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Saturday, October 01, 2005

He rather looked like he'd been caught in a time warp, circa 1973: the "Prince Valiant" disco haircut; navy blue dockers, not yet threadbare; a seeming Ralph Lauren knockoff or second shirt, navy blue with a "USA" emblazoned across the chest, American flags on both (white) collars, and "USA" across the back. There was a small flag-embroidered patch on his left shoulder, at the bicep/deltoid interface. He wore cheap, brown loafers.

He was of indeterminate age, except that he was somewhere in his thirties, perhaps. He was holding his pamphlets and shuffling slowly back and forth across the driveway with a whippet-thin woman, her rosary beads in hand -- the beads were cheap, plastic, pseudo-jewels -- her lips were constantly moving, soundlessly; there was a stack of seemingly-hand-collated pamphlets, with a sepia-tint photo of an aborted fetus lovingly paper-clipped to each one in her other, non-rosary hand. Her face was furrowed with deep worry lines, and a sort of perpetual expression of having just bit into a lemon, thinking it had been an orange.

And they didn't like me.

They seemed to be operating on the Chicago method:


A Description of the Chicago Method:

When you approach the pregnant woman and her escort, say, "Excuse me. Are you going to the medical center here? Did you know about the medical malpractice lawsuits against this place?"

Give the pregnant woman and her escort factual information about the specific abortuary they are about to enter. Repeat this information until it produces the desired effect of disturbing them. Develop visual aids, such as a sheet that summarizes the malpractice lawsuits against the mill, especially the abortion-related lawsuits. Newspaper articles about scandalous conditions in the abortion mill are also helpful.


It is important to meet potential turnaways as far away from the abortuary door as possible. Walk up the sidewalk or street to meet them whenever you can. The closer the pregnant woman gets to the abortuary door the greater the temptation is for her to rush past you and go in. This is especially true if she is being led in by a deathscort or boyfriend.
And I was the "deathscort."

They were angry. The anger etched their faces. And I, as the personification of their pique, was the object of most of it. Through the morning, I blocked, ran interference and otherwise frustrated their efforts. Only one pamphlet was handed out, to a young Hispanic husband, who was trying to be polite.

It didn't do any good. Later, when I went inside, I noticed that it was in the plastic wastebasket in the waiting room.

As confrontations went, it was a wash.

They had girded their loins with Jesus. I was fortified, on the other hand, by my Walkman and a pair of mirrored sunglasses. I was wearing my day-glo orange "escort" plastic lobster bib.

They marched, waiting for victims. Waiting to potentially convince a pregnant woman not to go through with the abortion.

The first woman's car drove up and entered the lot as they were discussing strategy at the other end of the sidewalk. They had missed her completely. This seemed to anger them still further. They cast furtive glances in my direction, as if I had somehow magically engineered the stealth car.

They never knew when I was looking, and assumed that I couldn't hear them. They were wrong, of course. Several times, I surreptitiously turned off the Walkman and listened to them conspiring in front of me.

It wasn't really worth listening to, so I turned the radio back on for good. And Rouge sang the middle-eastern-tinged "Hey Mr. DJ." The morning progressed, threatening to rain, threatening to clear. It did neither.

No matter. They made not a dent, although they did manage to bring one girl to tears. She wasn't wavering in her decision; she was just distraught that, already having made a very difficult decision, these emotional vultures, these self-appointed guardians of morality and the "culture of life" had managed to slip some very ugly words to her before she could flee into the sanctuary of the clinic.

Funny, I didn't see them at the war protest last week. I guess it's a selective "culture of life" (although, to be fair, a LOT of Catholic priests showed up in D.C. last Saturday).

But what the heck. Father Frank Pavone is on a roll since the Terri Schiavo circus. Heck, he even managed to deliver the homily at the Schindler family's "dueling funerals" service.

But, in a little-noted afterthought to the Schiavo 'controversy,' Pope Joey Rats created the Missionaries for Life order:

"A daily review of religion and the press, published at the Department of Journalism and the Center for Religion and Media at New York University.

Antiabortion Order
31 March 2005

The Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, a new, explicitly political, order of Catholic priests which will dedicate itself exclusively to fighting abortion and euthanasia, has been formed this week with the blessing of the Vatican. The male-only order will be based in an empty Catholic high school on the property of the Diocese of Amarillo in Texas and will train priests and seminarians, as well as lay activists, to lead demonstrations outside abortion clinics, conduct voter-registration drives, lobby politicians for abortion restrictions and make use of the media to spread a pro-life message. Order founder Father Frank A. Pavone, who also directs the antiabortion group, Priests for Life, says that the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life differs from other pro-life Catholic religious societies because it is the first church-established apostolic society for priests to concentrate solely on these issues.
No one seems to grasp the profound hypocrisy at the root of a males-committed to celibacy group being founded to oppose the choices of non-celibate women.

But that doesn't bother Pavone. Indeed, as we've reported earlier, Fr. Frank Pavone was an anti-abortion zealot a full decade before his ordination as a priest. I think his priorities speak for themselves:

Posted by Andrea K Rufo at April 9, 2005 02:52 PM

April 09, 2005
The Progressive Counter-Mission: Resuscitating Women's Bodies and Choices from the Religious Right

The death of Pope John Paul II, and the debate of Terri Schiavo alone have lead people to question where religion and questions over life decisions are headed. Enter the new society devoted to and designed for fighting euthanasia and abortion: the male-only Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. The new organization emphasizes that its purpose is to focus more on politics, and to be active instead of "contemplative." The way to do so includes holding voter-registration drives, lobbying to lawmakers, giving press conferences, using the media to promote their message, and to stage demonstrations outside abortion and family planning offices -- the latter of which has already begun.

The male-only organization, which may or may not be limited to priests (they claim to already be receiving upwards of a couple hundred correspondences from young men interested in joining) will be run by Fr. Frank Pavone, who has gained recent attention for his active involvement in the debate over Terri Schiavo. He was referred to as the Schinlder family's Spiritual advisor, and was the priest who conducted the funeral Mass for Schiavo, in which his homily focused on both the late Pope John Paul II and the importance of promoting and protecting the "culture of life." Fr. Pavone is also the head of Priests for Life, an association of anti-abortion priests, which employs both questionable tactics (they are sincerely devoted to publishing and passing out images of aborted fetuses at clinics, online and anywhere else possible) and questionable information (their web site contends that there is never an instance when an abortion is necessary to save a woman's life). Prior to the incident in Florida, Fr. Pavone again gained media attention by spending his time out (not so subtly) stumping for Bush and other conservative candidates for the 2004 election (despite the fact that Kerry is actually Catholic), under the belief, that "any candidate who supports abortion has no right to hold any kind of public office."


