Saturday, February 24, 2007
Although many conservatives are distancing themselves from this well paid intellectual from the Olin Foundation, The American Enterprise Institute, The Hoover Institute, some like Glenn Beck are in agreement. From a Feb 21, 2007 quote of Mr. Beck –
BECK: You know, there`s a new poll out that Muslims, the higher educated Muslims in the Middle East are more likely to be extremists? More and more Muslims now hate us all across the world, and it really has not a lot to do with anything other than our morals.
The things that they were saying about us were true. Our morals are just out the window. We`re a society on the verge of moral collapse. And our promiscuity is off the charts.
Now I don`t think that we should fly airplanes into buildings or behead people because of it, but that's the prevailing feeling of Muslims in the Middle East. And you know what? They`re right.
I wonder when reading arguments like this to what set of charts the writer refers. They must be exclusive graphs available to a chosen few because the holders of these charts are reluctant to produce them for peer review. Never the less, Beck throws in with the idea that Islam “hates us for our freedom.” The implication being that the only way to save ourselves is to become less free by joining a fundamentalist Christian mega-church and adopting a strong set of morals.
Bin Laden has said that his reason for attacking America is due to our presence in their holy lands. He accuses America and Israel of conspiring to take over the Muslim world. By definition according to the Koran, anyone who is not a Muslim is unholy and immoral. This makes D’Souza’s argument, that if America was occupied by conservative Christians, fanatic Islamists might be our friends, contrary to what Bin Laden has said.
To quote D’Souza –
“Islam is notorious for the harshness of some its punishments, such as cutting off the arms and legs of thieves, flogging adulterers and executing drug dealers. In this respect, one may say, with only a hint of irony, that Muslims are in the Old Testament tradition.”
D’Souza skirts the issue that one of the foundations for Abrahamic religions is a fanatical fear of human sexuality. Embedded is this religious tradition is an assumed definition of what constitutes the difference between a moral and immoral society. This ancient tradition is never questioned by D’Souza. In fact, he embellishes it by citing bin Laden’s November 2002 “Letter to America” which calls on us “to reject fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling and trading with interest.” With the exception of trading with interest, D’Souza and fundamentalist Christians agree that bin Laden correctly identifies immoral behavior.
In doing so the core of D’Souza’s arguments are mute. First, Democracy is a system which empowers people. The rights of women and homosexuals are a slow but natural outgrowth of our system. It is our system that needs to be changed in order to encourage Americans to conform D’Souza’s definition of morality. What he is really arguing for is the Dominionist Doctrine of replacing our constitution with biblical law. That is, if we want to encourage terrorist to be our pals and generally have peace on earth.
In many ways his ideas are already being implemented. Our privacy is subject to government scrutiny, for the first time in our history torture is an accepted practice, Habeas Corpus can be suspended by presidential decree and kidnapping is a tool of law enforcement. The morality of these policies fits into D’Souza’s implied definition. It is something that Muslims and Christians both do and compliment Old Testament law. Kidnapping, spying and torture are well established traditions of both cultures.
D’Souza prefaced his book by saying –
“In this book I make a claim that will seem startling at the outset. The cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11. … In faulting the cultural left, I am not making the absurd accusation that this group blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I am saying that the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world. The Muslims who carried out the 9/11 attacks were the product of this visceral rage—some of it based on legitimate concerns, some of it based on wrongful prejudice, but all of it fueled and encouraged by the cultural left. Thus without the cultural left, 9/11 would not have happened.
“I realize that this is a strong charge, one that no one has made before. But it is a neglected aspect of the 9/11 debate, and it is critical to understanding the current controversy over the ‘war against terrorism.’ … I intend to show that the left has actively fostered the intense hatred of America that has led to numerous attacks such as 9/11. If I am right, then no war against terrorism can be effectively fought using the left-wing premises that are now accepted doctrine among mainstream liberals and Democrats.”
He treats his accusations as though they are derived from some unique insight involving an unparalleled quest into depths of human thought. However, conservatives have blamed liberals for everything from slough to gluttony; adding terrorism to their list of accusations is a normal progression. Because D’Souza is well kept by partisan institutions like the Olin Foundation, The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, he is free to amble around ideas unrestrained by facts. The major theme of this book has little to do with D’Souza. It is one of many products being manufactured by neocon institutions desperately trying to divert public attention from the failed policies of their past.
