Galloping towards the Apocalypse

Democrats and progressives have been celebrating their electoral gains in the House of Representatives and in local and state races.

But Republicans will gain one or more seats in the U.S. Senate, and 85 year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg just had a bad fall and broke some ribs.

If the Supreme Court rules that that Trump can fire Mueller or that the House of Representatives can’t investigate Trump, that would cause a constitutional crisis and result in massive civil unrest.

Such rulings are more likely now that Kavanaugh has been confirmed and will be even more likely given the likelihood that Trump will get to appoint a third Supreme Court Justice.

Trump has already threatened to bring the government to a halt if Dems investigate him.

The question is: would voices of sanity in the Supreme Court (maybe Chief Justice Roberts) realize that a highly partisan ruling about investigations of Trump could result in a constitutional crisis?

The right is so deranged, living in a fantasy world of fake news and conspiracy theories. I fear for the future of the nation.  Hopefully Roberts and others on the Supreme Court will realize that the nation’s future is at stake.

For an example of craziness, consider: Matthew Whitaker: acting attorney general said judges should be Christian “Trump’s replacement for Jeff Sessions to lead the justice department said judges needed a ‘biblical view of justice’.”  Whitaker has also expressed skepticism about the Mueller investigations.

Another example: Spokane GOP leader authors ‘Biblical Basis for War’ manifesto calling for end to abortion, same-sex marriage and death of enemies who disagree. FBI investigating Washington state rep. for manifesto urging ‘all males will be killed’. But the legislator, Matt Shea, won re-election.

Another example: Right-wing Evangelical letter opposing Faithful America, containing conspiracy theories and distortions.  The letter, signed by over 4000 right wing Christians denounces, in part:

1. A growth industry trafficking in human baby organs and body parts, funded and defended by the Democratic Party.

2. The abandonment of a biblical view of marriage that protected and liberated children and adults from centuries of pagan slavery, poverty, polygamy and non-life-giving sexuality.

3. The Transgender agenda including gender “reorientation” of our children, also being forced on our neighbors, businesses, schools, military and churches.

4. Socialism, higher taxes and government regulations. These policies stifle human creativity, productivity, family stability and generosity. Such policies increase joblessness, welfare dependency and national debt.

Faithful America also reports: “In Georgia, the Republican candidate for governor used his position as secretary to state to purge more than 1.5 million voters from the rolls and shut down hundreds of polling places – likely enough to decide the election.”  Such voter suppression tactics are widespread.

Is it true that 1.5 million voters were purged in Georgia?  According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 500,000 voters were recently purged.   “Since 2012, according to federal and state data, Georgia has removed about 1.4 million people from the voting rolls.”

Whatever the exact number, such blatant voter-disenfranchisement is despicable and warrants an organized national response.  Boycott of Georgia?

North Carolina and other states enacted similar policies.

Given all this craziness, this well-written article seems quite plausible: America’s Next Civil War.  “The United States shows all the warning signs of impending social and political collapse.”   The article describes the extreme divisions in American politics and the failure of major institutions. It envisions the outbreak of violence.

So, progressives don’t have a lot to be pleased about. What’s more, this article, Progressives’ plan for victory just took a gut-punch. Now what do they do?, suggests that progressives flipped few seats in the 2018 election. “Despite a good night for congressional Democrats overall, nearly all of national progressive groups’ star candidates fell short in their contests in red or purple districts and states, potentially slowing the momentum the emboldened left had enjoyed since Hillary Clinton’s loss two years ago.” (Or is that story biased?)

The far left — meaning those who regarded Hillary and the Dems as the “lesser-of-two-evils” and refused to vote for them — may be correct that the mainstream Dems were helping the GOP set the U.S. on a path towards environmental, budgetary and military destruction. But at least the Dems were doing so slowly. Realistically, the mainstream Dems are centrists and, generally, hawks, but they’re not deranged like the Republicans.  They would have protected the EPA, the Supreme Court, the separation of church and state, gay rights, labor rights, etc., etc.

