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You’re a lot more likely to be killed by a Trumpian fascist than by an ‘Islamofascist’

Updated below (on Saturday, November 28, 2015)

At least three people, a police officer and two civilians, were shot dead at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs today. Details are still coming in, but apparently the gunman shot at least 12 people, at least five of them police officers, with a rifle.

Here is a news photo of the police taking away the shooter in handcuffs:

The handcuffed suspected gunman at the Planned Parenthood clinic is moved to a police vehicle in Colorado Springs, Colorado November 27, 2015. Police arrested a gunman who stormed the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday and opened fire with a rifle in a burst of violence that left at least 11 people injured, including five officers, authorities said.

Reuters photo

I’ve yet to see any information about the gunman, but from the photo he doesn’t look like ISIS and/or a refugee from Syria to me. He looks like a domestic terrorist of the usual kind — a white, right-wing, “Christian” male. You know, the kind who supports Donald Trump and is so stupid and aggressive that he gets into fights with his own kind at Trump/KKK rallies (when he isn’t too busy committing assault and battery on non-whites who dare to dissent at a Trump/KKK rally).

I’ve long known that as an American on American soil I’m much more likely to be killed by a white, right-wing “Christian” male than by an “Islamofascist,” whether homegrown or from abroad.

Americans have paid attention to the 130 people slaughtered in Paris earlier this month primarily because the terrorists who perpetrated the massacre were self-identified Muslims. Most Americans ignore terrorism perpetrated by “Christians” here at home, which they never consider to be part of a pattern and thus a real problem, no matter how many times it happens. Indeed, the terms “terror,” “terrorism” and “terrorist” remain reserved only for Muslims. That hasn’t changed since 9/11.

Also unchanged since 9/11 is that more Americans have been slaughtered by homegrown “Christian” terrorists than by “Islamofascist” terrorists. I’ve long known this, but it’s always great to see it in writing, so here is a timely piece by Global Post titled “White Americans Are the Biggest Terror Threat in the United States”:

White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States, according to a study by the New America Foundation. The Washington-based research organization did a review of “terror[ist]” attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, and found that most of them were carried out by radical anti-government groups or white supremacists.

Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists [since 9/11]. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as [terrorist attacks], 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country’s lawless border regions.

Attacks by right-wing groups get comparatively little coverage in the news media. Most people will struggle to remember the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people in 2012. A man who associated with neo-Nazi groups carried out that shooting. There was also the married couple in Las Vegas who walked into a pizza shop and murdered two police officers. They left a swastika on one of the bodies before killing a third person in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Such attacks are not limited to one part of the country. In 2011, two white supremacists went on a shooting spree in the Pacific Northwest, killing four people.

Terrorism is hard to define. But here is its basic meaning: ideological violence. In its study, the New America Foundation took a narrow view of what could be considered a terror attack. Most mass shootings, for instance, like Sandy Hook or the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting — both in 2012 — weren’t included. Also not included was the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina earlier this year. The shooter was a neighbor and had strong opinions about religion. But he also had strong opinions about parking spaces and a history of anger issues. So that shooting was left off the list.

The killing of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina [in June] was included. The shooter made it clear that his motivation was an ideological belief that white people are superior to black people. [That] shooting has cast new light on the issue of right-wing terrorism in the United States. But since it can’t really use Special Forces or Predator drones on U.S. soil, it remains unclear how the government will respond.

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“Terrorism” is actually, I think, fairly easy to define: It is the use of violence or harm or the threat of such use for some political gain or goal.

The gunman who just today shot up the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, for instance, no doubt is an anti-abortion nut job who believed that his violent act would hinder or impede women’s constitutional right to an abortion. That’s a clear political goal and the man used violence to try to achieve it, so it’s terrorism, plain and simple.

That said, of course, if you’re shot, you’re shot, whether it’s by a nut job with a political agenda or by a nut job without one (or by a nut job who is somewhere in between). The injury that was done to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and to 12 others who were shot and injured by white American nut job Jared Lee Loughner near Tucson in January 2011, for example, was just the same, regardless of Loughner’s motive (or lack thereof [a raving lunatic, I suppose, really has no motive, since the word “motive” connotes some degree of rational thought involved]). And, of course, the six people whom Loughner slaughtered that day are dead, regardless of his motive.

(Loughner reportedly did express the opinion that women should not hold positions of power [which I’d call a definite right-wing viewpoint], and thus he targeted Giffords, but overall his political views apparently were/are a nonsensical mishmash because he apparently is severely mentally ill and has severely disordered thinking. Still, it counts as terrorism to me, his having targeted a female elected official out of his belief that women shouldn’t hold such posts, if that report is correct.)

