April 12: Rachel Maddow previews the two-hour msnbc special documentary based on Timothy McVeigh’s prison interviews, scheduled to air April 19, the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Apr 13 2010
Mar 14 2010
LaFeminista’s most recent diary over at DailyKos.com points to the presence of cults in America, of which Scientology is one. You look at those videos, and wonder why people would believe and say and do such stuff, and then you’re reminded of the cultists who run the Texas Board of Education… but, really, there’s one big cult, into which all of the other cults feed — the Cult of Money. This diary will examine said cult through Chapter 4 of Marx’s Capital and then suggest deprogramming measures.
(crossposted at Orange)
Mar 24 2009
Glenn Greenwald finds comfort in liberal dissent:
It’s certainly true that one has no difficulty finding cult-like liberal veneration for Obama – those who invoke Bible-like “he’s-a-master-of-11-dimensional-chess” clichés to justify whatever he does (the Lord works in mysterious ways but even when we don’t understand what He does, we Trust that He is Supremely Good and more Wise than us and knows best); who declare, in Bush-like “with-me-or-against-me” fashion, all critics of Obama to be the Enemy; who pay homage to Kim Jong Il-like imagery such as this and this; who believe that “trust” — a sentiment appropriate for family and friends but not political leaders — should be vested in Obama and thus negate any concerns over how he exercises power. Some overly-eager journalists and bloggers are devoted to carrying forth the administration’s message (usually delivered anonymously) in exchange for favorable treatment and/our due to a painfully excessive sense of devotion, and there’s a Democratic establishment with a built-in machinery to defend Obama no matter what he does.
But outside of those anonymity-granting blogger/journalists and Democratic apparatchiks, these drooling, worshipful, subservient sentiments are largely confined to the fringes. With some exceptions, to find this right-wing-replicating blind loyalty to the Leader, one has to search blog comment sections and obscure diarists. Many — arguably most — of the most vocal liberal Bush critics have kept their critical faculties engaged and have been unwilling to sacrifice their political values and principles at the altar of partisan loyalty.
It should be emphasized that mere criticism for its own sake is also not a virtue. Those who reflexively and blindly criticize whatever Obama does (based on the immovable, all-consuming conviction that he is intrinsically Evil) are nothing more than the opposite side of the same mindless coin as those who reflexively and blindly praise whatever Obama does (based on the immovable, all-consuming conviction that he is intrinsically Good). Pre-ordained, overarching judgments of Obama that are detached from his actions and grounded in Manichean caricatures are irrational in equal measure, whether that judgment yields praise or condemnation.
A rational citizen, by definition, praises and supports political leaders only when they do the right thing (regardless of motive), and criticizes and opposes them when they don’t. It’s just that simple. Cheerleading for someone because they’re on “your team” is appropriate for a sporting event, not for political matters. Political leaders deserve support only to the extent that their actions, on a case-by-case basis, merit that support, and that has largely been the behavior of progressives towards Obama.
Mar 22 2009
There is but one Leader.
The Leader is infallible.
Criticism of The Leader is blasphemous.
We cannot always understand The Ways of The Leader, but we must have Absolute Faith in Him.
Those who have Absolute Faith in The Leader are Exalted.
Those who do not have Absolute Faith in The Leader are The Enemy.
Those who claim to support The Leader but lack Absolute Faith in Him are, at best, appeasers of The Enemy.
Those who claim to support The Leader but lack Absolute Faith in Him are, at worst
Those Who Work for The Leader are infallible.
Criticism of Those Who Work for The Leader is blasphemous.
All that is good emanates from the Doings of The Leader.
All that is not good is beyond The Leader’s control.
Jan 05 2008
Cultists speak a language that the non-believers will never understand.
It is of the same origin as idioglossia or “twin language” that twins may develop when language skills are delayed in development.
This should not be confused with Rovian or Clintonian cant that is carefully constructed to be the mirror image of what is being said; e.g., peace means war, “I am for you” means “I am for big corporations,” Democrat means Republican, etc. A Tim Russert or Chris Matthews may not understand Rovianspeak but intelligent people with normal language skills do.
