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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Think The ACLU is good for anything?

Is the ACLU a necessary evil? You think we are better served by having such an organization around even though they are financed in large part by your tax dollars? Well, I believe that the ACLU is a blood-sucking leech clinging to the leg of the average man and woman of this country...or some other weird word picture, take your best shot. The remora at the belly of morality's shark? Ha! The mugger lurking in the alley around the corner from the end of civilization as we know it?

I get seriously weird when I am sick, you know? Anyway, the ACLU stinks and here are some reasons why, courtesy of John Stephenson...

Seperation Of Church And State Kills Easter Bunny

"We have all heard the arguments of public displays of religious expression on government property. We’ve heard both sides of the argument, and you know where we stand. But, regardless of which side of the argument you are on, doesn’t this take things a little too far? Talk about political correctness overload!"

ACLU Alleges FBI Spying on Anti-War Groups

"Indeed, the ACLU’s allegations make no sense. I find it hard to believe that the FBI would waste their time investigating a group for simply offering leaflets. Of course the ACLU and liberal blogs are only telling one side of the story. The FBI counters that an agent checked out the group on a tip that a wanted individual was a member."

ACLU Protects Funeral Protesters

"If you haven’t heard about the Westboro Baptist Church Hate Cult, Dread Pundit Pluto puts some can fill you in. In short, they believe that God is punishing America for our arrogance and our tolerance of gays. They feel that the best place to express their hate is picketing the funerals of veterans killed in the War on Terror with signs saying such things as “God Hates Fags”, and “Thank God For Dead Soldiers.” Of course this kind of disrespect is bound to anger quite a few folks. In reaction some states are creating laws to limit these protests with buffer zones. While most reasonable folks can see the common sense in this, the American Civil Liberties Union are calling it Unconstitutional."

ACLU Calls on U.N. Human Rights Committee to Hold U.S. Government Accountable

"One corrupt organization asking another corrupt organization to hold the U.S. responsible for Human Rights violations? What a joke!!! The U.N. can not even hold itself responsible for Human Rights violations."

Need I go on? Yes, I will...

CAIR Chairman Elected to Board of ACLU-Florida


"CAIR and the ACLU have cooperated on a number of issues at the national level to defile America like defending people with admitted terror ties, destroying National Security, and a number of other anti-American activities.

It really isn’t a suprising move for the ACLU to accept a member to the board from an organization with known terror ties. Its not like its the first time."


ACLU Says Lethal Injection Violates 1st Ammendment

"The cruel practice of partial birth abortion, where the baby’s skull is punctured and the brains sucked out, is a cause the ACLU find worthy. Just mark it down as a woman’s reproductive rights. Injecting a crtically ill person with deadly chemicals in the cause of euthaniasia is another cause the ACLU champion. But to lethally inject a heinous criminal? Well, of course that violates the First Amendment."

Are The ACLU Sending Christians To The Back Of The Bus?

"Cheers of joy echoed through Sussex Central High School on Monday night when the Indian River School Board announced they would not pay a “six-figure” settlement to end prayer litigation.

The motion, made by Nina Lou Bunting and seconded by Donald Hattier, was unanimously carried. "


Yes, we need the ACLU to stand up for bloodthirsty killers, protect terrorists, shield gay-hating kooks, defend us from the Easter Bunny and try to extort big money from our schools.....at government expense. NOT!

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the ACLU a necessary evil?
Why do you think it's an evil?

Do like the metaphors though . . .around the corner from the end of civ . . . : )

My apparently liberal browser isn't loading the stoptheaclu page correctly . . .

The FBI counters that an agent checked out the group on a tip that a wanted individual was a member.
So they were spying. Perhaps for a good reason.
Not like the folks in Denver . .

"Denver police reach settlement with ACLU over secret files
4/17/2003 9:55 PM
By: Associated Press
DENVER -- A settlement has been proposed in a case the American Civil Liberties Union said amounted to political spying.
Denver police will end their practice of keeping secret files on protesters ranging from Quakers to Roman Catholic nuns.
The ACLU and city officials Thursday submitted the deal for approval in federal court.
The ACLU sued after learning police had gathered information on more than 3,400 individuals and groups for its intelligence files.
City officials have acknowledged that police went too far when they started the documentation about three years ago.
The city attorney says police will no longer collect information on protesters unless there's reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. . . "

In this case the FBI wasn't involved, I don't think. But it's the same shtick they pulled last time.

"ACLU Calls on U.N. Human Rights Committee to Hold U.S. Government Accountable "
What, you want them to ask Cuba?

"Are The ACLU Sending Christians To The Back Of The Bus? "
Um, no?

-Dan S.

highboy said...

""ACLU Calls on U.N. Human Rights Committee to Hold U.S. Government Accountable "

The U.N has no business holding anyone accountable. Not until they prove they are good for anything other than oil for food scandals and gang rape in third world countries. I'd also like to know why we've sent them billions of dollars a year in international disaster aid, and the first thing they do when a tsunami hits is ask for more money.

"What, you want them to ask Cuba?"

Cuba...U.N... its all the same.

radar said...

Dan,

You are far more comfortable with ACLU behaviour than I. But why should such an organization receive federal funding???? The ACLU was founded by communists and I see their agenda in what the ACLU does now.

Do you want the CIA and FBI to quit spying? I am not afraid of that. We have heard of at least six attacks planned on the USA that have been thwarted by good espionage techniques.

Myself, the Feebs can spy on me 24 x 7 and I don't care because I AM NOT ENGAGED IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES and have nothing to fear.

I do want the FBI and CIA and NSA to check on suspicious individuals/ I don't want the ACLU to go after the Easter Bunny (not that I really care, but come on!) nor defend cold-blooded killers nor extort large payments from school systems nor defend that whacko gay-hating "church" and dozens of other activities.

Dan, you agree with that? Wow.

highboy said...

As the son of a former NSA employee, I can honestly tell you that when my dad hears all the tin-foil hat conspiracy theories that get tossed around about the NSA, he laughs out of his chair. The whole wiretapping thing has not been proven to have been illegal. Dems gave up quick on that when they saw that a large majority of Americans could care less, just like most everything that concerns the Democratic party.

radar said...

Heh! I was once in the ASA and had to have a top secret clearance. I remember during the vetting process my aunt called me to ask me if I was in trouble because a couple of guys in suits had come to her door to ask about me.

Most of the people who get into the security field are sharp, care deeply about the country and want to stop the bad guys. Period. Meanwhile, the top guy at the ACLU want to change the country into something else. I have seen enough evidence to give me this belief and none of the commenters so far has put even a dent in that.

Juggling Mother said...

OK, so the ACLU have made some pretty weird decisions over some issues. So do all pressure organisations. But I have a question. is it those particular decisions you are protesting, or the concept of a civil liberties watchdog organisation?

