Friday, 04 April 2008

JOHN MCCAIN AND ROD PARSLEY

Ken Berwitz

Barring a major unforeseen event, John McCain will be the Republican nominee for President in 2008. 

Rod Parsley is an evangelical Christian, TV preacher and the leader of The World Harvest Church of Columbus (Ohio).

Rod Parsley is also completely against abortion (from conception on), anti-homosexual and extremely anti-Islamic.

But is Rod Parsley comparable in his relationship with John McCain to what jeremiah wright is to Barack Obama? 

That is the implication of countless leftward blogs over the past several weeks.  So let's examine it.

Here is an article published last month in the Times of London, which is lays the issues out for us.  I will explain my selective use of bold print further on:

March 13, 2008

John McCain told to dump spiritual guide in row over "war" on Islam

John McCain described Rod Parsley, a televangelist who urged a Christian war on Islam, as his spiritual guide

John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been called upon to renounce a church leader he considers his spiritual guide for urging a Christian war to destroy the false religion of Islam.

A number of prominent US weblogs demanded he reject the support of Reverend Rod Parsley, of the World Harvest Church of Columbus, an influential televangelist and political figure who campaigned alongside him in the run up to the Ohio primary.

On February 26, a week before the Ohio vote, Mr McCain appeared at a campaign rally in Cincinnati with the evangelical pastor, who praised the candidate as a strong, true, consistent conservative. With Mike Huckabee, a Baptist preacher, then continuing to snap at his heels, Mr Parsleys endorsement was a boon to Mr McCains efforts to knock out his last remaining challenger and win over social conservatives. Standing side-by-side with the minister, Mr McCain hailed him as a spiritual guide.

Since then, the writings of Mr Parsley have attracted attention from political commentators. Several have noted that Mr McCain's Democratic rival, Barack Obama, was forced to publicly denounce and reject the support of Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, after he received unsolicited praise from the controversial figure.

In a chapter titled "Islam: The Deception of Allah," Mr Parsley speaks of Allah as a demon spirit and urges "war between Islam and Christian civilisation". There is no difference between violent Islamist extremists and moderate Muslims, he argues.

I cannot tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is, he writes. In fact, I will tell you this: I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam.

I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.

It is not the first time that Mr McCains desperation to win over the religious right has landed him in trouble. The Republican had already angered Catholics by cosying up to John Hagee, the leader of an evangelical Texas megachurch who has described the Roman Catholic Church as the great whore and a false cult system. However the row did not prevent Mr McCain from storming to victory in all four March 4 primaries and laying claim to the party nomination.

Mr McCain had already been forced to dissociate himself from one speaker at the rally, a conservative talk radio host who repeatedly stressed Mr Obama's middle name "Hussein" as he introduced the Republican candidate.

Today, several liberal commentators called on Mr McCain to explain what he meant when he said Mr Parsley was his spiritual guide.

Steve Benen wrote on Crooks and Liars: Its unsettling, but in this political climate, its easier for a right-wing religio-political figure to get away with anti-Muslim animus than anti-Catholic.

He added: But if McCain is going to tout Parsley as a spiritual guide, its certainly worth learning more about where Parsley might guide the Republican nominee. .

A little disclosure is in order before continuing:

-I am not Christian;

-I think just about every "televangelist" I have ever seen is a blowhard who uses religion to prey on well meaning but gullible people;

-I have no problem whatsoever with people being homosexual.  That is their business, not mine;

-Albeit under limited conditions, I support a woman's right to abort her pregnancy as well as the concept that, because she is the carrier, the woman has to have the last word in that determination (I'll talk more about my full position on abortion in a later blog);

-While I despise and fear radical Islam, I do not despise or fear people who practice "moderate" forms of Islam from a live-and-let-live perspective.  The old and new testament are loaded with things I would be appalled to see in general society, as is the koran.  People take from religion what they want to take.

Now that you know all this, here is my opinion of the John McCain - Rod Parsley relationship.

-First of all, no matter how many times they lie about it, there is no quote from Mr. McCain is that Rod Parsley is his spiritual guide. 

I just spent time googling and searching site after site that has put things like "his spiritual guide", "my spiritual guide" etc. etc. etc. in quotations as if Mr. McCain actually said it.  NOT ONE of them references where the quote came from or what context it was made in.  Even the article I posted above does this by referring to his spiritual guide both above and below the correct a "spiritual guide" (see bold print);

Then we have the Columbus dispatch, which reported on the McCain/Parsley event before there was any political firestorm about it and therefore had no political axe to grind regarding Mr. McCain's actual comment.  It quoted him as saying Parsley was a "spiritual guide" with only "spiritual guide" in quotes. 

