Thursday, December 30, 2004

No Honor Among Thieves

"George Bush has purged the last of his father's senior advisers, handing over control to his neocon allies"

In the article A state of chaos published Dec. 30,2004 in The Guardian, Blumental writes:
To begin with, Bush has unceremoniously and without public acknowledgement dumped Brent Scowcroft, his father's closest associate and friend, as chairman of the foreign intelligence advisory board. The elder Bush's national security adviser was the last remnant of traditional Republican realism permitted to exist within the administration.
In reading this I got the impression of a younger male defeating and wresting control from an elder in a takeover. As Blumenthal writes: "The transition to President Bush's second term, filled with backstage betrayals, plots and pathologies, would make for an excellent chapter of I, Claudius."

This is isn't about politics and governance. It is about a dysfunctional family. It is my impression that George Jr. could never measure up in his father's eyes and was deemed a failure. The denial of unconditional love and attention all children should have from their parents robs them of their humanity and inherent worth. This tends to twist them, turning some into grotesque caricatures of a human being. This is not to say that all who experience bad parenting turn out badly, but in this case, the ramifications are global in scope.

The death and destruction wrought by George Jr. are inexcusable--no amount of anger at one's parents or family or even at the universe itself can excuse this. The only mercy I can find would be for him to feel and truly understand the horrendous harm he has done and the immeasurable grief he has brought to so many. Without the opening of his own empathy there can be no repairing of the damage done to him.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of any change of heart is infinitesimal. With this in mind, the danger he poses goes beyond ordinary tyrannical depravity, which is bad enough. It extends even to the very elites of which he is a member.

In the reposts of other people's work on this blog, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberger's were referenced along with the names of some of its members. It is my feeling that George Jr., in order to utterly defeat or even punish his father, might consider a putsch to gain control of that nucleus of power in an Al Pacino maneuver, thus making George Jr. the Godfather of the world. This would be the ultimate betrayal: the betrayers of humanity becoming the betrayed by one of their own. I hope their reaction would be as rich as Gordon Gekko's in "Wall Street" except that their's would be upon the realization that their lives are as worthless to George Jr. as the rest of humanity is to them and that they are treated in the same manner as they have treated us.

What began as simply a person who needed to know he was loved by his parents unconditionally, parents who understood the value of life, including his, and ours, has turned into a monumental foray into the abyss of evil and debasement. Unfortunately, the damage done is now beyond anyone's power to help. Perhaps this happened in Germany as well, which led it down the path to hell on earth, but I cannot say for sure. What I do know is that unless and until human beings start looking for, cultivating, and guarding our inborn and mutual humanity, there is no point for humans to exist at all. There is no honor among thieves, there is no wisdom in ignorance, and there will be no humans left on this planet if there is no empathy in our hearts.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Neo-fascism in America

In [Richard K.] Moore’s Matrix metaphor, doses of ‘red pill’ allow us to comprehend the true reality of what is happening as opposed to an illusion deliberately created by the wealthy, ruling elite. As Morph tells Neo, “The Matrix is the world that was pulled down over your eyes to hide you from the truth… As long as the Matrix exists, humanity cannot be free.” Television and radio stations, news channels and most newspapers are owned by the ruling, wealthy elite who control the matrix. They dispense “blue pills” in the form of matrix propaganda, deliberately formulated to conceal the truth. While there are honourable journalistic exceptions, generally we have to look elsewhere for the ‘red pill’. Thankfully, it is becoming more readily available and less difficult to find. In this article I will quote from, and refer to, numerous ‘red pill’ articles and books.

It has personally taken many years of slow awakening from the matrix narcolepsy for me to find an inverted reality where what I thought was the truth was a dream, and what I have awakened to is the reality of a true nightmare. Too many people believe fascism is only about goose-stepping, jack-booted Nazis. Too many people believe that American democracy is so strong that fascists could never take control of America. If you are sympathetic to those views, I invite you to consider the possibility that you are mistaken - invite you to sample a small dose of ‘red pill’.

Click here to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Bill Moyers: "Our Democracy is in Danger of Being Paralyzed"


Bill Moyers has retired from his weekly public affairs show "Now" on PBS. Over the past three decades, he became an icon of American journalism. He recently gave the keynote address before 2,000 people at the first ever National Conference on Media Reform where he warned, "What we're talking about is nothing less than rescuing a democracy that is so polarized it is in danger of being paralyzed and pulverized. Alarming words, I know. But the realities we face should trigger alarms. Free and responsible government by popular consent just can't exist without an informed public."

To read the full transcript or watch the video click here

GI Dissent shakes up Pentagon


By John Catalinotto, New York

A series of events in early December signaled a major shift in political consciousness within the U.S. Armed Forces. Together they struck fear in the hearts of the general staff.

A sailor, a soldier, a Marine, and two National Guard soldiers committed acts of courage. They killed no Iraqis, nor did they rescue wounded comrades under fire. This kind of courage took a different form for each GI, from refusing to kill to confronting the unpopular secretary of defense.

Just say ’no’

read the rest here

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Wish

Christmas Wish

I have a little vision
of the world.
It isn't much.
But in it, beauty shines
whenever earth
and people touch.
There's laughter,
and there's music,
and the trees
are standing tall,
and the creatures
whisper stories
of the One
who made us all.
And no one's lost
or hungry,
every life's
of equal worth,
and the angels
scatter snowflakes
like a dream of
peace on earth.

