The story

Why was John Paul Jones pardoned in Whitehaven in 1999?


The Wikipedia page for John Paul Jones states that he was pardoned in Whitehaven in 1999 for his raid, but doesn't state why. So far, the article I have found that seems to contain the most information is this one.

The main reason I can think of from that article is that there is some symbolic reason related to either the Whitehaven Maritime Festival or the peace treaty with the US Navy (or both), and that this reason is unrelated to whether John's actions were legal or should be ignored, but this reason doesn't feel correct to me.

So why did Whitehaven pardon John Paul Jones?


The pardon was arranged by Gerard Richardson, a wine merchant in Whitehaven and founder / CEO of the International Maritime Festivals. Richardson himself has explained that:

The John Paul Jones story was the foundation stone of the Maritime Festivals and, during the first one in 1999, Jones was pardoned and the US Navy was given the rare honour of the Freedom of Whitehaven Harbour.

This part of the broader West Cumbria Tourism Initiative (WCTI)and the Renaissance of Whitehaven project, the aims of which were to

develop tourism resources in a town that previously relied upon traditional industries for its economic base.

Thus, sempaiscuba's comment is not far off the mark. The article Whitehaven Maritime Festival 1999 has more details:

On June 26th and 27th 1999 Whitehaven held its first maritime festival celebrating the history of this once important port and looking forward to a future as a marina and tourist location, thanks to a massive investment in the harbour. The event was a huge success with up to 100,000 people attending over the weekend. The weather was good except on Saturday night when torrential rain poured down on a re-enactment of John Paul Jones' raid of 1778.

According to the then harbourmaster Captain David Allan,

We offered them the freedom of the harbour, much like the freedom of the town - you can send one of your military ships to Whitehaven once a year and we won't charge you any fees.

The Americans took this very seriously and that proclamation ended up on the desk of Bill Clinton.

It's now on display in the American navy academy at Anapolis [sic] in Maryland,…

In short, Whitehaven has a maritime history and celebrating it has boosted the town's tourism. John Paul Jones, one of the best known historical figures associated with Whitehaven, is a part of that history and using this generated extra news coverage as the ceremony was conducted

in the presence of Lt. Steve Lyons representing the US Naval Attaché to the UK, and Yuri Fokine the Russian Ambassador to the UK.

European Stars and Stripes (July 13, 1999), quotes Lyons:

The pardon represents the respect Jones has claimed over the years, and certainly strengthens the bond between our nations and navies…

Jones also served in the Russian navy of Catherine the Great, hence the presence of their ambassador.


The Artist as a Dissipated Man: Fred Seaman’s “The Last Days of John Lennon”

John at Thanksgiving, 1979

Belatedly for someone as into the Beatles as I, I’ve been reading Fred Seaman’s The Last Days of John Lennon. It’s a very quick read, but not a particularly pleasant one. Seaman, John’s personal assistant for the last two or so years, depicts a rock star in his late thirties who may as well be in his late eighties for the way in which his happiness seems to be confined to rare moments when he reminisces about something he did in his early twenties. If there’s a spectrum of Dakota-era John Lennons stretching from Goldman’s smack-addled burnout on the far left to the drug-free, happy, bread-baking househusband on the right, Seaman’s is somewhere believably to the right of Goldman’s: functional enough to put on some clothes, walk down the block, and turn on the Lennon charm when he’s in the mood to do so, but stifled and depressed enough to retreat to his room for hours or days on end, where he does drugs, looks at Playboys or the TV, doesn’t write music, listens to Muzak versions of his own songs, and reads about psychology or the occult.

That the Dakota years were less rosy than the Ballad claims is not really up for debate anymore amongst anyone even semi-serious about the Beatles as people, not legends, but it’s still stunning to see what that looks like up close.

Weird beliefs. John appears to believe earnestly in what seem to be some pretty odd things. He is certain that Sean will inherit his soul when he, John, dies, because they were born on the same day. He believes that because Yoko was able to accomplish this feat, she has magical powers of some sort. He also believes that he is living on borrowed time and that he is headed for a violent end because he was a violent man. He is very interested in what it’s like to be shot and thinks a fair amount about assassination, which he believes is modern crucifixion. Most of us on this site don’t think about these things, but understanding the isolated, paranoid Lennon of the late Seventies probably depends on putting ourselves in the shoes of someone who did.

Exhaustion. One of the central impressions I get from Seaman’s book is exhaustion. I see someone who had given all he could give by 1966, and who knows it. Lennon’s encagement in the Dakota is enforced by “Mother” to degrees great and small, but until maybe the last six months of 1980, there’s a pervasive sense that John is choosing this. He’s exercising agency by not exercising agency. I think there are many reasons for this, some of which Seaman didn’t see (i.e., John’s about to buy a place with May Pang, swings by the Dakota for a stop-smoking cure, emerges three days later unsure of what day it is, complains of having thrown up endlessly, and ends the relationship), but that volitional laziness is present as early as January 1966, when Paul uses his break from recording/touring/filming to study piano and music theory George, to learn the sitar, and John, to hang out at Weybridge and do LSD.

Unlike Paul, who came into his own during the Sixties, John hit the world stage shot out of a cannon. It took enormous energy to build up the charge to be shot out of that cannon, and that energy was almost entirely self-generated. Something like that cannot be sustained. Do you think that when it was gone, John knew it? I can’t imagine he didn’t. Do you think he sought protection because its absence left him feeling vulnerable? I could see that. Do you think without the animus to be bigger than Elvis, he needed something else to motivate him? Like being a guru? After the Beatles reached the “top of the mountain,” John doesn’t seem interested in pursuing his other artistic interests. He seems to be trying to figure out what’s above the mountain, and from there leads LSD immersion, compulsive meditation, the diminished ability to tell friend from foe Michael Gerber has discussed here, and various efforts to be bigger than John Lennon, Beatle.

John, the hipster IT guy at your local startup.

Yoko. It bums me out to detail what the Lennons’ relationship really seems to have been like, not because I want to believe in the Ballad of John And Yoko (I don’t, codependency with a superiority complex weirds me out), but because their marriage looks so toxic for everyone involved. Yoko appears to control most aspects of John’s life, sending him to different locales, requiring him to take vows of silence, and so on, while she conducts affairs and spends an odd amount of time on the phone making business deals of some sort. (Exactly what she is doing, or why it takes 20 hours a day to do it, is beyond Seaman’s purview.) When sessions for Double Fantasy start, John retaliates in some minor ways by being a tough critic, telling her when her performances need work, insulting her in front of the studio musicians and staff, and generally behaving like someone who’s finally got fire in the belly and an axe to grind. Seaman does not really see Yoko exact any measure of retribution for this, but given everything we do see of the couple’s arguments, distance, and compulsions, it’s impossible to think she did not do so at some point.

Loneliness. John seems to need the 22-year-old Seaman as a friend and as an assistant/employee, an uncomfortable blurring of boundaries that’s both doomed not to provide him with the companionship he really needs, and an encapsulation of what’s so sad about his life in the late Seventies. If even a quarter of Seaman’s recollections are accurate, John is simply alone. Unwilling or unable to accept calls from peers who might be able to relate to him, find a supportive romantic companion, or commit consistently to the type of other-directedness that would allow him to be a real parent, two of John Lennon’s closest and most healthy relationships in the Seventies appear to be with servants whom his wife paid to be his friends—May Pang and Fred Seaman. This is put into relief by the ways in which the lawyers, widow, and David Geffen attend to business necessities after Lennon’s death, Geffen apparently not too grief-stricken to exult openly about how much money he stands to make.

When I look back at all this, I think the inflection point occurs before India, before Two Virgins, before Allen Klein. I personally think the problem begins when John gets back from filming How I Won the War and Brian Epstein is too fucked up with his own addiction and depression issues to co-lead and manage the Beatles anymore. John Lennon had enormous potential at the end of 1966, but he needed someone who, like Epstein or George Martin, wanted to help him. McCartney tried to fill that role, but they were also friends, brothers, partners, competitors. And unlike 1961—the last time they were managerless—John didn’t have a cannonball charge in him. Unwilling to defer to Paul’s leadership, but too tired to lead, John was prey for those who would manipulate his need to be bigger than [Elvis/the Beatles/Jesus Christ] while using his directionlessness for their ends.

The book leaves me wondering what it was like to be John Lennon in 1967, a gauzy year when Lennon determination was being replaced with Lennon lassitude, but access to his subconscious, and his genius, appears to have been at an all-time peak. With worse luck—no Marharishi and too many hangers-on—the story ends in someone like Brian Jones’ flat in 1968, or something. With better luck, who knows—no one would have predicted 1961 John would become 1964 John, either. With the circumstances we got, and absent some affirmative effort from him, it feels like it inexorably leads to somewhere very like the Dakota circa 1979, looking out at Central Park, and writing funny shopping lists for your personal assistant.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Crossing The Floor

Are we cats pleased with the three Senate votes we witnessed at 2 AM today? As the Famous Quitter from Alaska would say, you betcha.

And speaking of the Famous Quitter, we wonder how she feels about the fact that the Trump mobsters threatened her state's two Senators on the skinny Obamacare repeal. Will anyone ask her? Not that she matters — but after her 2008 running mate's thumb's down last night, it's instructive to remember that it was he who elevated Sarah Palin to national prominence, and helped pave the way for the hideous monster who inhabits the Oval Office today.

But okay, feline hissy fit over.

We'd like to turn toward more constructive matters, and reiterate our invitation to Senators Murkowski and Collins to give up on their soulless shell of a party and join us Democrats. In fact, let's extend the invite to John McCain, too. Why the hell not?

Or, if that's too much, after all the verbal threats by guy Republicans, and the abuse of the process by the loathsome Mitch McConnell, and the impassioned pleas to return to regular order and forswear governing in the dark — would Murkowski, Collins and McCain consider staying with the GOP or going Independent, but caucusing with the Ds?

Watching the Senate video from early this morning, and listening anew to Chuck Schumer's emotional remarks after the vote, we think it's not impossible. In fact, Schumer — who could be way more wily than the oft-fawned-over amphibian from Kentucky — might be trying to make it happen right now. Such a deal could, for example, require Democrats to agree that Murkowski, Collins and McCain retain their committee chairmanships. But since we believe in government and the GOP extremists don't, we can see it happening.

Well, that's probably a pipe dream. But in the meantime, we cats have Chuck Cadman on our minds. Who's that, you ask? He was an Independent (formerly Conservative) Canadian Member of Parliament from British Columbia who, having just had chemotherapy for malignant melanoma, flew to Ottawa in May of 2005 to cast a deciding vote on the national budget. And in the process, he saved the teetering Liberal government of Paul Martin to fight another day.

Sadly, Cadman died a couple of months later. We don't know what's going to happen to John McCain, but we can tell you this: Somewhere today, Ted Kennedy is smiling. We cats PURR.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vatican Terror on Galileo, priests and the poor, women and children

Vatican Terror on Women and Children – Colorado Catholic Bishops' lawyers say that "Fetuses are not human beings"

Catholic Health Initiatives, the parent company of Catholic hospital, Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City, Colorado, is the defendant in a wrongful death suit (filed by the husband) of a pregnant woman who died with the twins in her womb in the ER because she was not directed for an emergency C-section on New Year’s Day in 2006. An expert testified that while she could not in all likelihood have been saved, the babies could have been saved if a caesarean had been performed right away. Catholic Health Initiatives lawyers allegedly argued in the wrongful-death lawsuit that “fetuses are not persons” and “fetuses are not human beings” (because it is going to cost them money!)

Read our latest article - Bishop Finn attacks National Catholic Reporter as he desperately cling to power as a tyrannical ruler http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/01/criminal-bishop-finn-attacks-national.html about the recent news and statement of criminal Bishop Finn that National Catholic Reporter is "not a Catholic publication "– despite the fact that the Vatican ’s foremost Pied Piper John L. Allen Jr is a permanent staff writer and uses this as his main stage to holler Vatican Deceits.

To Opus Dei Bishop Finn, pedophile priests are good Catholics as long as they do not question any doctrine but they can commit crimes against children and perform the Wizardry of the Eucharist for as long as they want as long as police and SNAP do not catch them.

Italian students and professors totally disagreed with Cardinal Ratzinger in 1990 and his promotion to Pope meant absolutely nothing to them. They defied him as Pope in 2008 Students protested and wore masks and wrote all over the campus – “NO POPE”. For several days, they literally “occupied” the Rector’s office -- before Occupy Wall Street happened , read our related article here http://popecrimes.blogspot.com/2011/10/ows-otv-occupy-wall-street-occupy.html

Note that the La Sapienza is among the Vatican Billions property in Rome and was originally founded by the Popes and was a Pontifical University , read more here http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2008/01/benedict-xvi-rejected-by-romes-sapienza.html

Vatican's demand for silence is too high a price

Three days after my 66th birthday I find myself forbidden to minister as a priest, with a threat of excommunication and dismissal from my congregation hanging over me. How did I find myself in this situation?

I joined the Redemptorist congregation in 1964 and was ordained 10 years later. That was the era of great openness in the Catholic Church. We believed in freedom of thought and of conscience, and that church teaching was not something to be imposed rigidly on the people we served – they were intelligent and educated, and could take responsibility for their lives.

As preachers we must try to present the message of Christ in a way and a language that spoke to the reality of people’s lives. This necessitated a willingness to listen to the people, to understand their hopes and joys, their struggles and fears.

Helping people to deal with the teaching on contraception during the 1970s was a great training ground. Just repeating the official line of Humanae Vitae was no help. During those years priests and people alike learned a lot about how to form their consciences and make mature decisions about all areas of their lives. As priests we learned more from people than they learned from us.

The ACP supports Tony Flannery

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) affirms in the strongest possible terms our confidence in and solidarity with Fr Tony Flannery as he strives to clear his name and we wish to protest against unjust treatment he has received from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The ACP supports Fr. Flannery in his efforts to resist the undermining of his integrity as an individual, a priest and a member of the Redemptorist Order.

The effort to depict him as ‘disloyal’ and ‘dissident’ is unwarranted and unfair, but also extremely ill-advised in the present pastoral context in Ireland .

The ACP is disturbed by the procedures evident in this case: the unwillingness to deal directly with the accused person the injunction to secrecy the presumption of guilt the lack of due process. They suggest a callousness and even brutality that is in sharp contrast to the compassion of Jesus Christ.

The CDF argues that its’ instruction to secrecy protects the priest’s reputation. We believe that the priest himself should be the person to decide whether and with whom he should speak or whether he might decide to remain silent. Read more news updates below.

The biggest problem at the Vatican and the Pope are that it is now owned and controlled by the Opus Dei, and Opus Dei does not want any dialogue, or is incapable of any dialogue. Opus Dei wants only a one-way-street papal monologue, and Catholics must kowtow in absolute and blind obedience, to those out-of-touch-with reality medieval papal edicts, just like in the military, carry out your orders no matter how stupid they appear to be. Opus Dei wants every Catholic and all priests simply to parrot out Papal encyclicals and papal speeches. Therefore it is a threat to them when Fr. Flannery said that “Helping people to deal with the teaching on contraception during the 1970s was a great training ground. Just repeating the official line of Humanae Vitae was no help”… As priests we learned more from people than they learned from us.” These are all no-no to Opus Dei because the laity is at the bottom of the barrel in the Opus Dei caste system. To Opus Dei, priests are the teachers and people learn from priests. To Opus Dei’s caste system, people teach nothing to priests! In the Opus Dei caste system, priests are the highest in the rank, after the Pope and Cardinals, Bishops and Monsignors, of course. Priests are the WIZARDS of HOST – magicians of the flesh of God! read mroe here http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2011/11/oc-diocese-buys-crystal-cathedral-as.html

The same medieval Reign of Vatican Terror that forced Galileo to sign a “Confession” against his scientific beliefs (read below) is today terrorizing Irish priest Tony Flannery, 66, who is now being forced to write, sign and publish - against his beliefs - a statement agreeing that women should never be ordained as priests and that he would adhere to church orthodoxy on matters like contraception and homosexuality (if he wants to return to ministry). Read more about the Irish priests being terrorized by the Vatican in our related article: Hypocrite Benedict silenced Fr. Tony Flannery, Brian D'Arcy – A compilation… but he does not silence Cardinal Bernard Law and JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/04/hypocrite-benedict-silenced-outspoken.html

But there is a difference between medieval Italian Galileo and 21st century Irish priest Tony Flannery. Galileo signed the “Confession” the Vatican forced on him while Flannery is defying Vatican edict to keep silent and he dared say in an interview on Wednesday: “How can I put my name to such a document when it goes against everything I believe in . “If I signed this, it would be a betrayal not only of myself but of my fellow priests and lay Catholics who want change. I refuse to be terrified into submission.”

Fr. Flannery says that he has been a good priest for 30 years but he now fears the “excommunication” evil powers of the Vatican Terror and the Vatican Last Tsar Benedict XVI last despotic acts. "I have served the church, the Redemptorists and the people of God for two thirds of my life," said Fr Flannery. "Throughout that time, I have in good conscience raised issues I believed important for the future of the church in books and essays largely read by practising Catholics, rather than raising them in mainstream media”, see news articles below.

Galileo could see far beyond millions of stars in the firmament and he had no fear for his soul and neither did he fear Hell where the Pope was sending him -- as Forbes advertised "According to the doctrine of Papal Supremacy, the Pope enjoys “supreme, full, immediate, and universal power” over the soulsof 1.2 billion Catholics around the world", read our related article Forbes delusion of Vatican Last Tsar Benedict XVI powers http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/12/forbes-delusion-of-vatican-last-tsar.html.

What Galileo said about the Vatican then is even truer today about the Vatican Titanic sinking in moral bankruptcy. Galileo dared to call the Pope and his papal Vatican self-proclaimed infallible Inquisition team of experts as “a stupid herd” … “filled with the stubbornness of an asp”… who “do not want to look at a telescope into the sky” before they judged and condemned him for heresy.

My dear Kepler, I wish that we might laugh at the remarkable stupidity of the common herd. What do you have to say about the principal philosophers of this academy who are filled with the stubbornness of an asp and do not want to look at either the planets, the moon or the telescope, even though I have freely and deliberately offered them the opportunity a thousand times? Truly, just as the asp stops its ears, so do these philosophers shut their eyes to the light of truth." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_affair

The Vatican Inquisition that condemned Galileo is still the same medieval inquisition today but is now renamed as CDF Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This CDF is as cruel as it during Galileo's time but it is more subtle as it condemns good priests, nuns and the laity through "excommunication, silence and notification" . with "a supreme decision, not open to any appeal, without right to any recourse ".

