Friday, January 29, 2010

Howard Zinn: "On Human Nature and Aggression."

R.I.P. Howard

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fox News Turned Its Back On Haiti Benefit Concert

Fox News was the only news network and almost the only network, period, not to air the Hope for Haiti telethon tonight. Instead, it chose to air The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity in full. Hannity didn't even discus Haiti. According to MTV, the sponsor of the telethon, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox (broadcasting), CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, CMT, PBS, TNT, Showtime, Comedy Central, Bravo, E! Entertainment, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, G4, CENTRIC, Current TV, Fuse, MLB Network, EPIX, Palladia, SoapNet, Style, Discovery Health, Planet Green, CNN en EspaƱol, HBO Latino and Canadian networks, including CBC Television, CTV, Global Television and MuchMusic were to broadcast the fundraiser, as would BET International, CNN International, National Geographic and MTV Networks International.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stand With Haiti

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Year Of Opposition: Fox News' War On The White House

R.I.P. Kate McGarrigle - Heart Like a Wheel

The Real Face of the Devil by nonny mouse

The banality of evil, coined by Hannah Arendt about Adolf Eichmann, applies not to sociopaths or cartoon moustache twirling villains, but rather ordinary people who accepted the principles of a morally corrupt regime without question and convinced themselves that gassing millions of people and shoving the bodies into ovens was perfectly normal behavior. Even… morally righteous.

But those people are a thing of the past. Could never happen here. People can’t be dragged down into that darkness again. Yet when I listen to Pat Robertson speaking, a shiver of unease slices up my spine. To Pat Robertson, the catastrophe in Haiti is a direct result of the Haitians who made a ‘pact with the devil’ hundreds of years ago to get rid of the French.

Pat Robertson has at best a tenuous grasp of history, or he simply doesn’t like the idea of uppity black folk, or both. For Pat Robertson, the Haitian Revolution had nothing to do with African slaves revolting against one of the most hellish slave colonies ever to have existed, overthrowing their French oppressors and establishing the first black republic in the world. The poverty in Haiti is completely unrelated to the economic blockades and imposed reparations crippling the country for centuries – imposed by God-fearing Christians of Europe and the United States.

No, Pat Robertson apparently believes that Haiti was ‘under the heel of the French, ah, Napoleon the Third and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact with the devil. They said, we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French. True story!’

Why let pesky facts such as Napoleon the Third wasn’t even born until four years after the Haitian Revolution and the establishment of an independent Haiti stand in the way of a ‘true story’? He then compounds his demonstration of colossal ignorance and bigotry by a comparison of ‘desperately poor’ Haiti and the Dominican Republic, ‘prosperous, healthy, full of resorts…’ The Spanish colonized the Dominican Republic which tried to gain independence in 1821, but was invaded and occupied by Haitian military for the next twenty three years, and has suffered its own bloody history of tyrannical rulers and political upheaval. But, hey! It’s got resorts on it, the sort favoured by fat, rich, white men with pockets full of viagra.

It would be laughable, if it weren’t so sinister. He’s smart enough to know he’s stepped in the merde big time, and is backpedalling furiously, if somewhat lamely. Well, ya see, Pat was misunderstood, Chris Roslin, Spokesman for CBN on his website is insisting; it’s all because of this guy called Boukman Dutty who presided over a voodoo ceremony at Bois Caiman in 1791, where Haitian slave ‘made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed. Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath…’

Oh, Chris. You’re really not helping the man any. ‘Countless scholars?’ Name one. Preferably one who’s graduated from somewhere a bit more highly regarded for intellectual rigour and impartiality than Regent University, which apparently doesn’t actually have a History department. But of course, Pat Robertson’s perception of voodoo has its basis more in old Boris Karloff films than any comprehensive anthropological studies. Which apparently Regent doesn’t offer, either. (Regent does offer an MBA specializing in marketing and business programmes as well as animation, cinema-television, theatre and media studies along with its primary theological degrees. None of these, however, would I consider as a basis of expertise in history for those ‘countless’ scholars). But then, this is a man who believes yoga is evil. Yup, you read that correctly – yoga.

