Sunday, November 15, 2009

Truth is Like an Onion

It is terribly hard to separate truth from fantasy in the RW mind.

The Onion: Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be

ESCONDIDO, CA—Spurred by an administration he believes to be guilty of numerous transgressions, self-described American patriot Kyle Mortensen, 47, is a vehement defender of ideas he seems to think are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and principles that brave men have fought and died for solely in his head.

Kyle Mortensen

Kyle Mortensen would gladly give his life to protect what he says is the Constitution's very clear stance against birth control.

"Our very way of life is under siege," said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. "It's time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are."

According to Mortensen—an otherwise mild-mannered husband, father, and small-business owner—the most serious threat to his fanciful version of the 222-year-old Constitution is the attempt by far-left "traitors" to strip it of its religious foundation.

"Right there in the preamble, the authors make their priorities clear: 'one nation under God,'" said Mortensen, attributing to the Constitution a line from the Pledge of Allegiance, which itself did not include any reference to a deity until 1954. "Well, there's a reason they put that right at the top."

"Men like Madison and Jefferson were moved by the ideals of Christianity, and wanted the United States to reflect those values as a Christian nation," continued Mortensen, referring to the "Father of the Constitution," James Madison, considered by many historians to be an atheist, and Thomas Jefferson, an Enlightenment-era thinker who rejected the divinity of Christ and was in France at the time the document was written. "The words on the page speak for themselves."

According to sources who have read the nation's charter, the U.S. Constitution and its 27 amendments do not contain the word "God" or "Christ."

Mortensen said his admiration for the loose assemblage of vague half-notions he calls the Constitution has only grown over time. He believes that each detail he has pulled from thin air—from prohibitions on sodomy and flag-burning, to mandatory crackdowns on immigrants, to the right of citizens not to have their hard-earned income confiscated in the form of taxes—has contributed to making it the best framework for governance "since the Ten Commandments."

"And let's not forget that when the Constitution was ratified it brought freedom to every single American," Mortensen said.

Mortensen's passion for safeguarding the elaborate fantasy world in which his conception of the Constitution resides is greatly respected by his likeminded friends and relatives, many of whom have been known to repeat his unfounded assertions verbatim when angered. Still, some friends and family members remain critical.

"Dad's great, but listening to all that talk radio has put some weird ideas into his head," said daughter Samantha, a freshman at Reed College in Portland, OR. "He believes the Constitution allows the government to torture people and ban gay marriage, yet he doesn't even know that it guarantees universal health care."

Mortensen told reporters that he'll fight until the bitter end for what he roughly supposes the Constitution to be. He acknowledged, however, that it might already be too late to win the battle.

"The freedoms our Founding Fathers spilled their blood for are vanishing before our eyes," Mortensen said. "In under a year, a fascist, socialist regime has turned a proud democracy into a totalitarian state that will soon control every facet of American life."

"Don't just take my word for it," Mortensen added. "Try reading a newspaper or watching the news sometime."
A similarly knowledgeable gentleman writes a weekly column in my local paper, a column that inspired the following letter:
Dear Editor,
Last week, in an unusually Unbased Opinion, Dave wrote: ""Immigrants who founded America based that formation on their predominant [religious] beliefs. Immigrants who followed them came knowing this country's origins. If they found it's society incompatible with their particular beliefs then they were free to leave. Those founding fathers realized religious control was impossible, thus they separated considerations of church and state."
There are so many ways one might respond to Dave's essay. But sometimes simple is best.
Here's how a good friend of mine reacted: "When he says 'founding fathers,' my best guess is that he's combined pilgrims with the whole revolutionary-crew. Lovely. I want to put this man in a corner and make him write 'I won't abbreviate history to make it look like important dead people agree with me' 100 times."
That image made me laugh.
And laughter is a good thing.
Kaylyn in Kansas:
"The forums in my local paper are burning up. I posted something to the same tune, about how we do not perceive clearly, in large part because of the pushback static, the impact that Obama has had worldwide. I have been called stupid, slobbering in love with Obama, and other childish slanders. Schoolyard talk. Oh well."
Kaylyn in Kansas:
We had our yearly sink drain issues last weekend. The guy we always call comes to fix it and we chat while the snake thing does its thing. Talk veered to the political and he went off about the tyrrany of the government and the president's total control of the media. And he said a friend of his was at the 9/12 ...rally... and said the crowd numbered FIVE million!! (It keeps growing!!!). I said, no, it was more like 75,000. He said there were photos! I pointed out that the photo used in all the followup press was actually a photo from 1997 rally and that buildings that have been built since then were not in the photo, nor were all of the tents for the Black Family Conference that filled the lower museum mall. His re-spin of the spin? The liberal media photoshopped the image to make it look like it was an old photo...they took out the american indian museum, the tents, the newseum...and made it look like a spring day all in order what???"
DougJ: Who would Jesus assassinate?

