Sunday, January 30, 2005

"I'm a Republican" - A Bit of Doggerel

Oh, I'm a Republican
I got a small schling
I like to bomb niggahs
and make a lot o' bling

I got a bunch o' friends
in high up places
They helps me get dem
government graces.

You think I'm smart
I just know who's who
I couldn't run a fruit stand
without the red white & blue

I fancy myself
A brilliant tactician
But neither me nor m'buddies
Could even pass basic trainin'

See, I'm above all that
A fightin' and shootin'
I just say "Sic em!"
Then run the other direction

Don't need no history
Don't need no schoolin'
I got my ideology
To keep me a shootin'

If I get caught screwin'
Or tellin' wicked lies
"Hypocrisy!" I holler
And that justifies the crimes

Liberals! Faggots!
Commies and queers!
Socialist hippies
Full o' pussy tears!

I'll drop some crap
about Jesus the Christ
You'll buy it all
and vote for me twice

'Fact, Jesus is comin'!
Real soon, now!
So we gotta prop up Israel
That ol' sacred cow

Propaganda's m'friend
But I calls it "fact"
Even though I don't read
'Cept for Chick tracts

Facts? No! Don't need em here!
We're conservatives! We work on FEAR!
Don't like what we say?
Well FUCK YOU, bud!
We'll shove it down yer throat
and tell ya it's good!

Catalog of Current and Recent Republican Criminality

Here's a list of current and completed investigations into criminal activity by the GOP over the past four years. And for those that think "they're all corrupt", there are no similar charges or investigations against any Democrat at the national level. Anywhere. Yes Virginia, the GOP is criminal and the Democrats are not. The facts are so startling that it is almost impossible to believe.

"Partisan!" I can hear someone shout. Perhaps, but I'm ok with that when it's true.

* There is a grand jury investigation into the leaking of the name of then-undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the media by "senior White House officials". John Ashcroft recused himself from the case, and the investigation has so far centered on the Office of the Vice-President.

* Bush's Medicare scam and the circumstances that led the administration to lie to Congress about the cost of that legislation is under investigation by the Health and Human Services Inspector General's office.

* Bribes offered on the House floor to Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.) in exchange for his vote on Bush's Medicare plan are under investigation by the House Ethics Committee and the Justice Department.

* Republican staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee are being investigated for stealing thousands of confidential memos from Democratic staffer's computers, a matter that has now been referred to the Justice Department for a criminal probe.

* In 2000, now Attorney General John Ashcroft was found by the Federal Election Commission to have broken campaign finance laws when he accepted $110,000 in what were determined to be illegal contributions.

* An investigation into House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's criminal fundraising schemes in Texas -- which allegedly used corporate funds to help state GOP lawmakers -- is already before a Texas grand jury. DeLay has notified his colleagues that a grand jury indictment is possible, and that he may be forced to step down as Majority Leader.

* Republican Connecticut Gov. John Rowland resigned from office after facing a criminal investigation and an impeachment proceedings after he lied about prominent state contractors and several government aides paying for refurbishments to his lake-front cottage. He was also involved in a failed loan plan involving $220 million in state funds.

* California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was found guilty of violating state campaign finance laws. The state has a $100,000 cap on candidate loans; Schwarzenegger loaned himself over $4 million in the closing days of his campaign.

* Former Rep. Bill Janklow (R-S.D.) was convicted of vehicular manslaughter after running a stop sign and killing a motorcylcist.

* There are several investigations into criminal activities by Halliburton Co., including:

- A Justice Department "inquiry into whether Halliburton Co. was involved in the payment of $180 million in possible kickbacks to obtain contracts to build a natural gas plant in Nigeria during a period in the late 1990's when Vice President Dick Cheney was chairman of the company". (Newsweek, Feb 4 2004)

- An SEC investigation is underway into $180 million worth of bribes paid by Halliburton subisidary Kellogg, Brown, and Root to the government of Nigeria for gas contracts also during a period when Dick Cheney was chairman.

* Also under Cheney's leadership, Halliburton was found by the Treasury Department to have done business with both Iran and Iraq during a period when both nations were under US and (in the case of Iraq) UN sanctions.

* The forged documents that led Bush to inaccurately claim that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium from Niger are under investigation by both a Senate committee and the FBI.

* John Korsmo, Bush's choice to chair the Federal Housing Finance Board, is the target of an ongoing Justice Department criminal probe related to his political fundraising activities and their subsequent cover-up. The scandal cost Korsmo his career; he was forced to resign from his position in March 2004.

