Friday, December 28, 2007


Fred Barnes: Obama is weak because he was right when he was supposed to be wrong

I was just perusing the Media Matters site when I came across this gem. It's a couple of months old, but it deserves all the attention it can get because I really think this is how many Iraq war supporters think.

Fred Barnes is a conservative political commentator, formerly with the New Republic, but now a fixture at Fox. Barnes on Barack Obama:
On the October 6 edition of Fox News' The Beltway Boys, co-host and Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes claimed that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is "not in quite as strong a position on the war in Iraq as he really thinks he is." He explained that when Obama delivered his 2002 speech against going to war with Iraq, "it was back in a time when the entire world believed Saddam Hussein in Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, that he would probably be willing to use them himself at some time or pass them along to terrorists who would use them. And yet, Barack Obama was against going to the war at that point." According to Barnes: "I don't think that shows that he is very strong on national security, which he needs to be."
So basically, Obama's weak on security because he was one of the few national political figures who didn't buy the administration's WMD claims hook, line, and sinker. Basically, those of us who knew it was being hyped because we'd seen it all before and bothered to remember really didn't know the claims were being hyped and we were just lucky that our assumptions just happened to turn out to be correct. It certainly wasn't that we were reading international and even some domestic intelligence reports which told us that Hussein was not a threat.

Actually, what amazed me is how correct we turned out to be. I really expected them to turn up something. Way back when I interviewed David McReynolds (Socialist Party presidential candidate in 1980 and 2000) on KMUD a couple of months after the war broke out I asked him whether he expected us to find WMDs. His response: "Certainly. Just as I expect cops who shoot a suspect to death to find a gun on his person." Point is, we never even found something solid enough for the administration to hype. Yet some pro-war folk chastise those of us who were right from the beginning, I suspect to preempt an "I-told-you-so." Bottom line: we should have believed out government, and it was a lack of virtue on our part that ultimately made us right.

Meanwhile, here's a portion of Obama's speech:
That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear -- I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.

But what difference does it make now, right? The "surge" has won the war. I know it's true because I saw it on television.

Photo of Barnes comes from his Fox News page.

the "war" was over in a week...its been an occupation ever since....

all because of 19 Saudis with boxcutters.....surreal

"do we want to fight the terrorists at home or in their country?"............ill fight 19 Saudis with boxcutters ANYDAY at home....home field advantage is underated in war

TRILLIONS of $$$$$$$ to counter 19 dead Saudis

good job obama!!!
Anyone who works for Fox News is a shill for Zionists. And again we have Eric the Zionist pushing indirectly for Hillary by another attack post on Hillary's chief opponent now.
If Hitler, and Nazi Germany, were alive today we would let him live and run his country as long as he promised not to kill any more Jews.

The truest statement that you made is: “The "surge" has won the war. I know it's true because I saw it on television.“

We are far and away too trusting of what we hear on television. But there is some evidence in the field that things are coming around toward acceptance that Iraqi’s will be running their own country, and not some brutal dictator. But, why is it that when the liberals come up with their own television propaganda machines, I.e. Democracy Now, and Air America, they come across as being wacky? Maybe we don’t always believe what we hear on T.V.
Why doesn't Eric just repost ADL and AIPAC website propaganda. I mean, why not be honest about selling the Zionist cause everyday on his blog. And I'm called obsessive..
You Lefties are just upset because the surge is working. You are upset because America may win after all.
You know what's really unfunny?

Bush just vetoed the defense appropriations bill he wanted and got from Congress because the Iraqi gov protested some wording in it which might make it possible for Iraqi monies here in the US to be tied up in courts from possible lawsuits from terrorist acts during the Saddam era.
This is the same Iraqi gov that BushCo can't seem to motivate to pass the legislation necessary to form that illusive independent and democratic nation right wingnuts have wet dreams about - which was the whole reason for the surge in the first place, remember "breathing room" wingnuts?

I guess we now know who's really running this show: Muqtada al Sadr!

It helps to have a very short attention span if you want to be a good practicing Conservative.
The Murder of 650,000 civilians at the behest of Christian extremists is a good indication that someone is indeed winning,maybe you,but not me or anyone else with a shred of compassion.
While well intentioned people may have believed that Saddam had WMDs anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Irag should have known that Irag had nothing to with Bin Laden. If Osama had shown his face in Iraq Saddam would have whacked him as he did anybody who appeared to be an Islamic extremist. But what does one expect from a country that, while it's troops are invading Iraq, is mesmerized by American Idol. Amerca has been called a sleeping giant. We have become a dumbed down giant.
The sad fact is that we will not be leaving Iraq anytime soon if ever. Those large bases and the Green Zone were constructed to insure our presence for the long haul. We have extended our might into the heart of the oil patch and we fully intend to stay there. There may be reductions in combat troops but we will maintain a garrison there on a permanent basis. As for the surge, the Shia are being nice in hopes that we will see how calm everything has become and begin a withdrawel then they will once again seek revenge. This is an age old blood feud between these parties and no amount of military pressure will end it.
You Lefties are just upset because the surge is working. You are upset because America may win after all.

Yep. I lose sleep over that prospect every night!
Anon 9:34 - According to an Iraqi with whom I have been corresponding, it's pretty much martial law in Bagdad with Shia militias running the streets like gangsters. So as long as the Shia have the upper hand over the sunnis, the death rate as a result of random terror will be kept down.