The Vatican Catholic Church is a petrified oligarchy, a dictatorship like the medieval monarchies it once existed alongside, and it's run by a small circle of conservative, rigidly ideological old men who make all the decisions and choose their own successors. This means that, whatever individual Catholics may do, the resources of the church as an institution are bent toward opposing social progress and positive change all over the world. Every dollar you put into the church collection plate, every Sunday service you attend, every hour of time and effort you put into volunteering or working for church organizations, is inevitably a show of support for the institutional church and its abhorrent mission. When you have no voice, there's only one thing left to do: boycott. Stop supporting the church with your money and your time. For lifelong Catholics, it's a drastic step, but it's more than justified by the wealth of reasons showing that the church as an institution is beyond reform, and the only meaningful response is to part ways with it. (From 50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church especially its examples of Vatican Terrorism on women's rights over their bodies and their abortion rights, see articles below).

When Galileo publicly contradicted the Pope’s infallible faith that “the Earth is the Center of the Universe and that all planets including the Sun revolve around the Earth”, the Vatican Catholic Church imprisoned him and condemned him as a heretic and forbade him to speak in public. (Note: it’s no longer ‘Roman Catholic Church’ because - Rome is the secular economic city of Italy - but the Vatican is the Holy See that controls all Catholics).

What Galileo said about the Pope and the Vatican Catholic Church in 1610 is truer today because the Vatican Titanic and Benedict XVI are totally out-of-touch-with-reality as they sit in the lap-of­-luxury in the Vatican Museum where they judge people by using medieval doctrines and medieval dogmas. To prove their superiority complex, the Pope and the Vatican always mock the world especially during the most televised papal speech on Christmas, read our related article “ Popenesia in Christmas Message: Vatican Last Tsar Benedict XVI does not 'practise what he preach' and he's suffering from Vaticanesia (papal amnesia) http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/01/popenesia-in-christmas-message-vatican.html.

400 years later after the Vatican proved its capabilities for terrorism on Galileo, Cardinal Ratzinger reiterated that the Vatican Catholic Church was right on its position on Galileo, and because of his Ratzinger declarations, at the beginning of his pontificate, Italian students of La Sapienza University protested and rejected Benedict’s upcoming visit and speech to their convocation. La Sapienza was originally a pontifical university. Benedict XVI cancelled to save face. He cancelled his trip to La Sapienza University which was only a few kilometers from the Vatican, imagine that, not even Italian Police could protect him from a few truth-seeking university students, read more here http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2008/01/benedict-xvi-rejected-by-romes-sapienza.html

Julian Assange will be delivering a video-taped speech to Oxford Union soon. Note the major difference on how Forbes disparage Julian Assange and therefore proves that Forbes is not for the Freedom of Speech as it praises Benedict XVI as the 5 th Most Powerful Person in the World, Forbes said that "the Pope enjoys “supreme, full, immediate, and universal power” over the soulsof 1.2 billion Catholics around the world" but Forbes disparage Julain Assange which proves Forbes is an arm of the oligarch despotic Vatican Mammon Beast.

T hen Forbes wrote a feature on Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, Forbes said: “ How the mighty have fallen .

Since then, Assange appears to have been spending more of his time fighting off rape allegations and proclaiming his own importance than working to free up new torrents of state secrets. His stint on Russian State TV was met with confusion and curiosity. Now, Wikileaks is requiring that users share its page or donate to a campaign before looking at the information on the site. In doing so, the organization may have lost a stalwart and valuable ally – the loose hacker collective called Anonymous.

The biggest problem in the Vatican is that it is ruled by Opus Dei who are neophytes compared to the Jesuits who have been around for more than 4 centuries, read about them below. Opus Dei controlled and orchestrated the 27 years papacy of John Paul II and what legacy they left behind – the JP2 Army John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2011/05/heil-satanas-jp2-patron-saint-of.html

So to clean up the mess of the most famous Opus Dei celibate member Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls, they hired Jesuit puppet Lombardi to be their public spokesperson because Opus Dei does not face the public but always hide behind masks because their hypocrisy is too burdensome for them to camouflage in public. All Opus Dei religious houses are called in secular names of trees, river, fruits, etc, see list here http://www.odan.org/foundations.htm

Vatican Terrorism on Galileo

Vatican Terror on women -- especially agianst their bodies and women's rights of abortion

Vatican Terror on children -- especially the cover-up of sexual abuse by thousands of pedophile priests named aptly as JP2 Army - John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army

Vatican Terror on pioneering and good priests -- who are suddenly silenced never allowed to speak or say Mass again

We will be adding articles to this list soon so check often this post

Vatican demands priest's retraction

IRELAND
Herald
By Caroline Crawford
Thursday October 11 2012

AN IRISH priest says he has received a demand from the Vatican to retract his views on women's ordination and contraception.

Fr Tony Flannery (pictured) has previously been gagged by the Vatican over his liberal views and told by the Vatican not to discuss his investigation by the Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr Flannery, who is based in Esker, Co Galway, said: "My negotiations with the Congregation are ongoing and I have agreed I will not speak about it for the present."

3. Strike two: In 1981, again when the current pope was Cardinal Ratzinger , he got a letter from the diocese of Oakland asking him to defrock a priest who had acknowledged molesting two children. Ratzinger ignored this letter, and several followup letters, for four years. Finally, in 1985, he wrote back saying that more time was needed, and that they had to proceed very slowly to safeguard " the good of the Universal Church " in light of "the young age of the petitioner" -- by which he meant not the victimized children, but the pedophile priest. (By contrast, when a rogue archbishop ordained married men as priests, he was laicized six days later. )

4. Strike three: In 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a letter, De Delictis Gravioribus , to all Catholic bishops advising them how to handle accusations of sex crimes by priests. There was no recommendation to contact the police, but rather an instruction for them to report such cases only to the Vatican and tell no one else: " Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret. "

Read our related article:

The Catholic Church’s many problems with pregnancy

UNITED STATES
Freethought Blogs
The Catholic Church continues its war on women in ever-more bizarre ways, tying itself into all kinds of knots as it tries to enforce its policies on the people over whom it has some authority. For example, the church seems to hate the thought that women might be getting pregnant in ways that it does not approve of based on its medieval ways of thinking. As a result, it finds itself embroiled in legal cases that do not show it in a good light.

A former first-grade teacher at Kettering’s Ascension Catholic School is suing the school, Ascension Church and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati in federal court, saying officials discriminated against her a year ago when they fired the unmarried woman after she told the principal about her pregnancy.

Kathleen Quinlan of Kettering, who has since delivered twin girls, said in the Dec. 14 lawsuit that her firing for moral reasons was discriminatory because male employees who engage in premarital sex don’t face the same consequences “insomuch as they do not show outward signs of engaging in sexual intercourse (i.e., pregnancy).

But the church is not only opposed to women getting pregnant outside of marriage, it is also opposed to women getting pregnant while married if the pregnancy did not occur through ‘normal’ sexual activity.

In Indiana, Emily Herx made national headlines in April when she sued the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend in federal court, saying the diocese discriminated against the married teacher when officials fired her for having in vitro fertilization treatments. Diocesan officials say the procedure is “gravely immoral.” She said other employees violate Catholic teachings without consequence.

And it is not only in vitro fertilization that is verboten, so is artificial insemination.

The Cincinnati archdiocese is facing a pending federal lawsuit similar to Quinlan’s, filed by former parochial teacher Christa Dias of Clermont County. The 2011 lawsuit claims the single woman was fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination.

And who was this person who was entrusted by the church to uphold its high moral values and thus had to fire Dias because she did not meet those standards? It was the principal Rev. James Kiffmeyer, “who was suspended from 2002-2006 on allegations of sexual misconduct against two male students in separate incidents while he was a teacher at Middletown’s Fenwick High School.”

Church Sympathy For Rape Victims Not Credible - Labour

Labour TD for Dublin Bay North, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has stated that the Catholic Church cannot credibly say that it has sympathy and compassion for those pregnant as a result of rape, while it still has not paid the state the � million it owes to help compensate victims of child rape, sexual assault and physical abuse.
He said: "At the Oireachtas Health Committee hearings into the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in the ABC case, Bishop Christopher Jones and Fr Tim Barlett both stated that in the case of a pregnancy caused through rape, agents of the Church would first and foremost show the utmost compassion for those who find themselves in that tragic situation. Bishop Jones also stated that rapists should be brought to justice.

A New Inquisition: The Vatican targets US nuns

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost
The Vatican is reining in the progressive leadership of American nuns, which has led to a global clash over the future of the Catholic church.
Jason Berry
December 18, 2012

VATICAN CITY — Sister Pat Farrell and three other nuns crossed St. Peter’s Square through the fabled white columns, paused for a security check and entered the rust-colored Palace of the Holy Office.

It was April 18, 2012, and on entering the palazzo, they were aware of its history, that in this same building nearly 400 years earlier Galileo had been condemned as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition for arguing that the earth orbits around the sun.

Today, the palazzo houses the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican office that enforces adherence to church teaching. As president of Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Sister Farrell and her executive colleagues had an appointment with the prefect, Cardinal William Levada, about a CDF investigation of their group by the forces that control the Vatican, who viewed the nuns as somehow going ‘off the reservation.’

They were walking into what Hans Küng, the internationally renowned theologian who had his own battles in the palazzo, calls “a new Inquisition.”

On the 50th anniversary of the reform-driven Second Vatican Council, the nuns were accused of undermining church moral teaching by promoting “radical, feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” To many nuns, the CDF action is a turn toward the past, causing a climate of fear and a chill wind reaching into the lives of missionary leaders.

The Vatican wants control of the LCWR, an association of 1,500 superiors, representing 80 percent of American nuns. Most of the sisters, long active in the front lines of social justice, dispensed with their black habits and traditional jobs, like teaching school, after Vatican II.

Theologian Hans Küng condemns pope's modern 'Inquisition'

Küng sees the Vatican's attempt to rein in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious as "medieval."

Jason Berry
December 18, 2012
TÜBINGEN, Germany — Fifty years ago in this medieval city with its steep hills and the sprawling campus of one of Germany’s great universities, Hans Küng and Joseph Ratzinger were priests and theology department colleagues.

Emerging out of the University of Tübingen, Küng and Ratzinger were the youngest and most influential progressives to advise bishops in Rome at The Second Ecumenical Council, or Vatican II, which began in the fall of 1962.

When Vatican II concluded in 1965 it unleashed an historic movement in the church toward greater engagement in the daily lives of People of God, as the council documents called rank and file believers. A new sensibility for justice and individual rights arose in the church that would grow to 1 billion Catholics worldwide, with missions of activism in many of the poorest countries on earth.

Back in Tübingen, Küng, a native of Switzerland , and Ratzinger, who had grown up in the Nazi darkness of his native Germany , soon found themselves at odds over the sweeping changes in the church, and a theological debate that would echo across Europe and the global church.

Now on the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, Küng, an internationally renowned scholar, and Ratzinger, known as Benedict XVI since his election as pope seven years ago, are even more at odds. Of the many issues that divide them, Küng sees the attempt to rein in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious as a sign of myopia, a failure of vision.
“You cannot deny that Joseph Ratzinger has faith,” says Küng, in a coat and tie, seated in his office, speaking in calm tones in the blue twilight. “But he is absolutely against freedom. He wants obedience.”

“He is against the paradigm of Vatican II.” Küng pauses. “He has a medieval idea of the papacy.” .
Küng sees the clergy abuse crisis and the crackdown on the leadership council of American nuns as symptoms of a pathological power structure. By his lights, the impact on church moral authority, and finances, is a crisis rivaling the Protestant Reformation.

Clergy investigating US nuns have poor records on sex abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost
Vatican selections include bishops and cardinals who protected pedophile priests.
Jason Berry
December 18, 2012
VATICAN CITY — From its 17th century palace, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith monitors compliance with Roman Catholic moral teaching and matters of dogma for the oldest church in Christendom.

These issues have little bearing on most of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Faith, for them, rests in parish life and the quality of their pastors. In the 1980s, for example, when the CDF punished theologians who dissented from the papal ban on birth control devices, the 85 percent of Catholics who support contraception did not change their opinion.

But as the CDF accelerates a disciplinary action against the main leadership group of American nuns, many sisters and priests are reacting to a climate of fear fostered by bishops and cardinals who have never been investigated by the church for their role in the greatest moral crisis of modern Catholicism: the clergy sex abuse crisis.

As the Vatican lowers a curtain of scrutiny across communities of religious women in America, a small but resonant chorus of critics is raising an issue of a hypocrisy that has grown too blatant to ignore. The same hierarchy that brought shame upon the Vatican for recycling clergy child molesters, a scandal that rocked the church in many countries, has assumed a moral high ground in punishing the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a group whose members have put their lives on the line in taking the social justice agenda of the Second Vatican Council to some of the poorest areas in the world.

Many nuns from foreign countries wonder if the investigation is an exercise “in displaced anger,” as one sister puts it, for the hierarchy’s failure in child abuse scandals across the map of the global church.

Women Priests Movement Endorsed By National Catholic Reporter

Editorial: Ordination of women would correct an injustice

Vatican runs risk of tilting at windmills

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times
PADDY AGNEW
ANALYSIS: Rome wants to turn back the clock in Ireland but the church may have the wrong take on the abortion issue
The Holy See has not given up on Ireland. Despite two tempestuous decades of clerical sex abuse scandals, marked by the Irish Catholic Church’s unprecedented loss of credibility and moral authority, there are those in the Vatican who would still like to believe that Ireland can resume its once “proud” role of last bastion of traditional, conservative Catholicism in an increasingly atheist western Europe.

When Pope Benedict XVI last Monday spoke of his dismay that “in various countries, even those of Christian tradition, efforts are being made to introduce or expand legislation which decriminalises abortion”, it was hard not to see this as a specific reference to Ireland.

Crimes and Convents

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post
Christopher Brauchlie
Get thee to a nunnery. -- Shakespeare's Hamlet
The Lord works in mysterious ways. So does the Catholic Church and it is probably as confusing for the nuns as it is for the casual observer. On the one hand, nuns are in bad odor in the Vatican and are being investigated by a bunch of men. On the other hand, the Vatican seems to view them as correctional institutions when such institutions are needed. Although the events described occurred some time ago, the conviction of Bishop Robert W. Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on one misdemeanor count and the resulting schism in the diocese brings it to mind again.

In April the Vatican began cracking down on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an organization representing about 80 percent of the nuns in the United States. The Vatican's "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an organization comprising only men, said that LCWR has focused its efforts on serving the poor and disenfranchised, while remaining virtually silent on issues the church considers great societal evils: abortion and same-sex marriage." One of the leaders of the move to investigate the LCWR was Cardinal Bernard Law who had actually spent some time with one group of nuns known as the Sisters of Mercy of Alma following his resignation in disgrace as Archbishop of Boston.

Cardinal Law was Archbishop of Boston from 1984 to 2002 during which time many priests engaged in inappropriate conduct with children. The archbishop was aware of many instances of the conduct and said that when a priest was accused of a sexual offense it was his practice to consult with psychiatrists, clinicians and therapists in residential treatment centers to determine whether the priests accused of sexually abusing children should return to the pulpit. Reporting the criminal conduct of priests to the civil authorities was not something that occurred to Archbishop Law. In reporting on the sex abuse scandal the Massachusetts attorney general said that "the Archdiocese has shown an institutional reluctance to adequately address the problem and, in fact, made choices that allowed the abuse to continue." The Attorney General observed that since priests were not required to report sexual abuse until 2002 (when the law that required reporting was enacted), Cardinal Law had broken no laws.


53. Todd Rundgren

Something / Anything? (1972)

Rating: Unfavorable
"On Something/Anything? Todd aims for a tour de force which brings all the trends in his music to a head while adding new elements as well. Regrettably, his efforts at being a one-man rock and roll show get center stage while his pure musical and lyrical abilities are subverted through lack of emphasis. Whatever potential much of the material had in its own right lies unrealized beneath layers of anonymous and untouchable sound, much of it (seemingly) deliberately designed to keep us from making emotional contact.

. The droning effect of the production reduces the individual identities of the songs to a point where one imagines he is hearing song fragments over and over again. The album fails to establish a sense of progression within itself as the music continually blurs, fuzzes and seems to repeat itself. And these shortcomings cannot be transcended by successful moments that fail to turn into successful cuts, or successful cuts that fail to turn into successful sides. It is ironic that through a method of extreme self-reliance such a talented artist has produced a disappointingly impersonal album. It is perhaps inevitable he will move away from the two extremes presented on this album: the excessive looseness of the last side, as well as the conceptual rigidity of the first three. At that point Todd Rundgren may produce the masterpiece he has in him, but which Something/Anything? most decidedly is not." (Jon Landau, 5/11/72 Review)

Todd Rundgren was barely 23 years old when he recorded the songs that would comprise his seminal double-album Something/Anything?, but already he had fronted the psychedelic rock group Nazz, released two solo LPs, and was a producer of some renown, having overseen The Band's Stage Fright, Badfinger's Straight Up and Sparks' Halfnelson. "[O]ne of the best engineers in the business," Ed Ward concluded in his 10/29/70 RS review of Runt, Rundgren's first solo LP. "As a musician, though, he is merely competent, and one gets the impression off of this record that he has spent a whole lot of time listening to a whole lot of groups in the studio and absorbed their facility without absorbing any of their originality. Sometimes the question 'Who's he?' is better left unanswered."

Rundgren's wunderkind reputation certainly seems to have rubbed some critics the wrong way, especially Jon Landau, who had once been regarded as something of a prodigy himself when he was submitting erudite missives about rock and roll to Crawdaddy! back in the mid-Sixties. Landau was an early booster of Nazz, and even wrote the liner notes for their debut LP, but he hated Something/Anything?, which he dismissed as "impersonal" and not up to Rundgren's true potential.

Landau was definitely in the minority, though, as many other critics hailed Something/Anything? as a major breakthrough upon its release. "The major difficulty with one-man shows (Mayall, McCartney) has been that they were approached as serious artistic projects – most often in reactionary retreat from a band situation – a pitfall which Todd sidesteps because his thorough understanding of his music is matched by an equally thorough understanding of himself," Ben Edmonds wrote in the July ྄ issue of Creem. "He's serious about his music, but not overcome by a sense of its importance."

"To even attempt this singular presentation implies a categorical manipulation of the studio environment, and Todd succeeds largely because his ambition seldom exceeds his flesh-and-bones grasp," he continued, in what reads almost like a point-by-point refutation of Landau's review. "His tools are machinery, but you're never in doubt as to who's behind the controls his creations have enough life to vindicate the theories of Dr. Frankenstein."

