The Least, First

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Gunmen prove Homeland Security right

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The Department of Homeland Security is formed ...

On April 7, the Dept of Homeland Security issued a report warning of the dangers of domestic terrorism from right-wing extremists.

Outraged, some leading conservatives demanded apologies and terminations.

A month later, the assassinations began.

Follow the story:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
April 7, 2009: The Department of Homeland Security releases a nine-page assessment document entitled “Rightwing Extremism […] [It] warned of “a heightened level of extremist paranoia” and “lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”
April 14, 2009: Former Speaker Newt Gingrich:

The person who drafted the outrageous homeland security memo smearing veterans and conservatives should be fired […]

April 14, 2009: Conservative commentator Sean Hannity intentionally misrepresents the focus of the assessment as targetting “people who have pro-life bumper stickers.”
April 14, 2009: Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin:

The “report” … was one of the most embarrassingly shoddy pieces of propaganda I’d ever read out of DHS. I couldn’t believe it was real. …By contrast, the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives.

April 15, 2009: House Republican leader John Boehner demands an apology from the Department of Homeland Security for the report.

May 31, 2009: Dr. George Tiller [killed in Wichita church] … suspect apprehended is a right-wing extremist […]

June 10, 2009: [Lone gunman opens fire at] U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum … suspected shooter is a right-wing extremist […]

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Far-right speakers have continually pooh-poohed the idea that their over-blown exaggerations could stimulate some to actual violence.
The evidence is on the table.

Enough. Time to stop crying “socialism” (Sarah Palin) andif somebody doesn’t stop him, America will cease to exist… and Obama is “the focus of evil” (Alan Keyes) and “… the tree of liberty will be fed with the blood of tyrants and patriots. You are the patriots.” (Rep. Michael McCaul). Time for Republicans to utterly reject demagogues and their hyperbole – for what right-winger would believe a Democrat’s plea?

Just as the world waited to hear from reasonable Muslims after 9/11, our nation should hear now from reasonable conservatives, who should be vigorous in their denunciations of the irresponsible, emotional, and self-serving claims of Limbaugh, Hannity, Gingrich, Palin, Malkin, Boehner and the lot.

Stop it. Tragedy has begun.

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That scary socialism

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Those who make their living by exaggerating have been on a tear lately. Socialism is the threat.  Talker Sean Hannity is especially apoplectic.

Columnist Bob Cesca has a brilliant idea: Hannity should spark a revolution—with right-wing pundits as co-revolutionaries—that casts off socialism’s tainted fruit.

Here’s the Cesca war plan:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Social Security Poster: old man
A Victim of Pernicious Socialism
Image via Wikipedia

I’m calling upon Sean Hannity to […] end American socialism now!

Refuse to send your kids to socialized public schools and universities; refuse to use socialized roads and highways; refuse to call upon socialized police and fire departments; shut down the socialized air traffic control; refuse to visit socialized national parks; tell grandma that her Social Security and Medicare checks will have to be sent back; demand the immediate dismantling of our socialized American military.

Sarah Palin and her supporters in Alaska should refuse all forms of “redistributed wealth” by sending back their checks from the socialized oil program there.

Send it all back. I’m sure the entire roster of [pundits] — Limbaugh, Scarborough, Hannity and the like — have already forgone their usage of these socialist services […]

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Uh-huh!

Was Joe McCarthy fifty years ahead of his time?


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Written by Monte

February 20, 2009 at 3:37 pm

What’s next, GOP?

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An exciting era of American history has begun.  Bipartisanship (even post-partisanship) is on the front burner.  The President is trooping down to the Capitol today to listen to Republicans.

Competence is in; cronyism is out.  Effectiveness is in; ideology is out.  Diplomacy is in; war is, well, less.  A new wave of young people have energized government.  A new wave of non-white participation has democratized government.

But the most powerful in the GOP read their recent trouncing as a sign that they’re not conservative enough.  As the thoughtful conservative David Brooks writes in the NY Times:

David Brooks

Image via Wikipedia

In one camp, there are the Traditionalists, the people who believe that conservatives have lost elections because they have strayed from the true creed. […]

To regain power, the Traditionalists argue, the G.O.P. should return to its core ideas: Cut government, cut taxes, restrict immigration. Rally behind Sarah Palin.