And this is why I believe that we aren't going to hit Iran. The administration doesn't want to provoke the Shiite power that's pretty much taking over Iraq outside the Kurdish zone.

And it does appear that Al Qaeda forces have been subdued, partly due to the fact that some of their Sunni former allies turned on them for a number of reasons.

The Sunnis meanwhile will simply bide their time, reminding us every once in a while that they're still there.

That's from a civil engineer in Iraq with whom I have been playing chess. He is Christian, and his brother-in-law was killed by militants earlier in the year. He doesn't believe that a western democracy can be made out of an Islamic country, certainly not one split so deeply along religious lines.
If Hitler, and Nazi Germany, were alive today we would let him live and run his country as long as he promised not to kill any more Jews.

Probably if conservatives like Neville Chamberlain were in charge.
The Left always stands ready to retreat from Iraq, even if it means the death of a few hundred thousand Iraqis--which it would.

The Left is so blinded by its hatred of our administration that they happily endorse mass murder.
"The Left is so blinded by its hatred of our administration that they happily endorse mass murder."

Wow,what a turn of events,the left now stands behind the Bush administration.Thanks for letting me know!!
Of course, the Iraqis will come to accept and love our continued presence in those not-so-secret-anymore permanent bases our unlimited taxpayer money has been building. Just like the Native American grew to love the Fort Apaches in their land.

Only, unlike the NA's, these Iraqi natives have been given large sums of money to hoard for a rainy day and those pesky Petraeus unaccounted for 190,000 missing weapons may play a much different role in the settlement of this new frontier.

Or, maybe we can sell them on the advantages of a US military base based economy like many communities here in the States have enjoyed - that is, when there's someone at those bases to spend money around town and not on 15 month rotations in some distant new frontier.

Actually, we would be able to close a lot of these abandoned stateside bases, since they won't be needed much anymore. Think how happy that will make all those red state patriots.
Why bring the troops home at all?

Yes, the future is looking brighter and brighter every day.

Where did I put those Raybans?
people who support the war, i mean occupation, are NOT "right wing":

a)right wingers support freedom of religion. hating all that is islamic and having a religious war agasint them goes AGAINST freedom of religion.

b)right wingers support a small, fiscally responsible goverment with little regulations or barriers to business. spending trillions of dollars to artificially distort the oil business with the use of military force, hiring overpaid contractors, and the long term presence there all go AGAINST right wing ideals.

c)right wingers claim to value life.....enough said

i voted for bush. big mistake.
Don't forget John Ritter's analysis before the invasion that explained in detail how it was physically impossible for Iraq to have the nuclear and biological weapons. There was just zero physical evidence that they had the infrastructure to support it.
john ritter from 3's company fame? how would he know? he was too busy chasing cindy and crissy into bed!
"The Murder of 650,000 civilians at the behest of Christian extremists is a good indication that someone is indeed winning,maybe you,but not me or anyone else with a shred of compassion."

Mark, you conveniently forgot the chosen ones orchestrating Evangelical Christians. Neo-cons, remember who they are?
I believe that anon above is referring to Scott Ritter,a former weapons inspector who was given a rash of shit for not being able to link Saddam to WMD's.
Don't worry Stephen,I do realize that PNAC is pulling the strings here.Not surprising that Bhutto was killed hours after a meeting with a PNAC shill.
Mark, you conveniently forgot the chosen ones orchestrating Evangelical Christians. Neo-cons, remember who they are?

Yes Mark! You forgot to blame the Jews!
Blaming the Jews (code word: PNAC) for the Bhutto assassination didn't take long.

Eric, You should consider shutting this blog down. The rabble have taken over.
Barnes makes an idiot of himself every time he opens his mouth. I almost wonder if he isn't a liberal secretly undermining the conservative cause.
The Project For The New American Century Statement Of Principles:
June 3, 1997

American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.

We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.

As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?

We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital -- both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements -- built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation's ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead.

We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities.

Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global
responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

• we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

• we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

• we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.

Elliott Abrams Gary Bauer William J. Bennett Jeb Bush

Dick Cheney Eliot A. Cohen Midge Decter Paula Dobriansky Steve Forbes

Aaron Friedberg Francis Fukuyama Frank Gaffney Fred C. Ikle

Donald Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad I. Lewis Libby Norman Podhoretz

Dan Quayle Peter W. Rodman Stephen P. Rosen Henry S. Rowen

Donald Rumsfeld Vin Weber George Weigel Paul Wolfowitz

I'm blaming the Jews?Explain further.
The PNAC is a Jewish organization?
Barnes used to be liberal way back when he opposed the Vietnam war in the New Republic. Both he and Kondrake wrote for the New Republic as recently as a decade ago, until Fox gave them the forum they preferred.
PNAC is one of thousands of lobbying organizations. They have no lawmaking or decision making powers.

Nevertheless, for the paranoid Left, they have become the new "Trilateral Commission," with far reaching manipulative powers. And since a couple of the more prominent members are Jews...
Eric, Sorry to be off topic but take a look here for one of many examples of Hugo's violations of Venezuelan law. My interest in that country as well as Cuba is that I found them fascinating to spend time cruising. The people are wonderful and deserve better.
The PNAC boys might want to take on a new that's more doable.
mresquan bigoted out the following absurdity:

"The Murder of 650,000 civilians at the behest of Christian extremists is a good indication that someone is indeed winning,maybe you,but not me or anyone else with a shred of compassion."

