Archive for March, 2006

“I don’t support our troops” take 5.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

I have been taking note of this particular brand of dissent whenever it pops up. Note that I’m not the one saying this. But on the other hand, I can see where this thought-process is coming from. Which is to say I’m not saying “I’m not the one saying this” because I’m necessarily embarrassed by the thought’s existence — I’m not “being careful” to “avoid saying any unpopular thoughts”. But Here is the letter to the Oregonian that was published yesterday:

OK, if no one else will say it, I’ll say it: “I do not support the troops.”

The morons who say they do are uttering a phony, politically correct sentence or have it stuck on the back of their cars are actually saying, “Don’t bother me with that war thing. I don’t care that Bush and his cronies have attacked a pile of sand with oil underneath it and flesh and blood people above it. Let our troops kill everyone they want and if they get killed or get an arm or leg blown off it’s their own fault for getting caught up in a mess like that.”

Every time this stupid sentence is used or displayed, somebody dies needlessly.

It’s very easy to send some poor slob in the Army or Marines to hump around the dunes when you don’t have to do it yourself.

When I was 18 and as stupid as all the troops over there now, including the square-jawed, talking-head generals, I was supposed to be bringing democracy to a Third World country. It was baloney then and it’s baloney now. All we did (I was a grunt in the Marines), was make a thousand Viet Cong for every one we killed. And the ones I killed have haunted me since.

How about a new line, the short version being: “War is for Cowards” and the long version, “War gives the Pentagon’s cowardly bureaucrats, the federal government’s cowardly politicians, and America’s citizen cowards the chance to try to convince themselves that they’re not the cowards they know they are.”

AL BROWN, Hood River

The Peace Marches, and this was the case with the Gulf War in 1991 as surely as it is the case today, makes it a habit to “stay with the troops”. The Democratic Party, such that it exists, will employ “War Heroes” as a signifier — dispensing away with “Anti-War Heroes”: witness the chopping off of half of the dichotemy with John Kerry, and witness the large number of returning soldiers running for Congress in 2006. (Not many of them are going to win, mind you. They’re running in heavily Republican districts, and as Paul Hackett wrapped his political identity tightly under “Veteran”, he did not actually win that seat — and he was theoretically the most charismatic and strongest of the bunch.)

I keep hearing these pronouncements that “This is not Vietnam, where Veterans were spit upon when arriving home.” I maintain that the “spit on” riff is overbloated… I don’t believe that happened a whole lot, and largely returning Vietnam Veterans were just kind of ignored, and “spit on” thus acts mostly as a metaphor.

The Matter of Chuck Hagel

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Russ Feingold will make a great showing in the early primaries, then get creamed by the Democratic machine. He’ll give a powerful speech at the convention, pledging allegiance to the candidate.

So says Alexandar Cockburn. And you know he’s right.

And to turn over to Chuck Hagel, putting into place the supposed conspiracy theory that brought him into power. The basic problem with pointing out that his win in 1996 over Ben Nelson for that Senate seat was said by the Washington Post to be “this year’s great political upset” is that… it wasn’t that much of an upset. It’s easy to explain how he could ride Bob Dole’s regional coat-tails in one of the most Republican state in the Union, in a state that knew Clinton was about to be re-elected and had no other way of showing Clinton up, and as the polls at the time showed Chuck Hagel narrowing Ben Nelson’s lead with each successive poll. In terms of the NCAA tournament — it’s a #3 defeating a #2… maybe a #4 beating a #2. Nonetheless, here’s what we have:

On January 29, (2003) The Hill reported that Hagel had reported a financial stake worth $1 million to $5 million in the McCarthy Group Inc., a private merchant banking company based in Omaha. But he did not report the company’s underlying assets, choosing instead to cite his holdings as an “excepted investment fund,” and therefore exempt from detailed disclosure rules. As The Hill suggests, that claim is false or, at least was, until the Senate Ethics Committee’s new staff director Robert Walker met with Hagel’s staff and changed the rules after The Hill began snooping around.

A major asset of the McCarthy Group (not listed by Senator Hagel in his disclosures) is the nation’s largest vote counting firm Election Systems & Software (ES&S) [called American Information Systems until the name was changed in 1997]. Hagel resigned as CEO of AIS in 1995 to run for the Senate. Following his election, he resigned as president of the parent company McCarthy & Company.

