August 12th, 2007

W H O A...

I just got some really juicy news that has not yet broke in the media about a major political figure that is both scandalous and predictable - especially if this person gets their party's nomination for the White House. Either way, a very respectable publication that I read regularly is going to publish this story in full within coming months - just remember when the news breaks that you heard it here first. The source is a close friend whose father knows personally one of the major figures in the scandal as well as the journalist writing the story. That is all I'm going to say right now.

(no subject)

Christian boot camp workers charged with dragging teenage girl behind van
BANQUETE, Texas: Authorities charged the director of a Christian boot camp and an employee with dragging a 15-year-old girl behind a van after she fell behind the group during a morning run.

Charles Eugene Flowers and Stephanie Bassitt of Love Demonstrated Ministries, a 32-day boot camp for at-risk teens, are accused of tying the girl to the van with a rope June 12 and dragging her, according to an arrest affidavit filed Wednesday.

The affadavit says Flowers, the camp's director, ordered Bassitt to run alongside the girl after she fell behind. When the girl stopped running, Bassitt yelled at her and pinned her to the ground while Flowers tied her.

The girl was treated for scrapes and bruises on her stomach, legs and arms.

The girl's mother gave investigators photos of her daughter's injuries and a sworn statement from a witness who claimed to have seen the girl dragged on her stomach at least three times.

Flowers and Bassitt remained jailed Saturday on $100,000 bond each on aggravated assault charges.

A call to Love Demonstrated Ministries was not immediately returned Friday. No listing was found for Bassitt. An answering machine at a listing for Flowers cut off during an attempt to leave a message Friday.

Christian Love?

My friend furrbear has been blogging about his friend and neighbor Cecil Sinclair, a Navy vet who died recently and the ensuing horror laid down by a megachurch that cancelled his funeral/memorial service because he was a gay man. It's all over the news now (MSNBC , Yahoo, Alternet), and it's sickening. And typical in speaking to the root of how completely heartless these motherfuckers are.

This is why I hate religion, people - because of the bullshit it creates in dividing people, especially when that division kicks people down in a time of serious need. What if this had happened to someone YOU know and love? When is enough enough?

Read furrbear's posts, including the post from Cecil's partner Paul and imagine being him right now. Imagine being part of this family, this community.

Link to this post or write up your own, please - and talk to people about this situation. They helped send this great man to his grave with a broken heart and a projected shame that was never his to begin with, and it is intolerable. Make sure people know about this. The more people who know, maybe the more will turn their backs away from these people and stop financing them, and turn towards the people in their community who need them most.

From AJC Sports Talk:

Vick’s blind loyalists are just wrong
by Terence Moore
Friday, August 10, 2007, 11:44 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
It’s the Atlanta sports version of the perfect storm, and it involves this blind loyalty given to Michael Vick by many in the African-American community despite his self-imposed horrors.

I don’t get it.

Then again, I do. This goes back to that perfect storm, soaking everything from Peachtree City to Lake Lanier.

You have the thunder, which is the emotional thing that comes from centuries of watching African-Americans mistreated in this country from the old cotton fields to the new corporate offices. You have the lightning, which is the hype thing that turns a professional athlete into such a superhero that the average fan can’t separate reality from fantasy. You also have the rain, which is the inferiority thing that comes from a slew of pitiful Atlanta teams that nevertheless have produced a Mount Rushmore of sports icons in the African-American community: Dominique Wilkins, Deion Sanders and Vick.

Why did they trade ‘Nique when he was all the Hawks had?

Then they let Prime Time get away over a bunch of foolishness.

Now they’re out to get Vick because of a bunch of dogs.

It’s just dogs.

Add all of that together, and it leads to Charles Steele, the head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, declaring last week that Vick should be “honored” for being “an outstanding human being.” It causes hundreds to march to the Georgia Dome to declare that they will support Vick whether he’s guilty or innocent. It makes some of us become verbal tackling dummies for those wishing to vent their displeasure over the media’s treatment of their last Mount Rushmore guy.

Never mind that Vick is mentioned more than 50 times in a federal indictment for dogfighting. Forget that he hasn’t exactly been Warrick Dunn, a certified “outstanding human being” after years of flourishing on and off the field.

“It’s just dogs,” I keep hearing as a mantra, from the church to the barbershop to the grocery store.

Well, guess what? Whether you like it or not, you can’t rob a bank, you aren’t allowed to kidnap people, and you’re not supposed to fight dogs. Whether you like it or not, dogfighting is a felony. If you wish to be defiant by robbing that bank, or kidnapping those people, or getting involved in dogfights, then you shouldn’t complain if you’re a jury away from munching cold beans on a tin plate someday.

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Darth Cheney Said It First

Cheney in '94:
"Invading Baghdad would be a quagmire..."

Fox News: The Surge IS Working!

FOXNews reporter Courtney Keely reports from Baghdad that the surge is working. Really, it is. Don’t pay attention to the fact that she’s in a Baghdad market surrounded by MORE security than John McCain and every Iraqi she speaks to tells her about the death and destruction all around them.