"Though there is much in Fr. Pavone's history and rhetoric for one to be disturbed. He was a founder of the American Coalition of Life Activists, who were best known for targeting 13 physicians across the country who performed abortions, calling it the "Deadly Dozen" campaign. He's advocated breaking anti-trespassing laws to protest abortion clinics, and over the past year alone, in his capacity as both the head of Priests for Life, and Spritual Advisor to the Schindler family, Fr. Pavone has managed to declare a plague on all our houses. Seriously, he really has characterized the battle against abortion and euthanasia as one where "the church finds herself battling a plague as spiritually fatal as any she has ever fought before -- the plague of the culture of death." In a 1994 interview prior to the election, Fr. Pavone Pavone asserted that Roe v. Wade, ushered in an era like the Nazi Holocaust. He has compared pro-choice supporters to supporters of terrorism. And in March, after Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed, made two bizarre and bothersome comments, first stating, "I don't want members of the public looking over their shoulders I want the yobs looking round in fear," and then later following up with, "For those who are worried and feel passionate about the 'right to die,' I wish to give them an assurance -- you won't miss out."
Which brings us to another quaint Catholic rite, handed down to us from the Middle Ages: the Red Mass, which will be held, most prominently, tomorrow, in Washington, D.C., in the St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral, where former Chief Justice and national disgrace "Wild Bill" Rehnquist's funerary festivities were held a couple weeks ago, with new Chief Justice and enigma John Roberts as a pallbearer. Rehnquist's funeral was given a waiver, since, as a Lutheran a Catholic cathedral seemed odd. It was pointed out in various justifying sound bites that Rehnquist had always attended the Red Masses.

You can catch some of it on TV:



Sunday, October 2
Arrivals and Audio Highlights
from the Annual Red Mass
On C-SPAN at approx. 9:30am ET
But, you might be asking, does Father Frank Pavone have to do with any of this?

Good question. Gladjasked. We'll get there.

According to WikiPedia:

Red Mass refers to a Roman Catholic Mass celebrated annually for judges, prosecutors, attorneys, law school professors and students, and government officials. The Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice, and offers the opportunity to reflect on the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession.

The first recorded Red Mass was celebrated in Paris in 1245. From there, it spread to most European countries. Around 1310, during the reign of Edward I, the tradition began in England. It was attended at the opening of each term of Court by all members of the Bench and Bar.

The Red Mass takes its name from the red vestments worn by the celebrant and people at the Mass. In the Roman Catholic liturgy, red vestments symbolize the Holy Spirit. Additionally, Judges of the High Court of England and all doctors of law wore red robes or academic hoods.

The most famous Red Mass is the one celebrated each fall at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. It is attended by Justices of the Supreme Court, members of Congress, the diplomatic corps, the Cabinet and other government departments and often the President of the United States.
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Mass

This is fitting for Scalia, who always attends, since his legal views tend to the medieval anyway.

"Justice Antonin Scalia joined the Supreme Court in 1986 as its most recent appointee. He soon made a reputation as the most far-right member of the Court. He is an outspoken leader of the very conservative Federalist Society and a devoted right-wing Catholic.

Alan Dershowitz, in his book Supreme Injustice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), wrote that Scalia's "conservatisms, according to a professor who is an expert in these matters, are 'of the Old World European sort, rooted in the authority of the Church and the military. It is more reminiscent of French, Italian and Spanish clerical conservatism than of American conservatism with its libertarian bent.'"

According to a Washington Post story, Antonin Scalia was sent to "an elite church-run military prep school in Manhattan where one of his classmates remembered him at age seventeen as 'an arch-conservative Catholic [who] could have been a member of the Curia'" (Dershowitz, 168).

Scalia has generally followed the political program of the U. S. Catholic Bishops against abortion outlined in their 1974 Pastoral Letter. The Letter, which was directed to the Catholic Lawyers Association and among other groups such as the Knights of Columbus, had as its primary focus the influencing of judicial appointments so as "to reverse the decision that legalizes abortion." Scalia has rarely if ever departed from the Bishops' position opposing abortion and even uses the language of the Bishops in calling an embryo or fetus "an unborn child."

Justice Scalia is always in attendance at the annual Red Mass in Washington, D.C. The Red Mass [see CET, April, 2002, 26] is a medieval institution that has been repackaged in the United States in the twentieth century to influence judges and other lawmakers as well as the culture of the states and nation. Although it has some religious significance, the event has been used by Catholic bishops and cardinals as an opportunity to advocate the political proposals of the Vatican such as opposition to abortion and separation of church and state, support of aid to parochial schools, and reinterpreting personhood as taking place at conception rather than at birth. There is an underlying assumption that law and morality began with the Roman Catholic Church and divine revelation.

[from: CHRISTIAN ETHICS TODAY, SPRING 2005, "Antonin Scalia: Our Next Chief Justice"?
By John M. Swomley, Professor Emeritus of Christian Social Ethics, St. Paul School of Theology, St. Louis, MO
http://www.christianethicstoday.com/Issue/054/Antonin%20Scalia-Our%20Next%20Chief%20Justice%20By%20John%20M.%20Swomley_05__.htm ]
Last year, George W. Bush sent Andrew Card, his Chief of Staff, but this year, he's zipping up from the hurricane photo-ops to be there:

AP, September 30, 2005

Bush is returning to the White House Sunday to attend the annual Red Mass, a service for those in the legal profession. And on Monday, he plans to attend the investiture ceremony for Chief Justice John Roberts at the Supreme Court ...
And, Bush is paying special attention to Red Masses elsewhere:


September 1, 2005

Jim Towey, Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives, will be the keynote speaker at the thirty-eighth annual Red Mass, to be held at noon Friday, September 30 in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica... Jim Towey was appointed in 2002 by President Bush to lead the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He also advises him on church-state and compassion issues, and reports directly to the President.

Prior to his current work at the White House, Mr. Towey spent ten years as a senior advisor to Republican U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield ... In April of 2000, Mr. Towey received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Papal Cross Award from Pope John Paul II. Most significant in Mr. Toweys life, however, was his work and friendship with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He met Mother Teresa in 1985 and went on to serve as her legal counsel for 12 years.
Oh, did I mention that John Roberts is now the FOURTH Supreme Court Justice who is a Catholic?

That's not only FAR too much influence for one (conservative) religious viewpoint in a pluralistic society, but FAR more important than the idiotic cavil that leftist luminaries raised that Roberts was a "white male." Where were these deep thinkers when the question of one religious sect's dominance of the Supreme Court moved a step closer to reality? Googling only noted ONE newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island that caught the significance!

At first blush, that might seem a prejudiced, or even biased sort of assertion. Certainly, it is a fact.

But I think that there is a long and deserved American political tradition of suspicion of Catholic motives in our politics. You don't have to be anti-Catholic to have a little problem with the fact that the current Pope, Joey Rats, who was formerly the director of the Office Formerly Known as the Inquisition, and who all but excommunicated John Kerry over his (secular) pro-choice stance, and whose minion, Fr. Frank Pavone, all-but-openly campaigned for George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, has declared war on United States law and policy that conflicts with Catholic teaching.

In other words, while we advocate and enshrine religious freedom as a bedrock principle of our society, Pope Joey Rats (and his predecessors) believe that's just an invitation to proselytize, agitate and, if possible, change the law to their agenda.

Nothing particularly wrong in that, except for its tacit intolerance willing exploiting our tolerance.

Well, that's not entirely fair. With the papacy of John the XXXIII'd, and the reforms of Vatican II, the Catholic church seemed to be willing to move into the modern age. It was a more tolerant and forgiving church, and Catholic priests were on the front lines against war, poverty and disease.