The European Court of Human Rights has made some pretty damn stupid decisions in it's time too (partly because the European Bill of Human Rights is a bit iffy IMO), and I will happily stand up in public and argue against those decisions. I will also argue for some of the rulings made there. But most loudly of all, and regardless of anything else I will stand up and be counted in defence of the organisation.

Anonymous said...

mrs. aginoth asks: is it those particular decisions you are protesting, or the concept of a civil liberties watchdog organisation?

Nice question, mrs. ag! I'm definitely interested to hear the answer, although I assume it will involve the claim that the ACLU is an anti-everything good, possibly with a list of controversies connected to the ACLU even in the absence of any actual involvement. - It's a brand or narrative thing - what counts is not truthfulness but truthiness.

I don't understand exactly where the anti-ACLU animus comes from. It definitely goes back decades, especially among folks who tended to talk about the civil rights movement in terms of outside agitators and communists. I do get the impression that right-wing mouthpieces are really pushing it lately, though, along with related nonsense like the 'War on Christmas' over here (I remember back when the big threat to Christmas was identified as runaway materialism, not stores wishing customers a bland 'Happy Holidays' in an effort to sell more stuff ). Oddly enough, such shows, etc. never seem to mention the cases where ACLU defends Christians' religious freedom. [Cognitive Dissonance Alert!]

Anti-ACLU, or anti-civil liberties watchdog? I'm wondering if this is connected to a certain view of God-given biblical morality (ie: see the comment thread for radar's poor 'The God Who Sees' post)? After all, the ACLU tends to take a lot of fairly unpleasant cases, as their mission is protecting all citizens' civil liberties, even neo-nazis and that hateful [blank] Phelps (no decent curse words want to be associated with him, you see . .). Now, if morality is God-given, certain, and easily interpreted - if people, in a sense, have no role in morality - these petty mortal foibles and safeguards are pointless, even offensive. No?
But I'm just pulling all this out of my derriere,* so who knows?

One would think, though, that most - not just many - Christians would be especially sensitive to civil liberties issues, given history an' all, though. Weird.

radar: You are far more comfortable with ACLU behaviour than I.
mrs. aginoth has a great answer to this.

But why should such an organization receive federal funding????
Ah, but do they? Explain how.

The ACLU was founded by communists and I see their agenda in what the ACLU does now.
I never realized communists were all about street preachers. Huh. There is a sort of similarity, I guess . . .

"Do you want the CIA and FBI to quit spying?"
Gee, I wish I could answer that, but I can't - I don;t have a brain, you see, because I'm a fracking strawman!
(from the Battlestar Galactica remake of the Wizard of Oz, apparently . . .)

Myself, the Feebs can spy on me 24 x 7 and I don't care because I AM NOT ENGAGED IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES and have nothing to fear.

Uh-huh.
Ok, imagine this. In 2008 Michael Moore is elected President. The country slides into one of the standard right-wing nightmare scenarios. You, radar, become a member of a group - perhaps even a leader! - dedicated to rescuing America from liberal insanity, using democratic, peaceful, non-violent means. Then things start happening. You get home one day and find a few things subtly out of order. Inexplicably you find yourself passed over for an expected promotion (if applicable - can't tell from your sidebar bio), or out of a job altogether (although the why would be a lot clearer if you saw the anonymous letter that showed up at HR detailing your supposed moral and legal failings). A scurrilous rumor begins circulating about you, involving, say, alleged infidelity. Perhaps your wife even receives an anonymous letter detailing such claims.

Impossible, you say? Well, go skim the Church Committe report, specifically Books II and II. Then we can talk. It happened.
If I say "MLK Jr." and "wiretap," does anything spring to mind? (The problem here is that this obscures how much crap happened to ordinary people)

Most of the people who get into the security field are sharp, care deeply about the country and want to stop the bad guys.
Sure. No, honestly. I'm not being sarcastic. The thing is, we have this thing about a country of laws, not men, y'know? We can't just rely simply on people's good intentions. I'm not even that innocently trusting, and I apparently have a somewhat lighter view of human nature than you . . .

highboy: The whole wiretapping thing has not been proven to have been illegal.
Now that's the kind of rousing affirmation I like to hear!

back to radar: Dan, you agree with that [anti-easter bunny, cold-blooded-killer-defending, anti-gay hate-group protesting at military funerals - WTF is that about? - protecting, etc.]? Wow.
Again, mrs. aginoth has a great answer to this. But besides: put aside your certainty that the ACLU is a big bad, well, bad thing. Pretend such an idea never entered your head. Why (why else) do you think they might do such things? What might be the principles behind it?

I was going to post a thing about the RCLU trying to defend some rabble-rousing Jewish guy, and then later some widely depised atheists** who kept challenging the civil religion, and completely refused to be reasonable about it at all . . .
But that would just go on too long, and my attention span is - hey, look at that bird outside the window!!

(partly because the European Bill of Human Rights is a bit iffy IMO)
Hmm - that sounds interesting . .tell me more? Being American, I know disgustingly little about the rest of the world . . .

*(I love the internet - the only dictionary I have on hand right now is quite limited, so I did a search for 'derriere' as a rough spell-check method, and I got both
Derrière is a recently discovered member of the TGFß superfamily that can induce mesoderm in explant assays and is expressed at the right time and location to mediate mesoderm induction in response to VegT during Xenopusembryogenesis.

and

Dr. Derriere: Women, are you dissatisfied with your rear end? Do you dream of having a mighty J.Lo butt? Call New York's leading augmenter of backsides, Dr. Lefkovits)


really, that just sums it all up.

** That's how the word was used in some cases, I believe (since they were denying the Roman gods . . . )

-Dan S.

cranky old fart said...

Every watchdog organization makes some bad calls. Amnesty International, The Red Cross, the ACLU. But I'm glad they are there, watching and caring.

Specifically, ACLU goes to court to question governmental actions they feel are unconstitutional. Whether they succeed or not is on the merits.

Nit pick all you want. They are not the ones eroding our freedoms.

Highboy,

Your daddy can giggle all he wants, but the NSA, a MILITARY organization, conducting unfettered domestic surveillance is a real concern on many levels. Remember, the road to hell.....

And that the hoople "could care less" about something means less than nothing.

creeper said...

"I don't want the ACLU to go after the Easter Bunny (not that I really care, but come on!)"

Radar, please, if you're going to regale us with a pile of posts from a rather one-sided blog, at least read beyond the headlines of what you're passing on. The ACLU did not go after the easter bunny.

Nor did they go after the kid with the "Got Jesus" shirt - they supported him. I got a little tired of digging through highboy's rant in the earlier post - this is just like the YEC stuff again: you guys have quite an appetite for swallowing a bunch of propaganda wholesale without even the most rudimentary factchecking or critical thought.

