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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Secret Constitutional Duties of the Military Branch of Government

John L. Perry

Dear Mr. Perry,

It wasn't very long ago when we condemned those who opposed Our Leader, George W Bush, and accused them of committing treason. We didn't prosecute those rebellious hippies (not for treason, anyway) and they went onto commit an even more treasonous act; they elected a slightly left-of-center black man to serve as our nation's president.

That act of electoral treachery cannot stand.

Thankfully, You have a plan to correct this injustice: convince the military to overthrow our democratically elected president.

I don't think it will be as difficult to pull off as it sounds. We just need to produce the secret section of the Constitution that deals with the Military Branch of government. You know the one I mean. I'm told the text goes something like this:
Article III.V

Section 3: The Military may seize power from the Executive Branch if one or more general officers deem the democratically elected president to be guilty of three or more of the following offenses:

Being Negro.

Being something that someday will be called "slightly Left-of-Center."

Being elected my a majority of electors.

Putting his little president into an unmarried lady's mouth.

Being compared to some future tyrant who murders millions of Hebrews.

Being accused of being from a foreign country, like the Sandwich Islands.

Attempting to provide for the general welfare of the United States.

Allowing his wife to wear sleeveless frocks.
By my count, Obama is guilty of all but one of these offenses.

Hopefully, Article III.V, Section 3 is still hidden somewhere in the National Archives. Glenn Beck might know where to find it. He's always citing the other secret sections.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen JC Christian, patriot

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Dip Nation, Rebel Snuff

After watching all those patriotic Obama-hating tobacco chewing videos this weekend, I decided to join their social media site, Dip Nation. Once there I signed up for a group called Join "REBEL SNUFF= NOT FOR YANKEES." Take a look at their comments:

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Sad, Sorry Plight of the White Christian Merakin

Michelle Flynn
Laura H. Carnell Elementary School

Dear Mrs. Flynn,

I fondly remember the ten years I spent in elementary school. We respected our teachers back then. We loved them with all the love we could gather within our little hearts. A kind word from a teacher made our world a happy, joyous place.

Our love and respect made us loyal to our teachers. It's why we all took Mrs. Nelson's side when she slugged Mrs. Goldman after she complained about making her son pray. Mrs. Nelson deserved our love. She taught us to sing, "Up with People" so we wouldn't fall prey to the enticements of hippies. But more than that, she deserved our love because she was our teacher.

It's sad you don't get the same respect and love from your students. That's what the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission Decision On The Valley School Swimming Pool Discrimination Case seems to say. By now you've read it. It was the investigation into why black kids were banned from your club's swimming pool.

When investigators asked the black kids who had said, "Why are there black kids here? I am afraid they will do something to my kids , and they might steal some of my stuff," one child responded, "It was teacher; it was Mrs. Flynn."

I wonder how that child felt when his teacher told him he was too black to join her family in the pool. I hope he was feeling disloyalty. I imagine you were devastated by it. It's hard for me to understand how the innocent love a child has for his teacher could be subverted in such a way.

Now, of course, you'll be called a racist.

White people can't get a break these days. If you say "Obama hates white culture," or you throw a fit because black kids are in your pool, everyone will start calling you a racist.

You're going to have to be very careful at school. You can't make the black kids sit at the back of the room. You can't ignore them when they need help. You can't make cracks about nappy hair. You'll have to pretend to treat them equally. You might even have to hug one of them.

That's the America we live in today.

Heterosexually yours in a chaste, biblically appropriate, and bleached pool kind of way,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

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Monday, September 28, 2009

"Obama is ACORN you idiot democrat"

Tremble before our Teabagger intellect.

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Offer up your todgers unto calves

David Brooks
The New York Times

Dear Mr. Brooks,

As one of our nation's greatest promoters of rural utopianism (the idea that the true America, the most noble America, can only be found in the rural confines of the heartland), you must be very proud of how your ideas have helped shaped public discourse.

Examples of your influence are everywhere. We see it in the elevation of Sarah Palin, a passionately credulous, moose-killing, backwater governor, into a true conservative superstar. We see it in the centerpieces of the traditionalist (secessionist, dominionist, supremacists, and teabagger) movements which hold such great sway within God's Own Party. And we see it in the numbers of those who've so joyously embraced that most cherished of heartland values: livestock love.