Again, of course, shot is shot and dead is dead, even if the gunman had no discernible political agenda at all, as apparently was the case with white American nut job James Eagan Holmes, who killed 12 and injured 70 when he shot up that movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012 in what Wikipedia notes was “the largest number of casualties in a shooting in the United States.” (A lot of massacres sure are committed by white American males in Colorado…)

In any event, we Americans lately have focused on the 130 slaughtered by “Islamofascists” in Paris not so much because we care about Parisians — because we don’t; we’re Americans, and while we might claim otherwise, we truly give a shit only about ourselves — but because we don’t want to be out and about in public, enjoying the fruits of our capitalist system that come at others’ (and the planet’s) expense, only to be riddled with bullets or to be blown up or otherwise to be injured or killed ourselves.

But because we Americans hold ourselves to be innocent — that’s part and parcel of the pathology of toxic, right-wing “Christianity” and other forms of theofascism: rank hypocrisy (being “God’s” “chosen” and so being unable to do any wrong) — we maintain that it’s always the “other” who is the real threat, the real evil, while we ignore the significantly bigger threat to us from the white, male, right-wing, “Christian” terrorists who are among us right now here at home.

So much do we ignore this larger threat, this clear and present danger, that it’s not within the realm of the impossible that Donald Trump, whose campaign demagoguery embodies what the white, male, right-wing, “Christian” nut jobs are all about, will win the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination.

And maybe even the White House.


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He didn’t inhale!

Updated January 27, 2009 (see below)

Ted Haggard answers questions during the HBO panel for the documentary ...

Reuters photo

Ted Haggard, pictured above earlier this month, says that his sexuality is complex. (Uh, it seems pretty simple to me…) And the young man with whom Haggard claims to have had a hands-free sexual relationship was not paid hush money, but was given “compassionate assistance.”

Um, is this something like pole smoking but not inhaling? I mean, this is the same guy who claimed that he bought meth but that he never used it…

From The Associated Press today:

DENVER – Fallen evangelical pastor Ted Haggard apologized [today] for his “inappropriate relationship” with a young male church volunteer, but said it did not involve physical contact.

The newly disclosed relationship added a chapter to Haggard’s dramatic fall, which began in November 2006 when a Denver male prostitute alleged a cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Haggard confessed to undisclosed “sexual immorality” and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Church, which he founded in his Colorado Springs basement in the 1980s.

In [today’s] statement, Haggard said he met with the man two years ago and asked him “forgiveness for our inappropriate relationship.” Haggard’s wife and a representative of New Life Church attended the meeting, Haggard said.

“Although there was no physical contact, I have regretted my irresponsibile (sic) behavior,” he said.

Haggard reiterated that he wanted to ask for the forgiveness of the man and the people of the church.

The young man, now 25, declined comment to The Associated Press. He was scheduled to speak later to a local television station.

Haggard’s successor at New Life Church, Brady Boyd, disclosed details of the relationship on Friday. He said then that evidence pointed to a long-running “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” between Haggard and the man, who was in his early 20s.

[Today] Boyd clarified that “sexual” didn’t necessarily mean physical contact. The church didn’t describe what made the relationship sexual but has emphasized that any sexual relations outside of marriage — whether heterosexual or homosexual — are wrong.

“Our hearts go out to everyone hurt by the inappropriate actions that took place under former Pastor Ted Haggard,” Boyd said in a statement. “After news of Mr. Haggard’s actions broke in late 2006, church leaders publicly announced that other allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior had been made. We had not at that time and still have not to this day received any reports of physical sexual contact between Mr. Haggard and any one other than a male escort who made the initial allegations against Mr. Haggard in 2006.”

Haggard, 52, is married and has five children. In an AP interview this month, he described his sexuality as complex, and something that can’t be put into “stereotypical boxes.”

Both Haggard and the church knew the episode could be revealed. The church struck a legal settlement with the man in 2007 that paid him for college tuition and counseling — as long as he did not speak publicly about the relationship, Boyd has said. He called it “compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money.”

He said the church would not take legal action for the man for breaking the agreement.

Boyd said the church went public about the relationship only because it was contacted by KRDO, the station scheduled to air the interview [tonight]. The station has reported on its website that the man says the relationship with Haggard was not consensual.

Boyd also suggested that the man would not have come forward if the HBO documentary were not airing, and said he warned Haggard of the potential consequences during a meeting in December.