For the record, a spiritual guide is something I myself would call Parsley.  He is a spiritual guide for thousands and thousands of people.

Anyone who compares this to Barack Obama calling jeremiah wright HIS spiritual mentor - while having a deep personal association with him for almost 20 years as a pastor and then placing wright on his political team,  is knowingly lying to you.

It is right up there with the lie that Mr. McCain said he is ok with us fighting in Iraq for the next 100 years, which I debunked in previous blogs. 

The lies about John McCain just keep coming and coming;

-I find Rod Parsley highly distasteful and, frankly, dishonest.  I very much dislike the fact that John McCain associates himself with someone like Parsley - and that goes just as much for James Hagee, another intolerant religious blowhard opportunist that Mr. McCain has associated himself with.

However, I also accept the fact that this is part of running for the presidency.  All candidates, Barack Obama certainly included, are on stages and in photo ops with people both in and out of religion that make me sick.  Like it or not, that's the way things are.

So my bottom line here is that, as distasteful as Rod Parsley may be to me, John McCain's association with him comes under the heading of "you do what you have to do to win".  

I hope (I don't know, I hope) that Mr. McCain walks away from someone like Parsley feeling like he needs to take a shower, as I hope Barack Obama does when he walks away from some of the slimier characters he has to suck up to as well.

If John McCain decides to JOIN Rod Parsley's church and call him "HIS spiritual mentor (as opposed to, generally, a "spiritual guide"), I urge the people currently lying about the McCain/Parsley assocation to let me know.  I promise I will  beat up on Mr. McCain the way I beat up on Barack Obama for his non-bogus, real-life association with jeremiah wright.

Until then?  This sorry bunch will have to try another lie on me.  So far they're batting .000


FEDS TO SAN FRANCISCO: GIVE BACK THE $$$

Ken Berwitz

This is the last part of my blog, yesterday, in which I discussed San Francisco making itself a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens:

I'll make this as plain as I can:  Other than for health emergencies, if one penny of federal funding goes to the city of San Francisco so that they can happily accommodate illegal aliens who have no right to be here, it is one penny too much.

If San Francisco wants to disengage itself from the laws of the USA, it can do without my tax dollars as well.

Now, today, we have this from the San Francisco Chronicle.  I am showing you excerpts, but you can read the entire article right here.  The bold print is mine:

Feds want $5.4 million back from S.F.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The U.S. Department of Justice wants San Francisco to repay $5.4 million in grant money earmarked to help fight the war on drugs in states bordering Mexico because federal auditors found the city was not eligible for the funding.

San Francisco had sought the grant under the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative, which compensates law enforcement agencies in California and other border states for the costs of handling prosecutions in lieu of federal authorities.

As of March of last year, the city claimed it had handled more than 2,241 such cases, but a federal audit released this week found that none of the cases had been referred by federal officials to District Attorney Kamala Harris' office as required under the program.

The audit found that the cases the city cited in its application should have been "disallowed" as "unsubstantiated" under the government's grant criteria.

City officials contacted Thursday were unable to explain the circumstances surrounding San Francisco's application for the grant or how it spent the funds.

Harris' office would not make the top prosecutor available on Thursday for an interview about the audit, and Derryck declined to answer questions about the report findings or the 2,241 cases in the city's application for federal funds.

Mayor Gavin Newsom's office, in a statement provided by spokesman Nathan Ballard, also acknowledged that city officials know about the report and are working "cooperatively with the Department of Justice to resolve any issues the audit raises."

Federal authorities said the grant program, created in 2000, awarded border states a total of $30 million in the past fiscal year. In addition to going to the San Francisco district attorney's office, funds from the program also helped defray the costs of jailing and defending criminal suspects in the city whose cases the city listed in its application as federally generated.

As a sanctuary city, San Francisco is committed to not assisting federal authorities in immigration-related cases. While some border-related crime might involve illegal immigrants, border law enforcement agencies have long been able to bill federal authorities for many other crimes not related to illegal border crossings.

Good.

Give it back.  And don't expect another red cent. 

As far as I'm concerned, until San Francisco rejoins the United States of America and abides by our laws, all federal funding of EVERY kind should be summarily ended. 

Enough is enough.  This is more than enough.


WRIGHT IS RIGHT?