But John Paul II was a resolutely authoritatian pope, and the church has slipped back into that hyper-conservative mode that engendered a deep American distrust of papal motives in the first place.

I will pass over the irony that they have been aided and abetted by the furthest fringes of the Protestant churches here. The kid gloves of "working together" will come off soon enough. And I will pass over the personal insult of this little piece from ... Joey Rats and Frank Pavone:


(Note: The following letter, issued in 1984 at the Vatican, contains important information for the pro-life movement. Some activists, in praying at abortion mills, rightly acknowledge that we must pray against evil spirits, who are very real and very active to keep abortion going...)

... Bishops are asked to guard lest those who lack the required power attempt to lead assemblies in which prayers are employed to obtain liberation from demons, and in the course of which the demons are directly disturbed and an attempt is made to determine their identity. This applies even to cases which, although they do not involve true diabolical possession, nevertheless are seen in some way to manifest diabolical influence...

your servant in the Lord,
Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect
Fine. Joey Rats and Frank Pavone think that abortion clinics and, evidently, "deathscorts" are diabolically influenced. Perhaps we might feel the same.

The problem is, George W. Bush is in bed with them, and hopes that John Roberts will be suitably influenced at the Red Mass to tow the Purity Line and decide cases the "right" way, a la Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia (both faithful sons of the Most Catholic Church).

Bush has made a habit of visiting popes -- an act that would have provoked the most severe controversy in the United States only a few years ago, and FROM the religious right. It was only during the Reagan Administration that we established full diplomatic relations in 1984. (And note well that Bush ignored John Paul II's admonitions not to invade Iraq. He's not quite THAT much in bed with them. If they're right, he ignores them.)

Diplomatic Relations with Holy See
By Thomas J. Reese, S.J., senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center
America, March 16, 1985


When the U.S. Senate approved the appointment of William A. Wilson as the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See at the end of 1983, most people expected the debate over diplomatic relations with the Vatican to fade away. Not so. The fight has merely moved from the executive and legislative branches of government to the judiciary.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Association of [Catholic] Laity and a number of other organizations filed suit in the Federal District Court of Philadelphia alleging that diplomatic relations with the Holy See violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment and the liberty and equal protection clauses of the Fifth Amendment.
Obviously the Supremes rejected that (fundamentally sound) assertion. Oddly, no embassy to the Greek Orthodox Church has been proposed.

No, Bush LOVES the Catholic agenda when it coincides with his own, and pandering to it is a hallmark of his administration. Why, he's flying back for tomorrow's mass, before the Supreme Court term begins on the First Monday in October, notable as the first day of Rosh Hashanah, a day before Ramadan, and beginning with a solar eclipse on the new moon at 1028 Zulu time, or 3:28 AM, PDT.

Were we a superstitious lot, this "Red Mass" preceding a solar eclipse opening the court's term would be an ill omen indeed. But, hopefully, we're not superstitious.

Still, you can watch THIS on Monday: whether John Roberts wears Rehnquist's obscene stripes, or returns to two hundred plus years of tradition that the Chief Justice is merely "first among equals." It will be telling about his mindset to see whether he embraces a return to REAL American tradition, or embraces the naked lust for power that the "conservative" court has so blatantly coveted. (Remember that NO COURT of "activist" judges ever struck down more congressional statutes, nor have any judges ever voted more often than Thomas and Scalia to do so -- the most "activist" judges in U.S. history.)

And John Roberts is up to his eyeballs in the Red Mass (I'm just going to quote from my July 25 blog entry:

According to "LifeSite News" http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jul/05072101.html

Married in their forties John and Jane Roberts were unable to conceive children of their own, but have adopted a boy and a girl, and Roberts has consistently shown a deep love for his role as a father.
She is, by all accounts, a "devout Catholic" and is on the Board of Governors of the John Carroll Society (named after the first US Bishop), according to its webpage: "On February 15, 1953, O'Boyle celebrated the first Society-sponsored Red Mass. In succeeding years, the congregation has frequently included the President of the United States and leading federal jurists, cabinet officials, congressmen and diplomats. Today, the Red Mass is celebrated annually on the Sunday before the first Monday in October, prior to the opening of the Supreme Court's judicial year."

Here's a piece of the "homily" delivered at the most recent "Red Mass":

"In the face of the challenges at hand, we appeal to Catholic jurists and intellectuals and all people of good will to help rebuild consensus around the foundational principles necessary for democracy: the dignity of the human person who has both rights and responsibilities, the inalienable right to life, the relationship between truth and freedom, convictions about the common good, the centrality and importance of marriage and family, the need to nurture and protect the most vulnerable members of society, the need for solidarity among people."

The Most Reverend Sean P. O'Malley, OFM Cap
Archbishop of Boston
Homily for the 51st Annual Red Mass, St. Matthew's Cathedral, Washington, DC, October 3, 2004 (from their webpage)
But the Red Mass is more than just a Washington D.C. soiree: The Catholic Advocate reported in 2004 http://www.missionsun.net/tcafeb2004.htm

Boston's Archbishop Sean O'Malley and former US Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork urged attorneys and law makers to fight the legalization of gay "marriage" and strongly oppose the ruling of Massachusetts' November Supreme Judicial Court decision.

At Holy Cross Cathedral's annual Red Mass, O'Malley said, "We cannot afford to be asleep at the switch. We cannot afford to run for cover. Today, at this Red Mass, I call on you, our Catholic lawyers and jurists, to live your baptismal commitment... Your baptism and your profession invest you with a great responsibility. Use your wisdom to defend the truth, to defend marriage. Do it with a passion and do what is right."

O'Malley, who also attended a Citizens for Life assembly, said, "We live in an age when our hubris has made us blind to the madness around us, where our courts have undermined the value of life itself and now attempt to dilute the meaning of marriage"(in so doing) we risk diminishing our own humanity."

Speaking at a Catholic Lawyer's Guild luncheon, retired former attorney general Bork said we have entered a new age of judicial activism which is eroding the traditional separation of powers. Bork warned the US Supreme Court may be readying itself to hand down a national decision similar to that made by the Mass. court on the validity of gay marriage.
The same scene is repeated throughout the country. But tomorrow's should be particularly intriguing. Roberts is going to be either subtly, or not-so-subtly that "U CAN'T B BOTH Catholic & PRO-CHOICE" [ibid.]

And here's a little 2001 note from a rabid site called "excommunication.net"

FRI, NOV 9 -- Attorney General John Ashcroft was in town last weekend. He attended the annual Red Mass at Holy Cross Cathedral for members of the judiciary, and spoke at the annual Catholic Lawyers Guild brunch. We decided to pass on this one, since the thought of applauding Mr. Ashcroft doesn't feel quite right. While his enemies slur him for being a religious conservative, and pro-lifers enthuse that he is "one of us," we still have unpleasant memories from his senate confirmation testimony when he took the "I'm personally opposed, but..." [that's a direct quote] route. It was amazing to see then how the majority of pro-lifers made excuses for this denial, and apparently still do.
and here's a little more of Archbishop O'Malley's homily at last year's Washington Red Mass:

"Too often when politicians agree with the Church's position on a given issue they say the Church is prophetic and should be listened to, but if the Church's position does not coincide with theirs, then they scream separation of Church and State."
And good old, pious Rep. Henry "Youthful Indiscretion" Hyde (R, IL) had the entire 2003 "homily" inserted into the Congressional Record as an extension of his remarks on November 4, 2003 (E2207).

