of this weblog file:
This index is chronological (earliest is first), while the the postings are in reverse chronology (most recent is first).Weblog, 2004-11-08
Why Democrats have been losingWeblog, 2006-06-11
DOMINION AND DOMINATION: Bush's Faith and its Consequences for Freedom
Permanent and Draft Materials
America, in 10 easy steps
At the point of our (early on the scene of the crime) exhaustion, we learn that some small part of the media elite is catching on, and has begun making dramatic announcements that "there has been a murder on campus". Do I hear shots? Have the exit doors been chained shut?
dark a time for poetry?
Of course there is no time too dark for poetry. Quite the opposite. But somehow I am not up to finding, and certainly not to writing, any to post.
I have received communications from the Democratic Congressional and Senatoral Campaign Committes asking for my congratulations that Democratic members of Congress have finally decided to exercise due diligence in examining the Bushite war policy, at least as that policy is expressed in the War on Iraq.
Debate on Iraq is 5 years late. The Democrats were as guilty, if not more so due to the obligations of their position as the loyal opposition, as the Republicans in acceeding to the Bush Administrations drive toward war on Iraq.
Now the Democrats have their eyes firmly fixed on the rear view mirror, debating the fringes of Bush's policy on Iraq, the so-called "surge" - an arguably defensible policy if it were to be soundly directed at suppressing the worst of Shia theocratic fundamentalism and restoring balance among ethnic and religious groups there - while stubbornly and irresponsibly ignoring the Bush drive toward a new and broader war on Iran.
The Democrats who are refusing to address and oppose the impending war on Iran cannot expect and will not receive my support.
reserved for citations and edits
Theft Auto: San Andreas
|Bush Repudiates OASDI Trust Fund Debt!
of the Willing
How the Numbers Are Adding Up
"United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 percent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam."
- Peter Grose, in a page 2 New York Times article titled, 'U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote,' September 4, 1967.
The New York Times article on the Vietnam election in 1967 was first located and published by patachon on the DailyKos blog forum.
DOMINION AND DOMINATION: Bush's Faith and its Consequences for Freedom
If you have the opportunity and interest, I think that scanning the materials described here will give you a very good idea of the part "Christian Dominionism" has played in what has happened to our nation in the recent past, and even more scarily, what may be in store for us over the next four years.
Christo-Fascism is an unorthodox version of Christianity that has its origin in several (roughly but not precisely synonymous) Christian heresies:
Christian Dominionism(For a historical review of Darbyism and premillenial dispensationalism, try using Google and searching for links to "Plymouth Brethren")
Premillenial Dispensationalism (var., premillenalism, dispensationalist, etc.)
Adherents to these sects typically consider all other Christian traditions to be liberal, in "error" and "backsliders". The idea of "error" in interpreting Christian scripture is a very old one, but "backslider" gained currency only after the Reformation, during disputes among Protestant sects, as each accused others of "backsliding" from their own supposedly correct and suitably literal interpretation of scripture.
The term 'backslider' occurs even in scripture, at least in some translations, chiefly in the tale of the Prophet Jeremiah, from whom the term "jeremiad" is derived. His use of the term gives these sects 'scriptural authority' for their own use, and precedent for the context in which they use it. Currently that context is use as a basis for condemnation of people and groups who do not conform to the group standards held by the sect leadership to be correct, and for advocacy of theocratic influence over the form and activities of government.
For sources about these groups, besides Google searches on each of the terms I have listed, I would suggest the following:
http://www.intelligenceproject.org - http://www.splcenter.org/intel/ This is the best source I know of for tracking the most extremist of the U S's racial and religious hatred organizations, including some extreme forms of Christian Dominionism. If you have a serious interest in this, I recommend you become a member and get the quarterly print "Intelligence Report" on extremist organizations' activities.
An article at http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=376 outlines the sources of Dominionism in so called "Christian Reconstruction". The movement has at its root the writings of Robert L. Dabney, a disaffected former Confederate military Chaplain, in the late 19th Century. In the last 40 years Dabney's doctrine has been expanded on by Gregg Singer and Rousas John Rushdooney. Much of what you hear on AM radio in the "heartland" is infected with doctrine propagated by Singer and Rushdooney, described in the article as "a merging of the theocratic idea of religious government and a view of the 19th-century Confederate cause as fundamentally right."
