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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Unquiet Eternities

Steve Earle, the Virgil of the Left, once lamented that he wished he were as certain of anything as Bill Monroe, the Isaac Newton of bluegrass, was of everything. It is a problem unique to the Left. Thought begets doubt. The Right, lacking the impetus of the former, rarely suffers from the latter.

I thought of Earle’s lament often while writing my new book, The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country (which Jesus’ General has unabashedly, and heterosexually, plugged on this page). In the tangled story of how the FBI sabotaged the Indian rights movement of the 1970s and how the Indian activists themselves turned violent under the FBI’s provocations in the badlands of South Dakota, shades of gray were as prevalent as those of black or white.

Some certitudes did, however, emerge. One was that if there is a hell, it has an endowed wing for the press of South Dakota. Last week this infernal annex grew by a few chambers as Wild Bill Janklow, the longtime Dakota governor and congressman who ran over a motorcyclist in 2003, had his manslaughter conviction erased. After his trial, Janklow was given a trifling hundred days in jail, a suspended sentence, and a promise that his record would be erased in 2007 if he didn’t slaughter anyone else in the interim. It was enough, the judge said, that Janklow had to undergo the “special humiliation” of giving up his congressional seat. The Dakota press, which over the years had ignored the hundreds of speeding and reckless-driving tickets that Wild Bill racked up, thought the punishment Solomonic. No surprise that newsrooms offered not a bleat of critique when Janklow’s record was scrubbed last week.

The manslaughter was covered at all only because it had to be. A dead cyclist at a public crossroads is hard to ignore. Not so Janklow’s other, often legal crimes. Three decades back, Janklow was the George Wallace of Indian Country, a onetime hayseed who rode his state’s racist winds to power, then used that power to fan the gusts of anti-Indian prejudice into prairie gales. He did so unchallenged by a cowardly Fourth Estate—yellow journalism indeed. The difference between Dakota and Dixie is that George Wallace, Orville Faubus, Bull Connor, and other mastodons of Jim Crow were eventually speared and fossilized. Janklow endured, the stegosaurus in the state’s living room. Given the choice of appeasing the grocers and car dealers who peopled their display ads or lending a voice to the Plains Indians who had been raped for a century, the newsmen of Rapid City and Sioux Falls always sided with its fellow burghers. May the memories of fat ad accounts be cool comfort in hell.

Steve Hendricks

He blogs too

Steve Hendricks graciously agreed to write a post for the General today or tomorrow. You may remember the glowing review I wrote for his book, The Unquiet Grave : The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country, or the excerpt I posted here.

It's not only a great book, it's an important book. You can order it from Amazon or from SeattleDan's and Seattle Tammy's independent bookstore, Jackson Street Books.

Don't overlook the other posts I've written today, "Bring him the head of Jamil Hussein (revisited)" and "Tim Russert pleases the court." You'll find them below.

Bring him the head of Jamil Hussein (revisited)

Bob Owens
The Confederate Wankee

Dear Mr. Owens,

Huzzah, brother, huzzah! Very soon, you will likely be the first member of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders who can proudly claim responsibility for the torture and execution of a real live Iraqi. All you need to do is press the publish button on the post you're writing to out Jamil Hussein's true identity. He's as good as dead the moment you identify him as a source for an American wire service.

The French-loving scum of the francosphere will no longer dare call you a cowardly, sadistic lunatic with a God complex and a sonderkommando's morality. Instead, they'll cower before your God-like authority to act as a one-man judge, jury, torturer, and executioner, fearing to commit any act that might bring down your murderous wrath.

And you will enjoy their fear. You will savor it, just as you'll savor every second between the time you pull the publishing trigger and Hussein's headless, mutilated body is discovered on an anonymous street corner in Baghdad.

Because that's the kind of man you are.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Elsewhere: More about Hussein.

A helmet tip to Sadly, No!

Update: The Confederate Wankee responds in my comments after he courageously shuts down his own.

Tim Russert pleases the court

I'll admit it. I'm a Lac-Chien-du-Feu junkie. I can't get enough of their Libby trial coverage. I'm even tempted to commit the ultimate act of treason and buy Emptywheel's book.

I'm looking forward to Tim Russert's appearance on the witness stand. Regular readers may recall that back in September of 2005, I scooped everyone by posting a partial transcript of his testimony to the grand jury. I can't vouch for its authenticity. The story Russert tells doesn't appear in his book, Big Russ and Me, so it's hard to verify. Still, if it's real, we'll see fireworks when he's called to testify.

See for yourself. Here's the transcript:

MR. RUSSERT: As I was saying, Scooter was very upset about the Vice President's reaction to Ambassador Wilson's statements. He told me that the Vice President wanted to "shoot the motherfucker in the face." He said those were the exact words the Vice President used.

MR. FITZGERALD: How did Mr. Libby feel about the Vice President's plan?

MR. RUSSERT: He thought it was a bad idea. Ambassador Wilson wasn't a lobbyist or lawyer who needed something from the VP. He might complain.

He asked me what I thought he should do about Wilson. I responded by telling him a story about my father, Big Russ.

MR. FITZGERALD: Please repeat the story for the Jury.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, I must have been about ten or eleven--I was in the sixth grade. I had a crush on a girl named Beth. She was the most beautiful girl in our class. Every recess I'd try to get her attention by hurling dodgeballs at her head.

One day, just as I was ready to throw, Bobby Hindenlocker snuck up behind me and gave me a wedgie. Of course, Beth laughed. I was thoroughly humiliated.

That night at dinner, Big Russ noticed that I wasn't fighting for the last pork chop with my usual vigor and asked if something was bothering me. I had tried to put on a brave face until then, but Big Russ's question unleashed the logjam of emotions I had worked so hard to hide. Sobbing, I told him of my love for Beth and the shame I had felt because of Bobby's treachery. I ended my story with a vow to beat Bobby to a pulp the next day.

Big Russ reached over and gave me a big hug and told me that fighting people wouldn't solve my problems. "It's better to destroy their families," he said. Then he took me by the hand and led me up into the attic, the one place in the house that was forbidden to children.

I can't describe how proud I felt at that moment. By taking me to the attic, the domain of men, Big Russ was acknowledging that I was ready to become a man and learn the secrets of the brotherhood.

Overwhelmed by this rite of passage, I hadn't noticed that Big Russ was digging a box out of a pile of old curtains in the corner until he pulled out a big bag of white powder. "What's that," I asked. Big Russ responded by dipping his finger into the powder, tasting it, and declaring "pure horse." My father had just repeated a scene from the opening credits of my favorite TV show, "The Mod Squad." By doing so, he had connected with me at my level. Big Russ was always doing things like that. It's what made us so close.

He then pulled out a pistol and explained that it had been used in a number shootings during liquor store robberies. Big Russ told me to take the bag of smack and the pistol over to Bobby's house and hide them. Once I returned, he'd tip off the police and Bobby's dad would go to the big house. That would eventually lead to divorce and destitution for Bobby's family, and I'd have my revenge.

I followed Big Russ's advice, and you know what, he was absolutely right. In less than a year, Bobby and his mother moved to Topeka to live with her family. He never embarrassed me again.

Big Russ was the wisest man I ever knew.

That's it. That's the story I told Scooter.

MR. FITZGERALD: How did Mr. Libby respond to the story?

