A sane voice: Arundhati Roy

arundhati roy
Image courtesy of cesr.org

This post begins a series to recognize people that speak about the world in terms of what they observe and what they can prove.  Their voices stand out in the crowd.  In their words, they speak not of fantasy, delusion and rationalization.  Instead, they utilize the gifts of human cognition, awareness to observe what is here in the world around us.  They are not dogmatic, but analytic and take in the world 'warts & all' for what it is and what it is not.  They do not separate humankind from nature in any form of grandeur.  In short, they look at things the way they really are and not what we would have them be.

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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Government and Fundamentalism

John McCain announced that he was running for president to confront the "transcendent challenge" of the 21st century, "radical Islamic extremism," contrasting it with "stability, tolerance and democracy." But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God's will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.

So says Juan Cole in yesterday's edition of Salon

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Be afraid. Be very afraid.

"Violent Islamic Extremists," as Giuliani et al. call them, don't scare me. So, unlike Rudi, Sarah and Mitt, I was quite pleased that the speakers at the DNC did not obsess over them ad nauseam. Being an Israeli-American, though, I am very afraid.

The Violent Christian Extremists terrify me. A popular member of this Christian Jihadist movement, who has a strong record of associating with anti-semitic hate mongers, recently heightened my fear:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God."

In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it "God's will."

Palin asked the students to pray for the troops in Iraq, and noted that her eldest son, Track, was expected to be deployed there.

"Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," she said. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan."

Although Violent Islamic and Christian Extremists share identical rhetoric (i.e. "on a mission from G-d"), methods (violence) and end-game (that whole Armageddon thing), the Violent Christian Extremists have been far more successful in their execution. This is not surprising given that one of their leading, most violent Mujahadeen is the US President. Like his Al Queda analogs, he claims to receive his marching orders directly from G-d:

Mr Bush revealed the extent of his religious fervour when he met a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egpytian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

One of the delegates, Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

Mr Bush went on: "And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East'. And, by God, I'm gonna do it."

Violent Islamic Extremists, while capable of horrible violence, are clearly outmatched by their Christian counterparts, who have the strength of the world's most powerful nation-state behind them. The results are indeed horror-inducing:

*4000+ American Dead, tens of thousands maimed
*Tens of thousands (or, more likely, hundreds of thousands) of civilian dead
*Perpetual war and an infinite potential for expanding the magnitude of the current conflicts and the resulting impact to civilian populations

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"God Killed Him For Loving Fags!" (UPDATED)

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project& My Left Wing

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FL - It's Not Called the Hate Amendment for Nothing

Wow.  At first glance, that's all I can say about the comments from Pastor Hayes Wicker of Naples, Florida.  Here's what he said at an anti-gay event last week:

This is a tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery.


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