Ken Berwitz

You had to know this was coming.  You had to see it a mile away.

Sooner or later some LAMB*** was going to do a piece on how justified jeremiah wright was in his hateful rantings.

You just knew that there eventually would be a "think piece which said something like "why, they aren't hateful rantings at all, they're just the truth.  After all ______________ " (you can fill in your own material here, it will make as much sense as anything you'd find in the piece, even if you just insert a recipe for blueberry muffins).

The piece I am featuring today comes to us from someone named David Sirota.  He is, according to the accompanying mini-biography,

...a bestselling author whose newest book, "The Uprising," will be released in June of 2008. He is a fellow at the Campaign for America's Future and a board member of the Progressive States Network both nonpartisan organizations.

You have to love the Campaign for America's Future and the Progressive States Network being described as nonpartisan.  For the record, here are the first two paragraphs of the Campaign for America's Future's "About Us" page:

We live in a remarkable political moment: precarious, yet potentially transforming. At the Campaign for Americas Future, our daily work is to bring about the progressive transformation.

After three decades of conservative dominance in American politics, we Americans are threatened with economic disintegration, environmental devastation and international
isolation.

Now who could possibly find anything partisan in that?

And then we have the Progressive States' Network.   Just click here to see who is involved with it.  You will find a bunch of unions, ACORN, People for the American Way,  the UC-Berkeley Center for Labor Research, etc. etc. etc.  It is about as non-partisan as an Obama campaign rally.

Ok.  So now that we see that the description of Sirota's affiliations is a total lie, let's look at what he has to say about jeremiah wright.  In the interests of keeping this blog a managable size, I am only posting excerpts.  But you can find the entire article by clicking here - and I hope you read it all:

Is Wright Right About Racism?

Since the 1960s, bigotry has undergone an aesthetic makeover. Today, the most pernicious racists do not wear pointy hoods, scream epithets and anonymously burn crosses from behind masks. They don starched suits, recite sententious bromides and stage political lynchings before television cameras. For proof, behold the mob stalking Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

Wright has long delivered fiery (and occasionally outrageous) sermons, to little fanfare. Now, though, a gang of thugs is inflicting a guilt-by-association blow to Obama by excoriating his spiritual adviser for three specific declarations.

Sean Hannity, Fox News' own George Wallace, turned a fire hose on Wright for his church's focus. "[The church] is all about the black community," Hannity thundered, claiming that means Wright supports "a black-separatist agenda."

Pat Buchanan billy-clubbed Wright for saying, "God damn America." The MSNBC commentator, who avoided the draft, implied that Wright, a former Marine, lacks sufficient loyalty to country. Out of context, Wright's exclamation was admittedly offensive. But remember: It punctuated a speech about segregation. Buchanan, nonetheless, unleashed, deriding "black hustlers" and insisting descendants of those "brought from Africa in slave ships" owe whites a thank you. "Where is the gratitude?" he asked.

Fox's Charles Krauthammer berated Wright for saying the 9/11 attacks were "chickens coming home to roost." Krauthammer labeled the pronouncement "vitriolic divisiveness" despite our government acknowledging the concept of "blowback" or retaliation Wright was referencing. The CIA knows that when it supports foreign dictatorships, there can be blowback from radicals. While blowback is often immoral and undeserved, its existence is undisputed. Yet, Krauthammer alleged that Wright takes "satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents."

In promoting the Wright "controversy," most media outlets joined this mob and embraced "colorblind racism," says Duke University's Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of "Racism Without Racists."

It is polite pinstriped prejudice shrouding bigotry in feigned outrage against extremism the operative word being "feigned." After all, John McCain solicited the endorsement of John Hagee the pastor who called the Catholic Church "a great whore." Similarly, according to Mother Jones magazine, Hillary Clinton belongs to the "Fellowship" a secretive group "dedicated to 'spiritual war' on behalf of Christ." She is also friendly with Billy Graham, the reverend caught on tape spewing anti-Semitism. But while Wright's supposed "extremism" blankets the news, McCain and Clinton's relationships with real extremists receive scant attention.

Why is it "controversial" for one pastor to address the black community, racism and blowback, but OK for another pastor to slander an entire religion? Why is it news that one candidate knows a sometimes-impolitic clergyman, but not news that his opponent associates with an anti-Semite? Does the double standard prove the dominant culture despises a black man confronting taboos, but accepts whites spewing hate? Does the very reaction to Wright show he's right about racism?

