August 31st, 2010

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Farce on Washington: Glenn Beck and the Assault on Historical Memory

Farce on Washington: Glenn Beck and the Assault on Historical Memory
by Tim Wise

To be angry with Glenn Beck would be easy. So too, to conjure an ungenerous spirit of contempt for his acolytes who came from around the country to attend Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally this Saturday, would hardly take Herculean effort. His demented narcissism and their cult-like devotion to the man who once said he was just “a rodeo clown,” to whom one should hardly pay attention — but who now suggests he is on a mission from God to save America — are both worthy of the highest derision.

Yet, rather than anger or contempt — however deserved — it is sadness that animates my thoughts today. Sadness that so many would feel the country so besmirched by the first 19 months of the Obama Administration that they would take it upon themselves to march on Washington. Not for jobs or peace. But to restore some vaguely defined sense of national integrity, and, to hear Beck tell it, to “reclaim the civil rights movement.” As unsightly as it can be to witness any man’s ego explode with self-absorbed mendacity all over the pages of history — as we observed this weekend, what with the rally coinciding with the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” — it is especially so when that ego belongs to one as craven as Beck. That Beck thinks the civil rights movement needs “reclaiming,” and that so many others apparently agree, speaks to the miseducation of the American people (especially large numbers of white Americans), and it is this, which saddens.

For how could anyone take seriously the connection between Beck’s rally and the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom? The latter was a direct challenge to the economic injustice of racism, and to a nation that had “bounced a check” to its black citizens. The former was led by a man who decries all talk of social justice, and having never apparently read a single word of Dr. King’s writings, suggests that the left has hijacked the movement’s legacy by speaking of such matters as were, in fact, central to its mission.

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The article at the source has a lot of really great links backing up everything he said, so check it out.
misc. | Michelle Obama

" 50 Cent wants FLOTUS 'mentor' " (????).

By: Karin Tanabe | August 27, 2010 01:35 PM EST | Updated: August 27, 2010 01:50 PM EST

It seems rapper 50 Cent may be shopping around for a mentor, and his first choice is Michelle Obama. Or so he said very colorfully on his Twitter feed Thursday. 

Followers of the rapper noticed that around 3 p.m. there was a sudden change in his tweets. Before then, 50 Cent's feed consisted mainly of well-written self-promotional lines (penned by a ghostwriter, it turns out), and then —blammo! The rapper posted an eyebrow-raising tweet about his own grandmother. More uncensored (and un-spell checked, and profane) thoughts followed.

His tweet about Michelle Obama appeared around 6 p.m. on Thursday. We’ll cut the first part (it mentions FLOTUS needing a ‘thug,’ and employs an expletive!) but share this plea: “Girl you can be my mentor.”

For context: The Obama mention comes in between tweets about a sex shop, assaulting people he sees on Twitter (can you see someone on Twitter?) and how he should stop using profanity if he wants to run for president “like wyclef.”

SOURCE: The hard-hitting crack-journalism of Politico~

Idek, but lol wha'.
Uncle V wants you

University of Michigan study finds U.S. liberals and conservatives more alike than different

University of Michigan: Many values unite Americans, despite divisions

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Americans are united when it comes to many core values, according to a University of Michigan survey. But the nation is deeply divided about certain issues, including gay marriage, immigration and universal health care.

Those are the some of the findings from a series of nationally representative surveys of approximately 500 Americans, conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research at three times over the past year. The surveys, funded by ISR and the Carnegie Foundation, were conducted as part of the monthly U-M/Thomson Reuters Surveys of Consumers in June and December 2009, and in March 2010. A fourth survey will be conducted in September.

"More than 90 percent of those surveyed agreed that all people deserve equal opportunities in life," said sociologist Wayne Baker, the project's principal investigator. "Just about everyone also agreed that respect for people from different racial and ethnic groups, and for people of different faiths, is also important to them."

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Link to original report (PDF)

At least most Americans agree on a core set of values. Those differences, though, can be spectacular when it comes to the usual suspects.
Lesbian kisses

Washington teacher has job reinstated after assault conviction

MORTON, Wash. -- A Morton teacher who won his job back after a conviction for inappropriately touching girls called in sick Monday as some parents demonstrated outside on the first day of school.