Kind of makes you feel warm and fuzzy, doesn't it? I mean, Roberts' wife helped set up the speech, and Roberts is supposed to be a devout Catholic. I'm sure our secular freedoms are safe. (Indeed, there is virtually no doubt that he was in attendance at that Red Mass).

But, you're probably still wondering, what does Frank Pavone have to do with this?

Well, here's their press release:

To: National Desk

Contact: Jerry Horn of Priests for Life, 540-785-4733

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement upon the Senate's confirmation of the new Chief Justice:

"We at Priests for Life congratulate the new Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr. We look forward to this new chapter in the history of the Supreme Court. We ask the Holy Spirit to give the new Chief Justice the wisdom and prudence that this role requires."

"We also pray that all Americans will come to a new understanding of the proper role of the Court, which is to apply the laws created by the people through their elected legislatures, rather than replace those legislatures with policy- making of its own."

Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit http://releases.usnewswire.com/redir.asp?ReleaseID=54287&Link=http://www.priestsforlife.org
If he can be there, Fr. Frank Pavone will most assuredly attend this year's Red Mass. He seems entirely pleased. He has a new order. Here's the press release:


May 13, 2005
Founder Dedicates New Pro-Life Society to Memory of John Paul II

Rome, Italy -- Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today from his Rome office that the new Society of Priests he has been given permission to establish will be dedicated in a special way to the memory and teachings of Pope John Paul II. This announcement comes on the same day that Pope Benedict XVI announced that he has begun the process by which John Paul II could be declared a saint.

Fr. Pavone stated, "The Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, as a group of priests dedicated exclusively to the defense of life from attacks like abortion and euthanasia, draws its plan of action from Pope John Paul II's teaching and example -- and in particular from his encyclical, The Gospel of Life. Our efforts move forward as a living memorial of this great Pope, and we dedicate this new initiative to him, the Pope of Life."
Meantime, the fellow in the USA shirt yelled something most un-Christian at me when I interposed myself between him and a post-procedure patient who was trying to get back to her car, back where he had no authority to go.

What was the point in that? She had already had the abortion. She felt sick and weak. But "Mr. USA" still wanted to harass her. And as he spoke, she hugged her bag closer to her chest and walked as quickly as she could, speeding up appreciably.

He yelled at me, when I put myself between him and her, and my little trick worked. He turned his scorn and derision on me, and forgot all about her.

I don't know what he said, because I had my headphones on. But it wasn't very "Christian." That much was for sure.

Later, he would, in his frustration, talk to the landlord's leaf-raking crew, and I overheard him telling them that they should just dump the leaves, and not, I suppose, landscape our evil, satanic, demonically inspired clinic.

Yes. It was insane. But perhaps the frustration at having only managed to give out one pamphlet in several hours had driven the angry man in the USA shirt slightly mad.

The landscaper wasn't interested in his pamphlets either. In fact, he politely pretended that the angry man in the USA shirt wasn't actually there.

At 11:32 AM, the angry lady with the cheap plastic rosary left for the day. At 11:44 AM, the angry man in the blue USA shirt shuffled off for the day.

Thus ended another day in my life as a "deathscort" in front of an "abortuary." Final score: Library Lions, 5 Christians 0.

It's a tough life when you're not as pious as allegedly celibate priests like Frankie Pavone and Joey Rats.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I was looking for a station on the radio, and happened to stumble across the Jim Bohannon Show, being broadcast out of KBFK News Talk 1530 in Sacramento, California. As the birthing station of Rush Limbaugh, in his current, satanic, incarnation, I paused to hear what was the haps in Right Wing Land.

Turns out that Ann Coulter is doing her secondary road tour for the paperback release of her latest libel-a-thon, HOW TO TALK TO A LIBERAL (IF YOU MUST). They were taking calls. And one typically weird caller asked a weird question about how much patriotic Ann were. (I am paraphrasing gibberish, here).

Her answer: Well, it's because I am a CHRISTIAN. And a big part of that is love for my country.


I guess I'm just rusty on my New Testament, but the only direct statement about government that the esteemed founder, Jesus, made was "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar, and render unto God that which is God's."

It was such a patently phony statment from any sort of Christian theological position that one could only wonder how deep a dilettante Ms. Coulter actually was, extending not much further than a set or two of cruciform earrings, and a pendant with a small, tasteful gold cross.

A fashion accessory, in other words. But it was instructive in noting the purposeful linkage of religion with patriotism to further a certain political agenda of God's Own Party, the GOP.

A story from another time: when I was a freshman at TCU, they were transitioning from being under the Disciples of Christ to being a private school (with a lot of DoC Trustees -- the 'sister' school was Abilene Christian College, a place right out of "Bound for Glory").

So, while noon chapel was no longer required, all frosh were required to take three hours of "religion."

Well, I didn't get the Sturm und Drang old timer, but a fellow from the history department, who could teach the standard "history of religion" or "comparative religions" course. And the first semester was like tapioca: you wouldn't turn it down if hungry, but not anything on the menu you'd consciously think of ordering.

He went through the major religions: Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Early Christianity, Catholicism, C of E. &c.

Second Semester was one of the most amazing courses I ever took. He, as a historian, traced the history of various denominations in America: Puritans, Quakers, Shakers, Amish, Mennonites, Dunkers, Mormons, Oneida, Amana.

And I realized that the history of the U.S. was better seen religiously than politically.

Because he was a historian, there was no denominational bias, and it was really an amazing tale -- although he didn't QUITE understand the Mormon suzerainty over the American West.

It really made me see America in a whole 'nother way. I watched the rise of Pat Robertson -- left the Republican party -- having thought Reagan an anomaly -- when I saw him and Jerry Falwell as delegates to the 1988 RNC Convention. Watched the ex-CIA/NSA PACs get Falwell his satellite transponder, and BOOM, go national. Watched the "moral majority" and the "Drug war" P.R. campaigns and the whole movement of fundie snake-handlerism into the bowels of Congress.

Ironic, isn't it, that Tom DeLay and Chuck Colson were both keynote speakers on "Justice Sunday" coming at it from opposite ends of the Linda Lovelace process of Xtian confession and forgiveness. Seems like I recall George W. Bush running that "I was a sinner, Lawdie, Lawdie!" routine on the unwashed in 2000 and 2004. I used to do coke. I have a felony drunk driving conviction (GWB is the first convicted felon to ever serve as Prez), but FORGIVE me, 'cause Jeeezis did.

Well, then. That's OK, then.

Worked for Linda Lovelace. Worked for Ollie North. It worked for Chuck Colson, perhaps, best of all. After all his "Prison Ministries" came directly from his jail time over Watergate, and he's been gainfully employed "in the service of the Lord" ever since. It also worked for Ronnie Reagan, who could wax teary-eyed over his religion with the best of 'em.