What a bigoted, deceptive pig. The only difference between mresquan and bigots that used to call some people niggers is that mresquan has found a new group to hate.

You suck mresquan. You phony S.O.B.
"PNAC is one of thousands of lobbying organizations. They have no law making or decision making powers."

My understanding is that PNAC was a neo-conservative think tank that published a paper that bore the same name. Take a look at the list of authors - you may be familiar with some of them. Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld ring a bell? Wolfowitz or Libby?
"PNAC is one of thousands of lobbying organizations. They have no lawmaking or decision making powers."

Yeah,Cheney,Wolfowitz,Quail,Perle,Kkalizad, Rumsfeld,nor Jeb Bush ever held any powerful government positions.If you think so,you're buying into lies brought forth by the liberal media.
Cheney and Quayle are Jewish?
Amazing how the topic drifts away from the original post. Stephen and Mrequan obviously have attention deficit disorder.
Barnes makes an idiot of himself every time he opens his mouth. I almost wonder if he isn't a liberal secretly undermining the conservative cause.

No, he just knows his audience. He's not just political, but pretty much a geek about it. I remember one episode of the McGlaughlin Group where he trumpeted the opening of toll roads in some rectangular state as the harbinger for privatization of roads. Even McGlauglin rolled his eyes and said "that's sure exciting news Fred."

If he hadn't gotten into politics Barnes probably would have gotten into Dungeons and Dragons.
The pro war spin is the surge is working and the proof is less violence. On the other hand, the civil war that the American occupation unleashed is coming to an end and Iraqi forces have turned on Al qaeda. Once they have driven Al Qaeda out of their country, violence may once again be directed at the American occupation.
It is a complete lie to say there was no opposition to the WMD claim. IT was everywhere. Scott Ritter. Hans Blix and the UN. The Aluminum tubes were bullshit before bush used them in his SOTU speech. The Niger uranium claim. The very fact it was unilateral. Joe Wilson and his wife.

This war never should have happened and has made America less secure. What is surprising is people seem content making rationalizations for such a complete fuck up.
Yeah, Iraq--and the world--was so much better when Saddam was around. Too bad the evil Americans deposed him. Well, its all a big conspiracy.
Yeah, Iraq--and the world--was so much better when Saddam was around. Too bad the evil Americans deposed him. Well, its all a big conspiracy

Any time you want to join the conversation and address the arguments actually made rather than your own strawmen, you'll be more than welcome.
Read an interesting column today.I t was about the loss of the middle in politics these days. It seems that while the bushites and the antibushites have been going at each other tooth and nail a whole lot of voters have checked out of the process. Only 1 in five Americans is even interested anymore. Predictions by some smart guys and gals are estimating the turnout in the next general at less than 30%. With all the video available too us nobody cares what the evening news has to say. Don't have any answers but I wish I did. Then I could have my own infommercial.
Maybe moderates should organize their own political party.
it would be alot easier for moderates to reform an existing party. the infrastructure and funding already are in place.

heres the problem how i see it: its not that people are polarized, its more that they are "politically confused"...seems to me that the leaders of both major parties have abandoned traditional core values.....its hard for me to believe that the democrats in power really care about the working class citizen....just like it is hard for me to believe that the republicans in power really care about having a small, fiscally responsible government.............i voted for bush in 2000, didnt vote in 2004, and im still not sure how ill vote in 2008....
It would be easier except that liberals and conservatives are much more organized and aren't going to give up the influence they have. As the Blue Dogs. As the DLC. Ask the Log Cabin Republicans.
Sun Dec 30, 11:02:00 PM
Eric, if you have not seen this (it was on CNN yesterday and appears to be shaking out right now): “It is not the beginning of a third party. It is not a meeting to forge an Independent candidacy,” said Nunn. When somebody says it is not the beginning of a third party, it is the beginning of a third part. Ask Mike Bloomberg (a Little Stevie Lewis favorite) what he thinks.
It would be typical chutzpah for the Jewish mayor at the time of 9-11 to run for president of the U.S.A. After all, if Americans could buy 9-11, they ought to be able to let Zionists and Israel have total control of the U.S. of A.
You are a complete idiot Stevie Lewis.
Bloomberg was not the Mayor of New York at "the time of 9-11". The Eyetalian Giuliani was, dickhead.
Not a complete idiot as I had this in mind from mayor Bloomberg.


March 18, 2007 -- Mayor Bloomberg killed a study on the city's response to the 9/11 attacks after his lawyers said they did not want a report that cited any missteps or dealt with "environmental" or "respirator issues," says a former city official.

City lawyers raised fears that the proposed "after-action report" - which the U.S. Department of Justice had offered to fund - could lead to criticism and fuel lawsuits, David Longshore, former director of special programs for the city's Office of Emergency Management, told The Post.

"The Bloomberg administration acted to sweep any potential problems under the rug," said Longshore, who was trapped in a loading dock outside the WTC while both towers collapsed. He later developed sinusitis and throat polyps and sued the city.

Longshore, who left his city job last year, showed The Post his work notes on internal OEM discussions with city lawyers in February 2003. His notes say the Law Department "doesn't want a critical report" and "does not want a report that says we did anything wrong."
So Stephen now believes that Jews shouldn't be allowed to run for president. Any other institution you want to ban them from Stephen? Your country club maybe?