The Republicans are galloping towards the Apocalypse, or a Second Civil War.

Progressive Dems — many of them young women — won many races. So there is hope. But can the center hold or will the nation further split into warring factions of Trumpian Republicans on the one hand, and Democrats and other leftists on the other?  Furthermore, can the Left heal the divisions between the Democrats and the radicalizing socialists fed up with the corporate, centrist Dems?  If the socialists would join forces with the progressive Dems, together they could together kick out the corporate Dems and reform the Democratic Party.

Right-wing Evangelical letter opposing Faithful America, containing conspiracy theories and distortions

The progressive social justice group Faithful America is reporting in an email:

President Trump’s religious right supporters have just launched a new antisemitic conspiracy-theory video attacking Faithful America and other Christian social-justice organizations.

The so-called “American Association of Evangelicals,” which first emerged on the eve of the 2016 presidential election, alleges that we’re part of “Soros’s formula for killing America.”

Many of the religious-right leaders behind this video are among President Trump’s official advisers and endorsers. Their strategy is clear: Delegitimizing those who dare to challenge the administration as “fake” Christians acting at the behest of a shadowy Jewish billionaire.

Below are excerpts from the letter sent out by right-wing Evangelical leaders. The letter is useful for exposing the thinking of such people, including the distortions, lies, and conspiracy theories.

“An Open Letter to Christian pastors, leaders and believers who assist the anti-Christian Progressive political movement in America”Each of us is called to repentance. Our entire nation will be revived as we return to the Lord. We, the evangelical and Catholic signatories below, know we are sinners forgiven by the saving work of Christ. And believers who normally turn the other cheek are, at times, also called to overturn tables. This is a moment for such believers to speak truth to power.

With hope for justice and restoration, thousands of Christian believers continue to urge ‘progressive’ evangelicals and Catholics to repent of their work that often advances a destructive, anti-Christian political agenda. Many believers mean well but don’t understand the financial, political forces at work, thus we write this letter (and videos) to pull back the curtain. We desire the best for you.

As leaked documents confirm, and as Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners eventually admitted, wealthy, anti-Christian foundations, following the lead of billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, fund and “rent”* curious “evangelical” and “Catholic” “mascots” serving as deceptive validators for their causes. The consequent realities include injury to countless people, the Church, the family, nation and the global Church including many martyrs.

We must reclaim the Church’s witness in the world. Biblical truth and wisdom are the highest love for human beings. While God loves justice and mercy for all, many “social justice” campaigns are politically crafted and not the true Gospel. Only the truth of our sin, both personal and systemic, and Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for our salvation and rebirth, is true hope for persons and nations. The gospel charges all things with hope.

Consider some of the consequences of ‘Progressive’ political activism over the past few decades:

1. A growth industry trafficking in human baby organs and body parts, funded and defended by the Democratic Party.

2. The abandonment of a biblical view of marriage that protected and liberated children and adults from centuries of pagan slavery, poverty, polygamy and non-life-giving sexuality.

3. The Transgender agenda including gender “reorientation” of our children, also being forced on our neighbors, businesses, schools, military and churches.

4. Socialism, higher taxes and government regulations. These policies stifle human creativity, productivity, family stability and generosity. Such policies increase joblessness, welfare dependency and national debt.

5. Heightened racial division and tension, and the growing phenomenon of paid demonstrators being recruited and dispatched to instigate protests that often become riots.

6. Open borders and lawless ‘sanctuary’ cities increasing drugs, disease, crime, gangs and terrorism.

7. Amnesty efforts that attempt to give voting rights to millions of non-citizens, giving the results of our elections and nation’s future to many who disregarded our laws, customs, history, identity and values. This does not honor our long-standing tradition of legal immigration to those who come in good faith and to assimilate and bless America.