But Reagan knew how to sincerely PRETEND to be pious, which was enough. George and Tom and Chuck openly pimp to the religious faithful. Since they believe that "God" is guiding him -- and even TALKING to him a la Nancy Reagan's movie, whatever he does HAS to be good and right. After all, God forgave him for the coke and whores and draft-dodging, right?


The inherent fallacy in all of this is that the implication is that because Jesus forgave 'em, YOU have to forgive them. Think for a moment of Charlie Manson and get back to me on the social imperative of forgiveness. No: George is proving himself to be the same disconnected, arrogant, bullying drunk these days as he admitted that he was BEFORE forgiveness -- i.e George BF = George After Forgiveness (AF).

And their pious lying has been playing a little flat these last couple of weeks. But the True Believer will still believe that God talks to George talks to Them.

Which is the "Divine Right of Kings" that we were the first revolution against that succeeded. How we have come to this absurd notion that our president is appointed by God is not merely American political heresy, it's probably Christian heresy as well.

But this is the first administration to openly play to THAT view of American culture, and not the traditional "political" interpretation. I saved my copy of the NY TIMES SUNDAY magazine with the long piece on what Karl Rove was doing in Ohio in March of 2004: they were looking for Beemers in driveways, and golf clubs in halls. They were looking for religious iconography. They would register anyone, as the law dictated. But they would only ASK likely Republicans, and specific religious profiling was part of the schema.


Oh, there's also the whole Millenialist movement, that only dates back to, say, 1841. The "rapture" is only a very recent belief. Evidently Strong, who wrote "Strong's Concordance" in about 1900 was a strong believer in this stuff, and it spread as the Concordance became one of the most influential underground best-sellers of the XXth century. The modern Jehovah's Witnesses date from the first big "Jesus is coming today" movement of the antebellum.

People all over the US (centered, I think, in Pennsylvania and Ohio) sold their stuff, put on white robes and stood on their roofs waiting for Christ to rapture them.

Obviously, nothing happened. But an organization like that can't let mere humiliation destroy all its good work, and it gingerly reformed. (OK maybe it was Seventh Day Adventists, I can't keep ALL my cults straight). The Worldwide Church of God was founded right here in Bluejean, in the 20s, I think. They moved to Pasadena, California, and Garner Ted Armstrong was their pompadour'ed anchorman for years (until daddy found out about the booze and broads). But they did the same thing: Predicted a certain day. It came and went. Did it again. Came and went. Did it AGAIN. Came and went. And then they reformulated themselves, and even have "Ambassador College" in Pasadena, and publish THE PLAIN TRUTH.

But my father had several of his childhood friends fall for one of the Jesus dates, sold everything they had and gave it all to Garner Ted's Dad's church. And hated them with a purple passion that I found out about one day by accident.

Garner Ted evidently is back on TeeVee with a video church of his own, although the syndication is miniscule.

That was the part that the religious history course missed. After the advent of TeeVee, Christianity spread in the U.S. via television, and, later, satellite dishes in farm country.

Which is how they rule us, nowadays.

Praise the Lord.

Courage. .
Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Regular readers might note that this little blog often precedes the national media spotlight by a few days. It is a strange talent, but it is NOT because we are out in front of the pack, other than, perhaps a tendency to regularly scan "fringe" news sources, from whence unfiltered and take-with-a-grain-of-salt information filters slowly up the media ladder.

So, it's a feat comparable to outracing a stegosaurus -- a creature, like the mainstream press, so astonishingly stupid that it required a secondary "brain" at the base of its enormous spine to run the hind legs and tail.

But while this site blogged the breaking story on Sunday, September 25, Randi Rhodes had talked about the story on Friday, the 23rd. The British Press -- ever more pruriently passionate in their censoriousness than even the gutter-minded American press -- is now characterizing it with lurid headlines a la "US TO PROBE CORPSE PORN PICS" [The Sun]; "US ARMY PROBES NUDE GI JANES,"[The Register(UK)]" and, even, "US PROBES IRAQ NET BODY PICTURES" [BBC: As if to prove that SOMEONE in the UK still has some mastery over the English language: an elegant, if pedestrian headline.]

But the championship for utterly vile coverage of the Iraq war photos posting has to go to the UK's "THE REGISTER" and its web motto: "Biting the hand that feeds IT." (Pronounced "Eye-Tee," i.e. Information Technology, e.g. computers)

The Register - Internet and Law - Wild Wild Web

Warzone porn and gore online
By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Published Monday 26th September 2005 09:25 GMT

When you're not getting shelled or shot at, war can get deadly dull. Fortunately, America's gals in uniform overseas appear to be having a rollicking good time, and no doubt enjoying numerous material perks as a result of being in short supply and high demand, and naked.

The evidence is visible at now that's f**ked up, an online trading post for amateur porn and grotesque gore pics from the front lines of freedom in Iraq. It's got everything, from soldiers posting photographed sessions with partners in country, or their girlfriends and wives back home, to the most appalling shots of what war looks like when the fragile human body confronts the power of mass, mechanized destruction.
That is an astonishing take on the story. But it isn't at all different than most of the coverage. You see, most of the media writes AS IF they were the most prickly prude in the whole parish -- ironic, considering the rather, shall we say, EASY morality of most media people.

A little digression is in order. In a former wifetime, I got a call from my wife who was working for a certain Big Three television network in Hollywood. Their flagship station's local TV news was notable for the orgasmic manner in which lurid LA stories and sexual scandals were presented.

That afternoon, it seemed, the venerable anchorman had been, er, involved in a small accident. It was right in front of the studio, coming back from lunch, but there was a little problem with the footage (a quick-witted cameraman had grabbed a camera and run out the front door).

The anchorman was a little tippled, and the woman with him, also vaguely pickled, was not his wife. Er, rather affectionately not his wife.

And the sexually scandalous, prurient story with the shocking footage about the news anchor and his mistress in a fender bender after an alcohol-fueled quickie "nooner" just sort of quietly vanished into the ether of TeeVee Land. (Gee, I wonder what would have happened had it been the Mayor? Hmmm.)

Here is an entire elite corps of ultimate-back-stage-pass johnnies and bettys, but bring up the subject of sex, and they flip out, collectively.

The STORY is that, in a war that resolutely censors all blood and gore, actual PHOTOGRAPHS of that war have shown up. (Gee, where has the press been for the past three years on THAT one?) And, absurdly, the SCANDAL is that you can actually see them! (Can't have THAT!) Great jumping catfishopoids, Reporterman!

Alas, the awful coverage of forestry issues is now explained: the media has been so overwhelmed by trees that their experience and perception of the actual forest is minimal.

The coverage has focused on the context in which the photos appeared, and on "insensitive" commentary and captions accompanying the photos. The Pentagon, as predicted, is launching an investigation of the website in question.

Here, the AP story that's currently multiplying like the Andromeda Strain in the final third of the film:

US troops said to post Iraqi dead on website
By Associated Press September 28, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The Army is investigating assertions that soldiers had posted photographs of Iraqi corpses on an Internet site in exchange for access to pornographic images on the site, officials said yesterday.