Anonymous said...

"Myself, the Feebs can spy on me 24 x 7 and I don't care because I AM NOT ENGAGED IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES and have nothing to fear."

And to think, when some people read 1984 they just can't wait for that vision to become reality.

Radar, have you ever read the constitution? Specifically the fourth amendment? Here's a link if you haven't

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am4

-scohen

Anonymous said...

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY SURVEILLANCE AFFECTING AMERICANS (from 1975 senate committe investigations ) Sorry about the caps - in the original, and I'm in a rush . .

I wonder how long we'll hear about the ACLU being against people in specific cases when they were actually defending them?
Hey highboy: admit you were temporarily confused about some of these cases? It happens, I've done it . . .
-Dan S.

radar said...

Okay, okay, the ACLU itself was not responsible for going after the Easter Bunny. The idea is that the mindset fostered by their litigations has created an atmosphere in which even the EB is not safe. The headline was copied right from the website. I take five whacks for not making a disclaimer statement.

I have read 1984 and other Orwell, plus Ayn Rand and so on. In truth, I am not worried about being spied on within the context we have in play now. The NSA is only wiretapping conversations that include a terrorist on one side of that conversation. I would not be in favor of a general ability to wiretap citizens without authorization but strictly within the boundaries currently proscribed for the NSA re:terrorists under the authority of the President.

It is true that a group like the ACLU would have a great use in our country. I do wish it was simply a liberal-minded organization that goes a bit left of my politics. It would be from my viewpoint a necessary evil. However, it was founded by communists and far leftists and I believe that the organization has an agenda that is not to preserve our nation and our liberties but rather to change the nation.

You will notice that the ACLU will sue government agencies and schools and other organizations and then negotiate a monetary settlement. What then happens is that this organization, which is receiving tax monies already, then takes more money from organizations that we have paid for. In other words, they are taking from us. A school has a Christmas program with carols, the ACLU sues, the school pays them one hundred grand to shut up and go away and that hundred grand came from the people of the school district. Hard for me to see that as a preservation of our freedoms.

Again, I understand the BigBrotherIs Watching concerns. No one wants to be in Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia part two. We certainly need to be aware of the dangers of unchecked government activity. The awakening blogosphere is a far better weapon against such an occurence than the ACLU. There are bloggers of every stripe keeping an eye on events around the globe.

In Iran, the bloggers are at the forefront of movements to change the government from within. In Iraq, bloggers were and still are telling the truth when the major news media fed us propaganda and garbage. China is slowly losing its grip on its population largely due to the internet despite their shady deals with companies such as Google.

Too bad the ACLU doesn't do what it claims to do because then I would be glad it was in existence. But it is only one of several organizations that watchdog and there are millions of other eyes and ears out there who are concerned for our liberties and our nation.

Anonymous said...

Radar,
Why do you think the ACLU gets federal funding? I just did a google search for "ACLU Federal Funding" and the first link I got was about how the ACLU removed
themselves from a program that allows federal employees to donate directly from their paychecks
. All of the other links were about the ACLU combatting federal funding of religious charities.

I'll readily admit that I'm not an expert on the ACLU's funding, but that's why google exists, no? If you could provide a link from a reputable source (the GAO might work here) I'd be more apt to believe this line of argument.

Also, I personally find it comforting that the ACLU fights for Fred Phelps. Even someone as repugnant as Phelps should have the same right to unfettered free speech that you or I do. In my opinion, that's one of the things that make this country so great.

The other problem I have is with your wiretap argument. How do you know that the other side of the conversation is a terrorist? Have they been convicted? Does the govenment have evidence against them? Can anyone see this evidence? From what I've been reading, the NSA was monitoring all calls where one side terminated in certain countries. Why was FISA inadequate in this regard, especially since the warrants could be requested proactively? Why does the president feel the need to directly challenge the constitution in this regard?

I think a good thought experiment for you guys to do is ask yourselves "Would I like it if Clinton did it?" or WILIICDI?

Heck, I know I would be just as outraged if Clinton did it.

-scohen

creeper said...

Radar,

"The headline was copied right from the website. I take five whacks for not making a disclaimer statement."

I wasn't reacting to your taking over the nonsensical headline (which wasn't the only one), but your subsequent comment in which it seemed you had started to believe that that's what happened, that the ACLU was going after the easter bunny.

I reckon that's how a lot of this ACLU tinfoil hattery gets going: somebody mentions some outrageous instance of political correctness gone awry, and then either mentions the ACLU or someone in the comments makes the association, and the next thing you know you've got some urban legends making the rounds.

"The idea is that the mindset fostered by their litigations has created an atmosphere in which even the EB is not safe."

The annual hysteria regarding the supposed "War on Christmas", stoked in large part by Fox News and invariably consisting of far more hot air than actual fire, sure isn't helping.

I always thought the phrase "Happy Holidays" was a good solution all around, nobody stuffing anything down anybody else's throat, and I'm as much at odds with people complaining about Christmas decorations as I am with people complaining that it should be "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays". Surely both have their place, and the more public the place, the more appropriate the more general phrase "Happy Holidays" seems to me.

"However, [the ACLU] was founded by communists and far leftists and I believe that the organization has an agenda that is not to preserve our nation and our liberties but rather to change the nation."

First, if you're going to bring up the fact that some of the NCLB's (NCLB = precursor of ACLU) founders back in the 20's had communist and socialist leanings, you should bear in mind that subsequently (in the 40's) the ACLU formally barred communists from their leadership and discouraged them from membership - incidentally, a purge that was led by a former Communist.

Second, if the ACLU is out to change the nation (presumably to a secular/non-Christian one), then please explain why they also support and defend Christians etc. in matters of religious expression (the street preachers, the Got Jesus kid, the high school girl wearing religious symbols (Kim Jacobs), and even the odious flavor of bigoted Christians protesting the military funerals). The more consistent throughline here is surely that of protecting civil liberties (yes, sometimes to a fault), instead of a consistent anti-religious/anti-Christian agenda beyond constitutional separation of church and state matters.

"You will notice that the ACLU will sue government agencies and schools and other organizations and then negotiate a monetary settlement. What then happens is that this organization, which is receiving tax monies already, then takes more money from organizations that we have paid for."

What other settlement/punishment/correction would you propose? And if money paid as a fine or settlement for violating civil rights ends up strengthening a civil rights watchdog, that's better for civil rights down the line - and when the civil rights of Christians are being violated, they too benefit from the ACLU.

"The awakening blogosphere is a far better weapon against such an occurence than the ACLU. There are bloggers of every stripe keeping an eye on events around the globe."