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holy crap omg. I heard about this earlier from my boyfriend who saw it on the news -- and apparently on the news they didn't say the conviction was for touching girls. Until I read the article I thought it was for punching someone out off-campus. Ew. Serious levels of ew here.

Anyway, I thought this might spur some interesting discussion about where rights of work and rights to previous work start and end and what happens when you throw in being gross like that. NOT TO MENTION THAT OH MY GOD apparently this has been going on for THIRTEEN YEARS. Ick. Would that be more of a "tenure" thing or more of a "those ~girls~, god... nobody'll believe ~them~." thing?
Spike personalized

All the nuts are out

Bigot starts ground zero church: Where's the outrage?
By Justin Elliott

A bigoted pastor who has assailed gays and Muslims is launching the "9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero" a mere two blocks from the World Trade Center site this Sunday, but so far the project hasn't drawn a peep of protest from those who are outraged by the "ground zero mosque."

Pastor Bill Keller of Florida said today he will begin preaching Sunday at the Marriott at 85 West Street (see proximity to ground zero here). A weekly service is planned at the hotel until the $8 million 9/11 Christian Center finds a permanent space. (Fundraising is going well, Keller told Salon today.)

To get a sense of where Keller is coming from, consider his project's website, which calls Islam a religion of "hate and death" whose adherents will go to hell. It also says: "Islam is a wonderful religion... for PEDOPHILES!"

Keller is the same pastor who hosted a birther infomercial that encouraged viewers to send him and a partner donations to advance the birther cause. His Internet ministry explicitly calls President Obama the new Hitler. He calls homosexuality a perversion. And in 2008, he targeted presidential contender Mitt Romney for being Mormon with a campaign called "voting for Satan."
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  • homasse

Glenn Beck is the White Malcolm X

Glenn Beck is the White Malcolm X
by Reihan Salam

Glenn Beck's weekend speech was reminiscent of the radical 1960s black separatist leader: Both terrify mainstream liberals and shed politics for a message of spiritual uplift.

As hundreds of thousands gathered in Washington, D.C. for Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally, one couldn’t help but notice a powerful nostalgia for an America that is slipping away. In her remarks to the crowd, Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and conservative folk hero, said, “we must not fundamentally transform America, as some would want,” a not-so-veiled reference to President Obama and his allies. Instead, “we must restore America and restore her honor,” a message that resonated with a crowd that by all accounts was overwhelmingly white and Christian, with large numbers hailing from rural areas and small towns. Palin, like Beck, was talking about a spiritual restoration, a return to time-tested virtues that had been celebrated by the more homogeneous America of the past, in which non-traditional families were stigmatized and relatively rare, church attendance was far more common, and the dominance of Anglo-Protestant culture was unquestioned.

But as most of those who attended Beck’s rally understand in their bones, that world is gone.
And President Obama, for all his efforts to expand the reach of the federal government, has had very little to do with this deep transformation. Rather, the country has long since been transformed by powerful demographic and economic forces that very much threaten what we might call Glenn Beck’s America.

Instead of accepting or embracing this transformation, a large and growing number of white Americans are, knowingly or otherwise, taking a page from minority protest movements of the past by asserting themselves and demanding recognition from political and cultural elites. Many on the left find this sense of anger and alienation risible, seeing in this movement of “are-nots,” as opposed to “have-nots,” a class of ignoramuses duped by Fox News into acting against their supposed economic interests.Though this is a class with economic grievances, it seems more concerned with psychic injuries — with a profound sense of disempowerment in the face of centralized political power.

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Aaaaaand the counter:

Is Glenn Beck Really Malcolm X?
by Benjamin Sarlin

It's been two days since America's honor was restored at Glenn Beck's D.C. rally and bloggers are debating exactly what the whole spectacle means. Reihan Salam has a provocative piece on The Daily Beast today describing Beck as "The White Malcolm X," likely not a role model for the currently MLK-obsessed Fox News host. Writes Salam:

"...In this very strange and very fluid political moment, Glenn Beck has emerged as the white Malcolm X. Whereas Malcom X embraced militant black separatism, Beck marries a stridently emotional style with political views that wouldn't have been out of place at a 1950s Elks Lodge event. But like Malcolm X, Beck terrifies mainstream liberals, who see something sinister in his inexplicable ways. And just as Malcolm X mellowed in his old age, embracing a more traditional interpretation of Islam shortly before his death, Beck seems to be self-consciously moving past the politicized anger that defined his program for much of the past two years toward a heavy emphasis on spiritual uplift for his people."