Another point worth noting is a tie to contemporary "Celtic romanticism" which has caused leading Reconstructionist propagandists George Grant, Steve Wilkins, and Douglas Wilson to be referred to by J. W. Stiver as "part of a 'Celtic sunrise' within Christian Reconstruction". I have seen shadows ('figures' in theocrat speak) of this in contemporary Celtic fantasy fiction.
The cited article notes that Grant "once described his goals as 'world conquest,' according a 1998 article in the journal Reason. 'It is dominion we are after. Not just a voice, not just influence, not just equal time. It is dominion we are after.'"
"Dominionism" refers to this thread within Christian Reconstruction, Wilson's "Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals" (CRE) and other elements of theocratic Christian qua Christo-fascist movements.
Gregory Stephens' essay "Heartland Morality, American Politics" provides an "on the ground, walked the walk, talked the talk" discussion of "the nature of the private morality in the American heartland that is driving politics at home and abroad" from the point of view of someone born and living in Oklahoma. His focus on the difficulty most people in "those blue oases" on the coasts have in understanding conservative mid America is invaluable, as is the context he sets for the vulnerability of people there to the attractions of Reconstructionism, Dominionism, and other extreme features of the religio-political scene.
Mark Crispin Miller's book "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order" is another good source of information on these movements, and their influence within the Bush regime.
Mark Crispin Miller. August 16, 2004. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL: Bush/Cheney's New World Order. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
"...as Mark Crispin Miller argues here with great clarity and effect, we are in fact living in a state that would appall the Founding Fathers: a state that is neither democratic nor republican, and no more "conservative" than it is liberal. He exposes the Bush Republicans' contempt for democratic practice, their bullying religiosity, their reckless militarism, their apocalyptic views of the economy and the planet, and—above all—their emotional dependence on sheer hatefulness."
Miller captures the essential character of the Bush regime and its most conscious and purposeful adherents, noting that their war against the anti-democratic, anti-rational, and anti-modern tendencies of fundamentalist Islam - which Bush adherents love to call "Islamo-fascism" - are in fact straight up projections, mirror images, of their own fearful abreactions to democracy, reason, and contemporary world civilization. See also interviews at:
In fact, these tendencies on the part of Islam have been imported, and amplified, from the same ideological sources behind the Bush regime and its program. I think the best treatment of the sources, in the anti Enlightenment ideologies of neo medievalist, proto fascist European propagandists, of Islamic and other "Eastern" obsessions with the evils of Enlightenment civilization is found in the essay "Occidentalism" by Avishai Margalit and Ian Buruma, and the book which expands on that essay "Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies".
In essence, the Christian reconstructionists share with radical fundamentalist Islamists (and for that matter Hindu nativist fascism) a visceral opposition to the transformation of civilization that occurred over the last 500 or so years, known as the Enlightenment. The period of transformation is sometimes referred to as "The age of reason". But reason is not the only enemy of these groups - they also insist that the individualism, freedom of expression, and ethnic and religious pluralism fostered by the Enlightenment is antithetical to 'true' religion - in the case of the reconstructionists to true Christian belief. Naturally, for these adherents, ending slavery was liberal enlightenment heresy, and the Civil War was an unjust war against god's people and the writ of holy scripture.
David Batstone, of Sojourner's, has an excellent brief introduction to the "dispensational" view of history and its (im)moral and theological consequences.
Are liberal Christians phony? 5-12-2004 and related essays including
The Right Stuff Sojourners Magazine, July, 2004
Take back our faith - successes and next steps 8-27-2004
Jimmy Swaggart tells congregation he'd kill gays 9-22-2004
Apocalypse now and then 10-27-2004
One remarkable feature of Christian reconstructionism is its peculiar relationship to the idea of "Truth". For the reconstructionist, Darbyist, 'premillenial dispensation' Christian, there is no truth, except as they perceive the "truth of god".
Accordingly, "reality based" truth, the truth of what one Bush regime staffer disparaged as "the reality based community" is not to be respected. Quite to the contrary, a reconstructionist theologian has held that a known false statement asserted "as a matter of faith" by a Christian is ipso facto "true". If a 'true Christian' wishes a statement to be true, then it is true.