An Islamic civil rights group said it has written to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld objecting to the practice, which it said may violate international laws of war, and urging the Pentagon to bring the practice to an end.

"This disgusting trade in human misery is an insult to all those who have served in our nation's military," Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in his letter to Rumsfeld.

Bryan Whitman, a spokesman for Rumsfeld, said that the Pentagon had recently become aware of the Internet postings, and that officials are looking into the matter.

"Obviously, it is an unacceptable practice," Whitman said.

An Army spokesman, Colonel Joseph Curtin, said the Criminal Investigation Division recently began investigating the matter on behalf of Lieutenant General John Vines, commander of the Multinational Corps in Iraq.

Many of the photos depict dismembered Iraqi corpses and body parts. Some also were submitted by soldiers in Afghanistan.
This story was taken from the AP virtual reprint in the Boston Globe, but it's also on a gagillion other papers' sites, like the Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star, Miami Herald, Seattle Times, and even the Leavenworth (KS) Times (appropriately enough).

Still, for sheer pornography about pornography, let's return to THE REGISTER (UK), who froth at the sin trough better than any newspaper this side of WEEKLY WORLD NEWS:

Porn is one thing, but corpses...
By Lester Haines
Published Wednesday 28th September 2005 10:07 GMT

The US Army has launched an investigation into now that's fucked up, the "online trading post for amateur porn and grotesque gore pics from the front lines of freedom in Iraq", as we described it earlier this week.

The website offers one open forum of explicit sexual images, mostly demonstrating what GI Jane gets up to in Iraq when she's not bringing democracy to that fragrant land astride the Tigris. To see more, you must post either amateur porn or explicit gore and it's evident that there's more than enough of both to go round in Iraq and Afghanistan at the moment.

It's not, though, the sight of military gals sucking on a big one for Uncle Sam which has provoked the inevitable Islamic backlash, but rather the unpleasant snaps of dead bodies subjected to various degrees of dismemberment.

Arsalan Iftikhar, legal top dog at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has written to Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, expressing his dismay thus: "This disgusting trade in human misery is an insult to all those who have served in our nation's military."

In response, the Pentagon said it is looking into the matter, with Rumsfeld spokesman Bryan Whitman confirming: "Obviously, it is an unacceptable practice."

The Army's Criminal Investigation Division has already started a probe....
Let me begin by taking offense on behalf of someone else -- a venerable American media practice that I advance herein -- and note that dogs are considered unclean in much of Islam, so calling a Council on American-Islamic Relations lawyer/spokesman a "legal top dog" is probably pretty damned insulting.

But that's not far divorced from the American media's take. Pornography pictures plus death pictures from a war zone equals snuff films. That's the logic at work here, and the Pentagon has issued an Official Snootily Sniff(le):

"Obviously, it is an unacceptable practice," ["spokesman for Rumsfeld" Bryan] Whitman said. [AP]
Not exactly eloquent, but with the Proper Moral Tone. And ...

"This is something that has just popped up in the last couple of days," said Maj. Tim Keefe at the Multi-National Force Headquarters in Baghdad. "We are looking into this, but it is difficult to determine initially where the site received its pictures."

"I have not seen the site, but the one picture I was shown from the site appears to be from the first Gulf War. We don't condone the conduct of anyone who will disrespect the prisoners of war or the dead."

By Dana Willhoit, The [Lakeland, Florida] LEDGER; 28 September 2005
Of course, the story BROKE that way, so it's no surprise. It seems that the story came out of the blogosphere, from a "feral scholar" who posted it on September 1, with analysis on the order of:

"the commodification of titillation, whether that is through the powerful patriarchal constructions of sexual desire associated with objectification and humiliation or the extreme objectification of killing, creates an escalation dynamic." (http://www.uruknet.info/?p=15295 )
I kid you not. Here's the earliest "legitimate" story that seems to predate the East Bay Express [San Francisco /Oakland, California area] story:


US soldiers trade grisly photos of dead and mutilated Iraqis for access to amateur porn. The press is strangely silent. By Chris Thompson (Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2005)
But here's the original story:

WAR PORN [Note the mindless similarities of title]
(http://www.uruknet.info/?p=15295 )
Stan Goff, Feral Scholar
September 1, 2005


I was recently apprised by someone from Belgium of a bizarre and disturbing internet porn-swap. A porn site that is registered in Florida has offered US troops in Iraq free access to sexual pornography (ostensibly pictures of "real wives and girlfriends" a la Hustler's "Beaver Shots"*) in exchange for the more necrophilic brand of pornography -- grotesque pictures of war dead, often collected as photographic "trophies" by troops in combat.

[* er ... it's "Beaver Hunt" -- "Feral Scholars" please note -- HW]

Once again, we can see how the commodification of titillation, whether that is through the powerful patriarchal constructions of sexual desire associated with objectification and humiliation or the extreme objectification of killing, creates an escalation dynamic. As the consumer becomes more and more jaded by the content of this material, capitalist competition among the producers of the material are driven to ever more extreme depictions to overcome these new threshholds of consumer habituation -- it takes more and more to get that buzz.

This porn site is registered in Florida but operated in Amsterdam. It is called "Now that's fucked up."

Here is the link but be forewarned -- the title of the web site is more than appropriate. This is some twisted stuff [...] There you have it. If you find this as messed up as I do, I suggest you resend this post as widely as possible. The news media is not going to get this story out. Nothing is more disruptive, it seems, than pointing out how our idealized military masculinity is in fact a racist, patriarchal death-cult.
Well, that's all certainly interesting.

But where did the forest go?

Lynndie England was just sentenced to three years in prison for being in pictures of naked prisoners at Abu Gharib, so the Pentagon and the press seems to be stampeding in that direction. There is a deep societal sickness that finds the most depraved and perverted explanations of events and then wallows in their moral "outrage" at the depravity. And, across the media spectrum, you'll note that the "analysis" and valuation of the story vary very little from the Register's drooling "naked GI Janes" to the "racist, patriarchal death-cult."

Might we focus, please?

We have finally seen the faces (ofttimes shorn of their former bodies, to be sure) of one man's vendetta against another. The object of the vendetta is comfortable in jail, about to be "tried" by a new and barely legitimate government in what we ALL know to be a U.S. rigged kangaroo court. Never mind that he's guilty as hell of a lot of evil stuff. This is the same crowd who managed to make O.J. Simpson into a sympathetic character by 'framing a guilty man' in the words of my friend Mac.

The initiator of the vendetta, meanwhile, is a famous drunkard, who is, reportedly, returning to the wacky fraternity antics that made him famous in the first place.

No: these people with their brains blown out didn't do a thing to us, and didn't do anything to George, either.

THAT is the story.

But now it's about sex, and I'm not sure which is more disgusting: the photos of the war dead? The juvenile captions on the photos? Or, the "moral" bastards covering the story of the photos of the war dead?

I think the ultimate obscenity is fairly clear.