Friday, February 23, 2007
-- Clinton lied under oath to a Federal Grand Jury. (That’s perjury, of course, and perjury remains a felony.)
-- Clinton continues to lie about his 12-year affair with Gennifer Flowers.
-- Clinton still denies he sexually harassed Paula Jones. (Even though he paid her $850,000 in hush money.)
-- Clinton persists in dismissing the Whitewater scandal as a “land deal where I lost money.” (Despite the fact that a dozen of his close associates landed in jail over the matter.)
-- Clinton illegally obtained FBI files on his political opponents, and lied about that, too.
-- On the golf course, Clinton has an incredibly difficult time playing his ball where it lies. According to close observers (Tiger Woods among them), Clinton exhibits questionable math when he tallies his scorecard.
-- And according to Washington Post reporter John Harris, Clinton was so upset about his inability to lose weight in 2000, that following his annual physical he instructed aides to release a bogus number that made him five pounds lighter.
The intent of Kudlow's article is to remind us of the anxiety and bedlam during the Clinton Administration. Surprisingly, he didn't accuse the former president of murdering his best friend Vince Foster. It must have slipped his mind. Re-writing history takes a lot of concentration. Without propaganda the neocons would not have succeeded as a viable political movement and Kudlow is among the many think tank pundits who keep the minions on task.
Not all of their accusations are so stale. This week, for example, a brand new spin term was introduced into their rhetoric; slow bleed. It's about time, the absence of cut and run left a gaping hole in their political jargon. The mainstream media embraced slow bleed like a newborn and treated it like their own. Kudlow, on the other hand, was reaffirming neocon distortions of American history. By accusing President Clinton of lying about his weight or shaving strokes off his golf game, Kudlow smugly imagines he has polished his argument to a brilliant sheen.
Even during the height of the Lewinsky scandal, polls showed that most Americans outside the Beltway considered it a petty, political battle. Kudlow thinks citizens are unaware that neocons spent $80 million, hired 2 special prosecutors and tormented Clinton throughout his presidency in order to catch him with a stain on his tie. Clinton will never "admit to" participating in the Whitewater Scandal because there wasn't one. Just ask Susan McDougal, who spent a year in jail because she refused to lie about Clinton under oath. here This interview must be off limits to true believers in neocon narrative. She is clearly a causality of their hatred and a person of honor and integrity.
A month before the invasion of Iraq, Kudlow wrote this in the National Review -
"Military troops are being put in place in the Iraq theatre. Special forces are on the ground, preparing to capture the oil fields. The mightiest air-bombing campaign in history is being planned. A government-in-exile, one pledged to develop a representative democracy with social pluralism and true human rights in Iraq, is being organized. War, it appears, is on the way.
And now it is time for action. Most Americans today are waiting for President Bush to once and for all pull the plug on Saddam. The nation has placed its trust in the commander in chief. There is no doubt that we will succeed in this venture. There is no doubt that the dominos of freedom and democracy will fall throughout the Middle East after Saddam’s removal. And there is no doubt that international terrorism will be dealt another mortal blow."
It appears that while criticizing President Clinton for errors in judgement Kudlow was making a few of his own. Oddly, Kudlow and his cohorts rant hysterically about Clinton but still fail to recognize shortcomings of their own. Minds like this would have invited Monica to bring her friends to the Whitehouse for a long weekend and then invaded Cuba.
History may reveal whether neocons believe their aberrant assertions or they are purposefully spinning tales. As their partisans diminish in number and ideas, even old stand bys like smearing President Clinton lack the zeal it once had. The movements ability to compartmentalize it's contradictions is demoralized with every new failure. The day will come when not even Fox News and a tricky phrase like "slow bleed" will be able to save them.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
What makes his article unique today is his authoritative view of our constitution and our history. Quoting Lincoln for saying:
Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.
Mr. Gaffney agrees. Disagreement in any form with the failed policies of President Bush should be stifled and punished by exile or hanging. Specifically, Senators Levin and Rockefeller for their public comments about Douglas Feith and his unintentional, mistakes as Under Secretary of Defense. His reports were the foundation for the invasion of Iraq.
It is one thing to error in favor of invading a sovereign country quite another to criticize Feith’s work as sloppy and contrived. In the case of Senator Levin and Senator Rockefeller, their treasonous, criticism "damage morale and undermine the military" and should be put to death. In this opinion President Lincoln clearly agrees.
Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com wondered about the context of President Lincoln’s quote. On checking he discovered Lincoln said no such thing. The neoconservative founder, Frank Gaffney, made another mistake. By doing so he’s able to advocate that Senator Levin and Senator Rockefeller be put to death. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/
Glenn Greenwald wonders if anyone in the mainstream media will report on this bizarre breach of ethics. He concludes that we probably won’t hear much about it. It takes a lot of brain power for neoconservatives to run the country and they can’t be distracted by silly mistakes.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
President Bush denies that Haggard was a highly regarded advisor, consistent with the ritual of shunning those who have fallen. Scooter Libby is being sacrificed. Another trustee suffers public humiliation. Atoning for the sins of his master, Libby’s faith is being tested. The sea of Bush believers evaporates into a rancid pool. Positive proof of climate change should be passed onto government ministers.
The faith of the hardcore 30% is being tested. Bush think-tank, supported defenders are dumping their best bile on the heathen hordes of Democrats and unfaithful. The message of the last election strengthened their resolve to prove that incompetence and corruption are a matter of preception. Bush enablers have escalated to hysterical rants modeled on masters like Pee Wee Herman. Dreaming dreams of regaining majority status the same way Pee Wee found his bike.
Last week they attacked Speaker Pelosi for using a government plane to commute. These suddenly, frugile, neo-cons fired Stuart Bowen last October. The Republican appointee who uncovered billions of dollars in waste and corruption in Iraq. The Pelosi accusers so eager to save government money, gladly paid full retail prices to drug companies for Medicare Plan D. Between vacations they packed more pork into spending bills than any congress in history. So arrogant they boldly financed a $223 million bridge to nowhere in Alaska: a national embarrassment. Generations will pass before the gold metal records of waste and corruption set by the 109th Congress will be broken.
Also, more hysteria; John Hawkins of Townhall.com wrote "Liberals vs The Troops."
He asserts -
"But, the truth is, despite their politically motivated protestations to the contrary, the majority of liberals genuinely do not like or support our troops. They view them as dumb, brainwashed, sadistic Bushbots who only deserve support if they're trashing the war, trashing Bush, or if they're deserters like Ehren Watada."
More bile spews from the pens of aloof, wealthy pundits with their egos as skin in the game. This is the quality of thought coming from the current base of Bush support. An article accusing Democrats of hating the troops. Many of whom have loved ones serving in Iraq. This week Democrats voted to restore veterans benefits neo-cons cut to give tax breaks to wealthy Americans. They also opened an investigation into why our troops were ordered into battle without proper equipment. Neo-con deeds betray such vile accusations. It was their hero, Rumsfeld, who said "You go to war with the army you've got." Unless the war is optional.
This process is dismantling the Republican Party. Their selective, adolescent screening of realty keeps them from understanding the extent of their wounds. It may be wiser for real conservatives to change their name rather than attempt to revive the corrupted Republican Party.
Friday, February 9, 2007
Reverend Ted Haggard emerged from and undisclosed clinic in Phoenix on Wednesday after three weeks of intense counseling. He promptly announced another miracle; he’s been certified not gay. Victoria Slulum was quoted at “The Onion” saying “It's true. I saw that press conference where reporters tempted him by waving a bunch of meth-covered cocks in his face, and he didn't even flinch."
The speed of his progress may be a result of divine intervention. After years of deriding and belittling gays as founding Pastor of the New Life Church in Boulder, CO, Reverend Haggard has undoubtedly learned that most of his dispersions were true. His experience proves that gayness is a choice easily overcome by a few weeks in therapy.
When asked if Haggard had received any special attention one of his doctors said “No, we treated him the same as all the other cock suckers around here.” The treatment which Haggard underwent is similar to the one used in “A Clockwork Orange.” Instead of using drugs, electrodes are implanted into Reverend Haggard’s unit and shock him when aroused by watching gay porn. He’ll continue to wear them until his wife Gayle tells him he can take it off.
Gayle Haggard has stayed by her husband’s side in the hospital. While Reverend Haggard was reconditioned, Gayle was trained on the proper use of a strap-on. “Technique is everything” Gayle said while doing leg lifts in the gym. “At first I resented the accusation by church leaders that Ted was driven to other men because I’m sexually prudish. Men know better what other men like. I’m learning.” Gayle’s first love is still homemaking but she has learned that sometimes a woman’s place is on top.
