Sunday, July 31, 2005

Be careful what you allow others to do in your name...

"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation. We must take steps to insure our domestic security and protect our homeland."

Sound familiar?

Which of the following made the above quote: President George W. Bush, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Homeland Security Czar Tom Ridge, or Secretary of State Colin Powell?

The correct answer is none of the above. It was Adolph Hitler in 1922, writing about the creation of the German Gestapo.

This piece of trivia [hardly!] was sent to me by my wonderful niece-in-law, Amanda. She's a psych student at USC with a talented sideline as the photographer for USC's Daily Trojan [and also a damn fine photographic artist in her own right]. Love you, Amanda, and thanks!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Unleashing the Patriotic Church

Wow! These few excerpts were taken from a Progressive Blog Alliance article, HITLER’S POSITIVE CHRISTIANITY. The writer, Douglas William Krieger, is quite verbose and could use a good editor, but he makes a mean case for a meaner America. Check these excerpts out.

...Ultimately, a lie told long enough, and amplified to the uttermost, resounds with familiarity—YE SHALL BE AS GODS, KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL! This original deceit confounded our original forebears. This is no ordinary lie—it is THE LIE...

...In the 1920s, Hitler's German Workers' Party (pre Nazi terminology) adopted a twenty-five-point program with the clear intent to persuade the German people that "positive Christianity" was in full conformity to the "moral" convictions of the Party—i.e., the Party fully embraced the morality of Christianity and that Christianity was viewed as "singular" in the minds of that Party—Catholic and Protestants were considered as the foundation of German Christianity in its fullness and jurisdiction (the Party embraced both as one)....

[READ: In the 2000s, Bush's Republican Party (pre dictatorship terminology) has adopted a program with the clear intent to persuade the American people that "positive Christianity" is in full conformity to the "moral" convictions of the Republican Party—i.e., the Republican Party fully embraces the morality of Christianity and that Christianity is viewed as "singular" in the minds of that Party—Catholic and Protestants are considered as the foundation of American Christianity in its fullness and jurisdiction (the Party embraces both as one). -- my input]

...Nazism presents an embarrassment to Christianity and demonstrates the danger of blending "faith with politics." ...

...Note that Hitler claims to be a Christian and, as such, he has a duty to his own people—he too, like Jesus, must be a fighter for truth and justice—he must rid the Temple of the moneychangers, of the abominable Jews who harass his people, like Jesus did. The German people, according to Hitler, were being "plundered and exploited" and he would be NO CHRISTIAN if he didn't do something about it. Hitler's identification as a Christian was one of activism—not in name only! In this artful persuasion he under girded the German people in their predisposition to anti-Semitism, the full spiritual justification for their participation in the "Final Solution."...

[READ: Note that Bush [et al.] claims to be a Christian and, as such, he has a duty to his own people—he too, like Jesus, must be a fighter for truth and justice—he must rid the Temple of the moneychangers, of the abominable Unbelievers who harass his people, like Jesus did. The American people, according to Bush, are being "plundered and exploited" and he would be NO CHRISTIAN if he didn't do something about it. Bush's identification as a Christian is one of activism—not in name only! In this artful persuasion he undergirds the American people in their predisposition to anti-everyone else, the full spiritual justification for their participation in the "Final Theocracy." --my input]

..."It will at any rate be my supreme task to see to it that in the newly awakened NSDAP, the adherents of both Confessions can live peacefully together side by side in order that they may take their stand in the common fight against the power, which is the mortal foe of any true Christianity."---Adolf Hitler, in an article headed "A New Beginning," 26 Feb. 1925...

...The unity of the Church is a recurrent message delivered by Hitler. His object, of course, was "against the power"—i.e., the international Jewish conspiracy against the Church, and, of course, the German people and the world in general. The technique of solidifying the churches into the "Hammer of God" was a strategy that appealed to the vast majority of German Christians. That he would see in them such an instrument of righteous indignation was commending—both to them as the object of his insight, and to himself for his discernment of such...

...It is my firm conviction that this is precisely what is happening in America today. The appeal to the Christian religion in the battle “against evil” within the West is NOT an historic first! Don't be so quick to terminate this reading—let me explain. Who are those who most clearly understand the language of THE AXIS OF EVIL? Who are those who clearly grasp the "spiritual reality" behind Islamic terrorism? The current President is no fool in appealing to the most religious in leading his charge against the forces of evil that assail the current drama. The appeal to religious unity in the face of extremity is manifested in Islamic Jihad—Holy War. But, this appeal is far more sinister and powerful when placed in the hands of a "Christian President" about to inspire the faithful—far more potent is its impress. There is a righteous finality connected with it—a more sure word—an unseen and unmistaken cause behind this necessary action whose appeal is Ultimate and Conclusive. God, and God alone, is my judge—and you are "either for us or against us"—there is no compromise, there is no wavering between two opinions—LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT—OUR CAUSE IS JUST!...

