Monday, December 20, 2010

Celebrating the Birth of Tea Party Republican Jesus

Given the seismic shift from a democratic majority to the Tea Party-Republicans about to rock the congress; given that the overwhelming majority of those responsible for this hard-right sea-change claim to be Christians; given that Christmas in upon us, I am moved—forced really—to contemplate the possibility that the Jesus whose birth these Christians claim to celebrate is not the Jesus of the New Testament.

New Testament Jesus was partisan, to be sure, partisan of compassion, decency, honor, honesty, courage, patience, and justice. NT-Jesus was a socialist. TPR-Jesus, well, he’s a different sort of “savior,” with a testament beholden to some different “virtues.” What do we celebrate in His birth? Who is blessed of TPR-Jesus?

Blessed are the 3000 mega-wealthy American families, for they shall inherit the earth, (such as it is), and get to be called the “job creators” even though their millions rest contentedly in off-shore accounts, their portfolios are lined with gold (real patriots don’t bet on recovery, silly!), and their wealth is almost entirely inherited—not earned.

Blessed are the “free,” for, however poor, sick, or hopeless, those millions of Big-Box, Big-Factory, Big-Fast-Food workers are lucky to live in America where the right to go without food (except, of course, cheap, nutrient-wasteland, Mc’Fatty “food”), or, for want of basic healthcare, die, or who get to watch their children die, is guaranteed. Free: better to get to “choose” a doctor you can’t afford to see than be identified as a socialist who, under “Obamacare,” might actually get to see one!

Blessed are the climate-change deniers, for TPR-Jesus loves most those—Limbaugh-Beck-Hannity-O’Reilly-Inhoff-Bachmann-Palin-Paul—who think Him so omnipotent that nothing we do to His creation can damage it. Venerating TPR-Jesus is certainly more important than yielding to inconvenient truths about deforestation, pollution, desertification, soil erosion, and species extinction. Who makes more sense? Those pesky scientists from geology, meteorology, chemistry, or climatology—or the CEO’s of Exxon, BP, Monsato, Dow, Union-Carbide, or the Koch Brothers? Who does TPR-Jesus stand with? The winners, of course (see above).

Blessed are the bigots, for these “birthers,” “Anti-Islamo-fascists,” “I-got-ur-civil-rights-right’ere” “Constitutionalists,” protect “us” against “them” brown, and/or undocumented and/or Muslim and/or poor, and/or queer not-quite-people. What’s more TPR-Jesus than signing a promise that you’ll do everything you g-damn well can to get rid of the (black) president—no matter what the cost to, say, “the people,” or, well, the not-quite-people? What’s more compassionate than—like the prophet O’Reilly recently opined—limiting our compassion? More courageous than holding the most vulnerable of American citizens hostage to the wealthiest, whitest 1%?

Blessed are the xenophobes, for TPR-Jesus loves America more than any other country, so much so that He made sure (Citizens United) that gazillions in foreign currency can be spent keeping his chosen representatives in power, that waging war in the name of “national interest” was a god-given right (especially if the dead are mostly not-quite-people—see above), and that “shoot-on-sight” is really just a call to the Christian (border) soldier.

If you’re TPR-Jesus, you have loads to celebrate this year—indifference, vulgarity, dishonor, dishonesty, cowardice, intolerance, and injustice. In fact, New Years looks even better than Christmas. After all, the TPR-faithful have managed to convince those who have the most to lose in the coming tsunami-of-“freedom” that they’re better off without economic safety nets, social security, health care, or decent jobs. So, Merry Christmas, Tea-Party-Jesus, and Happy New Year’s to the 1%, the birthers, the xenophobes, the climate change deniers, and the bigots. You indeed have inherited the (scorched) earth (see above).

Wendy Lynne Lee (587 words)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Voter Suppression and Intimidation: Is There Anything More Anti-Democratic?

There’s nothing new about voter suppression, and while it’s no surprise that its current incarnation comes from the far right, it’s nonetheless startling to see what lengths its Republican Tea Partiers will go to intimidate, discourage, and fear monger folks into not voting—especially when those folks are African and/or Hispanic American and more likely to vote for Democrats.

Consider a campaign ad run by a conservative front group, Latinos for Reform, urging Latino Nevadans not to vote: "Don't vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message. You can no longer take us for granted." It’s hard to imagine a more baldly cynical manipulation of the voting electorate—though no wonder at all that Tea Party candidate Sharon Angle, as of this writing, remains silent. She benefits from this racist maneuver.

Whether you’re white, brown, black or blue, if this doesn’t drive you to the polls in November, nothing will; and it should drive you with equal vigor away from the party willing to resort to any strategy to win.

