Thursday, October 14, 2010

On The Corrupt Nature of Finance and How It Led to the Foreclosure Catastrophe

Read this very disturbing article about the corrupt state of finances and how it has lead to the economic crisis. "Inside Job": Global Finance as a Criminal Conspiracy.

Here's one highlight:
finance is really kind of zero-sum. It's a trading game, it's a gambling game. There's a relatively fixed pool of money, but there's a lot of money and the way you make more, as a banker, is by making sure that someone else makes less. It's really hard to keep that industry ethical without appropriate legal and regulatory controls. If Intel made microprocessors that blew up the computers they're in, Intel would go out of business. The same is not true for financial services. It was a very sobering moment.

Glad the Chilean Miners Got Out

The miners got out! That is good to hear.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Media Matters Exposes the Right's Demonization of the Tides Foundation

Media Matters has posted an article critiquing David Horowitz's website,, A Guide to David Horowitz's DiscoverTheNetworks.

A few months ago one Bryan Williams engaged some law enforcement officers in a shoot out but was in the end arrested and is now in jail awaiting trial. He said he was trying to attack the ACLU and the Tides Foundation. Immediately there began speculation over what drove this man to hate the Tides Foundation so much he would chose to attack them. Commentators noted that Glenn Beck had recently denounced Tides and suspected a connection.

When I heard about this I immediately said to myself that he had probably read Discover The's description of Tides. I shared this thought on my other blog. I discovered this website around early 2007 and read some of what was there. I distinctly recalled reading how they vilified Tides as the second greatest funder of 'the left' (just behind the Ford Foundation), that it's a money launderer used to let the wealthy left fund radical groups which they do not want to associate with publicly, they say. The funders know where the money goes, sends it to Tides, which sends it to the specified radicals, and the recipients may be unaware of the source of the money sent through Tides.
I am very glad that Media Matters has chosen to bring attention to this website. reveals much of what is wrong with the current state of the American right. It tries to convince the reader that every leftist must be as harmful to society as a Communist. Everyone that website disagrees with are vilified as Communists or portrayed as being as bad as one. Exploiting the fact that the Communist movement originates from the left it viciously accuses all leftists as being just as bad as Communists, as merely milder forms of Soviet Communism. The spirit of McCarthy is strong with this website.

Some highlights from Media Matters' interview with Bryan Williams:
Byron says that he had researched Tides on his own before seeing Beck attack the foundation on television. In his letter to me, he singled out Beck and DiscoverTheNetworks as key sources of information on Soros and Tides.
To accuse every leftist of being Communist is wrong. It is dangerous to do that because it hides what was really wrong with Soviet style Communism and make people unnecessarily fearful of the left. The problems of Soviet Communism which caused them to behave in the atrocious way they and their imitators did do not apply to the vast majority of the American left.

I know David Horowitz has a very compelling story about how he became disillusioned with the left due to apathy towards the murder of an associate of his, which he strongly suspects was committed by the members of the original Black Panther Party, but regardless of such sensitive matters they do not, I am sorry to say, justify him and his associates to demonize the left as they have done as Communists, as intellectual relatives of Communism, as sympathizers of radical Islamic terrorism, as traitors for opposing Bush's wars.

I have read about twenty books about Soviet style Communism and some of its imitators. As far as I can tell one fundamental problem was that their dream of being able to create Utopia allowed them to justify all measures to destroy democracy. Whatever may be said the American left I am firmly persuaded that the idea that democracy can be subverted to impose their vision(s), that such a step is justified, does not exist within the vast majority of the American left.

I say again I'm glad Media Matters has directed their critical eyes to this propaganda website and are exposing them.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Social Security Is Secure

The Daily Howler has another post up discussing why Social Security is NOT going to "fail" and that claims that it is going to fail are, ultimately, incited by plutocrats who want to get their hands on your Social Security. It is a fabricated crisis that we do not need to fear.

Media Matters Discuss "Christian Identity"

Media Matters has asserted that David Barton, an academic who teaches at Beck University, a venture of Glenn Beck, spoke twice to "Christian Identity" groups in 1991. They cite a 1994 book by the Anti-Defamation League.

Barton claims that he was unaware of the racist nature of these organizations when he spoke to them.
Barton later said he was not aware that the events were hosted by groups with a racist ideology and said "that with as many as 400 speaking engagements a year, he cannot do background checks on each of the invitations he receives," according to an April 10, 1996, Seattle Times article (retrieved via Nexis).
I don't know much about David Barton so I am not going to comment on his professional life or the criticisms against his work which Media Matters presents in the article. Personally I am not sure if it was a good idea for Media Matters to bring up this matter. Barton said he didn't know the nature of these groups, so I would be reluctant to use this to criticize him over this matter at this moment. So doesn't this mean that he has already addressed this business? If he hasn't spoken to any of these Christian Identity groups in 19 years, if he has avoided them this long, shouldn't we leave this matter alone? Isn't that long enough to leave this alone?

I also must state here that Media Matters did not state just how virulently racist these "Christian Identity" groups are. Here is how they are described in the article, quoting a 1994 book by the Anti-Defamation League:
["]Christian Identity["] movement .... "asserts that Jews are 'the synagogue of Satan'; that Blacks and other people of color are subhuman; and that northern European whites and their American descendants are the 'chosen people' of scriptural prophesy."
It's worse then that. "Christian Identity" asserts that Jews are the literal, fleshy descendants of the Devil, and that whites are descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. It is not enough for them to claim to be Israelites but they claim that Jews are impostors usurping the position of the true Israelites, the select European whites.

"Christian Identity" is a racist offshoot of British Israelism which originated from Victorian Britain, taught by men such as Richard Brothers, John Wilson and Edward Hine, and came into America. At first it was not racist towards Jews, instead viewing them as long lost cousins. It was from this non-racist form of British Israelism that HWA adopted it from J. H. Allen in the late 1920s. (Then carefully stole any credit Allen deserved by pointedly refusing to name him in his discussions about British Israelism.) Hence why HWA did not indulge in hating the Jews. But after World War II many of these British Israelites embraced racist doctrines that produced what is now known as "Christian Identity".

Because "Christian Identity" is related to British Israelism I feel it is necessary to mention this matter here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Letter to ESN on Wade Cox' Armstrongite Group, Christian Churches of God

ESN has published an email about Wade Cox' Christian Churches of God. It's dated September 29. Take a look. The writer gives us a very unflattering portrayal of the leadership, and also expresses concern about their expansion into Africa and wishes that there were more resources on the Internet exposing the truth about this group.

LCG apologist Bob Theil has a fascinating article about this group. Similar to Jehovah's Witnesses, and unlike HWA, this group seems to teach that Jesus Christ is not divine and that He was generated and did not exist from eternity.

If you want to see what the writer is talking about here is the group's page concerning Africa and the Middle East.

Worryingly Bob Theil also indicates that this group is prone to making legal challenges, although he presents little evidence to support this.

On other matters a certain anti-Semite who denies the Bible has redesigned his website and whitewashed his commentary section which contained some of his most disgusting anti-Semitic hate speech, so some of his hate speech are now inaccessible. But there is still one booklet up on his website which claims the Jews are descended from Turkic Khazars and accuses Jews of dominating the slave trade. Both of these are anti-Semitic charges used to demonize Jews and stir up hatred. So I think this is just a trick. He is trying to obscure his hatred but it is clear he still retains his virulent anti-Semitic hatred.

[Update: Be sure to read the comment below. Here's more on this group.]