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Archive for September, 2010

Understanding the Witch-Hunt Against Obama

The paranoid style of American politics is alive and well, using all the classic smear tactics used against minorities and citizen heroes like Martin Luther King.
September 14, 2010 |

America is in the midst of a 21st-century witch hunt. A loose-knit network of right-wing ideological strategists, Republican Party operatives and media demagogues generate the odious smears. Their goal is to stymie the Obama administration’s policy initiatives, capture Congress in November and unseat President Barack Obama in 2012. This propagandizing echoes the scapegoating of liberals, union and community organizers, peace activists, gay people, Jews and people of color during the anti-communist witch-hunts of the McCarthy era.

Anti-Obama rhetoric also mimics 1960s slurs dubbing Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. a dupe of a communist conspiracy — claims circulated by groups like the ultra-conservative John Birch Society, the white supremacist “Citizens’ Councils” and the Ku Klux Klan. Billboards and flyers with this revelation appeared across the South, and postcards were distributed nationwide.

The underlying message is that liberals are either tools or agents of the plot to build collectivism and global governance. Such claims, once used to label President Franklin D. Roosevelt a fascist, and have resurfaced against Obama, who is tagged as Hitler and Stalin. Such sloganeering is a classic trope that distorts a complex idea into a short metaphor full of rich cultural or political baggage.

Into this guilt-by-association cesspool swims Aaron Klein, who fancies himself a shark of an investigative journalist but is really just another bottom-feeder. Klein, a senior staff reporter for the hard-right conspiracist World Net Daily, worked with Internet crank Brenda J. Elliott (therealbarackobama.wordpress.com) to write the new book The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and other Anti-American Extremists.

Similarly gawdy anti-Obama books include: Newt Gingrich’s To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine, Sean Hannity’s Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda and Brad O’Leary’s The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama’s War on American Values. Slightly more histrionic are: Jerome R. Corsi’s The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality, and Floyd Brown and Lee Troxler’s Obama Unmasked: Did Slick Hollywood Handlers Create the Perfect Candidate?

MORE HERE

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Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano: DHS Report On Right-Wing Extremists Is ‘Ancient History’

TPM Muckraker

Ryan J. Reilly | September 17, 2010, 4:42PM

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Friday referred to a controversial report issued by DHS in April 2009 on the potential for an increased in right-wing extremism as “ancient history.”

TPMDC asked Napolitano at a lunch hosted by the Christian Science Monitor if she thought the report DHS was criticized for issuing on the potential for a rise in right-wing extremism due to the election of Barack Obama has been vindicated in the year and a half since it came out.

Incidents like the allegations against the Hutaree militia, the murder of Dr. George Tiller, the shooting at the Holocaust Museum and the arrest of an ex-Marine with ties to right-wing movements possessing a grenade launcher seem to be right up the alley of what the DHS foreshadowed.

Napolitano — who had apologized to the country’s largest veterans organization for the part of the report that suggesed right wingers were trying to recruit disgruntled soldiers — said that it was time to move on.

“The kind and quality of the products we put out for law enforcement now are so much more operational,” Napolitano said Friday. “What we needed to do in our department was really think through what is it that a standard local fusion center needs — how do we inform them about trends, about tactics, how do we get information back from them. And so that report to me is almost ancient history, and I’ll put it there.”

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13 US Strikes in 12 Days in Restive Agency

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, September 15, 2010

Yesterday a pair of US drone strikes against Bushnarai and Datta Khel in North Waziristan Agency killed at least 16 people. Today, two more US drone strikes involving at least 10 more missiles struck. The new attacks hit homes in Dandi Derpakhel and Datta Khel, killing at least 21 more “suspects” and wounding an unknown number of others. This brings the total to four attacks in two days with 37 dead. All of the slain have been termed “suspects” primarily because North Waziristan, which has only a nominal Pakistani government presence, is known to be home to the Haqqani network. None of those slain in the attacks have been “high value” targets, which is to say people conclusively linked with the group. The attacks also mark the 12th and 13th attacks by US drones against the region in the past 12 days. Though a number of civilians have been confirmed killed (including several children) none of the attacks appear to have killed anyone “high value,” though officials were bragging that a drone strike inside Afghanistan managed to kill a cousin of a top Haqqani family figure.

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The Pope visits Britain today and to mark the auspicious occasion I have posted a video of Tom Lehrer’s Vatican Rag.

On a more serious note, here is an article on the ongoing debate about pedophile priests which the Pope’s visit has highlighted.

Investigation: Many Convicted Pedophile Priests Are Still Priests

Just in time for Pope Benedict‘s taxpayer-funded trip to Britain, a Channel 4 investigation shows that at least 14 priests who have served time for molesting children remain in the clergy, and some even made it into the Church’s yearbook.