Here, I think, is the real source of GW Bush's certainty, and his ability to communicate confidence in what he says, no matter how irrational: If he believes it, then it is so, just as in the days of Pharaoh.
Katherine Yurica's web site describes the influence of Dominionism in the Bush administration and the reach and direction of that movement's leadership.
Chris Floyd references Ms. Yurica's work in an excellent article on the Dominionist "Constitutional Restoration Act". A web search on [ chris floyd dominion domination ] will get you a set of interesting links.
One of these is my own note on the subject, which has with it a copy of Mr. Floyd's article and his extensive bibliography of links to Dominionism materials on the web. It also includes links (see also the table of links and URL's below) to "must read" materials on the ties between the Dominionism (Christian reconstruction) and Domination (Straussian NeoCons).
You might also be interested in these pages from my web site and log:
The ultimate neocon lie
Bush's Black Friday
Leo Strauss and his spawn
The neocons and Bush/Cheney
The "religious" right
The corporate media
Across a Great Divide - There are fundamental(ist) differences between Europe and the US.
The Face of Totalitarian Shrubbyism
Fundamentalism - "The battle for God" (aka "the dustup over God") by Karen Armstrong
NeoCon/Theocrat subversion of command authority and the rule of law
They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer - http://www.thirdreich.net/Thought_They_Were_Free_nn4.html
Understanding Information Warfare by the Right
A War to Remake the World
Birth of the Enlightenment
Legacy of the Enlightenment
Pages addressing some of the relationships between Reconstructionist Christianity and Revisionist Zionism:
Challenging Christian Zionism
Clearly, the temper of the Bush regime and its adherents, as well as its Islamic terrorist opponents, is focused on religious warfare, and not on the defense of freedom. This warfare is actually that of a developing Christian reconstructionist theocracy in the US, against Islamic theocratic radicalism.
In contrast to the false assertion by the Dominionists and Neo Cons that this war is in defense of freedom, this is a war of two forms of religious absolutism against other citizens and other religions within their own nations. The warfare of the Islamic radicals against their own religious minorities is overt - a hot war in which no one is safe who is not aligned with the locally dominant group of radicals.
But in the US the war is a cold, secret war. Its nature and significance are clear when studied, but are unreported, and nearly invisible to most Americans. The secular, pluralistic, individualistic, democratic institutions of freedom which have created and supported modern civilization over the last four to five centuries are under direct threat, in this country, by the policies of the Bush regime, by legislation proposed in our Congress, and by violent and secretive Christo-fascist organizations in too many of our communities.
November 6, 2004
of prior weblog file:
This index is chronological (earliest is first), while the the postings are in reverse chronology (most recent is first).Weblog, 2004-08-14, Saturn's Day
Oil prices, trade deficits, interest rates, and inflation - facts and fictions (Link) revised.Weblog, 2004-08-15, Sun Day
Najaf & Fallujah Update
Prior postings on Najaf & Fallujah (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10)
Weblog, 2004-08-16, Moon Day
Weblog, 2004-09-04, Saturn's Day
Weblog, 2004-09-08, Wodin's Day
Are we better off because Saddam Hussein was captured?
Weblog, 2004-09-28, Tiw's Day
Weblog, 2004-09-29, Wodin's Day
Weblog, 2004-09-30, Thor's Day
Weblog, 2004-10-01, Freya's Day
Weblog, 2004-10-08, Freya's Day
Weblog, 2004-10-11, Moon Day
When will people catch on? Job Growth Slows Permanent and Draft Materials
The Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/ has been named the "Best Warblog" by Forbes Magazine - and it is not even a Warblog, as they note.
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/ Most highly recommended, with built in BS detection and disclosure.
http://www.johnbrownlow.com/unintended/ An excellent source. More on unintended consequences.
http://sgtstryker.com.cr.sabren.com/sparkey.htm Tactical news, but well selected and informative.
http://www.singmind.com/singleminded/home.htm has a much more strategic and political view.
They even quote Lord Melbourne "Nobody ever did anything very foolish except from some strong principle."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/world/2003/reporters_log/ BBC war reporters' log.
http://www.agonist.org/ "Thoughtful, Global, Timely" Actually quite good.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42614-2003Mar28.htmlis a Washington Post summary of Warblog activity
The Enlightenment and US Politics (Draft, March, 2004)
Perpetual War! A political agenda motivates the drive to perpetual war.
