Monday, May 30, 2005

Dominionism and its attack on American values

Soldiers of Christ II ( - Feeling the hate, the religious broadcasters.

Soldiers of Christ I - Inside America's most powerful megachurch

Cities are full of devils, move to the exurbs, vote Republican and save America says the church leader who talks to the White House weekly.

This is an old problem becoming urgent.
1994 - "The significance of the Reconstructionist movement is not its numbers, but the power of its ideas and their surprisingly rapid acceptance."

The Christian Reconstructionist and Theocratic Dominionism movements have made major advances while remaining below the radar of the secular media.

Politics and Domionists

Taking over the most powerful military academy on Earth.

Sam Harris argues it is time for The End of Faith - the world can no longer afford it. Amazon - on sale.
“Sam Harris launches a sustained nuclear assault… A bold and exhilarating thesis… The End of Faith is a brave, pugilistic attempt to demolish the walls that currently insulate religious people from criticism… The End of Faith is badly needed...” —The Independent (U.K.)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Framing abortion rights as pro-life, pro-privacy, anti-government

Framing, an example
...It reminds me of the quandry that Republicans were in over environmental issues in the early 90's. As the pro-business party, Republicans are against regulation of business as a rule. Standing against the enviromental laws being put forward by the Democrats, Republicans were losing the debate because caring about the environment, being a steward of the earth, is a winner. So, Frank Luntz told the Republicans to say that they too were for the environment, that they too were environmentalists. The Democrats snickered, but it worked, and has served to nuetralized that issue ever since. The Democrats said, no you are not. And the Republicans replied, yes I am, I just don't want the government to stifle economic growth through regulation.

Boom. The debate was immediately re-framed over the issue of government intrusion, and Democrats were left holding the bag-- arguing that governmental regulation of the environment doesn't deter capitalism...

Simarly with Pro-Life. Who can be against pro-life? Doesn't that mean you are pro-death? The answer is to say I am pro-life, but I am anti-government intrusion and pro-privacy.

If someone, say a politician, says I am pro-life and Democrat, lets hear them out. The Republicans will snicker and respond, no you aren't. And if the politician responds by saying yes I am, I do not like to see abortions, but will not legislate or have the government intruding into this private decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor. That's a politician that belongs in the Democratic Party. And boom, this is a politician that's going to put the Republicans on the defensive.

This frame is being developed here, here and here. This is how blogs are supposed to work, ideas spread.

What's the matter with Texas?

Why the GOP wins in poor areas
Crystal City is one of the poorest towns in Texas, and 98 percent of the city's 8,263 inhabitants are Hispanic. Most residents have no idea that they live in the most Democratic constituency in Texas, but are not surprised. "Democrats give more opportunities to low-income and minority people," says Maria Alvarez, a teacher in a local Head Start program.

"Our efforts for equality have always been more supported by the Democrats than the Republicans," Palacio says. “That’s why they get our votes.”

Yet the Democratic Party shows little appreciation for this kind of loyalty. Crystal City, receives little attention from party officials even during election time. "The Republicans are coming out and talking to everyone, but the Democrats rarely come around," says Crystal City Mayor Raul Gomez. He received at least a dozen phone calls from Republicans before the November election and none from Democrats.

"If the Democrats want to keep winning down here, they have to come out and talk to the people," Gomez says.

Even the Democrats in Crystal City are not up on their facts -- working three jobs leaves little time to stay informed. These aren't the kind of San Francisco progressives who read The Nation or Mother Jones -- in fact, no one here has even heard of these publications. The little news they get is from television. As a result most folks know more about the Runaway Bride than the Republican vote against raising the federal minimum wage in the Senate. When I tell both low-income Democrats and Republicans here about the minimum wage bill, their eyes open wide and mouths drop. They had no idea Bush is opposed to raising their wages. They're clearly angry, and for good reason.