This same group “shook up the 2008 elections, when they cropped up in Pennsylvania, Colorado and New Mexico with an ad campaign that sought to drive racial divisions using a supposed allegiance of then candidate-Obama to African-Americans over Latinos.” It’s the old divide and conquer strategy adapted from the Republican book of dirty tricks. Whether the tactic is to divide the working class poor from the indigent, blacks from browns from whites, men from women, gays from straights, the goal’s the same: keep the citizens who have the most to lose by a Republican majority in Congress whose middle aged white male wealthy employ them at survival wages—black, brown, female, non-Christian, young, and gay—from voting.

Consider the Wisconsin Tea Party’s (astro-turfed by Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin) documented plan for the November ballot: “The Republican Party of Wisconsin will use its “Voter Vault” state-wide voter file to compile a list of minority and student voters in targeted Wisconsin communities. Americans for Prosperity will use this list to send mail to these voters indicating the voter must call and confirm their registration information, and telling them if they do not call the number provided they could be removed from the voter lists. The Tea Party organizations will recruit and place individuals as official poll workers in selected municipalities in order to be able to make the challenges as official poll workers. On Election Day, these organizations will then “make use” of any postcards that are returned as undeliverable to challenge voters at the polls, utilizing law enforcement, as well as attorneys trained and provided by the RPW, to support their challenges.”

Need to see any more?

The Tea Party Republicans are not a party—they’re an organized hit squad for their corporate controllers at America, Inc. My critics are right—it’s no longer sufficient to call this party racist. With despicable strategies like this, they’re in fact corporatized fascists whose primary operatives clearly know one thing: If THE PEOPLE voted, the Tea Party would be exposed as the front for corporate greed it is, their true-believers left empty-pocketed, their ill-got power history.

Voter suppression: brought to you by your Tea Party Republican (and fake Libertarian) friends whose defense of the Constitution is nothing but a ruse to sucker your attention while they make millions—on your foreclosures, your credit defaults, your need of a living wage, and your inability to recognize the difference between blind loyalty to their profit margins and genuine patriotism.

Wendy Lynne Lee (589 words)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

America, Inc's newest Corporatizing of a Fundamental Public Good: Education--Inc.

Editor Sachetti’s recent choice for an “education reform” Op-Ed is thin on fact and long on thinly veiled propaganda for America, Inc.’s newest appropriation of a public good: education. “Online schools do more with less” by The Heartland Institute’s Ben Boychuk and Bruno Behrend is a billboard for privatizing public education by replacing it with enterprises that use tax dollars to fund FOR-PROFIT ventures (Think: Phoenix). The “hybrid” examples B&B offer—the Khan Academy, for example—aren’t the schools your children would attend if B&B had their way (unless you’re rich).

In fact, there’d be no PUBLIC education at all, and this is the real message of this editorial.

The Heartland Institute: a rightwing think-tank whose “Tea Party Tool Box” mission is to promote corporate interests (major donors: Big-Tabacco/Big-Energy) and the conversion of public services into for-profits. In addition to denying climate change, opposing all environmental regulation (including clean water laws), and promoting the deregulation of healthcare, Heartland advocates “education reform” that would funnel tax dollars to private schools, including parochial schools.

Setting aside violations of the Establishment Clause, “letting the money follow the child,” and “parental choice” is code for transforming tax dollars into venture capital. As the hybrid examples show, moreover, “privatize” is code for transforming “brick and mortar” into cyberspace, and hence into a caricature of what an excellent educational experience should be.

No doubt, public education in the United States needs to be far better, but the notion that the solution is to privatize and corporatize a fundamental public good, vanquishing the classroom, makes about as much sense as allowing BP, Phillip-Morris, Aetna, the natural gas industry, or Bank of America to regulate themselves. We all know who gets screwed—our kid’s futures.

Privatizing public education is inconsistent with democratic principle: without the pressure of good public education accessible to every child, (a) curriculum will be determined by ideological, religious and/or market demands, and (b) only the wealthy will have the opportunity to become truly educated. Heartland includes pictures of brown kids on their website, but this isn’t because they’re looking to equalize education for the disadvantaged; it’s because they can leverage the fears of economically vulnerable families (and the racism that equates “brown” with “poor”) into accepting an inferior on-line “education” that comes with the false promise of jobs.

Boychuk claims that because the Constitution says nothing explicitly about education, it should be left to the states, that doing so will “empower parents.” Nonsense. He knows tax dollars siphoned away from public schools by edu-corporations will insure their demise, and thus the demise of their unions, the real obstacle to the rise of the edu-industry. He knows that poor kids will be left to the public schools whose languishing revenues will not be able to keep up with America, Inc’s education “market,” a “market” every bit as free as Big-Energy, Big-Box, Big-Bank, Big-Pharma, and Big-Health—that is, it will have us by the proverbial cojones.

No surprise, of course, that Sachetti would choose this editorial—if it opposes education, who cares about motives? But you’d think he’d do better research. Boychuk’s “Constitutionalism” is a lie; he advocates repealing the 14th amendment: “Birthright citizenship, a medieval idea, has no place in our Constitution.” He calls it “wrong and crazy,” revealing his real motives—a nation of citizens selected for their “rightness” for America, that is, for their ability to pay for America Inc’s newest product: education—Inc.