-J. Howard

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Of Wizards and Wingnuts

I have often wondered what can be done to thwart the right wing ideologues and the constant drumbeat of their message reverberating in the echo chamber of the media. Unfortunately, most of the left wing just stands there with their mouths agape in stunned disbelief unable to respond let alone launch a counter-attack.

The realization I had thinking about this is that people are going to have stop being naive and stop trying to be nice. There ARE evil people deliberating ignoring the truth and twisting peoples' minds. They are pretenders and deceivers. They are liars and betrayers. They are wolves in sheep's clothing.

So, what to do? First, we need to know the difference between right and wrong. Knowing this difference is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is knowing the truth of things and from that we can understand the past, present, and future. This is the original meaning of the term wizard. And as Gandalf says in Lord of the Rings, "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger."

In this way, as wizards who deal with subtlety and take no shit, we need to start speaking the truth and calling things what they are. If something is a lie, call it a lie and do NOT equivocate with wiggle words. If something is cruel and heartless, say so and seal it with the stamp that such acts are inhuman and monstrous. And when they talk of freedom, I would challenge them to prove that America is truly the land of the free when dissent is questioned and called unpatriotic. Since when do Americans have to sign loyalty oaths to attend a political rally? And I demand proof that the U.S. should not be bound by the Geneva Convention which was enacted to protect everyone, including U.S. soldiers.

If the Iraqis hate freedom so much, why are they fighting us so hard? Why ARE we in Iraq? It's not for weapons of mass destruction which the inspectors already knew didn't exist. It's not for terrorism because the intelligence community knew that bin Laden hated Saddam Hussein's SECULAR government. The fabrication of this lie was born out in the 9/11 Commission Report. Nor is it to spread democracy when ours is in such question with fixed primaries, voter disenfranchisement and intimidation, and an almost total lack of political awareness and participation in the local party organization by average working folks. With oil about to peak and profits on the line, oil is the only reason we are in Iraq. The religious element is just a convenient cover.

But beware, religious zealotry and fanaticism in America is a danger to the world because it is neither wise nor subtle and has the capacity to support a president whose policies are leading us to a nuclear holocaust. If we can question the sanity of a suicide bomber, how much more so a cult that supports worldwide armageddon.

If you have a healthy instinct for self-preservation, care about others, and show others the respect and dignity every living miracle of the universe deserves, then stand up and speak out. Speak out the truth, challenge dishonesty, and fight for our common humanity. Anyone advocating an elective policy of war, death, and destruction in the name of anything but self-preservation is neither human nor humane and should be shown the nearest padded cell and removed as a danger to humanity.

We must become wizards, wise and knowing, who take no shit if we are to save humanity from those who would destroy it.

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Sometimes when you're still waking up the mind has a moment of great clarity. This morning was such a morning as I watched C-SPAN. Some jackass was talking about Iraq and how the Iraq Resistence fighters are freedom haters. My instantaneous reaction was to call him a liar. "Liar, liar, pants on fire." He's lying because the Message from the Iraq Resistence video DOES tell the truth about what is going in their country and why, thus lifting up the skirt on this administration and our foreign policy to expose their dirty laundry. (See link on the right.) I leave it to the viewer to use their own bullshit meter on the video compared to what you get in the American media and from the administration and then tell me which speaks with sincerity and humanity.

Then the jackass went on to disparage Castro and socialism. That was when it hit me. How did these people, these right wing ideologues, become the keepers of what is "politically correct" and why are people so afraid of them? I think it began in earnest with McCarthyism, which itself began with a lie. They have confounded right and wrong and good and evil so much that they have made caring for others a wrongful act. To me, that is evil.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Message from the "Iraq Resistence"

Repeat after me:

Iraqi Resistance speech on videotape December 13 2004
Rush transcript-
Communiqué Number 6

The media platoon of the Islamic Jihad Army. On the 27th of Shawal 1425h. 10 December 2004

People of the world! These words come to you from those who up to the day of the invasion were struggling to survive under the sanctions imposed by the criminal regimes of the U.S. and Britain .

We are simple people who chose principles over fear.

We have suffered crimes and sanctions, which we consider the true weapons of mass destruction.

Years and years of agony and despair, while the condemned UN traded with our oil revenues in the name of world stability and peace.

Over two million innocents died waiting for a light at the end of a tunnel that only ended with the occupation of our country and the theft of our resources.

After the crimes of the administrations of the U.S and Britain in Iraq , we have chosen our future. The future of every resistance struggle ever in the history of man.

It is our duty, as well as our right, to fight back the occupying forces, which their nations will be held morally and economically responsible; for what their elected governments have destroyed and stolen from our land.

We have not crossed the oceans and seas to occupy Britain or the U.S. nor are we responsible for 9/11. These are only a few of the lies that these criminals present to cover their true plans for the control of the energy resources of the world, in face of a growing China and a strong unified Europe . It is Ironic that the Iraqi's are to bear the full face of this large and growing conflict on behalf of the rest of this sleeping world.

We thank all those, including those of Britain and the U.S. , who took to the streets in protest against this war and against Globalism. We also thank France , Germany and other states for their position, which least to say are considered wise and balanced, til now.

Today, we call on you again.

We do not require arms or fighters, for we have plenty.

