Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Evil Hindus Invade Manhatten, America With "Ground Zero Temple"

If you thought the Muslims trying to build the "Ground Zero Mosque" was bad, I would like to bring to your attention the dangerous infiltration of America by a far worse "faith" - Hinduism.  That's right, the cow-loving religion of Asia has grabbed a foothold all across America.  Islam is only a distraction from the real threat.  Sure they have gained notoriety as being the face of convenience stores and taxicab drivers, but that was their plan from the start - to give the appearance of being harmless capitalists, but in reality they are here to subvert the nation and supplant the Constitution with their cult-like scripture, the Bhagavad Gita.  There is no room for a religion with a god called "Shiva, the destroyer" - that is just pure hate!  Did the Christian god or Jesus ever destroy anything?

And look - there is a Hindu temple just 11 minutes away from Ground Zero!  America must protest this Ground Zero Temple, which aims to trivialize the loss of life on September 11th and claim victory in the name of Shiva (just right before Shiva is to destroy us).

They even infiltrated the government at some of the highest levels!

Louisiana Bobby Jindal (a.k.a. Piyush Amrit) was supposedly born in Baton Rouge in 1971 but has anyone seen his birth certificate?  According to Hindu law, Jindal was born a Hindu, and his wife is also a Hindu - she even created a non profit foundation - The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana's Children - to indoctrinate Lousiana's youth by aiming to improve math and science education - an enemy of Christianity.  She is even working on a PhD in marketing, presumably to better spread Hindu across America, and what better place to start then in the center of the Bible Belt, making Hinduism the "buckle."

You don't think that's enough proof?  Just look at what Jindal's name means in Hindu and Sanskrit - Piyush means "drink of the gods" and Amrit means "without death" or "immortal."  That roughly translates to "drink the kool-aid and live forever."  I am sure that if a Hindu terrorist were to strike America, they would yell "Piyush Amrit" during the attack.

Wake up, America!  We must restore the honor of America and prevent it from being destroyed by Jindal and Shiva - the Hindus want the Muslims to be the focus of the Christian's holy war so they can target our great nation unopposed!

Disclaimer:  The above post is satire, making fun of the right's hatred towards Muslim-Americans, or any non-Christian religion for that matter.

John Smithson Hypocrisy, Moral Sin, And His Shared Beliefes With Sharia Law

John Smithson is an ex-contractor and fundamentalist preacher who also fashions himself as a conservative blogger, but recently he did something very interesting that raised the eyebrow of this author - he wanted to make a wager of $1,000 to verify his site traffic.  What made this request very interesting is that Smithson claims to be a fundamentalist evangelical Christian - in the Stone-Campbell tradition - yet here he was wanting to gamble, which is considered by Campbellites to be a moral wrong, and this isn't the first time Smithson had made a bet to boost his ego.  It appears Smithson is defying the neo-puritanical foundations of his faith, but then as we had reported in the past, Smithson isn't really that religious - sure he claims to be a man of God, but in the past he had called fundamentalism "political and sectarian," and since Smithson describes himself as a fundamentalist, that would make Smithson "political and sectarian."

While we are discussing the hypocrisy of religious zealotry, I wanted to also mention that Smithson had called an image that appeared on this website "blasphemous." I had found that interesting because a while back Smithson had cut-and-paste from another website a list of things that offend Muslims, with depictions of Mohammed being one of them. It would seem that Smithson is offended by what he perceives to be Jesus on the cross, so it is easy to come to the conclusion that Smithson shares something with Sharia law.

Did it ever occur to Smithson that the Romans crucified many other people then Jesus?  Maybe the image was a reference to the Japanese practice of crucifixion...

I am also reminded of Smithson's assertion that Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of his personal heros.  Bonhoeffer was inspired by the liberation theology he observed in Harlem, New York - a belief Smithson had constantly attacked the president for allegedly adhering to.  Of course Smithson believed Bonhoeffer was not a liberation theist because "black liberation theology" was not named until later.  This is a silly argument - just because something wasn't officially titled means it did not exist?  I guess Christianity didn't exist until people started calling themselves Christians...

Basically, Smithson has exhibited a complete disregard for his faith when it inconveniences his narrative.  Don't like what someone is saying?  Attack their character and make baseless accusations.  Don't like what you see?  Return to faith and attack the religiousness of it.  Don't like the facts?  Just ignore them and create a new set of facts.  The hypocrisy is amazing...

Palin Would Have Quit The Vice Presidency

Someone asked me at work yesterday why I didn't vote for John McCain and I gave them some of my reasons, but when I got to the point about Palin - how she was unfit to to Vice President - he stopped me and said: "That shouldn't of mattered. Palin would have quit anyway and then you would have had someone better."

I thought about it for a little bit and realized that he was probably right, though had I known at the time of the election that Palin would quit her job as governor, I still wouldn't have voted for McCain - there were just too many things I did not like about him and his campaign.

If you consider Palin's big reason she gave for leaving office - she couldn't afford the legal fees surrounding her numerous ethics complaints - then you must consider what Palin would have mad as Vice President. In 2009, the VP earned $227,300 - as Alaska's governor Palin earned $125,000 (her and her husband together earned more then $200,000). The raise in pay still wouldn't cover the costs Palin claimed she was facing, which she placed at around $500,000.

Palin would have most likely quit the Vice Presidency to become what she is today - a celebrity entertainer for Fox News and the tea party.

She wouldn't of liked the position anyway - there are too many people and cameras to avoid...

Why John Smithson Doesn't Understand Copyrights

If you haven't noticed, a frequent topic on this blog is John Smithson, a conservative Christian blogger who had made numerous baseless claims (as well as a meaningless "cease and desist") against this website.  One particular subject matter is copyright infringement, mainly because Smithson had claimed that this website plagiarized the name of his similarly named website.

While Smithson's claims have been thoroughly debunked, it has come to the attention of this blog just why Smithson believes he is allowed to copy other people's works while attacking others - his son is a singing wrestling champion!

In a response to a thread on a religious message board Smithson frequents, someone posted a question regarding copyrighted material and if it was okay to post them online - here was Smithson's response:
And I think that you can duplicate what is written if you do not profit from it and/or it is not duplicated as a course of business  (as a church does with their singing or a buisness does with the birthday song  --  have you noticed that no business actually sings "Happy birthday to you .."  It is because of the stinking law.)    What G does is not in view.   My Son is a worhsip leader and has his own band   ---------------    I will ask him.  He will know because he is a State and Valley wrestling champion who sings.
I must have missed the part on the bar exam where they discuss musical scales and submission holds.

Smithson later commented on the thread that since no music or videos were posted, then they were okay, so by that logic it is safe to say that all printed material is free for the taking.

And Egon said "Print is dead..."

Charlie Crist's View On Health Care Reform

Even though The Midnight Review endorsed Charlie Crist's run for Florida's senate seat, there was one big thing that bothered me regarding his campaign - his desire to repeal the health care reform bill.  Nathan Spicer at Sunshine State News had recently posted the six different positions Crist had held regarding health care, and they are as follows:
Position 1: Crist called for repeal the night the House passed the health care bill.
On March 21, the Associated Press reported that Crist hopes to get elected in November "to help repeal the bill and bring a commonsense approach to health care reform."

Position 2: In July, Crist tells The Wall Street Journal that he does not support repealing Obamacare.
On July 20, Peter Wallsten of The Wall Street Journal wrote, "Mr. Crist has made other policy shifts. Despite pledging as a Republican to help repeal President Obama's health-care overhaul, Mr. Crist now says he does not support such a move.”