Wendy Lynne Lee (571 words)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I can’t imagine a better example of hypocrisy than the hysterically racist reaction to the building of an Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero.

Catered via FOX Schmew’s political hacks—Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck (who claims to channel “The Spirit”), this non-issue has become the Summer Blockbuster for the Republican Tea Party whose corporate sponsors will do anything to win seats in the November mid-term elections.

And they might; they play the “sucker born every day” card very well.

Contrary to the claim that Tea Partiers are “pimps for the plutocracy,” they’re really just prostitutes for corporate America suckered by euphemisms about how they’re standing up for liberty; the only thing they’re standing up for is their own continued exploitation by America, Inc. Corporate sponsors like Rupert Murdoch, Dick Armey, and the Koch brothers are the pimps—making millions by suckering white folks into believing that the world as we know it is coming to an end, and the people to blame are the poor and/or the brown, and/or Muslim.

Think the “grass roots uprising” over the “9-11 mosque” was some spontaneous outcry for 9-11 victims? Think again. This charade is bankrolled by Murdoch and Koch who, by fanning the flames of religious bigotry, have exploited the horror of 9-11 for their profit margins. Why pay attention to Koch’s John Birch Society legacy? Why worry the environmental/human-health impact of his stalwart resistance to any regulation at his pollution-spewing factories? Why worry about Murdoch’s takeover of the media?

No—we have Muslims to hate, and a First Amendment to despoil.

Tea Party Republican bigotry doesn’t end at the “mosque.” The same folks who believe that Feisal Abdul Rauf is bent on training terrorists on U.S. soil are likely to believe that Obama is a Muslim (terrorist), that he’s not an American citizen, that “death panels” are part of healthcare reform, that Saddam Hussein orchestrated 9-11 and/or harbored WMDs, that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have different historical roots, and that the first amendment’s establishment clause excludes “radical” religions.

We need search no further than 30 Seconds’ Obama-is-a-Muslim-terrorist-Lysk, Got-guns-Heller, How-about-genocide-Brobst, Ditch-the-14th-amendment-Pushinaitis, and Brown-people-are-herd-animals-Harter to see what prostitution for America, Inc. looks like. According to a recent Newsweek article (, one in three Americans would deny freedom of religion to “fringe” faiths. Yet, 21% believe in “sorcerers, conjurers, and warlocks,” 41% in ESP, 32% in ghosts, and 25% in astrology.

Is it any wonder that we’re so easily suckered by America, Inc.’s exploitation of fear, suspicion, and bigotry?

No wonder at all, even when there’s no issue: the first amendment is no more subject to hand-wringing about our feelings than is my right to speak in a public venue, however unpopular.

There’s no more mystery about whether Muslims have a right to build a community center than there is in the fourteenth amendment about who counts as a citizen. Our Constitution guarantees us religious freedom; the fourteenth amendment insures that birth in the U.S. grants citizenship. Yet those who cry loudest for a return to the founders, who insist on “strict constitutionalism,” are the first to interject riders and exceptions—suckered by pimps like Glenn Beck whose, as John Stewart puts it, “I Have a Scheme” rally not only aims to bastardize the legacy of Martin Luther King, but make millions off “reclaiming” the civil rights movement—for white people.

Think the dollars from this event will go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation? Think again, and read the rider: After the events bills are paid. AKA: After Beck, Palin, and their corporate sponsors get “theirs.”

Wendy Lynne Lee (597 words)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Open Letter to Radical Environmental Writer, Derrick Jensen, best-selling author of Endgame.

Dear Mr. Jensen:

I have read Endgame—as well as several other of your works directed at diagnosing our present environmental crisis and fomenting a revolution directed against, as you put it, “civilization.” I have also tried to engage you concerning some things that, to be quite honest, really trouble me about your claim that all of civilization must be brought to an end.

But engaging you turns out to be very difficult.

For example, while you invite participants to join you in your reading club devoted to drafts of your newest works, you explicitly forbid criticism of any kind:

“I want no criticism or editorial suggestions. I cannot stress enough how unhelpful I find criticism or editorial suggestions from people I don't know. I only accept criticism or editorial suggestions from my closest friends (and then only when I ask) and the book's editors. Praise is welcome. Also, if you happen to see an incorrect fact or a typo, I would appreciate learning of those. This latter is NOT an invitation for criticism” (

Moreover, a book club participant must actually pay for the privilege of offering you only praise: $10.00, one month, $35.00, six months, and a discounted rate of $60.00 for a year. I can only assume the content of this work is spectacular since, as you apparently believe, it cannot benefit from criticism, evaluation, alternatives, challenges, or questions AND one must pay for the privilege showering you with applause.