Our Kid has written an excellent post on her academic blog, which goes into far more detail of the ambulatory ignorant ignominy that is Pat Robertson. At the risk of being accused of nepotism, check it out anyway – it’s a good compendium of Robertson’s demented declarations over the years – from his blaming 9/11 on pagans, feminists, the ACLU, and homosexuals who made God mad. Everyone except Muslim terrorists using planes as a political method to protest American policy in the Middle East. Katrina was the fault of abortionists and Ellen Degeneres. Not a hurricane. Sharon’s stroke and Rabin’s assassination, that’s the UN and Europe’s fault for arguing with Israel, which for some reason pissed off God… the logic behind I’m starting to have trouble following; you’d think a hurricane or an earthquake would knock over the UN building if God were that cheesed off.

And the just penalty for those of any religion except the true word of God According To Pat Robertson? Death.

Now, the rest of it I can laugh about, it’s too ludicrous to take too seriously. But we’ve seen what happens when those with the ear of the gullible and the fanatic preach intolerance. And those who pray for death as a fitting punishment for those of any religion but the ‘true faith’ cannot stand back and claim their hands are clean and their conscience clear. They cannot preach bigotry and fanaticism and buy their way out with ‘humanitarian aid’ for the suffering – aid shackled to condemnation is not ‘humanitarian.’ They cannot be excused for being ‘delusional’ or ‘uncompromising’ or ‘pious’ or ‘misunderstood.’ Religion is not an excuse to give up one’s humanity, any more than National Socialism was. Those who preach death and intolerance in the name of God – anybody’s God – are no better than those who egged on the suicide terrorists who slammed planes full of innocent people into buildings.

Haiti has been devastated by an earthquake. Not the hand the God, not the wrath the devil. New Zealand also lives in an earthquake zone – it could have been us instead. It could have California. It could have been Japan. It could have been Iran. It could have been anyone. That’s the thing about earthquakes – it’s just a disinterested shifting of geological tectonic plates that doesn’t give a damn who’s living on the fragile crust above.

But I say unto you, verily, we have seen the face of the devil. He’s peering out of the eyes and talking out of the mouth of a banal, old, white guy raking in millions of dollars from the loyal benighted fans of a televangelist talk show and preaching hatred and bigotry and death and calling it God’s love.

If the devil exists, he’s not in Haiti.

From Crooks and Liars

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thinking of Judy

Forgive me Judy, I need a hug now that your gone.

I heard Judy Chamberlin speak in 1986 at an Alternatives Conference in South Carolina. It was my first Alternatives Con and I was almost overcome by the amount of survivors/mental patients/ex-patients that attended. 1,600 of us.

I was one of the small group of P.M.C.A. members that were there. Luckily Janet Foner was there to give us the scoop on who was who and who did what. After hearing Judy speak I asked Janet to introduce me to Judy. When I approached Judy later that night I tried to give Judy a warm friendly hug. I made a big mistake. She blew me off saying "please don't do that, it's not your fault, I don't do hugs." I found out later from Janet that Judy was so badly abused during her time in the mental health system she couldn't stand being touched by strangers.

That seemed very weird to me at the time because I once did three days in a seclusion room for hugging a friend who was having a bad day when we were on the tenth floor of WPIC. They called it sexual stimulation.

Some of Judy's Accomplishments and Awards.
Her book and some of her Ideas helped Jack Barry and myself found WellSpring Drop-In Center.

Psychiatric Survivor - Judi is a psychiatric survivor and a long-time activist in the survivor/consumer/ex-patient movement. She is a co-founder of the Ruby Rogers Advocacy and Drop-In Center, a self-help center run by and for people who have received psychiatric services, and she is a staff associate with the National Empowerment Center. Judi has been a devotedNARPA member since the organization's earliest days.

Author - Judi is the author of On Our Own: Patient Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System, which was originally published in 1978 and has recently been republished in Britain and Italy. She has also written numerous articles about the movement, self-help and patients' rights.