For many years, livestock love traditionalists were forced to live closeted lives lest they become objects of ridicule and laughter. But your work of turning rural life into a sacred calling changed all that. People of substance began praising livestock love. Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern offered it as an acceptable alternative to the sin of homosexuality. Compelled childbirth advocate Neal Horsley spoke lovingly about his relationship with a mule. Sen. John Cornyn painted us a picture of turtle tapping. Even the First Lady, Laura Bush, regaled us with tales of the President's attempts at stallion milking.

Now, a judge has ruled it to be legal. It came in a case against Robert Melia, a Moorestown, Pennsylvania cop. His fellow officers had found videos of him, offering up his little policeman to hungry calves. Burlington County Superior Court Judge James J. Morley ruled that the calves were more likely puzzled than harmed:
"If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, 'Where's the milk? I'm not getting any milk.'"
Unfortunately, there are still those who hate our most cherished traditional values and want to criminalize them:
Burlington County Assistant County Prosecutor Kevin Morgan was certainly irritated by the ruling, claiming the grand jury didn't see the videos of the alleged incident, including one in which one hungry calf allegedly head-butts Melia in the stomach.

"I think any reasonable juror could infer that a man's penis in the mouth of a calf is torment," Morgan argued.
Maybe it's time for you to address the superiority of rural life again in a column.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

He even plays classic rock

Not only does he dip and hate Obama and the Gay, skoalrebel also plays a mean "Smoke on the Water."

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Running the Gay out of the Skoal-chewing community

Maybe skoalrebel is a real Teabagger-American after all. He hates the Gay (and chewing competitors).

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Ain't no real Teabagger-American

This guy ain't no real Teabagger-American. He's obviously been exposed to too much book learnin', and dammit, real Teabagger-Americans swallow.

Tip of the ol' helmet to Pam.

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The Socialist Conspiracy of Debbie, Emmanuel, and "Deep Throat"

The Socialist Conspiracy of Debbie, Emmanuel, and Deep Throat
Image © Austin Cline
Click for full-sized Image
More Propaganda Posters

If there was ever any doubt that conservatives are pathologically obsessed with homosexuality, those doubts should have been put to rest in the wake of the recent "Values Voters" summit. No sane person could ever imagine that heterosexual pornography would "cause" homosexuality, but for the Christian Right that connection is just as natural as connecting homosexuality with murder, shoplifting, and bestiality.

You don't have to be insane or mentally deranged in order to be part of an extremist political or religious movement, but the Christian Right seems to be working hard to weld them together permanently. This is a large part of why they act like they are trying to move beyond the boundaries of satire or parody — no matter how bizarre of an idea you come up with to ridicule them, chances are someone now or in the near future will propose it in all seriousness.

Spread the Hate

That's precisely what's happened with Mike Schwartz, chief of staff for Republican Sen. Tom Coburn:

But it is my observation that boys at that age have less tolerance for homosexuality than just about any other class of people. They speak badly about homosexuality. And that’s because they don’t want to be that way. They don’t want to fall into it. And that’s a good instinct. After all, homosexuality, we know, studies have been done by the National Institute of Health to try to prove that its genetic and all those studies have proved its not genetic. Homosexuality is inflicted on people.

And one of the things that he said to me, that I think is an astonishingly insightful remark. He said, “all pornography is homosexual pornography because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards. Now think about that. And if you, if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to go out and get a copy of Playboy? I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants." You know, that’s a, that’s a good comment. It’s a good point and it’s a good thing to teach young people.

Obviously Mike Schwartz doesn't give any evidence that there is any connection between homosexuality and heterosexual pornography, but that wasn't relevant to his audience — they were excited about the claim and positively aroused at the possibility of linking two things they hate so much and already spend long, lonely nights thinking about.

And what's the purpose behind such linking? I believe Mike Schwartz made that clear at the start of his story: because the young boys that they want to target with this message already hate homosexuality so much. In other words, they want to take the extreme homophobia which they have been encouraging and redirect some of that hate towards other subjects, like pornography. They hope that their anti-gay hate mongering has been extreme enough that it can encompass straight pornography as well.