I’m afraid I would not be able to refrain from asking you questions, possibly even challenging some of your assumptions—so I opted not to join. I think I’m just not very good at being that kind of true-believer, but then again, I wasn’t a very good Christian either.

So I decided to try an alternative, and I signed up for the Derrick Jensen Forum ( There were conditions here too: “You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not post any material which is false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, or harassing,” but these seemed quite doable in comparison with the conditions for the Derrick Jensen Book Club.

I had no interest in posting anything that was false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, or harassing.” So this seemed a go. What I wanted to do was offer some questions and—admittedly critical—observations about the 20 core “premises” you elaborate in Endgame. I have posted them below, along with my premise for premise questions and observations.

But I am mystified. Within less than an hour, I was banned from your forum for being “rude.” This was the specific category of banning. I was certainly querying and critical, but I was not “rude,” and “rude” was not actually a category for which a poster could be banned. “Rude” is not defamatory, inaccurate, etc. So, I would like to be reinstated—not that I expect to be.

I am endeavoring, then, to reach you here—not that I expect this venture to be successful either. But it is enough for others—your would-be readers—to have the opportunity you in fact refuse to offer them: A chance to read your premises for the end of civilization, think about them, and actually offer commentary—including criticism. My commentary follows:

Premise One: Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. This is especially true for industrial civilization.

Premise Two: Traditional communities do not often voluntarily give up or sell the resources on which their communities are based until their communities have been destroyed. They also do not willingly allow their landbases to be damaged so that other resources—gold, oil, and so on—can be extracted. It follows that those who want the resources will do what they can to destroy traditional communities.

Premise Three: Our way of living—industrial civilization—is based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence.

Premise Four: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.

Premise Five: The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. It is acceptable for those above to increase the amount of property they control—in everyday language, to make money—by destroying or taking the lives of those below. This is called production. If those below damage the property of those above, those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below. This is called justice.

Premise Six: Civilization is not redeemable. This culture will not undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living. If we do not put a halt to it, civilization will continue to immiserate the vast majority of humans and to degrade the planet until it (civilization, and probably the planet) collapses. The effects of this degradation will continue to harm humans and nonhumans for a very long time.

Premise Seven: The longer we wait for civilization to crash—or the longer we wait before we ourselves bring it down—the messier will be the crash, and the worse things will be for those humans and nonhumans who live during it, and for those who come after.

Premise Eight: The needs of the natural world are more important than the needs of the economic system.

Another way to put premise Eight: Any economic or social system that does not benefit the natural communities on which it is based is unsustainable, immoral, and stupid. Sustainability, morality, and intelligence (as well as justice) requires the dismantling of any such economic or social system, or at the very least disallowing it from damaging your landbase.

Premise Nine: Although there will clearly some day be far fewer humans than there are at present, there are many ways this reduction in population could occur (or be achieved, depending on the passivity or activity with which we choose to approach this transformation). Some of these ways would be characterized by extreme violence and privation: nuclear armageddon, for example, would reduce both population and consumption, yet do so horrifically; the same would be true for a continuation of overshoot, followed by crash. Other ways could be characterized by less violence. Given the current levels of violence by this culture against both humans and the natural world, however, it’s not possible to speak of reductions in population and consumption that do not involve violence and privation, not because the reductions themselves would necessarily involve violence, but because violence and privation have become the default. Yet some ways of reducing population and consumption, while still violent, would consist of decreasing the current levels of violence required, and caused by, the (often forced) movement of resources from the poor to the rich, and would of course be marked by a reduction in current violence against the natural world. Personally and collectively we may be able to both reduce the amount and soften the character of violence that occurs during this ongoing and perhaps longterm shift. Or we may not. But this much is certain: if we do not approach it actively—if we do not talk about our predicament and what we are going to do about it—the violence will almost undoubtedly be far more severe, the privation more extreme.

Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.

Premise Eleven: From the beginning, this culture—civilization—has been a culture of occupation.

Premise Twelve: There are no rich people in the world, and there are no poor people. There are just people. The rich may have lots of pieces of green paper that many pretend are worth something—or their presumed riches may be even more abstract: numbers on hard drives at banks—and the poor may not. These “rich” claim they own land, and the “poor” are often denied the right to make that same claim. A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with. These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world.

Premise Thirteen: Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of illusions to the contrary, the sooner we can at least begin to make reasonable decisions about whether, when, and how we are going to resist.

Premise Fourteen: From birth on—and probably from conception, but I’m not sure how I’d make the case—we are individually and collectively enculturated to hate life, hate the natural world, hate the wild, hate wild animals, hate women, hate children, hate our bodies, hate and fear our emotions, hate ourselves. If we did not hate the world, we could not allow it to be destroyed before our eyes. If we did not hate ourselves, we could not allow our homes—and our bodies—to be poisoned.

Premise Fifteen: Love does not imply pacifism.