I realize this is nut-picking but I was a bit surprised to see a local right-wing blog praying for Obama’s death (via).

Psalm 109:8 – May his days be few; may another take his office.

I guess I don’t get it, in a way, because Joe Biden would just become president then. Maybe they’re concurrently praying for his death.

But that would just make Nancy Pelosi president.

How far down do you have to go in the order of succession before a Republican becomes president?

Update. Via the comments, apparently they need to be praying for the deaths of Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Robert Byrd, Hillary Clinton, and Tim Geithner. That gets you to Robert Gates.

A metaphysical question: can God create a line of succession so long that He cannot kill everyone on it?

Smooth Like Remy: Cenk Goes ... Off On "Morning Joe"

I would add one more thing to this beautiful rant. President Obama announced at his last address to a joint session of Congress that he would get tort reform into the health care reform bill as a concession to Republicans and they STILL gave him their ass to kiss.
Think Progress: McCain urges town hall attendees to cut up their AARP membership cards.
Last week, the AARP, a nonpartisan organization that advocates on behalf of those aged 50 and over, endorsed the House health care bill. “We can say with confidence that it meets our priorities for protecting Medicare, providing more affordable health insurance for 50- to 64-year-olds and reforming our health care system,” AARP vice president Nancy Leamond said. At a town hall meeting in Arizona on Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) vowed to “fight with every fiber of my body” to oppose a similar health care reform bill in the Senate. He then claimed that Medicare will actually be “cut” and reportedly urged the town hall attendees to tear up their AARP membership cards:

The 2,000-page bill would mean more regulation and mandates, he said. People wouldn’t be able to keep the coverage they had. It would also increase taxes and the cost of Medicare, he said.

The bill claims to save $500 billion in waste from Medicare, he said.

“I don’t think so,” McCain said. “I think it’s going to cut it.”

He encouraged audience members to cut up their AARP cards and send them back.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who left office nearly a decade ago and has no political responsibilities since, was all over the news this morning. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is headed to NYC, and for much of the media, even now, 9/11 = Giuliani.

Here's Giuliani's basic pitch, as he put it to ABC's George Stephanopoulos:

"Our federal system has an enormously protracted process that's going to go on forever. It grants more benefits than a military tribunal will grant. There's always the possibility of acquittal, change of venue... It creates an extra risk that isn't necessary for New York. Now, New York can handle it, there is no question about it, but why add an additional risk when you don't have to do that?

"I'm troubled by the symbolism of it. It seems to me that the Obama administration is getting away from the fact that we're at war with these terrorists. They no longer use the term 'war on terror.' They have been very slow to react to the whole situation with Major Hasan, which was clearly a terrorist act in the name of Islamic terrorism. It would seem to me that this is the worst symbol to send, that this is a civilian matter."

There are some interesting layers to this, so let's unpack it.