Socialist Homosexuality, Socialist Pornography

Even more bizarre was Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who complained about the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous decision to strike down a state law defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman:

So in the end this is something that has to come with a, if there’s a push for a socialist society, a society where the foundations of individual rights and liberties are undermined and everybody is thrown together, living collectively off of one pot of resources earned by everyone. That is, this is one of the goals they have to go to is same-sex marriage because it has to plow through marriage in order to get to their goal.

They want public affirmation. They want access to public funds and resources. Eventually all those resources will be pooled because that’s the direction we’re going. And not only is it a radical social idea, it is a purely socialist concept in the final analysis.

Other critics have pointed out that if it's a "socialist concept" for gay couples to seek "affirmation" and access to public resources, then it must be equally a "socialist concept" for straight couples who want to get married — and thus marriage itself must be socialist. So the "family values" crowd who usually pretend to be defending marriage are now arguing almost openly against marriage.

I'd like to go in a slightly different direction and connect all of the above: if heterosexual pornography leads to homosexuality and homosexuality leads to a desire for gay marriage and gay marriage is ultimately a socialist concept, then isn't heterosexual pornography really just a socialist, Marxist conspiracy against individual rights and liberties?

I guess group sex is just an introduction to broader socialist attitudes about everyone sharing with everyone else. Blow jobs — gay and straight, though they are all ultimately gay — are a metaphor for what the rich should be doing for the poor. Anal sex is a metaphor for what will happen to private property owners. Bondage of course is a metaphor for how socialism exists to put chains on the people, depriving them of their individual rights — all while teasing them and giving them promises of future release in exchange.

Communist Equality

King is not alone in this particular insanity. Colin Brendemuehl writes:

This (and I will continue to use the term) special rights agenda should not be taken out of the broader social and historical context. It has a close relationship with the feminist movement that sees marriage as, in their words, elitist. It is the very existence of marriage which the broader movement is attacking. Today’s movement is wholly consistent with the Communist Manifesto.

Source: Positive Liberty

If it's "consistent with the Communist Manifesto" to extend marriage equality to gay couples, it must be equally consistent to have extended equality to interracial couples. Oh, wait, weren't opponents of Civil Rights openly complaining that it was all a communist conspiracy? This is an argument with a very old pedigree in conservative circles. It's not about race or homosexuality — or even communism, strictly speaking. It's all about defending authoritarianism: authoritarian government, authoritarian families, authoritarian family structures, etc.

There are of course legitimate critiques of and concerns with both communism and socialism, but in these contexts you don't see any of that. This is because it's not about those systems; instead, they are just useful labels for smearing anything that seeks to expand equality and eliminate unjust privilege. It's tough to argue this without looking like a complete idiot, however, so efforts to expand equality are instead tarred with labels like "socialist" and "communist."

After years of training Americans to have a Pavlovian response to those words, conservatives can now use them to discredit anything without having to invest any effort in constructing a reasoned, intellectual, or moral critique. Conservatives don't have to try to explain what's wrong with treating blacks, women, or gays like fully equal and worthy human beings; instead, they can just count on enough hate and fear to preserve an authoritarian system which keeps such groups in their place.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Department of Book Reports: The Financial Lives of the Poets

The Financial Lives of The Poets, by Jess Walter (HarperCollins $25.99 ) I've been reading Jess' books for a few years now, and I can safely agree with his wife: "No, dear, you aren't funny." So, in spite of that assessment, Jess set out to write a comedy novel. He has succeeded, if you like your comedy dark and on the bleak side.

Turns out, this is a brilliant novel that captures the free-falling zeitgeist of our current society.

Matt Prior left his newspaper job to begin his start-up blog: During the boom economy, it seems to be a sure fire hit; financial news in verse. Now at the end of his savings, about to be evicted from the house they bought and have loved, a fateful trip to the 7/11 changes everything. He needs milk. For the boys. For their cereal. In the morning.

That shit's like, $9 a gallon!

