Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Demonization of Saul D. Alinksy — mea culpa?

January 14, 2011

In a post titled Hoax Jared Loughner Facebook Profiles Created, January 10, 2011, Richard Bartholomew said the following about a hoax profile falsely depicting Jared Loughner as admiring various leftists:

The list of left-wingers is so stereotyped as to be absurd – Saul Alinsky in particular is primarily famous these days as a figure in conservative demonology rather than for anything else.

As I’ll explain below, I’m probably at least partly responsible — though unintentionally so — for today’s demonization of Saul D. Alinsky by conservatives. So, I’ll now speak up in Alinsky’s defense and respond to a few of the more egregious falsehoods that some right-wingers have spread about him.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Christian supremacists in the U.S. military

July 17, 2010

An aspect of the Christian religious right wing that is a serious longterm danger to everyone in the entire world is the illegal, unconstitutional activities of Christian supremacists in the U.S. armed forces.

Read the rest of this entry »

San Fernando Curt on the SRA scare

July 3, 2009

I recently came across a very interesting blog post about the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare of the 1980’s and early 1990’s: Inconvenient untruth, San Fernando Curt’s Blog, Talking Points Memo (TPM), June 22, 2009.

San Fernando Curt observes that the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare isn’t talked about very much anymore. He quotes and links to a Summer 2001 Women’s Quarterly article, Sex, Lies, and Audiotapes – hysteria over rape and sexual child abuse by Rael Jean Isaac, who points to the role of feminists in launching the panic. Curt claims that the reason why the SRA scare isn’t talked about very much anymore is because the feminist movement is, allegedly, a sacred cow whose mistakes no one dares discuss.

I disagree.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stephen Lemons on Satanists who don’t like neo-Nazis

July 2, 2009

Recently I came across Thomas Coletto Renounces Neo-Nazi-ism, Alleges Former Comrade to be Satanist by Stephen Lemons on the Phoenix New Times site, June 9, 2009. This blog post is about Thomas Coletto, a former member of the National Socialist Movement, the same neo-Nazi group that Joy of Satan founder Maxine Dietrich’s husband Clifford Herrington had a leading role in.

The post contains a link to my page How can we effectively discourage neo-Nazism in the Satanist scene?, in a sentence which reads: “There are also Satanist Web sites out there where Satanists discuss how to weed neo-Nazis out of their ranks, which begs the question: Which is worse, genuflecting to Beelzebub, or slapping a swastika on your arm?”

Read the rest of this entry »

More about the controversy over the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA)

May 31, 2008

My post The “Stop the Madrassa” Coalition and its campaign against the Khalil Gibran International Academy has been quoted on the FrontPage magazine site in an article titled Fantasizing “The New McCarthyism” by Phil Orenstein, FrontPageMagazine.com, Friday, May 23, 2008.

Islamism (the totalitarian ideology) does pose a real threat. But it’s a threat that needs to be addressed with surgical precision, not blind hysteria.

Alas, Phil Orenstein’s article comes across to me as hysteria-mongering: a flood of accusations against various people, combined with a blatantly fallacious dismissal of the civil rights concerns of Muslims. But his article has inspired me to research several topics more deeply this past week, including hate crime statistics and the recent history of bigotry against both Jews and Muslims.

Read the rest of this entry »

Satanisms and politics: More about Julian Karswell’s blog

May 24, 2008

Continuing the commentary I began in my earlier posts Satanisms and politics: To Julian Karswell, May 17, 2008, and Further reply to Julian Karswell, May 22, 2008, here on WordPress.com:

Read the rest of this entry »

Further reply to Julian Karswell

May 22, 2008

I’ll now reply to the second comment by Julian Karswell beneath my post Satanism and politics: Question for Julian Karswell and other LaVey-based Satanists on my Google/Blogspot blog.

Julian, I would like to suggest that you reply either here on WordPress.com or, better yet, on your own blog.

Read the rest of this entry »

Satanisms and politics: To Julian Karswell

May 17, 2008

On my Theistic Satanism blog on Google/Blogspot, I posted a brief response to Julian Karswell’s “Opus Diaboli” website. I’ll now post some commentary about his blog, which I’ll do here on WordPress.com, to take advantage of the “trackback” feature.

Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq – review of history of pre-war U.N. weapons inspections in 2002-2003

May 11, 2008

This weekend, I did quite a bit of online review of the events leading up to the Iraq war, especially with regard to U.N. weapons inspections in 2002 and 2003.

I’ve written a detailed post logging my research this weekend. I originally posted it here on WordPress, but I decided to move it to my LiveJournal blog. The post is now here.

To atheists: A secularist alliance is needed

May 4, 2008

These days, too many public atheists come across as even more hostile toward liberals and religious moderates than toward fundamentalists. This is unfortunate, because, in my opinion, atheists and religious liberals and moderates need to stand together against the worldwide trend toward theocracy.

Read the rest of this entry »

The “Stop the Madrassa” Coalition and its campaign against the Khalil Gibran International Academy

April 29, 2008

When I first ran into the “Stop the Madrassa” Coalition’s blog last week, I was inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt that they may have had a valid church-state separation issue regarding the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA). I do think it’s important to uphold separation of church (mosque) and state.