MR. RUSSERT: He laughed and yelled "That's it!" Then he thanked me for always being there for Dick.

Can I get a hug now, Mr. Fitzgerald.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A new security protocol for distributing top secret "need to know" classified information to press secretaries who aren't allowed to use it

Dick Cheney
Vice President for Policy, Strategy, Security, Contracting, and Shooting Motherfuckers in the Face
United States of America

Dear Vice President Cheney,

I don't know if you are aware of the security breach that occured in the Libby trial today, but it requires your immediate attention. While testifying about his role in betraying covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer revealed the security method employed when top secret "need to know" classified information is distributed to press secretaries:

There's a very strict protocol when classified info is spread... When it's oral, people always say, "this is classified you cannot use it."

Now that the protocol has been revealed, America's enemies could use it to acquire are most guarded secrets. All an enemy agent needs to do is pretend he's a press secretary and he'll have access to all the top secret "need to know" info they want. For instance, John Kerry could call up Stephen Hadley and, imitating Tony Snow, say "send me the plans for the W-61 EPW earth penetrating nuclear warhead," "fax me the names of all the covert agents assigned to nuclear proliferation," or "email me a copy of the Office of the Vice President's paperclip procurement policy" and soon our nation's most vital secrets would fall into the hands of our greatest enemy.

The protocol must be changed before our enemies take advantage of it. I suggest adding a secret handshake (like the one Mitt believes will get him into heaven). That way, you can be assured that the top secret "need to know" classified information that press secretaries are not allowed to use will actually go to the real press secretaries.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Monday, January 29, 2007

The War on Sunlight

Red Cavaney
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Petroleum Institute

Dear Mr. Cavaney,

Although the oil industry would derive some benefit from Our Leader's plan to fight global warming by blocking the sun rather than limiting fossil fuel emissions, I worry that the proposal doesn't provide the petroleum industry with other profit opportunities. Companies like Halliburton, Boeing, Bechtel, and Lockheed-Martin are sure to get multi-billion dollar contracts for space mirrors and giant parasols. But what about Exxon-Mobile? I doubt the near-space construction vehicles will be burning diesel fuel.

Perhaps you should lobby Our Leader to include funding for the creation of a petroleum-based sunscreen that could be applied to what's left of the polar icecaps. Think about it. The beauty of this idea is that it's not simply a one-shot contract. The government will need to apply your sunscreen every few hours for millions of years. It's guaranteed to become your biggest profit sector, dwarfing everything else you do.

I hope you'll consider it.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

A helmet tip to Le Monde.

Mother was an adventurous woman

I recorded the clip from Antiques Roadshow I mentioned last week.

Now for something completely different.

I wonder how many notches on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender a man might fall if he said "Dreamgirls rocked!" Not that I'm admitting to seeing Dreamgirls or confessing that I thought that it did indeed rock, especially that part in the middle where Effie is kicked out.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Rickie Lee Jones at FDL

My inner Frenchman has always liked her. You can chat with her now.

If Not Now, When? Dismissing Democracy as Treason to the Cause

If Not Now, When? Dismissing Democracy as Treason to the Cause
Image © Austin Cline
Original Poster: National Archives
Click for full-sized Image

One of the most curious ideological contradictions to be produced (or perhaps merely revealed) by the Republican War in Iraq involves the expressed need to stifle liberty at home in order to spread liberty abroad. If you look around, you'll find this contradiction arising time after time in a variety of situations. The failure of all other stated reasons for invading and occupying Iraq has generally forced Republicans to rely almost exclusively on "fighting terrorists" by spreading the values of liberty and democracy abroad. Many of these same Republicans, however, have never been good friends of liberty at home, and they see their war as a means for reinforcing their power over others' liberties in America.

Last week I mentioned in passing Dinesh D'Souza's claim that America's problems with Islamic militants stem from how Americans "abuse" their freedom by using that freedom in ways that the Muslim extremists — and, coincidentally, conservative evangelical Christians — disapprove of. This is a very obvious example of the sort of conservative ideological contradiction I'm talking about, but it's not the only one. Recently a more extreme form has developed: treating basic democratic debate and engagement as a form of treason.

This message is coming in from multiple sources, all around the same time, and it's difficult not to wonder if there has been some coordination of strategy here. I doubt that's the case, however. I think that these are genuine, unprompted expressions of what people really believe — and perhaps have always believed. It's merely that the current situation is presenting them with opportunities to say what they think in the hopes that their message will fall on fertile soil, leading to long-lasting influences in America's political culture.

Bill Kristol seems to have led the recent charge, stating on Fox News that critics of the Decider's plan for escalating the Republican War in Iraq are "leap-frogging each other in the degrees of irresponsibility they're willing to advocate." and "It's just unbelievable. ...It's so irresponsible that they can't be quiet for six or nine months." So whenever the Decider makes a Decision, "responsible" people must keep quiet for six or nine months to see if the Decision works. If it doesn't, they can't complain because people like Kristol will be the first to point out that the critics were quiet and should have said something sooner. How convenient.

Hugh Hewitt created "The Pledge," and signers promise to withhold donations from Republican politicians who oppose the Decider's Decision to escalate the war. Even people who in the past opposed sending more troops are now unwavering in their support for this Pledge, castigating the loathsome cowards who don't offer the Decider unquestioning obedience. Isn't it more likely that they are basing their political positions on what they are told to believe, rather than on anything that might be mistaken for independent reasoning or logical thought?

"Tailgunner" Joe Lieberman naturally created the illusion of a bipartisan acquiescence to the Decider by asking Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus during his confirmation hearing if resolutions criticizing the Decision "would give the enemy some encouragement [or comfort, depending on the source]." If there were ever a reason to be happy that Al Gore lost the 2000 election, Lieberman is it. The last word, as always, comes from Vice-Decider Dick Cheney who told Wolf Blitzer in an interview that "the biggest problem we face right now is the danger that the United States will validate the terrorist strategy, that, in fact, what will happen here with all of the debate over whether or not we ought to stay in Iraq, with the pressures from some quarters to get out of Iraq, if we were to do that, we would simply validate the terrorists' strategy that says the Americans will not stay to complete the task ...that we don't have the stomach for the fight."

All of these diverse statements come back to the same point, articulated most directly by Cheney: when the duly elected representatives of the American people finally get around to doing their duty to debate America's international policies, daring to raise questions and criticism of what the Decider is Deciding, that is the "biggest problem" faced by the administration. Democratic debate and discussion represents a danger that is far greater than any other facing the nation. Evidently, we should just leave everything in the hands of the Decider, stay quiet indefinitely, and stop giving aid and comfort to the terrorists by actually questioning whether the Decider's current anti-terrorism policy is the best.

In some ways, there is nothing new about this — the Republican hierarchy has been trying to quash dissent for years now, and we shouldn't expect them to stop any time soon. In other ways, though, I think that there is a subtle shift in that it's no longer just criticism that they are trying to paint as unAmerican and harmful to the cause, but democratic debate generally. It's the democratic process here that's at issue, not merely dissent (which is an important element of the democratic process). In effect, then, the Republicans are trying to win a "war" described as necessary to promote democracy abroad by encouraging people at home to voluntarily surrender basic rights and refrain from engaging in too much democracy.

Maybe someone should tell the Decider that democracy is messy.