Here is a beautifully played out drama, a family you can love. Coming utterly undone. About to lose his house, with no job or prospect, his wife is certainly having an on-line affair with her high school boy friend... Matt's encounter at the 7/11 sets off a new venture: sell pot to the aging boomers who still fancy themselves "happening". A tap on the shoulder a couple days later dashes that American Dream. By the end of the book, there is redemption, resolution, and resignation. And re-connection with family.

The poetry sprinkled throughout is perfect, I recommend A Brief Political Manifesto on page 39.
Luke Baumgarten has written the review I only wish I could. Go read it, and stay tuned for Jess Walter in Second Life, sometime in October.

On a somewhat related note: I will be interviewing Mason Tvert for his book, Marijuana is SAFER on Oct 5th, 6pm (Pacific) at our new place: Lacamas Reading Hall. We'll discuss marijuana myths, propaganda, and how to become active for pro-cannabis legislation.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

The Opinuary Column*

The Opinion
Life is precious
has died
having been shot at
and much maligned
shocked and drowned
throttled in its crib
blown up by a drone
invaded, destroyed, mocked
bulldozed, beaten, suppressed
buried, bombed, immolated

rushed to the emergency room
it was denied care
it had a previous condition
it missed a payment
it lacked the proper documentation
it made others uncomfortable

The Opinion
Life is precious
was born and raised everywhere
it sang like a little bird
held gently in your hand
marveled at, cooed over
until that day when it could walk on its own
and took those delicate steps upon this crusted earth
this dance floor, this majestic carnival

and it sang too much
and it danced too strangely
and it upset some folks
and it needed to be corrected
and put in a box
and draped with a flag
so we could coo over it again

The Opinion
Life is precious
was at a wedding
in a hospital
skipping rocks at the lake
riding a bike
drawing the sky
listening to Elvis
holding a parent's hand
reading about love
making mistakes
trying, trying to get it right

it knows that it will endure
in the smaller frames
in the quiet lives
in the drunken expositions
in affirmations in the street
its death will be its life
or so it will insist

The Opinion
Life is precious
has requested that we
keep some small portion
of its remains in an urn
some scattered by the sea
a river, a spring, a meadow
a mountain, a prairie
some on the mantle
some sparkling portion in our hearts
this is when we
fall to our knees
for it is gone
this precious life

don't string up the bandits
too clever to not be all of us
don't rail against the dark
for that is where we are born
don't start eyeing rocks for combat
or bullets, or shards of hate
we trained the young to kill the young
and that was our reward

The Opinion
Life is precious
is survived by forms and shadows
echoes, remnants, ripples
stories, music, light
spices, sand, dogs
the eulogy of the setting sun

in lieu of flowers
feel no shame in love


The Opinuary Column appears Friday afternoons at Jesus' General.


*Special Collectors Free Verse Edition


Socialists Plot to Seize our Means of Reproduction

Rep. Steve King
US House of Representatives

Dear Rep King,

A lot of people are laughing at you for stating something that should be obvious: the road to socialism will be paved by a married gay couple wielding aesthetically pleasing shovels.

I don't know why people would consider such a claim to be so ludicrous it deserves ridicule. After all, Marx did call for the proletariat to seize the means of production, and that's pretty much the same thing these love desegregationists are trying to do: seize the means of reproduction.

It's the next step I find particularly frightening. Sooner or later, they're going to figure out that the means of reproduction don't really reside within the sacred bonds of marriage; they're attached to our crotchal areas.

So if the gays are truly bent on seizing our means of reproduction, they're going to have to seize our manparts. That's even worse than todger honking. I'm not going to stand still for it.

That's what you should be talking about. People don't know what you mean when you say gay marriage will lead to socialism, so they laugh at you. But if you say, "The gays are plotting to seize our manparts." people our going to start paying attention. Then we can begin to address other grave socialist threats like the songs children sing at school.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

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A Census Worker Reports From the Field

A commenter responds to my Inner Frenchman's post on Bill Sparkman's murder:
I work in the field for the Census Bureau in western North Carolina, deep in the mountains. There are certainly meth labs and grow ops in the areas where I've worked, but the greatest fear for my team and myself comes from the angry and the ignorant.