However, the more I’ve looked into this matter, the more it seems to me that the “Stop the Madrassa” Coalition is crying wolf. Their one valid complaint is the Board of Education’s unwillingness to provide complete information about the curriculum to the general public. On this matter, their arch-scapegoat, the Khalil Gibran school’s founder and former principal Debbie Almontaser, agrees with them, as I learned last night. She too wishes that the Board of Education and the school’s current administration would be more transparent, to allay public fears.

Read the rest of this entry »

More about the fine line between opposing Islamism and promoting bigotry against Muslims

April 29, 2008

I finally got a response on the “Creeping Sharia” blog. (See my earlier post More about Islamism and bigotry against Muslims.) Below is my reply.

Read the rest of this entry »

Refutations of some classic libels against Jews

April 27, 2008

Recently, there seems to have been revival of classic libels against Jews, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and ye olde blood libel, in many parts of the world.

I’m not Jewish, but I have a personal interest in this topic, as a member of another, much smaller religious minority which has frequently been a target of what can best be described as warmed-over anti-Jewish propaganda. Also, I live in New York and have had quite a few Jewish friends.

Below, I’ll discuss some classic anti-Jewish claims, with links to sites refuting them.

I do question whether these beliefs have become quite as widespread as some folks claim. Pro-Israel hawks have seized upon the promulgation of anti-Jewish libels as a justification for their own intransigance, which makes me wonder whether some of them might be exaggerating just a tad. Nevertheless, the revival of traditional anti-Jewish nonsense does indeed seem to be a real and growing menace.

Read the rest of this entry »

Witchhunts and (real) ritual murder, in Africa and India – roundup of recent news

April 26, 2008

Some interesting speculation: Does Climate Change Mean More Witch Hunts? by Freakonomics, New York Times Blogs, NY, 4/25/2008:
Read the rest of this entry »

More about Islamism and bigotry against Muslims

April 25, 2008

New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry will oppose both Islamism (the political ideology of Sharia supremacy) and bigotry against Muslims, as stated here (as well as opposing bigotry against people of various other religions too).

As I now envision our activism, it will include, among other things, both (1) participating in political actions against torture and in favor of indicting Bush, Cheney, et al for war crimes, and (2) attempts to reason with anti-Muslim bigots, who often seem to be motivated by valid concerns about Islamism.

In trying to reason with anti-Muslim bigots, I’m inclined to argue from a pragmatic point of view, rather than an abstract moral point of view. Specifically, I think a good approach might be to empathize with their concerns about Islamism (which I share) and point out that there are many Muslim reformers and Muslim moderates who are not just different from Islamists but also our natural allies against Islamism and against the more repressive and retrograde forms of Islam.
Read the rest of this entry »

Islamism vs. Muslim reformers and moderates: Response to “The Apostate”

April 25, 2008

I’ve been having a very interesting discussion with “The Apostate,” who is “a Pakistani woman, raised as a Muslim in Saudi Arabia, and an atheist since the age of 17,” now 25 and living in San Francisco.

In a post of hers titled Why I Criticize Islam and Muslims, she wrote:

Nevertheless, I don’t wish to ‘demonize’ Muslims, nor to paint a monochromatic picture of them. There are Muslims who have commented on this blog who represent a kinder gentler Islam. I know they exist – I also know they are, at this point in time, few and far between. I can also differentiate between truly enlightened Muslims and those who are primitive in their religious interpretations but who have good hearts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gay repentant hawks on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

April 24, 2008

Back in 2001, shortly after 9/11, I remember seeing rhetoric about how the U.S invasion of Afghanistan was going to liberate Afghanistan’s women. Various “gay conservatives” claimed that a U.S. invasion would be good for Afghanistan’s gays, too. Likewise, various gay neocons thought the U.S. military was going to bring human rights to Iraq as well.

Some have belatedly changed their minds, at least about Iraq.
Read the rest of this entry »

More about Islam & Islamism: Response to “Islamoscope”

April 23, 2008

After publishing my previous post, I clicked on the “Islamism” tag to see what other folks were saying on that topic here on WordPress.com. One of the blogs I came across was Islamoscope, whose About page says:

We believe that by creating awareness of the radical element of Islam both moderate Muslims and non-Muslims from all religious and ethnic persuasions can ensure we can still enjoy the freedoms created in the West free from radical persecution.

I agree so far.
Read the rest of this entry »

Islam and religion-based bigotry

April 23, 2008

New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry will need to tread a very delicate balance as far as Islam is concerned.

On the one hand, the Muslim world seems to be dominated, to a large and very scary degree, by extremely intolerant Islamist factions. We need to take a stand against Islamist persecution of “apostates,” persecution of gays, etc. (Among other things, this means we should expose the history of U.S. government support for Islamist militants – continuing even after 9/11/2001!)

On the other hand, Muslims in general, including the more moderate and reformist Muslims, have themselves been the target of a lot of bigotry here in the U.S.A. We need to oppose that, too. We also need to oppose the egregious human rights violations, e.g. torture, that have been justified in the name of opposing Islamist terrorism.
Read the rest of this entry »