Formals in the Heartland

Jeremy Pelz
Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity
Tarleton State University

Dear Mr. Pelz,

When I wrote you a couple of days ago about your Aunt Jemima, malt liquor, and fried chicken themed Martin Luther King Day party, I meant to also compliment you for the way your Lambda Chi Alpha chapter conducted its formal. Unfortunately, I found the doings at the MLK Day party so interesting, I forgot to mention it.

I can't recall ever enjoying myself at one of these formal dances. The problem is that there are usually so many not-men involved that these events get a little too foo foo for my tastes. I'm just not comfortable around all that lace and satin. And certainly, all the "no thank you, noodle boy," "get real, Mr. Limpy," and giggling I hear when I ask a not-man to dance doesn't help.

Your formals are different. Looking at the pictures, I can see they are very manly affairs. If I were allowed to go shirtless and wrestle guys at the formals I attend, I'd enjoy them a lot more. That said, I'm not too keen on guys dancing with each other. I think you might be playing with fire there unless it's nothing more than a little pre-wrestling foreplay.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Helmet tips to commenters Albatrossity and Paul for reminding me about the formal.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Deconstructing "Falling Down"

Nez goes to the movies:

...mainstream media plants destruction and hurt into the heart and minds of those who grow up absorbing it. Especially in regards to ethnicity. Although as I go on in this journey, I find that so many share the same story. Women in almost horribly ubiquitous and invisible fashion. (Or maybe that invisibility is simply part of how accustomed to it I had become.)

I assure you, amig@, At the Movies With Nezua will be both fun AND annoying! But that's a night at the movies with Nezua, after all, carnál! Our goal here is to create a space where we lay bare the workings of these spells, of these weapons, where we can unspool the conveyer belt that adheres to the swiftly shifting gears of a tiny, spiny, rotten avacado-engine heart.

Elsewhere: The result of what Nez is writing about:

A Girl Like Me


A helmet tip to John Lucid and Diane Sweet.

Department of Book Reports

Prayers for the Assassin, by Robert Ferrigno (Pocket Books, $7.99)
This imaginative, yet believable thriller is set a couple of decades in the future: after nuclear attacks on New York, DC and LA, America has split into two countries - the Christian Bible Belt in the South and the Islamic Republic across the North. Popular culture still exists amidst five calls to prayer during the day. The story begins in Seattle, the new country’s capital, at the Super Bowl where the cheerleaders are all men. Religious police keep an eye on all.
And Vegas is a wide-open free city-state where all go to unwind. Of course, the Mormon territories still exist, but no one wants to deal with them.

Muslim Historian Sarah Dougan gets wind of a crack in the official history, that the terrorist bombings did not happen as everyone was told. Officially thought to be the act of Israelis, she uncovers evidence that a radical Muslim was responsible for the attack. She and her lover, Rakkim, himself a former Muslim Warrior, go on the run from an assassin who trained in Rakkim’s former unit. A crackling chase between assassins takes place - one who loves her and wants to protect her, the other given the job to silence her. Cautionary and chilling with the world we know altered in look and feel. Ferrigno makes sly jabs at popular culture and acquisition: the only cola available in the North is Jihad Cola™- “for the warrior within”. The Bible Belt has the recipe for Coca Cola™ and bans its’ export.

This is an entire world that Ferrigno has created. Fully, ironically, and quite frighteningly, it points out the horrors of living in a fundamentalist society.

In the name of full disclosure, I must report I’ve known Robert for years and have always been a fan of his crime novels. Last week I got an email from him; he had spotted the General’s directive to shop at JSB. So, armed with the info that he is a lurker here, I decided Prayers for the Assassin would be this week’s pick, in hopes of drawing him out to comment.

Update: Tomorrow morning at 7 A.M. PACIFIC Time (ouch!)
Tami Kosch's guests on "Community Matters Weekend Edition" on KPTK-AM include Steve Hendricks, author of "The Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country."

I think you can stream from there, hopefully they will post an RSS later.

I’m posting early today, as this afternoon, Seattle’s March to Bring Home the Troops converges on Jackson Street Books’ own parking lot to protest in front of the Army/Navy/Marine recruitment offices. I figure I’ll go tag along to see just what this Watada dude has to say for hisself.

Signed copies of Prayers for the Assassin are available at Jackson Street Books and Seattle Mystery Bookshop and fine independent bookstores everywhere.

Once again, I am indebted to democommie™™™™®©’s inspiration and significant contributions to this book report.

Press the Meat

Digby has more on Tim Russert, White House Press Flack.

Republican Jesus mugs and shirts available here

Republican Jesus Archives.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Leahy vs. the Inquisitor General

Sen. Patrick Leahy questions Our Leader's special Article II superpowers in this exchange with Inquisitor General Gonzales about the rendition to Syria and subsequent torture of a Canadian citizen.

Some of my best friends...

Jeremy Pelz
Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity
Tarleton State University

Dear Mr. Pelz,

It's a shame that a patriot can't throw a Martin Luther King Day party where the guests wear Aunt Jemima costumes, gang apparel, and afro wigs and carry malt liquor, handguns, and fried chicken without everyone accusing him of being a racist. Fortunately, you responded wisely, using one of the most cherished confederate-American excuses, "one of [my] best friends is black or African American, whichever you deem politically correct."

It's too bad your best friend couldn't make it to the party. I'm assuming that's the case because he doesn't appear in any of the pictures. Maybe he's shy. Is that why he didn't join your fraternity?

Next time you should probably go with a safer theme, maybe a Mafia theme for Columbus Day or a drunken pedophile priest theme for St. Patricks Day.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Respected in the community

Pastor Davies tips his helmet to the respect I've earned in the reborn heterosexual movement and adds another name to his watchlist.

Some people say the good pastor is a fraud. I think his message speaks for itself. We are not Frenchmen. Let us rejoice in Donnie's message and not worry about those whose faith is left wanting.

My letter to Pastor Davies.

A helmet tip to reader John.

Update: What about The Right Brothers?

Their latest album appears to be one big vienna sausage fest. Look at the song titles:

The Enemy Within (Obviously, a paean to wonkettesex)

Big Oil A song about lubricant disguised as a tribute to the oil companies.)

I'm In Love With Ann Coulter (Do I really need to explain this one?)

You can report them to Pastor Davies here.

Exorcising Murrow's Ghost

It looks like CBS is finally catching up to the way news is reported (or not reported) in the age of Fox News. They understand that airing stories that contradict the official truth is an act of treason. CBS Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan explains via email:

From: lara logan
Subject: help

The story below only appeared on our CBS website and was not aired on CBS. It is a story that is largely being ignored, even though this is taking place every single day in central Baghdad, two blocks from where our office is located.

Our crew had to be pulled out because we got a call saying they were about to be killed, and on their way out, a civilian man was shot dead in front of them as they ran.

I would be very grateful if any of you have a chance to watch this story and pass the link on to as many people you know as possible. It should be seen. And people should know about this.

If anyone has time to send a comment to CBS Â? about the story Â? not about my request, then that would help highlight that people are interested and this is not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore.

Many, many thanks.

The video.

A helmet tip to Lafayette.

