Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hope for peace but examine their words

I was recently considering all the things said online since the last city council election. The following excerpts may be illuminating as to the intent and plans of the current City Council:

From How Hard is it to Fill Out a Mail In Ballot? (by Stephanie Baum, Mayor Baum's wife)
If you are like me, and love this city, and are horrified by the thought of a small, extreme group determining the economic future of our city...
I have to agree Stephanie - my worst nightmare has come true. So the protestations of good intentions by the new conservative majority kind of ring hollow.

From We Have an Ice Rink... and a Freeze on Hiring
Last I looked, there were job postings on the City of Longmont website for Seasonal Ice Rink Workers. The city council voted to keep the rink, but in light of budget constraints, enacted a hiring freeze. Wouldn't that mean that the city infact can't hire the workers to run the ice rink? Am I missing something here? 
Nope, you're not missing a thing Steph. In fact, one of Bryan's ardent supporters sums it up neatly:

Wow. So, if this is any indication at all, I think we can count on seeing staff cuts or at least all the furlough days being used. Nothing like balancing the books on the backs of the middle class - a standard corporate practice it seems.

From The New City Council is at it AGAIN
Every year the city grants hundreds of thousands of tax revenue dollars to Habitat for Humanity and Thistle Community Housing for low income housing development. Maybe the city should keep that money and do the development itself
Why, of course! Then the money could be funnelled into the pockets of their dear, dear friends like Dale Bruns. You remember him I'm sure, the front man for the 4C. I'm sure he's planning his next dream house right now - with your tax dollars, courtesy of Longmont's rightwing Lunatic Fringe - now in charge of Council.

An on the the topic of respect for potential candidates:
From For being a NASA Engineer, Juday is no Rocket Scientist
Juday, the consummate Socialist...
Ah, I love the smell of GOP jingo in the morning - it smells like... well... actually I don't like it. Especially when I'm convinced this is the attitude of our new Mayor.

and to hear the slogan 'Longmont is open for business' seems to ring a bit hollow in light of this post:

From: More Jobs in Longmont Might Not Be The Right Focus...
Longmont's unemployment rate sits right at 4% - perfect! If we start adding jobs, without increasing the population with which to fill those jobs, there will be a surplus of jobs - a bad thing!
Yep. If there's a surplus of jobs, then employees might have a choice - and in employer-owned Colorado, that's a 'bad thing' - workers are disposable comodities that can be made with unskilled labor, so are therefore, by definition, trash to the folks in charge. And don't you forget it you uppity bastards or we'll call in hired guns - again.

And there's more:
Yes, we want to attract more high tech jobs, but in doing do we must also find ways to make our city more attractive to a transient population so that they will choose to make Longmont their home rather than the surrounding communities.
'A transient population' ? Let's call that what it is - workers displaced by cuts elsewhere. The bottom line to the GOP is drive the economy down, lay off workers, start new businesses with even lower wages and hire only the truly desperate - then you can crush your competition by cutting your prices lower than theirs and never have to worry about your employees going elsewhere -make sure there's never a job 'surplus'. Ever.

And when it comes to raking muck, Ms. Baum is a genius - however she let slip her disdain for anything that comes from the creative sphere:

From Changes to Juday's Site
He now has a link on his website where he calls himself "A Scientist with Creative Ideas." I think he's getting "creative" confused with "socialist."
Ah, more of that fine, fine Jingo. Damn I just love the way she weaves that in. So 'creative' equals 'socialist' ? I'm sure all the folks that her husband has raised money for would find that attitude repugnant. Shhh. Let's not tell em.

Sometimes it's the things not said that are most revealing.
From:"One Nation...(pause...pause)...Indivisible, With Libery and Justice for All"

She castigates Richard Juday for having a link called 'Science and Creationism' by saying:
Well, Atheists don't believe in God so I guess when they pledge allegiance to their flag, they omit those words to be true to their ideals - that's my best guess anyway.
So... let me parse this... anyone that doesn't believe in Creationism is... (pause pause) ... an atheist? I'm very curious how our Mayor feels on this subject. Or is it just what they want their hard-working campaigners to think they believe the same way they do? Nothing like using the theocrats to support your purposes when it suits you. Sweet. And profitable too!

I also heard over and over and over and OVER again how the reason the right-wing attack sites were anonymous was because they were terrified that 'names would be listed' hmmm.

I give you: Juday's Hidden Blog
Note the long list of names.

Hm... so... let me get this straight... now that your tactics (that you claimed the Progressives were using) have given you control of Council we're supposed to shake hands, pat you on the back and hope for the best?

Right. Or should I say 'far lunatic fringe right'...