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OK, what is up with all the appropriation of Civil Rights leaders? Can we cut that shit out already? I can only imagine what Malcolm X's reaction would have been to people comparing, in all seriousness, Glenn Beck to him.
  • luomo

Endorsement of racial “color-blindness” is linked to racism

Color-blind racial ideology linked to racism, both online and offline (University of Illinois, via Racialicious):

In a study that examined the associations between responses to racial theme party images on social networking sites and a color-blind racial ideology, Brendesha Tynes, a professor of educational psychology and of African American studies at Illinois, discovered that white students and those who rated highly in color-blind racial attitudes were more likely not to be offended by images from racially themed parties at which attendees dressed and acted as caricatures of racial stereotypes (for example, photos of students dressed in blackface make-up attending a “gangsta party” to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day).

People who reported higher racial color-blind attitudes were more likely to be white, and more likely to condone or not be bothered by racial-theme party images,” Tynes said. “In fact, some even encouraged the photos by adding comments of their own such as ‘Where’s the Colt 45?’ or ‘Party like a rock star.’ ”

To conduct the study, Tynes showed 217 ethnically diverse college students images from racially themed parties and prompted them to respond as if they were writing on a friend’s Facebook or MySpace page.

“Since so much of campus life is moving online, we tried to mimic the online social network environment as much as we could,” Tynes said. “What we saw were people’s responses almost in real time.”


According to Tynes, a color-blind racial attitude is the prevailing racial ideology of the post-Civil Rights era, and is the view that seeing race is inherently wrong.

“If you subscribe to a color-blind racial ideology, you don’t think that race or racism exists, or that it should exist,” Tynes said. “You are more likely to think that people who talk about race and racism are the ones who perpetuate it. You think that racial problems are just isolated incidents and that people need to get over it and move on. You’re also not very likely to support affirmative action, and probably have a lower multi-cultural competence.”


Since a color-blind racial ideology is associated with endorsement of the racial theme party photos, Tynes says that mandatory courses on issues of racism and multicultural competence are necessary for students from elementary school through college.

Specifically, beginning in elementary school, texts should provide a more comprehensive view of American history and culture, not just focus primarily on whites.

“Simply telling people to celebrate diversity or multiculturalism or saying, generically, that we believe in tolerance isn’t sufficient,” Tynes said. “We need to teach people about structural racism, about the ways that race still shapes people’s life chances and how the media informs our attitudes toward race.”

Link: Color-blind racial ideology linked to racism, both online and offline (University of Illinois)


obvious study is obvious, but at least now there's something academically substantial to wield?


Man charged in racially-charged attack of turban-wearing man.

Prosecutors have charged a man accused of punching a turban-wearing man while yelling racially-charged insults.

Brock R. Stainbrook, 35, of Seattle has been charged with malicious harassment and fourth-degree assault in the Aug. 24 incident at the 7-Eleven store on Fourth and Denny.

According to the statement of probable cause, Stainbrook abruptly threw change on the ground, then punched the victim on the side of the head.

Stainbrook then allegedly yelled, "You're not even American, you're Al-Qaeda. Go back to your country."

A store employee then intervened and told Stainbrook to leave the store, the document said.Stainbrook allegedly broke a scanner and attempted to kick the employee before finally leaving the stores.

Stainbrook was found just blocks away by officers responding to the situation.

He admitted he was at the 7-Eleven and that he hit a man in his turban because he was a "prick," the document said.

According to prosecutors, Stainbrook was convicted twice in Hawaii for making terrorist threats, in 2004 and in 2002. He also has prior convictions in Washington for two counts of fourth-degree ssault and criminal trespass.

Stainbrook is being held on a $150,000 bail.