8. Forced refugee resettlement in hundreds of American cities without citizen consent, mandated by the Obama-era federal government in partnership with the United Nations. (Refugees were primarily non-assimilating Muslims, while authorities often reject persecuted Christians.)

9. Hostility towards Judeo-Christian religious liberty in our courts, large corporations, media and universities including the suppression of conservative speakers, free thought and moral education.

10. The growing recognition of a “Deep State” within our government, including ideological bureaucrats embedded in our DOJ, IRS, FBI and Department of State, that intimidates and seeks to subvert conservative, patriotic and Christian groups that disagree with the ‘Progressive’ political establishment.

For many years, Soros’s Open Society and other liberal foundations have funded not only most of the disturbing campaigns mentioned above (1-10) but also the Religious Left, using and creating ostensibly evangelical and Catholic organizations to “message and mobilize” Christians into Progressive causes. They use the Marxist-Alinsky tactic of funding “ministers” who cherry-pick faith language to confuse and divide the Church’s morality, mission and vote.

At a time when many Christian ministries are struggling, a few of the Soros network “faith” and “interfaith” grantees are Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Richard Cizik’s New Evangelical Partnership, Telos, J Street to malign Israel, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Faithful America and Gamaliel. Faith in Public Life to “counter” Christians and conservatives in the media and, with PICO, advocate for amnesty, mass Islamic migration, and even to attempt to influence the visit and priorities of the Vatican and Pope Francis himself. Billions of additional dollars to “Christian VOLAGs” for large scale “refugee” and migrant resettlement came from the Obama State Dept. and USAID.

Joining “faith” fronts, the Soros network also funds thousands of other collaborators and projects that suggest a pattern and goal to demoralize America (and Europe). The list includes: film studios and hundreds of media outlets; attempts to control the Internet; racial and gender agitation; euthanasia; drug legalization and “injection zones;” abortion and the “sex worker” industry; Al Gore’s Climate campaign; pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel projects; the rights of jihadists and Sharia advocates.

In the ironic rhetoric of compassion, Soros and allies fund mass immigration, amnesty redistricting schemes, illegals’ voting “rights,” protests and smears on Judge Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court, while financing the 2018 campaigns of Democrats Andrew Gillum (D-FL), Jon Tester (D-MT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and many more. (Soros has long been a major donor to the Democratic Party, co-chairman of Ready for Hillary PAC and previously funded Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Al Franken and many far-Left Democrats).

Many now ponder the end goal. Perhaps it is the imposition of a global monoculture. It is at least the destruction of our national identity through demoralization, open borders, drugs, crime, law-fare and media propaganda — the “fundamental transformation” (weakening) of American civil society for the leveraged power of global ‘elites.’ (Mr. Soros has manipulated Asian currencies and elections, broken the Bank of England, is a convicted felon for insider trading in France and is demoralizing many European, African and Latin American nations, while manipulating their elections.)

We urge you to resist collaboration with persons and organizations that receive money from Soros and related globalist social engineers. We must not give control of America’s future to this radical, anti-Christian political and social agenda.

We ask those who have intentionally or unwittingly aided the Progressive agenda in the past to look at the actual consequences of their policies. Please stop inviting fellow believers to assist global profiteers and political activists who are determined to de-Christianize America. Please repent, refuse funding and turn away from those who attack the Church and injure the nation.

A small selection of the 4,000+ signers:

Lt. Gen. Wm. “Jerry” Boykin (U.S. Army, retired)
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (U.S. Army, retired)
Dr. Alveda King (author, speaker with Priests for Life)
Bob McEwen (former U.S. Congressman from Ohio)
Steve Largent (NFL Hall of Fame; former U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma)
George Barna (author and pollster)
Eric Metaxas (author)
Wayne Grudem (Phoenix Seminary professor)
Everett Piper (president, Oklahoma Wesleyan University)
Jay Richards (professor, Catholic University)
Fr. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life)
John Becker (Ohio state representative)
Bishop Harry R Jackson, Jr. (High Impact Leadership Coalition)
Mat Staver (founder and chairman, Liberty Counsel)
Tim Wildmon (president, American Family Association)

Why Some Women Still Vote Republican and What Can be Done About It

by Valerie Tarico

Cross-posted from ValerieTarico.com

Republican women 2Lists of crazy comments about women by Republican men have been an internet staple for years. If the party agenda were to alienate as many females as possible, they should be doing quite well.