Keep an eye on the thermometer - when Hell freezes over I'll believe you and your crowd 'want the best for Longmont' - what you classify as 'Longmont' doesn't include anyone that opposed you - just shy of half the town.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

They Just Like to Blow Shit Up

The wingnuts are at it again - now they have a plan1 to slaughter all the prairie dogs - not with something as tame as poisons (heck the GOP thinks poisons are fine, as long as it's in food coming from China) but instead with exploding gas. I can almost hear the hillbilly howls of glee now: "Lookee thar Junior! That blowed up reeeaaal good!"

I can understand their eagerness too - with someone like Gabe Santos on council, they no doubt have a gigantic supply of (ahem) natural gas. Trouble is, the system2 they're looking at uses propane. Might take a few custom adapters to get it hooked up to our erstwhile councilman. Besides, flow-control could also be a problem, especially after some of the lunches he eats. But I digress.

Besides, the Dept of Agriculture tried em and they don't work:

"Gas exploding devices or anhydrous ammonia or other toxic gases have not proven to be safe, reliable or effective. The best studies have shown that oxy-acetylene or propane/oxygen mixtures injected for 45 seconds and then ignited only reduced ground squirrel populations by about 40 per cent and did so at a very high cost. Although no data has been generated on the effectiveness of anhydrous ammonia, there has been, at best, mixed comments on its use. Cost, practically, safety and labour are considered serious drawbacks to anhydrous ammonia fumigation."

So if it doesn't work for squirrels, the no-doubt hardier prarie dogs will likely be even less affected. More likely the lil varmints will turn the tables on our would-be extermination advocates and send them all sky-high when their boom-boom machine blows up in their faces.

However, I'm not sure that would be a bad thing... evolution takes a lot of forms3.

Go get em kids, mind the buried services while you're at it - please?

---
1.  Yes, another. I'm sure they're fantasizing about something to exterminate their opponents too...


2.  I omit the name because it's a pathetic jury-rigged POS with a hyper-macho name and a hefty pricetag. Fine to blow $ on this shit and let the city fall apart.


3.  And heaven knows they could use some evolving... especially to get rid of that monobrow...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

God is not a hit man

Using Psalm 109:8 as a veiled exhortation to kill the President isn't just hateful and ignorant, it's a willful misinterpretation of the Bible.

I know the religion-obsessed sociopaths (and you know who you are) out there think the Bible means just what they want it to mean, but antics like this just underline they're not about God or love.

Far from it.

The right wing in Longmont (and throughout America) are beating their war drums with one hand and short-stroking violent psychos with the other. They need to keep in mind that crazy people sometimes slip the leash and do unexpected and embarrassing things. Sometimes horrible things.

Mostly they just prove that organized religion can be a terrible negative influence (especially on the mentally imbalanced) when someone decides God is speaking through them and the 'bad people' must be punished.

It's time for the few decent people left in the GOP to stand up and denounce the raging hatred that the bigots have stoked in the small minds of the lunatic fringe. Will they do it? I doubt it - 'anything to win' is the new mantra of the GOP. I just wonder how much of their souls will be left by the end of the next election. I doubt they care either.

Monday, November 23, 2009

God Has Left the Building

By Sheila Samples
If you talk to God, you are praying; If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.~~Thomas S. Szasz, The Second Sin
Several months ago, CNN published the results of a couple of disturbing polls about Americans and their religious beliefs. The first found that more Americans are rejecting religion and thus, according to CNN, America is becoming "less Christian." The second, a Pew survey of only 742 mostly white evangelical Protestants, revealed that more than six in 10 of them believe that torture is often or sometimes justified.

More than six in 10? What this says about those claiming to be God's own is that perhaps they should use their Bibles for more than "thumping." Because not one in 10 -- not one in 10 thousand -- not one in 10 million -- Christians believes that torture can ever be justified. Ever.

Anyone who has paid attention to the growing number of evangelical zealots over the past couple of decades must be aware that there is a growing chasm between Religion and Christianity. Today, the term, "religious Christians" is nothing if not oxymoronic. It seems when folks become apocalyptic frothing-at-the-mouth religious, they ultimately stray from the light and life of Christianity, while descending deeper into the darkness and death of Religion.

Because, all religion is politics. CNN quoted Mark Silk of Trinity College, who said, "In the 1990s, it really sunk in on the American public generally that there was a long-lasting 'religious right' connected to a political party, and that turned a lot of people the other way." Silk cited the obvious link between the Republican Party and groups such as the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family.

