Tag Archives: brainwashing

‘Liberal’ media bias — RIGHT…

The lion’s share of the mainstream news/“news” coverage that I have seen of yesterday’s Wisconsin recall election results have painted the results as a victory for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors (well, “traitors” is my word, of course, not the word of the “fair and balanced” “news” media).

Let’s get this straight: Yesterday, the Democrats in Wisconsin successfully recalled two Repugnican Tea Party state senators. The Repugnican Tea Party’s majority in the state’s Senate is now by only one senator. Thus far, not a single Democrat has lost his or her seat in the Wisconsin state legislature in a recall election.

Of course it would have been great had the Wisconsin Dems successfully recalled just one more Repugnican Tea Party state senator and flipped the control of the state’s Senate from red to blue, more seriously thwarting the anti-working-class, pro-plutocratic Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker.

However, it was a Herculean task from the get-go, winning three seats in Repugnican-Tea-Party-dominated state senate districts. In this case, winning one out of three actually wasn’t bad.

Despite a supposed “liberal media bias,” only the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, very apparently, can “win” even when they’ve lost. Perhaps this started with George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote in 2000 but still “won” the White House.

Why is it that even when they win, the Dems are widely reported by the mainstream media to have lost?

There are several reasons, but let’s look at a few of them:

(1) The mainstream media are corporately owned and controlled. “Free speech” — riiiiight! If you just happen to have millions or billions of dollars, then you can get your message out to the masses. And how friendly is a corporately owned and controlled mass media operation going to be to a message that isn’t pro-corporate? To a message that is blatantly anti-corporate? Still think there really is any such thing as “free speech”?

Corporate ownership of the mass media automatically means that the media no longer are democratic — that is, of the people. The overwhelming majority of the mass media in the United States are of the corporations.

Thus, even The Associated Press essentially reported Wisconsin’s recall election results as a loss for the Dems and a victory for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, when the best that you can say for the latter is that they saw very mixed results — sure, they now barely maintain their majority in the state’s Senate, but they still lost two state Senate seats, and November 2012 isn’t so far away.

(2) Democrats are pussies. Dems are talked about like they’re losers because they act like losers — even when they’ve won or even when they hold the upper hand. President Hopey-Changey, the capitulator in chief, is a huge part of this problem (when the Dems held the White House and both houses of Congress in 2009 and in 2010, did they exploit this rare political alignment for the progressive good? Of course not!), but it’s a problem that he inherited and is perpetuating, not one that he invented. (Indeed, President Hopey-Changey his whole life has coasted on others’ accomplishments. He’s a fraud, a fake, a sham of a man.)

(3) The muggles are brainwashed from Day One to be obedient to the Man, to The System, to the Great Capitalist Machine — so much so that the oppressed muggles who suffer under the Man actually defend the Man, their oppressors, just like the chickens defending Colonel Sanders. And these brainwashed turncoats also do much of the Man’s work of oppressing the masses for him by turning on their fellow chickens (think Repugnican Tea Party traitors, whose founding father is Benedict Arnold).

Back to point No. 1: I’m also seeing the mainstream “news” media (including the AP) mention the money from the labor movement that went into the recall battle in Wisconsin, but including little to no mention at all of the shitloads of corporate money that was sunk into the battle. No pro-corporate, anti-union bias there!

And let’s not act like corporate money and labor-union money are equal. Corporate money comes from the anti-democratic (anti-rule-by-the-people) plutocrats. Corporate money comes from the few. Union money comes from the many, from the people. That’s a helluva lot more democratic than the rich few running the show (which is the definition of a plutocracy).

I’m not so naive as to think that these dysfunctional dynamics are going to go away any day soon. Most of those who already are infected with this self-defeating dysfunction will take this dysfunction with them to their graves (although they apparently are hell-bent on taking those of us who are sane right along with them to hell).

It’s probably up to our young people to break the chains. And as capitalism is fucking them up the ass using ground glass as lube, I think it’s safe to say that a good number of them aren’t wild about capitalism, which hasn’t been so very very good for them.

In the meantime, there is no reason to stop the war against the treasonous plutocrats and their turncoat supporters in Wisconsin.

Next up after the Wisconsin state Senate recall elections have passed: The recall of Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker.

I’m in.

