America’s Christian Terrorists, Meet Al Qaeda

Surely nobody here will be surprised that the Aryan Nations folks (we wrote about them at the beginning of this month), who clearly identify themselves as Christians, and whose leaders all claim to be Pastors of their Church, have made some noises about joining up with Al Qaeda. The Church of Jesus Christ Christian has kicked these fellows out (I won’t link to Neo-Nazi sites, so please take my word for it), but they’ve formed their own church, The Tabernacle of the Phinehas Priesthood. It is clear they consider themselves part of the Christian Identity movement still, yet one more name for terrorist in my view. Yes, our own American Christian terrorists are trying to join up with Al Qaeda, according to CNN.

Not a peep from the usual suspects among the American Right-Wing Christian Clerics. Dobson, Sheldon, Falwell, Robertson? Nope, I’m not hearing one of them denounce these Americans who plot terrorism in the name of Jesus. Evidently Dobson, Sheldon et. al think gays are far more of a threat than those American terorists. Further, even with stiffer anti-terrorism laws, these guys aren’t being harrassed by our own security forces. Evidently Homeland Security thinks these babies are more of a threat.

And I am left wondering why groups like Aryan Nations and the Christian Identity movement are given a pass by the Religious Right. I do not claim they are connected, but I wonder, given the evil they represent, why Dobson, Sheldon, et. al. do not work at least a little to warn the public against these groups.

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

A Mile in My Moccasins

Or a Mile in Yours, or Anybody Else’s…

“Every picture has its shadows
And it has some source of light
Blindness blindness and sight
The perils of benefactors
The blessings of parasites
Blindness blindness and sight
Threatened by all things
Devil of cruelty
Drawn to all things
Devil of delight
Mythical devil of the ever-present laws
Governing blindness blindness and sight”
(The Lady Joni… Shadows and Light)

I have nothing pithy to say to you tonight. I have some links gathered over the course of the day. Just some things to remind you that none of us can stay hunkered-down on our overlooks for very long… ‘cos it all catches up to us. Oh, and I hear that Johnny Cochran died….you’ll have to look that one up yourselves. Here’s what I foraged and stored:

Krugman, What’s Going On?

Red Lake Shooting Arrests

US Preparing for Military Dictatorship

Loss Prevention and the FBI

Opus Dei and the Sec. of Education

Robert Fisk:Religious Martyrs

And John Lennon:

“As soon as you’re born they make you feel small,
By giving you no time instead of it all,
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,
They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool,
Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.

When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty odd years,
Then they expect you to pick a career,
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV,
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free,
But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.

There’s room at the top they are telling you still,
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill,
A working class hero is something to be.
A working class hero is something to be.

If you want to be a hero well just follow me,
If you want to be a hero well just follow me.”

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005 by Kate Storm |
Category: Uncategorized

NEWS from Blondesense!

New T-Shirt design! I bet these sell like hotcakes. Unfortunately, there’s a problem the Bush Administration has with T-Shirts, at least according to Attytood. Will links to this article at the Denver Post, where it is revealed that the Bush campaign strategy of restricting of audiences only to the faithful is being extended to taxpayer funded Social Security Bamboozlepalooza events.

The same moment the Bush Administration crows about freedom in Iraq they pull these cheap stunts. Soon they will have weeded out so much of their audiences that they’ll have to have the rallies at the National Press Club with an audience entirely made up of male hookers. It appears the National Press Club is willing to provide the venue. The quality of the prostitutes is yours to figure out.

Yo, Spin’ster, do you remember giving me that T-Shirt many, many moons ago? I believe it said “Lick Bush in ’88.” DAMN I’m OLD!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

Making Money Off of Terri Schiavo

Some of you may know a bit more about privacy in the fundraising business. I know that I’ve never worked for a nonprofit that sold its lists of donors. We felt we had a responsibility to those who supported us to keep their history of support private.

Well it sure ain’t the case with the fundraising folks on the right, and that includes some heavy hitters literally related to Lou Sheldon, of the Family Values Coalition.