Cone of shame

Reason number 3459860 to go vote against this movement

Is Glenn Beck mobilizing the religious right for November?
Beck's vacuous but pious rally may have served to inaugurate a pre-election bid for power by the evangelical right

By Joe Conason

If Glenn Beck's Washington extravaganza seemed strangely empty of political content, filled with vacuous pieties and fetishes rather than protest, then perhaps it should be seen as the opening act in a renewed campaign to assert the power of the religious right. A series of four mass prayer events, featuring many of the most prominent figures in the Republican Party's theocratic wing, will occur between Labor Day and Election Day, starting with an arena rally in Sacramento, Calif., and ending with perfect symmetry on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Behind these events, under the rubric "Pray and A.C.T.," is Newt Gingrich's organization, Renewing American Leadership, although the frontmen for this particular initiative are former Watergate conspirator Charles Colson and evangelist Jim Garlow, who now works for Gingrich. Endorsers include top evangelical and political leaders such as Focus on the Family's Jim Daly, who took over from James Dobson; Princeton University professor Robert George; Fox News host and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee; Cindy Jacobs of the Generals of Intercession; Southern Baptist leader Richard Land, who attended the Lincoln Memorial rally at Beck's invitation; Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council; and Tim Wildmon, who is taking over the American Family Association from his father, Don. Also among the endorsers of Pray and A.C.T. or Renew America are Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., who was featured at the Beck rally, and David Barton, the pseudo-academic who argues that America was founded as a "Christian nation" and is often touted by Beck on television (and who headlined Beck's "Divine Destiny" pre-rally Friday evening at the Kennedy Center in Washington).
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Tea Party seeks candidates who say no to global warming and gay marriage

The Tea Party movement in the US is a constant source of fascination to outsiders, not least because it is shaping up to be a major, possibly pivotal, political force ahead of the mid-term elections in November. Therefore, any insight into the mindset and machinations of this group should prove to be both educational and revealing.

Well, prepare yourself for a hearty serving of insight with a side order of jaw drop.

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Meghan McCain Promotes New Book, Continues To Be A Fierce And Fabulous Liberal Republican

For the first time since the end of her father's 2008 presidential bid, Meghan McCain, Sen. John McCain's daughter, spoke out about Sarah Palin, writing in a new book that Palin brought "drama, stress, complications, panic and loads of uncertainty" to the losing campaign.

Although McCain wrote that during the campaign she wondered whether the loss "was Sarah Palin's fault," McCain told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview today that Palin was not the reason the campaign failed.

"I do clearly state at the end that we did not lose because of her, and I'm speaking out now because I do have conflicting feelings about her," McCain told "GMA's" George Stephanopoulos. "She brought so much momentum and enthusiasm to the campaign."

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Video & Article SOURCE
More excerpts from Dirty, Sexy, Politics

BRB, running to Amazon! Oh and Haters can stay pressed. Also can we have a political stanning tag?
  • luomo

Religiosity Highest in World's Poorest Nations

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup surveys in 114 countries in 2009 show that religion continues to play an important role in many people's lives worldwide. The global median proportion of adults who say religion is an important part of their daily lives is 84%, unchanged from what Gallup has found in other years. In 10 countries and areas, at least 98% say religion is important in their daily lives.

Most religious.gif

Each of the most religious countries is relatively poor, with a per-capita GDP below $5,000. This reflects the strong relationship between a country's socioeconomic status and the religiosity of its residents. In the world's poorest countries -- those with average per-capita incomes of $2,000 or lower -- the median proportion who say religion is important in their daily lives is 95%. In contrast, the median for the richest countries -- those with average per-capita incomes higher than $25,000 -- is 47%.

Religion by Income.gif

The United States is one of the rich countries that bucks the trend. About two-thirds of Americans -- 65% -- say religion is important in their daily lives. Among high-income countries, only Italians, Greeks, Singaporeans, and residents of the oil-rich Persian Gulf states are more likely to say religion is important.

Most high-income countries are further down the religiosity spectrum. In 10 countries, no more than 34% of residents say religion is an important part of their daily lives. Six of those are developed countries in Europe and Asia with per-capita incomes greater than $25,000.

In three of the four lower income countries on the list -- Estonia, Russia, and Belarus -- the Soviet government restricted religious expression for decades until the U.S.S.R.'s collapse in 1991. The final country is Vietnam, where the government also has a history of limiting religious practice.

Least Religious.gif


Social scientists have put forth numerous possible explanations for the relationship between the religiosity of a population and its average income level. One theory is that religion plays a more functional role in the world's poorest countries, helping many residents cope with a daily struggle to provide for themselves and their families. A previous Gallup analysis supports this idea, revealing that the relationship between religiosity and emotional wellbeing is stronger among poor countries than among those in the developed world.


Rosario Dawson - sensual seduction

White male police officers think they're above the law. In other news, water is wet.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A University of Central Florida professor is accusing campus police of racial profiling and now the campus police department is under investigation.