Premise Sixteen: The material world is primary. This does not mean that the spirit does not exist, nor that the material world is all there is. It means that spirit mixes with flesh. It means also that real world actions have real world consequences. It means we cannot rely on Jesus, Santa Claus, the Great Mother, or even the Easter Bunny to get us out of this mess. It means this mess really is a mess, and not just the movement of God’s eyebrows. It means we have to face this mess ourselves. It means that for the time we are here on Earth—whether or not we end up somewhere else after we die, and whether we are condemned or privileged to live here—the Earth is the point. It is primary. It is our home. It is everything. It is silly to think or act or be as though this world is not real and primary. It is silly and pathetic to not live our lives as though our lives are real.

Premise Seventeen: It is a mistake (or more likely, denial) to base our decisions on whether actions arising from these will or won’t frighten fence-sitters, or the mass of Americans.

Premise Eighteen: Our current sense of self is no more sustainable than our current use of energy or technology.

Premise Nineteen: The culture’s problem lies above all in the belief that controlling and abusing the natural world is justifiable.

Premise Twenty: Within this culture, economics—not community well-being, not morals, not ethics, not justice, not life itself—drives social decisions.

Modification of Premise Twenty: Social decisions are determined primarily (and often exclusively) on the basis of whether these decisions will increase the monetary fortunes of the decision-makers and those they serve.

Re-modification of Premise Twenty: Social decisions are determined primarily (and often exclusively) on the basis of whether these decisions will increase the power of the decision-makers and those they serve.

Re-modification of Premise Twenty: Social decisions are founded primarily (and often exclusively) on the almost entirely unexamined belief that the decision-makers and those they serve are entitled to magnify their power and/or financial fortunes at the expense of those below.

Re-modification of Premise Twenty: If you dig to the heart of it—if there were any heart left—you would find that social decisions are determined primarily on the basis of how well these decisions serve the ends of controlling or destroying wild nature.
Endgame vol. 1, pages IX-XII

Here then is what I posted to your Forum, Mr. Jensen—for which I was banned. Readers can determine for themselves whether my comments meet the criteria for “banning,” and they can let me know (and they can find what Jensen means by toxic mimic here:, and here:

Dear Derrick Jensen Forum participants,

My name is Wendy Lynne Lee, and having read a fair lot of Jensen's work--most importantly both volumes of Endgame, as well as Jensen's premises posted here. I am a committed environmentalist, feminist activist, animal welfare activist, and social/economic justice advocate.

My question has to do with the notion of a "toxic mimic." Jensen claims that "Rape is a toxic mimic of sex. War is a toxic mimic of play. The bond between slave owner and slave is a toxic mimic of marriage." I gather what he means by this is that a toxic mimic is an oppressive and likely violent substitution for a relationship that does not have these features. But if my understanding is correct, then this forum--given its premises and conditions of participation--is itself an example (and a deeply troubling one) of a toxic mimic.

Here's why:

1. The requirement that--as a condition of participation--I must accept any of the 20 premises, and that such participation counts as a community is a toxic mimic of a real community. A real community embraces the examination--even debate--of its premises. Unless we are prepared to jettison the idea that this particular community moves forward via democratic interaction, it cannot constitute a community at all. In the scientific community, for example, what actually bonds participants to one another is not prescribed agreement, but honest interaction--agreement or disagreement--and even on fundamental principles. Indeed, as the philosopher Thomas Kuhn argued in 1963's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, there is no genuine progress in coming to understand the natural world without the refinement of ideas that can come only through interaction that risks disagreement. Debate, moreover, is not inherently violent. In fact, what makes this pretense to community truly toxic is that it excludes the possibility of debate at the outset. THIS, I'd argue is truly oppressive--and because it seeks to censor and cauterize alternative, competing, dissenting points of view--it is also inherently violent--despite the disclaimer to the contrary. Perhaps I will be automatically banned for daring to air such a view here (though this is precisely where it needs to be aired)--but if I am, it will prove my claim beyond doubt. So, my question: How can a forum devoted to meaningful discourse about how to address our current environmental catastrophe possibly move toward accomplishing this goal while simultaneously excluding those voices with which it disagrees? How can such a forum promote itself as liberating--all the while restricting what can be expressed within its borders?

2. There is another--perhaps even more disturbing--sense in which the premises of this forum constitute a toxic mimic, namely, that in delimiting discourse to that which adheres to the 20 premises, it in fact mimics some of the most oppressive and egregious abuses of the authoritarian far right. Advocates for the Tea Party, for example, actively seek to limit free speech rights--and I'll bet most here find this appalling, and rightly so. But what differentiates this forum from the exclusionary practices of the Tea Party? The practice of exclusion is not consistent with ANY movement's struggle for justice. The feminist movement lost considerable credibility for a time when it endeavored to exclude lesbians from its activist ranks. The environmental movement faces a similar danger right here. In excluding voices that do not adhere to the 20 premises, you act in a fashion that can only be described as oppressive in the same way that the feminist movement behaved oppressively when it sought (and failed) to exclude lesbians. So why would you set up the conditions in this fashion?