Consultant - Judi is currently affiliated with the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation where she directs a research project on user-run self-help services. She is also on the staff at the National Empowerment Center.

Activist - Judi is a long-time board member of NARPA and the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS). Other boards and committees on which she serves include: the Massachusetts Mental Health State Planning Council; the Disability Law Center Governing Board; the Coalition for the Legal Rights of People with Disabilities; and the Consumer/Survivor Mental Health Research and Policy Work Group.

Speaker/Lecturer - Judi has spoken at conferences and meetings throughout the U.S. and has appeared on many radio and television programs such as Oprah, Sally-Jessy Raphael andGeraldo, discussing the topics of self-help and patients' rights. Her international appearances include Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Holland, Portugal, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Awards - In 1992, Judi was awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the President of the United States by the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. She also received the David J. Vail National Advocacy Award and the 1995 Pike Prize, which honors those who have given outstanding service to people with disabilities.

Here is a little song that Janet Foner taught us a long time ago.

The Hug song

I wanna hug when you say hello
I wanna hug when it's time to go
I wanna hug because everyone knows
Hugging is good for you
I wanna hug, it's a wonderful feeling
Wanna hug, it helps with (it's part of) the healing
Wanna hug, because hugging feels
Like a natural thing to do

Doctor Dan, he's a friendly man, big and round like a bear
He hugs his friends, they hug him - any time, anywhere
Now the patients came for therapy to drive their blues away
And sooner or later they would feel better when they heard Dan say

When the boss of the hospital heard about this he was most annoyed
He said, Hugging is sexual sublimation - according to Doctor Freud
You can hide them, you can keep them down you can calm them with your drugs
You can slap them, zap them with electric shocks, but you can't give them a hug

He said, Now Dan you'll have to go, this behaviour is no good
Any deviation from the medical practice could easily get us sued
Now Dan doesn't feel too bad for himself, in fact he's kind of proud
But he's sorry for the folks who are locked away where hugging's not allow

Judy's blog Life as a Hospice Patient

Sad news: Judi Chamberlin, mad movement leader, dies at 65

Dear MindFreedom News list,

I received sad news this morning from several good friends of long-
time mad movement activist Judi Chamberlin in Massachusetts.

I'm sorry to provide this news to you all by e-mail, but last night
Judi died at the age of 65. I send my support to Judi's relatives and
friends, and everyone who admired and loved her.

Many were aware that she was in hospice for some time. True to the
amazing passionate and practical person she was, Judi had a hospice
activist blog you can find via Google at:

Judi Chamberlin hospice blog

Judi has been a good personal friend of mine since we met in Mental
Patients Liberation Front in 1976, and she has been a unifying leader
with so many organizations in our mad movement, including for many
years on the board of directors of MindFreedom International.

Judi has sometimes been called the "grandmother" of the mad movement,
beginning with her pioneering work for empowering alternatives for
mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors with her book "On
Our Own: Patient Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health
System" (1978).

I'm sure there will be information and remembrances soon about this
remarkable heroine and human being. While she was alive, Judi's
friends and relatives held a celebration of her life this past 20
August 2009.

When we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. on his holiday tomorrow, 18
January 2010, let's also remember all late leaders for a nonviolent
revolution in all justice movements, including Judi Chamberlin.


In support,

David W. Oaks, Executive Director
MindFreedom International
454 Willamette, Suite 216 - POB 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

office phone: (541) 345-9106 fax: (480) 287-8833
member services toll free in USA: 1-877-MAD-PRID[e] or 1-877-623-7743

Unite for a Nonviolent Revolution in Mental Health.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."
- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Satan's Letter to Pat

From Daily Kos

Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher.

The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished. Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake.

Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or "Damn Yankees"? If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it -- I'm just saying: Not how I roll.

You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Best, Satan


1 Million Meals For Haiti

In the United States, hundreds of volunteers will be working through the weekend to prepare and package one million ready to eat meals to send to Haiti.

They will be diligently working from 12 noon – 10 pm Friday and 8 am – 8 pm Saturday at the El Dorado Convention Center in El Dorado, Kansas, to support Salvation Army relief efforts in Haiti.