In the evening on Aug. 9, UCF police pulled over philosophy professor Jennifer Lisa Vest. Vest claims that during the traffic stop, four white officers discriminated against her based on her race, gender, sexuality and disability.

Vest said she was pulled over for having a broken taillight.

According to letters Vest wrote friends, the officers then illegally searched her car, found prescription drugs and called her abusive names like "drug user, crackhead and liar."

"Students should be scared. This was a professor -- a distinguished professor here at UCF. For someone (like) myself, who is a minority in more than one box, (are) the police going to treat me worse than that? Are they going to put me in cuffs and take me to jail?" said Nicole Gumbs, who studied under Vest and said she worries there's a bigger problem with campus police.

Vest complained to UCF leaders, the NAACP and ACLU. On Facebook, support for Vest has grown into a site called "Stop UCF Police." Students said they can relate to what Vest endured.

"The allegations are extremely believable because these complaints for students are just pervasive," said Cecelia Rives, who is a member of student government. "Calling her names is merely unprofessional, but that search strikes me as illegal."

Vest said cops cited her for the taillight -- which she claims worked -- but Local 6 found only one report in UCF police logs during that time and location. It was for drugs.

While not everyone agrees Vest was racially or otherwise profiled, many think she was harassed.

"Crackhead, liar, I don't see anything racist in that," said UCF student Kristen Gomez. "She was treated harshly and it was harassment."

After this run-in with police, Vest took a medical leave of absence. She said she wants her record cleared, an apology, and for the officers to receive sensitivity training.

The campus police department has not commented on the case, but the university is doing an external review of the police department with the help of Orlando police.

A statement from a university spokesman read:

"The university considers this an urgent matter and will use whatever resources are needed to proceed with these reviews."

A grievance hearing is scheduled to take place in a few weeks.

Source 1
Source 2 (has video)
And now the Orlando Sentinel has picked it up

Vest is my professor, and she is a very good one. While I understand that only her side of the story is available, and there is no concrete evidence to back up her claims, I honestly don't believe she would be the type to fake this for attention. Also, do NOT read the comments at these posts, they are foul..
  • merig00

4 Israelis shot dead by terrorists in West Bank

In response to Tuesday night's shooting attack which killed four Israelis near Kiryat Arba, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “This is very grave incident. The IDF and Israeli security forces will do everything they can to capture the murderers. Israel will not allow terrorists to lift their heads and will exact a price from the murderers and those who sent them."

The four victims, described by a settler spokesman as a couple who had been in a vehicle and two additional people who were hitching a ride, were driving on Route 60 near the entrance of Kiryat Arba when their vehicle came under fire.

Barak added that the attack "is likely an attempt by the low-life terrorists to prevent the diplomatic process and to hurt the chances of the talks opening in Washington.”

Barak was briefed on the attack by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin. Barak spoke with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who is en-route to Washington DC and updated him on the developing events. He also spoke with Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom.

Tuesday night's devastating shooting attack in the West Bank was believed to have been aimed at torpedoing the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks set to kick off on Wednesday in Washington DC.

Hamas military wing spokesman Abu Obeida told The Associated Press late Tuesday that Hamas carried out the attack.

The IDF was investigating two possibilities – that Palestinian terrorists had laid an ambush alongside the road or that the shots were fired from a passing car.


IDF troops immediately launched searches for the perpetrators and the Central Command decided to raise the level of alert out of fear that Palestinian terrorists will increase efforts to perpetrate attacks in the coming days with the goal of torpedoing the peace summit in Washington.


The four were two couples – one aged 25 and the other 40. One of the women was pregnant. According to eyewitness reports, the terrorists succeeded in hitting the passengers in their initial fire but then approached the car and shot them occupants at close range.

"When we arrived on the scene, all four doors of the car were open and four bodies were strewn on the road," Magen David Adom paramedic Guy Ronen told The Jerusalem Post. "We saw that the vital organs had been struck by a very large number of bullets, and that there was no chance of saving their lives," he added.

"It was a very difficult scene. We had learned to forget scenes like this in recent years," Ronen said.

A ZAKA volunteer who arrived on the scene recognized his wife's body. "We saw him crying at the scene and didn't understand what was hapenning at first. It wasn't the first disaster he saw," his colleauge, Isaac Berenstein, told the Post. Then he shouted, "that's my wife!' That's my wife!'" The volunteer was immediately removed from the scene by his colleagues and taken to his home in Bet Hagai.

