Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’


Christian militia calls for Obama’s assassination on Facebook

According to a report issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dated Nov. 22, the U.S. Secret Service is aware that Everest Wilhelmsen, leader of the Christian American Patriots Militia, is calling for Obama’s assassination.

The Christian American Patriots Militia sent out a post to the more than 1400 members of their Facebook groupdeclaring the militia now has the “authority” to assassinate President Barack Obama:

“We now have authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him,” Wilhelmsen wrote on the group’s Facebook page.

The following is an excerpt from the disturbing post, dated Nov. 19:

“The authority to kill Obama comes from the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution: He is levying war on the United States and aiding and comforting our foreign enemies – the 2nd Amendment gives us the right and duty (authority) to engage an enemy of the United States that does so with the design to reduce us under absolute Despotism. I would be very surprised, if Obama does not leave Washington DC today (Nov. 19th) … never to return, if he is not dead within the month.”

The group’s Facebook page claims Obama’s “rogues and thugs are in fact supplanting our Constitution with a communist Oligarchy of corrupt political and legal elites” and encourages “Christian American patriots” to “rise and fight vigorously to protect our nation and our posterity.”

The SPLC reports a spokesman for the Secret Service would not say if the Facebook post had prompted an investigation: “That’s not something we openly discuss,” the Secret Service spokesman said.

Yet one would hope a group of Christian extremists threatening to assassinate the President of the United States would merit close investigation by the Secret Service. After all, calling for the assassination of the President of the United States is a crime.

For more political news, information and humor see Left Coast Lucy on Facebook. For more news, information and humor relevant to atheists, freethinkers, and secular humanists, see Progressive Secular Humanist Examiner on Facebook. On Twitter follow Progressive Examiner.


Seth Andrews Interviews Richard Dawkins   

On September 24th, Richard Dawkins’ new book, “An Appetite For Wonder: the Making of a Scientist” released worldwide.

Four days later in Washington DC, Dawkins sat down for a one-hour conversation with Seth Andrews, host of the online community and radio show “The Thinking Atheist,” to talk about a variety of subjects…including childhood, music, evolution, apologist “fleas,” Christopher Hitchens and the memoir itself.

Thanks to The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science for making this interview possible.  (http://www.richarddawkins.net)


The Unequal State of America – graphic of the day

In a new three part special report, Reuters is examining the rise of income inequality in America. Today’s graphic shows how the 50 states and Washington DC rank according to three key metrics (median income, poverty rate and inequality). Click here to see the interactive version of the graphic below. To learn more about the methodology behind this new series, click here.

inequality

Via:- Thomson Reuters

Obama trumps Romney under superstorm Sandy spotlight
  • by: Catherine Philp
  • From: The Times
Obama in disaster centre

President Barack Obama visits the Disaster Operation Centre of the Red Cross National Headquarter to discuss superstorm Sandy. Source: AP

President Obama has suspended a third day of campaigning to focus on the federal response to Superstorm Sandy, leaving his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, struggling for visibility before the election next week.

Mr Romney, who cancelled some campaign events on Monday “out of respect” for the storm’s victims, drew widespread criticism for turning a planned rally in Ohio yesterday into a storm relief event – complete with campaign videos and celebrity guests.

Supporters brought canned goods to the rally in Dayton to be be packed up and sent to storm survivors in New Jersey. “We won’t be able to solve all the problems,” Mr Romney said, “but you make the difference you can.”

The event underlined the problems that Mr Romney faces in the wake of a natural disaster that has put Mr Obama front and centre as the nation’s Commander-in-Chief. Mr Romney’s campaign announced that he would return to the stump in Florida today, with rallies in Tampa and Miami.

Mr Obama faces different uncertainties, including the possibility of a botched federal response for which he would be blamed. However, his actions have received lavish praise from one of Mr Romney’s staunchest backers.