We ask you to form a world wide front against war and sanctions. A front that is governed by the wise and knowing. A front that will bring reform and order. New institutions that would replace the now corrupt.

Stop using the U.S. dollar, use the Euro or a basket of currencies. Reduce or halt your consumption of British and U.S. products. Put an end to Zionism before it ends the world. Educate those in doubt of the true nature of this conflict and do not believe their media for their casualties are far higher than they admit.

We only wish we had more cameras to show the world their true defeat.

The enemy is on the run. They are in fear of a resistance movement they can not see nor predict.

We, now choose when, where, and how to strike. And as our ancestors drew the first sparks of civilization, we will redefine the word “conquest.“

Today we write a new chapter in the arts of urban warfare.

Know that by helping the Iraqi people you are helping yourselves, for tomorrow may bring the same destruction to you.

In helping the Iraqi people does not mean dealing for the Americans for a few contracts here and there. You must continue to isolate their strategy.

This conflict is no longer considered a localized war. Nor can the world remain hostage to the never-ending and regenerated fear that the American people suffer from in general.

We will pin them here in Iraq to drain their resources, manpower, and their will to fight. We will make them spend as much as they steal, if not more.

We will disrupt, then halt the flow of our stolen oil, thus, rendering their plans useless.

And the earlier a movement is born, the earlier their fall will be.

And to the American soldiers we say, you can also choose to fight tyranny with us. Lay down your weapons, and seek refuge in our mosques, churches and homes. We will protect you. And we will get you out of Iraq , as we have done with a few others before you.

Go back to your homes, families, and loved ones. This is not your war. Nor are you fighting for a true cause in Iraq .

And to George W. Bush, we say, “You have asked us to ‘Bring it on’, and so have we. Like never expected. Have you another challenge?”

Copyright: - Posted 12/12/04

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information Clearing House endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

Preznit Insane Culthead Part II

Part Two is an article about the "Family" of believers who hold "prayer meetings" with congressmen, senators, and even dictators.

The full article is a very long narrative of someone who had been a part of it, so
I have pasted the salient points of the article below which can be found at:

The most telling quote in the whole piece is: "You guys," David said, "are here to learn how to rule the world."

Click here to read more.

The Family
[K]nown only to its residents and to the members and friends of the organization that sponsors it, [is] a group of believers who refer to themselves as “the Family.” The Family is, in its own words, an “invisible” association, though its membership has always consisted mostly of public men.

Some members
Senators Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.), John Ensign (R., Nev.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Conrad Burns (R., Mont.) are referred to as “members,” as are Representatives Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Frank Wolf (R., Va.), Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.), Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.), and Bart Stupak (D., Mich.). Regular prayer groups have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense, and the Family has traditionally fostered strong ties with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries. The Family maintains a closely guarded database of its associates, but it issues no cards, collects no official dues. Members are asked not to speak about the group or its activities.

It's incarnations
The organization has operated under many guises, some active, some defunct: National Committee for Christian Leadership, International Christian Leadership, the National Leadership Council, Fellowship House, the Fellowship Foundation, the National Fellowship Council, the International Foundation. These groups are intended to draw attention away from the Family, and to prevent it from becoming, in the words of one of the Family's leaders, “a target for misunderstanding.” [1] The Family's only publicized gathering is the National Prayer Breakfast, which it established in 1953 and which, with congressional sponsorship, it continues to organize every February in Washington, D.C. Each year 3,000 dignitaries, representing scores of nations, pay $425 each to attend. Steadfastly ecumenical, too bland most years to merit much press, the breakfast is regarded by the Family as merely a tool in a larger purpose: to recruit the powerful attendees into smaller, more frequent prayer meetings,where they can “meet Jesus man to man.”

Who it recruits
During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa's postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand “Communists” killed marks him as one of the century's most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise. “We work with power where we can,” the Family's leader, Doug Coe, says, “build new power where we can't.”

[The "Family"] forge “relationships” beyond the din of vox populi (the Family's leaders consider democracy a manifestation of ungodly pride) and “throw away religion” in favor of the truths of the Family. Declaring God's covenant with the Jews broken, the group's core members call themselves “the new chosen.”

Coe listed other men who had changed the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their “brothers”: “Look at Hitler,” he said. “Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden.” The Family, of course, possessed a weapon those leaders lacked: the “total Jesus” of a brotherhood in Christ.

That's what you get with a covenant,” said Coe. “Jesus plus nothing.”

Their version of Jesus
To the Family, Jesus is not just a name; he is also a real man. “An awesome guy,” a Family employee named Terry told the brothers over breakfast one morning. “He excelled in every activity. He was a great teacher, sure, but he was also a real guy's guy. He would have made an excellent athlete.”

“King David,” David Coe went on, “liked to do really, really bad things.” He chuckled. “Here's this guy who slept with another man's wife—Bathsheba, right?—and then basically murders her husband. And this guy is one of our heroes.” David shook his head. “I mean, Jiminy Christmas, God likes this guy! What,” he said, “is that all about?”

The answer, we discovered, was that King David had been “chosen.” To illustrate this point David Coe turned to Beau. “Beau, let's say I hear you raped three little girls. And now here you are at Ivanwald. What would I think of you, Beau?”

Beau shrank into the cushions. “Probably that I'm pretty bad?”

“No, Beau. I wouldn't. Because I'm not here to judge you. That's not my job. I'm here for only one thing.”