Jim Crow lives in Stephen Lewis.
He is indeed a complete idiot. Leave it at that and freeze him out of here.

This will be my last communication that deals with him in any way.
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Here we go again. This was supposed to be a discussion of Barnes. Lewis is trying to refocus it on his hatred for Jews--and ultimately, on himself.
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Bottom line is, Stephen has said that Jews should not be allowed to run for president. Such bigotry should not be tolerated.
And has not been. The posts are gone.
You are a complete idiot Stevie Lewis.
Bloomberg was not the Mayor of New York at "the time of 9-11".

Geeze, I didn't even notice he'd said that! Probably got that from Stormfront as well.
Censorship, oh censorship. The Zionists war-mongers cannot stand exposure of their ugly anti-American 5th Column activities working for another country at America's expensive and violation of human rights.

Go ahead, you hypocrites and liars. Try to ban the truth but it will come out no matter what you do.

As I said, far too many people know the truth about the cult religion's anti-Christian bias. Do a Google search and you'll find the same accusations being hurled against this cult by pissed off cult members for hundreds of years. Same issues because they can't be erased from the cult's holiest books even though some have tried to do just that. Scholars went around them and found older cult holy books that contained the censored anti-Christ, anti-Christian, anti-Gentile material.

This is why censorship of me is so foolish. Truth will eventually come out no matter what. But I realize desperation makes cult members and their apologists do stupid things like trying to stop information that's there now for anyone to find who values human rights of the cult's victims.
Remember paranoid religious cult's tend to do the same thing when confronted by the social authority of the society the cult finds itself in. They are quite willing to sacrifice their children for the cult leaders' paranoia. Jonestown, Waco, and Masada. These are the acts of fanatics who put allegiance to the cult dogma above the lives of their children.

In it's final form, this cult craziness becomes Dr. Strangelove which is willing to go all the way to Gottdammerung like Hitler attempted, taking down everything with them vs. dropping the cult allegiance. Israel armed with nukes is in this very same mind set--and we set this scenario up because we allowed the cult to hornswoggle us by not paying attention to the cult's hidden anti-Gentile agenda.
He's really losing it.
I'm losing it? Eric, you are the one who has taken Zionism all the way to the hilt of censorship. You are the one who is so fearful of exposing genuine Jewish religious verses I took directly from Wikipedia about the Kol Nidre vows that would stop Gentiles from ever trusting a Jewish president.

Here the's Wikipedia words Eric doesn't want you to read or think about:

Kol Nidre vow:

"All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths."

I welcome Jewish presidential candidates to run for office as I see it will become impossible for them to continue covering up Jewish religious beliefs that are contrary to our democratic values. In fact, a Jewish presidential candidate would help bring about the destruction of Judaism all that much faster as this religion really cannot stand exposure of its written beliefs. As Eric's censorship actions should inform those of you with sense to see.
Censoring an open source Wikipedia entry on Kol Nidre, a primary religious obligation for Jewish believers. And Eric doesn't want you to know about it. There's plenty more Eric doesn't want you to know but you need to find out for yourselves why Israelis behave the way they do and cannot resolve their problems with their Arab neighbors.
Every other Abrahamic faith is eager to tell the world about their beliefs but not Jews. They don't want people to know about the Jewish religious teachings and why is that?
christians, jews, muslims...they are believe in ghosts, magic and other supernatural mythology......

when will people move out of the stone age??? hiding behind ghosts in arguments is a joke....
It really is bizarre.I'll believe that little green men from outer space control us before I believe any "God" does.
What's bizarre is atheists and agnostics actually believing, with the fierce faith of true believers, that there's no spiritual reality when atheists and agnostics are outnumbered by literally billions of people who truly believe in such reality. I mean what does it take for rationality to kick in and make any atheist or agnostic realize that whatever spiritual experiences are lacking in themselves other people, the great majority of them, seem to be not so handicapped.

And doing the IQ test doesn't really work because so many brilliant men have been theists--far outnumbering the contributions of atheists to human advancement.

I was an atheist until age 35, totally convinced religious people were fantasizing about God and Jesus and all the rest of the religious bozos leading humanity into all these senseless wars. I thought Christianity was one of the worst of the bunch with this weird morbid fascination with suffering and death. But then, "out of nowhere" God found me and put me through a three day religious experience that utterly changed me ever since. Now I know those who call themselves atheists and agnostics haven't experienced spiritual reality and don't think it exists because they haven't seen it for themselves. They act very much like color-blind people telling those who can see colors they must be nuts there aren't any.
Being raised in a Catholic school didn't help me at all.
stephen believes in ghosts and magic......even more reason to think that he is full of crap....
Creationists take an evolutionary occurrence and immediately call it spiritual as soon as they lose the desire to study exactly what happened.
Why do they lose the desire?Because millions upon millions have,and spirituality is viewed as the norm in compared to more logical science.And it makes religion easy to sell as the common belief is that since many others have failed to study more logical scientific bases and therefore don't find what they're looking for,they fall into the entrapment of religion which is that things just can't be explained so just follow us.
Mresquan, you build a strawman argument to blow over but it doesn't fit most religious people I know who are religious precisely because they've had spiritual experiences which cannot be explained by science. I was an anthropology major at Berkeley for crying out loud and know my sciences better than most yet you try explaining three days of non-stop synchronicity experiences that happened to me in my personal road to Damascus at Easter of 1979.
Anyone know if Fred Barnes will be appearing on any of the "year end" shows?
I'm not familiar with your experience in Damascus in 1979.
As of 1998 72 percent of the members of the National Academy of Sciences are atheists. 21 percent are agnostics. 7 percent admitted to a personal belief in God.