Oct 24 2007
Geekesque is one of my better blogging friends now. Ironically so, as a spat he and I had was the the first step to the mutual decision made by Kos and I to go our separate ways re: Daily Kos. He is a smart fellow. Very astute. But like I was with Clark in 2004, he defends Obama no matter what and dreams up ways to justify his actions. Take this diary:
In other words, if a candidate appears on stage with 100 black South Carolinians, 62 of them share the basic beliefs of McClurkin towards homosexuality. (They may not have his zany ex-gay beliefs, but then most of them probably weren’t repeatedly raped by a male relative as a child).
If there are 10,000 people in the audience at a gospel concert, 6,200 hold the same basic beliefs as Donnie McClurkin.
Supposing that were true, the obvious point here is those 6,200 are not representing the Obama campaign, McClurkin is. Look, this whole thing was a monumentla STAFF fuckup. If they knew then what they know now, McClurkin would not be within a 100 miles of Obama. My own damage copntrol advice for Obama would be to ask McClurkin to “voluntarily” drop out because he is a “distraction.”
Oct 13 2007
I’ve been buzzing all day about Al Gore winning the Nobel prize!
I went to Google news and found he’s been the Dominator today, but at the bottom I found Sri Chinmoy!
Al Gore / Nobel Prize 3,499 news articles
Obama v Clinton 344 news articles
HIV drug 276
Armenia/Turkey Vote 2118
Putin v US / Nuclear treaty 1,350
Bhutto/Musharraf Powersharing 615
Latin American Free Trade 298
Sri Chinmoy Died 175
I have a tin box that I keep special things in and one of them is a little red heart pillow from Sri Chinmoy.
I got it from a Persian Sufi named Hossein Foruzani who got up to go for a 5 AM run along Lake Washington with Sri Chimnoy. I went to see Sri Chimnoy at Kane Hall, University of Washington. He was carried in on a pillow by his entourage, and played God-inspired flute and painted spontaneously.
My blue-red heart shall face ignorance-base,
My blue-red heart shall face.
My green-white life shall fly
My green-white life shall fly.
Sri Chinmoy (divinely inspired poem)
More about the wierd Sri Chimnoy, from the New York Times:
. born in India
. used strenuous exercise and art to spread message of world harmony and inner piece
. died at a concert
. was able to power lift pickup trucks
. lifted Muhammad Ali and Sting
. said he drew 16 million “peace birds”
. slept only 90 minutes a day
. wrote 1500 books, 115,000 poems, 20,000 songs, 200,000 paintings, gave 800 peace concerts
. advocated seemingly impossible physical challenges
. was an inspiration for Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis
. was guru to John McLaughlin and Mahavishnu Orchestra (a name he came up with) as well as Roberta Flack!
. had more than 7000 disciples when he died
. came from Bangladesh to NYC and worked as a clerk at the Indian consulate
. swam the English channel
. ran a 3100 mile race every year
. began lifting weights after a knee injury and lifted schoolhouses, airplanes and pickup trucks
. He also lifted Jesse Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Susan Sarandon, Yoko Ono, Desmond Tutu and Richard Gere as well as 20 Nobel Laureates and a team of sumo wrestlers, not to mention Sid Caesar and a (reformed) headhunter from Bornea.
. He lifted a Democrat (Representative Gary Ackerman) and a Republican (Representative Benjamin Gilman) at the same time, possibly his most amazing feat.
. Condolence letters were sent by both Mikhail Gorbachev and Al Gore.
The Dark Side of Sri Chimnoy, from The New York Post:
. He was just a “creepy Queens guru”
. he ran a “cult”
. he cased “disturbing personality changes” in members
. he ordered dreamy-eyed female followers to engage in exploitive sexcapades
. he summoned them for extended sex romps
. he ordered them to have sex with other women while he watched
. he paid for one’s abortion after he got her pregnant
. he was called “vindictive” by Carlos Santana, who jumped ship in 2000, and said, “He told all my friends not to call me ever again, because I was to drown in a dark sea of ignorance for leaving him.”
. he brainwashed people, according to cult deprogrammer Rick Ross
. he had a disciple who drowned in his own bathtub trying to perfect a stunt to impress him for a circus
. he had followers who tried to get attention by breaking records such as for underwater juggling, piggyback riding and balancing a pool cue on one finger
. he airbrushed pictures to exaggerate his weight-lifting prowess, according to his former photographer
. He died while waiting to hear if he’d won the Nobel Peace Prize for his “ceaseless efforts” with the United Nations (Chinmoy led a meditation group at the U.N. building). He didn’t.