“Jesus?” Beau said. David smiled and winked.

Jesus the conqueror
He walked to the National Geographic map of the world mounted on the wall. “You guys know about Genghis Khan?” he asked. “Genghis was a man with a vision. He conquered”—David stood on the couch under the map, tracing, with his hand, half the northern hemisphere—“nearly everything. He devastated nearly everything. His enemies? He beheaded them.” David swiped a finger across his throat.

“That's the way everything in life happens. If you're a person known to be around Jesus, you can go and do anything. And that's who you guys are. When you leave here, you're not only going to know the value of Jesus, you're going to know the people who rule the world. It's about vision. 'Get your vision straight, then relate.' Talk to the people who rule the world, and help them obey. Obey Him. If I obey Him myself, I help others do the same. You know why? Because I become a warning. We become a warning. We warn everybody that the future king is coming. Not just of this country or that, but of the world.”

Long-term goals were best summarized in a document called “Youth Corps Vision.” Another Family project, Youth Corps distributes pleasant brochures featuring endorsements from political leaders—among them Tsutomu Hata, a former prime minister of Japan, former secretary of state James Baker, and Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda—and full of enthusiastic rhetoric about helping young people to learn the principles of leadership. The word “Jesus” is unmentioned in the brochure.

But “Youth Corps Vision,” which is intended only for members of the Family (“it's kinda secret,” Josh cautioned me), is more direct.
The Vision is to mobilize thousands of young people world wide—committed to principle precepts, and person of Jesus Christ. . . .
A group of highly dedicated individuals who are united together having a total commitment to use their lives to daily seek to mature into people who talk like Jesus, act like Jesus, think like Jesus. This group will have the responsibility to:
—see that the commitment and action is maintained to the overall vision;
—see that the finest and best invisible organization is developed and maintained at all levels of the work;
—even though the structure is hidden, see that the family atmosphere is maintained, so that all people can feel a part of the family.

History of the Family
The Family was founded in April 1935 by Abraham Vereide, a Norwegian immigrant who made his living as a traveling preacher. One night, while lying in bed fretting about socialists, Wobblies, and a Swedish Communist who, he was sure, planned to bring Seattle under the control of Moscow, Vereide received a visitation: a voice, and a light in the dark, bright and blinding. The next day he met a friend, a wealthy businessman and former major, and the two men agreed upon a spiritual plan. They enlisted nineteen business executives in a weekly breakfast meeting and together they prayed, convinced that Jesus alone could redeem Seattle and crush the radical unions. They wanted to give Jesus a vessel, and so they asked God to raise up a leader. One of their number, a city councilman named Arthur Langlie, stood and said, “I am ready to let God use me.” Langlie was made first mayor and later governor, backed in both campaigns by money and muscle from his prayer-breakfast friends, whose number had rapidly multiplied.[5] Vereide and his new brothers spread out across the Northwest in chauffeured vehicles (a $20,000 Dusenburg carried brothers on one mission, he boasted). “Men,” wrote Vereide, “thus quickened.” Prayer breakfast groups were formed in dozens of cities, from San Francisco to Philadelphia. There were already enough men ministering to the down-and-out, Vereide had decided; his mission field would be men with the means to seize the world for God. Vereide called his potential flock of the rich and powerful, those in need only of the “real” Jesus, the “up-and-out.”

Vereide arrived in Washington, D.C., on September 6, 1941, as the guest of a man referred to only as “Colonel Brindley.” “Here I am finally,” he wrote to his wife, Mattie, who remained in Seattle. “In a day or two—many will know that I am in town and by God's grace it will hum.” Within weeks he had held his first D.C. prayer meeting, attended by more than a hundred congressmen. By 1943, now living in a suite at Colonel Brindley's University Club, Vereide was an insider. “My what a full and busy day!” he wrote to Mattie on January 22.

The Vice President brought me to the Capitol and counseled with me regarding the programs and plans, and then introduced me to Senator [Ralph Owen] Brewster, who in turn to Senator [Harold Hitz] Burton—then planned further the program [of a prayer breakfast] and enlisted their cooperation. Then to the Supreme Court for visits with some of them . . . then back to the Senate, House. . . . The hand of the Lord is upon me. He is leading.

By the end of the war, nearly a third of U.S. senators attended one of his weekly prayer meetings.

In 1944, Vereide had foreseen what he called “the new world order.” “Upon the termination of the war there will be many men available to carry on,” Vereide wrote in a letter to his wife. “Now the ground-work must be laid and our leadership brought to face God in humility, prayer and obedience.” He began organizing prayer meetings for delegates to the United Nations, at which he would instruct them in God's plan for rebuilding from the wreckage of the war. Donald Stone, a high-ranking administrator of the Marshall Plan, joined the directorship of Vereide's organization. In an undated letter, he wrote Vereide that he would “soon begin a tour around the world for the [Marshall Plan], combining with this a spiritual mission.” In 1946, Vereide, too, toured the world, traveling with letters of introduction from a half dozen senators and representatives, and from Paul G. Hoffman, the director of the Marshall Plan. He traveled also with a mandate from General John Hildring, assistant secretary of state, to oversee the creation of a list of good Germans of “the predictable type” (many of whom, Vereide believed, were being held for having “the faintest connection” with the Nazi regime), who could be released from prison “to be used, according to their ability in the tremendous task of reconstruction.” Vereide met with Jewish survivors and listened to their stories, but he nevertheless considered ex-Nazis well suited for the demands of “strong” government, so long as they were willing to worship Christ as they had Hitler.