Many more studies here.
Spiritual blindness is nothing to be proud of. Scientists without religion tend to work for whatever corporation or gov't contract pays them the best. That's why we can never rely on scientists for ethical guidance. "If it can be done, it will be done" is the going motto, i.e, regardless of consequences to society.
so, if we dont see ghosts(spirits) or talk to imaginary friends, we are spiritually blind?
9:30, those IQ comparison tests are interesting. But I've heard that there are studies which indicate the opposite.
No, there aren't studies which prove the opposite. Religion is organized superstition. It leads to violence.
Well, I googled it up and came up with this, for what it's worth:

I do know that according to statistics those with a higher level of education tend to believe in God less than those with less education.

Please don't take this to mean that I think those who believe in God are less intelligent. It is just a statistical correlation that may have some insight into IQ and belief, but not necessarily.

"Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the relationship between religious belief and one's intelligence and/or educational level, all but four found an inverse connection. That is, the higher one's intelligence or education level, the less one is likely to be religious or hold "beliefs" of any kind."
Bell, Paul. "Would you believe it?" Mensa Magazine, Feb. 2002, pp. 12–13"

So 39 to 4. But I suspect the studies are skewed because they don't account for class. Those who are lower on the socioeconomic scale tend to be more religious. I bet that there are few if any differences when the factor of class is eliminated.

And I don't know if the religiousphobes here will be made uncomfortable by the fact that black and Hispanic populations are much more religious, with fewer proportionate atheists or agnostics. So while I don't agree with Stephen that truth is determined by numbers, I suggest you might want to rethink your prejudices against religious viewpoints. It could carry you into some very unPC territory.
Those who have never had spiritual experience have no knowledge of what they are missing. I was that way for 35 years and was quite surprised to discover that no, science doesn't know everything, not even close when it comes to what really is going on in our world. I saw "maya" for myself. I saw the illusion of material reality melt away as my science understanding had no, still has no, explanation for synchronicity events. They don't exist as far as science is concerned and yet they do. Martin Buber tells how most all people have shut their ears and eyes to these signals from the spiritual realm so that they have no idea this type of phenomena is going on, going on all the time actually.

Like I say, when science can explain to me how I could have experienced three days of back-to-back synchronicity events, I will listen to science but in 29 years since this happened to me I have yet to find one single scientific explanation. But religion knows exactly what I'm talking about. The world as illusion.
Those who have never had spiritual experience have no knowledge of what they are missing.

Maybe so. But according to the studies, we have more knowledge about pretty much everything else.
Stephen, I your case, "three days of back to back synchronicity events" would have been a clear marker of the onset of mental illness, which has since raged out of control.

The result is clear to everyone here: you are an obsessed bigot with marked delusional and quite paranoid fantasies. Without treatement, you can expect worse to come.

Furthermore, your hateful approach to others is a kind of parody of extreme religious behavior.
No offense to you Stephen,I mean that,but your 5:37 am comment sounds like something Jim Jones would've said.The world is no illusion.
Note to everyone: Resist the temptation to discuss Stephen Lewis. Yes, he's crazy but that doesn't entitle him to refocus every attempt at dialog on this interesting blog into a discussion of Stephen Lewis.

Ignore this pest. Do not respond to him at all.
This was supposed to be a thread about Barnes. Note how Lewis has refocused it on himself.

He will do this again and again, if you take the bait. The way to get rid of him is to ignore him, just as you would if he came up to you in the street and started raving.
i cant wait for the days of witchhunting to come back into fashion. there are alot of superstitious people in this area that could use a nice fire below their feet
This time it will be perpetrated by atheists. God forbid that anyone say "Merry Christmas" to a stranger!
Here's Barnes and some other right wingers at Fox talking about the Democratic candidates.
that was my point. i woudnt expect a person who believes in ghosts, angels, gods, goddesses, astrology, witchcraft, magic, miracles, virgin births, zombies, or any of that mythological crap to understand it though.
I believe in zombies!
in mythology, there is a zombie named jesus...he is one of the living dead...the story goes that he rose from the dead and now acts as a judge up in space.
(Sigh). Religious critics used to have depth. Anybody remember Bertrand Russel's "Why I am not a Christian?"
depth? you either believe in the supernatural or you dont....why try to confuse the situation?
I find the question much more complicated.
well, determining what is "natural" is not always easy.........i never said it wasnt complicated.nothing is.
I guess if your Steve Lewis you can't post personal stories. And if you're Steve Lewis you can't be a believer in God without being crazy.

I read Russell's book "Why I am not a Christian" in my younger atheist days but Russell's atheism as with all atheism fell away with my religious conversion experience. Like I said, science could not then, cannot now, explain why synchronicity events happen yet they happen all the time, just ask your friends or relatives if they've ever had those weird "coincidences" that go way beyond any sort of statistical probability of occurring yet do occur.