Worse yet, from an impact standpoint, the policy priorities of Republican electeds match their expressed attitudes. Equal pay? Contraception? Abortion? Paid family leave? Childcare support? Forget it.

And then there’s behavior.

As Leonard Pitts Jr. put it, here is where we stand:

After supporting senatorial candidate Roy Moore (a credibly accused child molester) President Donald Trump (a confessed perpetrator of sexual assault) has nominated to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh (a credibly accused attempted rapist) who would, if confirmed, serve alongside Clarence Thomas (a credibly accused sexual harasser).

The Grand Old Party isn’t much of a party for women; it’s more like a frat party—a power-drunk letch-fest. The Grand Old Boys Party.

One might think by now that Republican and woman would be a contradiction in terms. Granted, college-educated women are trickling away from the GOP; that should be no surprise. The head scratcher is that any stay. WTF. Before you decide that all female Republicans must be brainless or bad, and therefore hopeless, consider the following:

Dominance Hierarchies—Left-leaning activists often want to upend traditional power structures, but all of our nearest animal ancestors and many other social species are hierarchical—most often with dominant males at the top. Hierarchy is adaptive for them, and the preferences that create it are rooted deep in evolutionary biology. There’s reason to believe that we humans carry some of the same instinctive social dynamics. That is not to say we have no alternatives, either as individuals or as societies. One of the awesome things about our capacity for higher-order reasoning is that we don’t have to live according to instinct. But it should come as no surprise that some not-brainless women find traditional power structures efficient, familiar, comforting, or otherwise attractive.

Religion—There’s a reason that devout religionists are fundamentally conservative. Religion takes instinct and transmogrifies it into immutable rules and rituals. What may have started out as a biologically-based inclination or simply a practical part of life at a given time and place (like gender roles in the Ancient Near East 2500 years ago) gets locked in as self-perpetuating, inflexible dogma.

Religious ideologies can arouse powerful moral emotions in believers so that protecting traditional religiously-sanctioned social structures feels good and righteous. For religious women, this can make ideas like gender equality and reproductive freedom feel wrong. As is clear from stories of those who have left conservative religious communities, no other force in our society so strongly organizes women against women. Even if you think that religions are mind viruses—essentially socially-transmitted infections, some worse than others—(as I do), one can still concede that bad kinds of infections can happen to people who are otherwise decent and healthy.

Tribal Identities—None of us are as independent in forming our political opinions as we like to think. Our sense of reality is socially constructed, and one of the most powerful forces shaping our beliefs is the kinds of reactions we get from people around us. Secularists point out that religious belief is geographically distributed—that most born-again Christians have simply acceded to the beliefs of their childhood communities and if they had been born in India would most likely be Hindu or Muslim. But once we belong to a tribe, no matter how we got there, the worldview of the tribe feels right and righteous.

The same is true of political tribes. About 7 in 10 teens say their political views are “about the same” as their parents. A similar percent say they follow the same religion as their parents. These two facts are not independent. As testimonies of former Christians show, when people change their religion, their politics often change too. Whether this is primarily because their internal world gets reconfigured or because their external world gets reconfigured, we don’t yet know.

Information Silos—One of the ways that tribes maintain separate identities is by regulating information flow—by sanctioning some written texts but not others, elevating some authorities but not others, promoting some information channels (literally) and encouraging insiders to associate with insiders. The Christian New Testament puts it this way: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” But even without the encouragement, we tend to gravitate toward people who think like us and reinforce our existing biases and points of view.