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You have to be brain-damaged to celebrate what they’ve just done to you

In this image from House Television, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., center, appears on the floor of the House of Representatives Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, in Washington. Giffords was on the floor for the first time since her shooting earlier this year, attending a vote on the debt standoff compromise. (AP Photo/House Television)

Associated Press image

Your future is being dismantled, chunk by chunk, by the partisan duopoly in D.C. — but hey, look! There’s Gabrielle Giffords!

No offense, but what does it say that a literally brain-damaged congressperson voted “yes” on your legislation?

But seriously, apparently the “feel-good” “news” story of the day is that Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was capped in the head by yet another white male psychopath/sociopath in Tucson in January, returned to the U.S. House of Representatives just in time in order to give her thumbs-up to the Capitulator in Chief’s latest selling out of yet another huge chunk of the store to the plutocratic and pro-plutocratic right wing.

Reports The Associated Press tonight:

Washington, D.C. — Crisis legislation to yank the nation past the threat of a historic financial default sped through the [U.S.] House [of Representatives tonight], breaking weeks of deadlock. The rare moment of cooperation turned celebratory when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords strode in for the first time since she was shot in the head nearly seven months ago.

The vote was 269-161, a scant day ahead of the deadline for action. But all eyes were on Giffords, who drew thunderous applause as she walked into the House chamber unannounced and cast her vote in favor of the bill.

A final Senate sign-off for the measure is virtually assured on Tuesday. Aside from raising the debt limit, the bill would slice federal spending by at least $2.1 trillion, and perhaps much more.

“If the bill were presented to the president, he would sign it,” the White House said, an understatement of enormous proportions.

After months of fierce struggle, the House’s top Republican and Democratic leaders swung behind the bill, ratifying a deal sealed Sunday night with a phone call from House Speaker John Boehner to President Barack Obama.

Many Republicans contended the bill still would cut too little from federal spending; many Democrats said much too much. Still, Republican lawmakers supported the compromise, 174-66, while Democrats split, 95-95.

“The legislation will solve this debt crisis and help get the American people back to work,” Boehner said at a news conference a few hours before the vote.

The Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, was far less effusive. “I’m not happy with it, but I’m proud of some of the accomplishments in it. That’s why I’m voting for it.”

So, too, many of the first-term Republicans whose election in 2010 handed the GOP control of the House and set the federal government on a new, more conservative course.

“It’s about time that Congress come together and figure out a way to live within our means,” said one of them, Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. “This bill is going to start that process although it doesn’t go far enough.”

The measure would cut federal spending by at least $2.1 trillion over a decade — and possibly considerably moreand would not require tax increases. [Emphasis mine.] The U.S. debt limit would rise by at least $2.1 trillion, tiding the Treasury over through the 2012 elections. …

I’m happy that Giffords is doing better these days, but does that fucking erase the fact that, chunk by chunk, my future as a forty-something, as a member of the crew that has to follow with shovels the elephants in the parade that are the fucking baby boomers, is being destroyed by the overwhelmingly self-serving, legacy-ignoring baby-boomer “leaders” in Washington? And that Capitulator in Chief Barack Obama is happily helping them in the name of “bipartisanship”?

Oh, we’re seeing a lot of “change,” all right — the decimation of Social Security and Medicare, which I’ve been paying into since I was a teenager, and other public benefits sure the fuck is a change, just not the change that I’d hoped for, and certainly not the change that President Hopey-Changey Obama had promised us.

But I suppose that I’m a heartless ogre if I am not mindlessly distracted by the “feel-good” fact that Gabrielle Giffords was there to vote “yes” on the further destruction of my nation, to endorse the further widening of the gulf between the rich and the poor in the rapidly crumbling United States of America.

I haven’t blogged on the “debt ceiling crisis” until now for many reasons:

One, I’ve come to expect Barack Obama to sell us out. He consistently and predictably sells us out. He is committed to selling us out. (He always has wanted to be the next Ronald Reagan, remember. He is succeeding spectacularly.)

Two, I’ve always figured that “at the last minute” they (the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — and if you can’t tell the difference between the two, well, don’t feel badly, because most of the rest of us can’t, either) would announce some “breakthrough” “deal,” thus “miraculously” averting “economic Armageddon!”

Three, I’ve always figured that this has been bullshit all along, that this always has been just an elephant-and-donkey show, that the Democrats and the Repugnicans are in bed together and that a “last-minute deal” always was in the script, that the fear-mongering was meant to create the illusion among the masses that there’s actually some struggle for the soul of the nation going on in D.C. — and not, say, the collusion of, for and by two duopolistic parties that don’t give a flying fuck about you or me that’s actually going on.*

Fuck, they even threw The Return of Gabrielle Giffords into the script.