But what the heck, if we had any doubts as to the ultimate meaning of this confluence of scandals du jour, we need only turn to the ever-eager, panting prose of the REGISTER:

The Army's Criminal Investigation Division has already started a probe. A spokesman said that a preliminary exploration had determined that felony charges could not be pursued, but the powers that be were looking into possible disciplinary action against those contributing warnography to "now that's fucked up".
[Strange that the "F" word appeared originally on 26 September as "f**k" -- but mysteriously lost their asterisks in the two days before their 28 September story.]

Still, we can take solace that the East Bay EXPRESS is looking out for our eternal souls (or else given to long searching of their own). At the end of Chris Thompson's 21 Sept story, this appeared:

In the weeks since the European press uncovered the story and in the week since the site was first noticed by Eric Muller, law professor and author of the blog IsThatLegal.com, not a single US daily newspaper had covered it -- as of press time. Representatives from Amnesty International and Human Rights First even refused to comment, although both organizations ostensibly exist to condemn just this kind of practice. Perhaps no one wants to give Chris Wilson more publicity, or daily editors are too sensitive about being viewed as unpatriotic. Or perhaps the story is just too ugly to contemplate.

Americans have thousands of media outlets to choose from. But they still have to visit a porn site to see what this war has done to the bodies of the dead and the souls of the living. One of the pictures on Wilson's site depicts a woman whose right leg has been torn off by a land mine, and a medical worker is holding the mangled stump up to the camera. The woman's vagina is visible under the hem of her skirt. The caption for this picture reads: "Nice puss -- bad foot."

We have decided to make available some of the photos originally posted on NowThatsFuckedUp.com, along with the soldiers' original subject headings. This decision was not made lightly, but we concluded that the graphic nature of the photos, juxtaposed with their flippant treatment by members of the US military, is newsworthy. WARNING: These are brutally graphic war images that many readers will find disturbing. They should NOT be viewed by children or the faint of heart. That said, you may find them here. Click on the small photos to view the larger photos with captions.
Now, ain't that virtuous?

It should be noted that the headline read:

WAR PORNOGRAPHY -- US soldiers trade grisly photos of dead and mutilated Iraqis for access to amateur porn. The press is strangely silent.
Well, the throat clearing's over. It may well prove that the previous silence of the press was a blessing, compared to what will come. I fear that we, too, shall lose our asterisks.

Monday, September 26, 2005

There may not be posts for a couple of days. My computer has gotten down to less than 1.5 gigs of free space -- or, slower than molasses in January -- and, as long as I'm downloading, it's probably time to transfer and tweak from the NEW computer I've been building in my secret laboratory.

It's nearly three times as fast as this one, and has infinitely more storage, etc.

Even can swap out these creepy little speakers for the giant speakers I got to go with the new 'puter, Big Blue.

So, administrative tasks will have me working on this computer, but no time for blogging.

Stand by.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

[WARNING: The language and imagery in this posting aren't pretty. So, if you're squeamish, better not to read it. Caveat Lector.]

It turned out to be a good thing that, during my second grade year, my mom got off her shift in ER at four p.m., and I was only a couple of blocks from the hospital when school let out.

I spent a good chunk of that year sitting between three and four on the wooden bench outside the emergency room at Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie, Wyoming.

By the end of the year, gore didn't faze me -- as a bunch of small-minded Kansas high school boys would find out in a lunchroom in the fall of 1969.

It came in handy, when, at 23 years of age, I was made an editor at HUSTLER Magazine, and as part of my job, had to screen literally hundreds of porn films in a short time. I could turn off the gut-churning at will.

And thank God for porn. If it weren't for a Dutch website called nowthatsfuckedup.com, we wouldn't have a unique window into the war, and the mind of the soldiers.

You see, nowthatsfuckedup.com, offered free access to our soldiers who would post their real war pictures on the site. Now, I don't suggest you visit this link, but if you want to see what a human being's face blown off of his skull looks like, you'll find it at:


If you want to see what happens when a brain explodes in the driver's seat of a Toyota (helped by some M-16 fire), or what a human turns into after a vehicle fire (hint: it's a skeleton with some burnt leather hanging off of it), by all means, go NOW. Because it's already on the Pentagon's radar, and they don't want you to see what's going on over there. In fact, they spent a part of last week going after porn as well, and, while the Dutch site isn't in immediate danger, never underestimate the broad interpretation of "national security" and "sensitive material."

Like I said, becoming inured to the gross was valuable. And, instead of being nauseated by dead bodies, I started reading the entries.

Here's the posting that inspired today's title:
(scroll quickly past the dead bodies)

Whoa.. Guys...

you see some fucked up shit in the sandbox. And this might seem like a helluva way to deal with it. In some ways it probably is. But, unless DOD re wrote the rule book and I missed it. Whats going on here isnt legal. Correct me if I'm wrong. Furthermore, we should hope that some thin skinned liberal asshat doesnt come across this site. You can all but guarnatee that when and if one of those scumbags does. You'll find this site and its contents being used by the likes of Cindy Sheehan to smear the entire military and its mission. If this is legal.. be smart. Create a private group amongst yourselves to share your experiences and work out what ever issues you need to work out because of them.
War -- as though we needed to be reminded -- is the ultimate obscenity. And, given the internet, and isolation of the troops, and the need to ... er ... relieve sexual tensions, a psychological sampling has appeared -- until, that is, the Pentagon can quash it. A Pentagon spokesnake has already noted that the poster above is correct. Posting any truth is illegal, and the Pentagon intends to crack down on any soldier caught posting on the website.

The mechanism of truth is, in this case, interesting, as well. You see, Democrats and Republicans are united in this much at least: the mating instinct is gross and yucky, and suppressing its depiction is of incalculable value in bring up children properly. (Which is why most porn people are Libertarians, at least the ones who can read).

And, as a result, the depiction of sexuality (and the excretory functions, which are often confused with it) become a sort of psychic dumping ground. Given that you have a lot of purposely hopped-up testosterone-junkies in a war zone, there are two things that they are in a constant funk of: killing and fucking.

It's an old mammal response, see? The dominant male mammal in a contest will often sport an erection, while the loser will often grovel in front of the victor in a mimicry of feminine submission for sex. Caesar and other Romans, it must be noted, explicitly acted out this form of mammmal dominance. So aggression and sexuality were already mixed up long before we got to the anthropoid forebrain.

So, it's appropriately ironic that the Dutch website operator offered a straight swap: your war pornography for our women pornography.

There is something fundamentally insane in seeing a picture of a thing that used to be a man with half his brains dangling out of that place where his ear used to be, with the automatically-generated spam headers under it announcing: "Slut Wife Training - Shy housewives turned into insatiable sluts!"

Or, worse: "Who just blew me? Girls sucking off complete strangers in a seedy adult bookstore! Glory Holes !!!" and "So You Like Them Young ? Hands down the youngest, hottest, girls in nude art. Take peek (free)." And don't forget the crazily juxtaposed: "MY NAME IS BROOKE, 19 FEMALE I think my boobs are tiny!! check out my pictures and vote on if i should get a boob-job or not!!" Nuts. And here's the gut-churner champion of inappropriate Clockwork Orange conditioning: "MOTHER & DAUGHTER FUCK! omfg See a real mother & daughter threesome the same guys! These two chicks are whores! LOL(Not incest)" Good Ghod.

