Thursday, June 30, 2005

a new low in graphic design history: why i hate my last profession

i watched the address live on cspan online and was "bugged" by the game show-like delivery bush gave and how, with the backdrop he vaguely reminded me of bob eubanks of the newlywed show. he'd talk and i couldn't take my mind off the backdrop. it seemed cartoonish or contrived somehow -- like a gameshow.

well, here's why.




what a lame thing to do -- like this is all a big joke.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

lessons from spoiled little boys: how i know what Bush will say tonite

I had a boss once, who needed a spanking real bad. His parents should have taken the initiative there. Somebody dropped the ball. He was a classic spoiled little boy who took responsibility for nothing and spent his life in a panic because he was always late, always empty-handed and always double dealing. He could talk a good game, which is why he had any business at all -- but one got the impression his magical skill was approaching only those he looked down upon and therefore he didn't have to try too hard because the potential client wasn't 'really' worth the effort. He was unable to just take a job, hire vendors, finish the job and move on. Every interaction was marked by lies, hissy fits, and make-goods.

Spoiled little boys grow into spoiled little men who spend way too much time having to explain themselves. When called to task you might hear the faraway voice of the spoiled little boy dramatically proclaiming, 'it's HARD work.' During his Social Security road show, Bush was often quoted as saying, 'this is what leaders do.' Usually followed by the tautological, 'they lead.' Only spoiled little men need to justify themselves. Only liars need to remind themselves of their identity.

So what do I expect to hear tonight?

Whenever things got 'knee-deep in shit' with the spoiled boss, you could bet the client was getting ready to hear all about how some mysterious force was sabotaging the project. The printer was to blame. The bindery was to blame. The ink was to blame. But he was going to 'take of it,' scoring a double victory once the project was FINALLY delivered.

The experienced scapegoater knows it's not enough to just put blame. You have to get the client 'on your side' by demonizing the 'mysterious force' thereby giving the client a place to put their frustration.

So, you want to know why the war isn't won yet? Ask Rove. He floated the new meme last week. 'Liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.'

It's those damn indictment- and therapy-loving liberals!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Demand Destruction

(this is one of those op-eds where you go, shit-DOG -- they hit it on the head. brook)




By Bill Henderson -- Al-Jazeerah, June 26, 2005

"This man claims to be Christian, following the will of God, and then he misleads the whole nation on a totally fraudulent enterprise in Iraq that we should have never been attached to." -- George McGovern


Seize a very tempting Iraq after you've deceived America with innuendo about WMDs and ties to terrorism.

Kill over a hundred thousand people in a war of aggression.

Show total incompetence in disturbing the Middle-East hornet's nest and then bungle the post-war: unleashing chaos and insurgency possibly civil war, turning Iraq into a seething, dangerous, terror-breeding hell on Earth.

Add responsibility for torture and trailer trash insults to Islam - and, what do you know, his pastor probably still thinks he's a great guy.

Americans haven't a clue just how guilty Mr. Bush is because they don't know the inside story yet. But the extensive evidence of motive, premeditation and deceit and destruction for imperial gain will come out - but Mr. Bush isn't worried cause he knows for sure how shallow American Christianity really is.

I'm being too harsh?

Should a 'Christian' nation be the leader in military spending? Outspending the next twenty nations? Many trillions of dollars? With a military industrial complex that produces 40% of the planets weapons?

Be the world's leading supplier of armaments, from handguns to advanced weapons systems? Be constantly upgrading and expanding it's weapons of mass destruction?

Support an aggressively militaristic foreign policy with more than 700 military bases globally?

Give in to temptation and attack a small nation, a pitiful fraction of the size and strength of the US, using world war levels of bombing before sending in troops - because if hardly any body bags come home you can get away with murder?

Not really 'Christian'. Not turning the other cheek. Hard to be a Christian when you're wearing the biggest guns in town. But even more close to home - why does the US need this military power, this imperial attitude to the rest of the world?

American consumption is leading to Overshoot, threatening every person on the planet. But the American way of life is not negotiable, period. Even if the heavy individual American footprint - food, forests, fisheries, fuel, etc. - is five times the per capita level of consumption that would be globally sustainable.

And so much of this consumption is wasteful, obscenely wasteful. For example, Americans use 20 barrels of oil for every one used by the average person globally. Would it be fair to say that spending even 10 barrels per person on self-centered Hollywood-wannabe lifestyles is sinful in a world where billions are desperately poor?

Do we read about proposed policies to reduce US per capita energy use? Are you kidding - just like we don't read about illegal war or about the obscene and increasing military spending.

Is any evangelical leader speaking from their hearts to their congregations about luxuries now considered necessities - everything from fashion and travel; toys like boats, ride on mowers or custom cars; and must-haves like trophy wives; etc., etc., etc.?

Is Billy Graham preaching that these are luxuries that we can no longer afford with our already obese footprints? Is Focus on the Family speaking out about American consumption sinfulness in a world of more than 6 billion people - in a world where more than 5 billion people earn and consume far, far less than even Americans below the poverty line?

Oil is moving back up to challenge $60 a barrel. Traders are supposedly spooked by tight supply concerns, lack of refinery capacity, and worries about possible production hiccups in the now increasingly unfriendly and potentially unstable Middle East. There are predictions that we could soon see $100 a barrel; $5 a gallon gas. Not a surprise to people in the oil Administration - and not a word of concern from Jesusland about their Third World brethren who can't afford oil now, who will never get a chance to use this finite, one chance oil in the future.

Presumably pro sports teams and tourists will continue to jet around America. Salads will still travel thousands of miles to your plate. Speculators will continue to build 5000 sq ft homes in the Burbs. And not one business will be threatened with bankruptcy so long as nobody panics, so long as no bubbles burst, so long as the economy continues with business as usual and everybody goes to church.

Demand destruction will occur in those countries that can't afford oil. Demand destruction will occur in farmers fields and Third World slums. America will eat turkey, watch football and give thanks to the Lord while millions starve, while millions starve outside a privileged world where oil is still fungible.

Demand destruction will occur outside a Fortress America which allows who it wants to buy oil and just prints more dollars so that Americans can keep on using oil in the totally wasteful way they've become accustomed to.

I'm not being too harsh. Any Christian who takes the time to look at his or her life, their wasteful way of life in an imperialistic country, must know that Jesus would be appalled. If Jesus came to America he'd throw everybody out of the temple. The unChristianity of demand destruction will be hard to ignore - but, hey, the world's only been around for five millennia. It's not peak oil - it's rapture, naked bottoms floating up to heaven.

Nixon said 'I'm not a crook' but we knew he was a crook long before Watergate and not just because of a bungled break-in. For Bush, anybody who respects the law and the Golden Rule must cringe hearing his casual wrestler-like menace. But how guilty are the people who elect these guys to kill and maim untold innocents in their name? In Vietnam and Cambodia or now Iraq?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

a quiz for Rove -- from MrBenchley at DU

"1) 'Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war' said Karl. What was the most important part of that preparation?
a) Sitting motionlessly to listen to schoolchildren read 'My Pet Goat'before sprinting for a bunker in Nebraska to hide for the rest of the day.
b) Preventing Dixie Chicks records from being played on the radio.
c) Re-naming fried potatoes and fried, egg-dipped bread so that France doesn't get credit for them.
d) Making officers who point out what was actually needed for war resign from the Pentagon.
e) All of the above.