Position 3: Crist tells The Wall Street Journal that those calling for repeal are only giving in to the primary “purity test”
Wallsten told Crist, "When the bill was passed, you called for its repeal." To which Charlie countered, "Well, I wanted it to be changed ... People get caught up in 'I'm going to say it's going to be repealed' ... That's part of the purity test."

Position 4: Crist says his position on Obamacare has been “confused” and he does support “repeal.”
On July 29, the governor wrote on charliecrist.com, "The Obama health-care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much. Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill because of unacceptable provisions like the cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. But being an independent, I have the freedom to be an honest broker for the people of Florida without regard for political party, and the reality is this: Despite its serious flaws, the Obama health-care bill does have some positive aspects. Repeal must be accompanied by a responsible substitute."

Of course you already know what happened today (see paragraphs 2-4), which account for positions five and six.
Now I don't expect to agree with every candidate out there, and I don't find Democrat Kendrick Meek worth my vote solely to protect "Obamacare," but Crist's response to the health care question had bothered me - I suppose I could have asked him when I met him last week but I was more interested in observing the campaign stop and seeing his interactions with those around him.  I also didn't have any questions prepared since it was a last minute decision to attend the event.

I did however look into his "positions" regarding health care reform and found this particular article, intended on debunking Marco Rubio's claims, on his website (which Spicer's article referenced):
FACT CHECK: Recent reports in the media have confused my position on the Obama health care bill.

The Obama health care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much. Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill because of unacceptable provisions like the cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. But being an independent, I have the freedom to be an honest broker for the people of Florida without regard for political party, and the reality is this: despite its serious flaws, the Obama health care bill does have some positive aspects.

Repeal must be accompanied by a responsible substitute — repeal without passage of a substitute law protecting those with pre-existing conditions, closing the prescription drug donut hole for seniors, and allowing parents to keep their children on their insurance coverage until age 26 would be wrong. While I would not have supported the legislation, we have to recognize the positive components and work together across party lines to make our health care system more affordable for both consumers and the government.

This debate must not be about political posturing; it must be about protecting the people of Florida and America, and I intend to do that hard work when I get to the United States Senate.
Basically, I disagree with Crist's first paragraph but agree with his second - especially the part about repealing without a replacement.  I personally believe the right, and Crist, should drop "repeal" from their repertoire and focus on "ammend."  The health care bill was not a difinitive bill - I view it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.  I agree that getting rid of it with no clear alternative would be irresponsible, and downright dangerous, and this is why I prefer Crist over the Republican and teabag choice Marco Rubio.

The only problem I have with Crist's handling of this issue is that his campaign has handled it poorly.  I understamd that Crist is a politician, and politicians will say anything to get elected, but come on - in the day and age of the internet and instant soundbites, Crist should have been more careful with his "story."  I understand that thoughts and opinions can evolve over time, but if Crist wants to get the trust of the state behind him, he needs to show some resolve - you know, the kind the GOP exercises on every little issue, even when they are wrong.

I also like the fact that Crist had recognized that certain aspects of the health care bill are good, although he has failed to indicate precisely which ones are worth keeping...

The Harry Heilmann, Gold Star #22

After visiting some blogs that have climbed high up in my rotation, I had discovered that Nice Guy Eddie's blog, In My Humble Opinion..., has awarded The Midnight Review by inducting the site into the Nice Guy Eddie's Hall of Fame - The Midnight Review was awarded The Harry Heilmann, Gold Star #22.

Here is what Eddie had to say about this site:
Folks, let me first say Kevin K's blog has been on my short list since about January. And yet every month it seemed like I'd remember some other site, or some site would come to my attention that I felt I just HAD to talk about.  But enough's enough.  This has been a LOOOONG time coming.  Kevin K is a prolific blogger, with incredibly in-depth, well-researched and well-cited posts.  He's a great source for a well-informed take and keen insight on everything that's going on in the world of politics.  Comparing my blog to his would be like comparing AM Talk Radio to the way a News and Political media source SHOULD work.  (I'd point to an example, but given the sad state of our media, none really comes to mind! NPR?) Anyway, check it out. The only reason I occasionally sound like I know what I’m talking about is because the are people like Kevin K. (and ClassicLiberal and other Gold Stars that I've mentioned) who do a much better job at this than I do.
I was very flattered by Eddie's gold star - I started this blog a little over a year ago because I figured I spent enough time surfing the web reading everyone elses articles that I might as well make one of my own (using it share my opinions and to practice my writing skills for classes), and over the year it has grown steadily.  I am glad to see that people are enjoying the site and hope that things will only improve over time, and I would have to disagree with Eddie on one point - his last sentence where he insists that I do a much better job then he does.  Eddie's blog is amazing - he is very knowledgeable, his posts are well written and intelligent, and he always seems to have an original opinion on whats going on in the world.  I also enjoy the fact that he engages in discussion with his commenters - an attribute that I try so hard to emulate.

Seeing that he had given this website a gold star named after a baseball player, I have decided to pay him the same honor by awarding him The Gary Carter Gold Star!

Growing up in New York City, my family was big Mets fans and we headed out to Shea Stadium every week to watch them play.  I don't know what originally made Gary Carter my favorite player, but for some reason he had stuck with me all these years.  My other favorite player would be Mackey Sasser, the backup catcher for Gary Carter, for signing a baseball for me on August 18, 1989 when David Cone refused to do so - that can have a serious effect on a young boy on his birthday!  After Carter left, Sasser became my favorite Met - I even remember pretending to be like Sasser, double-clutching the ball when throwing back to the pitcher.

Anyway, again, I thank Nice Guy Eddie for the recognition and hope to continue living up to the "single most meaningless, over-rated and over-the-top award in the world!"

Also, since Nice Guy Eddie gave out two gold stars, I might as well award another website to be consistent, so the Mackey Sasser Gold Star (saw that one coming?) goes to TomCat's political blog aptly titled Politics Plus.

Politics Plus is another amazing blog that offers very interesting insight into today's political scene.  TomCat offers detailed opinions on various headlines and is very understanding of the issues, avoiding the thing that bothers me the most - hypocrisy.  TomCat applies the same to everyone and he is open to discussion regarding everything, even if it is a differing opinion.  When I first considered blogging, it was both In My Honest Opinion... and Politics Plus that I found early on that I thought "got it right" and I thank both of those sites for setting the bar high.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Smithson Falsifies Site Traffic Information And Discredits "Restoring Honor" Estimates

Updated August 31st, 2010.

When I first wrote this piece, John Smithson estimated 600,000 people were in attendance at the Glenn Beck rally.  Now he estimates 1,040,000!  As a side note, it looks like his visitor counter finally topped 256...

I was on conservative blogger John Smithson's website and noticed a big fat lie - in an article discussing the Glenn Beck ego rally, Smithson talked about how the rally was a huge success and how he had seen tremendous site traffic in the 24 hours of reporting on Beck's little rally.  Smithson claimed that he had 256 hits on his website in 24 hours - ten times his usual traffic of around 25.  This was apparently proof of the right-wing's "grassroots" movement's power.

There was one small problem with Smithson's claim - the site counter right beside the article puts the count at 228 (Smithson had just installed the counter a couple days ago).

What is the significance of John Smithson's lie?

Smithson's previous article regarding the Beck rally were about those in attendance, where Smithson refused to accept estimates of close to 100,000 in attendance and decided to go with a much higher number - 600,000.

Smithson believes the estimates of 87,000 to be a "lie" and has called numerous news stations, including Fox News, untrustworthy for not saying what he wants to believe.