* The Texas GOP's decision to seek assistance from the FAA to track down Democratic lawmakers fleeing the state to deny a legislative quorum was the subject of two formal inquiries -- one from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the other from the Department of Homeland Security.

* The General Accounting Office ruled that the White House broke two federal laws when they used $100 million in public funds to pay for the broadcast of "video news releases": fake news pieces which contained false information about the alleged benefits of Bush's Medicare plan.

* The Treasury Department's inspector general's office has launched a "preliminary" investigation into whether officials were misused to calculate data for GOP talking points on John Kerry's tax proposals.

* The Federal Election Commission fined the National Republican Congressional Committee after it determined that the GOP illegally transferred donations to outside independent groups for assistance in the 2000 campaign. The NRCC was fined $280,000.

* There are both Senatorial and military investigations into the torture and murder that occured at Abu Ghraib prison, in military prisons in Afghanistan, and the military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A legal memorandum drawn up in August of 2002 by White House legal counsel sought to provide a legal basis for the torture, effectively placing the president above the rule of law. More recently, two-star Army General George Fay requested that he be replaced with a more senior officer because he is not high enough in rank to interview everyone necessary (military procedures forbid lower ranking officers from interviewing more senior ones.)

A History of Clinton, Bush, and Terrorism

Wherein a long list is given to provide supporting evidence for the proposition that the Clinton administration was effective and competent, and that the Bush administration is evil, short-sighted, destructively reactionary, and a bunch of nasty poo-poo heads.

  1. A mere 38 days after taking office, the World Trade Center is attacked for the first time. Clinton captures and imprisons Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, and Wali Khan Amin Shah.

  2. January 1994: Clinton's first crime bill provides for stringent anti-terrorism measures, as does the more specifically targetted Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Clinton also requested and received funding for sponsoring simulated terrorist attacks to test the effectiveness of municpal response teams.

  3. July 1996: Congressional Republicans object to Clinton's proposed expansion of the intelligence agencies wiretap authority. Newt Gingrich tells Fox News Sunday: "When you have an agency that turns 900 personnel files over to people like Craig Livingstone... it's very hard to justify giving the agency more power."

  4. September 1996: Republicans in Congress refuse all of Clinton's requested counterterrorism spending. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): "The administration would be wise to utilize the resources Congress has already provided before it requests additional funding."

  5. Summer 1998: Clinton issues series of top secret directives to the CIA authorizing the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and several of his top lieutenants.

  6. August 1998: Alleged chemical weapons factories in Sudan are bombed. The bombings are met with bipartisan approval: "The President did exactly the right thing. By doing this we're sending the signal there are no sancturies for terrorists." -Newt Gingrich. Richard Clarke, counterterrorism expert under both Bush and Clinton, testifying before the 9-11 commission, on the bombing: "To this day, there are a lot of people who believe that it was not related to a terrorist group, not related to chemical weapons. They're wrong, by the way. But the President had decided in PDD-39 that there should be a low threshold of evidence when it comes to the possibility of terrorists getting their access -- getting their hands on chemical weapons. And he acted on that basis."

  7. Paul Bremer to the Washington Post on Clinton: "he correctly focused on bin Laden". "Overall, I give him very high remarks" - Robert Oakley, Reagan counterterrorism czar.

  8. Economy prospers, crime is down, abortions are down, and teenage pregnencies are down. Clinton, however, very concerned about the "growing threat of terrorism".

  9. August 2000: Bush says "If called on by the commander in chief today, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report, 'Not ready for duty, sir.'" Proceed to kick the crap out of Afghanistan the following September.

  10. October 2000: USS Cole is attacked by suicide bombers, killing seventeen sailors and wounding 39 others. Clinton decides to leave any response to the incoming Bush administration.

  11. Winter 2000: Sandy Berger briefs Condolezza Rice on al Qaeda. Later NSA Rice denies then confirms that this meeting took place.

  12. Richard Clarke lays out the whole Clinton al Qaeda plan; NSA Rice likes him so much she decides he should stay.1

  13. January 2001: Outgoing Clinton officials say "The Bush team thinks we're obsessed with terrorism".

  14. February 15: Former US Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman issue a report that warns "mass casualty terrorism directed against the US homeland is of serious and growing concern". Recommends the creation of a National Homeland Security Agency.

