Oct. 23, 2004

Without a Doubt...The Mind Of Bush

Without a Doubt: "Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that ''if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.'' The nature of that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion." continued.......

843 ex-soldiers fail to report for Army duty - Oct 22, 2004

Well, well, well....... It would seem that the bullshit is finally hitting the fan. Widespread revolt against Bush's Big Mistake. CNN.com - 843 ex-soldiers fail to report for Army duty - Oct 22, 2004: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than 800 former soldiers have failed to comply with Army orders to get back in uniform and report for duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Army said Friday. That is more than one-third of the total who were told to report to a mobilization station by October 17. Three weeks ago the number stood at 622 amid talk that any who refused to report for duty could be declared Absent Without Leave. Refusing to report for duty normally would lead to AWOL charges, but the Army is going out of its way to resolve these cases as quietly as possible." continued.....

Oct. 22, 2004

If You Are Christian.....

Because of a deep and growing concern about an emerging "theology of war" in the White House, the increasingly frequent language of "righteous empire," and official claims of "divine appointment" for a nation and president in the "war" on terrorism, I have joined with several theologians and ethicists in writing the following statement. A climate in which violenceis too easily accepted, and the roles of God, church, and nation too easily confused calls for a new "confession" of Christ. The statement names five key points of Jesus' teachings, while rejecting false teachings that nullify his message. It has been signed by more than 200 theologians and ethicists many of them from theologically conservative seminaries and Christian colleges. We are in it with you and ask that you send it to friends and present it to your church if you resonate with its concerns and convictions.Confessing Christ in a World of Violence Our world is wracked with violence and war. But Jesus said:"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matt. 5:9). Innocent people, at home andabroad, are increasingly threatened by terrorist attacks. But Jesus said: "Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44). These words, which have never been easy, seem all the more difficult today.Nevertheless, a time comes when silence is betrayal. How many churches have heard sermons on these texts since the terrorist atrocities of September 11? Where is the serious debate about what it means to confess Christ in a world of violence? Does Christian "realism" mean resigning ourselves to an endless future of "pre-emptive wars"? Does it mean turning a blind eye to torture and massive civilian casualties? Does it mean acting out of fear and resentment rather than intelligence and restraint? Faithfully confessing Christ is the church's task, and nevermore so than when its confession is co-opted by militarism and nationalism.- A "theology of war," emanating from the highest circles of American government, is seeping into our churches as well. - The language of "righteous empire" is employed with growing frequency.- The roles of God, church, and nation are confused by talk of the American "mission" and "divine appointment" to "rid the world of evil."The security issues before our nation allow no easy solutions.No one has a monopoly on the truth. But a policy that rejects the wisdom of international consultation should not be baptized by religiosity. The danger today is political idolatry exacerbated by the politics of fear.In this time of crisis, we need a new confession of Christ. 1. Jesus Christ, as attested in Holy Scripture, knows no national boundaries. Those who confess his name are found throughout the earth. Our allegiance to Christ takes priority over national identity. Whenever Christianity compromises with empire, the gospel of Christ is discredited.We reject the false teaching that any nation-state can ever be described with the words, "the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." These words, used in scripture, apply only to Christ. No political or religiousleader has the right to twist them in the service of war. 2. Christ commits Christians to a strong presumption against war. The wanton destructiveness of modern warfare strengthens this obligation. Standing in the shadow of the Cross, Christians have a responsibility to count the cost, speak out for the victims, and explore every alternative before a nation goes towar. We are committed to international cooperation rather than unilateral policies. We reject the false teaching that a war on terrorism takes precedence over ethical and legal norms. Some things ought never be done - torture, the deliberate bombing of civilians, the use of indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction - regardless of the consequences. 3. Christ commands us to see not only the splinter in our adversary's eye, but also the beam in our own. The distinction between good and evil does not run between one nation and another, or one group and another. It runs straight through every human heart.We reject the false teaching that America is a "Christian nation," representing only virtue, while its adversaries are nothing but vicious. We reject the belief that America has nothing to repent of, even as we reject that it represents most of the world's evil. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). 4. Christ shows us that enemy-love is the heart of the gospel.While we were yet enemies, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8, 10). We are to show love to our enemies even as we believe God in Christ has shown love to us and the whole world. Enemy-love does not mean capitulating to hostile agendas or domination. It does mean refusing to demonize any human being created in God's image.We reject the false teaching that any human being can be defined as outside the law's protection. We reject the demonization of perceived enemies, which only paves the way to abuse; and wereject the mistreatment of prisoners, regardless of supposed benefits to their captors. 5. Christ teaches us that humility is the virtue befitting forgiven sinners. It tempers all political disagreements, and it allows that our own political perceptions, in a complex world,may be wrong.We reject the false teaching that those who are not for the United States politically are against it or that those who fundamentally question American policies must be with the "evil-doers." Such crude distinctions, especially when used by Christians, are expressions of the Manichaean heresy, in which the world is divided into forces of absolute good and absolute evil.The Lord Jesus Christ is either authoritative for Christians, or he is not. His Lordship cannot be set aside by any earthly power. His words may not be distorted for propagandistic purposes. No nation-state may usurp the place of God.We believe that acknowledging these truths is indispensable for followers of Christ. We urge them to remember these principles in making their decisions as citizens. Peacemaking is central to our vocation in a troubled world where Christ is Lord. Take action: Share this important theological statement with your friends, family, pastor, and church! Use the button below to send this critical message - signed by more than 200 theologians and ethicists from across the theological spectrum - to as many people as possible. Spread the word that as Christians, our allegiance to Christ takes priority over any national or political identity: Tell a friend about this issue of SojoMail at: http://go.sojo.net/sojourners/join-forward.html?domain=sojourners&r=ydqJel51ajGS