2) 'Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war' said Karl. What was the SECOND most important part of that preparation?
a) Trying to get the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge opened for drilling because otherwise the terrorists would win.
b) Trying to get a massive tax break for the richest 1% of Americans.
c) Letting the guy who masterminded that 9/11 savagery stroll unimpeded into Pakistan.
d) Destroying evidence in the anthrax attack case.
e) All of the above.

3) 'I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble.' Karl told his conservative audience. Which of these noted young conservatives felt just like Karl, threw moderation and restraint aside, and joined the military immediately?a
) George P. Bush, nephew of the current White House occupant.
b) Jeb Bush Junior, nephew of the current White House occupant.
c) Billy Bush, cousin of the current White House occupant.
d) Andrew M. Rove, son of Karl Rove.
e) None of the above.

4) 'I don't know about you, but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the twin towers crumble to the ground, a side of the Pentagon destroyed, and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble.' Karl told his conservative audience. Which of these was the most valuable result of conservatives not being moderate or restrained?
a) We invaded a country that had nothing at all to do with the 9/11 attacks, and now 135,000 American troops are bogged down in a futile occupation.
b) Osama Bin Laden, the architect of the 9/11 savagery, remains at large, with his criminal organization much larger and more powerful than before the attacks.
c) Virtually every ally we had in the world is estranged, and this country, which was a beacon of human rights, is now synonymous with torture.
d) Our troops are fighting alone while the White House pretends that countries like Eritrea and the Solomon Islands are helping the war effort.
e) All of the above.

5) Rove fretted aloud to his audience about the danger to our troops. Which of these actions is least likely to increase this danger?
a) Claiming that war is a cakewalk and refusing to adequately prepare for the effort needed.
b) Failing to secure weapons depots and ammuntions dumps after the invasion.
c) Equipping the troops with inadequate and antiquated gear and publicly sneering at their concerns.
d) Keeping battle-weary troops on the front lines indefinitely.
e) Pointing out that the torture currently being inflicted in the GOP's concentration camp at Guantanimo was pretty much like the torture dished out in totalitarian regimes.

6) Rove also said 'liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers,' What would have been the drawbacks of that approach?
a) Osama Bin Laden and his gang might have been indicted, captured, tried and punished due to the cooperation of nearly every law enforcement organization on the planet.
b) Al Qaeda might have been disgraced and destroyed.
c) Americans might have understood who had attacked us and why they had done so.
d) Mental illness of the sort publicly exhibited by Karl Rove and his audience might get treated through therapy.
e) All of the above."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

We aren't in Kansas anymore: SEX and FASCISM in an UNCONSCIOUS AMERICA

I read Thomas Frank's book, What's The Matter With Kansas, unsatisfied, wishing it went "all the way."

I devoured it upon publication, agreeing totally with his thesis: that "red staters" vote Republican at their economic peril. But, I turned every page believing the next would reveal what lies at the heart of Kansas; what's the secret explanation for their peculiar "normality."

I got nothing. Just one story after another about "chronically outraged," midwesterners "offended by everything...convinced that they are powerless to change the world."

PROBLEM OF AUTHORITY

WHY are Red Staters "chronically outraged'? WHY the "imagined persecution" and "hate" toward the left? HOW can a "taste for authoritarian leadership" blind them to real oppression? They weren't just born this way. It's not biological. These are psychological "units": hate, outrage, perceived persecution. Since 82 percent self-identify as white and christian, it's easy to imagine a sociological explanation, based on religiosity (degree of devotion). But there's something beyond Sunday sermons -- something in the fabric of their existence. Something essential, psychological. I believe Kansans are psychologically conditioned to these affects. It's not geography. It's not farming. Otherwise we'd be talking about ALL midwesterners. Iowans don't exhibit this psychology. How come they aren't our national symbol for conservatism?

"Kansas" has been used as a symbol for family paradise by everyone from Ann Coulter to Frank Baum. We imagine toe-headed boys at afternoon little league and fall festivals at the church. "Family" lies at the heart of the symbol. What is it in the psychology of these particular midwestern families, that predisposes them to paleo-conservatism? Why does the idea of family "equal" authoritarianism?

If we want to take the country back in one piece, we need to know what lurks in the hearts and minds of Red Staters that makes them prone to pushing this country toward fascism. HOW does it work that these folks can be herded into war and economic dire straits and take us with them?

Frank observes that Red Staters respond to identity politics, ironically, despite their "railing against" identity politics as it applied to gays and people of color in the late 80s and early 90s. They LOVE identity politics when it applies to THEIR identity, i.e. suburbs, SUVs and super churches. Frank digs deep into this "identity," asserting it's a Christ-like persona they affect -- a "humility to service," evident in their sacrifice of economic interest for the good of the culture. Abortion, homosexuality and sex education will be extinguished. Economic security will come later, I suppose in the thousand-year paradise on earth. This is their myth. What is their essence?

TO BE CLEAR, Bush DID NOT win either election. We have a problem with election fraud and this needs to be fixed. But I do think the acquiescence to authority throughout middle America most certainly ENABLED the stealing of the last two elections. Apathy toward authority (respect?) was reinforced by a mainstream media whose mission is limited by pandering to this demographic. If this country didn't have a malignant attitude toward "authority," Bush would have been impeached many times over. Now think about Clinton. He represented authority too. What's the difference?

S-E-X.

LETS UNPACK the mind of the Red Stater. Lets separate their individual and social consciousness and get to the bottom of the Red Staters' problem with SEX. Religious devotion requires servitude to authority and suggests limits to sexual behavior, but not all religious people crave unquestioning authoritarianism the Red Staters do (suicide bombers notwithstanding). There's something deeper the Red Stater psyche that drives them to church in the first place. Something deeper drives them to the particular forms of religion they choose. This "deeper something" REINFORCES social and religious conditioning. This quality renders the Red Stater powerless to authority.

If we can identify what, in the individual consciousness of a Red Stater, makes them prone to exploitation from authority, we will have the key to dismantling the mechanism of our creeping fascism.

EYES ON JESUS

Frank mentions a "Christ-like" sacrifice in their swapping economic issues for social issues, and yet he contends they aren't aware of how they are ripped-off in the trade. This is a very odd contention. They aren't AWARE of their exploitation? I usually know when I'm getting screwed. What's their problem? Perhaps we need for more blue collar spokesmen like Ed Schultz. But, how can we assume they will become aware of their sacrifice when they can't even see their setbacks or failures? Their political life seems entirely unconscious and beyond our reach.

In the individual consciousness of the Red Stater lurks a pre-modern world of Gods and monsters; good and evil.

Deep in the unconscious, it's S-E-X that separates the good from the evil.