Wright probably expected this brouhaha. He says our government is "controlled by rich white people" and our culture afflicted by racism. Though these statements are also deemed distasteful by the Establishment, they are truisms. You can see their veracity in the collected portraits of white millionaires commonly called the congressional photo directory. Or, just turn on your television and watch the mob continue stoking the Wright "controversy.".

It's hard to know where to begin.  This "nonpartisan" activist has crapped on damn near everyone except wright.  And this isn't even the entire article (again, please link to it and read every word).

In these few paragraphs we have learned that:

-jeremiah wright's critics are pernicious racists and stalkers.  That would include me.  And, yes, besides finding it imbecilic I find it enormously offensive;

-wright's critics are thugs going after him for three specific things he has said.  Funny, I recall going after him because he has been preaching "Black liberation theology" for decades;

-Sean Hannity is equivalent to george wallace.  Moronic.

-pat buchanan "billy-clubbed" wright....I won't go further here, because (just as a broken clock is right every once in a while) I agree with Sirota's disdain for buchanan;

-Charles Krauthammer is written off as being from Fox and nothing else.  Forgetting for a moment that it is perfectly acceptable to be associated with Fox, Mr. Krauthammer is also a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post and a Pulitzer Prize winner.  The dog must have eaten Sirota's notes on him;

-Next we have the equivalency ploy.  John McCain sought out reverend john hagee's endorsement and Hillary Clinton has good things to say about Billy Graham (I'll help out here - so does McCain). 

There you have it:  getting one distasteful clergyman's endorsement or saying something good about Billy Graham (which every President of BOTH parties has done since I was in my pre-teens) is equivalent to Barack Obama being umbilically tied to wright for almost 20 years and calling him his "spiritual mentor".  Same thing.

-Oh yeah, and if you disagree with wright maybe YOU are the racist.

If Barack Obama is judged on his long-term, loving association with the hate-endowed racist jeremiah wright, he certainly has brought that judgment on himself.  If he is the nominee it will cost him a great many votes.

And the "nonpartisan" (I can't stop being amused by that) support of folks like David Sirota?  Let's just say that it isn't going to get those votes back. 

---------------------------------------------------------------

***Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade


TROOP SURGE UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Here, via excerpts from the Associated Press, via USA Today, we have the latest intel on how things are going in Iraq.  You can read the entire article by clicking here:

 
Intel report shows security in Iraq improving
 
WASHINGTON (AP) A new classified intelligence assessment on Iraq says there has been significant progress in security since the last assessment was delivered in August, a senior military official said.

In most ways the new National Intelligence Estimate hews closely to the one delivered nine months ago. That document spoke of security gains since the increase in troop levels began in January 2007, the continued high rate of violence and uneven progress on the part of Iraqi security forces.

"It does not differ significantly from August's NIE," a congressional official said in describing the document.

Since the August report, Sunni tribes have solidified their resistance to al-Qaeda-associated insurgents in Anbar and Diyala provinces, which has weakened the movement.

The report does not take into account the recent battle in Basra, the unruly Shiite port city in the south, according to another congressional official.

The central government's recent attempt at cracking down on lawless militias there, especially those that profess loyalty to firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, could be a turning point for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government in Baghdad. Maliki, also a Shiite, abruptly dispatched his interior ministry and military forces to Basra last week to confront the militias and assert Baghdad's authority over the area.

In a departure from the January and August 2007 intelligence estimates, the intelligence agencies have declined to release an unclassified summary of its key points. National Intelligence Director Michael McConnell decided last fall that NIEs should not as a rule include an unclassified section because he believes analysts are less likely to be forthright in their writing if they believe the language will become public.

Late Thursday, Democratic Sens. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, called for McConnell to release a summary, saying in a letter that the information "is critical to the public debate in the coming weeks and months."

It's a bit hard to follow this report, since the headline and first paragraph give a far more positive indication than the second, which suggests things are not appreciably different than they were months ago.

Maybe this is because the reports months ago were made to look more negative than they actually were.  You be the judge.

In any event, the progress is undeniable.  And this leads to an interesting situation, based on the fact (and it is one) that media have been vastly more likely to report bad news about Iraq than good : 

-If things were bad we would be hearing about Iraq every day in a negative light.  This would help the Democratic candidate, whether Clinton or Obama, over John McCain who supports the war;

-Since things are going significantly better we are not hearing about Iraq every day in a positive light.  This helps the Democratic candidate, whether Clinton or Obama, over John McCain who supports the war.