The US labeled the deadly shooting Tuesday “a tragedy” while urging both sides not to take steps that would jeopardize direct peace negotiations set to be launched Thursday.

“Any time one human being takes out a weapon and fires and kills other human beings it’s a tragedy,” said State Department spokesman PJ Crowley following the attack, adding that the US still didn’t know the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“We are cognizant that there could be external events that can have an impact on the environment. We also are cognizant that there may well be actors in the region who are deliberately making these kinds of attacks in order to sabotage the process,” he said. “We are very aware that as we go forward in this process, not everyone sees this in the same way, and there are those who will do whatever they can to disrupt or derail the process.”

Following the attack, the Israel Police's Operations Branch sent out an order to all officers in the Judea and Samaria district calling on them to increase their awareness and be on the look out for potential terror attacks, while maintaining security in the area.

Head of the IDF’s Civil Administration Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai spoke with his Palestinian counterparts and updated them regarding the attack. PA security forces were also conducting their own independent investigation into the attack.


It was unclear if the attack was carried out by an established terror cell or if it was perpetrated by a small group of attackers that are not affiliated with a larger terrorist group.

While the IDF apparently did not have specific intelligence regarding the attack on Tuesday night near Kiryat Arba, there was a fear in Israel that terror groups would use the launching of the new round of peace talks to perpetrate attacks within the West Bank.


Ashkenazi and OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi toured the West Bank earlier this week and met with brigade commanders. Ashkenazi asked the commanders to raise their level of vigilance for the duration of the summit in Washington out of fear that either Hamas, Islamic Jihad or even al-Qaida-affiliated elements will launch attacks against Israel.


The forces were also asked to avoid friction with the Palestinian civilian population and to demonstrate sensitivity at the crossings between Israel and the West Bank.


Rev Rachel Mann asks "Y SO SRS??"

Christians could learn a lot about life from heavy metal, says cleric

Christians could learn a lot about life from listening to heavy metal, according to a Church of England cleric.

The Rev Rachel Mann claims that the much-maligned form of music demonstrates the “liberative theology of darkness”, allowing its tattooed and pierced fans to be more “relaxed and fun” by acknowledging the worst in human nature.

She says that by contrast, churchgoers can appear too sincere and take themselves too seriously.

The priest admits that many will be “concerned” about metal lyrics praising Satan and mocking Christianity, but insists it is just a form of “play-acting”.

Miss Mann, priest-in-charge of St Nicholas’s, Burnage, writes in this week’s Church Times: “Since Black Sabbath effectively created it in 1969 by using the dissonant sound of the medieval ‘Devil’s chord’, heavy metal has been cast as dumb, crass, and on, occasions satanic; music hardly fit for intelligent debate, led alone theological reflection.

“And yet, as both priest and metal musician and fan, it strikes me that the Church, especially at this agonized time, has a serious gospel lesson to learn from this darkest and heaviest music.”

Miss Mann says that heavy metal songs, characterized by distorted guitar sounds, “intense” beats and “muscular” vocals, are “unafraid to deal with death, violence and destruction”.

Its “predominantly male and white” fans “generally like tattoos and piercings” but are “graceful, welcoming and gentle”.


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Aging vets' costs concern Obama's deficit co-chair

Cause we hadn't heard quite enough from Alan "The government has 310 million tits, now go get a real job!" Simpson ....

RALEIGH, N.C.—The system that automatically awards disability benefits to some veterans because of concerns about Agent Orange seems contrary to efforts to control federal spending, the Republican co-chairman of President Barack Obama's deficit commission said Tuesday.

Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson's comments came a day after The Associated Press reported that diabetes has become the most frequently compensated ailment among Vietnam veterans, even though decades of research has failed to find more than a possible link between the defoliant Agent Orange and diabetes.

"The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess," said Simpson, an Army veteran who was once chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has also allowed Vietnam veterans to get money for ailments such as lung cancer and prostate cancer, and the agency finalized a proposal Tuesday to grant payments for heart disease -- the nation's leading cause of death.