Red Staters are OBSESSED with sex (and death, it's ugly sister). The struggle of good vs evil manifests in the bedroom. It's the same for everyone, no matter how low your knuckles drag. Sex animates our world and death sets it's limits. Advertising works because our unconscious psyches are fertile ground for symbolic conditioning. The difference between a Red Stater and a Blue Stater is the dominant myth that is used to unconscious desire. In the dominant myth of the Red Stater, the world is falling into social chaos and sex is to blame. This is convenient because ostensibly, we can CONTROL sex. Can't we?

The Red Stater can't just mind their own beeswax when it comes to sex, because if someone is getting a blow job, like the tsunami-causing Chinese butterfly -- they will feel it. They mean well. They are Do-Gooders at heart -- believing only "they" see the problem and only "they" can save us.

They are AGAINST sex education. "If kids knew what all that was down there, it would be like telling them, 'it's okay.' We can't have that."
They are AGAINST pre-marital sex -- "My parents waited. I waited. You can too." No wonder they are chronically outraged.
They are AGAINST abortion -- "If she wasn't ready for children she shouldn't have spread her legs."
They are AGAINST homosexuality. "Because that's just disgusting -- the thought of two men together."

sidebar -- funny they don't identify pedophilia as an urgent moral issue:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=132&topic_id=1800097

Notice how Red Staters animate these issues. Their outrage is pornographic. The examples I used above are from real conversations with co-workers, colleagues and friends. The focus is on THE DEED. The Girls' have done GONE WILD and it's no wonder if you read Genesis.

Progressives don't see (nasty, dirty) S-E-X when these issues are raised. Gay marriage? We don't imagine guys going at it. We imagine a loved one denied rights when their parter dies. As a matter of fact, it's unseemly to focus on sex willy-nilly. Everything in the world isn't about sex, and we are loathe to jump on that bandwagon. There's bigger fish to fry for christsakes. The fight for freedom, equality are all bigger than sex. Dogs and cats can be getting it on for all we care. Live and let live, we say. Our passion is empowerment, because "teach a person to fish and they eat for life." We trust in reason -- maybe a little too much.

DIG DEEPER

These folks have given birth to a theocracy movement, plain and simple. This is the paradise. This is the utopia. Dominionism, Constitutionalism, Reconstructivism -- they all prey on the mythical authoritarian family unit. Creating a cycle of obsession and repression is a means of control. Whoa, big leap here, you say. Stay with me.

As many psychologists of the last century pointed out, a child's first experience of sex is instinctual and parents must walk a fine line between allowing normal, constructive instincts and discouraging instinctual behavior that will prove harmful to a child's social development. A child's lifelong "moral code" develops from parental conditioning -- specifically training the child away from INSTINCT toward SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE behavior.

Nose-picking is a good example. Nose-picking is instinctual for a kid with a booger. Little Johnny doesn't know that nose-picking is socially unacceptable. He just digs until he strikes gold. Mmm -- salty. It's instinct. And sickening. As the parent suppresses some instincts and reinforces others, the developing child experiences a conflict between instinct and morality which becomes their moral code for the rest of their life. Got an urge? Better check to see if it's moral. If Poppa would beat you for it, chances are it's not moral. Still got the urge? Better go to confession. Repeat the process until the urge is buried deep in your unconscious.

What happens in your basic authoritarian (patriarchal) family when a child begins experimenting sexually? Punishment? What "lesson" is given the child along with the punishment? What is the lesson they take away for the rest of their life? What becomes their "moral code"?

We can answer this EXACTLY, by following the James Dobson method of discipline where, instinctual, unsanctioned behavior (sexual or not) is punished with violence (spanking), and prayer -- used explicitly to "break the child's will" and "show them who is in control" in order that they will learn "to yield to the loving authority...[and] to submit to other forms of authority which will confront him later in his life -- his teachers, school principal, police, neighbors and employers."

There you have the a priori conditioning that keeps the Red Stater in line, in church and fighting for The Victory.

As in any social movement, the new American Theocracy has folks at the top like Dobson, who move the pieces on the playing field and make a pretty penny from their instructional videos. The followers -- those who want nothing more than to live their "in service." The masses may not all be asses, but they are instinctual creatures whose behavior can be predicted and manipulated.

They are welcomed into The Family and provided a set of causes that resonate with their upbringing -- sex is a no-no, until the authoritarian, patriarchal family (Dad) says so. Just look at what happens to those who disobey. Abortion. Disease. Homosexuality.

For these guys, "a great heavenly host" fights the "forces of darkness" every minute. We are simply barking up the wrong tree looking for "reason" in the actions of Red Staters. They are driven by unconscious forces.

HOW TO MAKE THIS WORK FOR US: we aren't in Kansas, anymore
All ideology has a FUNCTION and a MEANING in The Unconscious. Yes, sometimes a cigar is simply a fine Father's Day present, but I contend, this cycle of obsession and repression is a sure way to imbue that cigar with a life of its own. We have to jump into this struggle and slay the dragons, especially the imaginary ones.

The nexus of their individual and social psychology is SEX. Look at how they are attacking Hillary Clinton. She's a lesbian. She let herself be raped. Chelsea is therefore an abomination. The way they talk you'd think they are minutes away from grabbing the torches and chasing the monsters down to the river.

UNVEILING their sexual sickness will disarm their only means of attack. This shouldn't be difficult. Our modern culture is saturated in decades of progress in sexual matters. It is an abomination that we are being dragged down in this muck. We already MASTER this aspect of the argument. We already have the high ground. Want to get them out of their comfort zone? Talk about sex. Expose this vulnerability by keeping the pressure on.

Remember Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals:

Pick your target.
Freeze your target.
Personalize your target.
Polarize your target.

Our target is the backwards, repressed sexuality of Red Staters.
Freeze them out of their comfort zone by making them face this issue.
Personalize the target. Here's a list
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=132&topic_id=1800097
POLARIZE the target as they as they are forced to side with pedophiles or get back on track with democracy.

We aren't in Kansas, anymore.

The fascists need the repressed sexuality of authoritarian families to provide fodder for their endless wars. Let not give them that. I want our sons and daughters right here at home -- at lookout point, where they belong.