The end result in an age that offers thousands of media channels, some of which adapt content to our individual likes and dislikes, is that Republican women on the whole are living in a very different narrative universe than the one Democratic women are living in. The Donald Trump they voted for is not the Donald Trump you voted against. The Brett Kavanaugh they think they support as a Supreme Court Justice is not the teenage sexual assailant or slippery ideologue you think should be no-where near the nation’s high court.

Left-Wing Excesses—Republicans aren’t the only ones who live in intellectually-gated communities. One of the accusations hurled against progressives is that we like every kind of diversity except diversity of thought. When we isolate ourselves from people who don’t think like us, the stories we tell ourselves about class, race, gender, immigration, the environment—and hated Republican ideologues—become more and more streamlined, less nuanced, and—if we are honest—less reflective of the complicated realities that govern our lives. The robes of our heroes get bleached; those of our opponents get blackened—until we find ourselves in a satisfying world of saints and epic villains. Small wonder, with the narrative world split like this, that there are conservatives who play up our excesses, and middling folks who can’t see past them.

Multifaceted Political Priorities—Even setting aside these factors, identity isn’t as neat and clean as our intersectional grid of oppressed and oppressor identities would have us believe. Yes, women have been subject to men for millennia, with our subjugation sanctified by religion and culture. And yes, women who adhere to this worldview are disproportionately Republican. But even for women who have unshackled from conservative culture and religion—who prefer real gender equality—there is no reason to think that gender issues should dominate their political agenda.

I spend much of my time writing about how Abrahamic religion denigrates women, turning us into literal chattel. I feel so strongly about reproductive autonomy that I once wrote an article titled, “Why I’m pro-abortion and not just pro-choice.” But I think that climate change is the core moral issue of our time; and if I had to choose between a political candidate who would do something about climate and one who would protect abortion rights, I would choose the former. I’m grateful that I haven’t faced this choice. But we need to recognize that women who vote Republican may have to make equally tough choices when their values are in conflict. I need to grant them the same complicated individuality that I grant myself.

So, Simply Accept This Ridiculous State of Affairs?

No. That is not what I’m saying. The Republican Party has become a haven for sexists to the point that hostility toward women predicted Trump support better than authoritarianism and as well as racism.  Some things need challenging, and this is one of them.

People do change, less than we previously thought—and we don’t fully understand the process—but they do. Also, a meaningful shift in policy priorities or candidate preferences may not require much change at all. Because we all contain a myriad of values and priorities, sometimes it’s just a matter of what grabs our emotions or is front of mind. Remember, it’s not always a matter of winning someone over to your point of view or your tribe. Shifts in priorities within the Republican Party are consequential. So, it’s worth doing what we can.

Be appealing. When you encounter a Republican woman online or in real life, imagine that you might end up neighbors or co-workers—or even (radical thought) friends. Comport yourself as if this were the case. Listen, be respectful of what there is to respect, show your own humanity, challenge selectively and carefully within a context of relatedness. You’re never going to complicate the perspective of someone who you don’t like and who doesn’t like you, and a steady diet of disagreement is a formula for dislike. Marital therapists say that we need five positive points of contact for every negative. Even Evangelicals—who are bound by their religion to be constantly on the make—have figured this out and have cultivated expertise in what they call “relational apologetics” and “friendship missionaries.” And who knows? Sometimes even missionaries learn a thing or two.

Challenge the power of religion in society. The gloves come off when it comes to institutions, and to my mind the corrosive power of religion in modern life signals that it’s time to stop genuflecting and start fighting back. As the Catholic pedophilia cover-ups, the political “Moral Majority,” and the emergence of ISIS demonstrate, religion doesn’t deserve the free pass it has gotten for so long.

Because the Church claims to be a fount of truth and goodness, one of the most powerful ways to fight back is to expose the complicated realities that belie these claims. The Freedom from Religion Foundation has long published a “Black Collar Crime Blotter” as part of their monthly newsletter. They also fight in court to prevent aggressive religions from imposing their theologies on the rest of us.