...[W]e see the ultimate FOE of today’s Christianity lurks behind the fanaticism of an "evil religion"—notwithstanding the ecumenical protestations to the contrary—the CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG: This is a CRUSADE! Let freedom ring within the 10/40 corridor! At last, a leader that understands what real freedom is all about—for true freedom is RELIGIOUS in nature and outlook. Religious freedom is at the heart and soul of whatever freedom can possibly mean—without it, there is no freedom! A united Church is the most critical tool in forging a nation's will in the spread of this freedom—and in subduing every militant foe that would come against us.

[I only got about a 1/4 of the way through the article...Yikes!]

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Happy 21st Anniversary, Babe!

It's Thursday July 21, 2005

On this day... The Creation of the World, according to the ancient Egyptians

And you created mine on this day in 1984.

Thanks for hangin' in there. Here's to another 21. Love you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Reality of Rove

Take this first paragraph one sentence at a time. Let what it describes sink in...

If Newsweek's report is accurate, Karl Rove is more morally repugnant and more anti-American than Osama bin Laden...

Bin Laden, after all, has no affiliation with, and therefore no presumed loyalty to, the United States...

Rove, on the other hand, is a U.S. citizen and, as deputy White House chief of staff, a high-ranking official of the U.S. government sworn to uphold and defend our nation, its laws and its interests...

Yet he sold out America just to get even with Joe Wilson.

Osama bin Laden, conversely, is loyal to his cause. He has never exposed an Al Qaeda agent's identity to the media.

"[Knowingly revealing Plame's name and undercover status to the media] a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and is punishable by as much as ten years in prison," notes the Washington Post. Unmasking an intelligent agent during a time of war, however, surely rises to giving aid and comfort to America's enemies--treason. Treason is punishable by execution under the United States Code.

By Ted Rall Mon Jul 4, 7:00 PM ET

Friday, July 08, 2005

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. "Patriotism" is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism" I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one's own nation, which is the concern with the nation's spiritual as much as with its material welfare --never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.
— Erich Fromm
The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.
— Samuel P. Huntington
Today the real test of power is not the capacity to make war but the capacity to prevent it.
— Anne O'Hare McCormick
Another victory like that and we are done for. — Pyrrhus
Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.
— Bertrand Russell

They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.
— Benjamin Franklin
The most tyrannical of governments are those which make crimes of opinions, for everyone has an inalienable right to his thoughts. -Baruch Spinoza, philosopher (1632-1677)

A date in history...

July 7th was when, in 1348, the Black Death arrived in England at Weymouth.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Of mountains and souls...

One day's exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers' plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul.

-John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)
Jeffrey R Hapeman took this picture of an aurora over Lac du Flambeau, WI on May 29, 2005. He accounts his experience, �Very bright but diffuse aurora from the CME last night. Highest intensity was between 12:30 and 1:30am Central Daylight time. There were rays and beams, and the show was quite impressive. I used a Canon 1Ds Mark II at ISO 1600 to capture this 30s exposure at f/2. The pinks reds and blues were not visible to the naked eye.�
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July 4th Reality Check

America doesn't really believe in democracy any more. It's just a slogan used to sell unpopular wars, or justify the greasy manuevers of a corrupt political machine. America doesn't want social justice, either -- just a few extra crumbs from the tables of the wealthy. It worships power and material success and expects those who don't to hold their tongues. It hears what it wants to hear and sees what it wants to see, and it has a corporate media establishment increasingly dedicated to ensuring that it always does...

Without that ideal, patriotism is just tribalism: the mindless glorification of "us" and the demonization of "them." And in the case of America, "us" includes a long list of right-wing idiots who I feel absolutely no affinity with or loyalty to -- beginning with Rush Limbaugh and continuing through the loudmouth Bush supporter who sits just outside my office. I don't want to be in their tribe. And I sure the hell don't want them in mine.

As for the rest of my fellow Americans? Their lives are no more -- and no less -- precious than any other group of human beings with a flag and a national anthem. I don't wish them ill, but the moments when I feel any emotionally solidarity with them (like on the morning of 9/11, or, briefly, in Jimmy John's the other day) are becoming quite rare. I don't really feel like I even know them any more.

Which means that if I still support the war on terrorism, or hope that America finds a way out of the Iraq quagmire, or wish for a more successful U.S. foreign policy, it's not out of patriotism. I live in the United States, my family lives here, and we're not moving, at least not any time soon. That being the case, I'd rather not see it nuked, or hit with a dirty bomb, or anthrax or smallpox. I'd also rather not live in a complete police state, which is what we may get if any of those things happen. That's not patriotism -- just the instinct for self preservation.

But not loving America -- or rather, what America is fast becoming -- isn't the same as believing there are no worse things than America. Bin Ladin and the fanatics who follow him aren't evil because they're the enemies of America, they're evil because they're evil -- because they slaughter innocent people, promote religious hatred and would rather see the Islamic world impoverished and ignorant than freed from their medieval fantasies.

Opposing that also isn't patriotism -- just common human decency, and a (probably vain) hope for a better world than this shit pile we live in...

If that be treason, I suppose I'll just have to learn how to make the most of it.

My thanks to Whiskey Bar, experted from Goodbye Columbus posted by Billmon.