In 1955, Senator Frank Carlson, a close adviser to Eisenhower and an even closer associate of Vereide's, convened a meeting at which he declared the Family's mission to be a “worldwide spiritual offensive,” in which common cause would be made with anyone opposed to the Soviet Union. That same year, the Family financed an anti-Communist propaganda film, Militant Liberty, for use by the Defense Department in influencing opinion abroad. By the Kennedy era, the spiritual offensive had fronts on every continent but Antarctica (which Family missionaries would not visit until the 1980s). In 1961, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia deeded the Family a prime parcel in downtown Addis Ababa to serve as an African headquarters, and by then the Family also had powerful friends in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. Back home, Senator Strom Thurmond prepared several reports for Vereide concerning the Senate's deliberations. Former president Eisenhower, Doug Coe would later claim at a private meeting of politicians, once pledged secret operatives to aid the Family's operations. Even in Franco's Spain, Vereide once boasted at a prayer breakfast in 1965, “there are secret cells such as the American Embassy [and] the Standard Oil office [that allow us] to move practically anywhere.”

By the late sixties, Vereide's speeches to local prayer breakfast groups had become minor news events, and Family members' travels on behalf of Christ had attracted growing press attention. Vereide began to worry that the movement he had spent his life building might become just another political party. In 1966, a few years before he was “promoted” to heaven at age eighty-four, Vereide wrote a letter declaring it time to “submerge the institutional image of [the Family].” No longer would the Family recruit its powerful members in public, nor recruit so many. “There has always been one man,” wrote Vereide, “or a small core who have caught the vision for their country and become aware of what a 'leadership led by God' could mean spiritually to the nation and to the world. . . . It is these men, banded together, who can accomplish the vision God gave me years ago.”

The Covenant
I remembered Paul's letter to the Philippians, which we had begun to memorize. Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded.

“Unity,” I said. “Agreement means unity.”

Doug didn't smile. “Yes,” he said. “Total unity. Two, or three, become one. Do you know,” he asked, “that there's another word for that?”

No one spoke.

“It's called a covenant. Two, or three, agree? They can do anything. A covenant is . . . powerful. Can you think of anyone who made a covenant with his friends?”

We all knew the answer to this, having heard his name invoked numerous times in this context. Andrew from Australia, sitting beside Doug, cleared his throat: “Hitler.”

“Yes,” Doug said. “Yes, Hitler made a covenant. The Mafia makes a covenant. It is such a very powerful thing. Two, or three, agree.” He took another bite from his plate, planted his fork on its tines. “Well, guys,” he said, “I gotta go.”

As Doug Coe left, my brothers' hearts were beating hard: for the poor, for a covenant. “Awesome,” Bengt said. We stood to clear our dishes.

* * *

Preznit Insane Culthead Part I

Crypto-Christian Amerikan Fascism or Going to Hell in a Handbasket and Loving It.

I have been monitoring the Rapturists for a while now and their ultimate plan for Armageddon. What I didn't know until a few days ago is how they justify their doctrine with what is commonly accepted as Christ's teachings.

I read a Harper's Magazine article about the "Family" and the "prayer meetings" they hold with congressmen, senators, and foreign dignitaries at: Jesus Plus Nothing and then found the article below at a ref'd website.

In Part One, the article, The Gospel According to Dubya, will spell out how Christ's teachings have been twisted to justify tyranny and is pasted below and can be found at:

This article by Steve Almond indicates that we, America, and the world are dealing with nothing short of an insane culthead in G.W. Bush. The article "Jesus Plus Nothing," which I'll address in Part II, shows the extent and power of this cult in our government and the policies our government creates that we all have to live with.

The Gospel According to Dubya - by Steve Almond

"If you think there's a disconnect between George W. Bush's compassionate conservatism and his policies, just check out his savior."

There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of his devotion. Indeed, based on his own interviews, Jesus seems to have replaced his own father as his chief source of spiritual and political guidance.

He has created an administration that is more overtly religious than any other in U.S. history, both in its rhetoric and policy. This has been clear from his very first act as president -- he cut off all federal funding to any family planning group that did not teach abstinence -- to his recent support of an amendment banning gay marriage. Pundits tend to dismiss these stances as the handiwork of Karl Rove. But this is, I think, missing the point. George W. Bush is a true believer. His worldview is not based on polls or pundits or (God forbid) the Constitution. It is based on the teachings of the New Testament. His policies are not merely an appeal to his base. They are, to a larger extent than anyone cares to admit, manifestations of his personal belief in Christ.

For those in the secular humanist camp -- who adhere to that quaint notion known as "separation of church and state" -- the Bush Presidency has been, to put it mildly, a trying time. It has been even worse for those Christians who adhere to the credo known as liberation theology, the belief that Jesus of Nazareth represented the gospel of love as a revolutionary force. If he was, as we are generally led to believe, a pacifistic rabbi who ministered to the poor and the sick, how is it that Bush can pursue policies that sop the rich and keep us in a perpetual state of war?