Here is a great article by Bridgitte P. LaVictoire from Lez Get Real regarding the attendance numbers:
Yesterday, busses brought in as many people as the Koch Brothers could manage to scrape up, but in the end, the crowd that turned out at the National Mall was, at best, 100,000, and not all of them were there to see Beck. In fact, an estimate by a professional using software developed by the Defense Intelligence Agency put the estimate at around 85,000, which is close to what CBS is estimating, which is 87,000. Given the number of tourists, counter-protesters, and non-attendees, the crowd that came to see Glenn Beck do his best impression of Amy Semple McPherson, the 1920’s radio personality and evangelist who was eventually taken down by scandal.

Glenn Beck predicted that there would be some 100,000 people at the rally, but now has FOX News claiming that there ware upwards of 500,000. Given the tendency of the network to overestimate the rally sizes by figures in excess of several degrees, including claiming one protest had as many as two million attendees when it did not even manage to get a quarter of that, it is hard to credit them with an accurate count.

According to the company AirPhotosLive, the total number of people there was somewhere between 78,000 and 96,000. Given how heavily this rally was promoted, that level of attendance would be considered rather pathetic. In fact, without heavy promotion, the National Equality March pulled in some 30,000 marchers, and all of the promotion regarding that was done via the internet.
Now why would we believe Smithson's amateur guess of those in attendance when he can't even get his site traffic correct?

Smithson, and conservatives in general, are just unwilling to accept reality because in doing so would ruin their narrative that the tea party is a force to be reckoned with - the tea party is really a hodge podge of upset right-wing conservatives that are extremely vocal, bullying the majority into submission thus perpetuating the Spiral of Silence.

It benefits conservatives to push this idea that the tea party movement is bigger then it really is because it helps advance their agenda - politicians are more willing to pander to those who can have a considerable impact on their electoral results.  The Spiral is also integral because if the minority tea parties are seen to be a bigger force then they really are, the true majority will censor itself to become more accommodating to the minority, and in return the minority become more vocal.

Smithson illustrates perfectly why right-wing pundits cannot be trusted in regards to matters they are invested in (both directly and indirectly)...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sarah Palin's "Restoring Honor" Speech An Insult To Civil Rights Movement (Transcript)

I've commented enough on Glenn Beck and his rally in Washington this week, but I wanted to take the time to look at Sarah Palin's speech because while the event was billed as a non-partisan patriotic event, I felt that Palin's speech was disgusting - what began as a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. (as well as Abraham Lincoln) quickly turned into an indirect attack on the current administration and praise for the military, which seems odd considering the use of nonviolent resistance during the Civil Rights movement.

I have decided to post the full transcript of Sarah Palin's speech with my emphasis added on particular passages and commentary added in italics.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Democrats File IRS Complaint Against Conservative Americans for Prosperity Foundation

I saw reference to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and it's billionaire founders on several websites, but I was just made aware of this article by Jim Kuhnhenn at the Star Tribune, where Kuhnhenn writes that the Democratic Party had filed a complaint with the IRS against the foundation for violating it's status as a tax-exempt organization.
The foundation began running $4.1 million in ads last week in 13 states. This week it went on the air with a $1.4 million ad campaign that will run in Arizona, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania through Sept. 8.

The ads don't mention candidates or parties, but attack Obama administration policies to rescue the financial sector, the economic stimulus and the new health care law. The criticism echoes themes used by Republican candidates and GOP-leaning groups to attack Democrats...

The foundation is covered by a section of the tax code that applies to charities that are "prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office," according to the IRS. the organization may carry out educational activities, however.
What bothered me was the response from the foundation president Tim Phillips.

"We don't mention candidates, we couldn't anyway, we wouldn't want to, we don't need to," Phillips said. "We want to make sure that Americans broadly continue to think about this."

The article also indicated that Phillips is the president of another group with an almost identical name - Americans for Prosperity (minus the "foundation" part) and that group can engage in political activities.

To me, it sounds as if Phillips statement is an admission that the foundation is "indirectly participating in" the election on behalf of conservative candidates that may be endorsed by the similarly named organization he also heads.

It is also a nice set up to make political donations tax-deductible. You have two identical organizations - one that can make political endorsements and one that can't. One engages in a direct campaign while the other larger organization proceeds in an indirect manner, all the while it's supporters get to right off their political contributions on their taxes. It is also a good way to hide where the money is actually coming from.

I hope the IRS doesn't cave into special interests to avoid giving the appearance of being partisan and deem this matter a non-issue - should the IRS investigate this matter, conservatives would surely blame the Democrats and the administration...

Washington Post Got Beck Rally All Wrong

I read this in a Washington Post article today and thought it sounded off:
Tens of thousands of activists are descending on the National Mall Saturday morning for a Glenn Beck rally billed in part as a peaceful commemoration of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the same stage where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 47 years ago to the day. 

Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, which begins at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, is designed as a celebration of the military and American heritage and will feature former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and other heroes of the "tea party" movement. The demonstration has drawn national attention because of Beck's many comparisons on radio and television this week between his own event and the civil rights movement.

"This is going to be a moment that you'll never be able to paint people as haters, racists, none of it," Beck said this week. "This is a moment, quite honestly, that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement."
You see, Glenn Beck claims to have been ignorant to the fact that this was the anniversary of the famous Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have a Dream" speech, so how exactly was his alleged ignorance a commemoration of MLK?

Considering he is billing his event as a reclaiming of the civil rights movement, he implies that the there was something wrong with the movement popularized by MLK and that it requires the help of conservative punditry to get the civil rights movement back on track.

Would MLK like the idea of Sarah Palin speaking at an event designed to carry on his civil rights legacy, especially after her infamous "refudiate" tweet?

All this event will be is a Democrat/Obama-bashing event and a promotion for conservative candidates nationwide...

Here is a clip from The Colbert Report talking about how Beck's rally has nothing to do with MLK:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Sharron Angle Not Supported By Her Supporters

In a poll released on Friday in the Las Vegas Review Journal, numbers showed that voters overwhelmingly wished they had a different candidate to compete against incumbent Harry Reid.
Two-thirds of voters who say they back Sharron Angle wish another Republican had won the nomination, according to a poll for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and 8NewsNow that shows deep dissatisfaction with both the Tea Party pick and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.

Nearly eight of 10 voters who remain undecided or who don't like Angle or Reid say they, too, would have preferred if the staunch conservative hadn't won the June 8 primary over her more moderate foes. And 58 percent of such nonaligned voters say they wish Reid hadn't won the Democratic nomination, suggesting a majority of Nevadans are unhappy with their choices.
This is a perfect example of the Spiral of Silence and why an overactive minority can gain more attention then it deserves - the GOP had created a monster with the tea parties by co opting their invents and using extreme rhetoric to rile their base, who negatively affected the primary when they picked a right-wing idiot to compete in the general election.

Who in their right mind would think Angle was a good choice?

The problem is that the media have been bullied into complacency in regards to the tea parties and now they can't report on the negative aspects of the ragtag web of right-wing groups, and with that kind of information blackout, the tea parties only become more vocal, but as we may see happen in the general election (and what we are seeing with Angle's supporters), the Spiral of Silence may be coming to an end with a majority of the population rejecting the right-wing candidate.

This is the same situation we see playing out in Florida, although Rubio isn't as stupid as Angle...

John Smithson Calls Midnight Review Author A "Jihadist"

Updated August 31st and September 1st, 2010.