The overwhelming anger is directed straight at the President. No question. Fear and racism at the core that has manifested into anti-government radicalism. We're threatened and intimidated almost daily, just for trying to earn a days pay and uphold the Constitution. I've been called an "employee of president nigger" and team members have been bitten by dogs and threatened with shotguns.

The Glenn Becks and Michelle Bachmans give these nutjobs legitimacy and a voice. They're bringing this madness into the mainstream fold of our society and stoking the flames of misguided fears.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

CCW Holder Exercises His Right to Bear Arms Against Slow Drivers

From the Seattle PI Crime Blog:
The Washington State Patrol states that troopers arrested a 50 year-old Enumclaw man earlier this week who was so upset about a slow driver that he allegedly displayed a pistol - twice! [lead edited to make sense]


A 51-year-old man from Huntington Beach, Calif., was in the slow lane, then moved in front of the Enumclaw man, who started to tailgate and displayed a pistol.

The California driver sped up, but the pickup driver followed at speeds that might have reached 90 mph. At one point, the pickup driver pulled up alongside and reportedly displayed his pistol again.

Troopers arrested the pickup driver in Kelso. He had both a loaded pistol and a concealed-weapons permit.
More tales of CCW Second Amendment heroism.

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My Inner Frenchman: He Reaped What They Sowed

Digby: "Feds"

More of the story.

About Bill Sparkman.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The War on Halloween will not be won by a round of todger honking

Raymond E. Drake
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property

Dear President Drake,

I thoroughly enjoyed your Crusade Magazine interview with Mission America's Linda Harvey. The threat Harry Potter poses to the world's children can't be overstated. The same goes for Halloween. I thought Mrs. Harvey did an incredible job of explaining why the pagan-based holidays of Christmas and Easter are acceptable and that orgy of satanic wickedness we call "Halloween" is not:
People say, “Well, Christmas was a pagan influence originally.” But the difference is that God is in charge of everything, and I believe the original pagan underpinnings of Christmas and Easter have been co-opted by Christianity. But the Lord has left Halloween alone to test us. For some reason God is allowing the work of Satan in the world today, and the devil has co-opted Halloween. On top of that it is becoming an emphasized holiday. It is right behind Christmas as far as decoration, spending, costumes and all the paraphernalia involved. You see houses decorated for Halloween just like a house would be decorated for Christmas, and it makes me shudder because there is nothing holy, honorable or positive about this date. October 31 is the pagans’ highest holiday and we are helping them celebrate it. What a slap in the face to our wonderful God!
I tried co-opting Halloween for Jesus last year. I dressed up like you do when you're protesting the Gay--you know, with the red cape, sash and cute little golden brooch. But it was weird. Big, hairy men kept making me honk their todgers. You might want to rethink those outfits.

It may be a better idea to just have the Holy Virgin stop Halloween the same way She stopped that performance of Jerry Springer: The Opera in Cincinnati. You remember that. She ended the show by causing a storm and power outage.

God, how She hates Springer.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

T-Rex: Herbivore for Jesus

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Waging War Against the Brits

Adm. Eric T. Olson
Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command

Dear Admiral Olson,

When most people think of Special Ops, they picture Navy Seals seizing an off shore oil rig or Army Green Berets conducting recon deep behind enemy lines. While it's true that those kinds of heroic actions are SOCOM's bread and butter, the role your psychological warfare operations play is just as critical to our military success.

That's why I'm so happy to see you've targeted Great Britain for "a network of psychological-warfare 'influence websites' supporting the Global War On Terror." After nearly 200 years, it's about time we finally unleashed our blogging fury against the bastards who burned down the White House.

But do you think General Dynamics is the best contractor to lead such an effort? I've seen their posts, and I have to tell you, passages like the following just aren't what one would call "compelling reading:"
The GNC subassembly incorporates a GPS receiver with a low-cost control system known as the Roll-Controlled Fixed Canard (RCFC) system, developed and patented by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, that allows the mortar to adjust its flight to reach the intended target.
Who in the hell is going to make it past the first sentence of that? Wait, the whole thing's a sentence. Good God. It's reads like it was written by a cross between G. Gordon Liddy and William Faulkner's dim-witted, anal-retentive, evil twin.