The answer, believe it or not, is right in the Good Book. The Gospels reveal a profoundly divided messianic figure. In effect, there are two Christs: the do-gooder who urges us to disperse our wealth and forgive our enemies, and the enraged prophet who speaks joyfully of the coming doom, demands absolute loyalty, and expresses open contempt for the poor.

George W. Bush has led this nation, in essence, by indulging in the righteous pleasures of the latter, while invoking the gentle, feel-good tropes of the former. Christ is not only his central inspiration, in other words, but his chief enabler.

Click here to read more.

Who Would Jesus Bomb?

Christ comes off as the ultimate peacenik, the kind of guy who, if he were running for President, would say things like, "I'm a uniter, not a divider."

The problem is, he can't really seem to stay on message.

"Do not suppose that my mission on earth is to spread peace," he proclaims in Matthew. "My mission is to spread not peace, but division." (10-34)

In other passages, he relishes the idea that he and his followers will be despised for their radical beliefs. "When you hear about war and threats of war, do not yield to panic... nation will rise against nation, one kingdom against another... because of my name, you will be hated by all nations." (Mark 13-7)

It gets worse.

In the Book of Luke, Christ comes off, in his lust for Armageddon, as somewhere between Dick Cheney and Dr. Strangelove. "I have come to light a fire on the earth," he announces. "How I wish the blaze were ignited! ... Do you think I have come to establish peace on earth? I assure you, the contrary is true: I have come for division." (12, 49-51)

In these moments, it becomes much easier to see how George W. Bush might view his policy of pre-emptive war as a fulfillment of his savior's wishes -- particularly a holy war against what both he and Christ call "the evildoers." There is, in both figures, an eschatological hunger. Judgment Day becomes a revenge fantasy. ...

The domestic and international outrage his war-mongering has provoked doesn't bother Bush a bit. Just the opposite, it reifies his connection to Christ: "Blessed shall you be when men hate you, when they ostracize and insult you and proscribe your name as evil." (Luke, 6-22)...

Supply Side Christ
More troubling still is the Anointing at Bethany, a story repeated throughout the Gospels. Christ arrives in Bethany and is welcomed into a follower's home. A woman arrives with some precious oil and begins to anoint his feet. The disciples (the Book of John names Judas in particular) object. They argue that Christ, who has just urged them to sell their possessions and give the money to the poor, should follow suit.

Confronted with his hypocrisy, Christ declares, "The poor you will always have with you but you will not always have me."

Now, on some level I don't blame the guy. He's exhausted from his duties. He knows he's facing a gruesome and blameless death. He wants a little pampering. But he's using the same reasoning as the harried CEO who buys himself a Porsche. If the Messiah can declare himself free of his duty to the poor, what is to stop a mere mortal from the same course?

The veiled message here is one that Bush, and the Republicans in general, have been pushing for years: the poor are poor because they deserve to be poor. There is nothing that can be done to help them. They will always be poor.

And, by implication, the rich deserve to be rich. They are special. They deserve their indulgences. John Calvin would have called them the Elect, but the word that comes to my mind is entitlement. (If you are looking for a practical example, see: George W. Bush, his life.) It is a deterministic view, and profoundly anti-American, if you take the statement "and opportunity for all" at face value.

No one who examines the fiscal policies of the Bush Administration can argue against its contempt for the poor. They can spruce up their policies how ever they like -- Why not? The press doesn't document them with any vigor - but the numbers don't lie: wealth has been steadily flowing away from the poor and toward the rich. Their greed is no longer what shocks, as much as the electorate's moral complacence. For that, Jesus himself provides a precedent. ...

Christ: The Mean Remix
Bush's invocation of Christ during the 2000 campaign served a second, crucial role: it made him seem like a nice guy. He was going to be like Jesus. He was going to heal the nation of the division caused by, well, mostly by Bill Clinton's Godless reign.

But Bush is not really a nice guy. For all the fraternal back-slapping he displays in public, he is nothing short of vicious to his opponents. (You can ask John McCain about this.) And his vice-president isn't such a nice guy either. (You can ask Patrick Leahy about this.)...

But here's the thing: Christ isn't always such a nice guy, especially to his enemies. "How can you utter anything good, you brood of vipers, when you are so evil?" he asks of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew, 7-34). Not so nice. Likewise, he obsesses over loyalty. He makes a great lesson of the disciples who betray him, not only Judas, but Peter. He tells them, repeatedly, "He who is not with me is against me."

In short, Christ displays the kind of moral antagonism that has become the hallmark of the Bush Administration. ...

Christ, though, was a prophet. He was faced with an entrenched religious establishment: the Pharisees and Sadducees. It is fair to ask what establishment Bush opposes. He is, after all, the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. His party controls both houses of Congress and (as the 2000 election demonstrated) the Supreme Court.

The superficial response would be the liberals who represent, to him, failed policies and moral laxity. But my sense is that Bush's real enemy is the modern, secular state. He simply mistrusts the idea of government as a force for economic good in people's lives. He would prefer to turn these duties over to the private sector.

If Bush ever considers the 1.3 million American children living in poverty (and I'm not sure he does) his thinking seems to extend no further than the miracle of the fishes and loaves. This is what Jesus bestows unto the poor: miracles, or faith-based charity, not programs intended to empower them. Christ appeared, after all, because saving people is ultimately the job of God, not man.