In his latest attempt at right-wing punditry, unlicensed contractor and conservative Christian blogger John Smithson decided to comment on a silly story regarding a terror suspect appearing on the television program Canadian Idol (much like American Idol), but it is not what he had to say about the terror suspect, but what Smithson had to say about other terrorists - Smithson ridiculously writes that a Christian author of this blog (myself) is a "Jihadist."
Jihadists come in all shapes and sizes. They range from junior college drop outs with no job and no serious work experience to "converts" such as this Kevin guy (American name - see video below) who actually "tries out" with Canadian Idol and failed ---- of course. So what does he do? Tries to kill innocents.
There is no news value in this story. Losers are losers. But it is funny to watch and listen to them thrash around as if they were talented. One wonders, over the years, just what goes on inside the heads of these folks. Surely they know they have no talent but they continue to pretend to be what they are not.
You see, the terrorist suspect's name is Khurram Sher, not "Kevin," and those comments he made about "junior college drop outs with no job and no serious work experience" are surprisingly similar to comments he has left on this website.  Smithson seems to lack an understanding of the facts, as well as the law - what he is doing is called "libel," defined as defamation of an individual by written or representational means.  This is also not the first time Smithson had to resort to baseless accusations in order to prove his point (if he even had one to begin with) - a few years back, Smithson attacked another person on the internet for disagreeing with him claiming the person had no religious, political, or educational bearings.

"You know nothing as it relates to God, the JFK event or American politics," wrote Smithson. "And, again, you are not black, you have no college degree of any kind (unless it is a journalism BS degree)." 

The person Smithson attacked was black and held a Masters degree - isn't that a bit elitist of Smithson to attack the education of another, especially when it seems the only educational background he has are a couple "units" of learning at some bible schools, which he cannot even spell correctly in his own bio (and some are no longer in existence, which means they probably weren't that good to begin with).

If Smithson had ever read the "About Us" section, which we know he has because his IP address was tracked to that page, then he would have seen that this particular author has a degree, and has continued his education in the field of business and politics, but because that doesn't fit Smithson's right wing narrative, he simply decided to ignore the facts for his "drop out" story, all to make him feel like a bigger man - it is common practice for people who have a feeling of inadequacy to overcompensate, and Smithson is no exception.

Also, what exactly is a "unit" of education?  Smithson has referenced these "units" before, whether in his bio or in comments on this website, but in my experience with higher learning, I have never heard something called a unit in regards to college courses - maybe continuing education classes, but never a course, which leads me to believe that Smithson's "education" is based on questionable continuing education studies, which may or may not have been properly accredited - Valencia Community College and Rollins College are both accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - a regional accreditation agency recognized by the Department of Education.

The same can't be said about the now defunct Preston Road Center for Christian Education where Smithson got some "units."  The group was unaccredited and saw only a handful of graduates in their lifetime - Smithson possibly being one of them, although his profile does not indicate he ever finished his schooling, and while he had made reference to entering the PhD programs of the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology and the Assemblies of God College, there is zero proof that he had ever attended those schools, so given the evidence present, it appears Smithson is the college drop out.  

It is understood that "units" are sometimes interchangeable with "credit hours" (although this author had never heard a class be measured in "units"), but that does not change the fact that Smithson's education seems to be entirely from unaccredited sources.  He claimed in a comment that the reason why his studies were unaccredited were because of the general education requirements, which mean Smithson opted for a narrower education of questionable quality because he did not want to be subjected to the "atheistic state board of education."

Smithson also wrote on one of his own websites that he "was prohibited from graduating from seminary."

Smithson had also written a post criticizing Joe Klein, journalist and author of Primary Colors, for referencing the bible in an attack against Glenn Beck.  Smithson called Klein a Marxist and stated his degree in American Civilization qualified "him for absolutely nothing."  I find it interesting that Smithson wants it both ways - he wants to be able to attack those for not having enough education (in his eyes) as well as those with more education because he simply disagrees with their message.  All this from a man who could not graduate from seminary and attended unaccredited programs of questionable quality all his life, and who is defending a college drop out like Beck.  

Jihad is the Arabic for what can be variously translated as "struggle" or "effort," or "to strive," "to exert," "to fight," depending on the context. In the West, the word is generally understood to mean "holy war," and the terms are given, inaccurately, exclusively military connotations.

The Quran does call for "jihad" as a military struggle on behalf of Islam. But the Quran also refers to jihad as an internal, individual, spiritual struggle toward self-improvement, moral cleansing and intellectual effort. It is said that Prophet Muhammad considered the armed-struggle version of holy war "the little jihad," but considered the spiritual, individual version of holy war--the war within oneself--as "the great jihad."

Including the "jihad" as one of the five pillars of Islam is another common Western misunderstanding. Jihad is not among the five pillars of Islam (the profession of faith, prayer five times a day, fasting during Ramadan, alms for the poor and performance of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once in each Muslim's lifetime).

Still, "jihad" is considered to be every Muslim's duty--be it the struggle to improve society, preventing the exploitation of the poor or vulnerable, or improving oneself before the Day of Judgment.
Now lets look up another term that Smithson is partially familiar with and how it relates to his faith - fundamentalist evangelicalism:
Fundamentalist evangelicalism is defined by its historian George M. Marsden as "militantly anti-modernist Protestant evangelicalism." Marsden explains that fundamentalists were evangelical Christians who in the twentieth century "militantly opposed both modernism in theology and the cultural changes that modernism endorsed. Militant opposition to modernism was what most clearly set off fundamentalism."
Sounds as if Smithson is the jihadist - Christian jihadist that is, and before Smithson starts to clamor about "slander," lets just put that to rest now - everything appearing on this blog has a basis in reality.  While Smithson draws his conclusions out of thin air and pure hatred for his fellow man, the authors of The Midnight Review focus on facts.  Everything written about Smithson is derived from Smithson's own comments, as well as various other reputable sources.

Smithson should really learn to embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ - didn't he learn anything from attending those unaccredited schools?

Palin's Go-To Guy In Alaska Calls Senator A Prostitute

Remember when the right was all upset about Rep. Alan Grayson referring to someone as a "K Street Whore?"

Well apparently Alaskan teabag candidate and Sarah Palin protege Joe Miller had a little bit of apologizing of his own to do with his recent tweet calling his opponent a prostitute.

Will Palin weigh in on her candidate's conduct?

Probably not...

John Smithson Insinuates President Is Muslim Again...

In a recent blog post by right-winger Christian blogger John Smithson, he pointed to an arrticle discussing the president's 2009 speech in Cairo, stating that Obama's speech used Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf as inspiration, and because of this Obama is a Muslim?

Of course Smithson never says Obama is a Muslim, but look at his headline: "Obama used Muslim notes to prepare Cairo speech - but of course he is not a Muslim."

And then there is this line Smithson wrote:
Is Obama a Muslim? Probably not BUT he sure as blazes acts like one more often that he should. One thing for certain -- it is perfectly understandable as to why 24% of this country thinks he is Muslim (NY Times poll).
Looks like Smithson is attempting to plant some seeds of doubt.

You know what?  I wrote an article in college about Egypt - does that make me Egyptian?

Probably not...

In regards to Obama's Cairo speech, what did Smithson expect him to talk about?  Did he expect Obama's speech writers to just let the president wing it on such a sensitive issue?

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Midnight Review Officially Endorses Charlie Crist

He seemed shorter in person!

I know we have written favorably about Charlie Crist in the past, but now that the primaries are all said and done with, we here at The Midnight Review are now officially endorsing Charlie Crist campaign to become Florida's next Senator.

This author had an opportunity to meet the Governor today at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 803 for a quick campaign meet and greet - even though I am not a plumber, my band's name is The Midnight Plumbers, so I guess it was fitting that I attended this event! 

The hall had a good crowd of both Republicans and Democrats, and was stocked with campaign literature, apparel, stickers, and signs.