I don't see them as being mutually exclusive, and there are things that one can do that the other can't. Both the ACLU and the blogosphere can draw attention to an issue that the mainstream media has not highlighted or has missed; the blogosphere can engage in "open source reporting" as in, say, the Dan Rather scandal: Instead of one reporter working through the story in isolation, a group comes at it from all different angles. It's not without its misfires - anyone remember the infamous "John Kerry Takes A Pen Out Of His Pocket During The Presidential Debate" scandal of 2004? - and I'm not sure about the signal to noise ratio. The blogosphere can also do other things, like raise money for charity etc.

But the blogosphere and the ACLU simply have very different functions and are not in competition with each other. Nobody ever expected the ACLU to do all the things you seem to expect of it - like affecting change in other countries - because its focus is simply on matters of a certain type within the US. This kind of fallacy seems to be an ongoing feature in partisan thinking of this kind. "X, which I don't like, claims [strawman] Y, and Y isn't happening, therefore X is wrong." - and never mind if any part of that is even remotely true.

But anyway: we don't have to choose either one (blogosphere or ACLU), because they both exist. And from the looks of it, if your civil rights were genuinely being violated, Radar and Highboy, they'd even come to help you.

creeper said...

Excellent comments, scohen.

It does indeed appear that the ACLU receives no tax dollars - and even the funding that it gave up in 2004 were only tax dollars in a very indirect sense, seeing as they were voluntary contributions from federal employees, as I understand it.

Radar, I don't profess to be an expert on the matter, and I'm a little confused now - is the ACLU financed in large part by tax dollars? This brief overview might be of interest.

Could you tell us how much the ACLU received in federal funding last year? And what proportion of their annual turnaround this federal contribution (if there is one) represents?

Failing that, perhaps a retraction of these statements would be in order.

"You think we are better served by having such an organization around even though they are financed in large part by your tax dollars? Well, I believe that the ACLU is a blood-sucking leech clinging to the leg of the average man and woman of this country...or some other weird word picture, take your best shot. The remora at the belly of morality's shark? Ha! The mugger lurking in the alley around the corner from the end of civilization as we know it?"

(You can keep "I get seriously weird when I am sick, you know?" if you want.)

"Yes, we need the ACLU to stand up for bloodthirsty killers, protect terrorists, shield gay-hating kooks, defend us from the Easter Bunny and try to extort big money from our schools.....at government expense. NOT!"

radar said...

A partial retraction is in order. I had been misinformed, and thanks to creeper especially I have done the research (which was not difficult) and found that the ACLU does not have a line of funding from the feds, at least nothing I could find.

However, the statements I made were true in that they do get a large portion of our tax dollars. They get them in the form of settlements and legal fees from government entities that they sue. This is especially a problem in establishment clause cases, in which the ACLU does not need to show any personal injury or damage in order to bring litigation that costs the taxpayers big bucks.

So, no, the ACLU is not directly funded from tax dollars. But yes, the ACLU is funded by tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

I take five whacks for not making a disclaimer statement.

No whacks needed. I'm glad things are clarified.


"The awakening blogosphere is a far better weapon against such an occurence than the ACLU.

Yes! Because we'll, we'll, we'll . . . type angrily at them! That's it!

After al, the power of the blogosphere is essentially, as creeper points out, that of publicity (including fact-checking, original reporting, etc), and mobilization (donate here! e-mail your rep! etc.). We have a mighty roar, but no teeth. If our dual function results in or contributes to official action - from low-level firings on up, well, that's great! (maybe). But we just talk loudly, and rely on others' big sticks. (umm, maybe I should rephrase that?) As you repeatedly point out, radar - with creeper explaining the significance - the ACLU, on the other hand has rather expensive teeth.

Additionally, effective action relies on enough of the public getting upset, something unlikely to happen in most cases where civil liberties are being violated (cases involving mainstream Christianity are perhaps an exception here, but even that's not guaranteed). This is a dangerous situation, one that tilts the country a bit more towards becoming a tyranny of the majority, which is exactly what much of our government was designed to protect against!

I believe that the organization has an agenda that is not to preserve our nation and our liberties but rather to change the nation.
Well, yeah. That's the point. Just like tons of other organizations. That's what the country's about, I would say - the continuing effort to fulfill the promise that is "America," to change the nation into something that ever more slightly reaches towards an idea, an ideal. Of course, there are different opinions on where we're actually going, and how to get there, the map has gone missing somewhere under the seats, someone is refusing to stop to ask for directions, and I swear, if you hit your brother one more time . . !

woah, sorry, got caught up a bit there . . . but the general idea is that with all the headbutting and arguing and legal battling and compromising and etc., we keep trending upwards.

The NSA is only wiretapping conversations that include a terrorist on one side of that conversation.
As schohen mentions - this is rather tricky. There's a ton we still don't know about the program, and personally I'm somewhat confused about what we do know (is the whole data-mining angle certain or just probable?), but I think it's pretty clear there's no guarantee at all that a terrorist is on the other end. I fear you are being too trusting.

A lot of useful and reasoned comments, though! Thing is, I think (hope) there's lots of common ground here. Take the NSA wiretapping. I'll guess everyone here agrees that there are real and pressing issues of national security (I'm from New York. Many of my friends and family are still there. That day I was living in a Hudson River town where many people went down to the city to work each morning in cars or on Metro-North trains - and that night some of them didn't come back, nor the next night, nor the next, not ever. I get it). And I'm sure everybody agrees there are some actions we shouldn't take.

The way I think of it, we've been handed down, as a marvelous inheritance, a beautiful and fragile box, heaped full of small treasures - fine porcelein, exquisite glasswork, priceless beyond measure - balanced carefully inside. We carry it as we walk along, carefully holding the box, now and again nearly dropping some valuable piece , but sometimes adding new sparkling find. And now, suddenly, someone has started throwing rocks at us.* What do we do? If we drop the box to better shield ourselves, it and all it contained will be smashed, perhaps beyond repair. If we put it down, we may lose it for a time in the confusion and perhaps never find it again. If we continue to hold it faithfully, we may be grieviously hurt.
So what do we do?

-Dan S.

creeper said...

"So, no, the ACLU is not directly funded from tax dollars. But yes, the ACLU is funded by tax dollars."

In order not to be misleading (I'm assuming you don't want that), a more accurate statement would be that the ACLU is indirectly funded by tax dollars.

An even more accurate statement would be to indicate roughly to what extent the ACLU is indirectly funded by tax dollars. From the link I provided earlier: "To take one particular example, the ACLU of New Jersey reported $1.2 million in income to both the ACLU-NJ and its affiliated tax-exempt foundation in the 2005 fiscal year. Of that income, 46% came from contributions, 19% came from membership dues, 18% came from court awarded attorney fees, 12% came from grants, 4% came from investment income and the remainder from other sources. Its expenses in the same period were $800,000, of which 12% went to administration and management. Smaller chapters with fewer resources, such as that in Nebraska, receive subsidies from the national ACLU".