Subsequent recordings like 1973's A Wizard, A True Star and 1974's Todd were significantly more exploratory than the relatively straight compositions on Something/Anything?. "I did the Wizard album where the song ideas ranged from 15 seconds to 10 minutes," Rundgren told Alan Betrock in a March ྆ interview with Phonograph Record. "A further refinement of that idea is represented in Todd, and the refinement is that I'm breaking down all these barriers – removing the six spirals – just saying there are no limitations as to what is sung about or what the music sounds like, or how long it is. . . or whether it is even music at all."

Despite its diminished commercial potential, A Wizard, A True Star was once again widely embraced by the rock press. "Boy, is this a great record," Nick Kent exclaimed in the 6/23/73 issue of NME. "I love it and that's saying a lot seeing as I don't seem to like that much of anything these days."

"You see, the real clincher here is that although Rundgren is one of those annoying multi-gifted heavy-duty musical types, his basic motivation is against making 'profound statements' like your average bozo who knows more than eight chords ends up doing," he continued. "Nope, this kiddo likes to make a point of havin' some fun and that's why his work is such a pleasure to behold."

Rolling Stone trashed both of these albums. James Isaac described A Wizard, A True Star as "his most experimental, and annoying, effort to date" in the 5/10/73 issue of Rolling Stone, while Jim Miller bemoaned Todd's "fatuous overproduction" and "ersatz creativity" in the 6/20/74 issue. "He is still intent on becoming a pop 'genius' but most of Todd sounds at best like a garbled reflection of earlier Rundgren glories," Miller grumbled. "Unfortunately, when self-conscious pop becomes self-indulgent, it loses its sense of balance, and becomes either boring or offensive. Todd, at various points, manages to be both." In fact, the only sympathetic review Rundgren would receive from RS during his early-ྂs peak was written by his one-time girlfriend, Patti Smith, who compared him to Smoky Robinson and Ronnie Spector in her 4/19/71 review of Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren.

Something/Anything? skimmed the top forty in the U.S. and U.K., scored two top twenty singles ('I Saw the Light' and 'Hello It's Me'), and sold more than half a million copies. By 1973, Todd Rundgren seemed poised to become a big star. According to English writer Bob Stanley, in his 2013 history of pop music entitled Yeah Yeah Yeah, it was Todd's ghastly 1973 appearance on the the late-night variety program The Midnight Special that did him in:

"The effervescent noise of A Wizard, A True Star predicted Prince in its playful R&B fizz, and a swathe of twenty-first-century electropop acts from the Avalanches to Hot Chip, but when it came out Todd Rundgren was on his own. Like Bowie and Roxy in Britain, these were Technicolor sounds in an overcast age, and in 1973 Rundgren seemed geared for stateside superstardom. To promote 'Hello It's Me', his first Top 5 U.S. hit, he went on the soul show Midnight Special, introduced by the Four Tops, in sequin-strewn, green peacock plumage the glitter above his eyes looked like shiny reptilian scales and his shoulders sprouted feathery wings. He looked like a cross between Ming the Merciless and a glam gecko. O'Jays fans were not won over. In the space of five minutes, he went from potential saviour of all our tomorrows to that most demeaning of tags, the quirky cult hero."

The cult continues to thrive. "As a pop primer, a potted history of what the form had achieved since Elvis and Bill began a-rockin’, and what it was capable of achieving through technology, nothing, from where I’m sitting, can match [Something/Anything?]," critic Rob Steen declared in a 2001 retrospective on the album. "Think Bacharach-meets-Sondheim-meets-Macca-meets-Marvin, with a splash of Ravel, Debussy, Zappa and Sedaka thrown in." Barney Hoskyns pronounced A Wizard, a True Star to be 'The Greatest Album Ever Made' in a 2003 essay that appeared in Rock's Backpages. "[He was] just too complex and polymorphous for lasting pop success," Hoskyns lamented. Rob Chapman similarly described Todd as "the big canvas rock work par excellence, and nothing in the intervening quarter century has bettered it" in the March 1999 issue of Mojo.

Billy Altman awarded Something/Anything? five stars in the first edition of the record guide. "It remains the definitive Rundgren opus, an ambitious, challenging and completely successful venture," he wrote. This review was reprinted in the second edition. In ྄, Jon Landau had written that Something/Anything? was decidedly not a masterpiece by ྒྷ, RS was describing the album in those very terms. "[A] masterpiece of musical ego and multi-track wizardry," the Editors wrote in a special 20th anniversary issue counting down the Top 100 albums of the preceding 20 years. Something/Anything? was #73 on the list. Fifteen years later, Barry Walters was still calling the album "this do-everything talent's best-selling, most-enduring work" in his 'RS Hall of Fame' section review in the 2/15/01 issue. He awarded Something/Anything? four-and-a-half stars, while grading A Wizard, A True Star four stars and Todd three-and-a-half stars. Meanwhile, Paul Evans gave Something/Anything? five stars in the third and fourth editions of the album guide.

. The droning effect of the production reduces the individual identities of the songs to a point where one imagines he is hearing song fragments over and over again. The album fails to establish a sense of progression within itself as the music continually blurs, fuzzes and seems to repeat itself. And these shortcomings cannot be transcended by successful moments that fail to turn into successful cuts, or successful cuts that fail to turn into successful sides. It is ironic that through a method of extreme self-reliance such a talented artist has produced a disappointingly impersonal album. It is perhaps inevitable he will move away from the two extremes presented on this album: the excessive looseness of the last side, as well as the conceptual rigidity of the first three. At that point Todd Rundgren may produce the masterpiece he has in him, but which Something/Anything? most decidedly is not." (Jon Landau, 5/11/72 Review)

Todd Rundgren was barely 23 years old when he recorded the songs that would comprise his seminal double-album Something/Anything?, but already he had fronted the psychedelic rock group Nazz, released two solo LPs, and was a producer of some renown, having overseen The Band's Stage Fright, Badfinger's Straight Up and Sparks' Halfnelson. "[O]ne of the best engineers in the business," Ed Ward concluded in his 10/29/70 RS review of Runt, Rundgren's first solo LP. "As a musician, though, he is merely competent, and one gets the impression off of this record that he has spent a whole lot of time listening to a whole lot of groups in the studio and absorbed their facility without absorbing any of their originality. Sometimes the question 'Who's he?' is better left unanswered."

Rundgren's wunderkind reputation certainly seems to have rubbed some critics the wrong way, especially Jon Landau, who had once been regarded as something of a prodigy himself when he was submitting erudite missives about rock and roll to Crawdaddy! back in the mid-Sixties. Landau was an early booster of Nazz, and even wrote the liner notes for their debut LP, but he hated Something/Anything?, which he dismissed as "impersonal" and not up to Rundgren's true potential.

Landau was definitely in the minority, though, as many other critics hailed Something/Anything? as a major breakthrough upon its release. "The major difficulty with one-man shows (Mayall, McCartney) has been that they were approached as serious artistic projects – most often in reactionary retreat from a band situation – a pitfall which Todd sidesteps because his thorough understanding of his music is matched by an equally thorough understanding of himself," Ben Edmonds wrote in the July ྄ issue of Creem. "He's serious about his music, but not overcome by a sense of its importance."

"To even attempt this singular presentation implies a categorical manipulation of the studio environment, and Todd succeeds largely because his ambition seldom exceeds his flesh-and-bones grasp," he continued, in what reads almost like a point-by-point refutation of Landau's review. "His tools are machinery, but you're never in doubt as to who's behind the controls his creations have enough life to vindicate the theories of Dr. Frankenstein."

Subsequent recordings like 1973's A Wizard, A True Star and 1974's Todd were significantly more exploratory than the relatively straight compositions on Something/Anything?. "I did the Wizard album where the song ideas ranged from 15 seconds to 10 minutes," Rundgren told Alan Betrock in a March ྆ interview with Phonograph Record. "A further refinement of that idea is represented in Todd, and the refinement is that I'm breaking down all these barriers – removing the six spirals – just saying there are no limitations as to what is sung about or what the music sounds like, or how long it is. . . or whether it is even music at all."

Despite its diminished commercial potential, A Wizard, A True Star was once again widely embraced by the rock press. "Boy, is this a great record," Nick Kent exclaimed in the 6/23/73 issue of NME. "I love it and that's saying a lot seeing as I don't seem to like that much of anything these days."

"You see, the real clincher here is that although Rundgren is one of those annoying multi-gifted heavy-duty musical types, his basic motivation is against making 'profound statements' like your average bozo who knows more than eight chords ends up doing," he continued. "Nope, this kiddo likes to make a point of havin' some fun and that's why his work is such a pleasure to behold."

Rolling Stone trashed both of these albums. James Isaac described A Wizard, A True Star as "his most experimental, and annoying, effort to date" in the 5/10/73 issue of Rolling Stone, while Jim Miller bemoaned Todd's "fatuous overproduction" and "ersatz creativity" in the 6/20/74 issue. "He is still intent on becoming a pop 'genius' but most of Todd sounds at best like a garbled reflection of earlier Rundgren glories," Miller grumbled. "Unfortunately, when self-conscious pop becomes self-indulgent, it loses its sense of balance, and becomes either boring or offensive. Todd, at various points, manages to be both." In fact, the only sympathetic review Rundgren would receive from RS during his early-ྂs peak was written by his one-time girlfriend, Patti Smith, who compared him to Smoky Robinson and Ronnie Spector in her 4/19/71 review of Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren.

Something/Anything? skimmed the top forty in the U.S. and U.K., scored two top twenty singles ('I Saw the Light' and 'Hello It's Me'), and sold more than half a million copies. By 1973, Todd Rundgren seemed poised to become a big star. According to English writer Bob Stanley, in his 2013 history of pop music entitled Yeah Yeah Yeah, it was Todd's ghastly 1973 appearance on the the late-night variety program The Midnight Special that did him in:

"The effervescent noise of A Wizard, A True Star predicted Prince in its playful R&B fizz, and a swathe of twenty-first-century electropop acts from the Avalanches to Hot Chip, but when it came out Todd Rundgren was on his own. Like Bowie and Roxy in Britain, these were Technicolor sounds in an overcast age, and in 1973 Rundgren seemed geared for stateside superstardom. To promote 'Hello It's Me', his first Top 5 U.S. hit, he went on the soul show Midnight Special, introduced by the Four Tops, in sequin-strewn, green peacock plumage the glitter above his eyes looked like shiny reptilian scales and his shoulders sprouted feathery wings. He looked like a cross between Ming the Merciless and a glam gecko. O'Jays fans were not won over. In the space of five minutes, he went from potential saviour of all our tomorrows to that most demeaning of tags, the quirky cult hero."

The cult continues to thrive. "As a pop primer, a potted history of what the form had achieved since Elvis and Bill began a-rockin’, and what it was capable of achieving through technology, nothing, from where I’m sitting, can match [Something/Anything?]," critic Rob Steen declared in a 2001 retrospective on the album. "Think Bacharach-meets-Sondheim-meets-Macca-meets-Marvin, with a splash of Ravel, Debussy, Zappa and Sedaka thrown in." Barney Hoskyns pronounced A Wizard, a True Star to be 'The Greatest Album Ever Made' in a 2003 essay that appeared in Rock's Backpages. "[He was] just too complex and polymorphous for lasting pop success," Hoskyns lamented. Rob Chapman similarly described Todd as "the big canvas rock work par excellence, and nothing in the intervening quarter century has bettered it" in the March 1999 issue of Mojo.

Billy Altman awarded Something/Anything? five stars in the first edition of the record guide. "It remains the definitive Rundgren opus, an ambitious, challenging and completely successful venture," he wrote. This review was reprinted in the second edition. In ྄, Jon Landau had written that Something/Anything? was decidedly not a masterpiece by ྒྷ, RS was describing the album in those very terms. "[A] masterpiece of musical ego and multi-track wizardry," the Editors wrote in a special 20th anniversary issue counting down the Top 100 albums of the preceding 20 years. Something/Anything? was #73 on the list. Fifteen years later, Barry Walters was still calling the album "this do-everything talent's best-selling, most-enduring work" in his 'RS Hall of Fame' section review in the 2/15/01 issue. He awarded Something/Anything? four-and-a-half stars, while grading A Wizard, A True Star four stars and Todd three-and-a-half stars. Meanwhile, Paul Evans gave Something/Anything? five stars in the third and fourth editions of the album guide.


Undefined discussion subject.

Not sure about replacing council tax with a national tax, council tax is the main source of local authority revenue.

The idea is good but should be done at a local as well as national level

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

Yes, having enemies and being invaded are two different things, and classic country X invades country Y as per WW2 has become extremely rare across the globe, virtually the only examples being disputed borders and the aftermath of state collapse (Ukraine being the obvious example). Conversely, society is now much more vulnerable to direct cyberattack and more insidious efforts like fake news. I don't see much point in retaining significant tank forces but we should certainly invest in expanding places like GCHQ.

An interesitng question is *why* international invasion has become rare. Has the human race grown up a bit?

Because you can impose your will and achieve your political objectives more readily by subterfuge and intimidation in a very advanced society.

But, ultimately, if that doesn't work it's sticks and stones on the ground that it all boils down to.

There are a lot of powerful forces under the surface and they have noted Putin´s ever more listless performances.

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

Yes, having enemies and being invaded are two different things, and classic country X invades country Y as per WW2 has become extremely rare across the globe, virtually the only examples being disputed borders and the aftermath of state collapse (Ukraine being the obvious example). Conversely, society is now much more vulnerable to direct cyberattack and more insidious efforts like fake news. I don't see much point in retaining significant tank forces but we should certainly invest in expanding places like GCHQ.

An interesitng question is *why* international invasion has become rare. Has the human race grown up a bit?

1. Financial cost. It just isn't worth the outlay. It takes far too long for the victor to recoup.

2. Many of the world's borders are now very settled. European borders - for centuries the source of most of these international invasions - are not the source of conflict they were.

3. Large power entities have gone from military (British Empire, Warsaw Pact) to economic (Commonwealth, EU). China has found a way to mask ambitions of empire as "friendship" to secure its economic needs - rare earth metals in Africa, for example. Just buy the head guy. So much easier.

4. Don't laugh at the back - The United Nations. A gathering to talk about grievances/heap opprobrium - and sanctions - on those who might invade.

5. Democracy. It is generally hard to get elected on the basis of taking your country to war. We have moved even recently from those prepared to sanction wars when in power - Bush, Blair - to those who don't see its electoral benefits - Trump.

6. Mutual assistance against aggressors - whether formal (NATO) or rather more behind the scenes (US aid to the UK in regaining the Falklands).

7. Not all good news though - the trend is more towards securing power within exisiting borders, whatever that takes - look at Syria.

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

The new generation of wars will be fought in cyberspace, as much as by conventional militaries with guns, tanks and planes.

If they are they'll be replaced by newer and more efficient technology that allows domination of the skies and the ground.

Israel has a number of neighbours who are unpredictable and could turn hostile in the foreseeable future.

I'm growing a little weary of US channels, especially CNN, bashing Britain. There have been a whole series of articles focused on what a cock-up the country now is. Brexit has been a particular source of derision. Here's CNN's latest:

And here was a real pre-Christmas piece of savage attack:

I'm a left-leaner who voted Labour and campaigned vigorously for Remain. Even I'm getting irritated by this constant negativity. It's not only that it's a case of 'pot, kettle, black'. It's two other things which I am increasingly feeling.

1. Brexit has not (yet) been the disaster some were excitedly predicting. Yes there are teething issues but, frankly, it has gone quite smoothly so far. We have a trade deal and our vaccine rollout is undeniably faster thanks to shaking off the EU shackles.

2. The vaccine rollout is a STELLAR success so far. The UK is on course to be the global leader on mass vaccination of its citizens (Israel, UAE, Bahrain are doing well too with smaller populations). In a handful of months we will have the vast majority of the country vaccinated, the virus all but eliminated and our citizens able to travel the world as a result. It is absolutely clear that airlines in conjunction with the WHO are going to make vaccination the prerequisite for travel.

Yes there have been cock-ups and u-turns but Boris Johnson and Britain are doing alright.

Having paid a shed load on stamp duty I would feel highly aggrieved if I had to pay for it again in an ongoing property tax.

Even though I think property taxes in principle makes sense.

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

It's too much of a hassle these days. Even really awful places aren't generally prepared to undertake the wholesale slaughter youd probably need to maintain control, in the public eye no less. It's also easier and less costly to destabilize those you want and stabilizes others, for influence, than invade.

Not so much grown up exactly as the worlds more complicated.

It’s fashionable to scoff at Putin and Russia, but they’ve achieved much of their geopolitical goals.

Meanwhile, we are breaking ties with our neighbours, contemplating Scottish independence, and our main ally’s political system is on the fritz.

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

Yes, having enemies and being invaded are two different things, and classic country X invades country Y as per WW2 has become extremely rare across the globe, virtually the only examples being disputed borders and the aftermath of state collapse (Ukraine being the obvious example). Conversely, society is now much more vulnerable to direct cyberattack and more insidious efforts like fake news. I don't see much point in retaining significant tank forces but we should certainly invest in expanding places like GCHQ.

An interesitng question is *why* international invasion has become rare. Has the human race grown up a bit?

1. Financial cost. It just isn't worth the outlay. It takes far too long for the victor to recoup.

2. Many of the world's borders are now very settled. European borders - for centuries the source of most of these international invasions - are not the source of conflict they were.

3. Large power entities have gone from military (British Empire, Warsaw Pact) to economic (Commonwealth, EU). China has found a way to mask ambitions of empire as "friendship" to secure its economic needs - rare earth metals in Africa, for example. Just buy the head guy. So much easier.

4. Don't laugh at the back - The United Nations. A gathering to talk about grievances/heap opprobrium - and sanctions - on those who might invade.

5. Democracy. It is generally hard to get elected on the basis of taking your country to war. We have moved even recently from those prepared to sanction wars when in power - Bush, Blair - to those who don't see its electoral benefits - Trump.

6. Mutual assistance against aggressors - whether formal (NATO) or rather more behind the scenes (US aid to the UK in regaining the Falklands.

7. Not all good news though - the trend is more towards securing power within exisiting borders, whatever that takes - look at Syria.

Biden will be more of a neocon and more hawklike in regards to Russia and the Middle East than Trump was. He will equally be wary of China.

As he voted for the Iraq War Obama opposed Biden will also be the most neoconservative US President since George W Bush despite being a Democrat.

Hence why John Bolton wanted Biden to beat Trump

Yes, that would be the intergenerational effect and given that many of those invited for Christmas lunch had been shielding for good reasons that will have an effect but the overall infection rate was not likely to be materially different.