The standard set of campaign songs played over the PA system like "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey or "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas (good thing he didn't go with the original "Lets Get Retarded" or he would have Sarah Palin on his ass).  They also played the most misinterpreted campaign song ever - Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A.," but considering he is running against the uber-conservative Republican Marco Rubio and there are the ongoing wars of Afghanistan and Iraq in the background, maybe the song was contextually correct in its use during the event.

The event also supplied refreshments of popcorn, mints, coffee, and soda (Coca-Cola products) - one would think in the true spirit of running an independent campaign, the staff would have chosen something other then Coke or Pepsi products, like RC Cola or Faygo.

Official third-party cola?

Palin Attacks Obama, Crist Over Abortion

From an article by Brendan Farrington on The Huffington Post:
Sarah Palin called President Barack Obama the most pro-abortion president ever Thursday and mocked Florida's governor for claiming to be pro-life after vetoing a bill that would have required women to get ultrasounds before having the procedure.

In a speech that only ventured into politics on abortion issues, Palin criticized Obama's health care overhaul as a plan that will lead to more abortions.

"The biggest advance of the abortion industry in America is the passage of Obamacare," Palin said. "Elective abortions have nothing to do with health care. It's about ending lives, not saving lives."

The former Alaska governor and Republican presidential nominee John McCain's running mate in 2008 also drew boos and laughter when she talked about Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who left the Republican Party and is now running for Senate as an independent.
The bill that Palin references was one that would have required woman to pay for an ultrasound, view the ultrasound, and listen to a doctor discuss the fetus.  The law also placed an unnecessary burden on the woman if they happened to be a victim. 
A woman could have declined to view the image if she signed a form, but it's unclear whether a doctor would still need to describe the fetus. The law made an exception for women who provide documentation to confirm that the abortion is medically necessary or that they are the victim of rape, incest, domestic violence or human trafficking.
What gives Palin the right to try and step in between a doctor and their patient?
"This bill places an inappropriate burden on women seeking to terminate pregnancy," Crist wrote in his veto message, saying he put his personal "prolife" views aside in making the decision.

"Personal views should not result in laws that unwisely expand the role of government and coerce people to obtain medical tests or procedures that are not medically necessary," he said.
Crist's veto message could resembles what conservatives should be saying regarding the bill, but as we have seen, the religious right has hijacked the GOP and now attempt to push their moralism on everyone else - even if that means using the government to invade one's personal life.

I fully agree with my governor and was happy that he had vetoed the legislation.  I am pro-life but I understand government's role in our lives - people like Palin do not and only wish to force their views on everyone else.

As a side note, I found it interesting that when Palin criticized the governor, she received boos.  Charlie Crist is a popular moderate governor who left the GOP because of right-wing loons like Palin.  Maybe Palin thought she was speaking to a teabag Rubio crowd...

Freedom Works Is People...

I saw this article by Bill Hennessey on Big Government and thought the first paragraph was funny:
The bizarre and unlikely rebellion known as the Tea Party began with only a few thousand people in a few dozen places on February 27, 2009. Those of us who were there in St. Louis or Atlanta, Chicago, or Los Angeles, feel a bit of trepidation as we approach the November 2 Mid-Term. Will we live up to our promise? Or will we live under the growing tyranny of debt, taxes, regulation, and corruption.
I guess this guy never heard of FreedomWorks - Dick Armey's conservative organization that has tried to define the "movement" attempting to pass off their campaigns as "grassroots" events.  The tea parties are constantly claiming autonomy from the establishment, so it is rather peculiar that these organizations go unchallenged by the tea party.

On another page on Big Government, they advertise a tea party rally hosted by Minnesota dimwit Michele Bachmann... 

Comment Moderation

Frequent visitors have probably noticed by now that this website had begun comment moderation shortly after an "anonymous" commenter posted the home address of someone they believed was associated with this website.  The comments posted since then have been received and have been read by Midnight Review moderators and those that had not met this sites terms of use were not posted.

Unfortunately we had to switch to comment moderation to avoid the unwarranted and unsolicited posts of others that aimed to detract from the topic or stir up trouble with inflammatory remarks.  Conflicting opinions are always welcome, but insults are not.

If certain commenters wish real debate, they need to accept the fact that there will be moderation and avoid making baseless comments or outright incendiary comments, such as insinuating the authors of this blog are slanderous uneducated drunks, sex offenders, or "gruntface" cowards - besides, is that anyway a supposed good Christian should act?  I'm sure Jesus would be very proud...

Here are the rules, plain and simple:

Be respectful of the authors and commenters of this website and contribute to the debate.

John Smithson A "Flip Flop Fundamentalist?"

I thought this was interesting - small potatoes conservative blogger John Smithson, a man who has constantly attacked this website for allegedly plagiarizing his similarly named right-wing Christian teabag blog, describes himself to be a "fundamentalist Christian."

What makes this interesting is that four years ago, Smithson had commented on a religious message board called Truth Talk attacking "fundamentalism" in response to a post titled "Flip Flop Fundementalist" regarding comments made by Pastor Rick Warren:
A heartly "amen" for this:  I am an evangelical. I'm not a member of the religious right and I'm not a fundamentalist ...Today there really aren't that many Fundamentalists left; I don't know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren't that many Fundamentalists left in America." (Underscore added for emphasis)

Hopefully, Warren will not be pressured into an apology.  "Fundamentalist" is not a biblical term, the last time I looked.  Rather it is political and sectarian.   It needs to die  -   right along with the exculiveness of some denominations. 
Is Smithson a "flip flop fundamentalist?"

According to his profile, his occupation includes being a "contributor to Fundamentalist Christian reform," but since he had written years ago that fundamentalism is "political and sectarian," is he admitting that his Christianity is fake?

Maybe he is admitting that he is not a Christian but a full-blown conservative activist masquerading as a Christian to advance his right-wing agenda.

This is important because Smithson has constantly targeted those who oppose his fundamentalist "political and sectarian" beliefs with ad hominem attacks, but when looking into Smithson's own background and written text to fully understand his comments, his history is riddled with contradictions and when faced with those contradictions, he refuses to address them and just moves on to his next bullet point (all the while complaining that his opponent doesn't want real debate.

Why Is Terry Jones Still Around?

I had found this story about right-wing Pastor Terry Jones, who has made recent headlines regarding his "Burn the Koran" day, and thought I would share it:
Infamous Pastor Terry Jones, known for his activism against the Gainesville Florida mayor, and for his "Burn a Koran Day" has been arrested for possession of child pornography. Wednesday August 4, 2010 Pastor Terry Jones was arrested for sharing pictures of children in various states of nudity over the popular file sharing network Limewire.
Now I had recently noticed an article on The Huffington Post from two days ago that showed a video of Terry Jones on an August 26th appearance of Hard Ball with Chris Matthews.

How is it that this peddler of child pornography is still given media access to spread his hypocritical hate?

"We have declared September the 11th 'International Burn a Quran Day' because we want to send a very clear message," Jones said.

"It is indeed a radical message but a very clear, radical message to Muslims, to Sharia law, that that is not welcome in America."

Apparently he sees no problem with child pornography in America...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ignorance And The 10th Amendment

I saw this image on a conservative blog and thought it was interesting because it was so simplistic and it spoke volumes in regards to the right's understanding of the Constitution.  It shows their willingness to oversimplify a complex situation so that they can digest it easily, but in doing so they wind up losing the full meaning.

Here is the full text of the 10th Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The above flag of the "tenthers" leaves out a lot - it implies that the federal government has zero authority and that all powers are reserved to the people.  What the flag leaves out is that anything not delegated to the federal government is delegated to the States or the people.  What the flag forgets to mention are all the powers granted to the federal government.