  15. April 30: Clarke presents plan to fight al Qaeda and to start a National Homeland Security Agency. Gets floated around the office, but is more or less ignored.1

  16. May: The Bush administration gives $43 million to the Taliban in an attempt to convince them to quit growing and exporting opium.

  17. July 10: FBI agent sends headquarters a memo concerning some middle eastern students learning to fly who have no interest in taking off or landing.

  18. July: Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet warns NSA Rice that a major attack on American soil is probably imminent.

  19. August 6: George Tenet delivers to the vacationing Bush a memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.", saying al Qaeda is planning on hijacking planes and possibly attacking New York. No action is taken. The next day Bush tells the press pool "I've got a lot of national secuirty concerns that we're working on - Iraq, Macedonia, very worrisome right now."

  20. August 16: INS arrests Moussaoui, saying he's "the type of person who could fly something into the World Trade Center".

  21. August 25th: Bush still on vacation. Clarke's memo of fighting terrorism still sitting around, waiting for his attention. Bush tells press "Spot's a good runner. You know, Barney-terriers are bred to go into holes and pull out varmint. And Spotty chases birds. Spotty's a great water dog. I'll go fly fishing this afternoon on my lake." Later builds a nature trail.

  22. Feeling the heat in August about an "imminent terrorist attack", acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard requests an additional $58 million in anti-terrorism funding from the Department of Justice.

  23. September 5: Eight months after Rice had been briefed, and 11 months after Clinton suggested Bush create it, Clarke's plan finally reaches the principals comittee. Bush is back from his month-long August vacation. Cheney, Rice, Powell, and Rumsfeld decide to advise Bush to adopt Clarke's plan with a phased in approach. They wait several days before they put it on his desk.1

  24. September 9: The Senate Armed Services Committe recommends shifting $814 million from missile defense to anti-terrorism funding. Secretary Rumsfeld informs the Senate that he will recommend the President veto this.

  25. September 10: Ashcroft sends his budget request to Bush. Includes spending increases in 68 different programs, none of which deal with terrorism. Ashcroft passes around a memo to his department of his seven top priorities, again terrorism isn't on the list. Acting FBI Director Pickard receives Ashcroft's official denial for Pickard's request for more anti-terrorism funding.

  26. September 11: Using hijacked airliners, Saudi and Egyptian members of al Qaeda attack the World Trade Center and Pentagon, killing thousands. Another hijacked airline crashes to earth in eastern Pennsylvania, apparently brought down as part of a battle between the hijackers and the passengers. Military moves to DefCon 3, all domestic flights are grounded.

  27. September 11-15: Some 142 Saudi nationals, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, are allowed to fly out of the country.

  28. November: Clinton's "defunct, cut, non-battle ready military" kicks the crap out of Afghanistan.

  29. Military is so dismantled it prompts Lawrence J. Korb, director of national secuirty studies at the Council of Foreign Relations, to say after the Iraq invasion "[t]he fact of the matter is that most of the credit for the successful military operation should go to the Clinton Admnistration."

There will, of course, always be those who close their eyes to inconvenient facts, but even for these unfortunate people a day will come when the evidence becomes to much of a burden for their conscience to ignore. For the good of us all let us hope their desire to act upon the truth outweighs their desire to defend those whom they believe are their allies.


1Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies (New York: Free Press, 2004)

Christian Reconstructionism - The Foundation of Modern Conservativism

"He presses the crown rights of the Lord Jesus Christ in every sphere, expecting eventual triumph."

Christian Reconstructionism is a little heard of religious philosophy that preaches that every aspect of society must come under biblical law. In their view, secular governments are in opposition to the word of God, and therefore they seek to eliminate all legal barriers between church and state. Founded in 1973 by R.J. Rushdoony, it has had wide influence in the modern Republican party. The overriding goal of Reconstructionism is the absolute control of the reigns of government so that the world may be properly prepared for Jesus's return, and that achieving this goal will demonstrate the fulfillment of God's will. (Link)

There are five principles of Christian Reconstructionism, summarized here:

First, Reconstructionists believe that God should be at the center of every activity, not just spiritual ones. Faith should be applied to art, education, and politics "no less than to church, prayer, evangelism, and Bible study."

Second, Reconstructionists are theonomists (theonomy: "God's Law"), meaning that laws are only righteous and just when they follow what the Bible -- primarily the Old Testament -- says. Law should serve three purposes:

  1. To make other people Christian
  2. To provide a standard set of rules for all Christians
  3. to maintain civil order.