Today, the McCarthy Group is run by Michael McCarthy, who happens to be campaign treasurer for–you guessed it–Chuck Hagel. Hagel’s financials list the McCarthy Group as an asset, with his investment valued at $1-$5 million.

In short, Hagel controlled and still partly owns the only voting machines that counted his votes when he ran for election in 1996 and 2002.

Thom Hartmann seems to be required to mention this whenever Chuck Hagel’s name pops up, frequently approvingly due to his criticisms of the Bush Administration on Iraq. Look out… he may just be our next president. Keep in mind he’s a Bush I protege, though that only explains why he differs with Bush II on various policies.

Back when Hagel first ran there for the U.S. Senate in 1996, his company’s computer-controlled voting machines showed he’d won stunning upsets in both the primaries and the general election. The Washington Post (1/13/1997) said Hagel’s “Senate victory against an incumbent Democratic governor was the major Republican upset in the November election.” According to Bev Harris of, Hagel won virtually every demographic group, including many largely Black communities that had never before voted Republican. Hagel was the first Republican in 24 years to win a Senate seat in Nebraska.

Six years later Hagel ran again, this time against Democrat Charlie Matulka in 2002, and won in a landslide. As his website says, Hagel “was re-elected to his second term in the United States Senate on November 5, 2002 with 83% of the vote. That represents the biggest political victory in the history of Nebraska.”

The second election landslide is not surprising — that’s not altogether an uncommon phenomenom. Joseph Lieberman’s second election was a landslide. As was George W Bush’s Gubernatorial re-election. Then again, consider these brush-ups for a presidential election — it’s de rigour to get a landslide re-election and then be considered “Presidential Timber”. Though Hagel’s chances are… um… once again a longshot. He won’t even be creamed by the Republican machine like Russ Feingold — he’ll be creamed by the Republican rank and file. So I’m stuck with this line as the circumstantial evidence:

According to Bev Harris of, Hagel won virtually every demographic group, including many largely Black communities that had never before voted Republican.

Stick “Chuck Hagel” or “Hagel” into the search box at blackboxvoting, and nothing shows up. I’ll have to take his word for it. But how can you win every demographic vote with an election victory of 54% to 46%? Well, theoretically you win 54% of every demographic vote, but that never really happens.


Monday, March 27th, 2006

I’ve made it a practice to post some bits of those “History” posts on the Democratic Underground board — a bit more tightly structured. I tend to have to leave just as I’m posting, so I don’t get much interaction — though I’ve gotten a bit. Some responses:

Regarding the 1928 election: Without fail almost everything south of the mason dixon line had gone Democrat in every election since the civil war. Hoover carried Texas, Tennesee, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and all of the border states which is a good chunk of the south.

The “solid south” might have easily began to bolt before civil rights came into the mix if not for the New Deal.

A bit false. A Catholic being made the butt of a Klu Klux Klan effigy does fall under the category of “Civil Rights”, methinks.

I can’t believe that we let a fuckin’ asshole like Bob Jones get a non-profit 501(c)3 tax status.

Bob. Freaking. Jones. Not the concept of Bob Jones. The person of Bob Jones, in the flesh.

1960: BUT he did win them. 5 1/2 to be exact.

Further, despite a little revisionism from the left, the left of his day did not like Kennedy. The New Deal Democrats, led by Eleanore Roosevelt, opposed his nomination, as did the Wallacites who had splintered off and opposed Truman in 1948.

BTW, thanks for the thread. DU needs more discussion of factual party history.

The Wallacites were defeated utterly by this time. The other Wallacites would come in in a few years, and act the same as the old Thurmondites.

Only Carter and Clinton knew how to fight like that.
But you have to realize that there was no “Voting Rights Act” at that time, and blacks were kept from the poles in the South by the thousands, if not millions. Everyone likes to see LBJ as a liberal, especially the repukes, but in fact he was more of a moderate like JFK and RFK were. The problem with some moderates, like myself, is that we can’t always agree on what to moderate. Anyway, I digress. LBJ pushed thru the voting rights legislation for 2 reasons. It was planned by JFK….and of course, it was the right thing to do. Now keep in mind, LBJ WAS a typical Texas politician from that time….hardnosed politics, questionable election practices, and maybe JUST bordering on, JUST A LITTLE…..well…illegal.