Supporters of the 10th Amendment (and critics of everything Obama) like to reference this amendment in things like their opposition to the health care and immigration reform because they state that the Constitution does not specifically enumerate those responsibilities to the federal government, but the document they love to hate does specifically lay out those powers, but vaguely to allow for flexibility, for if the government was founded with a strict set of dos and don'ts, it would have been unable to deal with the many challenges that were ahead and would have surely ceased in a few years like the Confederacy.

Here is a more appropriate flag for the right:

In case you were wondering, the above flag was for the Master/slave fetishists - the right's desires to be the master while keeping everyone else in a subservient position.  Maybe if conservatives were open to compromise we wouldn't be in our current situation - with a centrist approach everyone gets a little of what they want and you avoid running the risk of going all in on what amounts to a junk bond (like the deregulation of Wall Street and the subsequent economic meltdown)...

Lisa Murkowski Should Make Third-Party Run

The news is buzzing with reports that Sarah Palin actually picked a primary winnner in virtually unknown Joe Miller, although the victory was a close call with only a couple thousands votes separating the winner from the loser, moderate Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski.

I have mixed reviews regarding Murkowski but I definitely do not want one of Palin's picks to go to Washington and would prefer Murkowski to choose the Crist option and run independently from the two major political parties.  The reason why I would want to see a third-party run would be for two reasons - one would be to see just how many people vote for the teabagger Miller in comparison to the GOP "establishment" candidate (Murkowski).  The other would be to break up an othewise GOP stranglehold on Alaska's senate seat to sort of counteract the loss of Ted Kennedy's seat in Massachusettes - the jury is still out on Scott Brown but I would currently prefer a Democrat over a moderate Republican for Alaska's representation (I fear the GOP is too cozy with Big Oil and their relationship will only spoil future meaningful energy and environmental legislation).

I also think that in the chance Murkowski were to win, as well as Charlie Crist in Florida, the moderate independents could level the playing field by forcing the GOP to come closer to the center on some issues in the spirit of bipartisanship, because if Crist goes to Washington and then decided to caucus with the GOP and ignore those who voted for him believing he was a centrist, he could forget about running for a second term (although Crist may be eying the presidency in 2012)...

College Must Release Palin Visit Information

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne had ruled on Wednesday that California State University, Stanislaus must release information pertaining to Sarah Palin's visit to the campus earlier this year.  The college refused to disclose such information previously because they insisted that the event was sponsored by their nonprofit foundation and therefor not subject to the California Public Records Act. 

I find that argument to be ridiculous and apparently so did the California judge - he had also ruled that the college must release any documents regarding the use of college property and service during the former half-term governor's visit.  If the college had gotten it's way, a public entity could simply create a nonprofit to circumvent the law, which would definitely not be in the intrest of transparency.

I am interested to see just what exactly comes out of this ruling, although when questions were raised about this matter I thought it to be somewhat of a silly issue and the only importance I placed on the event was if reports about Palin's selectiveness were true, then it would definintely contradict the image she has portrayed to the media she grants access to.  Lets just hope something good comes out of this or Palin's camp would surely try to use this as a "gotcha" moment, claiming her critics will stop at nothing to discredit her - I guess those ethics violations weren't enough for the Wasillabilly...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Reagan Hypocrisy: The Right's Praise Of Regan's Foreign Policy Sound A Lot Like Obama's

I was reading the newest  issue of Policy Review - a conservative publication - and noticed something very interesting.  Colin Dueck wrote an article about conservative foreign policy, making some excellent points, but one statement stood out - Dueck wrote the following regarding President Reagan's foreign policy strategies:
The aggressiveness of this strategy, and its ultimate vindication, tends to obscure other features of Reagan's foreign policy approach that were no less important and essential to his overall success.  The United States did not embark on any large-scale or lasting military interventions under Reagan.  He used force in a way that was brief, small-scale, and popular domestically, and when these conditions did not obtain, he extricated the U.S. from the possibility of protracted military entanglements.  Regan was also teager to reassure Moscow, in private and in public, that he sought no open warfare.  He was deeply disturbed to learn that Soviet leaders suspected the U.S. of plotting preventive military strikes on the USSR, and went out of his way to assure them of the contrary.  When a genuinely new type of Soviet leader took over, and the possibility of a favorable arms control agreement finally presented itself, Reagan seized it, by signing the INF Treaty of 1988.
Does that sound familiar?

When I read the above paragraph, I immediately saw how Reagan compared to President Obama.  I also immediately saw the hypocrisy from the right, who both praise Regan and criticize Obama, but consider the above paragraph - like Reagan, Obama had sought to minimize "large-scale or lasting military interventions," attempted to enact wartime policies that were regarded highly by the public (until the GOP seized control of the narrative), and reassure foreign nations of America's intentions to promote democracy and avoid open warfare.  Obama had also promoted arms reductions and had signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev - an issue the GOP now oppose.

Conservatives have shown a double standard in their treatment of our presidents with the beatification of Ronald Reagan and the demonization of Barack Obama...

Big Government Out To Scare Bloggers

I had saw this article by Warner Todd Huston on Big Government and found it a little bit interesting - it disucsses a local:
Are you a blogger in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Do you have Google Adsense or some other sort of low-return ads on your blog? If so expect a letter soon from your friendly city treasurer demanding that you pay a $300 tax on your “money making business.”

For most people that maintain an active blog it is just a hobby. Some people blog daily but most only do so a few times a month. Many bloggers also participate in Google’s advertising program called Adsense but few make much more than $20 or $30 a year from the effort.

But according to the City of Philadelphia, you have a lucrative business one that you need to register with the city and either pay $50 a year tax or a “lifetime” fee of $300 to be allowed to operate.
I disagree with the city of Philadelphia and believe such taxes are wrong, but that is where I differ from Huston.  Being the typical blogger for Big Government, Huston decides to politicize this proposed tax - at the end of his post, Huston makes the following statement:
Additionally, this is one sure way to shut down any political blogger in the city, isn’t it? Who would pay $50 a year to rant about government? Few would bother if they were forced to pay to blog.
Is Huston seriously implying that the city wants to implement such measures as a way to silence opposition?  If Huston read the article he cited, then he would realize that the tax is only on any business engaged in "activity for profit" - if a person really wanted to criticize the city and circumvent the tax, all they would have to do is not put any advertisements or moneymaking pages on their blog and they would not qualify under the law.

Huston is attempting to make this local matter bigger then what it really is, and what is really interesting is that it is local government - not the federal government - which wants to enact this tax.  This isn't the first time Huston has talked about bloggers being targeted for political reasons - earlier this month he had written about a blog in Ohio being targeted by the Geauga County Board of Elections for violating a campaign finance law. Huston alleged that the enforcement was politically motivated and that the law should not pertain to an independent blogger exercising their free speech, which I agree with, but I find the blog in question highly suspect of sensationalizing this "story."

After visiting the blog, The Geauga Constitutional Council (GCC), I found mention of the alleged violation, but it was identical to a post made on another blog (one referenced in Huston's article).  In that blog, the author,  Maggie Thurber, indicates that the story was emailed to her.  It is also interesting to note that GCC appears to be sympathetic to teabaggers, although it seems to go a bit farther - in one particular post, the author insists that Fox News is government controlled.  Did I mention that the original post made by GCC has an exact copy of Huston's article?

To me, it sounds as if some angry right-winger is overreacting to probably something insignificant - was the email to Thurber a spam message?  Did Huston receive the same spam message?  Did Huston tell GCC of his article?

Basically, Huston's article boil down to the government trying to silence political opposition, which appears to be a big stretch.  In all reality, it appears that maybe some people exercised their professional judgement a bit poorly and some right-wingers got upset...