Still, it's clear from my conversations in Crystal City that it's the Democrats and not the Republicans who need to worry about the future. Due to the indifferent and high-handed attitude of the Democratic establishment, it is in danger of alienating its most ardent supporters. The future of the party lies with women like Sofia Munoz, and Democrats would be wise to start listening to what she has to say: "Please continue to fight for our rights. We live in a small town, but those of us who stay informed, spread the word and have a lot to say. All we ask is that you be real and listen."
Rose Aguilar, AlterNet

Texas Senate about to rule on restricting voting

1. Today, if you have a valid VR card and you're on the precinct roster, you vote - but under this bill, that won't be good enough, because you'd have to present additional ID to vote - even if your voter Reg card is good and the election judge knows you.

2. This bill says that in addition to presenting a valid Voter Registration card, a voter would also have to show a photo ID (e.g., driver's license) or two forms of non-photo ID.

3. The bill's author admitted this will have a greater affect on certain people - and experts indicate that means seniors and the poor - any anyone without ID on them who shows up to vote with their VR card, just like they always have, then get told (probably by a Republican poll watcher or election judge) that if they don't have additional ID, they have to cast a provisional ballot, then take the required ID to the courthouse within 5 days or their provisional ballot won't count - meaning some people would have to show up twice to vote once.

4. This bill is part of a nationwide partisan Republican movement to restrict voter access among certain communities. The bill's supporters did not produce on example or any evidence of voter fraud that would be addressed by this bill.

Sen. Jackson tried to add Ms. Denny's HB 1706 language to a different innocuous driver's license bill on the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, but he was caught by Sen. Van de Putte and pulled it down. That just goes to show the very real partisan intent here - and the need to contact Senators and the public.

- Ed Martin (email) He has a blog here Save Texas Reps.

Corporate financed takeover of Texas Politics Illegal

Statement from Dem Party:
"Judge Hart's landmark decision that TRMPAC failed to report $532,000 in corporate contributions makes two things very clear: there was an illegal conspiracy in 2002 to break Texas law, and Tom DeLay and Tom Craddick were at the center of that conspiracy.

"Everything since then -- the takeover of state government by extremist politicians paid for by corporate interests, the unprecedented mid-decade redistricting to give the GOP seats it couldn't win at the ballot box, the failure of Texas Republicans to address the state's most pressing public policy challenges -- flows from the illegal conspiracy directed by Tom DeLay and Tom Craddick.

"Bankrupt public schools? Eligible children stripped of their health insurance? Soaring college tuition rates? No ethics reform? The
highest homeowners' insurance rates in the nation? Blame it on the illegal conspiracy directed by Tom DeLay and Tom Craddick."
-- CHARLES SOECHTING - Chairman of Texas Democratic Party in email.

More on the TRMPAC decision at The Daily DeLay.
Plaintiffs charged TRMPAC and its Treasurer with raising and spending approximately $600,000 in corporate contributions for political activities which is strictly prohibited under Texas law. (Including $190,000 in corporate funds that TRMPAC sent to the RNSEC that was returned in direct campaign contributions to TRMPAC endorsed Republican House candidates.) The prohibited activities included candidate recruitment, fundraising activities, polling, message development and voter identification efforts. Plaintiffs also charged that the defendants failed to report the contributions and expenditures in their Texas campaign disclosure reports. Plaintiffs sought approximately $1.2 million in damages (twice the amount of the illegal contributions.)

Tom DeLay was intimately involved in the entire TRMPAC operation. He served as head of TRMPAC's advisory board, admits that TRMPAC was created on his initiative, and that he raised money for TRMPAC. Documents show that DeLay attended multiple fundraising events where corporate dollars were solicited for TRMPAC.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

How did they do it?: "With the apathy that exists today, a small, well-organized minority can influence the selection of candidates to an astonishing degree." - Pat Robertson 1990

Molly Also Discovers Rep Senfronia

Welcome to WorkingForChange: "'Last week, Republicans used a political wedge issue to pull kids -- sweet little vulnerable kids -- out of the homes of loving parents and put them back in a state orphanage just because those parents are gay. That's disgusting.

'I have listened to the arguments. I have listened to all of the crap... I want you to know that this amendment [is] blowing smoke to fuel the hell-fire flames of bigotry.'"

"Washington Post Buries Page 1 Sunday Story on Iraq Intel Doubts to Page 26!"