Do this today. Talk to your kids. Let them know they are okay. Sex is not a 4-letter word. Love them and give them the strength they will need on their journey. The Red Staters are correct on this matter. It all starts at home.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Baby Mamas are not new anywhere in the Americas

Everybody's talking about Fantasia's song, Baby Mama. Some are dissing and some are supporting. I've said it before and continue to say: Throughout the Americas if we people of African descent did not have families headed by Black women, we would have no families at all. Unfortunately that would be welcome news in some quarters. Relate to this: The first time I heard the term "baby mother" was in Kingston, Jamaica in 1977 - not in the US in 2005. Jamaicans would say "give the baby mama a seat [on the bus]." Jamaica, West Indies, is not the only part of the African Diaspora that practices this form of gender civility. And almost no one - today that is - is encouraging Black or other very young women to have children. But through most of the history of the US and the Americas since 1492 the opposite has been true. Men such as Thomas Jefferson, deceased South Carolina US senator Strom Thurmond, and tens of thousands of others created baby mothers. What has happened to the rare white guy who's tried to raise his voice in dissent? In the late 1950s, in an "infamous" (read: inspired and with guts) yet not widely enough known speech on the floor of the state legislature in Baton Rouge, Earl Long, then-governor of Louisiana, put his white male state legislature colleagues on notice that they needed to "leave nigra women alone [meaning Black American women]." I believe I recall those were some of his exact words. Thus Earl Long - of the legendary Louisiana political family and governor of that Deep South state - entered Gender History for trying very publicly to discuss and discourage white men's exploitation of Black women. Not only were some of those women 'baby mothers', some probably were mothers to babies fathered by those same men. The day after Gov. Long's "Leave nigra women alone" speech he was carted away to a Texas sanitorium (formerly called "insane asylum"). That chapter of US oratorical history is documented, including a morning-after article in the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate newspaper (May 1958 or 59). Black women and girls were and in many places still are *objectified for sex and work, and *objectified for early and repeated reproduction of the labour force of enslaved human beings. Today a young Black, adult woman named Fantasia has asserted herself and chosen to give herself and her sisters internationally a public hug. Her song, Baby Mama, embraces the generations and centuries of work, sacrifice, sexual abuse and forced silence so many of our Black Mothers have endured, so while some may disagree, don't try to shut us up now. There is no shortage of gender hate in this world, and in the Americas - north, south, central and Caribbean - tens of millions of adolescent and older Black females have been and are Baby Mothers. Celia - who was enslaved and executed in Missouri was a baby mother. She was enslaved from birth, purchased for sex at 14 years old by a white Missouri farmer named Robert Newsom, held isolated and a virtual prisoner on his farm, made pregnant at least 3 times, young mother of 2 small babies, Celia was hanged at 19 for killing Robert Newsom when he wouldn't stop raping her. In his book Celia: A Slave, historian Melton McLaurin points out that no one seems to know what became of Celia's children nor the outcome of her third pregnancy. Read the full version of this @ Marian's Blog

Friday, June 17, 2005

why i'm PRO LIFE and you should be too (omg brook has lost her mind)

(from dissent1977 on DU. this piece resonates with a lot of discussion here at Camp Hinesmith. hope to post something real soon. lots of catching up to do. in the meantime, this made me smile -- brook)



I am pro-life because I believe that it is wrong to drop bombs on innocent people in Iraq and elsewhere.

I am pro-life because I oppose the death penalty.I am pro-life because I want a clean environment, because it is the Earth that supports all life.

I am pro-life because I believe that corporations should be held accountable when they harm people.

I am pro-life because I oppose shipping jobs overseas to countries which actually FORCE their female employees to have abortions if they become pregnant.

I am pro-life because I support universal health coverage.

I am pro-life because I believe that we should provide food to those who are hungry, and shelter for those who need homes.

I am pro-life because I support a living wage, which will allow people to provide for their families.

I am pro-life because I support the use and wide distribution of contraceptives, which serve the dual purpose of keeping the population in line and preventing unwanted pregnancies.

And I am pro-life because I support a woman's right to choose, yet want to work to find real solutions to eliminate the need for abortions. I realize that outlawing abortion will not end abortions, it will only push them into back alleys.

I am pro-life because I can see the pain that abortions bring, yet work to deal with them in a way that does not infringe a woman's right to choose.

It is time that we took the words 'pro-life' back. After all wouldn't you all love to hear Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, and all the rest of those hypocrites screaming when we start calling ourselves pro-life?"

"i don't seem to have a free hand" | Conyers delivers petition to "unidentified WH aide"...check his fists.



'Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., left, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, hand-delivers petitions to the White House to an unidentified White House aide, right, standing on the other side of the Northwest Appointment gate of the White House, Thursday, June 16, 2005 in Washington. The petitions are signed by 105 members of Congress and more than 540,000 Americans demanding that President Bush provide a detailed response to the evidence in the Downing Street memos of deceptions about the war in Iraq. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)'"

here's Astra, feeling better

another non-geopolitical post -- Astra hates me!

Regular readers know I have two dogs, Italian Greyhounds, and no children. "Boots Dunn Trouble" was a rescue from a wrecked semi-truck full of puppy mill dogs from Missouri. He came to us when we lost our beloved Mr. Chompers as the result of a careless pet sitter over Thanksgiving weekend a couple of years ago.

Mr. Chompers and Astra were my first dogs, having bought them from a breeder in the Tri-Cities.

When we go to the vet Trouble has a panic attack from the car ride (leftover anxiety from the truck crash) and Astra is a courageous trooper. On this vet trip Trouble had inflammation on his hind paws and Astra had a bump on her face.

Trouble gets all the attention at the vets' office. Every pretty girl within in earshot gets big baby hugs while Astra sits quietly getting no love. So we go in to see our wonderful Australian vet, Dr. Pryor and it turns out Trouble has athlete's foot and Astra has an absessed tooth. Trouble gets foot cream and Astra gets surgery. She hasn't talked to me since. I am persona non grata. Here's a pic from when Max and I picked her up after her surgery:




her eyes are all akimbo from the drugs they gave her. She was in a state of panic that was as close as to ecstasy as you will ever see a dog have. That was 2 days ago and she still hasn't eaten or given me much in the way of trust. Poor girl!

Baptists make Nashville area focus of door-to-door soul saving (it's 1434 McGavock Pike -- I'll be waiting)

Do you know what it takes to get to heaven? That's a question you might hear tomorrow if you live within a few miles of a Southern Baptist church when thousands of missionaries go door-to-door tomorrow seeking converts, with an invitation to the services of the church.

More than 10,000 volunteers have pledged to participate in the one-day evangelism blitz across Middle Tennessee, breaking the group's previous participation record of approximately 2,000.Called Crossover Nashville, the door-to-door outreach will envelop about 1.3 million Tennesseans in a 40-mile radius of Metro Nashville. Serving as a pre-Southern Baptist Convention evangelism event, the effort has caught the attention of national news networks."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Republican Family Values

Porn star Mary Carey following the Republican fundraising dinner 2 nights hence attended by Bush and friends:

"I think they can drink just as much [as porn stars]. There were some really drunk guys by the end of the night. I was getting propositions to have threesomes with wives or mistresses. I was offered money from oil tycoons! I mean, it‘s pretty exciting. I didn‘t take any money and I didn‘t do any threesomes, but it was pretty—I was just surprised. I thought everyone would be stuck up and no one was going to like me. And everyone loved me and got drunk and took pictures with me. So I want to keep going to Republican events. I‘m a fully converted Republican now."

Texas oilmen offering to pay porn stars to have threesomes with thier mistresses. This is why Democrats can't win in the red states. We are just out of touch with America's values.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

apparently HATE IS A FAMILY VALUE: Family Research Council PAYS $82,000 FOR KKK mailing list

(from Americablog. Remember the Family Research Council is the group behind all the pressure on the FCC to make TV "safe for children." Someone please send these people a remote control. I prefer a culture by and for adults. If you don't like it, turn it off and send the kids outside to play. The fact that they trolled for members from the KKK is unsurprising. These people are about the hate -- brook)

also see story in The Nation:
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml 3Fi=20050509&s=blumenthal


The Family Research Council and the Ku Klux Klan



You always remember your first Klan...