One of the great frustrations for me of this virus is that we have not focused on how you actually catch it. So, for example, we have been focusing on hand washing for over a year. Does it make any difference at all? I would suggest the evidence is no, that it is very difficult to pick up a sufficient load of the virus from a surface. We didn't get on to masks nearly early enough, possibly because there was a shortage of PPE for front line workers. Is it really dangerous to go within 1m of someone for a few seconds in a shop or other indoor setting? Is it dangerous to do that outdoors?

I wish we had a clearer picture of when and how we catch this. Inside for extended periods breathing poorly circulating air seems much more of an issue than social distancing.

Tories take a 2% lead with Survation

Up from their previous 1%! The polls are not moving. The country is divided. It's very hard to see how that changes.

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

The new generation of wars will be fought in cyberspace, as much as by conventional militaries with guns, tanks and planes.

Russia has been trying to destabilise the West for a while now. Key to how we win the war is to reduce European dependence on the Russian oil and gas which is pretty much their only source of hand currency.

Indeed. Just because Russia doesn't have tanks on our doorstep threatening immediate physical invasion doesn't mean it's not a threat to us.

It regularly tests British air defences, launches submarine incursions into our waters, hacks our networks and intelligence and carries out acts of state-sanctioned murder on our soil. Not to mention invading its neighbours and trying to destabilise NATO, which keeps us safe overall.

Those who doubt the veracity of this should read the recent cross-party parliamentary report on Russia.

Yes, it does that. It also does it on the left too, seeking to undermine faith and belief in the British state, as well as regional nationalisms.

Disunity and fragmentation is its chief interest because that makes us easy pickings.

Tories take a 2% lead with Survation

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

Yes, though whether the treason was that of James II, who was selling the country to France and the Pope, or the immortal seven, who invited William over, is arguable.

Talking of traitors, the Americans briefly controlled an acre or so of British soil during their raid on Whitehaven in 1778.

Local taxation should be set locally.
Otherwise, councils are mere supplicants.

I appreciate this is largely the case already but that’s half the problem.

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

The new generation of wars will be fought in cyberspace, as much as by conventional militaries with guns, tanks and planes.

Russia has been trying to destabilise the West for a while now. Key to how we win the war is to reduce European dependence on the Russian oil and gas which is pretty much their only source of hand currency.

Indeed. Just because Russia doesn't have tanks on our doorstep threatening immediate physical invasion doesn't mean it's not a threat to us.

It regularly tests British air defences, launches submarine incursions into our waters, hacks our networks and intelligence and carries out acts of state-sanctioned murder on our soil. Not to mention invading its neighbours and trying to destabilise NATO, which keeps us safe overall.

Those who doubt the veracity of this should read the recent cross-party parliamentary report on Russia.

Yes, it does that. It also does it on the left too, seeking to undermine faith and belief in the British state, as well as regional nationalisms.

Disunity and fragmentation is its chief interest because that makes us easy pickings.

Local taxation should be set locally.
Otherwise, councils are mere supplicants.

I appreciate this is largely the case already but that’s half the problem.

I think council tax only accounts for about a quarter to a third of LA income.

My view is that a couple of extra council tax bands and a level of local business/sales taxes would make sense, within reason.

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

Yes, having enemies and being invaded are two different things, and classic country X invades country Y as per WW2 has become extremely rare across the globe, virtually the only examples being disputed borders and the aftermath of state collapse (Ukraine being the obvious example). Conversely, society is now much more vulnerable to direct cyberattack and more insidious efforts like fake news. I don't see much point in retaining significant tank forces but we should certainly invest in expanding places like GCHQ.

An interesitng question is *why* international invasion has become rare. Has the human race grown up a bit?

1. Financial cost. It just isn't worth the outlay. It takes far too long for the victor to recoup.

2. Many of the world's borders are now very settled. European borders - for centuries the source of most of these international invasions - are not the source of conflict they were.

3. Large power entities have gone from military (British Empire, Warsaw Pact) to economic (Commonwealth, EU). China has found a way to mask ambitions of empire as "friendship" to secure its economic needs - rare earth metals in Africa, for example. Just buy the head guy. So much easier.

4. Don't laugh at the back - The United Nations. A gathering to talk about grievances/heap opprobrium - and sanctions - on those who might invade.

5. Democracy. It is generally hard to get elected on the basis of taking your country to war. We have moved even recently from those prepared to sanction wars when in power - Bush, Blair - to those who don't see its electoral benefits - Trump.

6. Mutual assistance against aggressors - whether formal (NATO) or rather more behind the scenes (US aid to the UK in regaining the Falklands).

7. Not all good news though - the trend is more towards securing power within exisiting borders, whatever that takes - look at Syria.

No future for Scottish Labour if it remains Unionist, former minister says
A FORMER Labour minister has said there is no future for Labour in Scotland if it continues to be a Unionist party.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday National in the wake of leader Richard Leonard’s resignation, Les Huckfield said that unless the party changed its stance on independence it was “never going to get anywhere”.

Local taxation should be set locally.
Otherwise, councils are mere supplicants.

I appreciate this is largely the case already but that’s half the problem.

I think council tax only accounts for about a quarter to a third of LA income.

My view is that a couple of extra council tax bands and a level of local business/sales taxes would make sense, within reason.

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

The new generation of wars will be fought in cyberspace, as much as by conventional militaries with guns, tanks and planes.

Russia has been trying to destabilise the West for a while now. Key to how we win the war is to reduce European dependence on the Russian oil and gas which is pretty much their only source of hand currency.

Indeed. Just because Russia doesn't have tanks on our doorstep threatening immediate physical invasion doesn't mean it's not a threat to us.

It regularly tests British air defences, launches submarine incursions into our waters, hacks our networks and intelligence and carries out acts of state-sanctioned murder on our soil. Not to mention invading its neighbours and trying to destabilise NATO, which keeps us safe overall.

Those who doubt the veracity of this should read the recent cross-party parliamentary report on Russia.

Yes, it does that. It also does it on the left too, seeking to undermine faith and belief in the British state, as well as regional nationalisms.

Disunity and fragmentation is its chief interest because that makes us easy pickings.

I wasn't having a go at your wing of the political spectrum here Jonathan (although, admittedly, I often do) I was merely making the point that the Russians and Chinese are entirely undiscerning when it comes to fomenting domestic division.

They'll be funding and encouraging Corbynites, the Alt-Right, BLM, ultra-Brexiteers, pacifists, republicans, Scottish and Welsh nationalists, English nationalists, XR, climate change sceptics, ultra-Rejoiners and condemners of the BBC.

Anything that polarises us.

More than half of Church of England services not open for communal worship today, with many holding services online

No future for Scottish Labour if it remains Unionist, former minister says
A FORMER Labour minister has said there is no future for Labour in Scotland if it continues to be a Unionist party.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday National in the wake of leader Richard Leonard’s resignation, Les Huckfield said that unless the party changed its stance on independence it was “never going to get anywhere”.

No future for Scottish Labour if it remains Unionist, former minister says
A FORMER Labour minister has said there is no future for Labour in Scotland if it continues to be a Unionist party.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday National in the wake of leader Richard Leonard’s resignation, Les Huckfield said that unless the party changed its stance on independence it was “never going to get anywhere”.

That former junior 1970s minister left Labour over the Iraq War and is an SNP member.

Labour is not going to win back Nat voters from the SNP, its best hope is to remain a Unionist Party and win Tory and LD tactical votes to beat the SNP

Local taxation should be set locally.
Otherwise, councils are mere supplicants.

I appreciate this is largely the case already but that’s half the problem.

I think council tax only accounts for about a quarter to a third of LA income.

My view is that a couple of extra council tax bands and a level of local business/sales taxes would make sense, within reason.

Local authorities will always need some central government support to help with “levelling up”.

But for democratic reasons, councils should collect at least 50% of their income from local residents.

We need to increase council (or land) tax and reduce income tax.

Pulling down statues is popular with many Labour councils because their left-wing membership and activist base dig it - they think the act of doing so demonstrates solidarity with minorities and represents some sort of progress. In reality, it sows division and does nothing to advance the cause of racial equality. In fact, it might even make it more difficult.

They should read the Hope Not Hate poll for what minorities really think about it.

No future for Scottish Labour if it remains Unionist, former minister says
A FORMER Labour minister has said there is no future for Labour in Scotland if it continues to be a Unionist party.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday National in the wake of leader Richard Leonard’s resignation, Les Huckfield said that unless the party changed its stance on independence it was “never going to get anywhere”.

Tories take a 2% lead with Survation

Up from their previous 1%! The polls are not moving. The country is divided. It's very hard to see how that changes.

Sky are doing commentator Bingo for today's big match - quite a lot seem worth a bet, although I guess that is the case for most of these Bingo markets

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

Yes, though whether the treason was that of James II, who was selling the country to France and the Pope, or the immortal seven, who invited William over, is arguable.

Talking of traitors, the Americans briefly controlled an acre or so of British soil during their raid on Whitehaven in 1778.

Local taxation should be set locally.
Otherwise, councils are mere supplicants.

I appreciate this is largely the case already but that’s half the problem.

I think council tax only accounts for about a quarter to a third of LA income.

My view is that a couple of extra council tax bands and a level of local business/sales taxes would make sense, within reason.

How would a local sales tax work?

Add council tax bands and you immediately have a problem of revaluation - and I really do think that is something that the Government is going to want to avoid. Remember house prices in the Red Wall seats are 1/2 to 1/3 of the price down South or worse - any council band revaluations will make that obvious.

I actually think you end up with a land value tax as the more political safe option regardless of the pain it creates.

Just catching up, a very good and insightful piece from @david_herdson yesterday.

As the USA increasingly looks towards China for its foreign policy issues, European nations are going to have to do much more themselves in the future, to defend against the threats from Russia.

Nah, Russia is no longer a military threat to us. It will concentrate on harassing its neighbours, and bumping off the odd dissident at home and abroad while sowing alt.right trolls across the west.

We have no significant military enemies any more. Indeed need to rethink what our armed forces are for besides bussing vaccines around old folks homes.

Yes, having enemies and being invaded are two different things, and classic country X invades country Y as per WW2 has become extremely rare across the globe, virtually the only examples being disputed borders and the aftermath of state collapse (Ukraine being the obvious example). Conversely, society is now much more vulnerable to direct cyberattack and more insidious efforts like fake news. I don't see much point in retaining significant tank forces but we should certainly invest in expanding places like GCHQ.

An interesitng question is *why* international invasion has become rare. Has the human race grown up a bit?

1. Financial cost. It just isn't worth the outlay. It takes far too long for the victor to recoup.

2. Many of the world's borders are now very settled. European borders - for centuries the source of most of these international invasions - are not the source of conflict they were.

3. Large power entities have gone from military (British Empire, Warsaw Pact) to economic (Commonwealth, EU). China has found a way to mask ambitions of empire as "friendship" to secure its economic needs - rare earth metals in Africa, for example. Just buy the head guy. So much easier.

4. Don't laugh at the back - The United Nations. A gathering to talk about grievances/heap opprobrium - and sanctions - on those who might invade.

5. Democracy. It is generally hard to get elected on the basis of taking your country to war. We have moved even recently from those prepared to sanction wars when in power - Bush, Blair - to those who don't see its electoral benefits - Trump.

6. Mutual assistance against aggressors - whether formal (NATO) or rather more behind the scenes (US aid to the UK in regaining the Falklands).

7. Not all good news though - the trend is more towards securing power within exisiting borders, whatever that takes - look at Syria.

Good and convincing post. Anecdotally in support of point 3, Tony Blair said that the Iraq intevention was not about oil, as some critics suggested, since "if we were merely worried about oil supply we could certainly just cut a deal with Saddam".

And yes, my delight about Biden's victory is slightly tempered by the possibility that he'll turn out to be another enthusiastic interventionist. But times have moved on as you say.


Why was John Paul Jones pardoned in Whitehaven in 1999? - History

For years, American politics has been in a state of disrepair. For one, the previously tacit youth had held a mask in front of their face, a mask of apathy which affected their successors more than their own phony selves (Note: the apathy WAS a mask, as our Gen-X elders elected Bill Clinton twice with record youth and black voter turn-outs). This mask said that the enormity of the electorate rendered any one vote meaningless. This little problem is old and outdated, and my man Freddy Nietzsche comes to mind, whereas me and all the cools have self-ascribed meaning as best we can for a while now, after all, "it's a super-man's world and the rest are fucking fads." The rest referring to the American non-voter. (Well, not exactly. their are some good reasons not to vote: if you just don't care, don't wanna, forgot, or got too high and spaced on the date, but not cause it doesn't matter, mattering is a personal matter - make it matter and it matters, get it? But don't let anyone make you vote if you personally don't want to!) The other reason to feign apathy is the real problem with America's flawed system. If the Electoral College is calling all the real shots, then maybe your vote really doesn't count, but again, your vote not counting is no reason not to vote. Last on this triumvirate of inadequacy is the feeling that everyone knows that the Republican Party in favor of George Bush tampered with not just the voters, but actual ballots in each of the elections that resulted in his presidencies. Intimidation, misinformation, and lying came to the front of the Republican Party during the last eight years, specifically in their campaign techniques and failing that, flat out cheatin '. So, yes, your vote may never count or be counted, but we, the new generation have a new view. Insurmountable odds are nothing to us and we're too smart to be misdirected, right? Right. So please allow me to catch you up with what's been going down on the U.S. political scene for the last few decades, specifically the last few days.

A Brief History of the Republican Party
The crux of the matter lies at the heart of the Republican party and why no-one with any moral integrity, intelligence, or love of America should vote for them until they clean up their act. What did the Republican party stand for originally? The designation of a "republic" refers to a government response to dictatorship in which liberty and its protection are the primary goals. Liberty is protected in a republic by a rule of law which applies to all citizens and in fact would also govern the government. As John Adams put it, "They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men." In order for a republic to be healthy, its citizens must actively oppose corruption and uphold civic virtue. So it is not surprising that Republicans were first and most importantly anti-slavery. The party was actually founded as a response to the Kansas-Nebraska Act which would have allowed the expansion of slavery into Kansas. They were opposed to the so-called "Slave Power" those old, old money southerners who wanted nationwide legal slavery. They were also the party of modernization, supporting higher education, banking, industry and farmers, arguing that free trade is morally and economically superior to slavery on the national level and in fact represents the basis of what American values must be "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men," as advocated by Thomas Jefferson. This ideology was cemented by the election of the first Republican President, their best, and probably the best president ever, Abe Lincoln. Sickeningly, Republicans still refer to themselves as the party of Lincoln while spitting on both civil rights and modernization. Through Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, and U.S. Grant, the Republicans wrested political sway in the South away from old racist democrats, appealing to free blacks and northern opportunists during the post Civil War reconstruction. Grant passed the Fourteenth Amendment, guaranteeing Constitutional rights to free blacks and supported their eventual voting rights. But the experiment didn't hold. When Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew the last Yankee Troops from the South, racial inequality continued and ran rampant in the uneducated, ignorant areas, securing the Southern vote for the Democrats until 1964.

Following the Civil War, business was booming, due in large part to the modern ideas the Republicans had initiated in the previous two decades. They supported big business and small government, that is the idea that government regulations should play little part in the lives of their citizens, only to protect and serve and not interfere or nanny grown up citizens. Republicans also stood for high taxes, maintaining the gold standard, and taking great care of Union Veterans. They supported the annexation of Hawaii, which the Democrats opposed, and prohibition of the manufacturing , sale, and consumption of alcohol. These were pretty unpopular decisions amongst U.S. citizens in general, and the party began changing its game-plan. Instead of running on what it could do, it ran on what the other party might do. "Rum, Romanism , and Rebellion" were used to scare the populace. Rum indicated the Democrats were pro-liquor, Romanism meant they were all corrupt Catholics, and Rebellion reminded people that they were secessionist racists. So cultural and religious issues were now subject to political scrutiny. Prohibition was their gay marriage or abortion issue, relying on people's religious views to get votes. Those who though drinking was immoral, a social ill, voted Republican. Those who thought it wa a personal matter of choice voted Democrat, irregardless of civil rights issues, etc.

By the time of William McKinley, big business and lobbyism were in place in U.S. politics, with McKinley getting record contributions from business owners. McKinley cow towed to these special interests, but his assassination and my man Theodore Roosevelt's trust- bustin ' Republican presidency cause a rift in the party, allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to interrupt this Republican era for eight years. But after that TR's progressive ideas were now a real faction within the Republicans and social reform was something they actually did, not just prattle off on endlessly with the truth being diametrically opposed to what comes out of their mouths like some Republican candidates today. They battled Tammany Hall and fought to strengthen urban areas and disallow labor unions from engaging in wasteful strikes. They opposed the League of Nations and higher taxes (now), and promoted business interests to benefit all of America. TR's Republicans stood for regulation of business and citizens, not obstruction, federal control of interstate business, and the shifting of burdens from poor to rich, from employee to employer, etc. All this came to a head when the stock market crashed and America blamed the Republican's sometimes lax business laws. For the first time, urban and black voters saw their interests better represented by the Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

FDR was anything but conservative, which literally means to attempt and change as little legislation and day to day life as possible with government actions. He burned it down and built it up, legislating his ass off to fix his country. Republicans fought him tooth and nail and labeled his big government "socialist" in order to scare people off from voting for him. People back then realized the difference between social conservatism and what politician's jobs are though, and actually voted for their economic interests, unlike middle-American dirt farmin ' Christies today, who vote with their religion, all the way to the poor house. During this time the Republicans split into two "wings." A left wing that supported what the New Deal legislation was doing right but wished to tweak it and run it more efficiently , and a right wing which wished to overturn the New Deal and block FDR's legislation at all costs, even that of their country. This right wing cost the Republicans the 1948 election, with Harry Truman pointing out their inability to pass any legislature that didn't pander to them, and the U.S. citizens, and especially the Electoral College, responded. Richard Nixon was the last liberal minded left-wing Republican President, and his corruption, which seems cute by today's standards, no worse than Bill Belichick , doomed Republicans to the right, always to the right.