It is in matters of personal morality, however, that Bush favors government intrusion -- and here the Gospels provide very little concrete guidance. Rather, Christ sets out a basic principle: his moral code takes precedence over all else. The most striking example is his frequent assertion that "whoever divorces commits adultery," an edict that flies in the face of Mosaic Law, which decreed a writ of divorce. ...

Remember, for the true Christian, the teachings of Jesus are not a personal code of conduct, but a universal prerequisite to salvation. In a sense, he is required to inflict his beliefs on the rest of us. And this is what's scariest about the New Testament: it offers an object lesson in moral surety. Christ may suffer over his fate, but he never suffers a moment of self-examination. Nor, he suggests, should his followers.

His life has become an inspiration to those who have made a career out of self-righteous bullying, not just Bible-thumping politicians, but the various false prophets of cable news and talk radio, whose lust for damnation finds a waiting home in the heart of the angry. ...

The Evil Doers Shall Rise to Be Damned
It is hardly breaking news that men would commit sins in the name of Christ. That's old hat by now. Our present concern is that the conscience of this country is being dragged backwards, toward a worldview that is fundamentally feudal. ...

I understand that the events of 9/11 scared our citizens; that we need to protect ourselves, and oppose terrorism. These are, frankly, truisms. What Bush has done is to use 9/11 to mobilize our worst impulses. This was most vividly illustrated in the response of the convention crowd. At any mention of the war in Iraq, they began to boom, U.S.A.! U.S.A.! But the war in Iraq, any war, is not an occasion for celebration. It is an occasion for profound sorrow, an abject failure of humanity.

The public fear instilled by 9/11 (along with the endless terror alerts) has allowed Bush to ignore the most noble of Christ's teachings, the pleas for mercy and tolerance, and to indulge instead in prophetic grievance. In opposing Islamic fundamentalism, Bush has relied on his own brand of fundamentalism. He has rendered the moral chaos of the world in black and white.

Many find this comforting. It spares us from having to consider why terrorists target us, and how our policies might actually foment hatred. It allows us to believe that affixing a bumper sticker to an SUV is an act of patriotism, or to feel that we are we are receiving the Good News by watching Christ's life reduced to a slow-motion snuff film.

Essentially, it spares us from taking any responsibility for the world we live in. We can freely disavow any blame for the poor. We can experience our rage above all other feelings, without recognizing that it is this same mindset -- taken to a lethal extreme -- that leads impoverished Arab teenagers to strap bombs onto their bodies and climb onto crowded buses.

A Christian like George W. Bush would translate what I just said thusly: "The author is a terrorist. Arrest him."

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Who will speak for you?

I went on a journey today which started with this at Washington Monthly which goes like:
And here is William Kristol on the future of our military presence in Iraq:
By Bush Doctrine standards, Syria is a hostile regime....What to do?....We could bomb Syrian military facilities; we could go across the border in force to stop infiltration; we could occupy the town of Abu Kamal in eastern Syria, a few miles from the border, which seems to be the planning and organizing center for Syrian activities in Iraq...
[D]emocracy promoting neocons like Kristol not only don't want U.S. troops to leave, they want to widen the conflict: to Syria right now and eventually to Iran and possibly Saudi Arabia — which "may ultimately be more serious than the Syria problem." But that can't happen unless U.S. troops have a permanent presence in Iraq.

My reaction to Kristol and PNAC has always been one of revulsion, but today it reached a new level of shock and awe at the complete insanity of such a course of action. To me, the whole NeoCon agenda puts America squarely on the suicidal path of militarism and war atrocities that brought down the ancient Assyrian Empire. You think I'm just being chicken little? Well...

Then I found myself at Information Clearing House going through the entries listed below. The entry that finally made me reach the level of total horror was the one about the guy strapped to a gurney and shipped off to Germany for a psyche evaluation. Had a dream that went something like it recently, must be why I'm sensitive to it.

Controversial U.S. Groups Operate Behind Scenes on Iraq Vote: ... in actuality, influential, US-financed agencies describing themselves as "pro-democracy" but viewed by critics as decidedly anti-democratic, have their hands all over Iraq’s transitional process, from the formation of political parties to monitoring the January 30 nationwide polls and possibly conducting exit polls that could be used to evaluate the fairness of the ballot-casting. Two such groups -- the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) -- are part of a consortium of non-governmental organizations to which the United States has provided over $80 million for political and electoral activities in post-Saddam Iraq.

In case you missed it: Why American Christian Fundamentalist's Support the State of Israel: In order for most of today’s Christians to escape physical death, two-thirds of the Jews in Israel must perish, soon. This is the grim prophetic trade-off that fundamentalists rarely discuss publicly, but which is the central motivation in the movement’s support for Israel.

[Note: there's another article at Clearing House that gets into the real guts of Christian Zionism and Dispensationalism.]

Permanent Jail Set for Guantánamo: Even as federal judges weigh whether the U.S. has the authority to detain and try suspects in the war on terror, the Pentagon is quietly planning for permanency at the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, The Herald has learned.

Intel Agent Strapped to Gurney and Flown Out of Iraq by U.S. Army After Reporting Torture of Detainees: A veteran sergeant who told his commanding officers that he witnessed his colleagues torturing Iraqi detainees was strapped to a gurney and flown out of Iraq - even though there was nothing wrong with him. We speak with the reporter - former U.S. Army counterintelligence agent David DeBatto - who broke the story. Audio and transcript.