(David Duke and friends)

The Family Research Council's executive director, Tony Perkins, reportedly paid former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke over $80,000 for his who's-who-of-racist-America mailing list in 1996.

This should be the death of the Family Research Council, one of the religoius right's lead organizations, and the end of Tony Perkins career. Who on the left is smart enough to plunk down some money to organize the campaign destroying the FRC and their executive director because of his dealings with the Ku Klux Klan? This was 1996, people. That is well beyond, years beyond, the date that the entire nation knew Duke to be a rabid KKK-loving racist. But our pinnacle of family values, Tony Perkins, had no problem enriching black-hater David Duke to the tune of $82,000.

And what's more, Tony Perkins had no problem trying to woo David Duke's avowed racist following. With the religious right trying to reach out to black folk, and more generally trying to lecture the rest of us on morality, I want to know why Tony Perkins hasn't been forced to resign, or, why the Family Research Council hasn't been ostracized from the entire religious right community.Bob Knight and the rest of the Concerned Women for America, and the American Family Association and Lou Sheldon and all the rest of you supposed Christians, are you concerned that your good buddy Tony Perkins appears peppered with racism?"

(Tony Perkins. Wonder if he's related to Marlin?)

From the Nation (I'd reported on this Nation piece before, but this is big. This is the end of the Family Research Council and the religious right's efforts to woo the black community, if only some smart well-funded liberal had the sense to do something with this.):
"Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke."

What would I do in response? How about make sure the entire audience knows about Perkins' support for Duke and affinity for racists at EVERY event he attends. How about informing the black media and black churches about this tie between racists and the religious right. How about asking supposed religious right "black" leaders why they don't speak out against the FRC and its executive director's affinity for white supremacists. How about demanding that the other religious right groups speak out against Tony Perkins and his enabling of black-hating racists.

This is a campaign begging to happen.

GOPedophiles

Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth is a convicted child rapist in Florida.

Republican County Commissioner David Swartz pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.

Republican legislator Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.

Republican Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year old girls.

Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.


Republican racist pedophile and United States Senator Strom Thurmond had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child.

Republican pastor Mike Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.

Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

Republican activist Lawrence E. King, Jr. organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

Republican lobbyist Craig J. Spence organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

Republican Congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.

Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos.

Republican activist Mark A. Grethen convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.

Republican activist Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.

Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.

Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter.

Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger allegedly had sex with a 16 year old girl when he was 28.

Republican congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.

Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.

Republican activist Marty Glickman (a.k.a. "Republican Marty"), was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an underage girl and one count of delivering the drug LSD.

Republican legislative aide Howard L. Brooks was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography.

Republican Senate candidate John Hathaway was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.

Republican preacher Stephen White, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.

Republican talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl.

Republican anti-gay activist Earl "Butch" Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.

Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.

Republican election board official Kevin Coan was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl.

Republican politician Andrew Buhr was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.

Republican politician Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).

Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was charged with sexual misconduct involving a 15-year old girl.

Republican County Councilman Keola Childs pleaded guilty to molesting a male child.

Republican activist John Butler was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.

Republican candidate Richard Gardner admitted to molesting his two daughters.

Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner was convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl.

Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.

Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.

Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.

Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession.

Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate Robin Vanderwall was convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet.

Republican city councilman Mark Harris, who is described as a "good military man" and "church goer," was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter.

Republican director of the "Young Republican Federation" Nicholas Elizondo molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen Sr., was charged with rape for allegedly paying a 15-year old girl for sex. Dasen, 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Marines KIDNAP 17-year old in botched "recruitment"

story continued at the link above.
(i really hope young people read this entire article and learn to "just say no." -- brook)

By SUSAN PAYNTER
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

For mom Marcia Cobb and her teenage son Axel, the white letters USMC on their caller ID soon spelled, 'Don't answer the phone!'

Marine recruiters began a relentless barrage of calls to Axel as soon as the mellow, compliant Sedro-Woolley High School grad had cut his 17th birthday cake. And soon it was nearly impossible to get the seekers of a few good men off the line.

With early and late calls ringing in their ears, Marcia tried using call blocking. And that's when she learned her first hard lesson. You can't block calls from the government, her server said. So, after pleas to 'Please stop calling' went unanswered, the family's 'do not answer' order ensued.

But warnings and liquid crystal lettering can fade. So, two weeks ago when Marcia was cooking dinner Axel goofed and answered the call. And, faster than you can say 'semper fi,' an odyssey kicked into action that illustrates just how desperate some of the recruiters we've read about really are to fill severely sagging quotas.

Let what we learned serve as a warning to other moms, dads and teens, the Cobbs now say. Even if your kids actually may want to join the military, if they hope to do it on their own terms, after a deep breath and due consideration, repeat these words after them: 'No,' 'Not now' and 'Back off!'"

more at link above...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Jeb Bush linked to flight school that trained terrorists!

(much more at the link!)

"A Learjet belonging to the true owner of the Venice flight school
that trained both terrorist pilots who flew into the World Trade
Center was seized with more than 30 pounds of heroin onboard by Federal Agents in July of 2000 at the Orlando Executive Airport.

Authorities at the time called it the biggest seizure of heroin ever
found in central Florida.

The seized plane belonged to 70-year old Wallace J. Hilliard of
Naples, FL., multi-millionaire businessman, self-styled Mormon
Bishop, and the newly-discovered secret owner of Huffman Aviation at the Venice Airport since its purchase in 1999, just months before terrorists began arriving in force in Southwest Florida.

...

Both Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katherine
Harris were providing celebrity endorsements to Hilliard's operation well after the company's Lear (N351WB) had been busted by DEA agents armed with machine guns.

Pretty poor advance work, at the very least...

One would think a sitting Governor seems well-advised to steer well clear of anything to do with heroin trafficking. Yet Governor Jeb Bush honored Hilliard's operation -- called at various times Florida Air, Sunrise Airlines and Discover Air -- with a personal visit, even posing for photos with the 'Discover Air family.'

(here's Jeb with his "Discover Air Family" who trained terrorists and whose planes were seized with 30 pounds of heroin aboard)


The company promptly commemorated the memorable event by posting pictures of the visit on their website.

Finally somebody in the Bush camp realized their lethal potential
exposure, and the webpage was hastily taken off the Discover Air site.

Jeb Bush personally removes Dekkers Flight School records less than 24 hours after 9-11 attack

(isn't this odd? no one had even KNOWN about Dekkers yet... wonder why he personally went to the terrorist flight school to filch their business records? weird, huh -- brook)

"Whatever secrets Dekkers may possess about the terrorists, records from his flight school were deemed sensitive enough to have merited being escorted back to Washington by Florida Governor Jeb Bush aboard a C-130 cargo plane, which left Sarasota less than 24 hours after the September 11 attack."