These meals , courtesty of Numana Inc. (, consist of rice, soy protein, freeze-dried vegetables and vitamins and can be cooked in boiling water. The one million meals will total more than 150,000 pounds once boxed! An additional 285,000 meals, also prepared by Numana Inc., are currently awaiting shipment from Des Moines, Iowa.

No time-table has been set for the delivery of the meals, but The Salvation Army is currently coordinating with other agencies to get these supplies where they are needed.

Thank you to Numana Inc., and all our volunteers who are working so hard to help make this possible!

For more information on what The Salvation Army is doing in Haiti, visit our national website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also donate directly to the Haiti relief effort:
Online Credit Card Contributions or PayPal
• Text ‘HAITI’ to 52000
• Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY
• Mail a check or money order to:
The Salvation Army World Service Office
International Disaster Relief Fund
PO Box 630728
Baltimore, MD 21263-0728
*Please note that your donation is for Haiti Earthquake relief*

Rage Against The Machine-Freedom Live

Rage Against The Machine / No Shelter

THE NIGHTWATCHMAN (Tom Morello) "Road I Must Travel"

Tony Norman - What the devil's up with Pat Robertson?

By Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

During Wednesday's "The 700 Club," religious broadcaster Pat Robertson took the teachable moment provided by the tragedy in Haiti to school Kristi Watts, his African-American co-host, on the origin of that nation's chronic and cyclical misery.

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about," the faith healer, false prophet and former business partner of African despots Charles Taylor and Mobutu Sese Seko said during his program's disaster relief fundraiser.

"They were under the heel of the French, you know, Napoleon III and, whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the [French].' True story," Mr. Robertson said with an inappropriate smile.

Meanwhile, Ms. Watts nodded like she's done a thousand times before. As long as their checks continue to clear, no one at "The 700 Club" is in a hurry to challenge the boss' grip on reality.

"And so the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal,'" the broadcaster said with the confidence of a man who refuses to recognize a fairy tale when he hears it. "The Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other."

This Faustian version of the Haitian revolution isn't documented in any history book, but the legend of Jean-Jacques Dessalines' pact with Satan initiated on Aug. 14, 1791, is a popular folk tale.

That Haitian legend involving Satan and voodoo rituals has about as much historical credibility as Yankee tall tales about Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, or of Davy Crockett climbing rays of frozen sunlight to liberate the world from the coldest winter ever. So, why is a prominent American religious broadcaster quoting an urban myth as historical gospel?

When Ms. Watts looks back on that broadcast many years from now, she'll kick herself for not saying the things that would occur to any sentient person being confronted with such nonsense on live TV.

Instead of nodding her head, Kristi Watts should have taken the lead in an interrogation along these lines:

KW: Is the devil racist on top of everything else, Pat? Why do Haitians have to pay for their liberation in ways the American colonists who revolted against Britain didn't? We don't have this litany of disasters.

PR: The devil isn't racist, Kristi. That's crazy talk. Satan is a liar and a schemer, but he isn't racist. We can't throw around charges that aren't merited by the metaphysical facts. [He giggles uncontrollably.]

KW: I'm just saying -- American colonists were under the heel of the British, too. They had few resources with which to fight the greatest nautical and military power on Earth, yet they won. How do we know that the Founding Fathers didn't swear a pact with the devil, too?

PR: Because, Kristi, America was founded as a Christian nation. No voodoo was used. The founders treated their slaves compassionately, so there was no need for satanic revolts. Jesus gave America the Constitution, its wise gun laws and righteous men to lead it. Jesus loves America above all other nations.

KW: Didn't you and Rev. Jerry Falwell once say that 9/11 was God's punishment on this country for harboring abortionists and tolerating feminism and the homosexual agenda?

PR: Actually, Jerry said all that. I just nodded my head like an idiot.

KW: What about Hurricane Katrina? Didn't you once prophesy that the destruction of huge swaths of New Orleans was a manifestation of God's wrath?

PR: God moves in mysterious ways, Kristi. Even I can't explain all of the Lord's actions, though I do better than most. But you're missing the point...