After America recovered from the shock of the Watergate scandal and Gerald Ford's seemingly implausible pardon of Nixon for his participation therein, they once again voted Republican in grand numbers, but by now, there was no real left wing to speak of within the party, liberals jumping ship after Nixon's muff-up. Historically, some Republicans were moderate or liberal on domestic and social policies. They favored New Deal programs, including regulation and welfare. They were very strong supporters of civil rights. They were strongly supported by big business on Wall Street (New York City). In fiscal policy they favored balanced budgets and relatively high tax levels to keep the budget balanced. They sought long-term economic growth through entrepreneurships , not tax cuts. In state politics, they were strong supporters of state colleges and universities, low tuition, and large research budgets. They favored infrastructure improvements, such as highway projects. In foreign policy they were internationalists, and anti-Communists. They felt the best way to counter Communism was sponsoring economic growth (through foreign aid), maintaining a strong military, and keeping close ties to NATO. Ronald Reagan didn't give a fuck about any of this, and neither did his supporters, particularly a new breed of Southern Republicans. The Democratic lock on the South was decisively broken. The long-term cause was that the region was becoming more like the rest of the nation and could not long stand apart in terms of racial segregation. Modernization that brought factories, businesses, and cities, and millions of migrants from the North far more people graduated from high school and college. Meanwhile the cotton and tobacco basis of the traditional South faded away, as former farmers moved to town or commuted to factory jobs. The immediate cause of the political transition involved civil rights. The civil rights movement caused enormous controversy in the white South with many attacking it as a violation of states' rights. When segregation was outlawed by court order and by the Civil Rights acts of 1964 and 1965, a die-hard element resisted integration. Republicans appealed to a less-educated, blue-collar electorate that on economic grounds favored the Democratic Party, but opposed segregation. After passage of the Civil Rights Act most Southerners accepted the integration of most institutions (except public schools). With the old barrier to becoming a Republican removed, traditional Southerners joined the new middle class and the Northern transplants in moving toward the Republican Party. Meanwhile the newly enfranchised black voters supported Democratic candidates at the 85-90% level. In addition to its white middle class base, Republicans attracted strong majorities from the evangelical Christian vote, which had been nonpolitical before 1980. The national Democratic Party's support for liberal social stances such as abortion drove many former Democrats into a Republican Party that was embracing the conservative views on these issues. Conversely, liberal Republicans in the northeast began to join the Democratic Party. Today, the South is again solid, but the reliable support is for Republican presidential candidates.

So Reagan won by a landslide with votes from "Reagan Democrats," Democratic voters who had voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984 (and for George H.W. Bush in 1988), producing their victories. They were mostly white, blue-collar, and were attracted to Reagan's social conservatism on issues such as abortion, and to his hawkish foreign policy. Reagan Democrats no longer saw Democrats as champions of their middle class aspirations, but instead saw it as being a party working primarily for the benefit of others, especially blacks and social liberals. Reagan slashed taxes and got rid of the last of the New Deal policies, save for social security. Reagan's policies involved hard edged tactics against enemies of America and he is credited with an economic resurgence in the U.S. and with ending the Cold War. Most American's mistake these successes for successes of conservatism, when the truth is a conservative president also accomplished these things.

Bill Clinton was a fucking outstanding president. Though he failed to legalise medical marijuana in California, otherwise his two terms were an unmitigated success. America was s afe and prosperous and minorities, youth, and the middle class were well tended too. But unfortunately, the conservative media lambasted him incessantly for engaging in human sexual behaviour, again blurring the line between personal morals and ability to govern. With this inundation of conservative ideals, the right wing grasped control and for the first time began truly spreading their agenda. Huge government pushing conservative Christian ideals into legislature. We all know that Jerry Fallwell was a treasonous traitor, a fear monger and finger pointer. He blamed 9/11 on feminists and gays and noted America got what it deserved in light of our moral inferiority. These and the rest of his hate doctrine are 101 courses at his so-called Liberty University, the law school from which approximately 150 Bush staffers and cabinet members graduated. It's obvious what is happening. The separation of church and state is not the proper way of things according to these conservative Republicans, and in fact George Bush has frequently admitted his decisions are based in his gut reaction and prayer, legitimate motivations for calling plays in school-yard football maybe, but certainly not politics.

What has been labeled a "Culture War" by conservatives, the divergence of liberal/conservative ideals amongst Americans and the desire for them to vote based on them is a misnomer. It is actually a Holy War, a Civil Jihad declared by the right-wing in America. What's worse, it may not even be genuine. The Karl Rove method for winning an election: find a non-political wedge issue, an issue that splits America down the middle, politicise it, and side with the 51% side. In 2004 it was gay marriage . Stone-age assholes love that my U.S. constitution defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. It should be something along the lines of " marriage is the union between two people." You don't force 'em to love each other or stay married by law, why force 'em to be opposite sexes? Because there is a half a line in the so-called Bible about men not lying with men (or more likely they are intimidated by those different than them and justify it through the Bible or pseudo-naturalistic procreation-style arguments). First, why these people can pick out a random line and ascribe American legislative reasoning to it is beyond me, manipulative and shady, and second, they don't even care! It was a trick to get those who want to go to Christian heaven to vote for them! Now, even more clearly inappropriate is the issue of abortion. The only way, the only way one could say abortion should be illegal is if it is definitely "murder." That is that "life begins at conception" definitely and no other alternative. One, no fucking way life begins at conception. That worm you got in your womb CAN NOT survive without you, it can not live without you. It is not a human yet, it is still a parasite. If it survives it will become a human and at that point aborting it would be immoral. I hate abortion. I hate the idea of it, and I think it would be sick not to wish it could stop, but that is horribly unrealistic. No one comes to the decision to have an abortion easily, and the idea of unilaterally stripping Americans of this sensitively held, seldom understood right is a decision devoid of sense. The real sickening thing is this right to choose is just one they want to take away. The conservative right wing of the Republican party, which I am saying IS THE WHOLE PARTY NOW, mocks the right to privacy, equal rights, equal pay, and anything else they can whore your religion off on into tricking you to believe. Are you scared of Muslim terrorists? They hate us for our freedom? Well our freedom has eroded under this conservative America and they still hate us. They hate us for our occupation of their land and our interference in their Holy Land. Pushing Christianity on the world stage is the best way to lure suicide bombers towards Los Alamos . So this is the neo -conservative agenda, split the country, win the election, legislate from their Bible. The current nominees for the Republican ticket are a perfect example. Though, of course this is actually not a Democrat v. Republican battle, it is Democrats (political party) v. Conservatives (faith-based group).

Official Endorsement - Sen. Barack Obama (D) Illinois
Okay, I support Barack Obama . Why? Because he obviously thinks. Americans are intimidatable , more than any other country. They are of course intimidated by race. This is the most disgustingly racist country on god's Earth, but even more than that, Americans are intimidated by intelligence. So intimidated that they passed on Al Gore, telling themselves it was for any other reason than that he is smarter than them. So they voted for a dummy, someone comparable with their educational goals met. Not me, I want someone smarter, better than me (for the position) in charge. Issue wise, it's all important. Anybody who can read should know that there will be, for all intents and purposes, no oil within sixty or so years. Drilling off-shore in America will not change this, there simply is not enough, it is a NON-RENEWABLE resource. Drilling off-shore will not lower gas prices, and if fact, if legislature did pass to allow off-shore drilling, they would not even do it. Big Oil just wants the rights to do so, so in the future when gas will be ten dollars a gallon or more, they can sell it to the remaining idiots. Long story short we need to change not to nuclear power, but to wind. America is custom made for wind farming, and if they had they technology in the 1700's Tommy Jefferson and mc Ben Franklin would have been supporters. Of course this is pretty brand new, but America's natural gas resources could serve as a bridge over the next ten years until the technology is complete. Check it all out at www.pickensplan.com in which big oil dude and former G.W. Bush supporter T. Boone Pickens gives us the straight dope on the situation. I am P.O.'d that Obama must compromise on off-shore drilling in order to achieve bipartisan comprehensive energy plan, but that is politics, baby.

Economically, by the numbers, Obama will raise your taxes if you make over 250,000 dollars a years, cut your taxes if you earn between 20,000 and 249,000 dollars a year, and big rebates and incentives for those who earn under 20,000 dollars a year. The average citizen under Obama's plan will pocket 5% more in cash a year, around 2,000 dollars a person. McCain's plan is identical to Bush's making permanent tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent and big business, actually costing those who make under 250,000 dollars annually about 3% of their income. Amazingly, white middle class voters vote AGAINST their own economic interests, either buying the lies the Conservatives spit or caring more about religious issues that their own well being. The health of America is the health of the middle class, and only the Democratic ticket's plans favor the middle class.

Health care wise, the Democratic congress has a terrific plan of conceivable, affordable, fair universalesque care that Bush wouldn't let through. McCain will push his own plan that further taxes the middle class, while Obama will pass congress's plan.

Nobody says what I think about immigration, which is this is fucking America and the Melting Pot is not just a restaraunt. Any and all immigrants, especially Arab and Hispanic should be welcomed with open arms, allowed to work legally no matter what, speak whatever language they damn well want *FREEDOM OF SPEECH* and given respect and love they deserve. No stupid fence at the border (Stay out of my yard, you damn kids!). I may be skewed a little on this one though. I live in Wilmington, DE, 54% black, 36% white, 6% Hispanic and growing. We actually live, work, and play with people of all races and can't be scared by what we don't know. Middle America and random racists should read or live outside their comfort zone for awhile before they vote against other humans who want the better life they deserve. Or better yet don't vote at all. That is key: most values these conservatives cherish are the oppisite of what America stands for: freedom, choice, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happines, free trips to the salad bar, etc. I am personally ready for any tax increase this takes.

On corruption, Obama has ran his campaign spitting in the face of lobbyists, while McCain and his bee-yotch give lip service to a clean and fair campaign while nested comfortably in the same pockets as the Bush administration (the military-industrio complex, Christian fundamentalists, etc. ). The double talk of the right in general is a huge problem, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Now, let's say for the sake of arguement that Obama is a terrible dude who really would do all the lies and slander that the Conservatives thrust on him. Even if that was true there is one and only one issue in this election that is representative of the overall problem, and that is the pro-life/pro-choice debate. I'll make it as clear as possible. There must be a seperation of church and state for our leader to govern properly. The only reason abortion can plausibly be seen as a negative right is through a religious lens. It is a personal choice, not one came to lightly, and certainly not one that should be made for you by outside parties who do not allow for audibles, i.e. a prgnancy resulting from rape or incest or a pregancy that endangers the mother's life. Conservatives have tried to overturn Roe v. Wade, the ruling which garantees the right to abortion, but have been unseccuessful only because the Supreme Court has judges which have favored fairness and law over personal faith-based agendas. Two such upstanding judges, John Paul Stevens and the famous Ruth Bader Ginsburg, are now elderly and on the verge of retirement. It is extremely likely that the next president will chose up to two new justices in the next four years. McCain has made it abundently clear that he will choose judges who will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. He has made it clear that under his presidency this vital right will be taken away from American women. Nothing else is as important as a presidential nominee running on the platform of removing rights from American citizens, and noone who values freedom and has the intelligence to seperate fair legislation from internal moral questions should support him.

Lastly I will vote for Barack Obama becasue he is black. To me it is just a bonus that he is a qualified, caring, intelligent individual who loves America. One of the three biggest issues in modern Amrica is still racism and civil rights. America has long been under the shadow of slavery which built the country. Every civil rights triumph we've had has helped lessen this shadow and bring America closer to the ideals it represents. By hoisting this black man to the most powerful position in the world, we can not only prove the equality talk is not all lip service, we are also put into a position to really strive for that equality we dream of. Not the least of it, I also wanna dig into some sour-fucking-grapes and laugh and laugh at racist-ass America's conservative right wing, knowing they will die still thinking two plus two equals five while Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson look down on me and Barack like the end of fuckin' Jedi.

The icing on this amazing cake is the addition of my main man and author of the Violence Against Women Act, Joey Biden as the V.P. candidate for Obama. The amount of times they've said Wilmington, Delaware on national news is awesome, and I seriously shed tears in my more emotional moments. I love Wilmington and Delaware so much it hurts me, and that this great man, this yellin', screamin' truth tellin' dude is representing us to the world is highly vindicating. His strident attacks against the bull-shit that was the "surge" and his extreme experience on the global stage are inspiring, and his ability to say, "No you are wrong, and here is the truth," is so rare and needed in Washington these days. He's an actual middle class Senator who has looked out for Delaware's best interests for his entire career and he will do the same for America.

Argument Against Conservatism
So, that is why you should vote Democrat, and here is why you shouldn't vote conservative. First I must say that I have absolutely zero respect for someone simply because they were a soldier. I understand the draw of the military for the poor and uneducated, and know that in extremely rare occasions the military has been used properly, effectively to maintain peace and secure America or the world. However, simply serving does not make you respectable or good or important. Some of the worst people I ever met were soldiers (and maybe a couple of the best). What's more, being a Prisoner of War certainly does not qualify one to lead. As John Simmons astutely commented all those years ago, being a P.O.W. just means you were a shitty soldier. And that's John McCain to a tee, a shitty soldier. Now, if the story is true, and McCain remained a P.O.W., letting his compadres go before himself, then hands down, that is heroic, and for that I respect him. However, it has ZERO bearing on the current election. It happened a long, long time ago in a war we shouldn't have been in and could not win. It is virtually identical to our inadequacies in Iraq. The American people were mislead into supporting that war, and McCain has proven his intentions to maintain that misdirection and keep us their, without telling us why or for how long. Again, it is our overtly Christian presence in a Muslim world that cause the 9/11 attacks and continue to infuriate America's enemies and make us new ones. Only through diplomacy and well thought out meaningful attack on terrorists in whatever area, even one that doesn't house U.S. owned oil, will eliminate or lessen any real foreign threat to America. I mean, what did 9/11 attack wanna accomplish? Best case scenario, destroy our economic infrastructure, and at least kill alot of Christians. What does the war in Iraq aim to accomplish? Alter Iraq's infrastructure to better mirror ours, and at least kill alot of Muslims. They are utter hypocrites, as highlighted by John McCain's consistent voting against benefits and health care bonuses for Iraq and Afghan War veterans. These people care about you as long as you are an embryo, once you're born the don't care if you are educated, healthy, or enjoy a good quality of life, then you're valuable again as cannon fodder until you get damaged, the you're fucked again, no benefits, no health care, and if they have their way, privatized social security that would be pretty much another inside joke for the right, and valuable once more when you are old and easily pandered to with your social conservative views. Stop buying it! Find out the truth! Vote for your actual pragmatic WORLDLY interests! So McCain wants to fight WWII in the Middle East, but he is old and out of it, probably not really that evil, just creepy, unqualified, and frightenly pro-war. Back in 2000, I supported McCain, I thought he was different, but the willingness with which he bent over for the right is startling, and the lies he tells are so frequent, people start to believe it. That's what they do, they mix non-consequential truths, half-truths, and lies until everything seems somewhat truthy. This truthiness took McCain away from his moderate turn of the century views and towards right wing agenda of Bush/Cheney's White House. It led him away from the vice presidential choices he though would be best for America and towards a choice that panders, tongue hangin' out, to the conservative right wing, a choice ready to take over as the leader of the free world if natural causes. god forbid, end up assasinating McCain.

Sarah Palin is a walkin' talkin' characature of everything that is Anti-America. She is absolutely perfect for winning the race as well. John McCain knew he couldn't win without the Republican bread and butter babies, the neo-conservatives. McCain's previously independent leanings scared the easily scared and he knew he had to bolster the base. So he picked Dick Cheney in granny panties. This choice was a slap in the face of American women, assuming that they would vote for any given broad. That's what they thought and they for a part were right. I mean, what exempts women from American stupidity? They are as easily bamboozled as men, concerned only with chromosomes, the Y chrome she doesn't have and the extra chromosome crammed in her baby. Yeah, that is the best thing she has going for her for America as a whole, her ill-named Down Syndrome infant. (Fuckin' baby-boomers and ther cutsie-wootzy baby names. The baby is named Trig, short for Trigger I assume, not trigonometry, which the Governer may or may not think exists). One of the most glaring lies told in her acceptance speech was that "special needs" children and families would have a voice in Washington. Of course a little fact check will show that she slashed Alaska's special needs family budget from 8 million annually to 3 million. So actually, they wouldn't have a voice, just a V.P. with a fifth retarded kid. Another non-political issue, her 17 daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. I'm way cool with that. Shit happens, almost happened to me alot! (Praise Allah it never did and I never had to make a CHOICE.) Does it make her a bad V.P.? No, but here's the thing. She knew she was pregnant, she knew the world would find out and judge her, right or wrong for it. My mom would not do that to me. Any good mother would not do that to their kids. A good mother would at some point start practicing birth control so they don't have over-forty year old pregnancies that frequently result in Down Syndrome babies. And, one would assume that a good mother would not cut funding for young at-risk pregnant women like Palin did as governer of Alsaka. Do you have to be a good mom to be a good V.P.? Clearly not, but whether you are a politician or a line cook, if you're a hypocrite, your oppinion is devalued, and someone who harps about what a family woman she is while exposing her daughter to negative world-wide scrutiny is not a good family woman, and a hypocrite, and a lier. The U.S. doesn't know much about Palin. I've been watching her old gubernatorial debates on C-Span and I can not understand how she got elected at all. She sits wedged between two men who are eloquent, kind, and people-minded and she gets eaten alive by the moderators, every question coming down to hunting and fishing rights, no gay marraige, no abortion, no stem cell research. She looked fucking bush league (no pun intended), yet somehow won. It must be the tits. Yeah, I'm not sexist, I got my eyes open and know how people are. (That is that most American men have no taste in women and this busty moron is right up their alley. Seriously, you can get a hot girl that is also smart, funny, and well-rounded, but you sell yourselves short, boys.) It's those same neo-con values and tits that she brought into her only interaction with the American people, if you can call them that, her Vice Presidential acceptance speech. I have never witnessed someone so belittling of American ideals in my life, and I am a punk rocker. Without details, the speech went, "Greeting, lies, sarcasm, lies, horrible joke, lies, sarcasm, condescention, lies, lies, lies, lies, God Bless America!" A few specific lies? That Obama would raise American's taxes. nope, just those making over 250,000 anually. That Republican's want to explore alternative energy sources. nope, she is previously quoted as saying "I disagree with any candidate who says we can't drill our way out of our problem." Genius! That Iran will cut off twenty percent of our energy supply. nope, not unless Iran wants to go bankrupt. That she will reform and join McCain in his anti-earmark platform. nope, she's the opposite of reform, leading the earmarked money per-populace race in America. She lied about her lame-ass luxury jet on e-bay joke. What really happened was she tried and couldn't sell it on e-bay so she ended up selling the 37 million dollar jet for 31 million to a private elite Alaska/Russia hunting company, costing Alaska six million for no reason to fly wealthy dowagers over to Russia to hunt endangered species. Yup, she also wants to remove Kodiak Bears from the endangered species list to please her hunting lobbyists. On Iraq she pleads ignorance, yes ignorance, except for the fact that she knows that it is a mission from God. Ms. Palin, I know Joliet Jake, I sang with Joliet Jake, and Ms. Palin, you are no Joliet Jake. Need more? She does not believe that global warming is man made. Do you? You better or you are an idiot. Read something, anything. I'm from Wilmington, I can show you the creek where global warming started! She is tied in with a pro-secession Alaskan movement, just like the party of Lincoln should do, wishes to ban books from libraries and fired the head librarian who wouldn't play ball. Abusing power like her corporate masters, firing the Chief of Police for not firing her ex-brother in law, voting against her mother-in-law for her mayoral position, these are all Simon Greely-esque actions of a cartoonish corporate villian, not an American Vice President. well maybe a lot like one American Vice President. Worse perhaps than the lies was the condescention. With a perfect "I know better than you do, sweetie" sarcasm she belittled Obama, volunteer social civil work, and America. She snarked, "Well, I guess a small town mayor is kind of like a community organizer, except they have actual responsibilities." This was the second most disgusting part of the speech. She single handedly, single sentencedly belittled every grass roots activist accomplishment that American has ever known, including the work of my man Dr. Martin Luthor King Jr. and all of his ilk which have worked within and without the government if nesacary to achieve positive change in our country, and what's more, she did not state a single responsibility she had as a small town mayor. If you aren't disgusted enough, she went on to spit in the face of habeas corpus, one of the most essential rights dealing with due process in U.S. law, claiming that Obama is more worried that someone won't get their rights read to them than national security. The neo-com crowd rallied around these anti-American sentiments, cementing the image of people who are more concerned with personal bluster and agenda than American law and order.