Soon Gayle and Ted will be moving from their home in Boulder, Co. During Haggard's treatment in Phoenix, his doctors discovered another problem yet unsolved. Besides gayness, they also diagnosed Reverend Haggard to be a pathological liar. Like many people of faith, he believes his own lies. Treatment for truth- avoidance condition will take much longer. As a consequence, Reverend Haggard has been encouraged to continue aggressive therapy.
If neglected, he will continue to regress deeper into fantasy. Believing anything he wishes with no foundation in reality, its rumored Reverend Haggard thinks he’s a super hero with the power to throw farts.
Since he doesn't want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let's make a bet. I predict that Iraq won't have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it. I'll bet $1,000 (which I can hardly spare right now). This way neither of us can hide behind clever word play or CV reading. If there's another reasonable wager Cole wants to offer which would measure our judgment, I'm all ears. Money where your mouth is, doc.
Very soon Mr. Goldberg's new book is due to be released on the public; "Liberal Facism." It's pundits like this that make me want to be a Democrat. Here's his publishers description of the book -
LIBERAL FASCISM offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg shows that the original fascists were really on the Left and that liberals, from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton, have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler’s National Socialism. . . . he boldly illustrates the resemblances between the opinions advanced by Hitler and Mussolini and the current views of the Left.
My comment -
Mr. Goldberg has corrupted genuine conservatism to represent a self-serving, political philosphy leaching the life out of the Republican Party. I doubt that his analysis of political, history is much better than his forecasting victory in Iraq. Self destruction by the Republican party, may lead to the one party system he dreads Senator Clinton will create.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
When Texas Governor Rick Perry signed the bill to create the referendum, he did so at a Christian evangelical school alongside what he called his pro-family "Christian friends." When asked why he supports the ban, he replied, simply enough: "I am a Christian and this is about values."
Proposition 2 was a response to the Supreme Court declaring
(A) any contact between any part of the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person; or
(B) the penetration of the genitals or the anus of another person with an object.
(2) "Sexual contact" means any touching of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of another person with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
(3) "Sexual intercourse" means any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.
A crime was committed if a husband inadvertently penetrated the wrong orifice making love to his wife. There are no statistics on how many law-abiding husbands turned themselves over to the authorities for this infraction. Not many I’d guess. Laws like these invite lawbreaking and disrespect for those who made them.
Sexuality is a subject that people with good morals just don’t talk about. Without question, good Christians accept that homosexuality threatens the sanctity of marriage. A class of citizens is discriminated against as a result. Gays are not eligible for the legal benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
More laws protecting the sanctity of marriage are probably coming. There’s political pressure to make divorce much more difficult. Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D. of Andrews University, explains - God’s original plan consists of a man and a woman being united in a marriage bond so strong that the two actually become one flesh (Gen 2:26; Matt 19:6; Mark 10:8). The "one flesh" unity of the couple is reflected especially in their offspring who partake of the genetic characteristics of father and mother, and the two are absolutely inseparable. Jesus affirms that it is God Himself who actually joins together a couple in marriage and what God has joined together no human being has the right to separate.
Our lawmakers in
Laws to protect the sanctity of marriage and punish sexuality are made by men who are insecure about their own sexuality. To justify imposing their values they quote scripture. The Bible in which they claim everything written is true. Sometime soon, I plan to take a closer look at these verses to see why this Old Testament history is the basis for so many laws.
Saturday, February 3, 2007
Date of information - 2005
People's Republic of China
Thursday, February 1, 2007
The “Monroe Doctrine” of 1823 warned European powers to stay out of Latin America, including Central America, which had a particular importance to the United States because of its proximity. By the early 20th century, U.S. companies dominated the economies of Central American republics, including Nicaragua, controlling most of the banana production, railroads, port facilities, mines, and banking institutions. The United States intervened in Nicaragua repeatedly to protect U.S. economic interests. In 1912 U.S. marines landed once again to maintain a pro-American government; this occupation lasted until 1925. Augusto César Sandino, a nationalist and leader of Nicaraguan peasants and workers, refused to accept the U.S.-sponsored peace treaty that kept U.S. influence and economic power intact. He organized an army of peasants, workers, and Indians to resist thousands of U.S. marines and the U.S.-trained Nicaraguan National Guard. Sandino’s 1933 proclamation called upon all the nations of Central America to oppose U.S. imperialism. From 1927 to 1933 Sandino waged a successful guerrilla war against the United States with support from Mexican and other Latin American anti-imperialists.