KW: Isn't it arrogant for anyone, especially a guy with as dicey a record of predicting the future as you, to say anything about why God allows human suffering on such a massive scale?

PR: I detect a devil in you, young lady. The spirit of dissension is inhabiting your bones. Stand still so I can cast this demon out of you before it carries your soul to hell.

KW: [laughs] And you have the nerve to talk about Haitian voodoo? Please! You need an exorcist and a psychiatrist, Pat Robertson.

Tony Norman can be reached at or 412-263-1631.

Rush Limbaugh and his ilk watch the coverage of the overwhelming devastation in Haiti and see minorities. The rest of humanity watches and see people.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Teddy Pendergrass - Close The Door

Help for Haiti: Learn What You Can Do

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blackberry Addiction

I got my BlackBerry Curve 8520 six months ago. Main reason is because I don't like those touch key pads like the ones on the Iphone and other newer cellphones. Big fingers like mine have problems with those little touch keys, found that out on my Itouch 16.

So, after these wonderful six months with the Curve I found that I am a BlackBerry Addict.
I got sucked in so easy, even after being drug free (except a little weed now and then since 82).
After I finished reading Under The Dome on my Kindle ( Kindle Addiction is bad as well) I decided to do something about it. Found this book CRACKBERRY: Trule Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse! Hopefully I will be free soon :)

Punxsutawney Phil Is Going To Text His Prediction This Year

I know there is a tradition to uphold, and I enjoyed the movie, but groundhog texting? Do they even have thumbs?

Of course, the idea is to get the word out to the millions of crazy people out there that rely on a talking groundhog to predict the weather. If you are one of those people, text "Groundhog" to 247365. You will receive a reply on February 2nd. And, the good news is that Phil is fluent in both "groundhog-ese" and English, so you will have no problem absorbing his wisdom.


Does Phil really use an Iphone? Blackberrys are better ;) - wolf

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rise of the New McCarthyism

From People For The American Way

How Right Wing Extremists Try to Paralyze Government Through Ideological Smears and Baseless Attacks

On December 2, 1954, the U.S. Senate voted to censure Sen. Joseph McCarthy, bringing to an end four years of political intimidation and character assassination so ferocious that McCarthy’s name is still synonymous with a particularly destructive form of demagoguery.

McCarthy’s campaign against supposedly widespread communist infiltration of the U.S. government brought down sitting Senators and intimidated even President Eisenhower (who loathed McCarthy) and his advisors. McCarthy’s campaign was boosted by conservative think tanks, media figures, and clergy, and abetted for years by the unwillingness of most of his colleagues to stand up against his false charges and clear abuses of power.

McCarthy launched his campaign with a speech on February 9, 1950, in West Virginia, claiming to have a list of 205 people in the State Department known to be members of the Communist Party. He made similar claims, with shifting numbers, many times. McCarthy’s charges were inflammatory and false, and often sufficiently vague to resist any fact-checking. But his bluster and manipulation of the era’s fear of global communism allowed him to build power while destroying lives and careers.

McCarthy was eventually undone by his overreaching attacks on the U.S. Army; the televised Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954 finally exposed him to a wide audience as a malicious and irresponsible bully. A crucial moment in his reversal of fortune took place when the Army’s chief counsel Joseph Welch, responding to attacks on a young lawyer, put McCarthy in his place, saying, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Today, Joseph McCarthy’s ideological heirs in the Republican Party and right-wing media are using the language and tactics of McCarthy to stir fears that the nation is being destroyed by enemies from within. Republican Members of Congress and other GOP officials have not shown Welch’s concern for decency; instead they frequently act as an “amen chorus” to the far right’s demagogues or stay silent, hoping to reap political gain from the attacks on President Obama, administration officials and nominees, congressional democrats, and even military leaders.

Journalist Haynes Johnson, author of The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism, writes:

The shame of the Senate, especially the shame of its leaders and moderates on both sides of the aisle, was expressed by historian Robert Griffith when he wrote that McCarthy’s victories were made possible “only by the unwillingness of moderates to take a stand that might expose them to obloquy.” Perhaps, Griffith added, “this was the key to McCarthy’s continued power – not the ranting of demagogues, but the fear and irresolution of honorable men.”