3. There is a third way in which the premises and conditions of this forum are a toxic mimic: The forum--perhaps unwittingly--mimics Jensen's website book group in that he expressly excludes all criticism--though he solicits praise. This strikes me as profoundly toxic (as well as narcissistic) in that if it's true that good ideas and arguments grow from being examined and challenged, then--entertaining no criticism--how can Jensen possibly know which of his ideas are good? How in this forum can we come to be able to distinguish good ideas from bad, rational from irrational without the possibility of critique, debate? Why doesn't it count as monumentally oppressive that these quarters offer no way to distinguish good from bad claims? Are we to simply concede that ANY claim that coheres with Jensen's 20 premises is good? Why? Why shouldn't I simply call that fascism?

4. With respect to the premises:

Premise one: What does Jensen mean exactly by "civilization"? Does this include art? Music? Architecture? All science? How about medicine? Does the end of civilization include the end of medicine? Are adherents to the premise that civilization must end prepared to commit themselves to foregoing chemotherapy in case of cancer? Antibiotics in case of serious staff infection? Insulin in case of Type 1 diabetes? How about surgery for a ruptured spleen? It strikes me as easy to say we want to see the end on civilization, but a far harder thing to contemplate its implications. If what Jensen is advocating really is a return to anarcho-primitivism, are we prepared to witness the deaths of the millions of human and nonhuman animals that this return would absolutely require? Are we prepared to participate in this genocide? I recognize that the response is that we are already participating in a kind of genocide--indeed. But the notion that there are NO alternatives to either genocide via corporate capitalism or via radical environmental revolution has to be shown on argument and evidence--the possibility of which is excluded here.

Premise two: This claim is factually false. Ancient human cultures contributed significantly to their own demise or necessity to migrate by destroying their land bases. This is not speculation; this is well-established fact. To romanticize native cultures as if they were not environmentally destructive will not help us formulate a genuinely effective environmental strategy.

Premise three: Yes--this certainly contains a great deal of truth--but industrial civilization does not encompass ALL civilization even if industrialization consists as an element in every enterprise. To throw out civilization per se is throwing out the baby with the bathwater--or if it's not, it's a claim that needs an argument not provided in Endgame--and it cannot be provided here without violating the conditions of posting.

Premise four: This is also largely true--but the implication that such oppressive hierarchies exist deliberately--as if by design or conspiracy--so grossly oversimplifies the diversity of culture, tradition, and local practice that to accept it is to accept the oppressive premise that no practices/traditions are able to be salvaged--even those that, say, an indigenous people might want to maintain. What confers on Jensen--or any of us--the authority to claim that all hierarchies involve oppression and fetishizing? Jensen, indeed, does not say "all." But he offers us no way to distinguish between "good" and "bad" hierarchies--hence we are left--given the context--to conclude that all are bad.

Premise five: Jensen mistakes capitalist production for all production. The criticism of capitalist production is also well-established by others whom he does not adequately credit--Marx, for example, or Bakunin, among others. This, moreover, is a gross oversimplification of the notion justice--even in our current incarnation of "civilization." I understand that Jensen's claim is there there is a system which is broken, and a system that therefore must be overthrown. Fine. But this system is not identical with "civilization," and if it is, again, destroying it will require the commission of immense violence--including homicide.

Premise six: What does Jensen mean by a sane and sustainable way of living? It cannot be a return to our ancient past. Or if it is, what will compel us--other than the threat of violence--to stay there? What WILL we do with inventors? What WILL we do with discoverers? Execute them? Why shouldn't I read these premises as a manifesto for a kind of new age Inquisition of all those deemed guilty of environmental wrong-doing?

Premise seven: If we can no longer wait for civilization to crash, what is Jensen actually advocating we do? Blow up dams? OK--why isn't Jensen himself leading this specific action?

Premise eight: Why exactly are the needs of the natural world greater than the needs of the economic system? I am the first one to agree that global capitalism is massively destructive of both human and nonhuman life and welfare, but what do we say to the poor whose dependence on the economic system--however vile it is--is their only guarantee against death--today? The poor would be the very first to die in the environmental revolution Jensen seems to promote. Why should they--especially as so many are women, children, and indigenous peoples--regard this as liberating? As good? Why shouldn't I regard this claim as sexist and racist?

Premise nine: Why would a poor woman accept a "softer" version of population reduction when her old-age depends on the compassion of her children? Gas chambers are painless. But none of us regards this as a remotely acceptable form of population reduction. How does premise nine rule out gas chambers?