Here's a classic one I had when I was debating Wiccans on an internet religious forum years ago. I knew from what little I had read of Wiccan philosophy at the time that it sure seemed like Wicca was somebody's negative reaction to Christianity. Somehow the debate turned to "signs" and synchronicity events which the main Wiccan debater doubted existed. In grand synchronistic fashion, the next day I was at the dentist office and the one magazine on the table was an old Atlantic Monthly that just happened to have an article about the foundation of Wicca with a man named Gardner who it turns did cobble together Wicca from old English tales of witches and Rosicrucian rituals plus his fondness for nudism. This created Wicca, the women's witch theology manufactured by an Englishman. Armed with this information the Wiccans were at a loss to explain how I had happened to receive the right information at the right time to counter Wiccan propaganda.

The thing about experiencing synchronicity events for three days is that by the end of the third day I "knew" what was happening, the point of the world illusion being to overcome the material world by finding out it is not "real", that the world of the senses is not the permanent reality that most of us will not experience until our bodies die and our souls go on to the World to Come.
Barnes may be proven right about Obama in Iowa. We'll know soon...
If the polls are accurate, he's been proven wrong. But then, this is a Democratic primary.
Apparently, Iowa's still very much up in the air.
Military Evangelism Deeper, Wider Than First Thought
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report

Friday 21 December 2007

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation says the two photos show how the infiltration of fundamentalist Christianity in the US military is starting to mirror Islamic fundamentalism.

For US Army soldiers entering basic training at Fort Jackson Army base in Columbia, South Carolina, accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior appears to be as much a part of the nine-week regimen as the vigorous physical and mental exercises the troops must endure.

That's the message directed at Fort Jackson soldiers, some of whom appear in photographs in government issued fatigues, holding rifles in one hand, and Bibles in their other hand.

Frank Bussey, director of Military Ministry at Fort Jackson, has been telling soldiers at Fort Jackson that "government authorities, police and the military = God's Ministers,"

Bussey's teachings from the "God's Basic Training" Bible study guide he authored says US troops have "two primary responsibilities": "to praise those who do right" and "to punish those who do evil - "God's servant, an angel of wrath." Bussey's teachings directed at Fort Jackson soldiers were housed on the Military Ministry at Fort Jackson web site. Late Wednesday, the web site was taken down without explanation. Bussey did not return calls for comment. The web site text, however, can still be viewed in an archived format.

The Christian right has been successful in spreading its fundamentalist agenda at US military installations around the world for decades. But the movement's meteoric rise in the US military came in large part after 9/11 and immediately after the US invaded Iraq in March of 2003. At a time when the United States is encouraging greater religious freedom in Muslim nations, soldiers on the battlefield have told disturbing stories of being force-fed fundamentalist Christianity by highly controversial, apocalyptic "End Times" evangelists, who have infiltrated US military installations throughout the world with the blessing of high-level officials at the Pentagon. Proselytizing among military personnel has been conducted openly, in violation of the basic tenets of the United States Constitution.

Perhaps no other fundamentalist Christian group is more influential than Military Ministry, a national organization and a subsidiary of the controversial fundamentalist Christian organization Campus Crusade for Christ. Military Ministry's national web site boasts it has successfully "targeted" basic training installations, or "gateways," and has successfully converted thousands of soldiers to evangelical Christianity.

Military Ministry says its staffers are responsible for "working with Chaplains and Military personnel to bring lost soldiers closer to Christ, build them in their faith and send them out into the world as Government paid missionaries" - which appears to be a clear-cut violation of federal law governing the separation of church and state.

"Young recruits are under great pressure as they enter the military at their initial training gateways," the group has stated on its web site. "The demands of drill instructors push recruits and new cadets to the edge. This is why they are most open to the 'good news.' We target specific locations, like Lackland AFB [Air Force base] and Fort Jackson, where large numbers of military members transition early in their career. These sites are excellent locations to pursue our strategic goals."

Mikey Weinstein, the founder and president of the government watchdog organization the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, whose group has been closely tracking Military Ministry's activities at Fort Jackson and other military bases around the country, said in an interview that using "the machinery of the state" to promote any form of religion is "not only unconstitutional and un-American but it also creates a national security threat of the first order."

A six-month investigation by MRFF has found Military Ministry's staff has successfully targeted US soldiers entering basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and Fort Sam Houston, with the approval of the Army base's top commanders.

"I've said it before and I will say it again," Weinstein said. "We are in the process of creating a fundamentalist Christian Taliban and somebody has to do something to stop it now."

Weinstein points out that on Fort Jackson's Military Ministry web site, the basic training battalion commander, Lt. Col. David Snodgrass, and the battalion's chaplain, Maj. Scott Bullock, who appear in uniform in a photograph with Bussey, is a clear-cut violation of Military rules. MRFF contacted Bussey via email on Wednesday to request information about the "similar programs" he claimed Fort Jackson has for soldiers of other faiths. Bussey, responding to MRFF via email, did not provide an answer to the watchdog group's question, but, instead, he fired back a query of his own asking MRFF Senior Research Director Chris Rodda to direct him to the place in the Constitution where it states there is a "separation of church and state."

Clause 3, Article VI of the Constitution forbids a religion test for any position in the federal government, and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights says Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion.