But he was like Kennedy in one BIG sense. THEY REALLY KNEW HOW TO FIGHT FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVED IN. And JFK, well some believe it might have gotten him killed.

1924: John Davis, the party’s nominee that year had been Wilson’s solictor general and had opposed the klan and advocated US particpation in the League of Nations. The interesting thing is that Davis was later the lawyer that Thurgood Marshall went up against Brown V Board of Education. I think by 1924 the second klan as it was called went in to both political parties, the first klan had been in the democratic party and in the south. This second klan was in both and had a lot of power in states like Indiana and Oregon.

Wow. A John Davis fan. Imagine that.

Response on a completely different board: Howie, Howie…

…you left out the bloody race riots during this period. You know, the ones that made Watts look like a backyard brawl?

And you barely even mentioned (if at all) the strong communist movement of the times.

Or the labor demonstrations suppressed via miliatary force.

Like I told that idiot Patriot in the other thread, what we live in now – the `post wwII economic expansion’ – is a literal `golden age’. The openly racist, blatently corrupt, and fanatical time of the 1930’s is what we climbed out of.

The strong Communists came into force when Capitalism failed us. I must admit I reframed this post in a different light, and the response is a response to a pointed question — to wit:

Something I don’t understand except in terms that this strain of “Know Nothing” Americanism is inherently Isolationist and thus tends to ignore World Events Abroad (and leaving aside dalliances with Eugenics)… how can he say this is the “Only Movement in the world” which “Exists to establish a Civilization that will insure” that “Superior Blood” triumphs over “Inferior Blood.” Germany seemed to have a robust movement along those lines.

So the question, considering how both parties were currying favour with the Klan in some parts (and that is similar to any situation you get in a Muslim Nation — which is that the person placed in power would be seeking favour from Islamic Militants), and considering how the World Economic Picture would unfold pretty much the same throughout the World —

How close we come to being Nazi Germany, and what was there to stop us from such? I guess I could cynically say that from the vantage point of Black America, we were Nazi Germany, and there is anecdotal evidence that they were pretty apathetic about WWII.

Ah, yes. Hysteria! Hmmph Yourself!

Your Black Republican

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

I knew who Michael Steele was, and had some rough perimeters of the race for the Senate from Maryland before today’s New York Times Magazine article on the man who would supposedly realign politics by forging a Black Republican voting block.

But now I ponder the imponderables of political coalition shifting. If you’ve paid attention to this blog, you’ll see that I claim to have discovered the originating point of when Black Americans shifted from Republican — the Party of Lincoln to Democrat — there is no party of Lincoln anymore. Spurious that 1924 splitting of hairs on what the Klu Klux Klan meant to both parties, but there you go.

In 2004, Bush won a handful more black votes than he did in 2000. I sarcastically quip that he won about 3% more, as he won an average of 3% more votes in any demographic you can throw at me. The slight increase in attributable to the War on Gays. Note that this was in the campaign literature for Oregon’s anti-gay marriage Amendment Proposal:


Post-election, Bush’s stock in Black America slipped. Down to 2%. The racial dimensions of his lacking aid to Katrina spotlighted the problem.

Ponder the imponderables and I arrive at no answers. A blip on the radar, and Karl Rove knows what he’s doing… even if the men he elects don’t. Republicans insist that Democrats are playing up race and class. Democrats insist that Republicans can only win by pitting one group against another. If Black Americans voted for Bush at an increased clip of 3% over 2000, I wonder if maybe it’s a victory for color-blind prejudices. Reportedly, Bill Clinton suggested to John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign that he would gain political support if he come out against Gay Marriage, and reportedly Kerry decided he couldn’t do that. I have no way of knowing whether this is true or not (what? I’m going to call in and check my sources at the DNC? Yeah… okay), but if true it does say some things about Bill Clinton and some other things about John Kerry. And some things about the electorate. My guess is Kerry would not have been helped, because by that point everything out of his mouth was thought to be political pandering — flip flop redux… Kerry’s problem was not necessarily attached to any issues per se.