Among McCarthy’s targets was President Harry Truman, whom he called a “dangerous liberal,” and the Democratic Party, of which he said during the 1952 campaign:

The Democratic label is now the property of men who have been unwilling to recognize evil or who bent to whispered pleas from the lips of traitors….

In fact, McCarthy was fond of referring to the “Democrat Party” – using the term as a slur. The refusal to use the correct term “Democratic Party” was so associated with McCarthy that it went out of style for decades, but the rhetorical tactic has been resurrected and embraced by the Karl Rove-Newt Gingrich-Frank Luntz Republican Party of today.

McCarthy tactics then and now

From 1953 to 1955, McCarthy held 117 hearings and even more closed-door interrogations, witch hunts for subversives that thrived on guilt by association: someone had worked for a union, dates a communist, been in a book club that read a book by Marx. Author Johnson writes that reviewing the transcripts of those sessions made it clear that McCarthy, in addition to guilt by association and character assassination, was engaged in an “obsessive hunt for homosexuals,” hounded writers, artists, and composers, attacked the reputations of military leaders.

Today’s McCarthyism has many faces and voices, including the household names of right-wing cable television, a plethora of radio hosts, Religious Right leaders, right-wing organizations and the bogus “grassroots” campaigns they generate – and Members of Congress and other Republican Party officials. Together they engage in character assassination and challenge the loyalty and patriotism of their targets.

Fox's Glenn Beck, who reaches millions of Americans with his televised tirades, has become an almost cartoonish McCarthy clone, with his guilt-by-association charts supposedly detailing the communist connections of White House officials.

Dangerous “elites” subverting the national interest

McCarthy inflamed fears that the nation was being destroyed by enemies from within:

The reason we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because the enemy has sent men to invade our shores, but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who had all the benefits that the wealthiest nation on earth has had to offer – the finest homes, the finest college educations, and the finest jobs in Government (and the private sector) we can give.

Sound familiar? The attack on sinister Ivy League-educated elites is one of the essential rhetorical tools of far-right pundits and Republican politicians like Sarah Palin. The most surreal example was Ivy-educated, investment banker, millionaire, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney railing against “eastern elites” at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Republican smear campaigns often make use of this “elites vs. real Americans” theme. Here’s Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, speaking to senators about then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court:

Remember the values of the regular folks who sent you to Washington. Don’t vote for a Supreme Court nominee whose values are closer to those of the intellectual elite than to those of your constituents.

McCarthy routinely accused his opponents of subverting the national interest. Typical was his characterization of Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson as someone “who steadfastly serves the interests of nations other than his own.”

That’s a staple of right-wing rhetoric today. Sen. Inhofe criticized President Obama’s speech in the Middle East by saying “I just don’t know whose side he’s on.” Earlier this year, Sen. Mitch McConnell slammed President Obama’s plans to close Guantanamo, saying that it was “to make us popular in Europe.” And Religious Right godfather James Dobson said at this year’s Council for National Policy gathering, “our president seems to believe in peace through appeasement” and compared him to Neville Chamberlain. “We’re in greater danger right now than at any time since the civil war,” said Dobson.

These characterizations have extended to a number of Obama administration executive and judicial branch nominees. For example, Dawn Johnsen, a widely respected legal scholar whose nomination to the Office of Legal Counsel has been held up for almost a year in spite of bipartisan support from the legal community and her home state senators, has infuriated right-wing pundits and politicians for her outspoken criticism of Bush administration efforts to legally justify torture. For taking a strong rule-of-law stance, she has been pilloried as an enemy of America’s national security. National Review’s Andrew McCarthy, for example, calls her a “radical’s radical.”

Another target is Judge Edward Chen, who has been nominated to a seat on the Northern District of California. The right-wing Washington Times editorial page opened its hatchet job on Chen with the sentence, "Another day, another Obama nominee who doesn't appear to love America." For its 'evidence,' the editorial cites comments Chen made in the wake of the 9-11 attacks worrying about potential recriminations for Muslim Americans.