After this speech, Palin refused to talk with the media. This is a new neo-con tactic. Say the media is out of line in bringing up questions of credibility for the position because they also discuss her daughter's pregnancy. Palin is clearly anti-free speech, anti-informed voters, but why? John McCain refused to appear on moderate CNN's Larry King Live because he claimed King was too hard on Republican dude Tucker Bounds. Bounds says King and CNN were fair and not at all out of line, but that is McCain's story and he's sticking to it. Traditionally presidential and vice presidential candidates appear on weekly Sunday morning talk shows to be grilled and get their platforms discussed. Palin is disallowed with her campaign saying they will only do what is in the best interests of their winning. They admit that Palin discussing her position, history, etc. will be detrimental to a Republican victory, so they won't do it, and the right is cool with that, because they know all they need to know: anti-abortion, wedge driven, let's vote. NO!! If she doesn't talk, she doesn't get anything. Don't let them trick you into a vote. She is not a woman, she is a neo-conservative. She is not a mother, she is a neo-conservative. She is not an American, she is a neo-conservative. What is the difference between George Bush and Sarah Palin? The lipstick.

So what role does the media play? A huge one. A well educated populace is key to a healthy republic. There a several ways to break down reporting styles. There is conservative media, liberal media, and genuine moderate media. Moderate media is largely useless, reporting on talking points of both sides and whatever scandals are mainstream enough to go with. My local paper, the News Journal is pretty moderate, but ran by idiots who can't seem to do anything right, giving semi-hashed stories and not accomplishing anything at all. Conservative media would like to tell the truth, but in being conservative and supporting that agenda they are predisposed towards lying. Bill O'Reilly and Laura Ingrahm are the two biggest traitors to America within the media, proporting lies and slander as fact, hiding in plain sight, screaming fair and balanced while practicing skewed and one-sided. By the way this in NOT my oppinion, this is fact, I checked it out, so can you. Mainstream liberal media is wholly represented by MSNBC which is unashamedly anti-neo-con in Republican clothing. You get a great version of the truth from Keith Olbermann, but his humorous style and truth telln' make him a target for the right. One of the best places for real news is in fact www.huffingtonpost.com, in which the so-called liberal side, i.e. the truth, facts and fact checks, uninterupted by right wing spin. Of course, you must examine what there is in the way of on-line right wing news as well, that is those who honestly, innocently hold the religion near and dear and believe what they believe, but will not be spoon-fed lies by people with agendas, those who dispise abortion yet realize the government's proper role in the debate, that of man's law, not god's.

Please remember this, as an American citizen and voter, these reportings of the truth (which one could see as attacks) are not against you. You are not the ones doing the manipulating, and you can always chose to not be manipulated. The conservative wing in America houses master manipulators, philosophers gone bad, people who know how to make information appear in a way that said information makes you think a certain way about seemingly unconnected ideas. They exploit your beliefs and values in a way that co-opts American legislation. They are taking advantage of the fact that you don't know the truth, don't know how the system works, don't think your vote counts. Think hard, cast off ideas that bind you, be free, make a well-informed decision, and then please do what Steve Rogers would do.


Execution

Gacy was imprisoned at the Menard Correctional Center in Illinois for almost a decade and a half, appealing the sentence and offering contradictory statements on the murders in interviews. 

Though he had confessed, Gacy later denied being guilty of the charges and had a 900 telephone number set up with a 12-minute recorded statement declaring his innocence.

As both anti-death penalty forces and those in favor of the execution made their opinions known, Gacy died by lethal injection on May 10, 1994, at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois.


Monday, March 10, 2014

[005] THE KOCH-RED STATE PLANTATION - ALEC, AFP, NRA Affiliated PAC’s, Oil, Coal, Utility, Pharma, Insurance, Tobacco, Ag, Food and War Profiteer Corp’s, CEO’s and Billionaire’s Deep Stat

MUCKETY is the "Best Of" Website for "Graphically" outing Right Wing Activists and D.C. Think-Tank Wolf PAC's Cabal, as this prime example of their work illustrates

68 RIGHT-WING PAC’s & WARLORDS
<>
America’s Future Foundation
Action Institute for the study of Religion & Liberty
American Legislative Exchange Council
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
(Grover Norquist - Taxpayer Pledge …to the Uber Rich)
Atlantic Legal Foundation
Bill of Rights Institute
Cato Institute
Center for Security Policy
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
Citizens for a Sound Economy
Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Council for National Policy
David H Koch Charitable Foundation
Donors Capital Fund
Donors Trust
Exxon Mobil Corp.
Fred C. & Mary R. Koch Foundation
Free Congress Foundation
FreedomWorks
George Mason University Foundation
Goldwater Institute
Heritage Action for America
Heritage Foundation
Independence Institute
Independent Women’s Forum
Institute for Justice
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Knowledge and Progress Fund
Koch Industries
Koch Industries annual conference
Leadership Institute
Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Mercatus Center
Mont Pelerin Society
Mountain States Legal Foundation
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility & Reform
National Taxpayers Union
Pacific Research Institute
Person A/ Dick Armey
Person B/ William Bennett – Frmr POTUS Reagan Ed Secretary (R)
Person C/ Thomas A Coburn – U.S. Senator ALABAMA, *AL
Person D/ James W. DeMint – C.E.O. Heritage Foundation,
Former U.S. Senator (R-*SC), SOUTH CAROLINA,
Person J/ Bobby Jindal – LOUISIANA Governor, *LA,
Person K/ Charles G. Koch
Person K/ David H. Koch
Person K/ Fred C. Koch
Person P/ J. Arthur Pope – (R), NORTH CAROLINA Billionaire, *NC
Person P/ Mike Pence – INDIANA Governor (2012 - Now),
Former U.S. Rep. (R-*IN),
Person S/ Antonin Scalia – Supreme Court Justice
Person S/ Richard Mellon Scaife
Person T/ Clarence Thomas – Supreme Court Justice
Person T/ Virginia L. Thomas
(Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, Liberty Central)
Person W/ Paul M. Weyrich
Reason Foundation
Republican Study Committee
Roe Foundation
Sarah Scaife Foundation
Searle Freedom Trust
State Policy Network
Tax Foundation
William E. Simon Foundation
Young America’s Foundation



BETTER LINK ACTIVATION HERE ↓
[005] Forbes 400 King’s and Koch’s Political Action Committees
(a Word Press Link-Share Blog) https://goo.gl/YdDS3V

[005] THE KOCH-RED STATE PLANTATION - ALEC, AFP, NRA Affiliated PAC’s, Oil, Coal, Utility, Pharma, Insurance, Tobacco, Ag, Food and War Profiteer Corp’s, CEO’s and Billionaire’s Deep State

[GOOGLE Version: Political Action Committee, ALEC (Part 1), Americans For Prosperity, Donors Trust, Fix The Debt, Peter Peterson, State Policy Network, SPN, Heritage Foundation, Heartland Institute, Cato Institute, FreedomWorks, Art Pope, Liberty Central, Ginni Thomas]

USA political education by investigative journalists, talk hosts & activists
Creative Commons referenced news journal articles, opinions & podcasts
[WORD PRESS Version: A.L.E.C.. ALEC, Americans For Prosperity, Americans For Tax Reform, Art Pope, Astroturf Tea Party, Ayn Rand, Bank of America, Bradley Foundation, Cato Institute, Charles Koch, Citigroup, Crossroads GPS, David Koch, Donors Trust, Federal Reserve Bank, Fix The Debt, FreedomWorks, Ginni Thomas, Goldman Sachs, Grover Norquist, Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Karl Rove, Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Libertarian, Libertarian Think Tanks, Liberty Central, MacIver Institute, Monsanto, National Rifle Association, NRA, Peter Peterson, Political Action Committee, Republican, SPN, State Policy Network, Tea Bagger, Walmart, Walton’s, Wells Fargo]

♣ Word Press blog (Please DO Copy/Paste/Share Links in frat-twin blogs)
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http://greenenvscithr.com/2013/12/29/politicalactioncommittee-alec-americansforprosperity-donors-trust-fixthedebt-peterpeterson-statepolicynetwork-spn-heritage-heartland-freedomworks-artpope-libertycentral-ginni-thomas-20dangerousneocons/ > QR

♣ Word Press blog ↓ wp.me/goo.gl Short-links | Related blog links ↓ |
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[005] Forbes 400 King’s and Koch’s Political Action Committees
(a Word Press Link-Share Blog) https://goo.gl/YdDS3V
http://wp.me/p2YrR0-1u [003] [006] [ 017] [ 039] [040] [ 041]

♣ Google blog: better “Link Activation” W.P. blog ↑|Updated: 07-02-17
(^^^)
http://greenenvscithrblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2014/03/005g-corp-wolf-pacs-of-wall-street.html > QR

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376.7K ac/194Pages/630Links
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Forbes 400 King Billionaire Anarchists-666 ELFKU -102|“ A.L.E.C. ” the un-“ American Legislative (& Judicial Judas) Exchange Council ” is a flying-monkey corporate think-tank and Forbes 400 King’s legislative bill-mill.
States Ethics Panel Speakers of the House (Rotunda Ruby Slippers)
(^^^)
"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: State Legislatures and ALEC (HBO)”

@LastWeekTonight, , 11-02-14, YT, 17:17 _ @iamjohnoliver
< https://goo.gl/bCmWvA

WIND ENERGY HARPOONED: Capitalism, Corporations, Billionaires, Political Action Committees Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Nuclear Industry, Propaganda, Attacking Renewable Wind Turbines, Corp Movement Protesting Wind Farms
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“Shocking New Oil Propaganda Plan To Fool Americans”

Shawn Lawrence Otto/@thehuffpost_, , 05-08-12 _
< https://goo.gl/MsyNpO
>###(04-17)*EF*FK3###*CopyPasteShare↑CreativeCommonsEDU B|
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Brendan Fischer /@prwatch , , 09-30-15 _
< http://www.prwatch.org/node/12945

-//- SPN Budget Proposals (2013), Original Doc. (PDF) (via @guardian )
"Searle Tax and Budget Grant Proposals"

State Policy Network, 07-29-13
<<>>
Alabama *AL (p.7), Alabama Policy Institute
Arkansas *AR (p.8), Advance Arkansas Institute
Arizona *AZ (p.9), Goldwater Institute for Public Policy
Colorado *CO (p.10), Independence Institute
Delaware *DE (p.11), Caesar Rodney Institute
Florida *FL (p.12), James Madison Institute
Georgia *GA (p.13), Georgia Center for Opportunity
Illinois *IL (p.15), Illinois Policy Institute
Kansas *KS (p.16), Kansas Policy Institute
Kentucky *KY (p.17), Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions
Massachusetts *MA (p.18), Beacon Hill Institute
Maryland *MD (p.20), Maryland Public Policy Institute
Maine *ME (p.21), Maine Heritage Policy Center
Michigan *MI (p.22), Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Minnesota *MN (p.23), Center for the American Experiment
Missouri *MO (p.24), Show-me Institute
Mississippi *MS (p.25), Mississippi Center for Public Policy
North Carolina *NC (p.26), John Locke Foundation
Nebraska *NE (p.28), Platte Institute for Economic Research
New Hampshire *NH (p.29), Joshua Bartlett Center for Public Policy
New Jersey *NJ (p.30), Common Sense Institute of New Jersey
New Mexico *NM (p.31), Rio Grande Foundation
Nevada *NV (p.32), Nevada Policy Institute
New York *NY (p.33), Empire Center for New York State Policy
Ohio *OH (p.34), Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions
Oklahoma (p.36), Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
Oregon *OR (p.37), Cascade Policy Institute
Pennsylvania *PA (p.38), Commonwealth Foundation
South Carolina *SC (p.39), South Carolina Policy Council
Tennessee *TN (p.40), Beacon Center Tennessee
Texas *TX (p.41), Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute
Utah *UT (p.43), Sutherland Institute
Virginia *VA (p.44), Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy
Washington *WA (p.45), Freedom Foundation
(^^^)
"Searle Tax and Budget Grant Proposals" (PDF 07-29-13)

@guardian, _
< https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/842271-spn-budget-proposals-state-by-state.html
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IGRPP >
(^^^)
"How Ohio Pulled $4 Billion+ from Communities and Redistributed It Upwards"

David Akadjian/@dailykos, 02-26-14 _
< https://goo.gl/QK1H5c
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BrendanKeefeMMJ, , 05-20-15, YT, 06:31 _
< https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=91&v=6MHYOB5uptc
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Katie Heinz/The Indy Channel, 07-29-16, Vid., 1:38 < https://goo.gl/4eaLGk
American Legislative Exchange Council, @wikipedia https://goo.gl/Weqio3

[005] Forbes 400 King’s and Koch’s Political Action Committees
https://goo.gl/YdDS3V

MITCH MC CONNELL BLOCKED MERRICK GARLAND: HERE’S WHY
(^^^) "Mitch McConnell Faces Backlash After Audio Leaked From Secret Koch Meeting"

Scott Gaudinier/Liberty Voice, , 09-02-14 < https://goo.gl/iVihd6 @SenateMajLdr @McConnell Press @GOP
Merrick B. Garland, @wikipedia, < https://goo.gl/OlQvzy

-//- "At a secret strategy meeting for millionaire and billionaire donors hosted by the Koch brothers, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlines his agenda should Republicans take control of the Senate in November."
(^^^) "EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: Mitch McConnell's Senate Agenda”

The Undercurrent, , 08-26-14, YT, 1:32 _
@SenateMajLdr @McConnell Press @GOP < https://goo.gl/Avv0V6
Mitch McConnell-Koch Donor Summit, 082614, 23:11 https://goo.gl/nS46s1

(^^^) "Obama Just Singled Out Mitch McConnell As The Culprit of 'Do-Nothing' Congress"

Lou Colagiovanni/@OccupyDemocrats, 10-04-16 < https://goo.gl/ZgtSQG

KOCH’S Tea Party billionaire cabal is an organized 4th Branch of Government which has final say over Federal and Red-State lawmaking or law breaking.
<<>>
Keith Olbermann/@MSNBC Countdown and Matt Taibbi/@RollingStone, Author, Book: “Griftopia” 󈧍 (covers financial crash causes & Koch Tea Party origins)
<<>>
Koch Brother’s Meeting at Palm Springs, CA – “ addressing threats to American Free Enterprise & Prosperity” Goal: “develop Strategies To Counter The Most Severe Threats Facing Our Free Society…”
<<>>
Americans 4 (Trickle-Down) Prosperity P.A.C., Guest Of Honor include:
Philip Anschutz (Justice Neil Gorsuch backer)
Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas & Antonin Scalia
<<>>
Rep. Mike Pence ( R*IN) @VP @mike_pence @GovPenceIN
Rep Tom Price (R*GA) @RepTomPrice
GOP KochTea Rep. Paul Ryan (R*WI) @SpeakerRyan @PRyan
<<>>
David Chavern – C.O.O. non-U.S. Chamber of Commerce Stephen Bechtel
Gov. Haley Barbour (R*MS), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R*LA), Sen. Jim DeMint (R*SC), Sen. Tom Coburn (R*OK)
Stephen Schwartzman – Hedge Fund CEO Amway, Home Depot, Fox News & all these Think-Tanks
Glenn Beck Address

“Is America On The Road To Serfdom” @FoxNews
(^^^) "Koch-Topus" @mtaibbi @Koch_Industries @CKinstitute @AFP

tigerone1970, , 10-25-10, YT, 6:59 < https://goo.gl/Ftx8q

(^^^) ”Olbermann: The Kochtopus” (Duplicate, Backup)

videosift(.)com, , 10-20-10, Video, 6:59 < https://goo.gl/KoWiYr

(^^^) “Olbermann Discusses the Koch Brothers & Their Extremist Corporate Agenda” (Duplicate, Backup)

Velvet Revolution, , 10-21-10, YT, 7:04 https://goo.gl/3MZ0YK
Koch Watch , < http://www.kochwatch.org

-//- “Koch Brothers” Tea Party Billionaire Cabal is an organized 4th Branch of Government which has final say over Federal and Red-State lawmaking or law breaking.
<<>>
Palm Springs Koch Cabal, JustaSSes Scalia & Thomas Attending
<<>>
KOCH A.L.E.C. PALM SPRINGS MEETING, RANCHO LAS PALMAS RESORT, RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA JANUARY 30-31, 2011, KOCH AGENDA, CLIMATE DENIAL
<<>>
“To encourage new participants, Mr. Koch offers to waive the $1,500 registration fee. And he notes that previous guests have included Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court, Gov. Haley Barbour and Gov. Bobby Jindal, Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, and Representatives Mike Pence ( @VP @mike_pence @GovPenceIN ), Tom Price (@RepTomPrice), and Paul D. Ryan ( @SpeakerRyan @PRyan) .”
<<>>
“Koch Brothers” Funded Astroturf Tea Party Movement features attentive shock-collared sheep. The 4 th Branch of Government Billionaire’s Cabal Palm Springs Koch Qaeda Cabal, JustaSSes Scalia & Thomas Attending, Naming Names
<<>>
Letter From Charles Koch, Climate Change Alarmism, Gov’t Growth
"a presentations on 'microtargeting' to identify like-minded [idiot] voters . featuring Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity, the political action group founded by the Kochs in 2004. "
<<>>
Attendees and Presenters include: Glenn Beck, John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman, Ken Griffin, Phil Anschutz, Rich DeVos… Betsy DeVos: Education Secretary @BetsyDeVos , Steve Bechtel, Kenneth Langone, Foster Friess, Fred Malek and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and "Nancy Pfotenhauer and Annie Dickerson, who also runs a foundation for Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive. "
<<>>
"Koch Industries, a Wichita-based energy and manufacturing conglomerate run by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, operates a foundation that finances political advocacy groups, but tax law protects those groups from having to disclose much about what they do and who contributes."
(^^^) "Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead" @Koch_Industries