A spokesperson for the Fort Jackson Army base did not return calls for comment. Earlier this week, after MRFF exposed the potential constitutional violations between Military Ministry and the Fort Jackson Army base, Bussey added language to Military Ministry at Fort Jackson web site in the form of a "notice to MRFF and ACLU types" in bold red letters that says the Bible study classes are strictly voluntary, not command directed in any way, allows soldiers to exercise for themselves the right of freedom of religion ... and similar programs exist on Fort Jackson for Soldiers of all faiths."

In July, the Pentagon's inspector general (IG) responded to a complaint filed a year earlier by MRFF that accused Pentagon officials of violating the federal law governing the separation of church and state. The IG did not address the church/state issue, but he issued a 45-page report admonishing several high-level Pentagon officials for participating, while in uniform and on active duty, in a promotional video sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ's Christian Embassy group. The IG report quoted one high-ranking military official as saying he believed his participation in the video was acceptable because Campus Crusade for Christ had become so embedded in the Pentagon's day-to-day operations that he viewed the organization as a "quasi federal entity."

The IG report recommended the military officials who appeared in the video be disciplined, but the Pentagon would not say whether it has in fact punished the military officers who appeared in the video.

MRFF uncovered another recent Campus Crusade for Christ promotional video filmed at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that would appear to violate the same military rules detailed in the IG report. Cadets and academy officials appear in uniform discussing how Campus Crusade for Christ helped strengthen their bonds with Jesus.

Scot Blom, the Campus Crusade for Christ director assigned to work at the Air Force Academy, says in the video the organization "has always been very intentional about going after the leaders or the future leaders" and that's why Campus Crusade for Christ picked the Air Force Academy to spread its fundamentalist Christian message. Every week, according to the video, cadets are encouraged to participate in a Bible study class called "cru" short for "crusade."

"Our purpose for Campus Crusade for Christ at the Air Force Academy is to make Jesus Christ the issue at the Air Force Academy and around the world," Blom says in the video. "They're government paid missionaries when they leave here."

Weinstein said the recent promotional video for Campus Crusade for Christ, and the photograph of US soldiers holding Bibles in one hand and rifles in the other posted on the Fort Jackson Military Ministry web site, gives the impression the Pentagon endorses the fundamentalist Christian organization and underscores that the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan appears to be more of a modern-day fundamentalist Christian crusade. That message, Weinstein said, could lead to more "jihads" against the United States.

Indeed. Weinstein, a former White House counsel during the Reagan administration, former general counsel to Texas billionaire and two-time presidential candidate H. Ross Perot and a former Air Force Judge Advocate General, said he had an "unexpected" telephone conversation with several senior Bush administration intelligence officials this week who encouraged him "to continue to fight for the separation of church and state in the US military" because, these senior administration intelligence officials told Weinstein, US troops are being put in harms way.

Weinstein said the senior administration intelligence officials told him they too have been tracking Islamic web sites where people have been discussing on message boards the fundamental Christianity issues Weinstein has raised within the US military. The intelligence officials told Weinstein they are concerned the fundamentalist Christian agenda surfacing in the military could lead to attacks against US soldiers. Weinstein said he could not identify the senior Bush intelligence administration officials he spoke with because they contacted him with the understanding they would not be named.

Fundamental Christianity's Influence on the Bush Administration

While Weinstein has worked tirelessly the past four years exposing the Christian Right's power grab within the military, he says the White House continues to thumb its nose at the constitutional provision mandating the separation of church and state.

Indeed. This week a US District Court judge ruled the White House must disclose its visitor logs showing White House visits by nine fundamentalist Christian leaders.

The ruling was issued in response to a lawsuit filed by the government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and could very well show how much influence fundamental Christian leaders such as James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer and Moral Majority co-founder Jerry Falwell have had on the Bush's administration.

"We think that these conservative Christian leaders have had a very big impact," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW. "The White House doesn't want to talk about how much influence these leaders have, and we want to talk about how much they do have."

Bush has been vocal about his fundamentalist Christian beliefs and how God has helped him during his presidency. A couple of weeks ago, the White House sent out Christmas cards signed by President Bush and his wife Laura that contained a Biblical passage from the Old Testament:

"You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you."

The inclusion of the Biblical passage caught the attention of longtime broadcaster Barbara Walters, who was a recipient of the presidential Christmas card.

Walters said she doesn't recall receiving "religious" holiday cards from past presidents and she wondered how non-Christians would receive such an overtly religious greeting.

"Usually in the past when I have received a Christmas card, it's been 'Happy Holidays' and so on," said Walters. "Don't you think it's a little interesting that the president of all the people is sending out a religious Christmas card? Does this also go to agnostics, and atheists, and Muslims?"

The Biblical passage inside the Christmas card did not amount to a constitutional violation because it was paid for by the Republican National Committee, but Weinstein said it's intolerable, nonetheless, because military officials believe they have the approval of the White House to allow fundamentalist Christian organizations and their leaders to proselytize in the military.

Recently, Bush nominated Brig. Gen. Cecil R. Richardson, the deputy Air Force Chief of Chaplains, to replace the outgoing Air Force Chief of Chaplains, and is in line to be promoted to Major General. Richardson was quoted in a front-page, July 12, 2005, New York Times story saying the Air Force reserves the right "to evangelize the unchurched." The distinction, Richardson said at the time, "is that proselytizing is trying to convert someone in an aggressive way, while evangelizing is more gently sharing the gospel."