The ACLU has dedicated staff working on the problem of Catholic hospitals, which are more than 90 percent funded by public dollars and patient fees but deny patients the full range of care based on religious theologies. Support their work. Advocate to end the tax-free status of religious institutions, which allows them to rely on public services they didn’t help to fund. Support survivor groups and lawsuits against religious institutions and leaders that engage in bad behavior. The wealth of the Catholic Church, one of the world’s richest real-estate owners, has given them particular undue political influence.  Some of that wealth should be going as restitution to address the harms they have done.

Inoculate your children against fundamentalisms. Your children will be voting sooner than you think. More importantly, they are going to face the challenge of living well in our complicated world. But as they come of age conservative fundamentalists will be targeting them for conversion, offering a simplistic set of answers to life’s big questions. (See Katherine Stewart’s book, The Good News Club, or related articles.) To understand our world, your kids will need to understand how religion works and how science works and why only one of them helps us to understand and solve real world problems. Don’t assume that raising them in a free-thinking or liberal religious mindset is enough. Even good people can fall for bad ideas—and for girls, traditional religious ideas can lead them to loathe their own curiosity and independence, or to support institutions that do.

Create space for flexible men. Right now the left is telling white males that there is no place for them in our aspirational future. You’ve had your turn on top, we say, as if one man were interchangeable with another—as if the son of an unemployed Appalachian coal miner were somehow one of a kind with the coal baron who employed his grandfather. As if he were, consequently, more privileged than the daughter of an Indian doctor with a Harvard degree, and more worthy of our compassion. Roles for men are changing and, yes, some have reacted by retrenching into contempt and arrogance and attempts to reassert old race, class, and gender privilege. But what alternative are we offering them? We’ve spent almost two generations now telling young women that they don’t need to abide by traditional gender roles; that they can be anything they want. But young men haven’t gotten the same message. A lot of young men are trapped in traditional roles, with the culture at large saying those roles are obsolete. Trapped animals fight to the death; those that have other options often take them.

What might it mean to invite both women and men into a flexible future in which they can picture themselves with dignity, respect, and opportunity?

Capture territory. The Right gained a lot of power in the last 30 years by being intractable and irrational, by acting as if the world were black and white. Anyone who’s not for us is against us. At first, the Gingrich strategy of hyper-partisan obstructionism caught sensible people off guard. Think of Barack Obama patiently trying to court Republican support for what had been their own version of healthcare reform. Later, many of us on the Left decided we had to fight fire with fire. We amped up our own rhetoric and intransigence and built communications outlets that—even if they couldn’t out-crazy Breitbart or Infowars or Fox—at least created a counterweight. But the middle couldn’t hold, and that has left some people feeling politically homeless despite the fact that they consistently vote for—or even fund—one side of the aisle.

This leaves a lot of territory—policy priorities, constituencies, and rhetoric—wide open. Who, for example, puts the interests of the middle class above both rich and poor? Who speaks for people who both believe that capitalism improves lives and also believe in market failures—or that greed is destructive? How about those who believe that polities should manage immigration while also believing that our current system is cruel and unjust? How about those who value a social safety net and also worry about national debt? Our rhetoric has become so incendiary that someone espousing these positions is likely to be seen by each side as a member of the other. That’s a problem. It’s also an opportunity, because  family-friendly, woman-friendly economic policies can cross the aisle.

Support bridge builders. If Republican women are going to walk away from fraternity island and settle in somewhere else, they need bridges to walk on, and that takes bridge builders. Some people are trying to play that role, and they need your support or engagement. Van Jones and his work at Rebuild the Dream comes to mind as a smart example. Several smaller start-ups are explicitly working on helping people figure out left-right communications (especially the listening part).