What Liberal Media? Early editions page one story moved to page 26 for most editions.

GOP Wins? The No-Nuke Deal | David Corn

Daily Kos :: Last words on compromise deal

Liberalism Resurgent

Welcome to the memorial web site that stands up for liberalism.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

SCLM Hacks Hackworth obituary

The New York Times made a couple errors in the obit for the Vietnam war hero Hackworth.

Proving the laziness of the So-Called-Liberal-Media other media like NPR, Time, and the London Times repeated the same errors.

The New York Times incorrectly reported Hackworth was the inspiration for the mad officer Kurtz [played by Marlon Brando) in the "Apocalypse Now" film.

Wrong. That character with the same name was in the original novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad the film was inspired by. Hackworth may have been the inspiration for the good guy played by Robert Duvall.

Update My Local Election To Be Replayed in 30 days

The Leroy Stanley/ Don Harrison race in Pasadena Texas is headed back to the voters.

In the first count Leroy Stanley won by one vote.

In the recount it was discovered one mail-in ballot had been counted for Stanley instead of Harrison. However one provisional ballot was accepted for Stanley meaning the race is tied.

There were some problems with the recount with one candidate, Harrison, being allowed to examine and handle(!) the mail-in ballots before they were recounted.

However in an ironic turn of events the provisional ballot proved decisive. This was cast at a shelter that Harrison had attacked in the campaign. When the citizen was proven to have registered to vote in time the vote for Stanley and against Harrison was accepted.

This means the election is now a tie. The City Council is expected to call for a new election on Tuesday.

Where Do You Fit?

Beyond Red and Blue Political Typology Test

Read the report on the American political landscape today

Bush compares FDR to Hitler/Stalin

Once Again, the Big Yalta Lie

How Progressives Win even in conservative areas

Listen to the people. Provide benefits to the people.

The Anatomy of a Progressive Campaign
How has Sanders managed to rack up such huge support in Vermont? Take a look at today's story in the Rutland Herald for some clues - it provides a glimpse into the anatomy of how progressives can run and win grassroots campaigns. Sanders has spent years traveling the state holding town meetings on serious issues, making citizens feel they really have a line of communication to their political leaders. And just like "they came in droves" last night, they have come in droves for years.

Another good example is Sanders' efforts in fighting cutbacks to worker pensions. A few years ago, he held a town meeting where 800 traditionally-conservative IBM workers came out to rally against the cuts, and help Sanders push through legislation banning the type of age-discriminatory pension the company had proposed.

How Conservative Montana is going Democratic
As I have said and written before, the premise is pretty simple: if Democrats are willing to stand up for the middle class and use a populist economic message, they can and will be successful in the "red" states and start turning them into a new shade of blue. Not the east/west coast version of a blue agenda, mind you. A different color altogether. Call it the Purple Populism Platform.

The proof is in the pudding: Within his first days in office, our fearless Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) aggressively pushed a serious middle-class, populist agenda through the legislature. He has been rewarded with terrific support from Montanans. As a new poll shows, he is one of the most popular governors in the United States right now.

Dr. Hager paid his wife for sodomy when he wasn't raping her

Do you ever wonder what the home life and sex life of those conservatives intent on regulating everyone else's life is really like?

Seeing Dr. Hager recieving generous praise for his hypocrisy, his support of family values, made his ex-wife speak out.

Dr. Hager is not just some kook. His recomendation made the FDA overrule their panel of experts and their own staff and not allow the over-the-counter sale of the morning after pill. He has been repeated praised on conservative Christian TV.

Can I have a big Amen for paying your wife for oral and anal sex when you aren't raping her!

What do his supporters say when told of his repeated rape and abuse of his wife? "He has been a gentleman. He is a person of character and integrity, and I think people admire that."

The Nation - Dr. Hager's Family Values.

This was from Suburban Guerilla's new blog site. She also pointed me to what may derail Dr. Bolton's nomination and dismantlement of the UN - his first wife left him after being forced to participate in group sex.

If you want to be a high-flying neo-con maybe you had better silence those first wives.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Zogby wants new Dem ideas

Zogby on the new Huffington Post celebrity group blog.