Tony Perkins, the right-wing evangelical president of the Family Research Council, told CNN not to worry. He said people will return to their faith in droves; that soon, the decline will ease and religion will be an even greater part of people's lives. The good news, according to Perkins, is, "As the economy goes downward, I think people are going to be driven to religion." (emphasis added)

Yes, as more Americans lose their jobs, their homes, their very reasons for living, those like Perkins see them as Manchurian congregations -- flocks driven to religion like cattle -- bawling, shuffling, pushing, milling around with tags in their ears, looking for a leader. Even now, they can be seen in mammoth mega-churches, some with arms raised -- fists clutching at dead air -- others writhing in the aisles, moaning, begging for some "sign" from their rigidly religious God. Perhaps their panic stems from the instinctive knowledge that God, unable to get a word in edgewise, has left the building.

The conservative religious right is a frightening political force driven in its efforts to divide and conquer by greed, an insatiable lust for power, and an ideology of hate. Its members, unable to drag God down to their level, have no qualms about elevating themselves to what they perceive as His level. They succeed in controlling the flock because fear -- especially fear of God -- is a great motivator. They use God not only as a weapon against millions who stand between them and their goals of replacing democracy with theocracy and of controlling the worlds resources and its people -- but as a divine justification for the destruction they leave in their wake.

No one was more adept at giving God credit for his killing fields than former president George W. Bush, who openly bragged that God had hired him to remove evil from the face of the earth. "I trust God speaks through me," Bush said in 2004. "Without that, I couldn't do my job." And, even before that, in 2003, Bush tried to round up a "coalition of the willing" for his Iraq slaughter on God's behalf. According to Charleston Gazette editor James A. Haught, Bush told then French President Jacques Chirac that "Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse." Haught wrote...

"Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins."
But some presidents, such as Lyndon Johnson, were not so magnanimous. God got the blame, not the credit, for the Vietman atrocity. Ronnie Dugger, in his book, "The Politician: The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson," writes that Johnson told Austrian ambassador Ernst Lemberter in 1966 that the Holy Ghost regularly visited him..."He comes to me about 2 o'clock in the morning," Johnson said, "--when I have to give word to the boys, and I get the word from God whether to bomb or not."

Now, you don't have to be a Christian to reject the right-wing bull hockey that the God who appeared in a blinding flash of light and spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus has sunk to the evangelical depths where He emits not even a glimmer as He bends our presidents' ears on who to slaughter, urges televangelist Pat Robertson to ask a woman about her sex life, and is still deciding if He wants Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin to be president.

Christians should be lauded for rejecting modern-day Religion. When the God they are taught to love is either credited -- or blamed -- for all hell on earth; when they search in vain for Jesus, and finally find Him, hanging out in a secretive townhouse on Washington's C Street with the greedy, war-mongering gang who refer to themselves as "The Family," it's time to take a second look at the direction in which this nation is hurtling.

For years, conservative right-wingers have hidden out in the C Street "church," where they are free to conduct all manner of fraud and to carry on adulterous affairs. People who have sold their souls; who have no sense of morality, and who use God as a Trojan Horse to hide their political manipulations to replace both Democrats and Democracy are quite mad, you know. Right-wing evangelicals and neocon operatives are consumed with religious hate, not Christian love. Their modus operandi is, as Weekly Standard operative William Kristol said, "go for the kill."

And, those who are familiar with Kristol know he wasn't referring just to health care. Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition protege, the now disgraced Ralph Reed, dubbed in 1995 by Time magazine as "the right hand of God," was a master at evangelical politics, which he said was like Viet Cong-style guerrilla warfare. Reed said, "I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election night."

Anyone doubting the viciousness with which Reed would "go for the kill" should have a talk with Vietnam War hero and amputee Max Cleland, who not only found himself crammed into a body bag on election night 2002, thanks to Ralph Reed, but was in there with Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

But Reed and others are tyros when it comes to those most likely to cause Christians to reject religion -- those whom CNN failed to mention who incite violence by preaching sermons laced with politics, religion, racism -- and hate. Those like Tempe, Arizona's Steven Anderson, who has no college degree nor formal Bible training, but is qualified to preach because he "has memorized almost half of the New Testament." Anderson started his own church -- Faithful Word Baptist -- in 2005 on Christmas Day. A firey right-wing preacher, he's against homosexuality, liberalism -- and President Barack Obama.

In August, Anderson gave a breathtakingly vile speech entitled, "Why I Hate Obama," in which he said about President Obama, among many other things...

"Obama is a madman in control of this country."
"Obama is NOT my president."
"Obama mocks the Bible."
"Obama is a socialist devil murderer."
"I hope he dies and goes to hell."
"God looks down and says, 'Man -- I HATE that guy!'"

Anderson, and those like him, epitomize the breach between Religion and Christianity. The religious believe that God belongs to them. Christians know that they belong to God. It's that simple. Thus, CNN polls notwithstanding, America cannot become "less Christian" as a result of members of the flock jerking the tags from their ears -- and rejecting modern-day religion.