If I wasn’t a conspiracy theorist before (and I wasn’t), I think that I am now.

*No, this statement is not an endorsement of “Americans Elect.” “Americans Elect” is evil. The Wall Street weasels who have caused our economic collapse are not the ones to turn to for solutions.

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(Revised:) Mike Huckabee wins the White House!

Repugnican Tea Party douchebag Mike Huckabee announced last night that he isn’t running for president in 2012, but since he’s busy helping to rewrite U.S. history in order to indoctrinate the youngins, hell, he can just write right now that he won the 2012 presidential election and that he was the nation’s Best! President! Ever!

Many others have covered Huckabee’s participation in the selling of really bad cartoons on “American history” for home-schooled kids (such as here and here, and Rachel Maddow has covered it too). The cartoons are so fucking bad that they appear to be parodies by the creators of “South Park,” but oh, they’re not parodies…

The episode that predictably deifies Ronald Reagan (which notes, among other things, that “he worked against Communism in Hollywood” [not that he was a McCarthyite]) has this nice little image:

051211huck.jpg

Yes, that appears to me to be a knife-wielding, menacing mulatto. In the video he apparently commands the good little white kids (who have access to a time machine, but of course as long as we’re still anti-science we’ll never get to that point): “Give me your money!” Subtle!

(If I had written the little video, I might have had the good little white kids retort: “First show us your birth certificate!”)

The Orwellian right-wing attempt to rewrite U.S. history is nothing new. Glenn Beck has the online “Beck University,” and its home page proclaims, “LEARN REAL AMERICAN HISTORY.” (Also on the home page is a link to a nice little video of Glenn titled “Presidents You Should Hate,” because Glenn’s a good little Mormon boy and God wants him to hate and to tell you whom to hate [you have to subscribe to the website to get Glenn’s God-given insight, though…]).

One of “Beck U”’s “professors” — and all of his “professors” appear to be middle-aged to old white men, shockingly — is David Barton, a white wingnut who has thought himself qualified enough to write on rewrite black American history:

I’m thinking that maybe Anita Bryant should write a book on gay and lesbian American history. Perhaps Maggie Gallagher could take some time out of her crusade against marriage between any two consenting adults to be a co-author of the enlightening, setting-the-record-straight (wink wink) historical account.

The radical-right-wing attempt to rewrite U.S. history is chilling, but while I don’t want to underestimate the radical right’s harm to the nation and to the world, I can’t see a day when their “history” ever becomes mainstream. True, our mainstream U.S. history taught to public schoolchildren is whitewashed as it is, more or less teaches our children that the U.S. never can do any wrong (even the many, many episodes of the oppression of minorities are portrayed as just little potholes in the Road to Freedom, you see), but Huckabee’s and Beck’s brand of U.S. “history” is highly unlikely to make it very far outside of its apparent target audience of home-schooling parents.

One child who is home-schooled in wingnuttery is a tragic loss — not only will the successfully brainwashed child be unable to function in a world in which his or her backasswards beliefs are in the minority, but the world will have lost a fully functional human being — but the percentage of parents who would expose their children to stupid white male propaganda thankfully remains small. Most parents want their children to be well-adjusted, functional, productive adults.

Anyway, Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and a former Southern Baptist pastor, has indicated that God doesn’t want him to run for president, but I think that even Huckabee, as off of his rocker as he is, knows that his ilk is a dying breed and that he can’t win the White House. White people who hate non-whites, non-“Christians,” non-heterosexuals and non-Americans and who believe that women should be subservient to men are finding it increasingly difficult to succeed on a national political stage because their numbers are decreasing.

The Internet, too, while it contains a lot of garbage, also has made it increasingly difficult for stupid white men and their supporters to keep the masses ignorant by keeping information unavailable to them. The wingnuts no longer can stem the flow of information as easily as they have in the past.

The wingnuts can put all of the revisionist books and videos out there that they want. I wish them luck in “protecting” their offspring from being exposed to what the saner members of the much larger world believe. This is exactly what they want to do, of course, and thus, home-schooling.

This is, of course, the largest logical weakness of such oppressively closed systems: If the system is so accurate, so true, so right, then why must it shut out the rest of the world? Why must it be so encapsulated?

Anticipating this question from the home-schooled kiddies, apparently, one of Huckabee’s “history” cartoons has one of the kiddie characters declaring (at the triumphant end of a cartoon on World War II): “What we see in here [in their time-machine travels] isn’t always the same as what we read in books or see on TV. So what? We know the truth, and that’s good enough for us!”