Balancing Science and Dittos

Stacey Locke
Principal, Eisenhower High

Dr. Benjamin A. Soria
Superintendent, Yakima County School District

Dear Mrs. Locke and Dr. Soria,

Those of us who detest rationalism and its hellish spawn, science and reason, are boisterously cheering you today. We applaud your decision to deny the Environmental Club's request to show An Inconvenient Truth at an after school meeting unless an opposing view is presented as well.

At first glance, that might seem like an insurmountable problem. Virtually every scientist who isn't employed by the Tobacco Petroleum Institute believes global warming is a fact. Even Our Leader now treats it as a reality.

Still, there are many of us who reject science and its devotion to empiricism because we'd rather believe in things that make us happy. We are legion, and thanks to many hours of listening to Rush Limbaugh, any one of us could deliver a devastating opposing view to that given by the climate change scientists cited in An Inconvenient Truth.

Take my friend Jethro for instance. He says global warming doesn't matter because the rapture is at hand. Cletis, on the other hand, blames climate change on immigration. He says America-hating "coyotes" are forcing immigrants to smuggle Mexican heat across the border. I think a herd of highly intelligent caribou, angry about plans to drill the ANWR, are using a giant blow dryer to heat the atmosphere and thereby discredit the oil companies. Any one of us could meet your demand for balance and we'd be happy to do so.

Please let me know the date and time and I'll make sure one of us will be there to present the opposing view.

Heterosexually yours (in a way of which my wife OfJoshua would approve),

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Other thoughts: Damn it's nice to see the fruits of Dinesh D'Souza's war against political correctness. He must be proud, because he never writes about it anymore.

Reminder: I put those email addresses there for a reason, people.

A helmet tip to OfJoshua.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Loincloths and bear songs

Donnie Davis
Newly Ordained Heterosexual
Love God's Way Ministries

Dear Mr. Davis,

It's great to finally have you on our team. I think you'll enjoy the heterosexual lifestyle, especially the patriarchy. It's my favorite part; that and the Frito pie, the wrestling and the towel snapping; it's all good.

I love your song, "The Bible Says (God Hates a Fag)." I saw the video on the internets tubes. My friend, Pam, showed it to me. She's nice, but sometimes I wonder if she's fully committed to the heterosexual lifestyle. Anyway, you sing real purdy.

Are you going to do any other biblically-based songs? A song and video about Lot giving up his daughters to a horny mob of Sodomites would be a great missionary tool. And given the willfulness of children these days, a song about how the Prophet Elisha sent she-bears to eat the children who mocked his baldness is certainly needed.

Pam also showed me your list of bands who promote homosexuality. It's a good list. You have all of the usual suspects, The Doors, Cole Porter, The Eagles of Deathmetal, The Village People, Ravi Shankar, etc, but I have to wonder why you left out Ted Nugent. The man sings songs about "bears" and wears a loincloth for heaven sakes.

Loincloths have special powers, special evil powers. A man, no matter how committed to a heterosexual lifestyle he might be, can't resist staring at a well-filled loincloth. The staring leads to all sorts of impure thoughts. Throw in a song about a bear, and the next thing you know, you're in a dingy Vancouver dive trimming some lumberjack's timber for smoke money.

So please consider adding Ted Nugent to your list. The guy's a one-man recruitment machine.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lead or get out of our way.

These are dark days. Tonight, Sen. Jim Webb, the man who destroyed our beloved Sen. Macacawitz, demanded, without regard to Our Leader's Article II superpowers, that The Chosen One end the wars against the Iraqis and the middle class. He then went on to threaten Our Leader that if He fails to act, the Democrats will act in his stead.

You have to see the video.

(Link fixed. Thanks John.)

Update: Here it is:

A little after-the-speech advice for Joe

Sen. Joe Lieberman
United States Senate

Dear Sen. Lieberman,

By all accounts, Our Leader will be delivering the most difficult State of The Union Speech of his reign, tonight. It doesn't look good. The man is detested by anyone with even a modicum of intelligence. Indeed, you may be his only friend in the chamber.

He's going to need your support when he makes his way through the aisle after he gives his speech. His pride will be crushed. He will be a defeated man. You'll need to show him that you are still his man, but a little peck on the cheek will not be enough. You'll have to slip him a little tongue this time. And while you're doing that, you might also consider working a hand toward the front of his trousers and giving him a little honk. Guys like that.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Elsewhere: I'm listening to Antiques Roadshow as I write this. A guy has a painting by American artist George W. Sotter. He says the artist gave it to his mother. The appraiser asks why it is signed "to Horny." The son replies, "Mother was an adventurous woman. I think it might have been her nickname."

There are just some things a son doesn't need to share on national television.


I don't have an answer for why some white people feel the need to reclaim their cultural identity from a white culture, but I do know why I joined the "New Saxon" whites-only social-networking site. I want to get me an albino lady.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Wang Dang He Ducked Danang

Ted Nugent
Gov. Rick Perry Chair of Conservative Values
The Wang Dang Institute of Sweet Poontang

Dear Mr. Nugent,

The last few months have been a nightmare for conservative Americans. First, the Demislamunistofascists take control of Congress, prompting some of our least loyal congressional stars to begin singing hosanas in praise of such treasonous acts as minimum wage hikes and premature iraqejection. Then, Our Leader repudiates his Article II powers which allow him to invade our privacy without warrants. And now, even those who've shared Our Leader's special providence sour in their support for the Iraq phase of Our Eternal War to Resubjugate Brown People.

In the midst of all this treachery, you continue to stand firm in your conservative convictions. While Sam Brownback hemmed and hawed about whether homosexuals should be allowed to adopt children, you stood on a stage at Texas Gov. Rick Perry's inaugural ball, wearing the beloved colors of our confederate heritage, waving an assault rifle, and shouting insults at anyone who dared to speak Mexican.

You did it because that's who you are, a man who will not, and indeed, cannot, abandon his conservative values. You are a perfect specimen of conservative manhood.

You've always been that way. As the Detroit Free Press Magazine reported in 1990, you were already serving as an exemplar of Republican values back in the Sixties, when, like Our Leader, Deputy Leader Cheney, and Minister of Truth Limbaugh, you courageously dodged service in Vietnam:

[Nugent] claims that 30 days before his draft board physical, he stopped all forms of personal hygiene. The last 10 days, he ingested nothing but Vienna sausages and Pepsi; and a week before his physical, he stopped using bathrooms altogether, virtually living inside pants caked with his own excrement, stained by his urine.

And High Times adds a little Bush/Limbaugh twist to the story by publishing your claim that you snorted meth (the coffee of our beloved Heartland) to raise your heart rate before taking the physical.

While many of our former heroes have abandoned conservative values, there are still many others who look for you to continue to stand tall against the frenchification of our homeland. They continue to honor Our Leader, support the war, and defend our nation against seditious speech. They are the fighting keyboarders and the College Republicans who save their pennies to buy your Ultimate Uncle Ted Gonzo BloodBrother Sniper Rifle so they can defend the homeland while sending others to Iraq. They are your people, Ted. Please don't let them down.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Crossposted to Operation Yellow Elephant.