Breaking the Rules equals Going Nuclear

What rules do the GOP have to break to eliminate filibusters?

Sen. Kennedy has a list:

Here are some of the rules and precedents that the executive will have to ask its allies in the Senate to break or ignore, in order to turn the Senate into a rubber stamp for nominations:

* First, they will have to see that the Vice President himself is presiding over the Senate, so that no real Senator needs to endure the embarrassment of publicly violating the Senate's rules and precedents and overriding the Senate Parliamentarian, the way our presiding officer will have to do;
* Next, they will have to break Paragraph 1 of Rule V, which requires 1 day's specific written notice if a Senator intends to try to suspend or change any rule;
* Then they will have to break paragraph 2 of Rule V, which provides that the Senate Rules remain in force from Congress to Congress, unless they are changed in accordance with the existing rules;
* Then they will have to break paragraph 2 of Rule XXII, which requires a motion signed by 16 Senators, a two-day wait and a 3/5 vote to close debate on the nomination itself;
* They will also have to break Rule XXII's requirement of a petition, a wait, and a 2/3 vote to stop debate on a Rules change;
* Then, since they pretend to be proceeding on a constitutional basis, they will have to break the invariable rule of practice that constitutional issues must not be decided by the presiding officer but must be referred by the Presiding officer to the entire Senate for full debate and decision;
* Throughout the process they will have to ignore, or intentionally give incorrect answers to, proper parliamentary inquiries which, if answered in good faith and in accordance with the expert advice of the parliamentarian, would make clear that they are breaking the rules;
* Eventually, when their repeated rule-breaking is called into question, they will blatantly, and in dire violation of the norms and mutuality of the Senate, try to ignore the Minority Leader and other Senators who are seeking recognition to make lawful motions or pose legitimate inquiries or make proper objections.

Kennedy Speech on Filibusters

Creationism to Evolution: A Story of Hope

A Kos Diary has a good story about a Christian home schooler coming home to Darwin.

Max was Wrong

Lying doesn't pay

Earlier I linked to Max Boot writing about how campaigning against an opponent for being a dirty rotten liar didn't work in American politics. Voters expect politicians to be liars.

In case you didn't know, Max Boot is one of those neo-cons who follow Strauss where the political elite is supposed to lie to the voters and wrap their self-interest in patriotic and moral values.

In the local election that just concluded I was working for a campaign where a main theme was the opponent was a liar who crossed the line. The opponent even lied again about an incident he admitted under oath he knew was not true. When his court mandated apology came out he repeated the lie the apology was about. This was the who are you going to believe - me, or me under oath defense.

He lost by one vote. See, democracy sometimes does work.

More on Max Boot's column

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


1 Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

2 Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

Synonyms: liberal, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, generous, handsome, munificent, openhanded
These adjectives mean willing or marked by a willingness to give unstintingly: a liberal backer of the arts; a bounteous feast; bountiful compliments; a freehanded host; a generous donation; a handsome offer; a munificent gift; fond and openhanded grandparents. See also synonyms at broad-minded

Saturday, May 07, 2005

$11.5 Trillion hidden in off-shore tax shelters

Amount would pay off national debt. Iraq - The Quagmire

It is just like Vietnam. All they have to do is bring back the draft.

Christ's Militia - How Evangelical Protestantism came to dominate America

Gary B. Nash in the Boston Review gives a history lesson of three major American church leaders. There is an interesting contrast to the two dominant church leaders in Boston around the same time - Ballou and Channing. Not much of a contrast in Hosea Ballou's case - he was a traveling backwoods preacher to start. The secret to spreading the word is to encourage people to spread the word.

I am thinking about religion today as I read a couple things and then more and more on this domination by right Christians.

The first is that a US federal court has ruled that freedom of religion can be limited to Judeo-Christian monotheism. A county government, or presumably any public body, can ban opening prayers from other religions. This will be appealed.

The second is that the GOP takeover of fundy churches has lead to a church banning members for voting Democratic. So what, you might say - churches can determine who their members are. Ahh, but to get tax-exempt status a church, or any tax-exempt group, has to refrain from endorsing specific candidates for public office. This is to enable the taxpayers to know that they are not subsidizing campaign activities. Democrats can take action on this. Local activists or a sharp reporter have already gotten the word out.