You need a real blogger to launch this covert assault against British intelligence. It should be someone who has experience selling the Gloriously Eternal War on Terror to the public, someone who's familiar with the GEWOT stylebook, someone who isn't afraid to USE the RANDOM CAPS, so favored by the FRIGHTENED and mentally UNSTABLE. Atlas Shrugs editor Pamela Gellar would be perfect for the job, if only she could learn to write in English. There's no time for that.

That leaves me. I CAN write in RANDOM caps. I can sprinkle enough "bloodys," "colours," and "programmes," into each post to make myself appear to be British. Even more importantly, I can mimic the over-hyphenated, adverbophillic style of Islamphobic British amateur spy Dominic Wightman and the misspelled scribblings of Obsession video star/Muslim convert Glenn Jenvey.

I can be a British Islamophobe, dammit! And, I'll do it for $1 million, that's one-tenth of what you're paying General Dynamics.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Josh Trevino's "Who's a RealMerakin™" founder proposes an innovative approach to ease border crossing hassles.

I've created this handy pocket guide to help.

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Values Voters

Wear headphones if watching at work.

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Retraction: I was not raptured.

I'm sorry to report that I was mistaken when I reported that I had been raptured. I shouldn't have taken a sip of that Frosty™ Glenn Beck left behind at Wendy's. The colors were incredible, but it affected my journalistic abilities.

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I've been raptured

They were right. The Rapture occurred just after Sundown last night. It was pretty cool. I was just sitting there in my underwear, eating Cheetos, and typing away on the internets tubes, exposing Obama for eating the entire cast of Touched by an Angel, and all of a sudden, I found myself sitting in a booth in some celestial Cracker Barrel sharing chicken fried steak with Ronald Reagan, Anita Bryant, Jesus, and Lee Greenwood.

I guess Lee and I were part of the very few to make the cut. Jesus said he liked my Spermatazoan-American liberation work and zapped me up so I could be the Official Blogger of the Rapture (that's why you can read this). And He said He grabbed Mr. Greenwood because He received a lot of prayers asking Him to shut the singer up. Lee seemed to be OK with that as long as he could still sell tees.

It's been pretty cool for the most part. I could have gone without Grandma telling me she saw me pat my robertson all those times--she wasn't happy about it. But in the end, even that was good, because it gave me an idea. I've spent the last few hours watching celebrities fornicate. Anita helped me out with that. She says she "loves watching the Pope get his freak on."

President Reagan is very excited about the Tribulation beginning. "Best thing since the War on Terror," he says. He's organizing Tribulation watching parties with Roberto D'Aubuisson. Should be a lot of fun.

Well, I gotta go. God's hearing Orly Taitz's lawsuit about Jesus' being born in Samaria.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

White Men Invented Rap

Here's another example of the persecution of the white Christian male. No one acknowledges that a white man, Red Sovine, invented rap music.

Update: OK, one more:

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Abstinence is a day too late

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One of Pastor Anderson's Flock Looks Into the Future

A follower of Pastor Steven L. Anderson, James Forrest (Kingjames 520), on the Swine Flu and the Mark O' The Beast™ (members only):
I believe that the Swine flu pandemic is a test to see how easily people could be duped to taking the mark of the beast. It would take a man like "Obama" to declair some sort of a national emergency like a major terrorist attack to say everyone who is not a terrrorist must have a mark placed on his head or in his hand. Everyone who will not take the mark would be considered "politically incorrect" and disposed of. The reason most of the church is not really expierencing persecution in the US is because it is seated in the pews and listening to "poolitically correct" type sermons. Pastor Anderson is coming under fire and his whole church will eventually because he preaches sermons that offend the "politically correct". One day being a true Christian will cost most of us our physical lives. If we happen to be fortunate enough to live through the tribulation, then we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

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Forbidden Fruit: Obsessing Over What You Hate

Forbidden Fruit: Obsessing Over What You Hate
Image © Austin Cline
Click for full-sized Image
More Propaganda Posters

Sex sells, but sex seems to sell best to those who claim to hate sex the most. In a culture that is comfortable with sexuality and doesn't try to treat sex as something forbidden, there isn't as much value in trying to associate cars, beer, or anything else with scantily clad women (except maybe lingerie?). Sex becomes most valuable as a commodity when it's kept taboo on various levels. Is that why sexually explicit adult entertainment is such a big hit among conservatives and especially conservative Christians — or is it instead the case that they work so hard to ban it because they know they are more tempted by it than others?