In his book on the 2004 campaign, Spanking the Donkey, Matt Taibbi meets up with the Florida Republicans’ token black activist (in a stunt where he is working with the Republican Party, and has his friend call pretending to represent a magazine doing an article on Republican Diversity. Matt Taibbi is a third-class Hunter S Thompson, and he knows it.). The black Republican states that if the Republicans only print up the two partys’ positions on social issues and distribute them in black churches, Republican share of the black vote would double. It’s difficult to disagree with this, even if such things as Katrina will invariably throw the spotlight on our other troubles, but I have to wonder if Joe Trippi is a bit too hysterical here (a quote that makes for an obvious pull-quote):

If the Republicans can win in a state like Maryland because they pried away some of the black vote from the Democrats, Trippi said, “It will be over.” Over for whom? I asked. “The Democrats,” he responded. He didn’t mean just in Maryland — he meant in the whole country, because the electoral math for Democrats begins with an assumption of capturing something like 90 percent of the African-American vote.

At the moment it relies on 90%, and this formulation is obviously shaky considering that the Democrats don’t control anything nationally. Theoretically, under Karl Rove’s Theory of the Coming Permanent Republican Majority, we are in the stage the two parties found themselves in from Reconstruction to the man Karl Rove idolizes: William McKinnley. The Republicans won all but two presidential elections — those to the Conservative Democrat Grover Cleveland. And they won by close margins. The Democrats kept trying to figure out how to win the swing state of New York or Florida… and couldn’t. McKinnley brought about that great “Permanent Republican Majority” where the races were no longer close — the majority was shattered with the Great Depression and FDR. But, for the case of Democrats relying on 90% of black voters to be in the game — must it for all eternity? No way of appealing to the great masses in general, and various groups in specific, while losing a few percentage points of one group that’s made up your base due to the Politics of Wedgies as well as the Politics of Upward Mobility Projection. By the latter I refer to… In the old formation, the poor voted Democratic — until they entered the middle class at which point many/most decided they could start considering a vote for the Republican, projecting themselves onto the upper class. Today, there’s a much bigger tendency to project ourselves upward, due to the war on class warfare, and crass consumerism. Surveys show that 10% of Americans believe that they are in the Top 1% income bracket. Obviously the poor don’t believe such a thing, but it’s endemic enough.

By the way: Millionaires vote Republican. Billionaires have an advantage toward the Democrats. Figure that one out. I guess there comes a time when you really do have enough money in this society to not conern yourself with working tax-loopholes into the system.

Also worth a gander is the Letters page, and those on the article about Virginia Governor Mark Warner. The editors employ a typical magazine technique, which is to have one opinion diametrically opposed to the last opinion and on and on.

Why do I bother?

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Iranian State Radio interviews “One of Cheney’s Arch – Enemies”, Lyndon LaRouche.

Um. Okay. Is there a suitable fringe figure of similar stature in that region that can interviewed with a straight face as though he is an authority?

Oh wait! I know who’s not taken seriously around those parts that can be interviewed over and over again in America media! Maybe?

BLITZER: On this third anniversary of the war, as you know, a lot of your critics say that you were very much responsible for convincing the so-called neoconservatives in the Bush administration to launch this war three years ago, based on faulty intelligence that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I want to give you a chance to respond to that criticism, which you hear all the time, as you well know, coming forward. Specifically, your role in convincing the Bush administration to launch this war against Saddam Hussein.

CHALABI: I thought this bug has been put to sleep. The issue of what my role in the — in persuading the Bush administration to go to war has been greatly exaggerated. I refer you to the Senate reports on this and the Robb-Silberman report that came out on this issue. And it showed that the influence of any information that was provided by the Iraqi National Congress to the Bush administration played, and I quote, “a minimal role” in persuading the Bush administration.

I think that these charges are losing luster, because they have been — were rejected categorically and emphatically by both the Senate Intelligence Committee report and by the Robb-Silberman Commission.

BLITZER: Did you ever imagine three years ago, when you were flown into southern Iraq by U.S. forces as this invasion was moving towards Baghdad, did you ever imagine that three years later the situation would be as apparently dire as it is right now?

