A Moral Fundamentalist! Oh My!

I came across this video. The guy apparently is a fundamentalist of some variety. I’m typically critical of fundamentalists because of their not unusual hypocritical behavior. I was surprised to hear this fundamentalist voicing criticisms of the hypocritical rightwing Christian leadership which has led us into unjust wars. He comes at it from his own Christian perspective, but what impressed me is that he was considering data that comes from views other than his own.

I’m so used to fundamentalists defending other fundamentalists at all costs. It’s quite refreshing to see this particular fundamentalist struggle with his own sense of morality. Could you imagine if Bush had struggled with his own morality to the degree this guy is doing in this video? If Bush had, so many vile atrocities would never have happened.

Real Patriot Speaks Truth

I just came across this vlogger. He says he is an Iraq vet, one of the many soldiers who came back with injuries from shrapnel. He says he had four concussions in four months which from what I understand isn’t unusual. I think he said he is 24. So, he is of the Millennial generation. Gulf war was the war of my generation, but it pales in comparison to what this generation has had to deal with. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are close to being the longest wars in US history.

This guy speaks the truth. Most of what he says I already was familiar with, but this guy has passion, righteous passion. I wish all those who support the wars (and our imperialistic military policies) would watch videos of veterans like this.

What really interests me is that this guy is of the new generation coming of age. Considering how long and extensive these recent wars have been, a large number of Millennials are or have been soldiers. A whole generation will be impacted by the brutality of meaningless war. Listening to these videos, it gave me hope that this very large generation might be able to force some real change in our society.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Gitmo Innocents

Below is more evidence that Bush (& Friends) was as evil as we all thought he was.    


And here is an article from Fox News so that no one can argue that this is a story only the liberal media is reporting. 

Powell Withholds Comment on Report That Innocent Men Were Kept at Gitmo
Fox News

Colin Powell declined to comment on an article published in the Times of London Friday that reported innocent men were kept at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp because the Bush administration feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader war on terror. The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Powell, the former secretary of state, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantanamo detainee. Peggy Cifrino, principal assistant to Powell, said in a written statement to Fox News, “General Powell has not seen Colonel Wilkerson’s declaration and, therefore, cannot provide a comment. Nor, obviously, can ‘it be understood that he backed’ the declaration as reported by Tim Reid of The Times.” The Times of London reported that George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld knew in 2002 that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo were innocent, but the administration believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.Colonel Wilkerson, who was Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was a long-time critic of the Bush administration’s approach to counter-terrorism and the war in Iraq. According to the Times of London, Wilkerson claimed that one reason Cheney and Rumsfeld did not want the innocent detainees released was because “the detention efforts would be revealed as the incredibly confused operation that they were.”  

This is even more interesting when one considers this in the light of how the lawyers who represented terrorist suspects were attacked for doing their job as lawyers (a job, by the way, that is one of the major supports of our democracy and of our constitutional rights).  




‘Al-Qaeda 7’ Controversy: Detainees And Politics
by Ari Shapiro

 Justice Department attorneys who once helped represent terrorism detainees are at the center of a raging dispute. A conservative group is arguing the nine lawyers are influencing U.S. policy to help their former clients. 

The seed of the controversy was planted at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last November, where Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about his agency’s decision to give detainees civilian trials in the United States.   

“Would you provide me and members of the committee with the following information,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asked Holder, “the names of political appointees in your department who represent detainees or who worked for organizations advocating on their behalf.”   

Holder said he would look into it and added that people who have been involved in detainee issues recuse themselves at the Justice Department when it’s appropriate.   

Holder continued, “People who should not be participating in certain decisions do not do so.”   

Grassley and other Republicans sent a follow-up letter. And last month, the Justice Department responded, saying nine Justice attorneys were once involved in representing detainees.   

Grassley named two of them. A group led by conservatives Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol then released an Internet video spot.   

“Who are these government officials?” says a voice in the ad. “Eric Holder will only name two. Why the secrecy behind the other seven? Whose values do they share? Tell Eric Holder, Americans have a right to know the identity of the ‘Al-Qaeda 7.’ ” Fox News identified the seven lawyers and pointed out that the Bush Justice Department also hired lawyers who had represented detainees.  

Even though conservatives have criticized Liz Cheney for this attack add, many conservatives have defended Gitmo and torture on the basis that terrorist suspect should be treated as if they were terrorists. The logic behind this argument is that if there was evidence for their innocence they wouldn’t be in Gitmo (or one of the other detainment prisons). This was also the argument for why they shouldn’t be tried in civilian courts because, afterall, terrorists don’t deserve justice. They deserve only our righteous hatred and the might of our vengeance. 

So, how many innocents were tortured and/or died in detainment while Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld lied and while Republicans supported those lies? 

Intelligent Americans?

The first video is commentary about Glenn Beck.

Some people think this proves that Beck is a liar, but I think he simply is inconsistant.  It isn’t even that he is necessarily irrational but that his rationality is swayed by his emotions.  As such, it would be smart to not to rely too heavily on his analysis for objective reporting.  Beck, as I see it, is somewhat hit and miss.  He says things that others won’t say in the mainstream media, but sometimes there are good reasons why respectable journalists stay away from particular topics.

Anyways, emotional as he is, his emotions do resonate with the emotions of many people and so I think it’s unwise to dismiss his view.  It’s important to understand the raw nerve he is touching upon.

More to my taste, these next videos are of Bill Maher.  His comments about America’s stupidity reminds me of Jon Stewart’s criticisms of the low quality of mainstream news reporting and the uninspiring ideal of average joe politicians.  And his criticisms of Bush jr remind me of Steve Colbert’s roasting of the former president.

Maher is what I consider a liberal libertarian which is a stance I respect even when I may disagree with particular opinions.  I think he is almost too easygoing sometimes.  It’s not that he doesn’t have strong opinions, but that he isn’t prone to judging others even when they deserve harsh judgment.

I was a bit surprised that he considers Ann Coulter a friend.  From this position, he strongly defends her right to an opinion.  That is fine as far as it goes and is a very liberal attitude.  However, Coulter’s opinion is far from being equal to that of the opinion of Maher.  Coulter preaches bigotry, she constantly makes slanderous accusations, she is very loose with her facts and never admits she is wrong even when it’s obvious to everyone else.  Coulter lacks intellectual humility which is bad when combined with her lack of intellectual insight.  She doesn’t treat others with the patient listening and understanding that someone like Maher offers to her.

The one weakness of this kind of libertarian liberal stance is that it’s easy for someone like Coulter to take advantage.  What saves Maher from being taken advantage of is that he isn’t afraid to challenge any claim, but unfortunately neither does he often hold a person’s feet to the fire.  It seems that he’d rather not be confrontational to the point of being an asshole.  Unlike Coulter, he isn’t a blustery ideologue nor does he want to compete on that level.  However, he has a very sharp mind and incisive wit that he could compete on that level if he wanted to.