Communism, Socialism, “Obamunism”

McCarthy frightened many Americans with charges that the government was infested with communist sympathizers. His current-day acolytes have made charges long considered beyond the pale of political discourse – comparisons of President Obama and other administration officials with tyrannical figures like Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Chairman Mao – so frequently that they are losing their shock value. Former and likely future presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is among many who have called Obama a socialist, and said of the Obama budget, “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”

The same is true of charges that the Obama administration and congressional democratic leaders are communists, socialists, and/or fascists bent on destroying capitalism and the market economy and imposing a socialist dictatorship in America. Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia has compared Obama to Hitler, called Obama and Democratic congressional leaders a “socialistic elite” and warned that they’re planning to create a pretext to declaring martial law. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) warned of 17 socialists in Congress. Rep. Michele Bachmann has called the health care reform bill “the crown jewel of socialism.” The Traditional Values Coalition has warned that “Obamunism must be stopped.”

Van Jones, founder of Color of Change and a leading advocate of using “green” technologies to bring jobs to de-industrialized American cities, resigned from his position as a White House advisor after a fierce campaign against him by right-wing pundits who denounced him as a communist.Jones’ resignation was like blood in the water to Glenn Beck and others who have launched a series of smear campaigns against Obama administration officials and nominees.

Among the most recent targets is presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett, a longtime associate of the president’s. A group calling itself Americans for Limited Government has launched a campaign against her, claiming that her role is “to enforce Barack Obama’s will inside and outside the Obama White House” and saying:

A radical leftist with a ruthless agenda, she is the Obama advisor most responsible both for originating and orchestrating his most egregious attempts to impose a socialist regime upon the American people.

Former Senator Rick Santorum has accused the Obama administration and its allies of being so committed to imposing socialism in America that they are scheming to destroy churches and families:

Santorum said that the left's policies, especially those policies aggressively set forward by the Obama administration, target the family and Christian churches for "destruction," because these institutions provide local social networks and support for individuals that take away the need for total dependence on central government. To eliminate these social networks means the triumph of socialism, and that means attacking marriage and Christian churches.

"There will be an assault on the institution of marriage," Santorum promised his audience. "Why? Because the left knows that they can't really have government come in and take control of everything unless they destroy the family. Unless you destroy the family and destroy the Church they cannot ultimately be successful in getting socialism to be accepted in this country and that's what their objective is."

Guilt by Association

McCarthy was a master of guilt by association, smearing individuals as enemies of the country based on any association however indirect or tenuous, with a suspect organization, newspaper or other publication, labor union, or individual. Criticism of McCarthy’s tactics was itself evidence: his targets included not only communists, pro-communists, and former communists, but also “anti-anti-communists.”

Today’s McCarthyite right abounds with guilt-by-association attacks. In fact Glenn Beck has made a sort of art form out of them.

After right-wing activists engineered a public humiliation of the group ACORN, right-wing leaders have tried to use any relationship with the organization’s decades of organizing on behalf of poor people as a disqualification for public service. Attacks on widely respected judicial nominee David Hamilton treated his one-month job as a canvasser for ACORN thirty years ago when he was 22 years old as if it had constituted a major portion of his career. Upstate New York Republican Deidre Scozzafava, whose candidacy in a special congressional election was derailed by a revolt led by national right-wing leaders, was criticized by Human Events this way:

State Assemblywoman Deidre “Dede” Scozzafava, the New York House candidate has been re-elected several times on the ballot line of the Empire State’s far-left Working Families Party, one of whose co-founders is ACORN.

And this fall, four Republican Members of Congress launched a witch hunt against Muslim interns on Capitol Hill, warning that they may be “spies.” The interns-as-spies media scare and the role of Republican members of Congress in fanning it drew a strong rebuke from Democratic Reps. Michael Honda (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), chairs of the Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Black Caucus, and the Hispanic Caucus, respectively.

