Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Happy Holidays

Here's an early Xmas present...for you!

"Two Opponents of Abortion Are Tapped for Senate Judiciary Panel"

Who?

Sam Brownback and Tom Coburn.

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!

Read the Washington Post article here.

"Hey. Who dey?"
While Coburn and Brownback will be the committee's newest Republicans, their records suggest they may rank among the most outspoken on abortion.

Coburn, an obstetrician, has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions. Last year, Brownback introduced the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, which would have required a woman seeking an abortion to be told that the fetus might feel pain and that it could be given an anesthetic.
Brownback is also a member of...The Fellowship.

Ho, ho, ho!
Brando

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Moyers, Part II

Another great excerpt from Moyer's recent speech at the Harvard Medical School. Because you, dear reader, are consumed with last minute shopping and thoughts of the big Laker/Heat game on Saturday:
A 2002 TIME/CNN poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that the prophecies found in the book of Revelations are going to come true. Nearly one-quarter think the Bible predicted the 9/11 attacks. Drive across the country with your radio tuned to the more than 1,600 Christian radio stations or in the motel turn some of the 250 Christian TV stations and you can hear some of this end-time gospel. And you will come to understand why people under the spell of such potent prophecies cannot be expected, as Grist puts it, "to worry about the environment. Why care about the earth when the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in the bible? Why care about global climate change when you and yours will be rescued in the rapture? And why care about converting from oil to solar when the same god who performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes can whip up a few billion barrels of light crude with a word?"

Because these people believe that until Christ does return, the lord will provide. One of their texts is a high school history book, America's providential history. You'll find there these words: "the secular or socialist has a limited resource mentality and views the world as a pie ... that needs to be cut up so everyone can get a piece." However, "[t]he Christian knows that the potential in god is unlimited and that there is no shortage of resources in god's earth ... while many secularists view the world as overpopulated, Christians know that god has made the earth sufficiently large with plenty of resources to accommodate all of the people."
Indeed!

Cheers,
Brando

(PS - Dear God, please provide me with a decent job by February.)

Monday, December 20, 2004

Holy Environmental Meltdown, Batman!

MANDATORY Bill Moyers...and a recent speech on the Religious Right, the environment and the Middle East.

Cliff Notes version: our friends on the Uber-Right do not care about the above mentioned thingees. In fact, they're psyched; planet decay and political unrest in the Middle East suggest...The Rapture.

You can read the whole speech here.

A few excerpts:
These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the 19th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative that has captivated the imagination of millions of Americans.

Its outline is rather simple, if bizarre (the British writer George Monbiot recently did a brilliant dissection of it and I am indebted to him for adding to my own understanding): once Israel has occupied the rest of its "biblical lands," legions of the anti-Christ will attack it, triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. As the Jews who have not been converted are burned, the Messiah will return for the rapture. True believers will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to heaven, where, seated next to the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents suffer plagues of boils, sores, locusts, and frogs during the several years of tribulation that follow.

I'm not making this up. Like Monbiot, I've read the literature. I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That's why they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers. It's why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelations where four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of man." A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed – an essential conflagration on the road to redemption.
Kick ass.

Cheers,
Brando

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Hmmm...

Interesting piece from former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter this morning here.

Some excerpts:
For months now, the Bush administration had been building up the image of a massive network of foreign terrorists using Falluja as a base for their terror attacks against targets associated with the interim government of Iyad Allawi and the US military which backs him.

One name appeared in western media accounts, over and over again: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a wanted Jordanian turned alleged "terror" mastermind. Almost overnight, Zarqawi's terrorist group, al-Qaida Holy War for Iraq, expanded its operations across the width and breadth of Iraq.

Al-Zarqawi was everywhere, his bombers striking in Mosul, Baghdad, Samarra, Najaf, Baquba, Ramadi and Falluja. Islamist websites published accounts of al-Zarqawi's actions, and the western media, together with western intelligence services, ran with these stories, giving them credibility. The al-Zarqawi legend, if one can call it that, was born.

The problem is, there is simply no substance to this legend, as US marines are now finding out. Rather than extremist foreign fighters battling to the death, the marines are mostly finding local men from Falluja who are fighting to defend their city from what they view as an illegitimate occupier. The motivations of these fighters may well be anti-American, but they are Iraqi, not foreign, in origin.

There is, indeed, evidence of a foreign presence. But they were not the ones running the show in Falluja, or elsewhere for that matter. As a result, the US-led assault on Falluja may go down in history as the tipping point for the defeat of the US occupation of Iraq.
You might remember Ritter. He was one of the few people who said, "Uh, there are no WMD's in Iraq, it was my job to find 'em, and they ain't there" BEFORE the war.

He was then ripped to shreds on FoxRushCNNHannity.

Cheers,
Brando