Wow. That says so much more than I could continue to say right now.

But I will say good fucking riddance to Mike Huckabee, who never will be president of the United States of America* — except perhaps in his really bad propagandistic cartoons for the kiddies.

*The Associated Press notes:

Ed Rollins, who chaired Huckabee’s 2008 [presidential] campaign and had been talking with fundraisers about a 2012 Huckabee bid, said it would be difficult [for Huckabee] to find another opportunity like this.

“It was all there for him,” Rollins said.

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Most home-schooling is child abuse

Blogger’s note (March 8, 2010): I have added the word “most” to the title of this blog post. I felt that my intent was clear in the body of this post, but apparently the title lacking the word “most” set some people off…

I touched on the topic of child abuse recently in discussing a very apparently brainwashed Mormon teen. Religiously brainwashing children, who are helpless because they depend entirely upon their parents, I asserted, is a form of child abuse.

Home-schooling, too, in most cases is done for the purpose of brainwashing, and therefore in most cases is child abuse.

The Associated Press ran this story on home-schooling (I’m presenting it in full so that I can’t be accused of picking and choosing only portions of it):

Louisville, Ky. – Home-school mom Susan Mule wishes she hadn’t taken a friend’s advice and tried a textbook from a popular Christian publisher for her 10-year-old’s biology lessons.

Mule’s precocious daughter Elizabeth excels at science and has been studying tarantulas since she was 5. But she watched Elizabeth’s excitement turn to confusion when they reached the evolution section of the book from Apologia Educational Ministries, which disputed Charles Darwin’s theory.

“I thought she was going to have a coronary,” Mule said of her daughter, who is now 16 and taking college courses in Houston. “She’s like, ‘This is not true!'”

Christian-based materials dominate a growing home-school education market that encompasses more than 1.5 million students in the U.S. And for most home-school parents, a Bible-based version of the Earth’s creation is exactly what they want. Federal statistics from 2007 show 83 percent of home-schooling parents want to give their children “religious or moral instruction.”

“The majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians,” said Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association. “Most home-schoolers will definitely have a sort of creationist component to their home-school program.”

Those who don’t, however, often feel isolated and frustrated from trying to find a textbook that fits their beliefs.

Two of the best-selling biology textbooks stack the deck against evolution, said some science educators who reviewed sections of the books at the request of The Associated Press.

“I feel fairly strongly about this. These books are promulgating lies to kids,” said Jerry Coyne, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of Chicago.

The textbook publishers defend their books as well-rounded lessons on evolution and its shortcomings. One of the books doesn’t attempt to mask disdain for Darwin and evolutionary science.

“Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling,” says the introduction to Biology: Third Edition from Bob Jones University Press. “This book was not written for them.”

The textbook delivers a religious ultimatum to young readers and parents, warning in its “History of Life” chapter that a “Christian worldview … is the only correct view of reality; anyone who rejects it will not only fail to reach heaven but also fail to see the world as it truly is.”

When the AP asked about that passage, university spokesman Brian Scoles said the sentence made it into the book because of an editing error and will be removed from future editions. [An “editing error”? WTF???]

The size of the business of home-school texts isn’t clear because the textbook industry is fragmented and privately held publishers don’t give out sales numbers. Slatter said home-school material sales reach about $1 billion annually in the U.S.

Publishers are well aware of the market, said Jay Wile, a former chemistry professor in Indianapolis who helped launch the Apologia curriculum in the early 1990s.

“If I’m planning to write a curriculum, and I want to write it in a way that will appeal to home-schoolers, I’m going to at least find out what my demographic is,” Wile said.

In Kentucky, Lexington home-schooler Mia Perry remembers feeling disheartened while flipping through a home-school curriculum catalog and finding so many religious-themed textbooks.

“We’re not religious home-schoolers, and there’s somewhat of a feeling of being outnumbered,” said Perry, who has home-schooled three of her four children after removing her oldest child from a public school because of a health condition.

Perry said she cobbled together her own curriculum after some mainstream publishers told her they would not sell directly to home-schooling parents.

Wendy Womack, another Lexington home-school mother, said the only scientifically credible curriculum she’s found is from the Maryland-based Calvert School, which has been selling study-at-home materials for more than 100 years.