This has several frightening implications. Reconstructionists believe that non-Christian religions will be suppressed, that women will have their
political rights stripped away, and that a return to slavery would be fulfilling God's will.

Third, Reconstructionists do not try and rationally come to a conclusion about whether the Bible is true or not. They believe in its infallibility regardless of evidence or reason. The Bible, being (they believe) the word of God, is above questioning. Similar to fundamentalist Muslims who believe the only book of any import is the Koran, Reconstructionists believe the Bible is the ultimate arbiter in all disputes, minor or major.

Fourth, Reconstructionists believe in the imminent return of Christ and a kingdom in his name will be established. The Left Behind series of books by Daniel LaHaye are a good summation of this belief. This ties into their literal interpretation and absolute belief in the Bible: some interpretations of the book of Revelation in the Bible purport to predict such a future. Due to their belief that the world must first be prepared for Jesus's return, they zealously pursue their political

Finally, Reconstructionists are Dominionists. In the context of modern America, this means "[t]hat every area dominated by sin must be 'reconstructed' in terms of the Bible. This includes, first, the individual; second, the family; third, the church; and fourth, the wider society, including the state. The Christian Reconstructionist therefore believes fervently in Christian civilization" (Link).This belief has its origins in Genesis 1:6: "Let [humankind] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." The overriding goal of dominionism is the
absolute control of the government and environment, and that achieving this goal is the fulfillment of God's will.

Political Conflicts Explained

Much of the modern conservative agenda ties in closely with Reconstructionist beliefs, and are frequently in lock-step with them. Some examples:

Welfare - Reconstructionists believe that the state has undermined the church by many of its duties, specifically aid to the poor, indigent, and those unable to provide for themselves. Tom Albrecht, an avowed Reconstructionist, summarized this belief in a Usenet posting as follows:

The purpose of the state, on the other hand, is to be a minister of justice (Rom 13:1ff). It alone is given the sword of power to inflict vengeance on those who would violate the law of God as expressed in the laws of the state.

In our society the state has, to a large extent, usurped the "gracious" role of the church by involving itself in areas that are the exclusive domain of the church or family; ministries to the poor and needy, education of children, etc. This is a form of paganism in which the state becomes god to many people under its ever expanding sphere of influence.

Environmentalism - Obviously if you believe that a divine entity has given the Earth to you for you to use as you will, you will be angered at those who seek to stand in your way. Further, environmentalists have a view of the future that conflicts deeply with the apocalyptic visions of Reconstructionists, leaving (they believe) no room for Jesus, the kingdom, and so forth. Taken together, it is easy to see why Reconstructionists hold a special animosity towards environmentalists.

Civil Liberties - Liberty and freedom are not terms that appear very frequently in Reconstructionist writings, since so much of Reconstructionism is in direct opposition to the principles of freedom.

Death Penalty - Since the Hebrew scriptures have many offenses whose punishment is death, Reconstructionists are staunch supporters of the death penalty. They feel the death should also be given to adulterers, blasphemers, heretics, homosexuals, prostitutes, witches, abortionists, idolaters, etc., as proscribed by the Old Testament.

Slavery - There is debate among Reconstructionists about whether or not slavery should be reinstituted, but the fact that the debate even exists is telling in and of itself. Women in particular would have their status reduced to that of a slave.

Evolution - Since evolution flatly contradicts a strict interpretation of the creationist story told in Genesis, they are in deep opposition to it.

Income Taxes - For Reconstructionists, income taxes are antithetical to Old Testament teachings, and are therefore to be eliminated. Further, lowering the income received by the government will hasten a crisis which, they believe, will allow them an opportunity to replace much of the existent federal government with a more theocratic state.

Moderate Republicans - More traditional Republicans have a view of the state much different from their Reconstructionist counterparts, and are therefore sidelined by much of the Republican elite.

Israel - The nation of Israel ties heavily into Reconstructionist thinking, being the place they believe Jesus will first physically appear after his return. Further, since they believe that the Jews are ultimately doomed, they give little thought to the humanitarian violations visited upon the Palestinians by the Israeli government. Their only concern insofar as Israel is concerned is to make sure it continues to exist as a state until the Rapture comes.

Iraq - Iraq (Babylon) also plays a large role in their eschatology, supposedly destined to become a neutral player in world affairs, and a focal point of the events that occur during the end-times (Link). They are therefore staunch supporters of the war in Iraq, and are hypothesized to have been influential on Pres. Bush in his decision to go to war.