Weinstein filed a federal lawsuit against the Air Force in October 2005 after Richardson's comments were published alleging "severe, systemic and pervasive" religious discrimination within the Air Force. Weinstein is a 1977 graduate of the Academy. His sons and a daughter in law are also academy graduates. Weinstein's book, "With God On Our Side: One Man's War Against An Evangelical Coup in America's Military," details the virulent anti-Semitism he was subjected to while he attended the academy and the religious intolerance that has permeated throughout the halls over the past several years.

The federal lawsuit Weinstein filed was dismissed, but the Air Force agreed to withdraw a document that authorized chaplains to evangelize members of the military. Still, Weinstein said MRFF would lobby senators to oppose Richardson's nomination because of his past statements Richardson has refused to retract.

"The Military Religious Freedom Foundation will do everything in our power to convince the United States Senate to reject the nomination of Brig. Gen. Cecil R. Richardson to become the chief of Air Force chaplains and his promotion to the rank of major general," Weinstein said in an interview. "We view Richardson as the prototypical poster child of the type of constitutional rapist we are trying to eradicate from existence within the US military."

In September, MRFF filed a lawsuit in federal court against Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and US Army Maj. Freddy Welborn, on behalf of an Army soldier stationed in Iraq. The complaint filed in US District Court in Kansas City alleges that Jeremy Hall's an Army specialist currently on active duty in Combat Operations Base Speicher, Iraq, First Amendment rights were violated when Welborn threatened to retaliate against Hall and block his reenlistment in the Army because of Hall's atheist beliefs.

"When You Join the Military, Then You Are Also in the Ministry"

The executive director of Military Ministry, retired US Army Major General Bob Dees, wrote in the organization's October 2005 "Life and Leadership" newsletter, "We must pursue our particular means for transforming the nation - through the military. And the military may well be the most influential way to affect that spiritual superstructure. Militaries exercise, generally speaking, the most intensive and purposeful indoctrination program of citizens...."

Moreover, Military Ministry's parent organization, Campus Crusade for Christ, has been re-distributing to military chaplains a DVD produced a decade ago where Tommy Nelson, a pastor at the Denton Bible Church in Denton, Texas, tells an audience of Texas A&M cadets and military officers when they join the military "then you are also in the ministry."

"I, a number of years ago, was speaking at the University of North Texas - it happens to be my alma mater, up in Denton, Texas - and I was speaking to an ROTC group up there, and when I stepped in I said, "It's good to be speaking to all you men and women who are in the ministry," and they all kind of looked at me, and I think they wondered if maybe I had found the wrong room, or if they were in the wrong room, and I assured them that I was speaking to men and women in the ministry, these that were going to be future officers," Nelson says in the DVD.

Jason Leopold is senior editor and reporter for Truthout. He received a Project Censored award in 2007 for his story on Halliburton's work in Iran.

Sounds like Weinstein's worried about Christian influence but I don't see one word about Jewish influence which as we all know has been about as heavy in the White House as any religious group have ever had. When else has America gone to bat for a minority religious group's dream of setting themselves up in another people's land? Church and State, out the window when it comes to Israel. But Weinstein's worried about Christian influence..
Go Fuck Yourself, Stephen Lewis.
Surprise, surprise. A huge article and Stephen homes in on a Jewish name to attack.
im worried about christian infuence much power should people who kill and steal in the name of ghosts have?
If any American should be worried about undue religious influence in government policy making they cannot ignore the warnings of political science experts who have charged Israel with just such undue influence on American policy.

Look at the list of Arab nations as targets and potential targets of America and you will not see one Arab nation that poses any serious threat to the U.S. but you will see every Arab nation that Israel believes poses a threat to Israel on that list.
Constitutionally mandated Separation of Church and State must apply to Synagogue and State as well. No exceptions.
Barnes missed by a mile!
Wasn't the point of Eric's posting which was to diss Obama's chances vs. Hillary's, the Zionists' very own homegirl who knows who her daddy is.

Obama got a few hundred votes and he's acting like he's got it wrapped up. This does reinforce at least one of Barnes' points: that he lacks experience.
I love it. Progs don't have a clue what's happening now in this election. The People are sick and tired of the same ol' same ol'. They want something, somebody new. And they're getting it with Obama. A new face, a new inspiring rhetoric they haven't heard since Kennedy, and they just want to throw the old bums out. Hillary's part of the old bums. Even Edwards is old news.

Obama's got the spirit of the people behind him now and he's unstoppable.
Actually Stephen, you're reading is once again selective. I've been cheering Obama's win, and Edwards' second place finish. But again, it doesn't fit into your frame. It's like when you ignore and dodge my posts which criticize Israel. If it isn't black and white, you can't handle it.

It's intellectual cowardice at its worst.
Eric, will you please grow up and stop with the slander? "Intellectual cowardice at it's worst?" Coming from you? That's a laugh and a half coming from the Zionist promoter who consistently will not answer the question why he supports the invasion and take-over of Palestine by European religious colonists.

I can post several other questions you refuse to answer, counselor, and instead offer slander and libel, so your little attempt to again smear me with more lies falls flat coming from one who will censor any of my hard questions to him.
And Eric, your claim to be cheering Obama must be weighed against all those pro-Hillary comments of yours which outnumber your pro-Obama ones about 10 to 1?

But being a politician you do have to cover your butt at all times and make sure you're not caught out in the cold cruel world of passe pols..
Well, I support what you would consider his Zionist position on Israel/Palestine. Do you?
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