Simpson declined to say whether the issue would become part of his work on Obama's panel examining the nation's debt. He looked to Congress to make a change.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, a Hawaii Democrat who currently chairs the VA committee, said Tuesday he will address the broader issue of so-called presumptive conditions at a hearing previously set for Sept. 23. The committee will look to "see what changes Congress and VA may need to make to existing law and policy," Akaka said in an e-mail.

"It is our solemn responsibility to help veterans with disabilities suffered in their service to our country," said Akaka, who served in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. "That responsibility also requires us to make sure limited resources are available for those who truly need and are entitled to them."

Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat and Vietnam combat veteran, has also raised questions about the spending. The leading Republican on the committee, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, has not responded to several requests for comment on the topic in recent months.

Because of concerns about Agent Orange, Congress set up a system in 1991 to grant automatic benefits to veterans who served in Vietnam at any point during a 13-year period and later got an ailment linked to the defoliant. The VA has done that with a series of ailments with strong indications of an association to Agent Orange, including Hodgkin's disease, soft-tissue cancers and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Other ailments have been added even though and Institute of Medicine review has found they only have a potential association and that they could not rule out other factors. Those maladies include prostate cancer, lung cancer and diabetes. The committee has said that, for diabetes, more powerful influences include family history, physical inactivity and obesity.

The AP found in reviewing millions of VA compensation records that diabetes is now the most frequently compensated ailment, ahead of post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss or general wounds. VA officials use a complex formula when awarding benefits and do not track how much is spent for a specific ailment, but AP calculations based on the records suggest that Vietnam veterans with diabetes should receive at least $850 million each year.

The VA also acknowledged in its heart disease rule Tuesday that it could cost billions more than initially anticipated. The initial projection was that the new ailments, mostly heart disease but also Parkinson's disease and certain types of leukemia, would total $42.2 billion over 10 years. But that was based on disease prevalence rates for the general population, not representative of the aging class of Vietnam veterans.

VA used an age-adjusted formula in its latest proposal and estimated that it could cost some $67 billion in the next decade.

"It's the kind of thing that's just driving us to this $1 trillion, $400 billion deficit this year," Simpson said. "It's not that I'm an uncaring person, but common sense is the most uncommon thing in Washington."



So, not only does this "fiscal commission" have the Honeywell CEO who thinks that in order to save defense budget money, we need to cut any "extra" money troops get (like what they get when they deploy) and make them pay for their own health care ... we have Alan Simpson, who has made it very, very clear what he thinks of Social Security and everyone else who doesn't have a Senate pension and isn't wealthy saying that Vietnam veterans are "not helping the fiscal mess"! Psssst, Alan, this "fiscal mess"? Maybe you should look to Darth Cheney, Shrub Jr, Paul "We're on a mission from god" Wolfowitz, and all them, rather than at the veterans that WE DROPPED AGENT ORANGE ON. And saying this as we have troops returning home and are still fighting wars on two fronts? Seriously Obama, why the hell is this guy co-chair? I REALLY want to know at this point.
movies | Oh Captain My Captain

It's what you've been waiting for!: interviews from Beckapalooza/Whitestock 2010.

Highlight responses cover:
  • Immigration
  • Freedom of Speech
  • The meaning of "Restoring Honour"
  • Islam/Muslims/the 9-11 Mawsk
  • "I don't recall Glenn Beck calling Barack Obama a racist..."
  • "Barack Obama has turned blacks and white against each other, and that's not fair."
  • "We know *just* how the Natives/Ellis Island immigrants first felt."

On 8.28.2010, Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally was held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The purpose of the rally, which Beck claimed to be “non-political” despite featuring Tea Party-favorite Sarah Palin as a speaker and its being attended entirely by conservatives, was unclear. The participants spoke abstractly about the need to restore “honor” and “pride” to a country that had lost it. When pressed for when our country had lost its honor, most cited the election of Barack Obama.8.28.2010 also represented the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and Glenn Beck has been criticized for by civil rights groups for trying to misappropriate the occasion. [...] While the speaker list was diverse, the overwhelmingly white crowd expressed paranoid and conspiratorial fears of multiculturalism—that atheists or black liberation theologists or radical Muslims or “free-loading” Latinos were going to ruin our country. There was the constant suggestion that white Christians and their way of life are somehow under assault, and that the attendees of this rally were here to put an end to it and return the country to what it used to be.