Last is the liberal editor of America's major Catholic thought magazine America has resigned with the elevation of the new pope. He had urged the selection of a pope who would allow more open debate.

And then, of course, Kansas is about to mandate teaching creationism again.

Adding yet another instance, this post started with just two,
- Judge rules against Sex Ed in Maryland. Technically it is now only under review for ten days. Some of the class content sounds like a more recent edition of the sex ed class I taught. They probably don't have the movies and film strips of people having sex though. I agree with SF writer Mack Reynolds, the best thing for America right now would be mandatory summer camps for all kids - in the nude. It would give the parents a break and eliminate a lot of the worst sexual hang-ups in the future.

Friday, May 06, 2005

David H. Hackworth - Legendary Soldier and Man of Peace

David H. Hackworth has died

Washington, D.C., May 5, 2005 – Col. David H. Hackworth, the United States Army's legendary, highly decorated guerrilla fighter and lifelong champion of the doughboy and dogface, ground-pounder and grunt, died Wednesday in Mexico. He was 74 years old. The cause of death was a form of cancer now appearing with increasing frequency among Vietnam veterans exposed to the defoliants called Agents Orange and Blue.

A reputation won on the battlefield made it impossible to dismiss him when he went on the attack later as a critic of careerism and incompetence in the military high command. In 1971, he appeared in the field on ABC’s “Issue and Answers” to say Vietnam “is a bad war ... it can’t be won. We need to get out.” He also predicted that Saigon would fall to the North Vietnamese within four years, a prediction that turned out to be far more accurate than anything the Joint Chiefs of Staff were telling President Nixon or that the President was telling the American people.

With almost five years in-country, Col. Hackworth was the only senior officer to sound off about the Vietnam War. After the interview, he retired from the Army and moved to Australia.

“He was perhaps the finest soldier of his generation,” observed the novelist and war correspondent Nicholas Proffit, who described Col. Hackworth’s combat autobiography, About Face, a national best-seller, as “a passionate cry from the heart of a man who never stopped loving the Army, even when it stopped loving him back.”

...He led from the front, at one point getting out on the strut of a helicopter, landing on top of an enemy position and hauling to safety the point elements of a company pinned down and facing certain death. Thirty years later, the grateful enlisted men and young officers of the 4/39, now grown old, are still urging the Pentagon to award him the Medal of Honor for this action. So far, the Army has refused.

“Hack never lost his focus,” said Roger Charles, president of Soldiers for the Truth. “That focus was on the young kids that our country sends to bleed and die on our behalf. Everything he did in his retirement was to try to give them a better chance to win and to come home. That’s one hell of a legacy.”

Over the final years of Col. Hackworth’s life, his wife Eilhys fought beside him during his gallant battle against bladder cancer, which now appears with sinister regularity among Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Blue. At one point he considered dropping their syndicated column, only to make an abrupt about face, saying, “Writing with you is the only thing that keeps me alive.” The last words he said to his doctor were, “If I die, tell Eilhys I was grateful for every moment she bought me, every extra moment I got to spend with her. Tell her my greatest achievement is the love the two of us shared.”

Soldiers For The Truth is now working on legal action to compel the Pentagon to recognize Agent Blue alongside the better known Agent Orange as a killer and to help veterans exposed to it during the Vietnam War. Memorial contributions can be sent to Soldiers For The Truth either by internet or by mail to, P.O. Box 54365, Irving, California, 92619-4365.

Email sent by Charles Aulds.

Hackworth was one of the first Vietnam heroes to be attacked by conservative elements for coming out against the war. In this he was joined by John Kerry and John Ritter on Iraq.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Running against someone for being a rotten liar doesn't work

Max Boot writes: Is Blair a Liar? Brits Don't Care
How can you tell if a political party is brain-dead? Easy. It spends an entire campaign denouncing the incumbent as a smarmy, good-for-nothing liar, rather than outlining its own agenda. The Republicans tried it against Bill Clinton in 1996, the Democrats tried it against George W. Bush in 2004, and now in Britain the Conservatives are trying it, with equal lack of success, against Tony Blair.