From what I recall, the done thing in the case of a retraction, partial or otherwise, is to post an Update to the original post, but that's entirely at your discretion, of course.


And of course the issue of settlements etc. brings us back to my earlier question:

"What other settlement/punishment/correction would you propose? And if money paid as a fine or settlement for violating civil rights ends up strengthening a civil rights watchdog, that's better for civil rights down the line - and when the civil rights of Christians are being violated, they too benefit from the ACLU."

creeper said...

Dan,

on 9/11 I had relatives in NY, NJ, PA, and DC, plus one above the Atlantic Ocean heading into Dulles Airport (as a pilot, no less). The notion of there being room to debate the 'how' of national security seems to escape some people - argue the 'how' and suddenly your commitment to the whole idea is questioned. Rabid partisanship at its finest.

radar said...

"....they are financed in large part by your tax dollars?"

That was my quote from the post and it remains accurate, whether direct or indirect. The rest of the posting is links to another site....

Creeper, you and I are on opposite sides in this debate. But the whole idea is freedom in action. I am free to decry the ACLU and you are free to defend them. I think the world would be a better place without them and you do not. Fortunately we are both free to speak our piece.

Dan, the freedom of speech is our greatest weapon against totalitarianism. We the people, caring about the nation in fact caring enough to do something about it.

I blog to get out a certain point of view and get bounceback from others. It has been an instructive process so far. I would almost go so far as to characterize it as an interactive learning experience to a degree.

creeper said...

"I had been misinformed, and thanks to creeper especially I have done the research"

I'd like to pass on the credit to scohen - I wouldn't have pursued it further if he or she hadn't flagged it up.

As for you being misinformed - and I know this isn't the first time - what consequences will you draw from this? Will you consider the source that passed on this malodorous bit of information with skepticism in the future?

radar said...

You disagree, creeper, with much of what I say and often I believe it is you, not I, who is misinformed. In the case of the gentleman who told me about ACLU funding (he does not post, as far as I know, on blogs) I take the blame since I didn't bother to check it out until someone asked. That is of course in part because this is a blog for which I receive no recompense. When I was writing for a news organization I always fact-checked articles or had them fact-checked for me. I guess that puts me at about the same level of consistent veracity as CBS News. (ugh!!) I will endeavor to do better going forward.

At least I am more likely to be reliable than the New York Times or the National Enquirer, thank you very much!~

I will acknowledge gladly to both creeper and scohen that I was wrong about direct funding of the ACLU. You must admit, I assume, that they do indeed get much of their funding from tax dollars albeit indirectly. Now I believe we have shed complete light on that subject....

Anonymous said...

Excellent comments, scohen.
I second that. Also creeper and cranky - and I'm impressed with:
A partial retraction is in order. I had been misinformed, and thanks to creeper especially I have done the research (which was not difficult) . . .

cool.
And this all is why I hang out here . .

Although the ACLU is definitely not getting a large portion of our tax dollars. Millitary hardware, old folks, and random pork, now that's a large portion . . .

But it is an issue. It's bigger than just the ACLU, too, as you probably read, although I think they draw most of the fire, so to speak. I'm ok with this, but not everyone is. Makes sense to me, though.

Creeper's link has the NJ ACLU getting 18% of its income in 2005 from "court awarded attorney fees" - details unspecified: not a ton of funding, but obviously this would vary from year to year . . .
I wonder what total ACLU gov't income (a lot of which seems to be from state, not fed sources) is so far?

-Dan S.

creeper said...

Radar,

"....they are financed in large part by your tax dollars?"

"That was my quote from the post and it remains accurate, whether direct or indirect."


"You must admit, I assume, that they do indeed get much of their funding from tax dollars albeit indirectly."

You want to tell us "it remains accurate?" Not from what we've seen here.

What I've seen leads me to conclude that the ACLU derives a relatively small portion (south of 20%?) of its funding from even indirect tax dollars. If you insist on believing otherwise (MUCH of their funding, financed in LARGE part), you're entirely free to show us details. It appears you can't, but I'm happy to be persuaded otherwise.

In absence of that it looks like, whether directly or indirectly, your claim that the ACLU is "financed in large part" by tax dollars is a falsehood. Having been made aware of this state of affairs, you not correcting it turns it into knowingly perpetuating a falsehood, also known as a lie.

Regarding us being on opposite sides of this debate (be it ACLU, YEC or whatever): I ain't married to the ACLU, but when I see blatant misrepresentations and, let's face it, lies coming over the transom (by which I don't just mean you, but also highboy), I feel obliged to point it out. I would that you would feel the same, but ethics are a sad and early casualty of partisanship. Still awaiting coherent responses to a slew of rebuttals on that YEC thing, btw...

And yes, discussion like this is a learning experience for all of us, myself very much included. But I think it's sad when I see you being shown facts from which you could potentially learn but you run away from the consequences.

"At least I am more likely to be reliable than the New York Times or the National Enquirer, thank you very much!~"

Erm... look, seriously - apart from some nice poems and the less sneering parts of your expressive essays about your faith, you're batting worse than both of those institutions. Weekly World News is more like it. Think about it, Kimbal: linking to unreliable sources, not bothering to react to rebuttals, only retracting, correcting or updating when explicitly challenged to do so, going on about how science happens to get exactly those things wrong that happen to contradict the literal reading of an ancient creation myth...

Surely as a former journalist (is that what you are?), this should be clear to you.

Anonymous said...

"Creeper's link has the . . ."

oops, should have checked what new comments were up before I hit publish . . .

Fortunately we are both free to speak our piece.
Agreed. No argument there.


It has been an instructive process so far.
That's good. It's worrying, how constrained, how separate our ideological viewsheds have become, across the board . .

that they do indeed get much of their funding from tax dollars albeit indirectly.
I don't think this has been established, though. Some, sure, and a not insigificant sum, either but . . .
We the people, caring about the nation in fact caring enough to do something about it.
good definition of patriotism!

Dan, the freedom of speech is our greatest weapon against totalitarianism
Definitely a great weapon. I don't know for sure the greatest, but very important. I'd just go for the whole mechanisms of civil society bit . . .

creeper: Rabid partisanship at its finest.
Which is a real shame - of all the times, y'know?

Juggling Mother said...

Any civil liberties organisation directly funded by taxes would be decidedly suspect, and unlikely to spend a great deal of it's time trying to bring down the government that so kindly supports it. You can't have it both ways. Either it's a gov't organisation that you're all paying for, or it's trying to change the fundemental values of your society.

The blogoshpere does not have the same kind of political clout as even a small pressure group, because it is NOT organised, has absolutely no teeth, and is purely an information store - or at best a focus group. Interesting to gov'ts, but ultimately irrelevent. Not enough people read enough blogs to make it a worthy opponant.