Then I went looking for:
First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

This is how it starts. A sound bite here, a policy change there, under the radar movement of putting people in place on school boards or parents doing home schooling to get rid of science and inject theology, overtaking the media to control information, packing legislatures with wolves in sheep's clothing, placing civil servants in key positions, duping a large segment of the population into believing something that is against their self-preservation while reducing the news, entertainment, and advertising to the worst common denominator, and then finding the right person and the right event to galvanize a full-blown doctrine that spells doom for us all. The Niemoller quote is for those who won't believe that such evil is possible in America. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are not aberrations. They are actual doctrine.

Add into this mix the religious fanaticism of the Christian Rapturists and their desire to bring on the holocaust of Revelations through the use of nuclear devices. Read's Fiery Hell on Earth, Part 5: A Marriage Made in Heaven if you think I'm making this up.

The Rapture is the perfect cover for the NeoCons to finally get to wage nuclear war that they were denied during the Cold War. They will finally get to consummate their lust for world domination.

When my thoughts reach this point I get a wave of fear at such insanity. Everything else falls away. All political talk fades into the background as I wonder what sane, life-loving people can do against such suicidal/homocidal insanity. Then I realize that too few have a clue of the coming danger just as the Germans and Europeans did not fully understand the coming horror of Hitler, Naziism, and the Final Solution. At this point, it's not politics anymore. It's life and death just as it was for those who died in the camps and gas chambers. Except that ours will be more like the two bright flashes over Japan. Don't think it can happen? I sincerely hope and pray you are right. Because if you are not, who will be left to speak for you?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Nazis and U.S. Politics

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

The letter below was written in 1995. While many of the cirucmstances are different, many of them are also eerily similar, too similar to just dimiss despite the final sentence of the letter.

Letter to the Editor
6/7/95 - Arlington, Washington Times
Thomas Colton Ruthford

During the past several months in the American press, the Democrats have frequently denounced the Republicans as Nazis due to their attempts to control runaway federal spending. How very ironic. I remember the Nazis. Let me share a little about them and recall some of their exploits.

First of all, “Nazi” was gutter slang for the verb “to nationalize”. The Bider-Mienhoff gang gave themselves this moniker during their early struggles. The official title of the Nazi Party was “The National Socialist Workers Party of Germany”. Hitler and the Brownshirts advocated the nationalization of education, health care, transportation, national resources, manufacturing, distribution and law enforcement.

Hitler came to power by turning the working class, unemployed, and academic elite against the conservative republic. After der fuhrer’s election ceased being a political conspiracy and was transformed into a fashionable social phenomenon, party membership was especially popular with educators, bureaucrats, and the press. Being a Nazi was politically correct. They called themselves “The Children of the New Age of World Order” and looked down their noses at everyone else. As Hitler accrued more power, he referred to his critics as “The Dark Forces of Anarchy and Hatred”. Anyone who questioned Nazi high-handedness in the German press was branded a “Conservative Reactionary”. Joseph Goebbels, minister of communications, proclaimed a “New World Order”.

The Nazi reign of terror began with false news reports on the Jews, Bohemians and Gypsies who were said to be arming themselves to overthrow the “New World Order” and Hitler demanded that all good people register their guns so that they wouldn’t fall into the hands of “terrorists and madmen”. Right wing fanatics of the “Old Order” who protested firearms registration were arrested by the S.S. and put in jail for “fomenting hatred against the Government of the German people”.

Then the Reichstag (government building) was blown up and Hitler ram-rodded an “Emergency Anti-Terrorist Act” through Parliament that gave the Gestapo extraordinary powers. The leader then declared that for the well-being of the German people, all private firearms were to be confiscated by the Gestapo and the Wermotten (federal law enforcement and military). German citizens who refused to surrender their guns when the “jack-boots” (Gestapo) came calling, were murdered in their homes. By the way, the Gestapo were the federal marshals service of the Third Reich. The S.W.A.T. team was invented and perfected by the Gestapo to break into the homes of the enemies of the German people.

When the Policia Bewakken, or local police, refused to take away guns from townsfolk, they themselves were disarmed and dragged out into the street and shot to death by the S.A. and the S.S. Those were Nazi versions of the B.A.T.F. and the F.B.I. When several local ministers spoke out against these atrocities, they were imprisoned and never seen again.

The Gestapo began to confiscate and seize the homes, businesses, bank accounts, and personal belongings of wealthy conservative citizens who had prospered in the old Republic. Pamphleteers who urged revolt against the Nazis were shot on site by national law enforcement and the military. Gypsies and Jews were detained and sent to labor camps. Mountain roads throughout central Europe were closed to prevent the escape of fugitives into the wilderness, and to prevent the movement and concealment of partisan resistance fighters.

Public schools rewrote history and Hitler youth groups taught the children to report their parents to their teachers for anti-Nazi remarks. Such parents disappeared. Pagan animism became the state religion of the Third Reich and Christians were widely condemned as “right wing fanatics”.

Millions of books were burned first and then people. Millions of them burned in huge ovens after they were first gassed to death. Unmarried women were paid large sums of money to have babies out of wedlock and then given medals for it. Evil was declared as being good, and good was condemned as being evil. World Order was coming and the German people were going to be the “peacekeepers”.

Yes, indeed, I remember the Nazis and they weren’t Republicans, or “right wing”, or “patriots” or “militias”. They were ... monsters.