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are the most prominent voices in the Traditionalist camp […]

Only one thing is for sure: In the near term, the Traditionalists are going to win the fight for supremacy in the G.O.P. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

January 28, 2009 at 10:48 am

No one in this election is a true “leftist”

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UPDATE:  With election hoopla at full frenzy, I hear scare-words (like “socialist”) being thrown around.  Truth is, almost no one in American politics is genuinely left of center; nearly all fall into the center-right regions, including both of the remaining presidential candidates.

It seemed like a good idea to re-post this graph from the primary days. As you’ll see, this being America, we’re pretty much all capitalists.  Our “left” and “right” are merely debates about how much leash we give our capitalism.

Meanwhile, pooh-pooh the idea that Obama’s palling around over there next to Karl Marx. That’s a long, long ways from true. -M


Notice the old labels don’t work any more? Political Compass politicians Used to be that a fire-breathing politician could cry “LIBBRAL!” and everyone in the room would look shocked as linebackers near a penalty flag. Nowadays, no one looks up. Must be disappointing.

As The Political Compass points out, the old terms don’t express much helpful information:

The old one-dimensional categories of ‘right’ and ‘left’, established for the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789, are overly simplistic for today’s complex political landscape. For example, who are the ‘conservatives’ in today’s Russia? Are they the unreconstructed Stalinists, or the reformers who have adopted the right-wing views of conservatives like Margaret Thatcher ?

On the standard left-right scale, how do you distinguish leftists like Stalin and Gandhi? It’s not sufficient to say that Stalin was simply more left than Gandhi. There are fundamental political differences between them that the old categories on their own can’t explain. Similarly, we generally describe social reactionaries as ‘right-wingers’, yet that leaves left-wing reactionaries like Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot off the hook.
So, Political Compass stirred in a couple more ingredients, then made a test to sample views. Try it—it only takes a few minutes, and I’ll guarantee it will give you something to think about—at their web page.
And, if you’re curious, my results are after the break: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

October 14, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Politics

Frank Schaeffer’s “Open Letter to John McCain”

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Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin

Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin

Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin have gone off the rails with talk that arouses the worst instincts. The potential for tragedy is grave.

I was pleased to discover that Frank Schaeffer had written them a strongly worded rebuke. Orginally published in the Baltimore Sun, this reprint came from DemocracyNow!, and is part of an interview with Schaeffer there that I encourage you to read.  The emphases are mine. Here’s Amy Goodman’s setup:

Frank Schaeffer, bestselling author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back. He is the son of the late evangelist Francis Schaeffer and considered himself a lifelong Republican. He voted for John McCain in 2000, and McCain even endorsed one of Schaeffer’s earlier books on military service. On Friday, Schaeffer published ‘An Open Letter to John McCain’ in the Baltimore Sun.

Crazy for God

Crazy for God

An Open Letter to John McCain:

“John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as ‘not one of us,’ I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

“At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, ‘Kill him!’ At one of your rallies, someone called out, ‘Terrorist!’ Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee—an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.

Keeping Faith

Keeping Faith

“Shame!

“John McCain: In 2000, as a lifelong Republican, I worked to get you elected instead of George W. Bush. In return, you wrote an endorsement of one of my books about military service. You seemed to be a man who put principle ahead of mere political gain.

You have changed. You have a choice: Go down in history as a decent senator and an honorable military man with many successes, or go down in history as the latest abettor of right-wing extremist hate.

“John McCain, you are no fool, and you understand the depths of hatred that [surround] the issue of race in this country. You also know that, post-9/11, to call someone a friend of a terrorist is a very serious matter. You also know we are [a bitterly divided country] on many other issues. You know that, sadly, in America, violence is always just a moment away. You know that there are plenty of crazy people out there.

Stop! Think! Your rallies are beginning to look, sound, feel and smell like lynch mobs.

Francis Schaeffer, Frank's father, was a big voice in the previous generation of evangelicals

Francis Schaeffer, Frank's father, was a big voice in the previous generation of evangelicals

“John McCain, you’re walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out ‘Terrorist’ or ‘Kill him,’ history will hold you responsible for all that follows.

“John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.

Change the atmosphere of your campaign. Talk about the issues at hand. Make your case. But stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people—forever.

“We will hold you responsible.”

Strong words! But those are the kind of words that Christians are supposed to speak to power misused.  Would that the whole Church would say them.

Don’t forget the interview, here.


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Written by Monte

October 13, 2008 at 8:40 pm