Apologia and Bob Jones University Press say their science books sell well. Apologia’s Exploring Creation biology textbook retails for $65, while Bob Jones’ Biology: Third Edition lists at $52.

Coyne and Virginia Tech biology professor Duncan Porter reviewed excerpts from the Apologia and Bob Jones biology textbooks, which are equivalent to ninth- and 10th-grade biology lessons. Porter said he would give the books an F.

“If this is the way kids are home-schooled then they’re being shortchanged, both rationally and in terms of biology,” Coyne said. He argued that the books may steer students away from careers in biology or the study of the history of the earth.

Wile countered that Coyne “feels compelled to lie in order to prop up a failing hypothesis (evolution). We definitely do not lie to the students. We tell them the facts that people like Dr. Coyne would prefer to cover up.”

Adam Brown’s parents say their 16-year-old son’s belief in the Bible’s creation story isn’t deterring him from pursuing a career in marine biology. His parents, Ken and Polly Brown, taught him at their Cedar Grove, Ind., home using the Apologia curriculum and other science texts.

Polly Brown said her son would gladly take college courses that include evolution, and he’ll be able to provide the expected answers even though he disagrees.

“He probably knows it better than the kids who have been taught evolution all through public school,” Polly Brown said. “But that is in order for him to understand both sides of that argument because he will face it throughout his higher education.”

Where to begin?

It generally is accepted that parents have the responsibility to raise their children in ways that will enable their children to become well-adjusted adults.

How does protecting children from the real world, and teaching them a worldview that only a small portion of the population has adopted (radically fundamentalist “Christianity,” in the case of most home-schooled American children), enable children to become well-adjusted adults?

Does it really serve these children to teach them, explicitly or implicitly, that they are righteous and are God’s chosen and that their non-home-schooled peers, whom they can’t even play with, are going to hell?

Only if these home-schooled children never are exposed to the rest of the world — only if they remain surrounded by the like-minded — can they find something like contentment as adults.

I surmise that there are rather large geographical areas in the nation, such as Utah, where children brainwashed by “Christo”fascist adults actually can live their lives from cradle to grave surrounded by the like-minded, but what if these brainwashed children, as adults, want to live elsewhere in the nation or the world, elsewhere where the worldview is quite different from the one that they were taught?

The best parent raises a child who can be as well-adjusted as possible anywhere.

It’s not just about whether or not a child believes in evolution (although I imagine that an evolution-denier would have a rather hard time succeeding the world of marine biology…).

It’s about reality-based parenting. It’s about teaching children to think and to analyze and to use their intelligence and their reason, not to believe mythology that was written centuries ago, based upon “faith” (which, as I understand it, is the believing of something for which one has absolutely no rational, intelligent basis to believe). It’s about giving children the tools to succeed in the world of today, not the world as it was centuries ago.

Children home-schooled by “Christo”fascist parents are put at a huge disadvantage. Even children who are home-schooled for reasons other than religious indoctrination — children whose home-school curricula aren’t religious-based — are put at a disadvantage because they don’t get the same opportunities to socialize with children who come from different backgrounds as do their non-home-schooled peers.

Freedom of religion and the freedom of parents to raise their children as they see fit (with the exception of obvious, blatant child abuse) are sacrosanct in the United States of America, and to suggest that faith-based home-schooling be banned would be to stoke the paranoia of those who already see a “socialist” (or worse) takeover of the nation.

But I feel for every child who is being home-schooled because his or her parents believe that the world is such a frightening, dangerous, even satanic place that there is no alternative.

It’s one thing for the parents to have a self-imposed tiny universe of ignorance and fear whose borders must never be traversed.

But their children deserve much, much better.

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McKay Hatch, victim of child abuse in Mormon cult’s ‘Christo’fascist crusade

Deseret News photo

McKay Hatch, 16, of South Pasadena, is brainwashed Mormon spawn who successfully induced the California state Assembly to pass a resolution for a “Cuss-Free Week” that is to begin Monday. The theocratic Mormons also brought/bought us Californians Proposition H8.

I hate to bash a teenager, but the “cuss-free” kid, McKay Hatch — pictured above speaking in Salt Lake City, where his “Leave-It-to-Beaver”-like worldview sells well — is one sad kid. And not “sad” as in “depressed.”

The Sacramento Bee quotes Hatch as having recommended “sassafras,” “barnacles” or “oh, pickles,” in lieu of the more familiar four-letter epithets.

