revenue collected.
(Manassas, Virginia) Richard A. Viguerie, co-author of America’s Right Turn--How Conservatives Used New and Alternative Media to Take Power (Bonus Books, 2004), celebrated the defeat of the cloture motion in the Senate on the Amnesty Bill and attributed it to conservative New and Alternative Media and grassroots efforts to overcome the pressure from the White House and the Left.Viguerie, like Lenin, whips up a small, hardcore cadre of neoKnow-Nothings, nativists and just plain, old fashioned racial bigots into jamming Congressional telephone switchboards and e-mails into opposing the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill.
Viguerie said conservatives using blogs, e-mail messages, websites, radio talk shows, cable TV, and direct mail were able to bypass the Left’s near monopoly of old media.
“Ordinary citizens were able to have their voices clearly heard in Washington, D.C., something that wouldn’t have happened a few decades ago,” he said.
“I dare say that for the last week, every blog and radio talk show in the nation was buzzing about this legislation. The opposition to President Bush’s amnesty program for illegal aliens was very intense. Even Senators who are normally isolated from public opinion felt the heat,” Viguerie said.
The current situation, as bad as it is, benefits the business community too much. There will never be a solution to "illegal" immigration, no fences built on the border, no amnesty or deportation.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Grassley, King to Bush: Enforce immigration lawsI was going to send'em a letter but what's the point. Grassley's in the corporationist's corner and King trawls racist sewers for votes. That, my friends, pretty much sums up the core of today's Republican Party.
REGISTER WASHINGTON BUREAU
June 12, 2007
Washington, D.C. — Two Iowa Republicans called on President Bush today to
enforce current immigration laws, as the president traveled to the Capitol to plead with Senate Republicans to accept an immigration overhaul that he backs.
Both Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Steve King remained opposed to bipartisan legislation pushed by the Bush administration, amid a widening split in the GOP over the volatile immigration issue.
Grassley today with eight other Republican senators sent a letter to the president telling him to enforce border security laws already approved by Congress, whether or not Congress approves legislation.
"Thousands cross our southern border every night, in violation of American law, and President Bush's answer is to try and change that law," said King. "Instead of empty promises and self-destructive amnesty, I call on the president to enforce our rule of law."
The Des Moines Register
Oh, yes, and one more thing, nothing will be done about "illegal" immigration this year, next year or in the foreseeable future.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Neither Paris Hilton nor George W. Bush has any clue whatsoever what life is like for the average person. And, don't think for a moment these mollycoddled brats give a damn either.
Is it really any wonder America has come so completely undone, so quickly? The very first time someone actually dared to hold Paris Hilton to account and she dissolved into a tearful, bed-wetting temper tantrum. And, George W. Bush is no better. Whenever Congress or a reporter makes an attempt at holding him to account for his many failures, the man's demeanor changes completely...and he pitches a little two-year-old-like temper tantrum.
Everyday and in everyway every working-class American stares down more pressure and trouble than Paris Hilton could ever dream of facing for one second in her meaningless, filled-to-the-brim with everything and yet, completely empty life.
The American aristocracy: the parasites living within the intestines of America's democracy, sucking it dry of all its vital life forces. They are America's would-be-rulers-by-birthright --- the trust-fund Lords and Masters(emphasis added.)
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Take his latest opus Sources and Authorities
Dissidents Against Dogma. Writes The Nation's editors, home of Cockburn's "Beat the Devil" feature, where this column had it genesis:"In contrast, many of Cockburn's most contentious assertions in his recent columns came from unpublished papers." Cockburn also quotes such global warming deneiers as Zbigniew Jaworowski and Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov (sic.).
Of course, Cockburn makes his case by telling one and all that his fulmination is aimed squarely at the nuclear power industry, whose dastardly deeds he will manfully thwart all on his own if need be.
Which leads me to wonder if Cockburn owns stock options with the wind turbine power companies, oil & gas or both?
Monday, June 04, 2007
New Arkansas GOP Chair:"all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001]"
“At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001 ], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country,”It's a stupid statement, to be sure, but is there more than meets the eye?
Saturday, June 02, 2007
WASHINGTON — In an era enveloped in large-scale violence and militarism, one of the fastest growing American companies is marketing a controversial product line designed for young children that combines military paraphernalia with the Christian faith.So I click into the Oriental Trading Company's Web site and found this:
The majority of the 31 items in the "Soldier of God" product line are decorated with military camouflage colors.
The products are stamped with crosses or crusader crests, as well as the slogan "Soldier of God" amidst stars and stripes.
And this:"What Would Jesus Do?" Dog Tag Necklaces. Be a soldier in God's army! Spirit-filled kids love wearing these "What Would Jesus Do?" dog tag necklaces! Tuck them in treat bags at V.B.S. parties and buy extras for your child to share with friends at church camps! Each 2" metal dog tag is on a 24" chain and has a special symbol of faith! © OTC
Not quite the bloodthirsty, death-to-infidels crap Turkish Weekly.net would lead one to believe but disturbing enough. I didn't find any Bible-thumping G.I. Joe dolls or camo wearing, gun-toting Barbie action figures, though if a buck can be made I'm sure these will soon follow.
Religious Dog Tag Necklaces.
Show your faith with this military-inspired dog tag jewelry. Featuring a painted cross and a spiritual saying, these colorful pendants are the perfect gift for God's soldiers and V.B.S. students! Each 2" printed metal dog tag has a 24" silvertone chain.
General Sir Michael Rose, a former commander of the UN peace force in Bosnia during the 1990s, said the American and British forces in Iraq were in an impossible situation.This contrasts nicely with the moronic blathering of presidential candidate John McCain, who said in an appearance at a Des Moines insurance company yesterday:
"There is no way we are going to win the war and [we should] withdraw and accept defeat because we are going to lose on a more important level if we don't," he said.
While accepting the allied forces couldn't just "cut and run", Sir Michael said announcing a date for withdrawal would quell widespread fighting between the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds.
Most Americans should accept a long-term United States military presence in Iraq as long as the number of U.S. casualties can drop to almost nothing, Sen. John McCain said Friday.
"The key to this issue is not American presence, but American casualties," he told a standing-room-only crowd of about 250 employees at Nationwide Insurance's offices.
"We have had troops in South Korea for 60 years and nobody minds," McCain said. "If you stay a long, long time, but have the Iraqis doing the fighting, and your people are back in the bases and away from the firing line, I think Americans would be satisfied."
The Des Moines Register.com