Christian Terrorism Hypocrisy And The "Ground Zero Mosque"

I had saw this great post at Politics Plus regarding the location of churches in close proximity to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building (the site of the Oklhamoa City bombings that were performed by Christian terrorist Timothy McVeigh) and thought the author, TomCat, had raised some excellent points in regards to the New York mosque nontroversy. 

I suggest visiting Politics Plus for the full article.

Stimulus Added Millions Of Jobs

From an article by Andy Sullivan at Reuters:
The massive U.S. stimulus package put millions of people to work and boosted national output by hundreds of billions of dollars in the second quarter, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.

CBO's latest estimate indicates that the stimulus effort, which remains a political hot potato ahead of the November congressional elections, may have prevented the sluggish U.S. economy from contracting between April and June.

CBO said President Barack Obama's stimulus boosted real GDP in the quarter by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent, adding at least $200 billion in economic activity.

During that time the economy was growing at an anemic pace.

Gross domestic product rose just 0.6 percent during that period, according to preliminary Commerce Department data which economists expect will be revised sharply lower when new figures are released on Friday.

The massive package of tax cuts, construction spending and enhanced safety-net benefits was passed in February 2009 in the midst of the deepest recession since the 1930s.

It raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of this year, CBO estimated.

Measured another way, CBO said the stimulus increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by up to 4.8 million, as part-time workers shifted to full-time work or employers offered more overtime work.
I saw this report and found it very interesting and thought I would share it.  I have seen many right-wing sources insult the administration because of the CBO's estimates and I have seen those same sources attempt to discredit the CBO when the figures didn't swing their way.  It is for that reason why I point out this article - I am sure some would argue that it is impossible to gauge what would of happened had the stimulus not been passed and therefor the CBO's statements about the benefits of the stimulus should be rejected, but I think that all arguments along those lines are weak to begin with, unless you own an operational crystal ball.

Basically, the information released shows that the actions taken by the government helped the economy, not hurt it, and while Republicans believe that doing nothing was probably the best course of action, these findings show that had we done nothing, the economy would be worse off...

Marco Rubio Wins Primary With 26% Of Registered Voters Support

With the closing of the polls, it looks like the GOP has their candidate for this years midterm elections - tea party-backed Republican Marco Rubio.  Rubio had walked out of the primary with 1,059,103 votes, or 84%, which is pretty impressive, but when compared to the total number of registered Republicans in the state of Florida, that number isn't all that impressive. 

In 2008, there was 4,064,301 registered Republicans in Florida, meaning Rubio clinched the party's nomination with only 26% of registered voters going out to the polls to show their support.  I find these numbers to be very interesting because they show us a couple things - the tremendous influence the right-wing media has in electioneering and the influence of the tea parties in the GOP.

Marco Rubio has been constantly promoted on Fox News and paraded around by the tea parties, and because of such face time with the media, nobody had heard of the other two candidates competing for the candidacy - William Escoffery III (this author's vote) and William Billy Kogut.  Instead of hearing about the other two individuals, the media focused on Rubio and how he would fair against an independent Charlie Crist, who broke from the GOP earlier this year.

Despite the constant promotion on cable news, the poor turn out of registered voters shows that the boost Rubio had gotten most likely came from the tea parties - the Democrats had similar problems with voter apathy.  With two less-then-stellar candidates on the ballot, the Democrats had less then one million total votes cast, and the disparity in votes wasn't as great as the GOP's.

In this author's opinion, the Democrats are going to face an uphill battle come November - they are going to have to overcome voter apathy and tea party zeal in order to walk away with some wins.  In the race for governor, I believe the Democrats have the better candidate and now that the primaries are over, Alex Sink can focus on her opponent, but one big problem looms ahead - Rick Scott is a millionaire with plenty of personal funds at his disposal, in addition to the GOP and unrestricted corporate support.  As for the senate, this author supports Governor Crist and believes the other two candidates will have a tough time appealing to moderates - Rubio more so then Meek, although not many voters are aware of Meek, which will cause some problems in the coming months. 

Basically, Crist (and independents) have the easier job getting the votes while the Democrats are going to need to invigorate their base - the GOP has Fox News and people like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh to get their voters to the poll...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Todd Palin Harasses Citizen Photographer

Visit Palingates for an indepth look at this encounter with the Wasillabillies, as well as some excellent commentary from the visitors of the blog.

The Amboy Times' List Of Things That Offend Muslims

I had found on a conservative blog a link to a website by the name of The Amboy Times, and on that site there was a list of things that all Muslims supposedly hate. I found the list humorous because there were plenty of things on the list that Christians seem to hate as well. Below is just a sampling of the list of things Christians hate (I had decided to keep all hyperlinks in case you wanted to read the article in which The Amboy Times got their information):

U.S. Caused Innocent Muslim Deaths...

I saw the headline - "US worse than al Qaeda: imam" - on the New York Post and decided to see what all the hubbub was about - I figured they were discussing Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, which they were, and I entered into the article with the understanding that the Post is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, so I knew I was about to read some sensationalist "journalism."
The Islamic cleric who wants to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero once claimed in a jaw-dropping speech that the United States has killed more innocent civilians than al Qaeda.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's remarks five years ago have set off a fresh firestorm of controversy, dumping fuel on the already combustible debate surrounding the estimated $100 million Islamic cultural center, and infuriating mosque opponents, who are fighting to have it moved far from the site of the 9/11 attacks.

"We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims," Rauf said in 2005.

"You may remember that the US-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations."
According to Jennifer Fermino of the Post, those comments were "incendiary."

I find it hard to understand how a true statement made five years ago has any bearing on today - Fermino implies that what Rauf had said was a bad thing - let us not forget that Murdoch employee Glenn Beck has also made statements similar to that of the Imam, but no one is pointing fingers at the shock jock...

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm A U.S. Constitutional Watchdog!

Here is an excerpt from Glenn Beck's 912 Project website regarding his "watchdog" initiative:
Beck: The question I am asked more than anything else — well, other than, “when the studio lights get really hot, do you actually sweat gravy?” And by the way, the answer is yes — that’s why I always keep a gravy boat handy under the desk here at FOX. But the second most-asked question is: “Glenn, what can I do?”

You can be a “Constitutional Watchdog” for America. I’m shifting my focus to another project: I’ll still be here, doing my shows on TV and radio, but our attention will be on something else, which I’ll tell you about when I can.

So we need you to keep watch over the most perfect political document ever given to mankind. Heaven knows our politicians aren’t doing it. Go to my Web site — GlennBeck.com — and look for the shield you see here at the bottom of the screen for more details.

Briefly here it is: Don’t try to pay attention to everything — it’s impossible. As we’ve discussed, they’re throwing so much at us at once — again, by design — that it’s just too much to assimilate. Find something that you know about or have interest in. Watch what Congress is doing on that. If it’s cap-and-trade, look for everything you can find on that issue. Whatever it is, when something comes up that doesn’t sound right, start barking loudly, like the Constitutional Watchdog you are.

Send me an e-mail or tweet and we’ll highlight the story you’ve uncovered. When you see the Watchdog Shield, you’ll know that it wasn’t us who found the story — it was one of our Watchdogs.

I am more optimistic — more hopeful — now than I’ve been in a long time, that, together, we can wake up enough Americans to stop what I firmly believe is an attempt to “fundamentally transform America.”
Maybe the teabaggers should listen to their messiah more closely - should they actually practice what they preach they would realize that their ignorance on matters, such as their opposition to the Islamic community center known as Park51, would violate their very own "principles."