Update - A witness to Ted's antics at the inaugural ball comes forward:

Ted Nugent was so surreal it was painful. the fact that he started out playing an American flag painted guitar, and wearing a confederate flag shirt seemed like a contradiction to me. Ted dropped several F-bombs, mentioned that "Even though I'm in Austin, I'm still around real Texans". He went on to support the electoral decision banning "Faggets getting Hitched", and made some rather offhanded comments about Mexicans getting back on their side of the border. The absolute highlight of his set though had to be "Frank the Bear" with a hunting video companion blasted up on two large screens. Oh, and Ted reminded us that being against the war is a pussy's outlook, and that the country is getting better with guys like his good friend DIck Perry. Fun times were a plenty, and I sure can't wait for the next time, so I can fight back vomit and tears.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Binge & Purge Presidency

Binge & Purge Presidency
Image © Austin Cline
Original Poster: National Archives
Click for full-sized Image

Critics often describe the Bush administration's conception of presidential power as involving an "Imperial Presidency," but I wonder if it might be more accurate to refer to it as the Binge & Purge Presidency. Wikipedia lists the DSM-IV-TR criteria for bulimia nervosa as consisting of binge episodes involving a "sense of lack of control," followed by "recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior" to prevent the obvious consequences from binge eating. It also says that "[b]ulimia is often less about food, and more to do with deep psychological issues and profound feelings of lack of control."

Bulimia is a serious medical condition and not something that should be taken lightly; nevertheless, I think that there are more than a few coincidental parallels between binge and purge behavior when it comes to eating and some of the "binge and purge" behavior we see on the part of the Bush presidency. Since bulimia is considered fundamentally a psychological disorder and is similar to mental illnesses like obsessive-compulsive disorder, we shouldn't be surprised to find similar patterns of behavior outside the usual context of eating and food.

Recently we witnessed the administration launch a new "binge" by sending more troops into harm's way in Iraq. Now, the administration is involved in a "purge," which is the elimination of independent U.S. prosecutors who might investigate and turn up wrongdoing by some Republicans, including those in the administration. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales promises that no prosecutors were forced out for the sake of politics, but how can he be believed? He wouldn't even tell the Senate how many have left and his boss won't let the Senate (in most cases) confirm the replacements.

This doesn't mean that Gonzales is lying, though — remember that he is capable of interpreting the Constitutional ban on suspending habeas corpus ("Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.") as not preventing the president from denying habeas corpus to anyone he pleases. It doesn't say "right," therefore the Constitution doesn't say that every person in the U.S., or even U.S. citizen "is assured the right of habeas corpus." If he sincerely believes that the president can deny habeas corpus to anyone at will without violating the ban on suspending habeas corpus, then he can believe anything.

Psychological disorders are usually associated with a person experiencing severe distortions of reality. People suffering from bulimia and anorexia typically can't see themselves for what they really are — they perceive themselves as fat even if they are severely malnourished, let alone if they simply look normal. In the Bush administration, we shouldn't doubt that many are capable of looking at themselves and perceiving themselves as defending civil liberties even as they dismantle and undermine our rights, as expanding democracy in the Middle East even as they pave the way for new theocratic regimes, and as protecting Americans against terrorism even as they enhance the recruitment efforts of extremist groups.

How many different situations can you identify where the Bush administration has launched on some sort of binge, but then shortly thereafter engaged in some sort of "inappropriate compensatory behavior" like a purge in order to either distract attention from or avoid the consequences of that binge?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Department of Book Reports

Afghanistan-A Book Review of The Places In Between

Afghanistan has always seemed a remote and mysterious place to me. I knew a little, a very little, of its history, a history that has been wrapped up with many other places and cultures, including the Greeks (Alexander stopped in while on his way to India), the Persians, the Mughuls, the British, the Russians and now ourselves. I knew that in the initial Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, Holmes was able to deduce that Watson had recently served there during the Second Afghan War. I grew up in a predominantly Jewish suburb in Los Angeles (ok, it was Encino, have your chuckle and get over it). So while in the sixth grade when an Afghani family moved there and the fraternal twins, Khan and Shari became my classmates, they seemed exotic and I was curious... I'd ask them questions about their homeland and about Islam, but they were secular Muslims, and really didn't know much about their religion and I doubt that they attended mosque. They seemed to be more interested in being adolescents, which seemed to be the right thing to be interested in. I knew it was a region that always resisted its conquerors, that the Russian attempts at subjugating the area ultimately played a large role in the fall of the Soviet Union. And I knew it was the country the U.S. invaded, driving out the Taliban, in our "search" for Bin Laden, the country where Pat Tillman, the man the Bush administration wanted to turn into a poster boy for its agenda, but inconveniently was thwarted in doing so.

Fortunately, the many holes in my ignorance of Afghanistan, the Mid-East, and its cultures and peoples have been very ably filled by Rory Stewart in The Places In Between (Harvest Books $14.00) paperback. (The slide show at the site is fascinating).
Stewart is an inveterate walker. Previous to his Afghan adventure, he had spent sixteen months walking across Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal.
With the fall of the Taliban, he thought he could complete his Asian sojourn by walking from Herat, on the Afghan western border near Iran, to Kabul, close to the Afghan border with Pakistan. In January of 2002, after cajoling Afghan officials, dealing with its security forces, and being told that such a walking tour was too dangerous, that he would be killed along the way if he left, Stewart did depart, becoming the new government's "first tourist". And it was dangerous. The Taliban though routed from Kabul, still controlled many areas, towns and roads. Winter was arriving and the mountainous roads could get very cold... On his way Stewart encountered tribal chieftains, Taliban, Sunnis, Sh'ia. All had stories about the Russians, the Taliban and, now, the Americans. (Although Scots, himself, he was often mistaken for being from America.)
He was also adopted by a mastiff that Stewart named Babur, the first Mughal emperor of the early 16th century. Babur himself is an interesting minor character. This man had written his memoir and had followed the same route that Stewart himself planned to travel. Stewart wisely gives us excerpts from Babur's travelogue along the same path and the observations are still insightful.
Stewart's own writing is graceful and clear. Though he is not sure why he is undertaking this journey, he probably express his mission best when he tells the newly installed leader in Herat, "...I am hoping to show my people what a wonderful place Afghanistan is." With an emphasis on the wonder, he succeeds.

The General here. I've asked SeattleDan and SeattleTammy to do book reports on Saturdays so that you can witness for yourself just how cunningly seditious mystery and non-fiction writerslamunistofascists can be.

I've also urged them to remind readers that they can buy these books by ordering them from SeattleDan and SeattleTammy at Jackson Street Books in the hope that they'll become rich enough to afford to become Republicans.

Of course, if you'd rather support a giant mega-corporation rather than a small independent book store owned by a couple of francohippies, you can order it through this Amazon link. I love Amazon, mostly because they give me a kickback when you purchase through that link, but also because I look forward to the day when they and Wal-Mart control all the book sales in our great nation. We'll all be on the same page then, by God.

D'Souza in the sky with diamonds

Mr. D'Souza replies yet again:

Sent: Friday, January 19, 2007 1:54 PM
Subject: Re: Disappointed fan

But I don't have leopard print carpet in my den. Are you on drugs or something?


My response,

Dear DD,

I hope it's ok to call you DD rather than Mr. D'Souza. I was touched by your concern about my possible drug use and am beginning to view you as a friend.

Your concern is unfounded. I do not use illegal drugs. In fact, the only drug I use regularly is a prescription medication called Oxycontin. I take it to relieve the pain I suffer from a pilonidal cyst (a big boil in the area of the, uh, "tailbone." It's a stress related disorder I acquired when I learned that Congress was considering reinstituting the draft. I understand that Rush Limbaugh suffers from the same affliction for similar reasons.

