Thursday, May 08, 2008

McCain's Other Ear

"I can't begin to tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam. That we see it for what it really is. In fact...I do not believe that our nation can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam…I know that this statement sounds extreme. But I am not shrinking back from its implications. The fact is that...America was founded in part with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed. And I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we no longer can afford to ignore."

These are the words of Rod Parsley, a so-called Man of God, a Preacher, who is described by John McCain as John McCain's "spiritual guide". McCain refuses to denounce these words or any others uttered by Parsley or reject parsley's endorsement of him for President. I wouldn't normally care, because everyone famous has nutjobs riding their coattails. But, in this instance, McCain has called on Barack Obama to denounce Jeremiah Wright's feiry rhetoric and to reject Wright's endorsement.
And when exactly did our Founding Fathers decide that one of the overriding directives of our new democracy was to wipe out Islam? I don't recall reading that or being told that in school. While we, as a part of Western civilization, have been at odds and intermittent war with Islamic countries for quite some time I don't think that the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution call for the demise of Islam. Colonial monarchy, yes. Islam, not so much. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Please.
Other things Parsley has said:

"I just love to talk about your money. Let me be very clear -- I want your money. I deserve it. This church deserves it."
"Only 1 percent of the homosexual population in America will die of old age. The average life expectancy for a homosexual in the United States of America is 43 years of age. A lesbian can only expect to live to be 45 years of age. Homosexuals represent 2 percent of the population, yet today they're carrying 60 percent of the known cases of syphilis."

Like I said, I don't usually lend much of an ear to those who surround those who seek public office, because some are always going to be extreme in their opinions. But for McCain to publicly embrace Parsley and Hagee and basically tell the nation that these two people will have his ear if he's elected to the highest office in our land is irresponsible, unethical and downright two-faced when he's calling for Obama to completely reject Wright.

Full Court Press

U.S. lease of Waterloo fairgrounds raises questions

Federal officials have imposed a news blackout at the National Cattle Congress fairgrounds in Waterloo, where they have leased almost the entire property through May 25.Tim Counts, a Midwest spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, declined to say Monday whether an immigration raid is pending that would use the fairgrounds as a detention center.
"ICE never talks about our investigative activity or possible future enforcement actions," Counts said. "Regarding the exercise in Waterloo, there is currently no publicly releasable information about that, so we aren't releasing any."He declined to say whether the "exercise" involves training or an immigration enforcement operation."We expect that at some point there will be additional information available, but I can't speculate at what point that might be," Counts said.
In December 2006, ICE conducted an immigration raid at the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Marshalltown. Many workers were transported to Camp Dodge in Johnston, where military barracks were used as temporary detention facilities. A total of 1,282 Swift workers were arrested in Iowa and five other states in the biggest crackdown in history on immigration violations at one company.The Waterloo Courier on Sunday reported that contractors have installed generators adjacent to many buildings at the fairgrounds.
In addition, windows on many buildings have been covered up, blocking views inside. A number of mobile-home-size trailers have been transported to the privately owned grounds.Doug Miller, general manager of the Cattle Congress, declined Monday to release a copy of his group's rental contract with U.S. General Services Administration. He also indicated he was in the dark about what's happening inside the fairgrounds."I have no idea. They are conducting whatever exercise they are conducting without telling me all the details of it. I don't have any information to share with you, really," Miller said.
Representatives of Gov. Chet Culver and U.S. Sens. Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley said they had no information about what was happening at the Cattle Congress fairgrounds.At Grassley's request, his staff called ICE officials on Monday."During the call, the ICE officials would neither confirm nor deny anything to Senator Grassley's staff," said Beth Pellett Levine, a Grassley aide.Armando Villareal, administrator of the Iowa Division of Latino Affairs, said he hadn't heard any reports about impending immigration raids. But he added that many Latinos in Iowa are feeling tension and fear.
"Folks have resigned themselves that something terrible is going to happen between now and the election. It is more like a resignation that something is going to happen," Villareal said.

Directive 51 (just for us conspiracy theorists):
(from Wikipedia)
The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (National Security Presidential Directive NSPD-51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD-20, sometimes called simply "Executive Directive 51" for short), signed by United States President George W. Bush on May 4, 2007, is a Presidential Directive which specifies the procedures for continuity of the federal government in the event of a "catastrophic emergency." Such an emergency is construed as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions." [1]
The unclassified portion of the directive was posted on the White House website on May 9, 2007, without any further announcement or press briefings,[2] although Special Assistant to George W. Bush Gordon Johndroe answered several questions on the matter when asked about it by members of the press in early June 2007.[3]

(The Directive specifies that all three branches of government will work together, but be coordinated by the president even though all three branches are designated as equal in the Constitution and no one branch can dictate the actions of another.)