(part of a much larger article at Scoop... click link for more)

Jeb Bush made an Executive Order for Martial Law days before 9/11

(isn't this odd? Jeb Bush puts martial law on deck days before September 11, 2001. weird -- brook)

Section 1.
Based upon the foregoing, I hereby find that the public welfare
requires that the Florida National Guard train to support law-
enforcement personnel and emergency-management personnel in the event of civil disturbances or natural disasters and to provide
training support to law-enforcement personnel and community-based organizations relating to counter drug operations.

Section 2.
I hereby delegate to The Adjutant General of the State of Florida
all necessary authority, within approved budgetary appropriations or grants, to order members of the Florida National Guard into active service, as defined by Section 250.27, Florida Statutes, for the purpose of training to support law-enforcement personnel and emergency-management personnel in the event of civil disturbances or natural disasters and to provide training support to law-enforcement personnel and community-based organizations relating to counter drug operations.

Section 3.
The Florida National Guard may order selected members on to state active duty for service to the State of Florida pursuant to Section 250.06(4), Florida Statutes, to assist FDLE in performing port security training and inspections. Based on the potential massive damage to life and property that may result from an act of terrorism at a Florida port, the necessity to protect life and property from such acts of terrorism, and inhibiting the smuggling of illegal drugs into the State of Florida, the use of the Florida National Guard to support FDLE in accomplishing port security training and inspections is 'extraordinary support to law enforcement' as used in Section 250.06(4), Florida Statutes.

Section 4.
The Adjutant General shall not place members of the Florida National Guard into active service for longer than necessary to accomplish the purposes declared herein.

Section 5.
This Executive Order supersedes Executive Order Number 01-17.
Executive Order Number 01-17 is hereby revoked.

Section 6.
This Executive Order shall remain in full force and effect until the
earlier of its revocation or June 30, 2003.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and have caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capitol, this 7th day of September 2001.

http://sun6.dms.state.fl.us/eog_new/eog/orders/2001/september/eo2001-261-09-07-01.html

Sen. Kennedy on Downing Street Mins: IRAQ WAR POLITICAL; BUSH INCOMPETENT

(hey you guys -- there's lots of bad news these days, but here's a little light for you! from RAWSTORY -- brook)

The following was released by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) on the Downing Street Minutes this morning. Kennedy becomes the first senator to raise the issue in the Senate.
_________________________________

(more at link above)

'We never should have gone to war for ideological reasons driven by politics and based on manipulated intelligence. The Downing Street Minutes provide even more proof that this is exactly what happened on Iraq. The Administration's dishonesty, lack of candor, and lack of planning have brought us to where we are today, with American soldiers dying, Iraqi civilians living in constant fear, and with no clearer picture of our strategy for victory in Iraq than when we started."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Views from a former Christian conservative

(busy blogging day for brook -- i've been thinking a lot about ideology lately, while working on a piece that questions the operation of sexuality in conservatism. researching this i came across this post on DailyKOS. it's so damn good i decided to post the whole damn thing here. enjoy -- b)
___________________________________________________________

Views from a former Christian conservative

I am an ex-Southern conservative. You can say, 'oh, Aja, you're nothing like them,' but I am. I see my Southern Baptist upbringing in myself in countless ways every day. All the things that people claim to love about me are things that spring directly from a very strong Christian, faith-based childhood.

I may not have read the bible every day but I know my sunday school stories, and I never ever doubted as a child that, yes, Jesus loved me. I seek forgiveness everywhere, forgive whenever I can, and still struggle with not having forgiveness from certain people for things I have done, because forgiveness is a cornerstone of my background--as are a really detrimental leaning towards submissiveness, a penchant for fried chicken, and a really annoying reflex tendency to see bad things and think 'ack, end of the world!'

I've already said all I can ever say about Southern culture and Southern life here and here. But there seems to be a need to say more about Southern conservativism and why it has spread through the country the way it has.

It starts with the fact that we as conservative Christians are taught to see America as our land. I mean, you guys in Europe and the loonies on the East and West Coasts think the Founding Fathers died to bring us religious freedom.

They so did not. They died to give new Christianity a place where it could flourish. And if you think that Catholicism was flourishing perfectly fine before that, thank you, then you don't understand conservative Christianity. See, I grew up being taught that Catholicism was almost-sort-of-not-quite-but-we-won't-talk-about-it cult. Really.

Lots of Southern Baptists believe Catholicism is a cult, despite the fact that it is the largest practiced religion in the world. If you understand that we can believe that about Catholicism then maybe you can understand that American Conservative Christian values don't necessarily fit into any kind of historical, cultural, or anthropological perspective. They never really have.

Conservative Christians are taught all our lives that we are constantly engaged in spiritual warfare. When I was in 6th grade I read a book called This Present Darkness by novelist Frank Peretti, who really kicked off the Christian fantasy genre and preceded those awful Left Behind guys by like 10 years. I read this book and went around fancying that I saw angels around me, fighting demons everywhere, a great heavenly host doing battle with unseen forces of darkness.

And I can't really explain to anybody who isn't familiar with conservative Christianity, but we are taught that this is real. Demons? Real. Angelic warfare? Real. That passage in Ephesians about putting on the full armor of God? We take that seriously. We take everything Paul said seriously, actually. Way, way, way too seriously, but the reason we take it so seriously is because Paul has this way of delineating Christianity as a practice so that you can live it out very easily. He basically teaches Christians that they are to live every day as though they are battling persecution. Paul is the classic propagator of the Us/Them mentality. Them is the World. The World is evil and sinful and wants to persecute Us. It is Our job as Conservative Christians to don our armor and wage war against the World.

When you grow up being raised in this environment, whether you give it any credence or not, what starts to happen is that you see things very easily in terms of whether they fit into the "Us" category or the "World" category. Since, um, most things fall into the World category, it gets very easy to compartmentalize in your head, and to, for example, start thinking, "the media is a tool of Satan, I shouldn't believe what people are telling me." And even if you don't think "TOOL OF SATAN!!!!" every time you hear the media, if you've heard other people around you and in your church say it enough, even subconsciously you start doubting the media.

How this plays out is that you begin to filter your environment as a conservative christian based on what you can easily categorize. Once you have identified, say, George Bush, as one of Us, it's much easier to disregard negative news about him because the Media is one of Them, and the two things can be easily canceled out in your mind.

In the South, the tendency to categorize things, combined with the fact that we are taught to expect persecution as a Christian people, has led us to segregate, commit acts of racism and intolerance, and to be very, very suspicious of anyone from the North or the West, because all of you are part of the World.

Conservative beliefs do not spread because of ignorance. You must understand this. Conservative beliefs spread because of a need in the conservative church to emphasize that if you are not fighting, you are losing the battle for spiritual warfare. And until you have been out there battling the forces of evil you don't really understand how every day events can be magnified to fit into a larger picture of a tapestry of events being orchestrated by Jesus to lead us on to a higher victory.

I did this, for a year. I joined Campus Crusade in college. I surrounede myself with Christians who were On Fire for Christ. I shoved down all my doubts about the church and tried to really live the life of a true Christian, the life I had been taught was the life I should be living, all throughout my childhood. I battled a cult and kept several people from joining it who were close to me, and it was frightening and exhilarating and scary and really terrifying at moments, because fuck if true cult members aren't really scary. I could use bible verses to argue scripture, toss out verse numbers like bullets. I was, in Christian-speak, a true warrior for Christ.