An “obsessive hunt for homosexuals”

McCarthy and his subcommittee’s investigator Roy Cohn did not only target people for destruction based on alleged communist sympathies; they also hunted for homosexuals in government service. In a striking parallel, right-wing leaders, dismayed and outraged by growing public support for legal equality for LGBT Americans, have used public debates over marriage equality to attack gay people as enemies of faith, family, and freedom, and they are engaged in ongoing smear campaigns against openly gay Obama administration officials and nominees.

Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, is an openly gay man who has long been an advocate for making public schools safe spaces for all students, including gay students. That’s been enough to make him the target of a sustained smear campaign from the right, complete with bogus guilt-by-association charges. Sean Hannity and others have attacked Jennings for saying in a speech that he was inspired by Harry Hay, who is widely considered to be among the founders of the gay-rights movement and was not, as Jennings’ critics have implied, a member of NAMBLA. Equating gay-rights advocates with pedophiles is an extremely unsavory and long-discredited right-wing tactic that has made a recent comeback on the McCarthyite right. Among the many charges against Jennings is that he encouraged a gay teenager who confided in him to be careful if he were to become sexually active. Anti-gay Rep. Steve King released a letter signed by 53 other Republican members alleging that Jennings had “ignored the sex abuse of a child” as a teacher, long after the allegations had been debunked and a week after Fox News had acknowledged that the “child” in the case was a teenager of legal age.

Chai Feldblum, a legal scholar who has been nominated to serve as a commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is facing an onslaught from the far right. Typical is this broadside from National Organization for Marriage Chairman Robert George:

Feldblum intends to use her position of influence as EEOC commissioner to force private institutions to follow her radical vision of society, through the enforcement of aggressive and intrusive employment non-discrimination laws.

Attacks on military leaders

McCarthy attacked Gen. George Marshall, Truman’s Secretary of Defense, for being engaged in a “great conspiracy, a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, when it is finally exposed, its principles shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.”

What is the objective of the great conspiracy? I think it is clear from what has occurred and is now occurring: to diminish the United States in world affairs, to weaken us militarily, to confuse our spirit with talk of surrender in the Far East and to impair our will to resist evil.

Earlier this year, journalist Greg Sargent, reviewing attacks by GOP leaders on Obama administration national security policies, such as the closing of the detention facility in Guantanamo, that are supported by a number of former Republican national security officials and military officials, concluded:

It’s a clear sign that Obama’s national security positions (for good or for ill) are squarely in the mainstream of the D.C. Defense establishment. And it shows that the GOP’s need to attack those positions has forced Republican officials outside that mainstream, isolating them further and putting them at odds with its onetime allies in that establishment.

Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl Metcalfe recently demonstrated that he has perfected the new McCarthyism by blasting veterans who disagree with his opposition to climate change legislation as traitors.

“As a veteran, I believe that any veteran lending their name, to promote the leftist propaganda of global warming and climate change, in an effort to control more of the wealth created in our economy, through cap and tax type policies, all in the name of national security, is a traitor to the oath he or she took to defend the Constitution of our great nation!” Mr. Metcalfe’s email reads. “Remember Benedict Arnold before giving credibility to a veteran who uses their service as a means to promote a leftist agenda. Drill Baby Drill!!!”

Where it all leads

Haynes Johnson reports that Harry Truman spoke against “lies and slander” by “scaremongers and hatemongers” in a 1951 speech:

Character assassination is their stock in trade. Guilt by association is their motto. They have created such a wave of fear and uncertainty that their attacks upon our liberties go almost unchallenged. Many people are growing frightened – and frightened people panic.

It is clear that right-wing operatives, including the well-heeled forces behind “grassroots” uprisings against health care reform, are all about sowing fear – fear about the Obama administration, fear about his “socialist” agenda, fear about the supposed march from liberty to tyranny.

Even at the height of McCarthy’s power, some of his Republican colleagues, people like Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, were willing to criticize his destructive campaign. Today, most GOP officials, when not actively participating in the fearmongering, are welcoming it as a means, they hope, of returning to power in 2010 and 2012. They are seemingly unconcerned about the destructive consequences of their fearmongering and the panic, potentially violent, it may encourage.