Such a tactic is beguiling because, to True Believers, the other side's triumphs are never on the up and up; they must be the result of hoodwinking the hapless electorate. The problem with this approach was pointed out to me by a political strategist last week: "Voters think all politicians are liars. So telling them that someone is a particularly effective liar doesn't work."

DeLay supported mandatory company abortions

On DeLay's fact-finding mission to an American territory in the Pacific local groups including missionaries hoped that the congressmen would apply minimum regulation to sweatshops run by Asian merchants.

The merchants had set up sweatshops in Saipan eager to get the Made in USA label without coming under US labor laws and regulations.

Little did the groups supporting the virtual prisoners know that his "closest and dearest friend" lobbyist Jack Abramoff had bought DeLay. Abramoff's company represented the Saipan manufacturers for $8 million.

Among the objections the Baptist and Catholic church groups had was that the ruthless clothing manufacturers had enforced mandatory abortions on their guest workers housed in prison-like conditions. The workers not able to leave earned $2.90 an hour minus company store prices for food, housing and transportation.

DeLay's personal ethics have global consequences

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Red Green Mountain

Here in Texas the biggest promoter of clean green energy is Green Mountain Energy. They are at every festival offering to switch your electric bills to their greener and cheaper power.

Are they greener and cheaper? Not really. They have a minor influence by encouraging more alternate sources of power. Some of these alternative sources are dirtier than coal; some like wind power are better. Their brochures often contain misleading and inaccurate price comparisons.

Primarily they are a Republican owned group associated with BP energy that saw a niche market and have aggressively promoted themselves to that market. All the while they are politically funding anti-gay, anti-progressive, and anti-environment candidates.

Just a word to some people who may want to wise up.


Right Turn on Green Mountain

Burning Biomass.

Green Mountain has a long history of running afoul of environmentalists. Critics say the company claims to produce renewable fuel but then provides it from less-than-clean sources. Green Mountain is nothing but a front for big oil, contends Mike Ewall, director of the Energy Justice Network in Philadelphia. "What Green Mountain is marketing as green energy," he says, "is actually a lot of the stuff that the environmental community has been fighting for years."

Red Light, Green Light
"They were making zero difference for the environment….They sell stuff that is already out there. They just repackage it,"

Update on the Green Mountain Boycott and why. Texas is actually the best state to be a Green Mountain consumer although their huge political contributions to Bush continue.

Expanded: Texas Green Mountain consumers can actually get 100% wind power electricity. Green Mountain and Enron developed a wind farm in west Texas mostly through generous tax breaks. So in Texas at least Green Mountain can be environmentally sound even if politically appalling. The extent of DeLay/Bush/GOP ties can be seen by the $2.5 million contribution of Green Mountain's founder to slam McCain's environmental record when he threatened Bush's nomination for President. Senator McCain had a better environmental record than Bush.

Toward a more ignorant America

Well-funded attack on evolution send students to class with questions.

What is interesting is that these questions which sound difficult are easy to answer.

Of course, answering them doesn't change anyone's mind.

Once a frame is in place facts don't matter. Facts get ignored. Students starting at a lower grade need to have a better understanding of science and how it differs from other ways of thinking. Science advances by always questioning what they think they know and coming up with even better answers.

Fundamentalist faith is believing in your religious ideas because they have always been believed.

Are you a Republican?

My Result:

I am:
"You're a complete liberal, utterly without a trace of Republicanism. Your strength is as the strength of ten because your heart is pure. (You hope.)"

Are You A Republican?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

DeLay's "closest and dearest friend" linked to Mafia and murder

Untangling a Lobbyist's Stake in a Casino Fleet

In a complicated tell that starts with a murder the Washington Post investigates the recent past of the lobbyist DeLay has called his "closest and dearest friend."

This is in part an investigation into what Abramoff was doing with before he extorted $82 million from Indian tribes to get them access to DeLay and top GOP officials in Washington.

Eros Blog: The Sex Blog

Not suitable for work. Sorry, the previous post was a deep link from this site.