+Bonus: "The Dumbest Shirts At The Glenn Beck Rally". Collapse )

Lessons learned: imploring that your "tea party"/birther listeners/viewers leave their political/incendiary signs at home wont stop them from bringing their incendiary t-shirts, mouths, and brain matter.
Kelly LeBrock

Air Force: Sergeant may have exposed others to HIV

The military has arrested an Air Force sergeant and accused him of having unprotected sex with partners he met at "swinger" parties in central Kansas even though he knew he was HIV positive, according to a military affidavit.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations said Tuesday the man has not been charged but was ordered into pretrial confinement at a military jail on McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita by his commander while the investigation continues. The 43-year-old airman was arrested Aug. 9 and was expected to be charged in mid-September, said Air Force OSI spokeswoman Linda Card.

The Air Force was working with local law enforcement and public health officials as part of the investigation, Card said.

"The public health people outside the base are all working with the military health people, the mayor's office and our law enforcement people — so this isn't being kept secret from the public," Card said.

The airman faces an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing, in September to determine whether there is enough evidence to refer his case to a general court martial, Card said. Two earlier military hearings found that his pretrial confinement was "correct," she said. Military law allows for confinement without charges while investigations are ongoing.

Under military law, having intercourse without first informing a sexual partner of HIV-positive status constitutes as aggravated sexual assault, according to the Air Force affidavit, which was filed in federal court. It was not immediately known what punishment he could face if charged and convicted.

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The voice of God instructs Glenn Beck...

And he sounds a lot like Keith Olbermann doing a bad Graham Chapman as God in Monty Python impression. Amazing.

Okay, Keith says it was him doing Eddie Izzard doing James Mason.

Bill Press also talks to Lawrence O'Donnell about the effectiveness of Beck's message and the march/rally/thingy itself.

Keith honey, Dick Van Dyke and Keanu Reeves called, they says they're glad they no have longer the worst English accent ever. Not even going to touch the shirt and no socks topic either. Thoughts?
Izzard - Do You Have a Flag?

Taliban Official: Protests Against Islamic Community Center = More Recruits

Taliban officials know it’s sacrilegious to hope a mosque will not be built, but that’s exactly what they’re wishing for: the success of the fiery campaign to block the proposed Islamic cultural center and prayer room near the site of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan. “By preventing this mosque from being built, America is doing us a big favor,” Taliban operative Zabihullah tells NEWSWEEK. (Like many Afghans, he uses a single name.) “It’s providing us with more recruits, donations, and popular support.”

America’s enemies in Afghanistan are delighted by the vehement public opposition to the proposed “Ground Zero mosque.” The backlash against the project has drawn the heaviest e-mail response ever on jihadi Web sites, Zabihullah claims—far bigger even than France’s ban on burqas earlier this year. (That was big, he recalls: “We received many e-mails asking for advice on how Muslims should react to the hijab ban, and how they can punish France.”) This time the target is America itself. “We are getting even more messages of support and solidarity on the mosque issue and questions about how to fight back against this outrage.”

Zabihullah also claims that the issue is such a propaganda windfall—so tailor-made to show how “anti-Islamic” America is—that it now heads the list of talking points in Taliban meetings with fighters, villagers, and potential recruits. “We talk about how America tortures with waterboarding, about the cruel confinement of Muslims in wire cages in Guantánamo, about the killing of innocent women and children in air attacks—and now America gives us another gift with its street protests to prevent a mosque from being built in New York,” Zabihullah says. “Showing reality always makes the best propaganda.”

Taliban officials say they’re looking forward to a new wave of terrorist trainees from the West like this year’s Times Square car bomber. “I expect we will soon be receiving more American Muslims like Faisal Shahzad who are looking for help in how to express their rage,” says a Taliban official who was a senior minister when the group ruled Afghanistan and who remains active in the insurgency. As an indication of the anger that is growing among some Muslims in the West, this official, who requested anonymity for security reasons, mentions the arrest of three Canadian Muslims in Ontario last week on charges of plotting to build and detonate improvised explosive devices. (A fourth individual was arrested in Ottawa last Friday in connection with the case.) The Ground Zero furor will likely add to that anger. “The more mosques you stop, the more jihadis we will get,” Zabihullah predicts.



The Taliban are extremists and they do heinous, ugly, violent things -- but it takes extremists to beget extremists. It's a shame the people who are adamantly against the Park51 community center will never understand how much their hatred is fueling the radicals of the religion they're so vehemently opposed to.