Other than the 25-30 prescription (well, it's somebody's prescription, anyway) Oxycontin tablets I melt down and shoot every day and the Viagra I use when I vacation alone in places like the Dominican Republic, my life is completely drug free.

Well, enough about me and Mr. Limbaugh. I accept your denial of the allegations that your home office is lined with "wall-to-wall leopard-print carpet." I should have realized that inasmuch as it was printed in the San Diego Reader, a MSM rag, the charge is likely to be just as phony as AP's source in Iraq's Ministry of Interior, Capt. Jamil Hussein. My guess is that the liberal media planted that story in the hope that our Islamunistofascist cultural allies would be fooled into thinking that you're a sexual libertine and, therefore, attack you.

Please accept my apologies for being fooled, myself. I'd like to make it up to you by inviting you over to the compound for a weekend. We'll drink beer, eat Frito pie, and punch each other in the shoulders like men do with their man friends. Then we'll dress up in gladiator outfits and watch Ben Hur and Spartacus, and maybe even Gladiator if I can get that goo off the DVD. After that, if you're up for it, I'd like to honor you in the only way a warrior may truly honor another warrior--that is to wrestle naked in the ancient manner of our Spartan philosophical forefathers until one of us establishes dominance over the other by driving his mighty shaft of supreme manliness into the other's cavern of shame.

Or we could just have pizza down at the mall.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Previous exchanges with Mr. D'Souza

My original email to him.

His reply and my response.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mr. D'Souza responds to my email

Dinesh replies to my email:

Sent: Friday, January 19, 2007 4:56 AM
Subject: Re: Disappointed fan

Some crackpot is sending me emails and using your email address. Just thought you'd like to know.

best, Dinesh D'Souza

My response:

Dear Mr. D'Souza,

Thank you for alerting me to this. I suspect Nancy Pelosi is behind it. I'm fairly certain she's also the one who has been sending me disgusting, yet strangely arousing, photos in emails with subject lines like "Col. Oliver North Takes One in the Foxhole" and "Bill O'Reilly in The Falafels of October." She's trying to silence me by making me a target of her islamunistofascist cultural allies. Please forward the forged emails you received so I can compare them to the ones she sent me.

Was I was wrong about you? I assumed that you were responsible for choosing the leopard print carpet in your den. Now, I'm wondering if the carpet was laid without your knowledge, perhaps by one of America's enemies like Keith Olbermann, in an effort to discredit you. If that's the case, please accept my apologies.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

More exchanges with Mr. D'Souza

My original email to him.

His second reply and my second response.

Update: Dinesh and I are now pen pals. I'll post his latest response sometime tonight.

Dinesh D'Souza caused 9/11

Dinesh D'Souza
Head Scribe, The House Of Scaife

Dear Mr. D'Souza,

I've been a big fan of your work since the eighties, back when you seized the English language for conservatism and made it safe to hurl racial slurs on campus once again. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to read your latest book, The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11. It was encouraging to see someone finally blame sexually permissive liberals for the acts of terror we experienced on that terrible day.

Sadly, my respect for you was shattered today when I learned that you are a hypocrite. You betrayed yourself when you allowed a reporter to see your carpet. Its leopard print design is the same as that favored by the most morally suspect Hollywood celebrities, stars like Liz Taylor, Rip Taylor, and Twiggy. Obviously, your carpet preference serves as proof that you suffer from some twisted need to engage in all manner of unspeakable acts of perversion--acts so vile, a very disgusted Jesus commanded Saddam bin Laden to take out the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

Someday, you'll pay for your perversity. I just hope God isn't politically correct, because I want to hurl slurs down to you as you toil in Hell.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

More exchanges with Mr. D'Souza

My His first reply and my first response to him.

His second reply and my second response.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Del. Hargrove discovers another use for his whacking stick

Frank Hargrove
Virginia House of Delegates

Dear Delegate Hargrove,

I salute you, sir. It takes a lot of courage to stand up on Martin Luther King Day and tell the brown people of your state that they just need to get over that whole slavery thing. That's especially true in these times when the white Christian male suffers from so much persecution.

That act alone is enough to earn you a spot in your local heritage appreciation society's Great Hall of Kleagles. But you didn't stop there; you went on to indict the Jews for murdering Jesus.

It was a shrewd move on your part. By doing so, you angered one of the Jewish delegates, causing him to accidentally betray their greatest weakness, a weakness you then immediately announced to the world: Jews have thin skin.

Now that you know their weakness, you can use it against them. All you need to do is take your brown people whacker--the stick you use to beat uppity brown people when they try to drink from your water fountains or complain about the deer heads you stuff in their mail boxes--and turn it into a Jew poker, just like the ones your ancestors used in the old country.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

A helmet tip to commenter ThomasAllen.

Giftcard balance?

Do you receive one of those visa gift cards for Christmas and don't want to hassle with the $4.27 balance left on it. Consider contributing to one of the Presidential candidates at the General's Act Blue site (I haven't contributed yet, because I'm waiting for my aluminum redemption check, but when I get it, I'll pony up too).

Blue Hampshire tells you how to check your balance.

Of course, I'm hoping that Our Leader uses his secret Article II powers to seize a third term, but if he'd rather go into retirement so he can watch cartoons full time, I'll settle for some other Republican.

That said, a Republican victory would be worth little if we did't defeat the most dangerous of our enemies, John Edwards and Al Gore. That's why I've placed them on my Act Blue Page. Our triumph will be all the sweeter if we defeat well funded opponents.

John Edwards is at the forefront in questioning Our Leader's New Economic Order. If he wins, our betters, people like Paris Hilton and Donald Trump, will no longer receive the governmental advantages so generously provided by Our Leader.

Al Gore is no better. His treason lies in his commitment to the words found on an ancient piece of paper called the Bill of Rights. He believes that such things as torture, the denial of habeas corpus,warrantlesss wiretaps, and even Our Glorious War to Resubjugate Brown People are criminal acts.

If you don't like these candidates,

Of course, you're always welcome to go the paypal donation to Jesus' General route (see sidebar) so I can get my Cheetoes on while I wait for that check.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The wussification of America

I think most of you know that I monitor Radio France to gather evidence of their sedition to use on The Great Day of the Rope. Well today, Sam Seder read the following story about Our Republican Lord and Savior and then spent the rest of his show mocking good, manly Christians like myself.

The strobe lights pulse and the air vibrates to a killer rock beat. Giant screens show mayhem and gross-out pranks: a car wreck, a sucker punch, a flabby (and naked) rear end, sealed with duct tape.

Brad Stine runs onstage in ripped blue jeans, his shirt untucked, his long hair shaggy. He's a stand-up comic by trade, but he's here today as an evangelist, on a mission to build up a new Christian man -- one profanity at a time. "It's the wuss-ification of America that's getting us!" screeches Stine, 46.

A moment later he adds a fervent: "Thank you, Lord, for our testosterone!"

It's an apt anthem for a contrarian movement gaining momentum on the fringes of Christianity. In daybreak fraternity meetings and weekend paintball wars, in wilderness retreats and X-rated chats about lust, thousands of Christian men are reaching for more forceful, more rugged expressions of their faith.

Stine's daylong revival meeting, which he calls "GodMen," is cruder than most. But it's built around the same theory as the other experimental forums: Traditional church worship is emasculating.