For Democrats, therefore, it is a classic case of  "heads I win, tails you lose" against John McCain.  And they owe it all to our wonderful media.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


LET THE UN DO ITS WORK (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

"Let the UN do its work"

How many times did we hear that during the lead-up to our inasion of Iraq?  And how many people were jobbed into believing that the UN would actually do something effective? 

Well, in case there is anyone left who thinks the UN should be left to "do its work", allow me to show you an example of what happens when it does.

This comes to us from the Associated Press, via the International Herald-Tribune.  I am showing the key excerpts, but you can read the entire article by clicking here:

Arabs, Muslims battle US, Europeans over free speech at UN
Tuesday, April 1, 2008

GENEVA: Arab and Muslim countries defended Tuesday a resolution they pushed through at the United Nations to have the body's expert on free speech police individuals and news media for negative comments on Islam.

The U.S. and other Western nations warned that the Muslim-backed resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council could curtail freedom of expression and help dictatorial regimes block dissenting views.

"The resolution adopted attempts to legitimize the criminalization of expression," said Warren W. Tichenor, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva.

The statement proposed by Egypt and Pakistan, which passed 32-0 last week at the council, seeks to impose "restrictions on individuals rather than to emphasize the duty and responsibility of governments to guarantee, uphold, promote and protect uman rights," Tichenor told the 47-nation body.

The resolution was the latest move initiated by the Arab and Muslim countries dominating the council to protect Islam from religious hatred and defamation. Islamic groups have been demanding limits on free speech ever since a Danish magazine published caricatures of Muhammad, provoking riots across the Islamic world in 2006.

Muslim countries also have cited the recent release of an anti-Islamic Dutch film and the Pope's controversial comments on the religion in demanding tighter controls on free expression.

The council has no enforcement powers but is supposed to act as a moral conscience. Last week, it adopted a separate resolution urging countries to enact anti-defamation laws specifically to protect Muslims.

Pakistan's ambassador, Masood Khan, speaking on behalf of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, denied the resolution would limit free speech. It only tries to make freedom of expression responsible, he said.

Egypt's Ambassador Sameh Shoukry said there was a growing trend to erode human rights law, permitting "some of the worst practices that incite racial and religious hatred."

The New York-based Human Rights Watch condemned the amendment.

"It turns someone who is supposed to defend freedom of opinion into a prosecutor whose job is to go after those who abuse this freedom," Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said.

Please take special note of that phrase I put in bold print - the one about the Arab and Muslim countries which dominate the UN human rights council.  How nice of them to demand that the rest of the world say only what they want to hear about Islam. 

And be aware that these countries are not alone - they have kindred spirits in the non-Muslim world as well. Illustratively, some of the council members are paradigms of human rights such as China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Cuba - among others.

So, bottom line, we have the UN human rights council petitioning for a curtailment of freedom of speech.  On what grounds?  On the grounds that they don't like what is being said. 

Fascinating, since if the only speech allowed were what everyone liked hearing, freedom of speech would be irrelevant altogether.

Let the UN do its work?  Well, there's some of its work.  Still think that's a good idea?


KEITH OLDERMANN

Ken Berwitz

A few days ago I blogged about the sickeningly obnoxious age-baiting that keith olbermann was using to attack (71 year old) John McCain.  Sarcastic "humor" about whether he uses "Depends" probably stops the show over at moveon.org headquarters, but most decent people think it is beyond pathetic.

It would be nice if MSNBC did too, but apparently they don't.  olbermann doesn't appear to have been reprimanded in any way for his McCain/age material.  Lucky for him McCain isn't working for Barack Obama.

The reason I bring this up today is that I have just read about keith olbermann's live-in girlfriend.  Her name is Katy Tur, and it is broadly suspected that olbermann is helping her secure a news-reporter job of some kind with a local New York TV station.

What makes this interesting is that Katy Tur is 24 years old.  keith olbermann is 49 - more than DOUBLE her age.

So let's see:  if olbermann can make snide "old guy" jokes about a man who is 22 years older than he is, what do you suppose Katy Tur says about olbermann, who is 25 years older than she is?  I can think of a bunch of them (and I bet she has too), but I'm trying to keep at least an R rating for the blog, so I'll keep them to myself.

Is Tur there because olbermann's connections can get her a job?  Or does she have a Lewinsky-like fetish for men old enough to be her father?  Maybe it's some third possibility.

But whatever it is, maybe olbermann is in no position to be doing age attacks against John McCain.


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