Um, did Hatch just hatch from a time capsule from the 1950s? Because I imagine that any teenager who says “sassafras,” “barnacles” or “oh, pickles” at school is going to get his fucking ass kicked.

Actually, Hatch might as well have emerged from a time capsule, because he’s a Mormon. When I Googled “McKay Hatch” and found that the Mormons’ Deseret News did a piece on him, I figured that he most likely is Mormon, or the Deseret News wouldn’t have written about him. A Google search of “McKay Hatch Mormon” shows that indeed, he’s Mormon and that he and his anti-cussing crusade have received coverage from various Mormon websites.

A Los Angeles Times article says that McKay Hatch’s father is a cousin of Repugnican U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who also is a Mormon, of course.

So it wasn’t bad enough that the Mormon cult shoved Proposition 8 down Californians’ throats by flooding California with Mormon money from out of state to purchase pro-Prop H8 television ads full of lies; now, the state’s Legislature has allowed an ambitious Mormon kid (whom I doubt they vetted) to get a “Cuss-Free Week” resolution passed.

What’s next?

Why don’t we all just castrate ourselves and cut our own tongues out right now? Will that please the Mormon cult?

Seriously, though, this “Cuss-Free Week” resolution bullshit certainly looks harmless enough, but I think that the Mormon cult already has meddled in the state of California’s affairs more than enough, thank you. The “Cuss-Free Week” resolution is just another brick in the wall of the gargantuan Mormon temple into which the Mormons want to convert the entire state of California.

I don’t hold it against McKay Hatch. He’s a minor. The aforementioned L.A. Times article says that his father is a “motivational speaker” who with his wife wrote a child-rearing guide titled Raising a G-Rated Family in an X-Rated World. (McKay has at least six other siblings, according to the Times.)

I looked up Raising a G-Rated Family on amazon.com and I found it, and I also discovered a book supposedly written by McKay Hatch himself:

“The most cyberbullied kid in the world”?

That’s a badge of honor, I suppose, as is all of Sarah-Palin Quayle’s supposed victimization? These are modern-day martyrs?

If McKay Hatch is “the most cyberbullied kid in the world,” that’s because his parents very apparently are, or at least his father very apparently is, living through him.

You think that McKay Hatch wanted to become “the most cyberbullied kid in the world”? Or do you think that his parents pushed that on him?

You may not intentionally physically injure child or sexually molest a child, because that would be child abuse. But you may thoroughly brainwash a child, you may psychologically, emotionally and spiritually damage him or her quite possibly for life by shoving your toxic “Christo”fascist crap down his or her throat — and what chance does a minor have, since he or she is completely dependent upon his or her parents for everything? — and that’s not considered to be child abuse; that’s considered to be freedom of religion.

Of course, because his parents have thoroughly brainwashed him, McKay Hatch probably would claim that he came to all of this on his own. Yeah, right. Like if he were raised by a sane set of parents, he would be the exact same kid that he is now.

I don’t believe in “cyberbullying” or otherwise bullying a minor. I don’t hold anything against McKay Hatch. I hold it against his parents and the Mormon cult, who very apparently have brainwashed him — and brainwashing is a form of bullying, ironically — into being this anachronistic little Pollyanna who of course is going to be harassed by his peers whose parents have raised their children to live in the real world, not in the fantastical, Mayberry-like world of the Mormon cult.

And we sane Californians need to remain vigilant of the Mormon cult. First, the Mormons flooded the state with their millions of dollars at the last minute in order to see Prop H8 passed in November 2008 (by 52 percent to 48 percent, a close-enough vote that I can argue that the Mormons’ millions made a big difference in the outcome of the election*). Now, this McKay Hatch kid flew under the radar, even though his surname is Hatch, and the state’s Democratically controlled Assembly apparently didn’t see the “no-cussing” bullshit for what it really is: Mormon proselytization.

Unless we want to find ourselves living under Taliban-like conditions one day, we need to remain alert.

*Wikipedia notes of Prop H8:

About 45 percent of out-of-state contributions to ProtectMarriage.com came from Utah, over three times more than any other state. ProtectMarriage, the official proponents of Proposition 8, estimate that about half the donations they received came from LDS [Mormon] sources, and that “80 to 90 percent” of the early volunteers going door-to-door were [Mormon].

Wikipedia also notes that the pro-Prop H8 camp spent about $40 million in its crusade to deny same-sex couples equal human and civil rights.