Hold hands with strangers? Sing love songs to Jesus? No wonder pews across America hold far more women than men, Stine says. Factor in the pressure to be a "Christian nice guy" -- no cussing, no confrontation, in tune with the wife's emotions -- and it's amazing men keep the faith at all.

"We know men are uncomfortable in church," says the Rev. Kraig Wall, 52, who pastors a small church in Franklin, Tenn. -- and is at GodMen to research ways to reach the husbands of his congregation. His conclusion: "The syrup and the sticky stuff is holding us down." John Eldredge, a seminal writer for the movement, goes further in "Wild At Heart," his bestselling book. "Christianity, as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men," he writes. Men "believe that God put them on earth to be a good boy."

Says Christian radio host Paul Coughlin, author of "No More Christian Nice Guy": "The idea of Jesus as meek and mild is as fictitious as anything in Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code.'"

At one point a patriot called in and took Seder to task for defending pink-tied girlymenislamunistofascists. Seder responded by asking if the man ever felt like he was becoming a little feminized, and, well, you have to hear the call for yourself. Here it is with a few photos and video clips added for your enjoyment:

Elsewhere: The argument over whether AM or FM draws the most Neanderthals continues.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Good wishes for Jane

Jane Hamsher is truely one of the nicest, most decent persons I've met through blogging. I wish I were a believer so I could pray for her tonight. Hopefully, my respect and friendship for her will serve in prayer's stead.

Immorality in our Northern Forests

Bryan Fischer
Idaho Values Alliance

Dear Pastor Fischer,

When I first read about Gov. Otter's plan to slaughter 85% of Idaho's endangered wolf population, I worried that he might not have the political muscle needed to pull it off. Sure, he has the backing of such powerful groups as the Idaho Woolgrowers and the Idaho Cattle Association, but what about our lord, Jesus Christ; where does He stand on the issue?

Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long before you stepped forward with the Lord's answer:

The Judeo-Christian tradition teaches us that man has a God-given authority to manage animal populations for the benefit of the human family, and Christian compassion directs us to use that authority to provide maximum protection from predatory animals to Idaho families who make their living through farming and ranching.

I'll have to admit that you had me a little worried there with all that franco-Jesus talk about compassion, but you later cleared it up with some good old angry God preaching from Leviticus:

The book of Leviticus contains part of the civil code for the ancient nation of Israel. In a section toward the end, God, speaking through Moses, identifies the results of obedience in the nation's life and compares them to the consequences of disobedience.

He says, "If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands...I will remove savage beasts from the land...But if you will not listen to me...and reject my decrees and abhor my laws...I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, (and) destroy your cattle ..." (Leviticus 26:3, 6, 14, 22)

In other words, one sign that a nation is operating under an open heaven and with the blessing of God is that its people will have little to fear from predatory animals. On the other hand, one sign that God is withdrawing his favor from a land due to its rejection of him is that the nation must once again confront the threat to life and livestock posed by predatory creatures from the wild.

I'm afraid, however, that you're letting the wolves off the hook here, at least as far as responsibility goes. Have you considered the possibility that the people's wickedness is something they've learned from the wolves? Think about it. Alpha male wolves take multiple wives. They're just as bad as the Mormons. What kind of example is that for our children? The sight of these alpha males engaging in adultery all over the woods has to affect them. If we don't wipe the wolves from Idaho's forests, we will be cursed with a generation of fornicators.

I hope you will consider adopting this message as part of your communication strategy on wolves. I think it would mesh nicely with all of your other messaging efforts.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

A helmet tip to commenter kt.

The Ballad of the Yellow Berets

By commenter Democommie:

The Ballad of the Yellow Beret
(to the tune of "The Ballad of the Green Berets")

We are tough, young Republicans
We fight with words (but never guns)
We show support by drinking beer.
But since we’re rich we’ll stay right here.

Chicken wings suit me just fine
They go so well with my yellow spine
I’ll ply my trade while you’re overseas
When you return, your job will speak Chinese

I’m like my grandpop and my dad,
Those terrorist bastards make me mad;
But I’m a Stanford B-school grad;
So I’ll not be going to Baghdad

Chicken wings suit me just fine
They go so well with my yellow spine
The poor man’s born to join the fray
I was born rich, I’ll get an MBA

I just can’t share the poor man’s fate
Cause at the Frat House hot babes wait
Just like Dubya I get “C’s”,
And like Dick, I got “Priorities”

Chicken wings suit me just fine
They go so well with my yellow spine
We strut like cocks in our “Old School” halls
We’re really hens, we’re lacking balls

Crossposted to Operation Yellow Elephant

Monday, January 15, 2007

MLK's other message...

is still just as valid today:

...I am as deeply concerned about our troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create hell for the poor.

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words:
    "Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism."


The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways.

In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war.

State Security Apparatus seizes potential terrorist weapons

State Security Apparatus shoots dangerous infiltrator armed with potential terrorist weapons.

State security apparatchik inspects some of the seized weapons.

Back by popular demand

The Fighting First Family

Sunday, January 14, 2007

War Blogs & War Powers: Playing Fast and Loose with the Lives & Liberties of Others

War Blogs & War Powers: Playing Fast and Loose with the Lives & Liberties of Others
Image © Austin Cline
Original Poster: National Archives
Click for full-sized Image

In the past, most right-wing bloggers seem to have been pretty firm in their rejection of the idea that more troops in Iraq would have made things better in the past and would help ensure success going forward. Now that The Decider has proclaimed the need for more troops, these same bloggers are becoming more supportive of the plan, if not downright enthusiastic. Yet given the extent to which our military has already been stretched in Bush's overseas adventures, where are the extra soldiers and support personnel to come from?

Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute has written, "The president must issue a personal call for young Americans to volunteer to fight in the decisive conflict of this generation" (emphasis added). Notice the language: for the ideological architects of this war, America is not involved in any mere "police action." This is instead an existential struggle for the future of Western Civilization – either America is victorious and Western values survive, or America fails and Western values succumb to the brown hordes.

Yet despite the dire consequences of losing this battle, one thing is conspicuously absent: any call for the war supporters to pledge life, fortune, and honor in the conflict.

The Chicken Hawk Argument has been around for a while, and war supporters have argued that just as one doesn't need to become a firefighter in order to support fighting fires, one also doesn't need to become a soldier in order to support a war. There is some validity to this response, though this validity has always been somewhat undermined by the fact that this conflict has consistently been portrayed as so vital to the future of America. There is no indication that fires themselves are becoming a danger to the survival of Western values. Now, added to this is the open admission that more troops are needed for the successful prosecution of this war. With that, the war supporters' answer to the Chicken Hawk Argument falls apart completely.

As Glen Greenwald put it: "A "coward" is someone who (a) fails to fight (b) in a war they consider to be necessary and just (c) notwithstanding their country's need for more fighters and (d) in the absence of a unique and compelling excuse for doing so."

Because war bloggers and war supporters still don't get it, he was forced to rephrase it again as an analogy: "if a person: (a) were arguing vociferously that the threat of unmanaged fires posed a danger to the Republic's existence and to civilization as we knew it, and containing them therefore outweighed all other issues, and (b) experts accepted as such by that person urgently warned that the fires have become impossible to contain -- and that the fate of our country is therefore seriously threatened -- due to a severe shortage of willing fire fighters, then, self-evidently, it would be natural and entirely legitimate to demand of that person a response as to why he himself is not acting to confront the fire threat, given that he himself characterizes that threat as civilization-endangering and more important than all others."