What I found interesting is that if you look at the excerpt from Beck's page, nowhere does it say anything about the Constitution (except for the name of the watchdog badge).  Beck asks his followers to "start barking loudly" at things that don't sound right. 

Again, consider the "Ground Zero mosque" - while even Beck agreed that it is their Constitutional right to build their place of worship, he feels that it is wrong and has pretty much unleashed his "watchdogs" after the Muslims who wish to exercise their freedoms granted to them by the Constitution.

The 912 Project is nothing more then another Glenn Beck exploitation of idiots.  Is the 912 Project even a non-profit organization or just another extension of Mercury Radio Arts - Glenn Beck's media firm?

Unfortunately, Beck's followers have refused to answer any questions and follow their leader and when anyone else raises such question, they just "bark loudly" to drown out any raational thought.

The Truth About Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally

In five days, Glenn Beck will hold his rally in Washington, D.C. - the "Restorting Honor" event to be held on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech - and I had found it peculiar that conservatives applaud the gathering as an all-American bipartisan celebration.  What got me thinking about all this was that Glenn Beck's rally is really an extension of his 912 Project, which called for Americans to go "back to the place we were on Sept. 12, 2001" - I found that interesting because here Glenn Beck was exploiting the tragedy of September 11th to push his political agenda, but as he may argue, his event was on the following day of the anniversary- much like the Park51 project will be built a few blocks from Ground Zero, not on Ground Zero - but then he decided to change the day of his followup rally from September 12th to August 28th because he claimed that he didn't want people to work on the Sabbath.


September 12th, 2010 is a Sunday, and Glenn Beck seems to want to observe the Sabbath, but what about other faiths that view Saturday as the Sabbath?


Seventh Day Adventists?

Glenn Beck could have easily picked September 13th, a Monday, or even the following week, so why did he decide to go back three weeks?  Are they not included in his plan, after all, Glenn Beck has made anti-Semitic comments in the past?

I did find it interesting that Glenn Beck's fellow tea party friends, FreedomWorks, are having their own little rally on September 12th at the Washington Monument.  Did Beck change his rally to give his tea partiers some more room, or even a boost?

It is odd that Glenn Beck announced his rally on August 28th conveniently after he had accused members of the Congressional Black Caucus for making false claims racist slurs were used against them as they had walked to pass monumental health care reform, and in the following weeks, Beck focused his show on the Civil Rights movement, aiming to redefine the history - Beck maintains his ignorance in the significance of his chosen date, but considering how much Beck claims to read, then it becomes pretty obvious that Beck knew exactly what he was doing.

While the event is trying to distinguish itself from it's tea party roots, it is clear that this is a tea party rally disguised as just a regular rally, presumably to try and propagandize those who have not already fallen victim to the tea party's assault on the truth. The only thing I wonder now is how many people the right-wing media will claim attended this event...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Making Americans Believe About Obama's Faith

Here is an excerpt from an article by Brad Knickerbocker discussing what it would take for Americans to be convinced of what the president's faith really is.
What will it take for President Obama to convince the world that he’s a Christian … or at least not a Muslim?

Teaching Baptist Sunday School like Jimmy Carter? Putting a “My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter” bumper sticker on Air Force One? Making a pilgrimage to Lourdes?

Day after day, the White House has to keep knocking down questions about the President’s faith – a major distraction when Obama would rather be cheer-leading the economy, stumping for Democrats facing tough reelection fights this fall, or just hanging out with Michelle and the girls on Martha’s Vineyard these waning days of summer.

The current flap stems from the Pew Research Center’s finding that the number of Americans who believe Obama is Muslim has swelled to 18 percent (including 34 percent of conservative Republicans).

Now, we would never agree with the headline on Joel Achenbach’s blog on the subject in the Washington Post: “Are Americans total numbskulls?” But as Achenbach points out, “Disinformation remains powerful and infectious, and … large elements of the country distrust the official story about anything.”

It gets worse. An earlier Harris Poll finds that “a quarter of Tea Party supporters believe he may be the Anti-Christ.”
The article also goes on to discuss Franklin Graham's recent comments about Obama and how they relate to other comments he has made regarding Islam, showing that Graham is a biased party. He also mentions similar problems other presidents had experienced.
In having to rebut charges that he’s a Muslim, Obama seems to be in good company. Abe Lincoln’s political opponents rumored that he was Roman Catholic, Franklin Roosevelt’s that he was secretly Jewish. There is still a sizable chunk of voters who would not vote for Mitt Romney for president because he’s Mormon – not a Christian religion, some theologians argue.
What is sad is that this non-issue is actually being discussed nationally

Why are people even questioning his faith? 

Who cares?

In my opinion, it is "news" like this that only paints the right as an group of intolerant religious zealots - I wish the studies would show that out of the percentage of Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim how many are Republican or conservative.  One could only hope that this information would help pursuade moderates from voting for the GOP's extremist candidates.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Who Is Funding The "Ground Zero Mosque?" - Fox News Is Linked To Islamic Center

If you watch conservative news you would have heard the constant attacks against the Cordoba Initiative Islamic center - a.k.a the "Ground Zero" mosque - but you may have heard one particular argument prevail - conservative pundits questioned the funding of the mosque and claimed it came from terrorist sources. The interesting thing is that a report by Yahoo! News' John Cook had uncovered the fact that Fox News can be linked to the funding of the Islamic center through it's second-largest shareholder Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.
The opponents of the proposed Cordoba Initiative Islamic center planned for lower Manhattan are fond of suggesting, by way of lengthy and often confusing chains of causation and association, that its principal planner Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is connected to terrorism. "The imam has been tied to some shady characters," Fox Business Channel's Eric Bolling recently said, "so should we worry that terror dollars could be funding the project?" Blogger Pamela Geller, who has become a regular talking head on cable news channels to denounce the mosque, has noted Rauf's involvement with a Malaysian peace group that funded the group that organized the Gaza flotilla under the headline, "Ground Zero Imam Rauf's 'Charity' Funded Genocide Mission."

On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart skewered these antics as a "dangerous game of guilt by association you can play with almost anybody," and proceeded to tie Fox News to Al Qaeda by connecting Fox News parent News Corp's second-largest shareholder, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, to the Carlyle Group, which has done business with the bin Laden family, "one of whose sons--obviously I'm not going to say which one--may be anti-American." But Stewart didn't need to take all those steps to make the connection: Al-Waleed has directly funded Rauf's projects to the tune of more than $300,000. If Fox newscasters can darkly suggest "terror dollars" are sluicing into the Islamic Center's coffers via "shady characters," then are Al-Waleed, and News Corp. leader Rupert Murdoch, by the same logic, also terror stooges? (The "Daily Show" video appears after the jump.)

Indeed, as none other than Rupert Murdoch's New York Post reported last May, the Kingdom Foundation, al-Waleed's personal charity, has donated a total of $305,000 to Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, a leadership and networking project sponsored jointly by two of Rauf's organizations, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative. Al-Waleed owns a seven percent, $2.3 billion stake in News Corporation. Likewise, News Corporation owns a 9 percent, $70 million stake--purchased in February--in Rotana, Al-Waleed's Saudi media conglomerate. Put another way: Rupert Murdoch and Fox News are in business, to the tune of billions of dollars, with one of the "Terror Mosque Imam's" principal patrons.


Fox News had no comment. An e-mail to Al-Waleed's Kingdom Holdings was not returned.
What do all the Fox News fear mongers have to say about that?

Here is one comment that I found interesting on Yahoo! News:

Isn't that funny?  When Glenn Beck makes his wild baseless associations, the right screams for more, but when something comes out that bursts their bubble, the right cries that is is all "lies."