That's what they call us, you know. Warriors for Christ.

The Southern Baptist church is the largest demonination of any religion in America. We're bigger than the Catholics now. And the single defining characteristic of the Southern Baptist church for the last 25 years has been that it has been fighting valiantly to wage the spiritual warfare on a political level. Frank Peretti's sequel, Piercing the Darkness, is about takin the spiritual battle from a personal level to a political level. If you really want to get into the mind of a conservative christian than you should really read those two books because you really need to understand: this is how we think.

I think it's wrong to call Bush a radical. That New Conservative magazine or whatever it's called should know better. Bush has never claimed to be a traditional conservative. He doesn't care about conservative economics, conservative spending and conservative government. He cares about conservative christian spiritual warfare.

If I were still a conservative Christian I can tell you exactly how this election would look to me right now. Kerry is an immoral man of the World, and I thank God that Bush, a man of clear moral integrity who is out to defeat Satan regardless of the forces that stand in his way, has been blessed with victory. He didn't win the election--God chose him as the leader of this nation.

That is how I would view this election. And that is not a stance that would make me ignorant, stupid, bigoted, or homophobic. Because I read just as many newspapers then as now. I was valedictorian of my high school. I was open-minded and tolerant. And I was always pro-gay rights from the time I made my first gay friend at age 9.

I was trying to be the best Christian I could be. And I cast everything in a structured world, where everything was a question of what I was doing in my walk with Christ, and whether I was being persecuted.

In fact, I just remembered: a key mantra of Campus Crusade was this: If you're not being persecuted for your Christianity, then you're doing something wrong.

I said in my previous post that it was reprehensible to me that someone could vote for Bush knowing that he went to war on a lie. And yet, I also understand that by every bit of education and background I have ever had, I by rights ought to be voting for Bush because as far as Aja the Conservative is concerned, he didn't lie, he merely told the truth from a spiritual perspective, from the perspective of a man committed to God's work, which involves bringing freedom to the rest of the world and stamping out the influence of Satan.

That is not an easy or a simplistic rationale.

It took me, from the moment I began questioning the principles of the Southern Baptist church to the moment I absolutely decided to leave the church forever, 8 years. 8 years of constant questioning during which I was the conservative who was living by all those principles. And the issue that both initially and ultimately made me leave was the same: gay rights.

Had I not felt that the Southern Baptist church was wrong on gay rights initially, I would not have really questioned anything about my belief system or my values. And as long as eight years is to me from the standpoint of my personal journey, I know without a doubt that there are millions of Americans who struggle on one particular issue where they disagree with their church, but continue to frame their lives in that outlook of spiritual warfare and constant battling against persecution.

When you blame the voters who chose Bush, you are completely mistaking what is happening in our country today. Bush did not win the election based on ignorance and stupidity. He won the election based on a belief system that has been determinedly advancing across the country because Christians believe it is their spiritual duty to bring people to Christ. And you cannot be successfully brought to Christ until you also commit to serving Christ. You cannot successfully serve Christ unless you do his will. And it is Christ's will that Bush win re-election. Do you see the pattern at work here???

You guys, you democrats and liberals, have a tendency to blame the people rather than the ideologies they represent. It is my belief that people's lives are shaped by ideologies. But people's lives are changed by other people. My life was shaped by the ideology of the Southern Baptist church. My life was changed when I met Jerry Boles, who died of AIDS in 1994. My life was changed when my best friend came out to me 5 years later.

I grew up in a place and in an environment that makes it impossible for me to accept the idea that Bush voters are all stupid and ignorant and simply uneducated about the facts.

_________________________________________

(okay, as a Floridian transplant with an embarrassing beach accent, i constantly heard, "yer not from 'round here, are ya?" when i moved to the mountains. something was vaguely threatening it. now i know why. no person from the little backwater known as Brevard County could be accused of being "worldly," but that's not the issue. it's being Of The World as opposed to being Of Christ. -- brook)

TOP TEN books that frighten conservatives (the ones who read)

This list showed up on FreeRepublic.com under the auspices of "BOOKS TO BURN." I was amazed that any freeper had actually read any of these books, and then I realized they had just copied and pasted the list from HumanEventsOnline
click here for more info

I really don't know what to say -- if you told me in college (when i was reading many of these books) that we'd be discussing the burning of them, I would have said you have to be kidding. But, here we are -- 2005 -- and, well -- just read the list.

The common thread is that most of these books examine freedom. So interesting that would scare the panties off a freeper.

_____________________________

Ten "Most Harmful" Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries

1. The Communist Manifesto
Authors: Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels
Publication date: 1848

2. Mein Kampf
Author: Adolf Hitler
Publication date: 1925-26

3. Quotations from Chairman Mao
Author: Mao Zedong
Publication date: 1966

4. The Kinsey Report
Author: Alfred Kinsey
Publication date: 1948

5. Democracy and Education
Author: John Dewey
Publication date: 1916
(quick quote from comments: 'His views had great influence on the direction of American education--particularly in public schools--and helped nurture the Clinton generation.'

6. Das Kapital
Author: Karl Marx
Publication date: 1867-1894

7. The Feminine Mystique
Author: Betty Friedan
Publication date: 1963

8. The Course of Positive Philosophy
Author: Auguste Comte
Publication date: 1830-1842

9. Beyond Good and Evil
Author: Freidrich Nietzsche
Publication date: 1886

10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money Author: John Maynard Keynes
Publication date: 1936

Honorable Mention:

The Population Bomb
by Paul Ehrlich

What Is To Be Done
by V.I. Lenin

Authoritarian Personality
by Theodor Adorno

On Liberty
by John Stuart Mill

Beyond Freedom and Dignity
by B.F. Skinner

Reflections on Violence
by Georges Sorel

The Promise of American Life
by Herbert Croly

Origin of the Species
by Charles Darwin

Madness and Civilization
by Michel Foucault

Soviet Communism: A New Civilization
by Sidney and Beatrice Webb

Coming of Age in Samoa
by Margaret Mead

Unsafe at Any Speed
by Ralph Nader

Second Sex
by Simone de Beauvoir

Prison Notebooks
by Antonio Gramsci

Silent Spring
by Rachel Carson

Wretched of the Earth
by Frantz Fanon

Introduction to Psychoanalysis
by Sigmund Freud

The Greening of America
by Charles Reich

The Limits to Growth
by Club of Rome

Descent of Man
by Charles Darwin

Modern-day slavery in Jacksonville, Florida USA

Some of my ancestors were enslaved in east and middle Tennessee and the western NC mountains (and many other places), so I can't stand hearing organisations (mostly based in London and New York) go on and on about modern-day slavery in some foreign country. For such groups it's more important to disconnect "modern-day" abuses from where and what real enslavement - imposed by racial laws and custom - has been. The same organisations hire zero Black Americans - the world's population who created the best known, most effective campaign for rights of the formerly enslaved. But who cares about that?? Those organisations have zilch interest or expertise in enslavement realities and legacies with which we live and die here in the Americas - whether Mexico (Vicente 'not even the Blacks' Fox referred to us just the other day), Haiti, Brasil, and on and on , including the USA. Now today CNN's reporting on a private "farm labor camp" in Florida where homeless Black Americans are lured, trapped, forced to work, then held in debt.