We can write off Republican women if we choose. We can walk away with an incredulous WTF, a shrug, or a sigh of hopelessness. I’ve done this many times. Persisting in an attempt to reach out, either collectively or individually, can be harder than fighting the good fight. It’s viscerally less righteous, and it doesn’t always work. The only thing guaranteed is that we can’t make a difference if we don’t try.

How Seattle police aided the neo-Nazis in the anti-Sharia protest

Multiple credible sources have reported that the Seattle police harassed counter-protesters but protected anti-Sharia marchers participating in Saturday’s anti-Sharia law march in Seattle.

https://patch.com/washington/seattle/seattle-anti-sharia-protest-counter-protest-15-pictures

http://komonews.com/news/local/anti-muslim-rally-counter-protests-expected-in-seattle

I got permission to copy the post of a friend of  friend, below.   My apologies for the anonymity and “hearsay” nature of this evidence.  Someone at my work attended the counter-protest and says that the post below is accurate: the police were aiding the neo-Nazis.

From a friend’s post:

“Report on Seattle events today. Multiple times fascists attacked a peaceful protest and were released by police each time. Cops arrested the peace keepers. The fascists were belligerent and picking fights in a totally peaceful crowd. Don’t believe the hype that antifa and the left are instigating violence. These guys were looking for a fight and we tried to not give it to them. (PS to join these so-called Proud Boys you are REQUIRED to attack people)

“Regarding the “anti-Sharia” action organized by a hate group and counter protest today [in Seattle] :

I was a part of the marshal team for the counter protest today and feel it is critical that I get my perspective out there on what happened. The marshal team was comprised of individuals from the Greater Seattle General Defense Committee as well as numerous folks from other organizations from the coalition that organized the action.

Our job was to facilitate the counter protest’s march to and from City Hall Plaza and help work to de-escalate situations and keep participants safe throughout the duration. We had two fantastic, designated police liaisons who before the march started, went to City Hall and spoke with multiple SPD commanders regarding our intentions to keep the rallies separated and safe. They were told by SPD that if the fascists wanted to march, they could, and that we would be expected to keep a block away from them which was in accordance with our own intentions anyways.

Unfortunately, the fascists were NOT held to the same standard by SPD.

While at City Hall Plaza, I personally escorted multiple groups of alt-righters, Proud Boys, and even Joey Gibson himself with his violent motorcycle club buddies through our crowd and helped them safely get to their rally without causing a scene on our end.

One particular group, mostly comprised of Proud Boys, crossed through our lines multiple times. I personally witnessed one of them unplug one of our speakers and violently push multiple people out of his way. During their last foray into our crowd, people moved to stop them from coming in and starting a fight and were immediately hit in the face by two of the Proud Boys. This all happened mere feet from at least 2 dozen SPD officers.

As a marshal, I immediately went to them, identified myself as one of the marshal team, and asked that they help get the assailants away from us. I was met with a response of “If you aren’t letting them march through your crowd, then we can’t stop them from hitting you.” The assailants were both pulled to safety by SPD and allowed to wander off. It’s safe to say that if any group of counter protestors would have tried to shoulder their way through the fascist rally, SPD would NEVER respond in such a manner.

In fact, just last week Portland Police Bureau and DHS officers cooperated with far-right militia members in arresting peaceful anti-fascists for merely being in the vicinity of their rally space. It is clear that they have no actual interest in free speech or peaceful engagement.

Around 12-12:30, we began assembling to escort our community members from MAPS and CAIR who were running an “Ask a Muslim” booth at the rally safely to our dispersal point at Occidental Square. As our march departed, the opposite direction from the hate rally, SPD allowed a group of around 20 of them (including the same Proud Boys, Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer, and “Tiny”, a violent biker) to stalk our march a block away. This group then went to the Central Saloon and began drinking.

We arrived at Occidental Square and had a few more speakers before we began dispersing. While this was happening, a group of about 10 of the fascists attempted to come down and into the park. While this situation was arising, another group of them led by the same assaultive Proud Boys from before came from the other direction, walked by SPD officers, and went straight into the park and began attacking people. During this altercation, 3 members of the General Defense Committee were violently arrested while the SAME INDIVIDUALS WHO HAD ALREADY ASSAULTED PEOPLE EARLIER IN FRONT OF SPD WERE ALLOWED, AGAIN, TO GO FREE”.