I am quite sure that any organiation as large as the ACLU has changed and adapted with the times. I seriously doubt it is persuing the same specific agenda's as it was originally set up for in the 20's, so the founder members political leanings are a rather moot point (plus the definition of "communist" has changed quite a lot over the past 90 years - and means something different in the USA to anywhere else in the world as far as I can tell)

The ACLU has a zero presence outside of the USA. Even as a fairly politically astute individual, I had never heard of it as an organisation until I started foisting my views on US bloggers:-)

The European Convention on human Rights is a bit iffy because like all these documents, it tries to say everything in just a few pithy statements, and ends up saying nothing. especially as it now covers over 40 different Nationalities, and many more cultures!

The basic human rights are:
The right to life
Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment
Freedom from forced labour or slavery
The right to Liberty and to a Fair trial
Freedom from facing retrospective crimes or penalties
A Right to Privacy
Freedom of conscience
Freedom of expression
Freedom of assembly
The right to marriage and family
Freedom from discrimination

It does clarify slightly, but hasn't even really got as far as explaining what the words mean, never mind the context! Human Rights cases have to go through their own countries legal system, then apply for an European Court hearing. It usually takes years, and fortunes!

I am totally and utterly in favour of it:-) There is no doubt that life in the EU countries has improved immeasurably for the majority of the citizens, just because it exists. Global corporations may not be so impressed though:-)

creeper said...

I'm assuming that post before Mrs. A was you, Dan.

Interesting other angle to Radar's mis-statement: a large portion of our tax dollars going to the ACLU...

So what portion of our tax dollars is it?

radar said...

Creeper, if you don't think that 20% of their funding is a large part, feel free to send me 20% of your funding, which you are not likely to miss.

You overstep when you call me a liar! I will continue to say, accurately, that the ACLU gets a large part of their funding from our tax dollars. You don't like that? Have a nice day!

"linking to unreliable sources"

I still like that source. It is not politically correct from your point of view.

"not bothering to react to rebuttals"

I not only react, I even make new posts based on comments. My post this evening is exactly that. You are completely incorrect here.

"only retracting, correcting or updating when explicitly challenged to do so"

When shown to be incorrect, I have retracted or corrected, which is more than most of my commenters are willing to do.

"going on about how science happens to get exactly those things wrong that happen to contradict the literal reading of an ancient creation myth..."

Who is inaccurate now? I think your bias is showing. There is no better record of creation or early history than the Bbile and I think my post this evening will address that fact.

"Surely as a former journalist (is that what you are?), this should be clear to you."

It is clear to me that I am much more willing to admit I am wrong that you. But that is your problem rather than mine. I could have ignored the protests concerning the ACLU funding but instead responded, retracted the idea that they might get DIRECT funding and moved on. Again, if that is not good enough for you feel free to have a nice day! Grins!

And, no, I am not anywhere near as inaccurate as the Old Grey Lady. That is indeed a hoot! It barely qualifies as bird cage material these days.

creeper said...

Radar,

"You disagree, creeper, with much of what I say and often I believe it is you, not I, who is misinformed."

A matter that is easily resolved by responding to the rebuttals that I and others post.

Anonymous said...

And he doesn't even mention Batboy!

Breaking news from the WWN: "PARALLEL UNIVERSE DISCOVERED . . . Where Bill Clinton Is A Celibate Priest!"

I had a prof who did a little research on them - why, I dunno - the folks who write it just have a great time . . .

-Dan S.

cranky old fart said...

"I will continue to say, accurately, that the ACLU gets a large part of their funding from our tax dollars".

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that the ACLU gets a "large" part of their funding from various government entities that violate the U.S. Constitution?

I mean, they only get paid when they're demonstrably right about an issue.

Further, When they recover against say, N.J., for a Constitutional violation, are they actually being "funded" by MY tax dollars? After all, I pay no taxes in NJ. Unless they recover against the State of Tennessee, I would never be "forced" to "fund" them at all.

cranky old fart said...

And if your continued assertion that the "ACLU is largely funded by OUR tax dollars" isn't a lie, it's absolutely a big steaming pile of B.S.....

Just own up to the truth. Confession is good for the soul, and all that....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliments all. I've been lurking on this blog for weeks and have posted a rather long winded takedown of radar on my blog. Google for scohen and you'll find it. It was slightly mean spirited, but I felt that there was a distinct lack of fairness in some of the arguments presented here. Radar actually responded to it, and the response was telling as well.

I must say, I've been impressed at the level of discourse here, especially considering the steadfast refusal to admit mistakes by half of the debaters. The ACLU financing argument is very telling.

What we have here is an organization that sues the government when it violates the constitution, and when they win, uses the money to fund their organization. It's at the very least a mischaracterization to state that they're taxpayer funded. Using this argument, any person that has ever won a monetary settlement from an entity is funded by them. Yet radar stands by that argument. That's too bad, since it just diminishes the weight of what he has to say.

There comes a point when you're being attacked (and I'm sure that's how radar sees these comments) that all you can do is defend, regardless of whether you're right or wrong. I think we've moved well past this mark.

And for those that care, I'm a he that lives in the San Francisco area.

-scohen

radar said...

scohen, you have bad taste in science and good taste in music, IMO.

This retraction stuff is not about me. I already stated that I was wrong in terms of the ACLU getting direct government funding. It is simply that when the ACLU takes money from a school district, it is the taxpayers who pay. When they extort funds from a city government, it is tax dollars again. What part of this is hard to understand? Tax dollars from my pocket and your pocket.

Some of you believe this is a good thing. I don't. If the ACLU must exist, let it do so on the resources of those who believe in it and cease to be a burden on the taxpaying public. That they sue to win or lose on an issue is one thing. But they extort money and demand payment of their legal fees. In addition, every time the ACLU sues a government entity the government has to pony up for their own legal fees. Those fees and that government is funded entirely by you and me!

So one last time: The ACLU is funded in large part by taxpayer funds. Period. Like it or lump it!

If 15-30% of their funding is not considered a large part then you and I do not agree on terms. But you take away 15-30% of my income and I will be hurting. So I consider it significant.

creeper said...

"Creeper, if you don't think that 20% of their funding is a large part, feel free to send me 20% of your funding, which you are not likely to miss."

(1) 'In large part' means mostly. (2) You have yet to establish that it's even as much as 20%.

"You overstep when you call me a liar!"

I said that you would be a liar if by not correcting your falsehood you continue to knowingly perpetrate it. I hope that that is not what you intend on doing.

"I will continue to say, accurately, that the ACLU gets a large part of their funding from our tax dollars. You don't like that? Have a nice day!"