The Past is Prologue: Resistance, Rebellion, Reaction - Viet Nam and its Aftermath
The Face of Totalitarian Shrubbyism
Whose anti war movement is it, anyway?
|Nader (aka "Barf Nadir" in
some quarters) is probably not an elitist, a
Straussian NeoCon plant, who ran last time in
order to get Bush elected, and is attempting the same thing this
time. But he might as well be.
( http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/23/opinion/23MON1.html ,
After the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and two years of student action at Universities culminating in the May 4, 1970 Kent State killings, it was clear something had to be done. Two tools were devised and used to divert the energies, physical and intellectual, of the people who made up the anti Viet Nam war movement. One was New Age spiritualism. The other is "(Don't) Think Globally, Act Locally" Environmentalism. For three decades both tools (together with splinter parties) have been used to chip away at the people's political will and ability to accomplish any populist and progressive program.
That form of spiritualism called "New Age" induced us to reject commitment to politics and the political process as meaningless or, worse, a source of troubling thoughts and emotions. Local action "environmentalism" told us that we were to focus on recycling our trash instead fighting corporate polluters, reading history and being politically aware, committed and involved. Broader action to influence policy would, in this version of movement politics, be dissociated from real politics. Instead, we would work through special interest organizations, which apply 'pressure point' lobbying to gain their objective. Enthusiasts of both could drop out, and go back to the land - where they managed, some argue, to both start a process of gentrification in rural communities and to get a head start on the resulting boom in real estate values!
Politics - real politics which focuses on the needs and aspirations of the the people and polity and on securing votes for bond issues, tax levies, and candidates - was, supposedly, irrelevant. In this strange new world there was no difference between the political parties, and Al Gore and George Bush were viewed as clones. But the corporatist and fundamentalist Right not only knew better, it funded - even created - much of that anti-political consciousness.
In this brave new century, both movements have aged, weakened, and deteriorated to the point that they are no longer a threat to either the fundamentalists or the oil companies. The religious right is taking control of our free public school system or supplanting it with fundamentalist madrassahs to be supported with NCLB mandated vouchers. Recycling programs are being found too expensive and being abandoned across the nation. The post Viet Nam diversionary movements and their duped adherents can be dispensed with, and our government be put in the hands of Straussian Neocons. All this WWW3 stuff, the MacNamara revisited stuff (you notice it is all recollection - no analysis, not guilt, no apology), is to keep "movement" people stuck in self analytical and self congratulatory mode while the stage is set for Act 3 of the NeoCon putsch.
Now a similar tactic is distracting the remnants of Governor Dean's campaign support organization. In large part it has already lost sight of the need to remove the Shrub NeoCon regime from power and reform the Democratic party. Even as Shrub uses recess appointments to install far right wing judges,agents of disinformation and agents provocateur are working in Governor Dean's blog and forums to convince his supporters that they should let the 2004 election go and focus on "stopping Hilary" in 2008; that there is no difference between the toothless, failed liberalism of John Kerry and the aggressive, very sharply toothed extreme right wing NeoCons who occupy the White House and the Pentagon.
If this tactic, in conjunction with Nader's candidacy, works "(T)hen, as Clint Eastwood gets to say in Don Siegel's Coogan's Bluff, "You won't believe what happens next, even while it's happening." " We are living at the foot of a huge dam, and we are blind to how near it is to overtopping, failing altogether, and washing away 500 years of progress in human welfare and freedom.
Jared Diamond's Lewis Thomas Prize Lecture: "Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?"
The threat originally comes, not from the arc of impoverished and desolated peoples running from Morocco to the Indonesia, but from worms boring away within the body of and consuming the heart of European civilization's greatest gift to humanity, the legacy of the Enlightenment. This parasitic infection has, of course, broken out of the bounds of European intellectual life and infected the rest of the world, from where it is reflected back, in the forms of terrorism and fundamentalism, onto the "West".
Birth of the Enlightenment
The elements which were brought together in the creation of the broad and revolutionary cultural transformation known as the Enlightenment were not the sole possession of Europe. Most were held in common with other civilizations, some older and more sophisticated in many ways than was Europe. For the greater part of the period after the breakup of Mediterranean civilization at the end of the Roman Empire, so-called "Latin Christendom" was the least advanced of the three successor cultures, after Byzantium (Eastern or Orthodox Christianity) and Islam.