Since few if any of the most vociferous war bloggers and war supporters — our own "reciters of oracles and soothsayers, and all other omen-mongers" — are either volunteering themselves or calling up colleagues, friends, and family to volunteer, then we must conclude along with Greenwald that either they are too afraid to do what they are asking strangers to do, or they are disingenuous about the seriousness of the threat we are facing. At least, those are the two most logical options in a reality-based universe — but is that really the universe in which these war bloggers live? I'm not so sure — I wonder if perhaps there is not a third option.

Allow me to approach this from the other direction. War supporters like Kagan are not volunteering themselves or calling upon friends, family, and colleagues to volunteer (both Fred Kagan and his younger brother are of enlistment age). They are, however, willing to call upon complete strangers to volunteer — the above quote from Kagan is quite broad and impersonal. There is a strong parallel here with how often the far right will call for limitations to liberty which don't seem to affect them. Newt Gingrich, for example, would have Muslims arrested for praying in public on a plane, but coincidentally he's not a Muslim. Dinesh D'Souza calls for an end to the "abuse" of freedoms, but I haven't seem him volunteer to surrender any of his own civil liberties in order to support the war against terrorism.

There is a pattern here, and it's not one limited to just our current era or this particular conflict. Whites once called upon blacks to pursue a more "moderate" course of action and not push for too much equality too quickly. In effect, they called upon blacks to give up some of their claims to equality, but they didn't volunteer to give up anything themselves. Men used to insist that women should be satisfied with the power and authority they had in their homes and families rather than agitating for political power or a right to vote, yet the same men never offered to "settle" for anything less than what they wanted.

The common thread running through all of this is privilege: some people believe that because of some quality they possess, they should benefit from special privileges denied to others. Men should be privileged over women, whites should be privileged over blacks, Christians should be privileged over non-Christians, and of course well-to-do conservatives (usually, and not coincidentally, white male Christians) should be privileged over everyone else. This, then, might be that third option I mentioned above: these people are not quite cowards and they do believe in the seriousness of the threat, but they also believe that as part of a privileged class they shouldn't be expected to do any of the "heavy lifting" required for meeting such a threat. That's what the lower classes are for.

Some might even go so far as to suggest that their "ideological contributions," in the form of blog posts, short missives at The Corner, or policy papers for organizations like the AEI, are even more important than the contributions of soldiers patrolling the streets of the latest nation to come under American occupation. It is a "war of ideas," right? Democracy is an idea and an ideal, which makes the war blogs the most important weapon in the fight to spread democracy. It takes a lot of time and effort to find something written by someone else, quote a portion, and say "I agree." These bloggers risk missing the latest episode 24!

Just how far have we come that we might be tempted to look back fondly on noblesse oblige, or on the sense of duty of British aristocrats which caused them to join the military in order to defend Britain? Their sense of privilege and entitlement may have been extreme, but it didn't come without a corresponding sense of duty to the community and nation — a sense of duty which didn't necessarily keep them safe all the time.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Department of Book Reports

“I can’t believe they haven’t killed you boys already.”
-Merle Haggard, first time meeting Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm on Rainbow Farm, July 2000

This week’s selection, Burning Rainbow Farm (Bloomsbury, $24.95), by Dean Kuipers, is a riveting account of the siege of Rainbow Farm, that is also an indictment of the War on Drugs, it’s excesses, and a lamentation on the lives lost in it.

Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm began to implement their vision of a utopian campground in 1993. The 34 acre farm near Southwest Michigan was an outpost of a libertarian dream of marijuana’s promise of world redemption, “It’s an ‘alternative’ farm and whatever anyone wants to make of that, that’s what it is,” –Tom Crosslin said, and it was set amidst Church Camps along hidden lakes. They were not drug dealers; they just wanted to provide a place for folks to camp out on and hear music. These men did not hide their gay relationship, and the townspeople and police largely disregarded that aspect of their lives. Visiting childcare authorities pronounced the farm, with it’s remodeled Victorian farmhouse and animals, a wonderful place to raise a child. Tom was something of a local real estate mogul, at one time owning 52 rental and remodel-investment houses. The houses he remodeled were rented to working class families, often to his own construction crews, the hard-working locals who were unable to pass the piss tests required to work in the booming mobile home manufacturing industry. These properties would be sold over the years to finance the evolving dream of the farm. Rainbow Farm hosted some of the largest hemp fests in the country, and their voter registration drives had ensured a pro-marijuana initiative would be on the ballot. The weekend campouts would attract such celebrities as
Tommy Chong, Merle Haggard and Big Brother and the Holding Company and other hemp advocates.
Although local police knew the pair from high school days, and many of them attended the weekend fests out of uniform, Tom and Rolie’s successes drew the ire of the county prosecutor, Scott Teter.
Using strongarm tactics, county authorities kidnapped Rollie’s 12 year old son, Robert, after school, in May 2001, and finding sprouts of marijuana plants on the property, pressed charges of marijuana production and Teter began foreclosure proceedings on the utopian farm. Tom and Rollie could have fought the charges, but the loss of Robert unhinged them both. The overzealous county prosecutor then set into motion steps that would destroy the farm and both Tom and Rollie. County prosecutor Teter went after the men with all the force the War on Drugs could offer him. Anticipating they would be a no-show for their court date, he began paperwork that would bring in the F.B.I. and the D.E.A. Early on in the war on Drugs, confiscation rules had allowed for all properties to be seized in marijuana raids, aimed primarily at large cartels. But asset forfeiture had taken on new meanings for local authorities. States across the Union passed laws allowing them to keep the funds derived from such raids to fund their own departments. Teter went after Tom and Rollie’s elaborate campground estate. Tom vowed Teter could take the land, but that was all he was going to get.

Tom and Rollie had already called off the Labor Day Weekend Roach Roast. They told everyone to go away… and watch to the news.

The siege began Saturday morning, Labor Day Weekend 2001 and ended in Tom and Rolie’s deaths. Tuesday, September 11th was the morning of Rollie’s funeral. Robert in a private visitation hour, placed a wreath that said “To my best Dad ever- Robert”. The reporters that had swarmed Vandalia abruptly were called off and all attention was diverted to the attack on the Twin Towers. And subsequent investigations, led by Teter, cleared local authorities of any wrong doing, Kuiper’s own investigations have been frustrated with much information being witheld, due to ongoing wrongful death trials, even at this date, 5 years later.

“They murdered them boys plain and simple” said Pops in his deep Tennessee curl. “There’s no other way to look at it.”
-Pops Crosslin, Tom’s dad

If you have attended a well-run Hempfest in your local town, and noticed no acts of aggression or violence, enjoyed your afternoon in the counter culture, you owe thanks to Tom and Rollie, victims of the War on Drugs.

Dean was interviewed at Seattle’s Hempfest 2006 and the video is at the bottom of the media column. That was when he signed my copy of the book:
“To Tammy- This is for the music and the dream of freedom. Best, Dean Kuipers”

Burning Rainbow Farm is highly recommended by SeattleTammy, and is available at Jackson Street Books and fine Independent Booksellers everywhere.