Oh well, we're used to it. Every maniac-carving-up-teenage-girls horror flick (Halloween, Friday the 13th, et al) does the Pavlovian conditioning of associating extreme gore and death with sexual pleasure. If the teenage actress takes off her bra for her boyfriend, you can be assured that he is about to be decapitated, and her eyes are going to be gouged out.

And we are used to flushing our psychic garbage, our psychic feces, and our mental urine into any discussion of that mating instinct. So, we shouldn't be surprised that this window has opened up. We just got lucky.

And, while I yearn for a date when humans become relatively sane as much as the next Progressive, I have to deal with the reality of what is, and not what I'd like things to be.

Had the Bushies taken that philosophy seriously, we wouldn't be in this mess, but that's a given.

So, let's open the window and hear what we can hear (whether you decide to take a look is up to you, but unless you've had the kind of training I got in Second Grade, I wouldn't suggest it). Here's an interesting exchange from one of the threads:


Is there any americans that regret voting for G Bush in the last election?


I understand you are posting just so you can see the videos, but please make your posts in the proper forums.
There is a note on each one saying what it is for, and so far you are the only one that has not honored that. Out of 150,000 people, so please show respect for others. Some may think you do not know how to read.
Old Glory; What the American Soldier fights and dies for. Shoot flag burners!!


One has to look at what the alternative would have been if not Bush - Bush as opposed to Hanoi John Kerry and the scary succubus he lives with?

Without a doubt.

Traitors and liars have never made great presidents so Bush was the only option. Besides, as dumb as the left likes to portray Bush, we now know Kerry was dumber so we have the lesser of two evils.

Perhaps if the far left would stop floating the likes of John Kerry, Howard Dean, Al Sharpton and Carolyn Mosley Brown for "serious presidential candidates" maybe they'd win an election and we wouldn't have to listen to them complain about the only choice that mainstream America was given last election. Oh well, that's what happens when you let your party get hijacked by the most extreme political nutjobs - you get one for a candidate and give the electon away to the opposition
Well, nice to know that they've managed to turn US into nutjobs while they gleefully blow human beings into something resembling ground beef with bones tossed in. It's not their fault, just as it's not their fault that a lot of the commentary is on the level of boy's bathroom graffiti in any Junior High School you'd care to name.

We've pushed the warrior mentality, the esprit de corps, and the fundamental necessity of believing crazy things in order to get through wars. We're against this insane, dream-logic, constantly shifting purpose-driven "war," so we must be the enemy, too.

No. We recognize the cruel necessity of armed forces. But there is no justification in a "Defense" department invasion and occupation of a non-belligerent, not-a-threat country halfway around the globe. And I'll get to that in a moment.

But these kids sound like their high school football coaches trained them to sound: narrow, callous and "rah team." Justice Kennedy's nuance -- The flag protects the freedom of expression of those that would burn it -- is lost on them.

No: they worship a piece of cloth.

But the most disturbing image to me was this, which is viewable by the squeamish. Why? Because if I don't tell you that the pile of charred ash is a "crispy critter" Iraqi, you wouldn't know it.

Here's the picture (I've digitally camouflaged the faces, which the soldiers had not done):

Havin Fun in the Sun

I am not going to go into cheap bashing of soldiers. Ghod knows, a gallows sense of humor gets one through hell. But these kids look like they're finishing up an all-night kegger around a campfire.

Only this 'campfire' was named 'Ali' while it was a functioning human being.

They probably aren't monsters at home, and they love their children like everybody else. But war does monstrous things to decent people, and I don't doubt that in years to follow, this snapshot will be a source of grave shame to many. But this is an inevitable outcome of the obscenity of war. And I promise you, when they move into the leadership positions and are faced with questions of war and peace, they will remember the horrors that THEY were casually thrown into. And they will make wiser choices than the Chicken Hawks back home.

And, to my mind, it's the most obscene photograph on the entire site. Not because it's physically repulsive -- but because it's morally and ethically monstrous. And all the more so for its very banality.

We've got to get out of this NOW. And, to paraphrase someone, perhaps Edmund Burke, war corrupts the victor every bit as much as the vanquished.

And, in Washington, D.C., either 2000, "tens of thousands," a hundred thousand, or, just as likely 300,000 Americans gathered yesterday to protest this unnecessary, corrosive and vile war.

Naturally, the MSM didn't give it a lot of coverage, certainly almost none while it was taking place -- THE LARGEST PROTEST SINCE THE VIETNAM WAR!

But even that we're used to: massive protests, no visibility, no effect.

No, what I wanted to note was this: there were no congressional leaders at the protests. No prominent Senator, no prominent WHITE Democrat. Only members of the Black Caucus, who seem to be the only Americans in power who are concerned with the nose-dive towards outright fascism that this country has fallen into, based on the bombing of two almost unpopulated buildings in New York City.

In a nation of three hundred million, we have lost our liberties, bankrupted ourselves, and enraged the world over the death of three-thousand. And we have killed a hundred thousand in return.

Imagine, for a moment, that George Bush had killed every protester at the "agreed-upon" media figure of 100,000. That's how many human beings he's killed in this war.

A war that cannot be justified: Which means, of course that we have a usurper who Jeffrey Daumer has nothing on. Compared to Bush, the Hillside Strangler is a pathetic poseur. And, if you decide to look at those pictures, perhaps you'll understand why Bush & Co. don't want to see them, nor acknowledge them, nor actually take responsibility for them. The marine photo is, after all, the Abu Gharib scandal leaking out all over again.

There is an apocryphal report, anonymously posted on the Washington, D.C. Indymedia site that says:
100's of soldiers corpses brought through Eureka, California Coast Guard station
Author: Anonymous Poster
Date Created 24 Sep 2005
More details...
Date Edited 24 Sep 2005 08:04:06 PM
License: This work is in the public domain

Dead troops are being brought through the Coast Guard Station in Eureka

Personell [sic] have reportedly been forbidden under threat of death from talking about the hundreds of corpses being brought by ships to the Eureka, California Coast Guard station. These soldiers are often mutilated beyond recognition, and the Eureka National Guard is in charge of the bloody task of handling the corpses. One body was described as cut into slices.
There may be more than a kernel of truth in this. We'll see, as the story is -- hopefully --pursued. For the time being, it lies in the realm of the apocryphal, the fabulous, but appropriately, it is another anecdote from Bush, the Little-President-Who-Cried-Nine-Eleven.

But, you have to wonder in all of this, as our marines giggle over corpses, as our Usurper-in-Thief spins faster than a gyro on a space telescope, with one to three-hundred thousand protesters screaming, "How do you tell someone to die for a mistake?" where was John Kerry, former presidential candidate -- a man who came to prominence by knowing that he needed to be in Washington D.C. protesting HIS war, and testifying before a Senate committee about the atrocities of THAT conflict?

And where were Hilary, Pelosi, Harry Reid, or any other "principled" Democratic leadership?

Thirty-three years ago, John Kerry would have traveled the length of the continent to be there. Yesterday, he didn't even drive up from the suburbs.

Where was Senator Kerry?

Enough obscenity to go 'round for all sides today. It helps to have a strong stomach.

hart williams
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