It's nothing to do with whether I like it or not; it's to do with whether it's true or not, and if it is not, whether you're content committing unethical acts on an ongoing basis. The statement as you put it just now, knowing what you know (and knowing that we know you know it) is, frankly, a lie.

That doesn't mean you have to stick with it. You are free to control your actions and make moral choices as you see fit, even if it's not always easy. Have a nice day yourself.

"linking to unreliable sources"

I still like that source. It is not politically correct from your point of view.


And it was factually false, as you admitted. I'm not fussed about the political correctness. You want to continue trusting a source that plies you with falsehoods, hey, make yourself happy. But perhaps you should point out to him or her that they were wrong on the facts.

"not bothering to react to rebuttals"

I not only react, I even make new posts based on comments. My post this evening is exactly that. You are completely incorrect here.


There is quite a list of rebuttals to which you have not reacted - that's not incorrect at all. Yes, you've made new posts, but that doesn't mean they addressed the rebuttals. We're still not sure how you even manage to think that you exist given your hilarious understanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics - you must be capable of that mental process that Douglas Adams alluded to, of having tea and no tea at the same time.

I think Dan is still waiting for a source demonstrating that Equus and Eohippus were found in the same strata - or failing that, a correction/retraction.

"only retracting, correcting or updating when explicitly challenged to do so"

When shown to be incorrect, I have retracted or corrected, which is more than most of my commenters are willing to do.


Um, you even said yourself that in response to many rebuttals that showed you to be incorrect you simply ignored them: Some of you post rebuttals that I do not find to, indeed, rebut. Talkorigins is particularly good at posting so called rebuttals that have already been rebutted. When you post a rebuttal that has already been rebutted I just let it go. Whew, did that make sense?

Nope. Makes no sense. Please point out the "rebuttals that have already been rebutted".

In many cases you left us with the impression that you were shown to be wrong but didn't respond. Feel free to change that impression by showing us how you were right - by responding coherently to the rebuttals.

"going on about how science happens to get exactly those things wrong that happen to contradict the literal reading of an ancient creation myth..."

Who is inaccurate now? I think your bias is showing. There is no better record of creation or early history than the Bbile and I think my post this evening will address that fact.


Well that's just it - we've been waiting for you to show us why you think that we are inaccurate. So far your points have been shown to be wrong again and again, with you avoiding coherent responses on a large number of points.

You've already volunteered that the Bible is not terribly reliable when it comes to early history, and IIRC you said you're willing to believe that it may be off by as much as a millennium.

Looking forward to your post - is this the one about the flood?

"Surely as a former journalist (is that what you are?), this should be clear to you."

It is clear to me that I am much more willing to admit I am wrong that you. But that is your problem rather than mine."


Show me I'm wrong and I'll admit it, but as long as you keep those perfect responses buzzing around in your head instead of typing them into your blog, I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be conceding here.

I could have ignored the protests concerning the ACLU funding but instead responded, retracted the idea that they might get DIRECT funding and moved on. Again, if that is not good enough for you feel free to have a nice day! Grins!

Once you were challenged explicitly. Just like I said.

"And, no, I am not anywhere near as inaccurate as the Old Grey Lady. That is indeed a hoot! It barely qualifies as bird cage material these days."

I hate to break it to you, but even the NYT still has a much better batting average than you. National Enquirer... yeah, pretty much them too. The one to beat is the newspaper of record.

radar said...

Creeper, not sure what to say to you anymore. Your understanding of science is not up to the level of your manners, which are shoddy. You bandy about the term "liar" freely in cyberspace. Lack of manners, I would say.

If you can't grasp the Second Law of Thermodynamics then you shouldn't try to apply it. If you cannot see that macroevolution must operate in direct contrast to that law then you are willingly blind. So it goes back to faith. Your faith in Darwinism is too strong to allow you to see anything else.

Dan never disproved the Equus/Eohippus source. He knew the statement existed and neither he nor I could find additional sources available now. The statement was unrefuted at the time, so it is certainly possible that it was, and is, true. Without corroboration either way it remains an enigma. Lacking further evidence it must stand until disproven. Go for it, if you like. Myself, I agreed with Dan that other sources could not be found for that specific statement and therefore we would continue the discussion with it standing as unsubstantiated evidence which could be neither proven nor disproven. Now, do you understand THAT?

The rest of us seem to be able to have civil and adult conversations. Not sure why you aren't able to get the hint.....

creeper said...

"Creeper, not sure what to say to you anymore. Your understanding of science is not up to the level of your manners, which are shoddy."

My apologies if I get a little exasperated in the course of this discussion. I've had people walk out on me before, but not when I was being so charming...

As for my understanding of science, well heck there are many, many things I don't know, but given your pronouncements on this blog, I'll take your opinion on other people's understanding of science with a heavy dose of salt.

"You bandy about the term "liar" freely in cyberspace. Lack of manners, I would say."

Perhaps you still miss the point that I didn't call you a liar, but observed that you are on the verge of committing a lie. I don't see what's so ill-mannered about pointing that out. It certainly seems less ill-mannered than the act of lying itself, which I recommend you don't undertake.

You have posted your share of lies, but I'm perfectly willing to believe that that was done unwittingly - though it would help me to sustain that notion if you reacted when this is pointed out to you.

"If you can't grasp the Second Law of Thermodynamics then you shouldn't try to apply it."

Applying the 2nd law of thermodynamics doesn't take much trying - we all do it all the time. Now please explain how the way you see this law as working is compatible with your existence. Can we agree that you exist, for starters? Can we agree that you were born?

"If you cannot see that macroevolution must operate in direct contrast to that law then you are willingly blind."

Sort out what you understand by the 2nd law of thermodynamics first - especially as it relates to you being able to exist - and then we can continue this discussion. Obviously as you understand it, macroevolution must operate in direct contrast to it - but so must you being born, eating cereal, driving a car, what have you. If all those things violate the 2nd law as you understand it, then isn't it likely that your understanding of the law might be a mite inadequate, no?

"So it goes back to faith. Your faith in Darwinism is too strong to allow you to see anything else."

Not really. My faith is not dependent on the theory of evolution being true. If science demonstrates a better theory tomorrow, I don't mind.

Dan never disproved the Equus/Eohippus source."

Umm... how is Dan supposed to disprove the existence of a source?

"He knew the statement existed and neither he nor I could find additional sources available now. The statement was unrefuted at the time, so it is certainly possible that it was, and is, true. Without corroboration either way it remains an enigma. Lacking further evidence it must stand until disproven."

Lacking further evidence, it should obviously be seen as an enigma, and not "stand until disproven", as proof or disproof of anything. And again, how is one supposed to disprove the existence of these fossils?

Myself, I agreed with Dan that other sources could not be found for that specific statement and therefore we would continue the discussion with it standing as unsubstantiated evidence which could be neither proven nor disproven. Now, do you understand THAT?"