Chris Christie, the Republican Governor of New Jersey widely tipped as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, said: “The President has been all over this. He deserves great credit. He gave me his number at the White House, told me to call if I needed anything and he absolutely means it.” Earlier he tweeted that the President’s response had been “outstanding”.

“It’s been very good working with the President and his Administration has been co-ordinating with us great – it’s been wonderful,” Mr Christie enthused. Such praise will have come as an extra blow to the Romney campaign and represents the kind of positive publicity that the Obama campaign millions could never buy.

What Superstorm Sandy’s eventual impact on the election will be remains uncertain. Of the swing states, the worst affected was Virginia, where thousands remain without power, mostly in the more liberal north encompassing the suburbs of Washington DC, on which Mr Obama is relying to help him to win the state. So far, Ohio remains largely unaffected, as do New Hampshire and North Carolina, the only other swing states in Sandy’s path.

But the storm has refocused attention on the gulf between the two candidates’ takes on the role of government. The New York Times published an editorial yesterday reminding readers of Mr Romney’s desire to break up the federal agency responsible for disaster management and devolve its powers to states. Mr Romney’s home-town newspaper, The Boston Globe, drew attention to his decision to veto both federal and state funding for defences for a flood-prone town in Massachusetts while he was governor of that state.

Both candidates, however, were able to agree on their support of the American Red Cross’s efforts, with Mr Romney’s website directing donors to make contributions to its crisis fund, while the Obama campaign sent out e-mails to its donor list soliciting aid for the organisation.

The Times 


A commuter walks past an anti-Muslim poster in New York's Times Square subway station.  A federal judge ruled that the advertisement is protected speech under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

America’s anti-Muslim ads backfire


NEW YORK // Anti-Muslim posters that have gone up in subway stations in New York and Washington, DC, have drawn muted reactions from Muslims, but Christian and Jewish organisations have countered with ad campaigns of their own.

antiislam

And a United States congressman even called for a boycott of the capital’s metro system. “The right to free speech is a right I will defend to my grave,” Mike Honda, a Democrat from California, said last week.

“The right to not support hate speech is also a right, which is why I encourage people to boycott, if possible, [the subways] until the ad buys are finished.”

Mr Honda, who was interned with his family in a US camp for people of Japanese descent during the second World War, added that, “We learn from history that hate speech and hysteria have dire consequences, the result of societal complacency, failed political leadership, and the lack of courage to stand up and speak out against hate.”

The advertisements, paid for by the American Freedom Defence Initiative (AFDI), a right-wing, self-described anti-jihad organisation that has been labelled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, read: “In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”

Authorities in both cities initially blocked the advertisements from running: in New York, on the grounds that they contained demeaning language, and in Washington because officials said federal agencies had warned them about terrorism threats. They also cited passenger safety if any fights broke out on subway platforms because of the posters.

The AFDI filed suits against the New York transport authority’s decision in July and in Washington in September, and federal judges in both cases ruled that the advertisements were protected by free speech laws and ordered that they be allowed to run. They were posted at 10 subway stations in New York at the end of September and at four metro stations in Washington on October 8.

Muslim groups and activists did not organise protests but instead responded to the AFDI’s campaign with ironic jokes on Twitter, using the hashtag “mysubwayad”.

“What’s been rewarding about this experience is seeing our interfaith partners and New Yorkers of all stripes rejecting these ads,” said Cyrus McGoldrick, a spokesman with the Council on American-Islamic Relations pressure group, after the court ruling in New York.

Christian groups and an alliance of Jewish rabbis have both taken out advertisements of their own in reaction to the AFDI campaign.

One of the Christian groups, United Methodist Women, placed ads in the same subway stations as the ads, sometimes next to them. They read: “Hate speech is not civilised. Support peace in word and deed.” And, in a nod to the Muslim activists’ Twitter response, ends with “#mysubwayad“.

Rabbis for Human Rights – North America posted their own adverts: “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbours.”

“[Pamela] Geller thinks she is speaking for the entire Jewish community,” Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, told The New York Times, referring to the co-founder of the AFDI.