CHALABI: Well, I entered Iraq in January of 2003 on foot. Then we went to Nasiriyah with the help of the U.S. Air Force, from Kurdistan, and we were then moved to Baghdad.

He walked into Iraq by foot, and then was flown down into Southern Iraq to be around there for the convenient statue dropping. Got that? One of those bugs that hasn’t been put to sleep yet. No follow-up question for that one about his role in policy formation.

Memories of a Rock Band I’d Rather not Remember

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

In consideration of the Rick Emerson Show and his aborted attempt at compiling a “Top 5 list” for Most Bland Rock Acts.

My father was a Hootie and the Blowfish fan. So, it was the summer of — I guess 1995 — and my parents and I were in the desert visiting my Arizona-based sister. We were in Borders or a store like Borders, and my dad said “I want to get a Hootie and the Blowfish tape.” My sister? She was impressed that he knew who Hootie and the Blowfish were. How very hip. Mom literally said, “Go buy your Hootie and the Goldfish album.”

I did not like Hootie and the Blowfish. I did not hate them. That is what it means to be a “bland” rock band. But there was something incessantly annoying in the way that there was a single from them playing on the radio (“Album Based Rock format” — ie: “Classic Rock with Pearl Jam”; Top 40; Soft-Rock; Adult Contemporary, etc)… and then another single… and then another single… and then another single… and on and on until 11 of the 12 songs were played in the radio rotation of any radio station this side of the “Country” format.

The premonition hit me, as the band riffed its tenth track onto a single and onto the radio. “This is this decade’s version of “Huey Lewis and News!” One huge burst — which tumbles forward with great velocity, and then it’s overplayed until they become an overnight joke, and at this point in time you can tie the band to one or maybe two specific years. 1984… 1985, thanks to Back to the Future. 1995 with Hootie, and what do you think of that “Only Wanna Be With You” music-video done on a basketball gymnasium with various NBA basketball stars, totally transforming the meaning of the song?

Huh. A number of years later, my mother is somewhat apologizing to me, or apologizing to herself in my direction, for getting my brother and I mere gift certificates to … some music store chain I can’t think of the name of. She tells me that dad was almost to buy us a Hootie and the Blowfish album, but that didn’t seem right. My response was, “No. That makes no sense for me, and even less sense for him.” I don’t think dad has any other Hootie album except that first tape. Go buy him the band’s follow-up recording for Christmas, someone.

Today, the Blandest Rock Band is a huge hit on the Business Conference Circuit. That seems appropriate enough… brings new meaning to the phrase “Corporate Rock”. I imagine the opening act at these gigs is Huey Lewis and the News.


Saturday, March 25th, 2006

When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act’s expanded police powers.

Bush did the same thing when he signed the McCain backed Torture Bill. It’s the neat new trick of American Checks and Balances. Congress passes a law, straying from Presidential Authority. The President signs the law. He then makes a note saying that he doesn’t like part of the law, and will therefore not bother with that one.

In the system we have worked out for ourselves, we also have this unique ability to rewrite into existence legal premises whereby the President no longer disobeyed the law. If the President asserts that a previous law he signed gives him authority that law never gave him, well… Arlen Specter may have had this discussion on “Meet the Press”:

RUSSERT: The administration says that they didn’t need to, that they already had authority from Congress when, back in October 2002, Congress voted an authorization to go to war against Iraq, and this is part of that war.

SPECTER: I believe that contention is very strained and unrealistic. The authorization for the use of force doesn’t say anything about electronic surveillance, issue was never raised with the Congress. And there is a specific statute on the books, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which says flatly that you can’t undertake that kind of surveillance without a court order.”

All but certain, Arlen Specter has offered up a bill to revise FISA that would sweep the fact that Bush broke the law under the rug. The beat goes on from there.

Bush wrote: ”The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president’s constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . “

“The Unitary Executive Branch”, a unique Legal Theory that comes out of the “Federalist Society” which had its advocate in recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. To be fair, the name “Federalist Society”, although deriving from the “Federalist Papers”, could just as easily backtrack to the late “Federalist Party”, and there is a strain of Aristocracy therein.