The parents of Terri Schiavo have authorized a conservative direct-mailing firm to sell a list of their financial supporters, making it likely that thousands of strangers moved by her plight will receive a steady stream of solicitations from anti-abortion and conservative groups.

. . .

Privacy experts said the sale of the list was legal and even predictable, if ghoulish.

“I think it’s amusing,” said Robert Gellman, a privacy and information policy consultant. “I think it’s absolutely classic America. Everything is for sale in America, every type of personal information.”

What do you bet that direct mail they are using to raise funds doesn’t go into the pockets of the Schindlers to help pay legal expenses, but lines the pockets of Randall Terry and the like?

It is all about filthy lucre, folks. And those gullible enough to send in cash to the Schindlers are now going into mass-marketing/fundraising HELL!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

Talking to the Reptile – The Petition

I think most of us can agree that of all issues confronting us at a both a macro and micro level, energy issues lead the way. Whether it’s filling up the tank of your Hummer at $2.50 / gallon, or turning the thermostat down to 60 degrees because you just can’t afford those $300 per month heating bills anymore, energy issues are affecting everyone’s pocket book.

Even more importantly, energy issues are completely and totally driving Bush administration policies, both foreign and domestic. Have been, since day one. As much bitching as BushCo did on developing a rational energy plan for the nation, they still haven’t articulated anything that actually makes sense from a national security standpoint. The U.S. is much more vulnerable today to the vagaries of the energy marketplace than it was when George W. Bush took office in 2001. And that vulnerability is clearly a national security issue. Bush administration energy policy can be summed up in the old Frito-Lay ad pitch: “Consume all the energy you want, we’ll make more!”

(Or more accurately, “…we’ll go on an imperial conquest for more”.)

The energy shackles that economically bind and constrict every one of us don’t need to do so. What drives me absolutely batshit is that the Bush administration has made the U.S. so economically and politically insecure because of its allegience to the century-old Rockefeller Standard Oil cabal. In raw terms of national defense security, and the personal economic security of each of us, we’re much worse off in 2005 than we were in 2000.

There’s a variety of components to a sane national energy strategy. Personal energy consumption accounts for a vast majority of the increasing demand for energy, regardless of the form the consumption takes (gas for the car, electricity for the lights, or natural gas / propane / oil for the furnace).

I’ll go into specific personal strategies in a future post, but for now, I’d like to ask everyone to take one small step with me. ASZ has created an online petition targeted at Rep. Rick Boucher, D-VA, who is the ranking minority member of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality. The petition addresses a pet peeve of mine going back many years – the lack of federal tax credits for individuals to purchase alternative / renewable energy products and systems to serve their homes. Alternative energy technologies certainly exist that would, if implemented on a large scale, one house at a time, dramatically impact national energy consumption. The technology is becoming more affordable, but for most of us is simply not yet an option from a personal economics standpoint. Tax credits would put such technology within the financial reach of many more people, and have the added benefit of significantly increasing employment in the renewable energies field. It seems win-win to me.

But it’s not win-win for the big energy companies. Throwing off the energy shackles means you don’t send in your budget payment to Gigundo Gas or Mongo PowerCo every month. The power, gas, and oil lobbies are extremely powerful (no pun intended) and will try to beat back every attempt at offering consumers a way to throw off the shackles. As long as they can meet demand-driven supply requirements, there’s no incentive for them to either be competitive or offer alternatives themselves. And that is a national security issue of the first order, particularly when so much fossil fuel has to be imported into the country.

So, your first progressive Maslow / Cranium action point: sign the specifically targeted Consumer Renewable Energy Tax Credits petition. There are several alternative energy bills currently pending in congress (click the link, and enter “energy” as the search term). These type of bills come up every year, typically receive very little public notice, and either die in committee or quietly on the House floor – because there is little or no public interest. When you sign the petition, you’ll also receive an email that allows you to forward the petition to others on your personal email list.