[Yesterday] Boyd told his congregation, “I’m sorry that this wound has been reopened for many of you.”

Alexandra Pelosi, director of the HBO documentary, said [today] she was sorry if that was the case.

“But this is what happens when you don’t handle things properly at the time,” said Pelosi, a daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “If the church had been 100 percent full disclosure at the time, maybe this wouldn’t be a problem now.”

She added that her film was not about Haggard’s indiscretions themselves. “My film is about what happened to a man and his family after he fell from grace.”

I have a great idea for a film about men who have fallen from grace: maybe Haggard and Illinois Gov. Rod “$enate $eat for $ale” Blahblahblahblah can make a gay — er, sexually complex — porn movie together. Without any physical contact, of course.

Update (January 29, 2009):

This today from The Associated Press:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A young man who formerly attended New Life Church says that then-pastor Ted Haggard performed a sex act in front of him in a hotel room in 2006 and sent him explicit text messages.

His hidden relationship with Haggard, the man said, was followed by a period of isolation, struggles with drinking, drugs and suicide attempts.

Those latest allegations against Haggard, once an influential national evangelical leader, were reported [last] night by KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, which interviewed the man, now 25.

In a statement earlier [yesterday], Haggard apologized for his “inappropriate relationship” with the former church volunteer, but said it did not involve physical contact.

The newly disclosed relationship added a chapter to Haggard’s dramatic fall, which began in November 2006 when a Denver male prostitute alleged a cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Haggard confessed to undisclosed “sexual immorality” and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Church.

The latest revelations involve Grant Haas, who told the TV station that he met Haggard in 2005 when he was 22. He said he told Haggard that he had been kicked out of a Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for his “struggles with homosexuality.”

“It seemed like at that moment his eyes lit up and his whole attitude towards me changed,” he told KRDO. Reached by text message [yesterday], Haas agreed to be identified by The Associated Press. Haggard’s statement also identified him.

“I’m like, ‘This must be God,'” said Haas, who described wanting to be a pastor himself. “Why would this big guy, this big evangelical leader, be taking such an interest in me?”

Haas told KRDO that one night in Cripple Creek, a casino town west of Colorado Springs, Haggard “asked me if we were going to be godly or bad that night.” He said he told Haggard that he wanted him just to be his friend and pastor — but Haggard masturbated in front of him.

Haas also said Haggard at certain times sent him between 1,000 and 2,000 text message a month, some describing his sexual experiences and drug use from the road.

After the Haggard scandal in November 2006, Haas said he contacted the church immediately.

The church has said it struck a legal settlement with the man — it has not named Haas — in 2007 that paid him for college tuition and counseling as long as he did not speak publicly about the relationship. Brady Boyd, Haggard’s successor as pastor at New Life, called it “compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money.”

According to documents Haas provided KRDO, he is to be paid $179,000 through 2009. Haas claimed the church didn’t follow through on promises to pay for counseling and medical treatment.

“Their main focus was, you know, cover it up, don’t say anything,” he said. “You’ll regret it if you come forward.”

Haggard, in his statement [yesterday], said he met with Haas two years ago — after the first allegations came to light — and asked him “forgiveness for our inappropriate relationship.” Haggard’s wife and a representative of New Life Church attended the meeting, Haggard said….

Haas maintains a website on which he acknowledges that many people are visiting the site to learn about his experiences with Haggard. On the site, Haas identifies himself as a recent graduate from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

His resume says he was an intern at New Life Church in 2005 — the church described him as a volunteer — and currently works as an investment company as a retail account manager.

“As far as my personality, I’m a fun outgoing guy with a great sense of humor,” he says on the site. “I don’t take myself too seriously and have learned from my past experiences to laugh and enjoy life.”

Haggard, 52, is married with five children.

I don’t think I’ve read a news story with such money shots in a long time. Such quotes as “It seemed like at that moment his eyes lit up” and he “asked me if we were going to be godly or bad that night” — priceless. Even gay porn isn’t that cheesy.

The problem with Haggard’s actions isn’t homosexuality. There’s nothing wrong with the physical expression of love between two men or two women.

But Haggard is a heterosexually married closet case, and that’s a problem, because that means that he lies to everyone he comes into contact with, that his life is one big fucking lie.

And to be in a position of trust and responsibility but to use, for your own sexual gratification, your position over a younger person who trusts you (whether there is any physical contact with him or her or not) — that’s a sick kind of power trip, nothing like love.

Let’s focus on Haggard’s real crimes, which have been his lies and his abuse of power.

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