"You ask me about what is called imperialism. Well, I have formed views about that question. I am at the disadvantage of not knowing whether our people are for or against spreading themselves over the face of the globe. I should be sorry if they are, for I don't think that it is wise or a necessary development. As to China, I quite approve of our Government's action in getting free of that complication. They are withdrawing, I understand, having done what they wanted. That is quite right. We have no more business in China than in any other country that is not ours. There is the case of the Philippines. I have tried hard, and yet I cannot for the life of me comprehend how we got into that mess. Perhaps we could not have avoided it -- perhaps it was inevitable that we should come to be fighting the natives of those islands -- but I cannot understand it, and have never been able to get at the bottom of the origin of our antagonism to the natives. I thought we should act as their protector -- not try to get them under our heel. We were to relieve them from Spanish tyranny to enable them to set up a government of their own, and we were to stand by and see that it got a fair trial. It was not to be a government according to our ideas, but a government that represented the feeling of the majority of the Filipinos, a government according to Filipino ideas. That would have been a worthy mission for the United States. But now -- why, we have got into a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater. I'm sure I wish I could see what we were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation."
The neo-conservatives share the conviction that Americans crave global expansion. Our recent tendency toward isolationism is a concern. When President Bush delivered a strong warning against isolationism in Tuesday's State of the Union address, he was speaking to a recent and dramatic turn in public opinion. A recent Pew Research survey found a decided revival of isolationist sentiment among the public, to levels not seen since post-Cold War 1990s and the post-Vietnam 1970s. However, rightwing pundits expound that over time Americans will return to Imperialism once the stinging mistakes in Iraq are soon forgotten.
Our history proves their point. America formed by revolution and war continues to be a tool frequently used since our founding. War keeps us strong. The military, industrial-complex nourishes. During hard times, war puts us to work. Today, despite the perpetual fumbling of the Bush administration, Iraq feeds the machine of the American economy. It is not surprising that in today’s New York Times, David Brooks asserts –
“Americans are having a debate bout how to proceed in Iraq, but we are not having a strategic debate about retracting American power and influence. What’s most important about this debate is what doesn’t need to be said. No major American leader doubts that America must remain, as Dean Acheson put it, the locomotive of the world. . . .”
Knowing our history, why would Mr. Brooks think otherwise?
Free enterprise left unencumbered is a creative, resilient system. Despite its faults, it is the most plausible way to encourage jobs, growth and efficient use of resources. Meddling by the Federal Reserve control of interest rates and tax law imposed by Congress are the primary reasons free enterprise temporarily breaks. Although war is always good for business, President Clinton showed that peace and prosperity are compatible for at least 8 years.
The neo-con assertion that America will continue to expand its power and influence may be true but is a topic that deserves debate. Meddling in other people’s governments backed by the threat of war is a model that has worked at too high a human cost. Other approachs needs consideration. Free enterprise is an aggressive system. The use of state sponsored force is a practical way to get what you want but the expense of doing so needs a true accounting.
Creating friendly governments with which to do business damages the citizens of that nation. With few exceptions, power and wealth concentrate to the ruling elite at the expense of the people and their natural resources. Our interference create nations of enemies when homegrown governments such as Venezuela educate their population to understand how they have been had.
One cost yet expensed is horrors like 9/11. Gradually, citizens of the world are becoming hostile toward us, often with good reason. As a consequence, Americans are in increasing danger. The comfort of our overwhelming military power lessens as the violence we’ve imposed on others turns on us. As a result our military requires more of our resources to protect us from increasing, more sophisticated threats. Thus the spiral continues as we become increasingly fearful, wasteful and well fed.
The company with the lowest costs for labor and material wins. Interjecting political and military force to accomplish that is not part of capitalism but extraneous to it. No company that is profit driven would reject using a tool that aids in competition. It is the job of American citizens to question if using force to lower the cost of production is worth the consequences. So far, it has been. However, the model which has served us so well is the past is beginning to fray. We have options besides funding our military. Those resources could be put to better use.