Let’s do a little viral marketing. Promote this petition as a national and personal security issue to your own contacts, and on other blogs where you participate. I set an aggressive goal of 5000 signatures. It should be easy to obtain at least that many signatures if we work together.

That’s one small step in throwing off the energy shackles…more to come shortly.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Drinking Liberally

I haven’t been in a month and boy am I thirsty! For those of you in Philly, the place to be tonight for Happy Hour is Ten Stone, at 21st and South Streets. Last time I was there the tables were full and the conversation was heady. I’m hoping the same tonight. Who else is attending? Heck if I know, though I ran across eligere @ Noblesse Oblog last week and understand she will be putting in an appearance.

I hope to be there from 6-7:30 or so, then it is off to meet the fiancee and maybe some tanning. Vanity tanning? No, I am just averse to sunburn, and we’re headed out next week for a week in the sun. I’d like to enjoy without worrying about a burn, so the tanning is in preparation.

Hope to see some of you at Drinking Liberally this week. I’ll be the one with the very gray hair.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

Talking to the Reptile

We all gnash our teeth and whine and wonder how the GOP and the evil spinmasters such as Karl Rove and Frank Luntz get away with snookering the ‘murican public on a daily basis. Much more importantly, we progressives bang our heads on brick walls and continue to be befuddled as to why policies that are clearly anti-family and anti-individual continue to be pushed and prodded through the halls of congress, aided and abetted by the tacit support of Joe and Joetta Trailerpark. There’s actually a very easy answer. And in that answer lies the solution to effectively communicating a progressive message.

Mark Sumner at TwoTaboos wrote a great posting that didn’t get a lot of play in Left Blogistan, but which really does an effective job of analyzing the root of the problem and offering a framework for countering the current idiocy that seems to envelope the country. Here’s how Sumner frames the situation:

There’s been a lot of talk about getting our message across effectively. In short: we don’t. We rail against the media (which deserves it) and against our own politicians (who also deserve it), for being such ineffectual purveyors of our ideas. Fencing, framing, or plain old propaganda, the right seems to have done a much better job at turning their message into terms that resonate with the public.

There’s also been a lot of talk along the “what’s the matter with Kansas” vein — head scratching about why people vote against what seems to be their own self interest. Poor people continually vote to give their money to the rich. They turn on the system that’s lifted them up for a century as if its the cause of their troubles.

At the same time, we think the right is … well, stupid. It’s painfully frustrating. How can Bush babble such idiocy, and still get the rabid support of the very people he’s hurting most? Truth is, the right wing message is stupid. Literally. And that’s exactly why it works…

Sumner then effectively diagnoses why the babbling and pandering to the lowest common denominator works, using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (Note: the TwoTaboo’s posting has a graphic of the hierarchy; I like this one, updated in the 1990′s, much better in terms of explaining Maslow’s theories as they apply to today’s political situation.) In short summary, the GOP and their spinmasters have been much more effective at communicating with the reptile in each of us, addressing our basic human needs, than have progressives, who tend to target the rational being in each of us.

Okay, so the problem has been identified. How do we take this knowledge and do something with it? Sumner suggests:

So how do we win? How can we win, when the Republicans are camped out on the brain stem?

We win by going lower. By that, I don’t mean fighting dirtier — though I’m more than willing to sling sewage with the worst of them, and we’ll probably be required to swim through an ocean of manure before this is over. When I saw lower, I mean we win by convincing people that Republicans are not only not delivering on their promises of safety, they’re actually a threat to those things at the bottom of the pyramid.

Ever wonder why Republicans spend even more time trying to make “environmentalist” a dirty word than they do “liberal?” Why “tree-hugger” is one of the first jabs at anyone who so much as dares to question their policies? Because they are scared, scared to death, that people might actually pay attention to these issues. It’s the environment stupid. That’s where we have to fight if we hope to win. Convince people that Republicans are a threat to having safe food to eat. They’re a threat to having clean water to drink. Republicans are a threat to the very air you breath.