This equals progress.


The Fake War On Christianity Apparently Rages On In The Mind Of The Delusional Psychotics

Religious Right Claims Others Can't Be Christian, Have Values
The Family Research Council is launching a project aimed at convincing its supporters before the 2008 election that liberal politicians “are spouting God-talk” in order to “confuse people of faith” and hide their “true agenda.” Invoking the Religious Right’s recent favored phrase for its imagined constituency – as well as the “Swift Boat” campaign of 2004 – the so-called “Values Voters for Truth” campaign is an attempt to vilify liberals – and, obviously, Democratic candidates – as enemies of Christianity who are undertaking a conspiracy to “deceive and split values voters.” From a recent fundraising letter from FRC Action:
Our relentless effort to reveal the facts about the Left’s true agenda is already under way. It will not stop until the last vote of the 2008 election has been cast. The Values Voters for Truth campaign will partner with organizations in all 50 states—and at the national level. We will mobilize values voters, engage them in the war of ideas, and keep them informed and involved.

We will rally churches to the cause. And by God’s grace, we will neutralize our opponents’ deceptive tactics.
As an example of this supposed “fraud,” the letter cites a Democratic presidential candidate who spoke of his “belief in Christ” and also supports civil unions for gay couples. Similarly, the letter warns that a candidate noting a “biblical call to feed the hungry” also voted against an anti-abortion bill. A third candidate is denounced for the “hypocrisy” of wanting to let gay couples adopt children. According to FRC, these supposed contradictions indicate that Democrats discussing their faith and values is merely “lip service,” part of a “campaign of deception” that led directly to the Democrats winning control of Congress in the 2006 elections.

FRC’s tactic of trying to claim “values” and “faith” as Religious Right-only attributes is hardly new – it was the driving force behind the group’s “Values Voter Summit” last year, organized before the elections to encourage a disillusioned base to turn out for Republicans. It is also the premise behind cries of “anti-Christian persecution,” such as at the “War on Christians” conference, at FRC’s “Justice Sunday” events (in which opposition to right-wing judicial nominees was presented as an attack on “people of faith”), and with “Patriot Pastor” political machines that warn of the “forces of darkness” trying to “deny America’s Godly heritage.”

And as political candidates are finding their way around the Religious Right’s exclusionary façade, right-wing activists have brought the tactic to the 2008 campaign trail, denouncinga June forum of presidential candidates on “Faith, Values, and Poverty”as a “conspir[acy] to create a fictional class of Christians -- so-called 'liberal evangelicals,'” as Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council, who protestedthe event, put it. “Liberals have no trouble believing in God – or a faith belief system – as long as He marches to their drum,” claimed Jane Chastain. Columnist and former Moral Majority lieutenant Cal Thomas wrotethat the candidates “gave no indication that if their faith ever conflicted with their political point of view they would choose whattheir faith taught them over what focus groups tell them.”

According to Gary Bauer, “religious voters” don’t credit these Democratic candidates because, for them, “the traditional cultural issues are pivotal.”But while religious-right activists continue to claim that their wedge issues – primarily abortion and gay marriage – determine the way“values voters” vote, that’s not the case, as a 2006 survey by PFAW Foundation’s Center for American Values in Public Lifeshowed. Only 5 percent of Americans – and just 10 percent of Evangelicals – chose those issues as most important in deciding their votes. Abortion and gay marriage also ranked last when people were asked what “voting their values” meant – in spite of the Religious Right’s campaign to convince them otherwise.

Here’s more from FRC’s letter describing its “Values Voters for Truth” project:

Just three short years ago, you and others like you sent the politicians in Washington an unmistakable message.

You took a stand for traditional marriage—and against the homosexual agenda. You told the secularists that you treasure America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and biblically based values. You reminded those in authority of the higher power that has guided and blessed us since our founding … that America is still one nation under God!

The good news is, you got their attention.

With their disastrous defeat in the 2004 elections, liberals were finally forced to confront a cold, hard fact—their long history of hostility toward Christians and other people of faith was costing them dearly at the polls. So they set out to solve the “problem” of what they call “religion right in politics” [sic]—meaning socially conservative ideals.

Leaders on the Left knew they couldn’t change their radical views and still appeal to the homosexuals and the abortion crowd. So instead they decided to hijack the language of faith in order to hide the truth about their real agenda.

By the time the 2006 elections rolled around, even the most liberal congressional candidates began sounding like “God and country” conservatives. The strategy worked—the Left’s smooth talk fooled just enough values voters to put them in control of both the House and Senate.

[… O]f course, FRC Action—the legislative action arm of Family Research Council—is not sitting idly by while the American public is fooled.

We’re launching the Values Voters for Truth campaign, a nationwide initiative to expose liberal “values” hypocrisy, education the public and politicians about where values voters really stand, and neutralize efforts to deceive people of faith into voting against what they believe. […]

We’ve already started this plan. We’re working relentlessly. And we will work until the last vote of the 2008 election has been cast.