The report, which will air tonight on Britain’s Channel 4, is the result of an investigation into public records and court documents detailing 37 crimes involving child molesting priests in England and Wales. Besides the rampant sex abuse by members of the clergy, recommendations made by a judge that offending priests be “laicised,” or dismissed from the priesthood were ignored by the church. Of 22 priests who have served a year or more in jail for child molestation, 14 are still priests and 10 of them appeared in the latest edition of the Catholic Directory. But hey, they’ve been punished! And they’re probably very remorseful.

The Pope is due to meet victims of sex abuse during his trip, but if it’s anything like a 2008 meeting between Benedict and American victims, they will have to sign confidentiality agreements before meeting him.

http://gawker.com/5638525/investigation-many-convicted-pedophile-priests-are-still-priests

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by Igor I. Solar, Digital Journal, Sep 13, 2010

Oslo– Princess Martha Louise of Norway stated last week in an interview that she can establish connections with the spirit of dead people and intended to take a course to improve her ability.

Martha Louise, 38, revealed last week her “ability to establish a relationship with the spirits from beyond” in an interview with Stavanger newspaper Aftenbladet. “It is not difficult to contact the dead as well as the angels. We can establish contact at any time, whenever we wish,” said the princess according to Aftenbladet. The princess arranged for her and a colleague to take a course to improve her skills for contacting angels at a facility owned by the Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS). . . .

Continues >>

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

Will Arizona give neo-Nazi border vigilantes an official blessing?

Crooks & Liars- By David Neiwert
September 13, 2010 04:00 PM

Those armed neo-Nazis out running vigilante border patrols apparently now want to obtain official status for their group:

J.T. Ready, a neo-Nazi who recently began conducting heavily armed desert patrols in search of “narco-terrorists” and illegal immigrants in Pinal County, told The Kansas City Star that he was working on a proposal seeking state approval for his group, the U.S. Border Guard.

“I’m putting together a package and presenting it to the Arizona Legislature and saying, ‘Why don’t we go ahead and make the border rangers official, or completely reactivate the Arizona Rangers and we’ll work together,’ ” he said.

The Arizona Rangers were created in 1901 to protect the territory from outlaws and rustlers. The group was re-established in 1957.

But watchdog groups say Ready’s patrol illustrates why states should not sanction defense forces.

“We know that the neo-Nazis carry guns, but here’s an example of neo-Nazis with guns trying to position themselves to become an instrument of state policy,” said Leonard Zeskind, the president of the Kansas City-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.

They’re also reaching the level of being a private army:

Ready, a neo-Nazi, says his border guard includes heavily armed militias that search for “narco-terrorists” and illegal immigrants in Pinal County.

“We have fully automatic weapons — legally registered — grenade launchers, night vision, body armor,” he said. “We’re definitely going out there fully armed and equipped. When you’re going up against people with AK-47s and grenade launchers, you don’t want to go out there with a slingshot.”

In most states, you’d assume that Ready’s campaign to obtain official status would naturally die a-borning. But in Arizona — which has a predilection for inverting reality when it comes to border violence, not to mention an ongoing white supremacist problem — there’s always a chance.

Especially when you consider that Ready has friends in high places — including State Sen. Russell Pearce, author of SB1070, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Indeed, Ready has been working tirelessly at making himself a familiar presence on the Arizona landscape.

Of course, it’s always amusing when conservatives write op-eds for the Washington Post complaining that liberals outside of Arizona perceive a lot of racism in the state’s anti-immigration hysteria — as though somehow that perception is mistaken.

You’ll also note that none other than the Instapundit approves of these groups:

But Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee and an expert on militias, said he saw no problem with such groups being involved with state defense forces.

“It’s not some crazy idea that someone has come up with out of the blue,” Reynolds said. “Historically, that’s how militias were organized. It’s sort of back to the future.” Reynolds, the author of the widely read political blog Instapundit, said the state defense force has operated in Tennessee for many years.

Back to the future indeed.

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September 11 Anniversary Stained By Politics And Prejudice

Huff Post-  First Posted: 09-11-10 09:23 AM   |   Updated: 09-11-10 09:23 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Politics threatened to overshadow a day of mourning Saturday for nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 victims amid a polarizing national debate over a planned mosque blocks from the site where Islamic extremists attacked America.

Chants of thousands of sign-waving protesters both for and against the planned Islamic center were expected after — and perhaps during — a ceremony normally known for somber church bells ringing and a sad litany of families reading their lost loved ones’ names.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were to attend separate services in Washington and Shanksville, Pa., for the victims of hijacked jetliners that hit the Pentagon and a rural field in 2001.

But the rallies planned in New York embroiled victims’ family members in a feud over whether to play politics on the ninth anniversary of the attacks.

Nancy Nee, whose firefighter brother was killed at the World Trade Center, is bitterly opposed to the Park51 proposed mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero. But she didn’t plan to join other family members at an anti-mosque rally hours after the anniversary ceremony.

“I just wanted to be as at peace with everything that’s going on as I possibly can,” Nee said. Even nine years later, she said, her brother George Cain’s death “is still very raw. … And I just don’t have it in me to be protesting and arguing, with anger in my heart and in my head.”