SPD needs to be held accountable. The individuals who assaulted our people, who were part of a beautiful, rowdy, yet very peaceful protest need to be held accountable.

Please, if you can, start contacting your city council members, mayor, and police chief demanding accountability for allowing these assaults to happen. Help get the story of what actually happened today out to all of the standard bullshit media outlets. We all need to be strong and support the folks who got hurt and arrested today while taking action against hate in our community by violent thugs from out of town”

Image #1 from the anti-Sharia rally in Seattle on June 10, 2017
Image #2 from the anti-Sharia rally in Seattle on June 10, 2017
Image #3 from the anti-Sharia rally in Seattle on June 10, 2017
Image #4 from the anti-Sharia rally in Seattle on June 10, 2017

Another source, my coworker who said the facebook post was accurate, shared the above pictures from the rally and commented:

After the white supremacist rally dispersed, we marched back to Occidental Park, where we started the last part of our counter-protest, a set of speeches. Soon afterwards, I saw groups of white supremacists coming into Occidental Park, and starting to assault the counter-protestors. They had no business to be there because the counter-protest had obtained a city permit to rally in Occidental Park. The police had no business to let them come there, but they stood by and allowed the white supremacists to approach the park, and actually enter. These guys were definitely looking for trouble, and they knew exactly where to find it. I was busy with the speeches, so I missed the early part of the action, but as soon as the speeches ended, I headed out to where trouble had broken out, and took some pictures, which I’m sending you.

Descriptions for the 4 pictures:

1. Picture of two counter-protestors, who were part of the safety committee, being arrested by Seattle Police

2. On the left you can see the arrests in progress. On the right you can see that the two policemen have removed their pepper spray cans from their holsters, and are ready to use it on counter-protestors if “needed”

3. See how heavily armed the police were. They had 4 magazines each – over 50 rounds – on them, in addition to pepper spray, and they were probably carrying flash bangs in those pouches hanging from their uniforms

4. Seattle Police formed a roman-style phalanx, and literally pushed us back, away from the site where they were making arrests and using pepper spray. Can you believe this s happening in Seattle?

 

God corrects some misunderstandings

Hi, I’m God the Almighty, Creator of the Universe, also known as Jehovah, Allah, and Brahaman. Pretty cool, eh?Actually, it’s not so cool. I have to listen to a lot of tiresome prayers. Don’t you people realize that I already know what’s best for you? Lord knows: I don’t need to be reminded.

Secondly, the so-called Holy Books majorly misrepresent my teachings and contain all sorts of material added for political reasons. For example, all those threats about me sending people to hell for failing to believe or follow some religion? Total B.S.

And the bit about “Be fruitful and multiply”? I never said it.

The only thing I really care is about is that people should be kind to each other and take care of Creation.

See ya around.

Progressives oppose Islamic extremism but oppose war even more

In the video Winning the War of Ideas, Sam Harris interviews author Sam Harris.  Both agree that progressives are making a serious error by failing to oppose Islamic violence and misogyny.

Harris and Maher don’t sufficiently acknowledge that progressives are indeed critical of Islamic repression.  But progressives are even more concerned with stopping a Holy War against Islam.  War lovers in both major parties are using the threat of terrorism to justify military spending and endless war.

After all, Muslim radicalism is largely a result of decades of war waged by the West against Muslim countries, and by U.S. meddling in the Middle East.   The U.S. created Al Qadea in Afghanistan in an effort to eject Russia.

The U.S. waged war against secular Iraq but has protected theocratic Saudi Arabia. Mostly, the U.S. should stop trying to be the policeman of the world. In reality, the motivation isn’t to save them from repression. The motivation is to get their oil.