We’ve sort of been down this road before and we’ve sort of not. I reprise for you:

The far seeing men who fashioned our Constitution and established our government 150 years ago provided a system of checks and balances which should insure the perpetuity of the government.[…]

This system worked perfectly until [—-]. Then the President demanded and received from Congress extraordinary powers, which he has never surrendered. Congress [—] ceased to be a deliberative body. The vast majority of members did not even read the bills submitted, much less debate them. It was enought to know the President wanted them, and they were passed without debate[].

The function of the Supreme Court is to interpret the law. [–]

Witness within the past few days the demanding of Congress that it pass “with all possible haste” an act establishing [–]. Witness too a president demanding of Congress the passage of a certain bill with the instruction “not to be deterred by considerations of its constitutionality.” This is the blackest phrase on the records of this government.

This is the most critical moment in the history of our nation. If the President has his way and is permitted to Emasculate the Supreme Court, the US may classify itself as a nation of puppets. Was it for this that we re-elected Mr. Roosevelt by such an overwhelming majority?

I removed a lot of specifics, but left the last one up there, and I repeated my blog entry from just a few posts back. Though some of what I removed is a bit troubling in considering our situation today. “Because of the Overwhelming Democratic Majority” precedes “ceased to be a deliberative body.” Congress ceased to be a deliberative body with the slimmest of Republican majorities. The Democratic Party as an institution is nowhere near as dead as the Republican Party was following 1936 and leading into 1938 (where it recovered to a decent enough point), and Bush was never elected or re-elected by an overwhelming anything… and his party’s Triumph in 2002 Midterm election was relatively minor as well. To say Bush is a Poor Man’s Roosevelt is an understatement: Bush is a hobo; Roosevelt is Gates.

Nonetheless, a rebuff in the polls at 2006 should go somewhere to, if not leaving Bush with his willy-nilly decisions as to how to Interpret the laws he signs in the Most Elastically Self-Serving Manner Possible, tell his handlers and the Invisible Hands of Government to give us a different goddamned “Most Powerful Person in the Free World”.

The Question of Religious Freedom

Friday, March 24th, 2006

The original source link for this story is down for some reason, but apparently — as America Experiences its Fourth Great Awakening and Revival– America don’t careth for the Atheist:

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.

Even though atheists are few in number, not formally organized and relatively hard to publicly identify, they are seen as a threat to the American way of life by a large portion of the American public. “Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years,” says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor and the study’s lead researcher.

Edgell also argues that today’s atheists play the role that Catholics, Jews and communists have played in the past—they offer a symbolic moral boundary to membership in American society. “It seems most Americans believe that diversity is fine, as long as every one shares a common ‘core’ of values that make them trustworthy—and in America, that ‘core’ has historically been religious,” says Edgell. Many of the study’s respondents associated atheism with an array of moral indiscretions ranging from criminal behavior to rampant materialism and cultural elitism.

During the 1988 Presidential Campaign, George Herbert Walker Bush said “No, I don’t know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” So I’m not entirely sure this is news. As for Atheists and where they fit in the World Scene, I point to this: Atheists Riot After Blank Paper Is Found On Cartoonist`s desk!

There is a retro-50s feeling to this idea, which is Eisenhower’s “Our government makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply held religious belief – and I don’t care what it is.” I’m thinking that in light of the study and its implications, we oughta go back and amend the Pledge of Allegiance, as we did in the 1950s. Since there may just be more Religious Fervor than there was in the 1950s, perhaps we could insert a half dozen “under Gods” in the Pledge. Here’s the New Pledge of Allegiance:

I Pledge Allegiance to God and the Flag of the United States of Godly America. And to the Republic for which God stands. One Nation, Under God, with Liberty and Justice for God’s Children.

Ugh. Okay. I admit the situation here in the United States is not as bad as in any Muslim Country. You know about the Christian Convert in Afghanistan? He’s facing the Death Penalty for being a Christian. Much as he would have if the nation-state were still under the Taliban control. The defense for him that may get him off? Well, maybe he’s Mentally Unfit! I don’t know, because I’m not there, whether he is or is not. But this is something that would spare us the embarrassment of having to admit to ourselves that our liberated Country of Afghanistan isn’t this great Beacon of Human Rights. Perhaps we can solve these problems of Islamic Law by nodding and urging Islamic nations to announce that all Christians are Crazy, and thus they can establish some sort of Insane Asylum for them.