Reconstructionists would be of less concern if it were not so widely influential in American political circles. Rep. Tom DeLay, Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, Rep. Ron Young, Sen. Sam Brownback, and others are all supporters of the Reconstructionist agenda. Pres. Bush's policies are more often than not in total synchrony with Reconstructionist desires, and he has been energetically embraced by them. Most of the current administration's policies can be tied together under a common thread when looked at as an execution of Reconstructionist thought, and this is truly frightening for Americans of all religious traditions.

Reconstructionism is an abhorrent religious philosophy to those who value liberty, justice untainted by religious fervor, and a secular democratic form of government. Reconstructionism is based upon a twisted interpretation of the Bible, and gives little thought to putting the words of Jesus into action. It varies very little in its goals and practices from the brand of Islamic fundamentalism forced upon the people of Afghanistan by the Taliban -- a totalitarian religious
order, doling out justice according to their twisted interpretations of a religious text, and forcing the people to believe as they do or suffer violent consequences. They give no thought to the lessons learned by humanity throughout its bloody history, believing that all lessons were codified thousands of years ago when the Old Testament was penned, and that nothing new has been learned since. Further, it preaches that the highest morality is to spread the word of God, and that whatever means are used to get to that end are fully justified.

Further reading:

Christian Reconstructionism - A general description and history

Fanatics of the far right - Older article describing the interplay between high government officials and various Reconstructionist groups

Christian Reconstruction - Copy of a post made to soc.religion.christian
Christian Reconstructionism, Dominion Theology, And Theonomy

Operation Potomac - How Reconstructionists are taking advantage of the current trend towards "faith based" charities

Status Report: Wormwood to Screwtape

My dear Uncle Screwtape,

It is with the greatest pleasure that I write to you today. Our successes of late have been many and profound, and your advice has helped further our cause immensely. As Our Father Below requested, I have compiled a list of our recent successes and victories. It is difficult to express in words how excited I am at our prospects.

  1. We have convinced the Christians in the most militarily powerful nation on the planet to support our causes. The greatest success of this venture has been in convincing the leadership that they are in fact doing the Enemy's work, not ours. Without their energetic support we never would have achieved so much.

  2. Support for war among the Christians is at an all time high. It tickles me to no end to write that sentence. Christians, supporting war! It was not too long ago that such an utterance would have been unthinkable. We have quietly convinced them that they are, in truth, warring against the Muslims of the world, and that their very existence is dependant upon such support. Our agents amongst the Muslims have already achieved great successes, and now the lessons we learned with those people are paying off with similar success in our efforts against Christians.

  3. Support for torture among Christians is now a reality! My dear Uncle, despite our occasional differences I must say that your advice on how best to achieve this was absolutely indispensable. We have successfully played upon their xenophobia, although we would not have been so subtle in our justifications had it not been for your excellent guidance.

  4. The most egregious lies are now supported and even encouraged amongst and by the Christians. We have managed to show them how the lessons learned from marketing and selective editing can twist the truth to their own cause, and they have most willingly taken it up as their own. Since for them the end justifies the means, there is no lie they will not willingly tell themselves or others. They even think themselves clever whenever they successfully lie in such a manner, and take pride in it.

    They take pride in their lies! Ecstasy, dear uncle!

  5. Our extensive communication networks have convinced the Christians that the only morality of any value is hatred (rarely called that, of course; they find the word distasteful) towards both homosexuals and liberals. The abandonment of disinterested love has allowed gains in other areas, specifically the support of war, murder, torture, and other acts which bring us such joy. All other morality has taken a backseat. They still speak with great vigor about worshipping the Enemy, but this of course concerns us little. Their actions are what are important to us.

  6. Finally, and perhaps our greatest success: we have brought into being an apocalyptic mythology which has completely distracted them from the realities immediately before them. Our precious fool LaHaye has seen untold success in the market, and has brought many under our fold. His followers have been so blinded by fear, hate, and shallow scholarship of the hated Book that mere contemplation of the notion that our Greatest Agent now occupies the White House is deeply taboo. (You can be sure that we are quick to mock, vilify, and suppress any who even suggest the truth!)

In short, dear uncle, Our Father Below is right to be pleased with our progress. We have turned the Enemy's own people against him, and done so while simultaneously fooling them into believing they are doing His work. A more masterful stroke has never before been accomplished, and they are further than ever from the clutches of our Enemy. Fear is a wonderful tool.

Your affectionate nephew,