Jim Riches planned to pay respects at ground zero to his firefighter son, Jimmy, then rally.
“My son can’t speak anymore. He’s been murdered by Muslims. I intend to voice my opinion against the location of this mosque,” Riches said. “If someone wants to go home, that’s their right. I have the right to go there.”

MORE HERE
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9/11 and Compassion: We Need It Now More Than Ever

Huff Post- Karen Armstrong
Former Roman Catholic nun; Author, ‘Through the Narrow Gate’

Posted: September 10, 2010 08:24 PM

The anniversary of 9/11 reminds us why we need the Charter for Compassion. It should be an annual summons to compassionate action. The need is especially apparent this year. In the United States, we have witnessed an upsurge of anti-Muslim feeling that violates the core values of that nation. The controversy surrounding the community centre near Ground Zero, planned by our dear friends Imam Feisal Rauf and Daisy Khan (who were among the earliest supporters and partners of the Charter) has inspired rhetoric that shames us all. And now we have the prospect of the Quran burning proposed by a Christian pastor, who seems to have forgotten that Jesus taught his followers to love those they regard as enemies, to respond to evil with good, and to turn the other cheek when attacked, and who died forgiving his executioners.

If we want to preserve our humanity, we must make the compassionate voice of religion and morality a vibrant and dynamic force in our polarised world. We can no longer afford the barbarism of hatred, contempt and disgust. At the same time as we are so perilously divided, we are drawn together electronically, economically and politically more closely than ever before. A Quran burning, whenever it is held (it appears to have been delayed for questionable reasons by the pastor behind it), would endanger American troops in Afghanistan and send shock waves of distress throughout the Muslim world. In an age when, increasingly, small groups will have powers of destruction that were previously the preserve only of the nation-state, respect and compassion are now crucial for our very survival. We have to learn to make a place for the other in our minds and hearts; any ideology that inspires hatred, exclusion and division is failing the test of our time. Hatred breeds more hatred, violence more violence. It is time to break this vicious cycle.

MORE HERE

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Geezerpower

September 9, 2010

With the 9th. Anniversary of 911 Current U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan are reaching 95,000, more than we have in Iraq. We are leaving the Worlds largest embassy, Fortress America, in Iraq and currently working on a similar one in Pakistan, while boasting of 737 military bases worldwide.

As the frogwater becomes noticably warm, the AIPAC oriented congress along with a senate that is directly tied to the shadow government quietly acquiecse to eternal war and the invasion of Iran.

All this because of a war that was started based on a lie; weapons of mass destruction, the same reason that is being used for Iran. and implemented by accusations of terrorists in airliners flying into the World Trade Center buildings WTC 1 & WTC 2.

As many folks now believe the official story of the collapse of the buildings was fabricated and promoted by the NIST, it is important that there be an open and independent investigation to analyse the overly abundent evidence that there was more to it than airplanes, Al Qaeda, building fires and gravity.

More

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Quran Burning CANCELED: Dove World Outreach’s Terry Jones Drops Offending ‘Stunt’

AP / Huffington Post First Posted: 09- 9-10 05:06 PM   |   Updated: 09- 9-10 05:55 PM

The leader of a small Florida church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy says he is canceling plans to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11.

Pastor Terry Jones claimed Thursday that he decided to cancel his protest because the leader of a planned Islamic Center near Ground Zero has agreed to move its controversial location.

However, Imam Rauf, the leader of the proposed center did not make a deal and has never talked to Pastor Terry Jones, Park51 officials tell Huffington Post, adding that they are open to all solutions and that the proposed Islamic cultural center is open to dialogue and reconciliation with the community in lower Manhattan.

Jones’ plans to burn Islam’s holiest text Saturday sparked an international outcry.

President Barack Obama, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan and several Christian leaders had urged Jones to reconsider his plans. They said his actions would endanger U.S. soldiers and provide a strong recruitment tool for Islamic extremists. Jones’ protest also drew criticism from religious and political leaders from across the Muslim world.

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Obama Implores Minister To Call Off Quran Burning (VIDEO)

First Posted: 09- 9-10 10:04 AM   |   Updated: 09- 9-10 10:04 AM

Associated Press via: Huff Post

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is exhorting a Florida minister to “listen to those better angels” and call off his plan to engage in a Quran-burning protest this weekend.

Obama told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview aired Thursday that he hopes the Rev. Terry Jones of Florida listens to the pleas of people who have asked him to call off the plan. The president called it a “stunt.”

“If he’s listening, I hope he understands that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans,” Obama said. “That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance.”

“And as a very practical matter, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform,” the president added.

Said Obama: “Look, this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaida. You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The president also said Jones’ plan, if carried out, could serve as an incentive for terrorist-minded individuals “to blow themselves up” to kill others.

“I hope he listens to those better angels and understands that this is a destructive act that he’s engaging in,” the president said of Jones.

SOURCE & VIDEO HERE

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