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American history wars

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A Patriot’s History of the United States has Glenn Beck’s prominent endorsement on the cover. Gee, do ya think it’s fair and balanced? Why do I suspect that if the American fascists had their way, the book would be required reading for all Americans, perhaps especially in “re-education” camps? Below is the 1980 book that the 2007 A Patriot’s History apparently is a direct response to.

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Two very different versions of United States history are among amazon.com’s top-selling books as I type this sentence.

The late progressive historian Howard Zinn‘s A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present, first published in 1980 and current to 2003 in the revised edition that is available now, is at No. 27 on amazon.com right now, propelled up the list by his recent death. (It probably would be higher, but a lot of us “socialists” who voted for Barack Obama — which would be 53 percent of those Americans who voted in November 2008 — already have the book.) 

And at No. 1 on amazon.com right now, unfortunately, is 2007’s deceptively titled A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to the War on Terror — the title of which appears to be a direct response to Zinn’s tome and which tells you the slant that its two authors (one of whom wrote another book titled 48 Liberal Lies About American History) take and which indicates that if you disagree with the two white male authors’ version of American history, then you aren’t a patriot; in fact, you probably hate your country, hate freedom, and you probably want the terrorists to win!

(Hey, at least Sarah Palin-Quayle’s book has dropped to No. 56; it was at No. 1 for weeks…) 

Now, a wingnut might come back with the “argument” that Zinn and/or his supporters would say that if you disagree with his take on U.S. history, then you’re not part of the “people,” but I don’t think that was Zinn’s intent. His intent, I believe, was to tell U.S. history from the viewpoints that usually are ignored, including from the viewpoints of the downtrodden and the conquered. Well, hell, in his own words, Zinn said:

…[Ours] is a beautiful country, but it has been taken over by men who have no respect for human rights or constitutional liberties. Our people are basically decent and caring, and our highest ideals are expressed in the Declaration of Independence, which says that all of us have an equal right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The history of our country, I point out in my book, is a striving, against corporate robber barons and war makers, to make those ideals a reality….

Agreed. Our nation is a long way from fully living up to its stated ideals — we’re still arguing whether or not it is OK to discriminate against non-heterosexuals, for fuck’s sake, and while we are a nation of immigrants, the wingnuts for some time now have been on an anti-brown-skinned-immigrant kick, and what happened not long ago enough at Abu Ghraib was not, as Sarah Palin-Quayle might put it, very American-y, was it? — but to the wingnuts, just having stated those lofty ideals centuries ago is enough.

The Glenn Beck-endorsed A Patriot’s History, I am sure, tells the viewpoint of the powerful and the conquerors — the viewpoint that always has been taught in our schools (as it’s the conquerors who get to write the history), the viewpoint that if a public elementary or high school teacher were to challenge, he or she very well might find him- or herself in hot water.

Did we really need yet another white man’s version of U.S. history? We don’t have enough of the white man’s perspective? Fuck a duck.

I have read much of Zinn’s account of American history, and far from being some foaming-at-the-mouth, anti-American screed, it seems to tell the historical accounts and facts that the wingnuts don’t want to be taught in our schools because they’re not flattering.

Didn’t the Nazis — I know you’re never supposed to bring up the Nazis, but fuck it, I’m going to — teach their young a whitewashed, hypernationalistic version of German history? What’s the fucking difference between the Nazis doing that and Americans doing that?

It is too bad, but perhaps inevitable, that history should become so politicized, that is has become about indoctrination rather than about telling, to the best of our ability, the truth.

The telling of history was a central point of George Orwell’s 1984, with the totalitarian government of the novel rewriting even recent history to suit its political desires.

History, and how it is told, matter.

I wouldn’t read A Patriot’s History first and foremost because I wouldn’t read anything endorsed by Glenn Beck, who, I am fairly certain, is the anti-Christ. I mean, isn’t that how the anti-Christ is said to be? Able to sway the masses with his talk of purity and piety even though his soul is as black as pitch?

And again, I wouldn’t bother with something like A Patriot’s History because it’s the version of U.S. history that we’re all already familiar with: White Americans are God’s chosen. They’re all about courage and bravery and independence and freedom and liberty and democracy and puppies and kittens, they can do no wrong, blah, blah, blah, hand me something in which I can vomit, please.

Traditional U.S. history is, in a nutshell, feel-good history. It isn’t about reaching the truth of what actually happened; it’s about feeling good about oneself and one’s nation. Worse, it’s about brainwashing the sheeple about how great their lupine overlords are and is part of the long process of beating the sheeple into submission to their overlords.