First, Giuliani criticizes the federal criminal justice system. That's an odd choice of political strategies -- not only is Giuliani himself a former federal prosecutor, but this same "federal system" that he's dismissive of has proven itself quite effective in trying, convicting, and imprisoning all kinds of terrorists over the last couple of decades.

Second, Giuliani is worried about acquittals. That's not going to happen.

Third, Giuliani went on and on about the "risk" posed by a trial, but he neglected to identify what this "risk" is. I'm genuinely curious -- what does he think will happen? Terrorists might target NYC? Not to put too fine a point on it, but terrorists have already targeted NYC. The city has held other trials for other terrorists, without incident. By Giuliani's reasoning, there should no legal proceedings against terrorists anywhere, because they might be magnets for attacks. In other words, Giuliani thinks we should let fear dictate our justice system. Fortunately, that's just not how the United States operates.

Fourth, Giuliani shifts gears away from actual problems with putting KSM on trial, and complains about "symbolism." That's backwards -- what can have more symbolic value than the United States showing the world the strength of our values and the integrity of our rule of law?

Fifth, Giuliani's convinced that White House is moving away from "war with these terrorists." It's possible that the former mayor doesn't keep up on current events, so here's a quick refresher for him: under Obama's watch, U.S. forces have killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and Baitullah Mehsud, while taking suspected terrorists Najibullah Zazi, Talib Islam, and Hosam Maher Husein Smadi into custody before they could launched potential attacks.

Giuliani thinks Obama is "getting away from" counter-terrorism? In reality, President Obama is playing by the rules and having great success in counter-terrorism. The administration isn't relying on torture, and is nevertheless stopping, catching, and killing the bad guys -- all while improving the United States' standing in the world and reclaiming America's role as a global leader.

Giuliani thinks that's a record worthy of criticism. Giuliani doesn't know what he's talking about.
Atrios on The Bush Administration
It's like the job recruitment process involved advertising for "the worst people ever born in the history of the universe."
Sullivan was working as an analyst at the Veterans Benefits Administration in Washington in early 2005 when he was called to a meeting with a top political appointee at the VA, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Michael McLendon. McLendon, an intensely focused man in a neatly pressed suit, kept a Bible on his desk at the office. Sullivan explained to McLendon and the other attendees that the rise in benefits claims the VA was noticing was caused partly by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were suffering from PTSD. “That’s too many,” McLendon said, then hit his hand on the table. “They are too young” to be filing claims, and they are doing it “too soon.” He hit the table again. The claims, he said, are “costing us too much money,” and if the veterans “believed in God and country . . . they would not come home with PTSD.” At that point, he slammed his palm against the table a final time, making a loud smack. Everyone in the room fell silent.

“I was a little bit surprised,” Sullivan said, recalling the incident. “In that one comment, he appeared to be a religious fundamentalist.” For Sullivan, McLendon’s remarks reflected the views of many political appointees in the VA and revealed what was behind their efforts to reduce costs by restricting claims. The backlog of claims was immense, and veterans, often suffering extreme psychological stress, had to wait an average of five months for decisions on their requests.

1 comment:

  1. I was raised on Dr. Dobson, and have just sent him a letter requesting his assistance to help me stop loosing faith in the Christian Church. My Mom respects Dr. Dobson as much or more than any other Christian leader, and she is interested to see his response. I only started learning the truth about the 9/11 attacks last fall. It took me an entire year to convince my own parents to listen to me, and begin reviewing the evidence for themselves. Now that they have thoroughly and objectively taken a fresh look into all the available evidence, they too are now aware of how badly we have been deceived. They now fully support my mission to find out what really happened to 2,993 of our fellow countrymen that fateful September morning. My mom is very interested to see if/how Dr. Dobson will respond. Please read my open letter to Dr. Dobson and share your thoughts at.........

    Does Christ's Church really stand for TRUTH & JUSTICE? That is the question!

    Daniel Edd Bland III