“We are a group of 1,800 rabbis and we want everyone to know that we have to work in partnership with the Muslim community and do not believe in dehumanising them.”

Activists not associated with any religious group have also defaced the advertisements.

The Washington Examiner reported that a school teacher covered one of them with notes that read: “If you see something hateful say something peaceful.” A spokesman for New York’s transportation authority told the Times that the advertisements had been defaced at least 15 times.

Mr McGoldrick said that when the AFDI ran a similar campaign in August on trains in suburban New York state that read, in part, “It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism”, commuters tore down many of them.

“Most of the anger wasn’t from the Muslim community,” he said. “It was a very interesting response.”


Science Committee Member Broun: Evolution, Embryology, Big Bang Are ‘Lies From the Pit of Hell’
The GOP puts young earth creationists in charge of science

Speaking in front of a wall of dead deer heads, here’s Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun explaining that evolution, embryology, and the Big Bang are all lies straight from the pit of hell.

From Rep. Paul Broun’s (R-GA) remarks at the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet on September 27, 2012, in Hartwell, Georgia:

BROUN: God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.

And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason as your congressman I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.

Rep. Broun, like Missouri caveman Todd Akin, serves on the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

I’ll let that sink in for a second.

Paul Broun, Todd Akin — these are the people that the Republican Party puts in charge of science at the highest level of the government. Extreme right wing fundamentalists and young earth creationists who believe science is a tool of Satan.

(h/t: Benjy Sarlin.)


Church & State

Report Says Religious Right And Catholic Bishops Dominate ‘Faithful’ Lobbying

January 2012 People & Events

In D.C. A report issued by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life finds that religious advocacy groups in the nation’s capital are growing and that most of the largest organizations are affiliated with the Religious Right or the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

The November report, “Lobbying for the Faithful: Religious Advocacy Groups in Washington, D.C.,” surveyed more than 200 groups that engage in advocacy and/or lobbying in the nation’s capital. It found explosive growth in such groups, noting that the number of these organizations jumped from 67 in 1970 to 212 today.

Furthermore, the groups raise and spend significant sums of money. One of the largest religious advocacy organizations in Washington, for example, is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has an annual budget of $26.6 million.

Other top spenders include the Family Research Council ($14.2 million), Concerned Women for America ($12.5 million), the National Right to Life Committee ($11.3 million) and Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink ($10.8 million).

Collectively, the 212 groups surveyed raise and spend $390 million a year.

Of the top 15 groups listed, 10 are Religious Right organizations or take stands in alignment with the Catholic hierarchy. Groups that failed to make the top 15 but that still have considerable budgets include the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission ($3.2 million), the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty ($2.2 million) and the Eagle Forum ($2.2 million).

While many of the groups listed are Christian, the report shows growth in the number of advocacy organizations affiliated with other religions. The biggest group on the list is the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, which has an annual budget of $87.8 million. The American Jewish Committee is fourth on the list at $13.3 million.

Other groups include the Muslim American Society ($3.9 million), the Muslim Public Affairs Council ($2.9 million) as well as groups representing Sikhs and Hindus.

The reports lists total budget figures for the groups surveyed. Not all of that money is spent on direct lobbying because the organizations advocate for their views in other ways. Still, the report is a good indication that the power of religious lobbies is in no way waning.

Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, told The Washington Post that the growth of religious lobbying groups has been nothing short of remarkable.

“Religious lobbyists used to be like subsistence farmers, and now it’s like agribusiness,” said Lynn.

In an article for the popular progressive website Alternet, Church & State Assistant Editor Rob Boston noted that Religious Right organizations can hardly claim to have no influence when so many of D.C.’s top religious lobbyists are in their camp.

“Right-wing religious groups may claim persecution, but the numbers tell a different story,” wrote Boston. “If you doubt this, just spend a day shadowing their employees in Congress, where, increasingly, they are greeted with warm smiles and open arms.”

The full report is available online at http://www.pewforum.org.