Let me know when "Antislavery International" - or whatever the name is - finally does something, cause the same exact kind of exploitation was reported almost 2 years ago in a 3-part Miami Herald series by journalist Ronnie Greene in Aug-Sept 2003:

Florida farmhands reap a harvest of poverty, pain and exploitation, by Ronnie Greene, Miami Herald, Aug 2003

And almost 50 years ago Tennessee Ernie Ford sang Merle Travis's song, SIXTEEN TONS . Merle Travis was from Ebeneezer, Kentucky.


Some people say a man is made out of mud
A poor man's made out of muscle and blood
Muscle and blood, skin and bones...
A mind that's weak and a back that's strong
_________________

Chorus

You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?
another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

__________________
I was born one mornin' and the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal and
the straw boss said, 'well bless my soul!'
.....you loaded...

(Chorus)
__________________
I was born one mornin' it was drizzlin' rain
fightin' and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in a cane-brake by an old mama lion
can't no high-toned woman make me walk no line

(Chorus)
__________________
If you see me comin', better step aside
A lot of men didn't, a lot of men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't get you, then the left one will

(Chorus)
__________________
You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
St. Peter don't you call me, 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

'Sixteen Tons' ~ Elvis Presley Music

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Bush asks star singer Charlotte Church: "What state is Wales in?"

Jun 4 2005
Charlotte Church called Pavarotti 'a pig' and George Bush 'a proper weirdo' when she visited Scotland yesterday.

Charlotte was appearing on Clyde 1's Bowie At Breakfast to publicise her new single, Crazy Chick, when she pulled no punches about what she really thought of the famous men. She took a swipe at opera legend Pav for being 'nasty' to her when she was 15, and the US President for his terrible geography.

'I did a massive classical thing in Hyde Park once with 75,000 people,' said Charlotte. 'I was with Pavarotti. He was horrible,really nasty. He was a pig and I was supposed to do a duet with him.'Charlotte explained that Pavarotti was rude to her about the way she wanted to sing a song. 'I'd learned the soprano part, which was the higher girl's part rather than the mezzo,' she said. 'He was like, 'You have to sing the mezzo'. I said, 'I am a soprano. How am I supposed to sing the mezzo?', and he said: 'You don't sing with me then'. 'He sent me out of his dressing room. I was only 15 - devastated. Pavarotti is a big fat diva.'

Charlotte then had a go at George Bush when she revealed he'd made a massive blunder after she sang for the US Presidents. 'Bill Clinton was really cool, but George Bush? ? No way,' she said. 'Clinton was lovely, in tune with everyone else, but George Bush just hasn't got a clue what he's doing.

He asked me what state Wales was in. 'I said: 'It's its own country next to England, actually Mr Bush'. 'If he doesn't know the rest of the countries in Europe, he could at least know what's in his own country. I'm really worried about it. He's a right weirdo. Him and Pavarotti should get together.'"

it doesn't get any better than this: REPUG steals Dean photo to manufacture support


Sierra Club doc on Appalachian land and folks, 3 pt story

We hear Sierra Club has done a 3 part tv special on the people and land of Appalachia. They've included a region far bigger than the southern Appalachia area of TN, NC and GA. I sure hope they haven't discounted or left out we Black Appalachian folk. Check info on the series here:
The Appalachians - Sierra Club

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Calling the corporate media's "we want more Deep Throats" bluff

(great post from democratic underground, enjoy -- brook)

To Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw:

This morning, I turned on TV briefly (to catch the weather report, since we really need rain here in Tennessee) and I heard the two of you discussing the self-outing of 'Deep Throat' yesterday. At the end of your on-air discussion, you said, 'If there's another Deep Throat out there, give us a call, won't you. We're waiting for your call.'

Yeah, bullshit. For the past eight months, thousands of people have been sending you information on the 2004 stolen election and you've been ignoring it like a burning herpes sore on your anus when your wife asks you why you just can't sit still. So here's one more attempt to call your bluff. How about contacting Clint Curtis and Sherole Eaton, both of whom have very important stories to tell about the 2004 election theft, and neither of whom is hiding anything (including their identities).

Clint Curtis has testified under oath numerous times and has taken a polygraph test (which he passed) saying that he was hired by Tom Feeney (now a Republican Congressman from Florida and the chief beneficiary of Tom DeLay's largess) to create a software program to hack electronic voting machines (and throw the elections) in south Florida. Sherole Eaton has been fired as an elections official in Ohio after going public with an affidavit saying that a Triad employee (another electronic voting equipment vendor) had illegally tampered with the vote tabulating equipment in her county (including replacing the hard drive) just before the sham recount occurred there. Once again, neither of these brave Americans have hidden their identities or their stories. But they may as well have, for all the attention that you and the rest of the corporate media has given their stories since they went public.

So don't fool yourselves, because you certainly are not fooling us. There are no more Woodwards and Bernsteins left in the corporate media, only patriotism-deficient reporters competing to out-trivialize 'Access Hollywood' on the evening (non) news. If you had an ounce of journalistic curiosity or patriotic relevance left, you would write Clint Curtis immediately (his email is above) and arrange an on-camera interview tomorrow. Or you would contact Bob Fitrakis with the Columbus Free Press or Brad Friedman with BradBlog (whose email addresses are also listed above) to conduct an interview with Ms. Eaton -- I am sure they would be happy to arrange it right away. If you don't do those things, stop kidding yourself that you are American journalists in the Woodward/Bernstein tradition any more than the 'hot military stud' whose presence in OUR White House press corps was another quickly forgotten and barely covered story. Your self-imposed journalistic castration says more about your fear of, or fawning flirtatiousness with, this illegitimate regime which has captured our country than anything that you and your bloated cohorts have revealed in quite some time.'

Deep Throat, call us -- we're waiting.' Waiting for what -- to put Clint and Sherole on indefinite hold, where they can listen to Lee Greenwood's 'God Bless the USA' played ad nauseum until the shuttle service to Gitmo comes to pick them up. Shame on you folks -- your on-camera hubris is only matched by your irrelevance these days.

So get in touch with Clint and Sherole or stop pretending you do anything of value for this country. Hurry along now, there must be another celebrity somewhere doing something else nauseating enough to keep us distracted while our votes are stolen and our democracy is smothered under a Paris Hilton-stained pillow.

If you're what passes for journalists these days, we don't need no steenkin' journalists. At least not ones who cash GE checks.

Most assuredly,Fly by night"

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Appalachian Community Fund, in Knoxville

I'd like to know more about the ACF, which says it's based in Knoxville. Knoxville's in southern Appalachia. So why does ACF's website talk about being in central Appalachia? Is my geography screwed, or what? Appalachian Community Fund Main Page