Premise ten: What authorizes anyone to make this claim? What authorizes Jensen? That Jensen refuses to brook criticism does NOT solidify his authority, and a quasi-Freudian interpretation of "insane" and the Death Drive" need to be shown. Jensen does draw such comparisons over and over in his writing--but repetition is not an argument. Moreover, if the culture is driven by a death urge--if WE are by NATURE so driven, then there simply is no saving us. We will repeat the "sin" of civilization over and over--a more apt comparison in this dismal case may be Nietzsche's eternal return.

With the posting of just these ten observations, I was banned. But I would like to complete my observations of Jensen’s 20 Premises:

Premise eleven: What is a “culture of occupation”? Do you mean via cultural imperialism? Industrial appropriation? Please clarify, and give examples that show that such a culture is as all-encompassing as you appear to assume, and that this is a justification for ending it in toto.

Premise twelve: OK—so there are actually no rich and no poor, but indeed there are those empowered and those who are not. Why would the “end of civilization” put an end to the deeply ingrained beliefs of people that they are among the rich and the poor? In other words, if this amounts to nothing more than belief, what do the concrete facts of civilization have to do with it?

Premise thirteen: OK—those in power rule by force. But this does indeed involve fire power like guns and tanks, nuclear bombs, and the like. You insist over and over that you oppose violence, but how do you propose the resistance then proceed against those who rule by force? Is all rule bad? Is this like all hierarchies?

Premise fourteen:This, I’m sorry to say, is just a specious argument. What is the evidence that we are all “enculturated” to hate the world and everything in it, including ourselves? Why does this translate into “If we did not hate the world, we could not allow it to be destroyed before our eyes”? We don’t allow it to be destroyed before our eyes. Many of us act quite conscientiously against such destruction; many of us could not survive at all did we not participate in some destruction. Do you really think the woman gathering wood for a cooking fire in the Sudan has been taught to hate everything? If this premise is true, perhaps we should simply commit mass suicide. Would you be comfortable with that?

Premise fifteen: You bet: Love does not imply pacifism. Who says it does? What is your point?

Premise sixteen: The notion that there exist such things as “spirits” is a gigantic claim in need of an equally gigantic argument replete with evidence. There is a long historical and philosophical tradition relevant to this claim—but you make no mention of it. In any case, without such an argument, why should I accept this claim? After all, there are far more compelling arguments for the other side—that the material world is what there is, that science reveals it to us, and that when we die, we die. History also has it that folks who hold onto notion like that they have a spirit are actually less likely to take the material world seriously—as you advise us to do. Many Chirstians, for example, see this world merely as a kind of trial-run to see whether they have the mettle required for the afterlife. But it’s the afterlife that matters. So if you really think it’s the spirit and its world that matters, why get so worked up about the destruction of this one?

Premise seventeen: OK—so who cares about the “fence-sitters”? But, honestly, who are they? The folks who don’t agree with you?

Premise eighteen: What is “our current sense of self”? Is this one-size-fits-all? How do you know what, say, my “sense of self” is? Please clarify how you come to this insight.

Premise nineteen: I understand, I think, what you mean when you saythat “controlling and abusing the natural world is not justifiable.” But it strikes me as pretty arrogant to think we DO have such control. We have created LOTS of destruction, but this is manifestly NOT control. If we continue on our current climate-changing path we and lots of other species of creature will suffer and die. True. But the natural world will certainly recover—because we do not control it. Indeed, that WE will suffer and die as a consequence of our actions makes it quite clear what’s in “control.” Moreover, you can only abuse something that can experience pain. The world qua world is no such thing. The earth is not a conscious being; it is not our “mother” other than figuratively. We can destroy conditions for our own survival—and very well may, but we cannot ultimately injure something that cannot experience.

Premise 20: There is a great deal to be said about global capitalism, and many worthwhile critiques of which you could avail yourself—beginning with Karl Marx. You have a good point here—but capitalism is still not the same thing as civilization. Hence you have still not made out the case for ending civilization.

I will look forward to your response, Mr. Jensen. And in the meantime, I hope others will avail themselves of your forum (though not your book club—I just don’t think we should have to pay to say only nice things to you); I hope they will respond to either you or even to me right here.

Wendy Lynne Lee

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Petro-Patriots, Tea-Party Suckers, and the BP Oil Rupture Catastrophe

To the editor,

Dear President Obama: I listened attentively to your Oval Office address concerning the BP catastrophe. I want to believe that the Gulf Coast—its fragile ecology, its wildlife, its culture, its economy, and its people can be “made whole.”

But we both know that’s false.

In fact, we both know “made whole” is a manipulation designed to prevent the demonstrations, the outrage, the demand to end all off-shore and on-shore drilling that would be fomenting if American citizens took seriously the facts about this disaster.

But what we also know is how easily we’re bribed into complacency, how thoroughly we’ve been bought off by corporations like BP who convince us to identify freedom with material wealth, liberty with shopping.