I understand that this doesn't exactly amount to something supporting the point you were trying to make at the time, and should best be put aside. Looks like you don't understand that though.

cranky old fart said...

Did you know that Exxon funds the Alaskan fishing industry to the tune of billions of dollars?

http://www.lieffcabraser.com/wbh_exxart.htm

Anonymous said...

Dan S. says . . .

Now I have Tori's song Winter stuck in my head: all the white horses have gone ahead/. . . . you say that things change . . .

At least it crowded out the Ranma theme song. That just got stuck in my head, a bit of candy-coated japanese anime pop, playing over and over again - enough to make a man mad - mad, I tell you!!!

Ok. Horses. For anyone who missed that bit o' fun, I commented about & linked to a talk orgins article by a guy who said he tracked an oft-repeated claim (eohippus (Hyracotherium, dawn horse) found in the same strata as Eohippus (modern horse genus) down to its original source. He said that the source made no such specific claim. It did claim, apparently without proof given, that the two had lived side by side, something that seems to have arisen from a conviction, evident elsewhere in the text, that all fossils date from the same time. The TO writer also looked through the literature and was unable to find any reference to such a find.

Man, this is getting boring.

OK, let's flip it. I wrote something about a baby getting a baboon heart transplant and dying; the physician explained he used a baboon heart instead of, say, a chimp, because he didn't believe in evolution. Upon reflection, I became a bit suspicious of this account. I couldn't view the orginal source, but I found other references and no online debunkings or other suggestions it was seen as doubtful.

Let's say radar posted a link to a website - creationist or not - where someone claimed to have read the original (cited) newspaper article, only to find no such reference. They look at a major relevent reference work, track down some sources - nothing. Unless I had some convincing reason to question the truth of this account (ie, previous intentional deception from this author), my working hypothesis would be that it was quite probably an urban legend. I wouldn't state that I would keep on saying it, except that it's unimportant, since genetics shows that evolution happened (although perhaps I misunderstood radar's response)

When they extort funds from a city government, it is tax dollars again . . . But they extort money and demand payment of their legal fees

Extortion? That's a strong word. The playground example would be a bully telling some poor kid to hand over his lunch money . . . or else. Now, I suppose it's possible that ACLU toughs are showing up in school board meetings relaying a message about what a nice school district they had here, it would be a shame if something happened to it (as one picks up a nearby plaster Jesus and one-handedly crushes it into powder . . . but I kinda doubt it. Additionally, I think you'd want to show that obtaining money was in fact a primary goal of the action, as opposed to being a means to an end - ie, a legal deterent.


OK, radar - let's say Mass. passes a law making it illegal for public schools to teach intelligent design creationism in science class. The Thomas More Law Center goes up against the state and wins. It is awarded a tidy six-figure sum.

Would you be for or against this?

mrs. aginoth: specially as it now covers over 40 different Nationalities, and many more cultures!
Wow.

-Dan S.

cranky old fart said...

Did you know that the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) is largely funded by the insurance industry?

cranky old fart said...

Did you know that the Southern Poverty Law Center is funded in large part by the KKK and other hate groups?

Anonymous said...

cranky old fart -

that's awesome. It's downright poetic.

-Dan S.

cranky old fart said...

Dan S.,

Thanks.

Do you think Radar gets it yet? Or more to the point, will ever acknowledge it?

Hey radar, did you know that all those Catholic pedophilia victim's lawyers were actually funded by the Catholic church? Weird, huh?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what he thinks of the Southern Poverty Law Center? Bunch o' Communists, probably . . . or worse! At least some folks think so . . .

From a random right-wing xtian site:
"The SPLC is no better [than the ACLU]. It believes Christianity to be hateful, and it prosecuted Judge Roy Moore and the State of Alabama for its display of the 10 Commandments. Morris Dees founded the SPLC in 1971. He is a known adulterer and an accused child molester. . . . Was Morris Dees in the civil rights battle for charity or profit? According to this webpage, http://www.zpub.com/notes/znote-splc.html, Dees profited handsomely from his involvement with the SPLC. . . . Folks, we must be wise enough to realize that if the ACLU and/or the SPLC oppose an organization, it is highly likely that we ought to SUPPORT that organization. Of course, we must evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis . . . but certainly put your "detective hat" on if the ACLU or SPLC opposes an organization. They are the bad guys, and are most likely fighting the good guys."

]shakes head in disbelief[

-Dan S.

cranky old fart said...

They are a shady bunch, the Southern Poverty Law Center. From their pinko website:

"Center attorneys developed strategies to hold white supremacist leaders accountable for their followers' violence"

Or were they just covertly seeking "funding"? Hmmm.

We report, you decide!

Anonymous said...

And don't forget, Coretta Scott King was a Communist!

Oh, Ben "Box Turtle" Domenech, we hardly knew ye!

"we plagiarise, you deride!"

But seriously, it sort of ties into the same thing. It's all about the grand epic battle between Good and Evil, whether that might be America vs. the Communists, or Creationism vs. Modernity. The idea that the civil rights movement might have actually been about people seeking equality, rather than the work of 'outside agitators' or that scientists might be working hard to learn more about the world,* rather than dreaming up exciting new ways to attack Christianity . . . . inconceivable!

* along with the various mundane and quite human goals: (relative) fame, status, money- it's impressive, though: when they do job-statisfaction surveys, scientists (and folks with similar 'wow, they're paying me to do the sort of thing I would pay to do!' jobs) tend to be waywayway up towards the top, because, hey, think about it . . . . It makes me sad, in a way - all the folks stuck in the kinds of jobs that act like a slow, constant sandpapering of the spirit. I can't imagine any way around it, but it is a shame that the attacks on science education and education in general may well be making sure some kids don't get to grow up and have this sort of occupational happiness . . .

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

From that link:
"Communist hysteria like Domenech's outburst was one of the critical tools -- some historians say the most important -- that the Southern power structure and their national allies used to discredit the civil rights struggle and maintain white supremacy."

Which, of course, leads one to ask, regarding the ongoing anti-ACLU hysteria, an ancient question: cui bono?*

The post answers that kind of question, in this case regarding resurgent red-baiting, frighteningly well - those who want to "justify today's crack-down on dissent . . . [and] re-write our entire history -- to cast as vicitims those who stood for racism, white rule and persecution . . .and to portray those who stood most nobly for justice and freedom as irrelevant or diabolically un-American.
In other words, to change the very definition of progress in our country."

Now that change, I can most definitely oppose.

*No, not a relative of Sonny or the U2 singer - who benefits?

Anonymous said...

re: warrantless spying

Federalist #51 (on checks and balances), via digby

" . . It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself . . ."

-Dan S.