Perhaps both are true, but I'll doubt we'll ever know for sure. All I can say with some confidence is that people generally, and I think conservatives in particular, seem far more obsessed over that which they claim to hate than is psychologically healthy. The connection here is so strong that it might be possible to predict what they hate the most by what they spend the most time fussing over and what they spend the most fussing over by what they claim to hate most. Or, if you don't think that's much of a prediction, we may be able to predict what they'll soon be spending more time fussing over by any increases in their protests about what they hate.

Let's look at some of the examples of his phenomenon...

Sex & Pornography

Obviously the best examples of this behavior can be found with sex and pornography. People in the Bible Belt consume more sexually explicit, "adult" entertainment online than in any other region — though Salt Lake City, Utah, is giving them a run for their money! Whenever the Republican convention is in town, it's apparently a boom time for local prostitutes. Conservatives have to know that suppressing sexually explicit material doesn't actually eliminate it and they have to know that they are among the biggest consumers of that material. So who are they trying to fool?

Newt Gingrich is embarrassed at having tried to give a "stimulus" award to a company that produces pornography, which is understandable given his record at trying to ban pornography, but do you think he stopped to think about why such a company that was eligible for such an award? If a porn company earns money and produces jobs, shouldn't conservatives cheer? Indeed, how much have the actions of Gingrich and his colleagues ultimately helped this company by making its products more appealing?


I suppose this might be a subset of "sex" generally, but there are few specific topics that get as much attention from conservatives as homosexuality — or perhaps I should say "homo-sex." Whether the issue is gay marriage, employment rights for gays, or anything else connected to homosexuality, for conservatives it always comes back to the "homo-sex." Conservatives seem obsessed over the mechanics of gay sex, the frequency of gay sex, the numbers of gay sex partners, and everything else even remotely connected to gay sex.

It's little wonder that the more a person professes to hate homosexuality, the more it seems that they are likely just closeted and in denial about it. If one of their reasons for being so obsessed with partitioning off naturally occurring homosexuality from the sphere of acceptable human behavior is that they themselves are drawn to it but can't otherwise control their desires, then it's hard to avoid the conclusion that something similar is at work with other obsessions of theirs.

Big Government

This isn't the most obvious area where conservatives appear to be obsessed with eliminating something that they are also obsessed with having, but it's one of the easiest to find examples in. There's no end to conservatives insisting that it's necessary for government to be smaller and to spend less money, but there's also no end to conservatives insisting that it's necessary for this or that aspect of government to get bigger and to spend more money.

John H. Richardson writes about the South:

...this is the region that fought government intrusion upon its freedoms by forming its own government to intrude upon its freedoms, that imposed the Fugitive Slave Law on other states in the name of states' rights, that fought for slavery in the name of liberty. None of this was particularly logical, but then again, logic is just another iron law of compulsion.

There are plenty of other areas where the same principle holds. Few issues come anywhere close to abortion in terms of how obsessed the Right is about it, but the south leads the nation in teen pregnancy and abortion rates. Conservatives love to talk about protecting marriage but evangelicals and the South lead the nation in divorce rates. Conservatives hate feminism but have several women as popular pundits and politicians — you'll almost never see a conservative suggest that any of these leading women go home to bake cookies instead.

Wouldn't you love to see them try?

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Department of Book Reports: PNBA Tradeshow re-cap

I had hoped to live blog this last week, but the Hotel from Hell had the worst wi-fi I've ever seen. If you have to go to Portland OR, and you must stay near the airport, stay at any hotel but this one. Just sayin.
The show floor! Table after table of glorious books! Yes we were in heaven. I used the weekend to ask authors, publicists and publisher reps for authors to read in Second Life. I have 16 yeses, and more contacts for the future.
Running into old friends is the best part of the show.
And speaking of Garth, Larkworthy made a lovely machima of the reading for us:

You know Booksellers are cool, cause we read graphic novels!
Seattle Author Jennie Shortridge has her new novel When She Flew which will be along in November. Garth says "Smart, Funny... and Wise."
Rebecca O'Connor's Lift is her life journey as a falconer. I must tell Siobahn about this one! (twitter!)