Oct. 21, 2004

Yahoo! News - THE CASE AGAINST BUSH

Yahoo! News - THE CASE AGAINST BUSH PORTLAND--George W. Bush has been a busy boy these past four years. Because his Administration's policies are so radical and his attempts to change our country so far-reaching, it is sometimes difficult to remember them all. Here's a summary of why Bush and his gang of bloodthirsty corporate goons must go; voters may take them along to the polls to help them cast their ballots. 1. He stole the 2000 election. Voting to "reelect" an illegitimate commander-in-chief who seized power by judicial coup d'├ętat is a tacit endorsement of how he got into the White House in the first place. How the U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) ruled in Bush v. Gore is irrelevant. As a federal court, the five runaway Supreme Court justices had no right to agree to hear the case. Under our system of government, elections--and election disputes--fall under state jurisdiction. Their decision to take the case, the way they fixed the outcome in Bush's favor, and Bush's willingness to assume the presidency extraconstitutionally are outrages that no patriotic American, even if they agree with his policies, can forgive. 2. He politicized 9/11. During the early days after the attacks on New York and Washington, a stunned nation came together to mourn, and to assess the motivations of the 19 men who despised us so much they were willing to commit suicide as mass murderers to drive home the point. Rather than channel our newfound solidarity into positive initiatives, however, Bush used 9/11 to push for the USA Patriot Act,..... continued

Blog Interrupted (washingtonpost.com)

Blog Interrupted (washingtonpost.com): "Blog Interrupted When Jessica Cutler put her dirty secrets on the Web, she lost her job, signed a book deal, posed for Playboy -- and raised a ton of questions about where America is headed By April Witt Sunday, August 15, 2004; Page W12 The instant message blinked on the computer at Jessica Cutler's desk in the Russell Senate Office Building. 'Oh my God, you're famous.' Before she could form the thought -- 'famous, cool' -- or puzzle how she, a lowly mail clerk, had escaped obscurity, a second instant message popped up on her screen. Startled, Jessica recalls, she began to curse."

The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket

The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket: "The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket The agency is withholding a damning report that points at senior officials. Robert Scheer 10/19/04 'ICH' -- 'Los Angeles Times' -- It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago. 'It is infuriating that a report which shows that high-level people were not doing their jobs in a satisfactory manner before 9/11 is being suppressed,' an intelligence official who has read the report told me, adding that 'the report is potentially very embarrassing for the administration, because it makes it look like they weren't interested in terrorism before 9/11, or in holding people in the government responsible afterward.' When I asked about the report, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said she and committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sent a letter 14 days ago asking for it to be delivered. 'We believe that the CIA has been told not to distribute the report,' she said. 'We are very concerned.' " continued....

David D. Smith (Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO) Charged with Sex Crimes

Eschaton: "Republican Values Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania) August 17, 1996, Saturday, SOONER EDITION David D. Smith, president and chief executive officer of Sinclair Broadcast Group, was arrested this week in his hometown of Baltimore and charged with a misdemeanor sex offense. Sinclair owns WPGH, the Fox affiliate in Pittsburgh, and programs most of WPTT. The Baltimore Sun reported that Smith, 45, was arrested Tuesday night in an undercover sting at a downtown corner frequented by prostitutes. On Thursday night, Sinclair issued a statement that Smith's arrest was unrelated to company business and ''The company will continue to operate under the direction of its current management.'' ...more "

PIPA Bush Supporters Still Believe Iraq Had WMD

PIPA - What's New: "Bush Supporters Still Believe Iraq Had WMD or Major Program, Supported al Qaeda" Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.