Kate Zernike/@nytimes, , 10-19-10 < https://goo.gl/fepPpG

“Oil billionaire and health industry big wigs” Stephen Bechtel, Philip Anschutz, David Chavern – COO (NON) U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Glenn Beck – FOX News address “Is America On The Road To Serfdom?”
<<>>
Past attendees were Gov. Haley Barbour (R*MS) and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R*LA), Senators Jim DeMint (R*SC) and Tom Coburn (R*OK), Representatives Mike Pence (R*IN) @VP @mike_pence @GovPenceIN , Tom Price (R*GA) @RepTomPrice, and Paul Ryan (R*WI) @SpeakerRyan @PRyan , Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas
(^^^) “Koch Brothers Palm Springs Gathering Draws Billionaires”

@thehuffpost_, , 01-28-11 _
@Koch_Industries < https://goo.gl/KlqXMF

TEA PARTY & THE RIGHT-WING
"The news that justices Scalia and Thomas have attended Koch strategy sessions is adding to the growing buzz over a planned demonstration against the billionaires."
(^^^) "Koch Brothers Feel the Heat In DC, as Broad Coalition Readies Creative Action to Quarantine the Billionaires Gathering in California Desert"

Don Hazen/@AlterNet, 01-26-11 _
< https://goo.gl/i9eJy5

(^^^) "Alito, Thomas Headlined Political Fundraisers Chaired By Leading Right-Wing Donor Paul Singer"

@lhfang/ Center For American Progress/@thinkprogress, , 01-26-11 < https://goo.gl/P44r2m

(^^^) "At a right-wing political fundraiser, Alito says SOTU is too 'political'"

TP Clips 6, , 01-25-11, YT, 2:51 https://youtu.be/eHEkWjBMuiE

KOCH CONFERENCE 2014: Billionaires, AFP – Americans for (Koch & billionaire) Prosperity, Freedom Partners
(^^^) "The Koch Brothers Left a Confidential Document at Their Last Donor Conference—Read It Here"

Matt Taibbi, 2009 (financial meltdown & Tea Party explained),
<<>>
David Koch is caught orchestrating the Tea Party Summit at an Americans 4 (Trickle-Down) Prosperity Event. He had previously denied the affiliation and the funding. David Koch is exposed as a LIAR!
<<>>
Goals… “Like leading the charge to repeal health care reform and continue the climate change denial crusade” …Elimination of Public Schools
“They are happily campaigning and almost adoring candidates who explicitly campaign on things that totally undermine that future… specifically their group.”
Tea Party “They’re gonna believe what they wanna believe.”
“But the reality is that these people are just going to turn around and give their votes to the same Republican Party that got them upset in the first place. And it’s just going to turn into an endless cycle of non-action, incompetence, despair, and more anger.”
“If we sell this thing correctly they will come into the cages by themselves.”
<<>>
(min 06:05) “The Tea Party is a real grass roots movement in some respects. And I think there are people like (D.C. Think-Tank/Political Action Committee CEO’s) Dick Army (CEO – Freedom Works), Karl Rove (CEO – American Crossroads & Crossroads GPS), and the Koch Brothers who saw an said we have to get a piece of this and corral it. And they’ve done that. I think they’ve effectively appropriated the movement.”
(^^^) “Countdown: Keith Olbermann & Matt Taibbi Discuss How Corps Are Behind The ‘Tea Party’ Scam”

-//- "Matt Taibbi takes down the far-right monster and the corporate insiders who created it."
(^^^) "The Truth About the Tea Party"

@mtaibbi/@RollingStone, , 09-28-10 _
@AFP @Koch_Industries @CKinstitute < https://goo.gl/CTNk8q
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The American Audacity: An American Politics and Foreign Policy Political Blog, , 03-18-14 < https://goo.gl/7YYB2l
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@prwatch , @sourcewatch/@EXPOSEDbyCMD, , 10-01-12, YT, 31:54 < https://goo.gl/u1nMUw

(^^^) “Thom Hartmann: The Secrets of ALEC Exposed”

@Thom_Hartmann/Big Picture @RT_America, , w/Lisa Graves /@ALEC Exposed @prwatch, (Subscriber Supported Investigative Journalism>, 07-21-11, YT, 10:08 < https: //goo.gl/jInMAk

A.L.E.C. the un-American Legislative (& Judicial Judas) Exchange Council
GOP Corruption Since 1973, 300+ Corporations Buying State Legislators
<<>>
A.L.E.C. Pushed 826 Bills Introduced in 2009/115 Enacted Into Law, Filling Private Prisons, CCA Corporation
(^^^) “Democracy For Sale” @Koch_Industries @CKinstitute #ALEC

@Lawrence O 'Donnell/@MSNBC with Andrew Gill/ P.F.A.W. /@peoplefor, , 05-17-11, Video, 6:11 < https://goo.gl/6lIRvm

A.L.E.C.: Model Corporate Legislation Written For State Legislators
(^^^) “Inside ALEC, The Koch-Funded Group Behind Right-Wing State Laws”

Beau Hodai /@AlterNet, , 07-13-11 < https: //goo.gl/hwSz09

(^^^) “This shadowy organization has played and extraordinary role in shaping pro-corporate legislation in a number of states.”

Bill Berkowitz /@AlterNet, , 03-31-11 < https: //goo.gl/0X2R96

(^^^) "Corporations Which Have Cut Ties to ALEC" @ALECexposed

@sourcewatch/@EXPOSEDbyCMD, _ _ www.sourcewatch.org
American Legislative Exchange Council, @wikipedia https://goo.gl/5XceUe
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ROF
(^^^)
"Republican Governors Fulfill Billionaire Wishlist"

@americaslawyer, Mike Papantonio, @ringoffireradio, , 07-15-15, YT, 8:28 _ **
< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmcCTBU1mg8

(^^^)
"Republican Governors Fulfill Billionaire Wishlist"

@ringoffireradio, 07-15-15 _
< http://www.ringoffireradio.com/2015/07/republican-governors-fulfill-billionaire-wishlist/

(^^^)
"Blazing Saddles 1974 Ping Pong”

MeadowsRay's channel, , 07-27-12, YT, 3:26 _
< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XfqlbFvGN8&ebc
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@prwatch , , 07-07-15 < https://goo.gl/Eaplrj
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-//- "American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) begins its expansion into local municipalities and counties with its new arm, the American City County Exchange (ACCE)"
(^^^)
"Can a New 'Progressive ALEC' Advance Effective Police Reform Through Municipal Governments?"

Christa Marshall /ClimateWire/@nytimes, , 04-01-11 _ **
< https://goo.gl/oCLcpe
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Marcus S. Owens – Director, Exempt Organizations Division, Internal Revenue Service, 1990-2000 - Voters Legislative Transparency Project, vltp.net, , 07-02-12 _
< https://goo.gl/TW8ylG
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@Thom_Hartmann/The Big Picture RT, w/Jane Carter, American Fed. of State, County &Municipal Employees (AFSCME), , 12-04-14, YT, 8:21 _
< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP8CRStGCj4&feature=youtu.be
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Peter Henderson/@Reuters, , 05-17-12 _
< https://goo.gl/rVFLK3

(^^^)
"The Koch Brothers And Republican Party Have Just Joined Forces To Track Voters"

Josh Israel/@thinkprogress, 08-28-14 _
< https://goo.gl/616Te4
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Brendan Fischer /@prwatch , , 12-05-14 < https://goo.gl/bO6kJs
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Cora Currier/ @ProPublica/@AlterNet, 03-25-12https://goo.gl/7yjfGN

(^^^)
󈬇 Other States Have ‘Stand Your Ground Laws, Too”

Cora Currier/ @ProPublica /Atlantic Wire, 03-14-12 < https://goo.gl/EjlMSJ

(^^^)
"Another look at the group behind ‘Stand Your Ground’" *

Laurie Bennett/ @Muckety, , 07-14-13 < https://goo.gl/5JZlOj
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Jonas Persson /@prwatch , 07-23-15 _
< http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/32026-alec-admits-school-vouchers-are-for-kids-in-suburbia
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Dartagnan/@dailykos, 08-03-15 _
< http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/08/04/1408551/-ALEC-Crawls-Out-From-Under-Its-Rock-To-Declare-War-On-The-Rest-Of-Us
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Nick Surgey/Common Cause/ @prwatch , , 01-31-12 _
< http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/02/11275/alec-exposed-24-hours
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…FDA
Monsanto has 40 former executives in the FDA and USDA
<<>>
A.L.E.C. – American Legislative Exchange Council is actively narrowing health options and passing state level legislation to limit wrongful death settlements for toxic drugs and faulty medical devices …nationwide
Bush Medicare D “full price” Drug Law, a giveaway for Drug Industry Conventional U.S. Health Care System and Pharmaceutical Industry is rewarded and profiting off of disease
“That is a nation of medical parasites.”
(min 16:45) Natural supplements… Vitex 750, Squaw Vine, Passion Flower, and Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) for Hot Flashes
Food Safety and Modernization Act
<<>>
FDA, a rogue agency, receives 40% of their budget from Drug Companies
English Law, 1546 Herbalist’s Charter, tradition of healing with herbs and nutrition Laws were adopted by the U.S. Constitution unless modified
U.S. “Rockefeller Medicine closed down other schools …promoted surgery, drugs, and radiation” …FDA started 1930’s
𔄘 deaths from supplements as long as the CDC has been keeping track” Dietary Health and Supplement Act 1994, grandfathered all that existed
<<>>
New World Order, Codex Alemantarius – International Food Code
“What has interested me over the years, in attending Codex meetings, is the FDA is one of the major controllers of policy.”
“Whatever the U.S. wants, pretty much Codex goes along with. And what does the U.S. want. The U.S. wants what Big-Agri, Big-Chem, Big-Pharma, Big-Biotech, and Big-Medica want.”
(min 1:18:00) Codex Ailmentarius: Worldwide “Trade Restrictions” on Nutritional Supplements WTO World Trade Org. enforces Codex Rules:
SPS - Sanitary Phyto-Sanitary Measures
GATT – General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947
(Technical Barriers To Trade Agreement)
CAFTA - Central American Free Trade Agreement
NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement RTSs
FTAA - Free Trade Area of the Americas
(TRIPS – Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights)
<<>>
“The Union of Concerned Scientists did a survey of scientists at the FDA, and 40% said that they were afraid to warn the public about public health hazards due to fear of retaliation.”
<<>>
(min 1:36:00) FDA, Dr. Graham Congressional Committee Testimony****
G.E. Whistleblower Fired – Eva Czerska, M.D. (General Electric Employee) knew of a Dangerous G.E. medical device She contacted Congress, Office of Special Council, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on private email
<<>>
(min 1:39:45) “Drug companies are not here to bring us health but to scam us for vast amounts of money, by treating symptoms and not addressing the cause.”

Sir William Oster, M.D. (1849 – 1919) [END OF NARRATIVE]
<<>>
[A.L.E.C. sponsors Libertarian Anarchist’s Sock-Puppet School for fireballer-imitating dominionist Legislators, (who administer Red-State Government Munchhausen by proxy), from “The 4TH Branch” …Regional Economic Warlords, Wall Street Hell-Boys, and the Greedy of Forbes 400 Kings]
(^^^)
"WAR ON HEALTH The FDA's Cult of Tyranny" @drgarynull,

David Wayne, , 07-05-12, YT, 2:05:13 _
< REMOVED For Copyright Infringement/See “Narrative & Notes” (above)
(^^^)
"War on Health - Gary Null's documentary exposing the FDA" (w/o)

(^^^) "The Greatest Medical Fraud in History - The Pain, Profit and Politics of AIDS"

(^^^) "ALEC should be required to register as a lobbyist"

Cap Times/Editorial, , 02-17-12 _
< http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/editorial/alec-should-be-required-to-register-as-a-lobbyist/article_27cc7963-7fa4-590e-b4df-5e63ec48152d.html
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Pres. of the Alamo City Republican Women’s Club, 1993
[A.L.E.C. orchestrates Libertarian Anarchist’s Sock-Puppet School for Fireballer-Imitating Dominionist Legislators, (who administer Red-State Government Munchhausen by proxy), from “The 4TH Branch” Economic Class Warlords, Wall Street Hell-boys or the Greedy of Forbes 400 Kings]
(^^^)
“The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party” “Taking Over the Republican Party”

Robert Fitrakis/Free Press/@AlterNet, , 08-07-15 _
< http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/10-reasons-why-john-kasich-rabidly-right-wing-rest-gop-presidential-candidate-pack
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Carol King/Ms.blog Magazine, , 03-14-10 < https://goo.gl/s3IxwK

-//- State Law ". make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage, and make induced abortion a crime in some instances."
(^^^) "Utah Bill Criminalizes Miscarriage"

Rachel Larris/RH Reality Check, , 02-20-10 < https://goo.gl/pvjLaz
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-//- “A conservative multimillionaire has taken control in North Carolina, one of 2012’s top battlegrounds."
(^^^)
"State for Sale"

-//- “Pope . spent years building a massive conservative infrastructure in the state (NC) in the mold of the national network funded by the billionaire Koch brothers."
(^^^)
"Art Pope, Koch Brothers Ally, Picked To Run North Carolina Budget"

ALECexposed, _
< http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed?mid=53
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(Thank You) Pat_ K.
<<>>
Koch Industries business activity includes: oil, chemicals, mining, timber, paper, cattle, meat, and slaughtering government for profit. Worth $50 billion each, they own Kansas, Wisconsin, Indiana and the whole Teahad Confederacy outright. Silver sperm babies, Chucky & Davie, inherited significant wealth from daddie Fred, (who made his fortune exploiting Russian oil resources for Totalitarian Mass Murder Joseph Stalin). Cash-Daddie also put up posters (in Dallas, TX) calling for the death of J.F.K. in 1961 along with fellow 1% psychopath J.B. Hunt. Fred Co-Founded the fascist and racist John Birch Society.
<<>>
The 2 rotten sibling psychopaths “didn’t fall far from the tree.” Chucky and Davie sponsor a plethora of far-right-wing Political Action Committees - P.A.C.’s, Think Tanks, the Koch Tea Party and Fox Newes-For-Ewes. The Koch’s own a Hedge Fund that speculates in the same commodities they sell, in order to drive up the price, (an outcome of Republican Bill and Law Gramm-Leach-Bliley Commodities “Modernization” Act of 2000 …which deregulated Big Banks, combining real estate mortgage banks and speculative investment banks in the Wall Street Casino) . The Kochs park oil in tankers, filled at lower prices, until the price fluctuates to the up side (because of speculation).
<<>>
Davie & Chucky each cleared $5 Billion in 󈧍, the bottom of the U.S. Recession. They sponsor Bi-Annual Libertarian Millionaire Billionaire King-Meetings to organize wealth against the lower classes, government, taxation, and regulation. This cabal or coalition buys US Legislators and Judges Outright. @Koch_Industries @CKinstitute @AFPhq @FreedomWorks
##
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@Thom_Hartmann/Big Picture RT_com, , 12-15-16, YT, 27:53 _
< https://goo.gl/KFlggc

LIAR BILLIONAIRE: Propaganda & Grievance Industry: Buying Politicians @NCSLorg
(^^^)
”Charles Koch Puzzled Everyone Hates Him” @SenateGOP @HouseGOP

@TheYoungTurks, , 11-03-15, YT, 17:24 _ @GOP @HouseFloor
@Koch_Industries @MSNBC @CKinstitute @AFP < https://goo.gl/Pn3kX9
@PRyan @SenateMajLdr @SenateFloor @freedomcaucus @CSGovts

(^^^)
”Koch Bros Tried To Shut Up Maddow, Bad Idea” @KyleKulinski

Secular Talk , , 01-06-14, YT, 6:58 https://goo.gl/dF00xK

[027] Election Fraud: Koch Crosscheck, A.L.E.C. Voter ID, Gerrymandering & E.V. Machine Hacks https://goo.gl/wp3fLD
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@SamSeder
(^^^) "Alex Jones Paid By The Koch Brothers?!"

@majorityfm,, 10-09-13 , 8:13 https://goo.gl/pXUrK8

KOCH INDUSTRIES CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTONS: Mostly to Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Wisconsin Republicans
2009 Federal Election Commission – Schedule B Itemized Disbursements
(^^^)
"Committee: Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (Koch PAC)"

Doc Query FEC < https://goo.gl/xGAhGn @Koch_Industries @CKinstitute

(^^^) "Back when the Kochs gave to Democrats …" @Koch_Industries (*DLC)

Byron Tau/@politico, , 03-19-14 < https://goo.gl/2eEDh9

(^^^) "The age of entitlement: how wealth breeds narcissism"

Anne Manne/@guardian, 07-07-14 < https://goo.gl/fpRc5X
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KOCH TAKEOVER, REPUBLICAN/T PARTY: Koch Tea Party, Karl Rove, Governor Scott Walker, Wall Street Democrats, Blue-Dogs, Right To Work, Taft-Hartley Populist, Pro-Labor, New Deal Democrats, Wall Street Financiers, Oligarchs, Control Presidency
<<>>
Governor Villains Republican/T Shutdown, Austerity, National Bankruptcy Walker, Kasich, Snyder, Brownback, Economic Populism v. Cultural Populism, Strategy Federal Subsidy Iowa, Senator Joanie Ernst, Plain Folks Technique Scott Brown, Pickup Truck, Volker Rule, Dodd-Frank 2010 Elizabeth Warren Permanent Republican/T, Austerity Dictatorship, Christian Fundamentalists, Holy Rollers, Southerners, Confederate States of America Nostalgics
<<>>
Republican/T Warmongers, Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Kelly Ayotte United Front Radio
<<>>
Republican/T Tax Reform, (tax cuts for the rich), Deregulation, Abolish Nation Labor Regulations Board, Cut Civil Rights Act of 1960’s, Election Laws, Voter I.D., Eliminate Early Voting, Harass Voters Supreme Court Control, Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Alito, Kennedy, Texas Voter Suppression Law, Racist Law Trade Unions, Counter Koch Machine
<<>>
Citizens (Corporate Citizens) United, Foreign Money, Export Import Bank Fascists, Wisconsin, Governor Walker, Gangs, Terror, Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder, American Fascism Obama, Weak President, Caving, Austerity, Foreign War, Permanent Austerity Dictatorship, Endless War, Reactionary Republican
<<>>
Divided Government, Seizing the Fed, Corporations, Tentacles of Wall Street, Henry Ford, Supporting Hitler Koch Brothers, Low Wage Economy, Underbid China High Value Economy Extractive Industries, Low Wage Reactionary Republican/T Party Political Oligarchy, Oligarchic Southern Mind, Rush Limbaugh, Hatred, Fear, Radicalism, Anti-Obama, Anti-Immigrant Party of National Sabotage Privatization, Predatory Use
<<>>
Minimum Wage Ballot Initiatives “The economic point of agreement is well to the left of the Democratic Party” Economic Populism
<<>>
Militant Reactionaries, Fred Koch, Mussolini, John Birch, Mormon Church
<<>>
< This audio is explains the 2014 status of the Republican/T Party and the Democratic Party. Tarpley apparently does not comprehend the urgency of responding to impending climate disaster, the 6 TH Extinction.