I was so excited to meet the folks behind Boilerplate! Their encyclopedial Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel is a joy to read. They've agreed to a reading so get your SL Steampunk gear ready!
Vampire coffee. I'm really tempted to snicker here, but the Twilight Frenzy is everywhere. The local rag had a breathless front page speculation earlier this week, that some scenes in the next movie might be shot here in town because an auto parts store in Hoquiam is briefly mentioned in the second book. Even though the entire first movie was filmed on Oregon's coast. (And Vashon Coffee really is quite good.)
The Buzz Book Award is voted on by booksellers at the show, for most impressive book of show. This year, the winner is Hands at Work, a book written by Iris Granville and photographed by Summer Moon Scriver.
More Bookstore friends! Clyde & Bill from Cover to Cover Books.
Redsides Publisher Services is repped by George Carroll. Dee from Village Books looks over this seasons offerings. (twitter!)
After a long day on the tradeshow floor, it's time to hit the bar. Chuck from Village Books (twitter!) tells us of his plans to buy an Espresso Book Machine and their plans to help other NW bookstores republish their local favorite book for sales through their store. I'll be trying to track down They Tried to Cut It All, a history of logging on the coast.
The author dinner is a real treat, as 5 different authors come to your table to tell you of their book. I picked Randy Sue's table, so we could have some time with this sparkly lady.
Doug Scott is the policy director of the Campaign for America's Wilderness. Our Wilderness: America's Common Ground is a lovely photobook that should be a hit across the country, with stunning photos and history of our national parks.
Gregg Olsen is another old friend, his true crime is well respected in the Northwest. A Twisted Faith tells the story of a Bainbridge Island minister who carried on 5 affairs with parishioners while plotting the death of his wife. This one doesn't get published till next April, rest assured there will be a bookreport! (twitter!)
Cathy Lamb has Henry's Sisters, which has been praised as "positively irresistable" by Publisher's Weekly and is a September 09 IndieFirst Pick.
Kevin Michael Connolly, who, without a doubt is the most inspirational person we met last week. And if you're thinking it's a might presumptious of a 23 year old to write a memoir, let me re-assure you: not this 23yo! Born in Helena MT, with no legs and scant medical assistance, his parent decided to raise him to be a problem solver. When his wheel chair became too awkward and cumbersome, he decided to take up skateboarding. As someone who has been looked at all his life, he decided to start photographing people as they viewed him. He has traveled around the world on a longboard, and writes of how we look at people who are different. Far from bitter, he offers insightful essays on how people's reactions vary by locale and age. This is one young man I'll be keeping an eye on. Read this first chapter at HarperCollin's website, and look around at the photography. (twitter!)
Back at the bar, and here's Jess Walter and Timothy Egan. I eagerly read Jess' The Financial Lives of Poets the minute we got home. Jess was determined to write a comedy this time, and he has, although it's a very dark comedy. It's set amid today's financial collapse and centers on one man's mis-steps and over-stretched accounts. This will be next week's book report, so you'll have to wait till then for more. Timothy Egan follows up The Worst Hard Time with The Big Burn, which chronicles the August 1910 fire that blazed across Washington, Idaho and Montana. In the space of two days 3 million acres of forest and small towns were destroyed in its wake and America mobilized the largest ever firefighting team to try and fight the blaze. The aftermath of this fire allowed Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot to make their dream of a national forest a reality. The Big Burn publishes in October.
Home again, and time to put the books on a shelf and admire them. The face outs in the pictures below show authors who will be reading at Jackson Street Books in Second Life. First up: Marijuana is SAFER, Oct 5th 6pm(Pacific) Mason Tvert, director of SAFER will discuss his recent book on marijuana facts and legislation. (twitter!)

Most of these books aren't published yet, but send us an email at to pre-order. We'll be happy to get you a copy.

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