Nor do I believe in, as we progressives are accused of by the right, feel-bad history.

Problem is, anything that contradicts the traditional myths that are passed off as American history is labeled, immediately, as “anti-American” or the like. 

I believe in acknowledging what the United States of America has gotten right and what it has gotten wrong. Declaring independence from the British monarchy, for instance: right. Smacking down the pro-slavery South in the Civil War: right (but we Northerners should have finished the job…). Defeating Hitler and his allies hell-bent on world conquest in World War II: right. Decimating the Native Americans and stealing their land in violated treaty after violated treaty: wrong. Slavery: wrong. Interning Japanese Americans during World War II: wrong. The Vietnam War: wrong. Allowing the White House to be stolen in 2000: wrong. The Vietraq War and the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors: wrong. The election of the nation’s first non-white-male president in 2008: pretty cool.

We weaken, not strengthen, the nation by continuing to pass off jingoistic lies and half-truths and whitewashing as American history. You can’t fix weaknesses whose existence you won’t even fucking acknowledge.

A Patriot’s History: More of the same.

A People’s History: At least you get another view, a more complete picture, an idea of the nation’s weaknesses that need to be addressed.

Which is the more patriotic? To work to improve one’s nation, especially to ensure the expansion of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and liberty and justice for all, or to claim that the white-male geniuses created a perfect nation and that there is no more work to be done?

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Tim Tebow nativity story false?

FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2010 photo, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow ...

Associated Press photo

CBS will show football star Tim Tebow’s anti-choice ad paid for by the radical-right group Focus on the Family during the Super Bowl, but reportedly has turned down an ad for a gay men’s dating service. Meanwhile, the circumstances of Tebow’s nativity have been called into question. But the most important question of all still remains: When do we get to see him nekkid???

Shit, with all of the controversy surrounding the impending Tim “I’m Sure Glad That My Mama Didn’t Abort Me!” Tebow anti-choice Super Bowl commercial coming up, Focus on the Family could have saved its $2 million-something for the ad, since we all know the story by now.

But is the story true?

According to Wikipedia,

Tebow was born on August 14, 1987, in Manila in the Philippines to Bob and Pam Tebow, who were serving as Christian missionaries at the time.

While pregnant, Pam suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic ameba. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her [amebic] dysentery, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption. Doctors expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion to protect her life[, but] she carried Timothy to term and both [of them] survived.

That’s a story to warm a wingnut’s cold, cold heart, but apparently the doctors were trying to prevent Pam Tebow’s death. I don’t think that they were hell bent on snuffing out her unborn child.

However, an interesting twist to the Touching Tebow Birth Story is that, according to an article in AlterNet:

In a series of new interviews, the first of which was given to RadarOnline, high-profile attorney Gloria Allred argues that Pam Tebow’s heartwarming story omits a rather significant detail that renders the whole thing suspicious: namely, the fact that abortion was illegal in the Philippines in 1987.

Indeed, abortion has been illegal in the Philippines since the 1930s, even in cases of rape or incest or if the mother’s health is in danger.

According to Radar:

Allred says she believes it an impossible scenario to believe that Philippine doctors would [have] ever suggested abortion as a viable option for Tebow in the first place.

And when you learn that physicians and midwives who perform abortions in the Philippines face six years in prison, and may have their licenses suspended or revoked, and that women who receive abortions — no matter the reason — may be punished with imprisonment for two to six years, it’s easy to see why.

Stay tuned. Hopefully we will learn soon whether the Tebow Nativity Fable is apocryphal or not.

Hell, I’m surprised that Pam Tebow doesn’t just claim that Little Timmy, God’s Gift to Football If Not to Mankind, was an immaculate conception. You know, she was visited by an angel wearing a golden football helmet or something… 

After all, Wikipedia also notes:

All of the Tebow children were home-schooled by [Pam Tebow], who worked to instill the family’s Christian beliefs along the way. In 1996, legislation was passed in Florida allowing home-schooled students to compete in local high school sporting events.

The rest, of course, is history; now all of that home-schooling will pay off as Tiny Tim delivers a misogynist, anti-choice message to the world.

But seriously, that Tim Tebow was home-schooledwow.

No wonder he wears scriptural references painted on his face like a Jesus-freak drag queen.

I have at least a little bit of sympathy for him now that I didn’t have just hours ago. Given his indoctrinating parents, it appears as though he didn’t have much of a choice except to become a Bible-thumper.

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