IGRPP >
<<>>
"Webster Griffin Tarpley (born 1946) is an American author, historian, economist, journalist and lecturer. He is not a member of any political party and a former member of the U.S. Labor Party."
(^^^)
"Webster Tarpley on Koch controlled Republican Party"

mengutimur, , 11-04-14, YT, 58:13 _
< https://goo.gl/ylguEi

FORBES 400 KING BILLIONAIRE ANARCHISTS: KOCH BROTHERS
Tea Party Billionaire Cabal is an organized 4 th Branch of Government which has final say over Federal and Red-State lawmaking or law breaking.
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"Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right" a book, by Jane Mayer
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"Well, what you have to understand is the Kochs have built kind of an assembly line to manufacture political change. And it includes think tanks, which produce papers. It includes advocacy groups that advocate for policies. And it includes giving money to candidates. And you put those three together, and they’ve pushed against doing anything about climate change on all those three fronts at once."

Jane Mayer
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(2010)"I then went down to a weekend meeting that the biggest Koch group was holding, Americans for Prosperity, in Austin, Texas, and there they were giving seminars to tea party members on how to organize."

JM
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"He (Charles Koch) was more preoccupied with becoming a kind of a radical economic libertarian, meaning that he wanted to get the government to just let businesses do what they wanted to do and let the free market rule America."

Jane Mayer
(^^^)
"Dark Money: Jane Mayer on How the Koch Bros. & Billionaire Allies Funded the Rise of the Far Right"

@democracynow/@JaneMayerNYer/@NewYorker, , 01-20-16, Video, 31:30 < http://www.democracynow.org/2016/1/20/dark_money_jane_mayer_on_how

KOCHS: Koch's are funding climate denial groups to the tune of $67 million.
"Koch Bro David Koch has spent more than $67 million to fund groups that deny the mountain of science documenting climate change."
(^^^)
"Hey there, Lowdowners"

WIND ENERGY HARPOONED: Capitalism, Corporations, Billionaires, Political Action Committees Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Nuclear Industry, Propaganda, Attacking Renewable Wind Turbines, Corp Movement Protesting Wind Farms
(^^^)
“Shocking New Oil Propaganda Plan To Fool Americans”

Shawn Lawrence Otto/@thehuffpost_, , 05-08-12 _
< https://goo.gl/MsyNpO

(^^^)
"Noam Chomsky: How Climate Change Became a 'Liberal Hoax'”

@thenation, , 01-24-11, YT, 21:49 _
@noamchomskyT < https://goo.gl/2fJV2e

(^^^)
"Bill McKibben: Why Climate Change Is the Most Urgent Challenge We Face" (After this 2011 talk, hell and high water events continued in the US.)


Dr Kate Lister – Good Vibrations…

Dr. Kate Lister is a researcher at Leeds Trinity University in historical attitudes to sexuality and sex work. She is the curator of the online project and popular Twitter account @WhoresofYore where she tweets the history of illicit sex and works to promote sex worker rights and challenge stigma to over 82,000 followers. The Whores of Yore project is unique in its aims to create a space for academics, artists, sex workers and activists to collect their research. Kate is on the board of the international sex work research hub, works with local charities who support sex workers in the UK. Kate has published on the history of media narratives around sex work, the history of menstruation and sexual violence in historical dramas.

I am sure you have heard this one Victorian doctors invented the vibrator to masturbate women to ‘hysterical paroxysm’ (orgasm) because they had developed repetitive strain injury in their fingers from manually rousing patients to multiple hysterical paroxyms. We love this story. I love this story. Hollywood loved this story so much that the 2011 film Hysteria was based on this story. So it is with a heavy heart that I have to tell you, this really is just a story. But, like all the best stories, there are flashes of truth in it. I will tread lightly and salvage as much as I can because I know how pervasive and popular this myth is. Not only is it much loved, it’s well established and is referenced in numerous texts, documentaries, online sources and has become part of our collective history. We love it because it goes straight to the hysterical heart of the Victorian sexual hypocrisy that we enjoy rolling our eyes at ‘did you know Victorian doctors were diddling female patients, but considered exposed table legs to be sexually obscene? So glad we’re not like that now!’ (Except the table legs thing is also myth, but that’s another post for another day.)

The root of the vulva massage theory is Rachel Maine’s book, The Technology of Orgasm (1999). Here, Maines hypotheses that doctors masturbated women to orgasm for health reasons, and that the vibrator was nothing short of a ‘God send’ for the physicians suffering from cramp in their index fingers. More than this, Maines makes the case that this practice can be traced back to Classical times. However, it has to be said that her evidence for medical vulva massage in the ancient World has been discredited, most notably by Professor Helen King (2011). It’s also important to remember that Maines herself refers to her argument as a hypothesis and to be fair, it’s a damn interesting one. In an online interview in 2010, Maine said,

‘People just loved my hypothesis and that’s all it is really, it’s a hypothesis, that women were treated with massage for this disease, hysteria, which has supposedly existed since the time of Hippocrates, 450 B.C., and that the vibrator was invented to treat this disease. Well, people just thought this was such a cool idea that people believe it, that it’s like a fact. And I’m like, ‘It’s a hypothesis! It’s a hypothesis!’. But it doesn’t matter, you know? People like it so much they don’t want to hear any doubts about it’ (Maines, 2011).

So, let’s unpack this hypothesis a little further. Make no mistake, Victorian doctors were obsessed with sex and health, and there were some highly questionable medical theories flying around from Dr Kellogg’s thoughts that masturbation was terminal, to Italian criminal anthropologist, Cesare Lombroso’s theories that sex workers had no sensation in their clitorises, as they had been rendered ‘insensible’ through ‘overuse’ (Lombroso et al., 2009). But the theory that Doctors invented vibrators to induce orgasm and cure hysteria is doubtful for a number of reasons.

Design of the ‘Granville Hammer’ from Nerve-Vibration and Excitation as Agents in the Treatment of Functional Disorder and Organic Disease

British doctor, Joseph Mortimer Granville, patented the first electrical vibrator in the 1880s, not as a sexual device but as a massager to relief the aches and pains of men – NOT women he was quite clear on that. His invention was known as the ‘Granville Hammer’ as it was designed to strike to body in a percussive motion. In his book Nerve-Vibration and Excitation as Agents in the Treatment of Functional Disorder and Organic Disease (1883), he wrote, “I have never yet percussed a female patient … I have avoided, and shall continue to avoid the treatment of women by percussion, simply because I do not wish to be hoodwinked, and help to mislead others, by the vagaries of the hysterical state” (Granville, 1883). Furthermore, one look at this contraption and I am sure we can all agree that this electrified hammering device is not something you would want anywhere near your genitals without adult supervision and a safe word. This was clearly not designed for internal use.

Other vibrating massagers soon followed suit on a wave of pseudo-scientific theories about electricity and vibrating massage, which was touted as a cure all panacea, along with rectal dilators and radium. Vibrating massage promised to alleviate all manner of mental and physical disorders (including the mysterious ‘hysteria), but they were not designed for use on the genitals, and, more importantly for this article, they were not used by Doctors to induce orgasm.

An article in the 1871 Good Health journal outlines exactly how the electrical ‘vibrator’ is to be used. ‘The Vibrator is simply a labor-saving machine in the matter of agitating or exercising particular portions of the body.’

And if we are to believe that vibrators were common knowledge and widely used to induce orgasm, we have to account for the fact that there is not one mention of this in any known Victorian pornography (textual or visual). Not one. However, there are many references to dildos, and occasionally the odd cucumber put to good use. Sex toys are not new. The earliest dildo found was excavated in Germany and is over 28,000 years old. The Victorians knew how to design a good sex toy – the design has (unsurprisingly) changed very little in over 28,000 years. It tends to be, well, penis shaped. Victorian dildos were made from wood, leather and even ivory, and they were certainly a lot of fun, as this extract from The Pearl (1880) demonstrates:

“As we are five to two you will find I have a stock of fine, soft, firmly made dildoes to make up the deficiency in males, which alternated with the real article will enable us to thoroughly enjoy ourselves” (The Pearl, 1879).

Then, there was this jolly song published in Choyce Drollery: Songs and Sonnets (1876) that opens with,

With a dildo, dildo, dildo,
With a dildo, dildo, dee,
Some say ’twas a man, but it was a woman
As plain report may see.
She first climb’d up the Ladder
For to deceive men’s hopes,
And with a long thing in her hand
She tickled it on the ropes

The International Record of Medicine and General Practice Clinics (1876)

Not only is there no known mention of Doctors and vibrators in Victorian pornography, there is also no mention of it in the work of the early and pioneering sexologists. Iwan Bloch, Havelock Ellis, Richard von Kraft-Ebing and Freud meticulously catalogued every fetish, paraphilia and known expression of sexual behaviour, but not one of them mention doctors, vibrators and orgasm. Ellis and Bloch even describe some women deriving sexual pleasure from sewing machines and beetroot, but there is no mention of a vibrator. Fifty years later, in his seminal Behaviour in the Human Female (1953), Alfred Kinsey does not mention vibrators in his lengthy and comprehensive chapters on female masturbation.

But, what about medical texts themselves? Surely there must be some mention of doctors conducting ‘pelvic massage’ or the ‘hysterical paroxysm’? Well, yes! Yes, there is and lots of it. The medical craze for pelvic massage came from the work of Swedish obstetrician and gynaecologist, Thure Brandt Brandt (1819-1895), who began treating women in 1861. The ‘Thure Brandt method’ of pelvic massage and ‘manipulating the womb’ proved very popular. The International Record of Medicine and General Practice Clinics (1876) described the technique in some detail.

As you can see, the technique is performed outside the body and with a noticeable lack of a vibrator or an orgasm. “Vibrating” is part of the massage, but it means vigorously shaking the patient whilst applying pressure to the pelvic area with the hands. In 1895, Brandt published The physiotherapy in gynaecology and the mechanical treatment of diseases of the uterus and its appendages by Thure Brandt, which contains possibly the most terrifying illustrations of gynaecological techniques ever produced in the history of humanity.

Once you have moved past the fact that the doctor and patient strongly resemble escapees from Area 51, you will notice that the technique is about applying pressure to the pelvic area in a variety of odd positions. We can also see that some of the massage was internal (this was a gynaecological procedure after all!), and involved inserting a finger and applying the other hand on the abdomen and pushing downwards. But, at no point is an orgasm, sexual arousal, or a vibrator required. Brandt published this work almost fifteen years after Granville had patented his “hammer”, and there were numerous vibrating massagers available, and yet they do not feature in technique. The theories behind ‘pelvic massage’, and the techniques employed are frankly bizarre, but it should not strike us as odd that gynaecologists would perform internal examinations doctors carried them out then, just as they do now. When a medical text is describing pelvic massage – it means massage of the pelvic area (and maybe the odd finger.) However, it seems that it is here, in the confusing practice of pelvic massage and fancy fingering, that the myth about doctors collectively draining the national grid as they buzzed their patients into post orgasmic delirium, developed.

The other persistent part of the medical vibrator story is that of “hysterical paroxysm” which Maines understands as being ‘the female orgasm under clinical conditions’ (Maines, 1999). But, when we start to investigate the medical texts of the era, a hysterical paroxysm doesn’t sound like any orgasm I’ve ever had. Hysterical and Nervous Affections of Women: Read before the Harveian Society describes a hysterical paroxysm as ‘an uncontrollable attack of alternate sobbing and laughter’ (Anderson, 1853). Andrew Whyte Barclay’s A Manual of Medical Diagnosis (1862), describes it as a ‘fit’ and ‘a simulation of epilepsy’ (Barclay, 1862). John Henry Walsh describes the hysterical paroxysm as beginning with uncontrollable giggling, and lasting ‘for at least an hour, and often for five or six’ (Walsh, 1858) and Dr Henry Beasley noted that ‘flatulent distension of the bowels’ often precedes an attack of hysterical paroxysm (Beasley, 1855). Medical theories of the time do link this strange phenomenon to a gynaecological issue. Walsh wrote that a ‘copious secretion of pale urine accompanies the disease’ (Walsh, 1858). George Bacon Wood wrote that hysterical paroxysm was ‘apt to be worse around the menstrual period’ (Wood, 1852) and James Copland lists menstruation, amenorrhea and ‘morbid conditions of the ovaries’ as leading causes of the hysterical paroxysm (Copland, 1860). But, this should not be surprising as the word ‘hysteria’ comes from Latin hystericus, meaning “of the womb” and from the Greek hysterikos, meaning ‘suffering in the womb’.

Victorian woman with ‘hysteria’

However, one defines hysteria, by the mid nineteenth century, it had reached near epidemic proportions and its links with the womb and menstruation were well known. Dr. John Burns in his The Principles of Midwifery (1811) wrote that menstruation is ‘to be considered as a disease’ (Burns, 1811). It was not only a disease but a dangerous one which, if not controlled properly, could lead to madness. The theory of uterine madness held a tight grip on the understanding of even the most prominent of nineteenth century physicians. Dr. William Rowley, professor of medicine at Oxford University and member of the Royal College of Physicians, eagerly wrote of the ‘passio hysterica’ repressed menstruation, or amenorrhea, could bring about in women ‘The tongue falters, trembles, and incoherent things are spoken the voice changes some roar, scream or shriek immoderately others sigh deeply, weep or moan plaintively’ (Rowley, 1800). Dr. Althaus agreed and wrote that ‘hysterical attacks almost always occur after a sudden suppression of the menstrual flow’ in 1848 (Althaus. 1848). It is significant to note that menstrual madness is frequently understood to be violent and the sufferer liable to commit criminal acts of savagery. Dr Jacobi feared that during the time of menstruation women were prone to some very disturbing behaviour, ‘At such times a woman is undoubtedly more prone than men to commit any unusual or outrageous acts’ in 1868.

A hysterical paroxysm was simply another ill-defined category of hysteria, linked to the womb, that can be found in nineteenth-century medical manuals along with the hysterical coma, hysterical headaches, hysterical excitement, hysterical convulsive affections, and (of course) hysterical flatulence.

But more than this, the Victorians knew what an orgasm was! There was no need to dress it up in euphemistic language. Even a cursory glance at the erotic literature of the time will tell you, the Victorians knew what an orgasm was. ‘I felt her crack deluged with a warm, creamy spend whilst my own juice spurted over her hand and dress in loving sympathy’ (The Pearl, 1879). ‘She came again three times in the next six nights each time we renewed our mutual joys, with ever increasing voluptuous indulgencies’ (Romance of Lust, 1873). “How many times I made her spend it would be impossible to say’ (Saul, 1881). As Fern Riddell, one of the leading academics in Victorian sexuality, argues ‘Victorian doctors knew exactly what the female orgasm was in fact, it’s one of the reasons they thought masturbation was a bad idea’ (Riddell, 2014).

Not only did Victorian doctors know what an orgasm was, but nineteenth-century medical theories taught that orgasms were potentially dangerous and needed to be limited. Masturbation in women was thought to cause hysteria, not cure it. In The Generative System and Its Functions in Health and Disease (1883), James George Beaney claimed that a disease ‘associated with, and very often closely depending on, female masturbation is hysteria’ (Beaney, 1883). Gunning S. Bedford wrote that ‘excessive sexual excitement, masturbation, etc., are all so many causes capable of giving rise to this nervous disturbance’ (Bedford, 1869). In 1852, Samuel La’mert drew a clear distinction between hysterical paroxysm and masturbation when he wrote ‘females devoted to libidinous and solitary pollutions, are more particularly exposed to hysterical paroxysm’ (La’mert, 1852). In 1894, Dr A.J. Bloch of New Orleans referred to female masturbation as a “moral leprosy.” So dangerous was female masturbation thought to be, that it was cited on numerous patient admission forms to Victorian lunatic asylums. Dr Issac Brown famously pioneered clitoridectomies as a cure for female masturbation. He was widely criticized at the time, but he was allowed to continue and publish his findings in esteemed medical journals. Sparse diets were recommended to subdue lust, and purity crusaders, such as John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943), manufactured plain cereals to suppress urges. Kellogg argued that masturbation could cause “cancer of the womb, urinary diseases, nocturnal emissions, impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and mental and physical debility’. If women were habitual masturbators, Kellogg recommended burning out the clitoris with carbolic acid as an ‘excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement, and preventing the recurrence of the practice (Kellogg, 1888).

Now, I ask you, does this sound like a group of people likely to prescribe masturbation?

So, what can we salvage from this much loved and widespread myth? Well, we can take some comfort that there are nuggets of truth here. It is true that Victorian doctors were fascinated with the female reproductive system, and, like their medical predecessors, linked madness to the womb. In an attempt to cure hysteria, in all its weird manifestations, they prescribed all manner of kinky sounding treatments including pelvic massage. They also had some very strange ideas about orgasm and masturbation damaging health and causing hysteria. There was also such a thing as a ‘hysterical paroxysm’, which is described as some kind of giggly, gassy meltdown that can last for hours. It’s also true that vibrating massagers became popular in the late nineteenth century.

But, here is the crucial thing Victorian doctors may have been manipulating, sedating, institutionalising and pummelling the pussies of their poor farting female patients – but they were not masturbating them to ‘hysterical paroxysm’ with electrical vibrators.

Sorry to be such a buzzkill.

© Dr Kate Lister

Note: Photograph of stone phallus: A 7.8-inch (20cm) long, 1.1-inch (3cm) wide stone object (pictured) was found in the Hohle Fels Cave near Ulm in the Swabian Jura. The prehistoric ‘tool’ is made from 14 fragments of siltstone and dates back 28,000 years. Due to its size, experts believe it may be the earliest example of a sex aid ever found


Watch the video: John Paul Jones - When The Levee Breaks lap steel Guitar (November 2021).