Back during the past election cycle, I opined that I didn’t think Democrats were doing enough to make the Bush administration’s gutting of the clean air act an issue. One of the more critical components of this gutting was the increase (or “tradeoff” of credits) of mercury emissions in fossil fuel power generation. What a great campaign issue! Who in their right reptilian brains would support increased heavy metal contamination in their water, their food chain, their air, and their children’s bloodstream? Apparently, at least 51% of ‘muricans. And you know why? Because neither the GOP or Democrats made an issue of it in a health framework – the lowest tier of the Maslow pyramid – the GOP by design, the Democrats by (apparently) omission. A self-preservation issue, and it was never discussed. Why?

Because Democrats were trying to appeal to the “rational being”. Knowledge. Aesthetics. Well, we learned something — most people don’t want to learn. They want to be led and presented with the illusion of safety. That’s why BushCo has been so exceptionally effective at using the events of 9/11 as subterfuge for a decidedly anti-family, anti-individual agenda. And the only way to take back the message is to communicate, as Mark Sumner suggests, at the lower level of the Maslow pyramid.

Beginning today, I’m going to be modifying my own approach in presenting strategies for progressives to work with, both for individual consumption and when working in groups. The first issue I’m going to tackle is energy – and I’m not going to discuss policy, at least per se. I want to frame the discussion in terms of how it affects the physical safety of and environmental impact to you, your loved ones, and everyone around you. We need action points that address both our physical and economic well being (and the intersection of those “well beings”), and that’s where we’ll start.

The bitching is done. The Schiavo (and other circus distractions) blogging is over for me.

So, who else is in?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

National Press Club Goes Down

If there were any doubts that the Press were a bunch of whores this should put that notion to rest:

The National Press Club Welcomes … Jeff Gannon?

Yes, the same day that the prestigious Washington, D.C., journalism organization plans to present a lunch talk by former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, it will also allow the former White House reporter/sex site operator to be on a panel discussing bloggers and online journalism.

John at Americablog has the rest.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005 by sukabi |
Category: Uncategorized

I’m Almost Ready to Say DeLay is Going Down

Look, the weasel isn’t called “The Hammer” for nothing. I haven’t come out yet during this long winter of unethical revelations to claim Tom DeLay is going down. Even the Schiavo embarrassments he’s perpetrated have not caused me to do so. But now, with Rawstory’s reports of the Wall Street Journal’s latest, and then some pretty strong denunciations in the comments on a Southern Republican website, I’m getting awfully close to thinking Tom DeLay has little time left.

Of course, that Press Conference by God yesterday was pretty impressive, wasn’t it? DeLay’s got to be smarting after that!

I wonder what God meant by “or else?”

Monday, March 28th, 2005 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

The Log in Randall Terry’s Eye

His son Jamiel is gay. On Media Matters we can also find that he raises money from the Pro-Life movement in order to afford a big home, that he declared bankruptcy to get out of the payments to Planned Parenthood due to lawsuits, etc. Most important to me is that Randall Terry has a gay son at the same time he rails against gays. Yes, this is the true face of the supposed “culture of Life,” that men like Randall Terry will publicly turn against their own kids while professing to fight for life. Well, it seems to me he did so here in an article at Beliefnet, an article artfully written to appeal to the fundies while betraying his son at the same time.

But is Randall Terry anything except about making money for himself through gullible Christians? I can’t see it. Here at his web site there’s a link to “contributions” and also to his “bookstore.” Then there’s the organization he fronts, The Society for Truth and Justice, which is also plastered all over with money-making schemes.

Yup, there’s a whole lotta filthy lucre going on, not just attacks on his own son, Jamiel Terry. Jamiel deserves to be heard. And you can read his story excerpted and reprinted from Out magazine here, as well as an interview for Beliefnet here. I am moved by the interview, where Jamiel, with every motive to betray and paint his father as the despicable man he is, calmly paints Randall Terry as a good, if misguided, father.

And I can only say Randall Terry does not deserve such a good son.

Monday, March 28th, 2005 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized
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