There is no substantial agreement about why the outcome of a series of cultural trends in Northwestern Europe in the 14th through the 17th centuries was so dramatically different than in other parts of the world which were at a similar or more advanced state of development at the beginning of that period. However, three distinguishing factors are suggested:
The impermanence of state and empire. Maritime Norse raiders who had only a few centuries earlier flooded into every part of the continent bounded by ocean or sea, and even into Asia Minor and Russia carried a tradition of loose and democratically organized confederations antithetic to central control, culminating in the freehold. The sufficiency of this tradition alone in providing the roots for democracy is demonstrated by the evolution of Icelandic governance.
In Europe Norse influence was coupled with repeated fragmentation and reconstitution of the Holy Roman Empire and its loosely coordinated component states, which itself resulted from the Frankish tradition (contra primogeniture) of dividing the kingdom among the sons of the king. This combination inhibited the growth of stable large states and centralized authoritarian control.
Norse decentralization and Frankish inheritance practice were later coupled with the mythos of Greek Democracy and the Roman Republic rediscovered during the Renniassance. All these together provided the historical and cultural basis for the creation of open and pluralistic societies and democratic forms of governance in Northwestern Europe.
The secular preoccupations of the Church in Rome: An historical antipathy of much of Christian tradition toward the state also limited the degree of coordination between the state and religious authority and discouraged the development of stultifying theocratic social organization. (With a nod to a current cultural phenomenon - March, 2004 - it is necessary to note that, although this tradition originates in the persecution of the Christian churches by the Roman Empire, after the sudden conversion of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity a new tradition, which "washes the hands" of Rome and assigns "blood guilt" for the crucifixion to the Jews, appears in Christian culture. How convenient for Rome and the Emperor!)
For centuries the Holy See in Rome, Pope and Curia, had been preoccupied with regional politics in the Western Mediterranean. Charlemagne had institutionalized the Church in the North in the form of the Holy Roman Empire, and until the Reformation there was little reason for Rome to concern itself with political or doctrinal matters there. The relative freedom of this secularized environment that developed in Rome permitted the rise of the Italian Renaissance, and its export to the rest of Europe, where it merged with other cultural bases supporting the Enlightenment.
After the Roman church's powerful reaction to the Reformation at the Councils of Constance and Trent, and the creation of the Counter Reformation, it turned its attention to the suppression of these secular tendencies by blood and fire. States in Catholic Southern Europe dealt with irregular books and people in the same manner - by burning - and from the time of the Council until the 20th Century Southern Europe declined relative to the North in thought, governance, invention, the arts, and economic vitality.
Fortunately, the political structure if Northern Europe could not support such a monolithic response to the Reformation, and despite the desire of its initial creators to enforce various forms of doctrinal totalitarianism, the ferment of novel religious ideas there continued pretty much unabated until the mid 19th Century.
The printing press. The invention (1436) of the mechanical printing press made possible the rapid reproduction and wide distribution of old and new knowledge and thought throughout European civilization. This possibility, which could have been aborted in circumstances of centrally coordinated authoritarian government, was fully exploited in Northern Europe, though aborted in the South after the Counter Reformation. The tensions among varied branches of Christian religious thought both increased the demand for printed materials and created religious justifications for their free availability - a pattern in sharp contrast to that experienced where ideological conformity was enforced by strong, empire wide government authority.
In sharp contrast to the Enlightenment in Northern Europe, in the Eastern Empire of Byzantium and - after the fall of Constaninople and the rise of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul - in the Islamic world a pre-existing tendency toward empire building, and the strongly centralized and authoritarian religious and governmental structures required to support empire (esp. Ottoman and Mogul) aborted further development of once vital cultures there.
By the end of the 17th century the Enlightenment had come to dominate the intellectual and cultural life of Northwestern Europe, and for the next 400 years it permitted the advances in science, technology, economic organization, governance, and military power that created the hegemony of the so-called "West" over the entire planet.
Every part of the Shrubbyist domestic and international
on perpetual war.
Shrubbyist Lust for War
Shrubbyism might "more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." This under the management of those who control the corporation and benefit from the accumulation of power and wealth in corporate hands. (Example) In its organization of power corporatism "has the following characteristics:
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