We need look no further than the bankrollers of the Tea Party: Freedom Works—Dick Armey’s corporate dream-come-true, Dick Cheney’s petro-patriots, to see how successfully we’ve been suckered. While we’re busy being bought by these faux-prophets of “freedom,” these “strict constitutionalists” of “buy gold-n-guns,” these play-soldiers of “Gun Owners of America” and the “Oath Keepers,” America has become America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupurt Murdoch, FOX, the oil corporations, the “health” insurance companies, “Big Pharma,” and “Big Box.”

What the Tea Party stands for: a “free” market whose calamitous consequences are as predictable as was the Deep Water Horizon explosion, a “free” that would impose a racist theocratic morality on American citizens—all the while giving the pass to corporate greed, false propaganda, and the exploitation of human beings, nonhuman animals, and the environment.

Were I Tony Hayward, I’d be laughing my arse off (while I pretended to “fix” stuff).


U.S. government officials…now estimate the ruptured BP well in the Gulf of Mexico is spewing…1.5 million gallons to 2.5 million gallons…per day (

BP consistently underestimates and underreports the amount of the New Horizon rupture (

BP spends more on advertising than on researching alternative fuel sources despite the name change from British to Beyond Petroleum (

On-shore drilling isn’t safer than off-shore. This is the lunacy of petro-patriots like Sarah Palin. “Take, for example, today’s (6.15) Chevron oil leak of 500 barrels (or about 17,000 gallons) into a Salt Lake City creek. At least 100 birds were covered in oil, and water quality has certainly been affected…Oil is not the only fossil fuel that poses risks—so does…natural gas…[J]ust as there were few (or at least unenforced) regulations of Deepwater Horizon’s drilling process, there are few regulations on hydro-fracking, a natural gas drilling process that is unregulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, despite regular and serious reports of it polluting drinking water in local communities” (

BP’s conduct is part-and-parcel of any enterprise whose objective is to turn a profit—as opposed to improve the quality of human life. This is the unregulated “free” market in action.

These are its inevitable consequences, and for as long as we continue to endorse an ideology that values profits over human life and the environment it depends on, we are the ones to blame for this catastrophe.

There is no “making whole,” Mr. President. There is no fixing the Gulf of Mexico. Until we get it that our oil-addiction is pathological, climate change is real, species extinction could include us, that our “American Dream” way of life is unsustainable—until we get it that if we gave a tinker’s damn about our children and our future we’d put a stop to the practices—mining, drilling, polluting, endless trash-producing, agribusiness, CAFOs that will lead to ecocide—there’s not only no “making whole,” there may not even be survival.

Wendy Lynne Lee (598 words)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How To Set-Up a Smear Shot, or What the Liber-Tea Party Shouldn't Have Been About

To the editor,

Less vitriolic than last year’s event, The Patriot’s Voice Liber-Tea party offered few thrills to PE reporters. Speakers spouted platitudes against “Obamacare,” and “out of control” government to a crowd of folks many of whom sat quietly in their hypocrisy—enjoying a beautiful park supported by taxes they don’t want to pay, returning home to health-care benefits they’d deny to others.

There were, however, stories to be told—just not those the PE wants its audience to hear. In her PE-letter (4.8.10), PV-Lysk writes that she “will keep an American flag” just for me—a letter in which she exploits the fact that I am a domestic violence survivor in order to imply that, because the abuser was Mormon, I am biased against Mormons, and that this informs my criticism of the PV’s association with the John Birch Society (Cleon Skousen and Glen Beck are Mormons). The claim is absurd, and we must consider what sort of person it is who’d exploit domestic battery to score political capital. Ms. Lysk cannot refute my claims (letter, 4.6) concerning the PV-mission. I quoted the website directly, and let Lysk speak for herself through her blog posts. All she’s got is character assassination.

This aside, what Ms. Lysk offered me in the park was not the American flag. Rather, it was bait disguised as the flag to score political capital for a picture obviously set-up by the Press Enterprise. Her “offering” was a calculated exploitation of the flag to smear an opponent, an example of the lengths to which the PV—and the Press Enterprise—will go to humiliate their critics. I was taking notes, and saw neither Ms. Lysk nor the photographer. Ms. Lysk claims that “[o]ur knees bumped slightly” (on WHLM, she says she bumped me accidentally with the flag stick). She is lying in both cases. She poked me with the flag-stick—twice—derisively calling me “Miss Wendy.” I said “Don’t touch me,” not yet realizing as I turned to Ms. Lysk—who was giggling as she skeetered away—that a PE photographer just ”happened” to be stationed right there to snap a picture. Friend and witness Jay Nixon asked the photographer whether the picture was set up. She denied it—but it cannot be otherwise. I asked whether I would be interviewed for this incident or the Tea Party generally; the photographer insisted that Mr. Bogdon would be over soon. I waited 2 ½ hours. He never materialized—but ran the story anyways. This is unconscionable. In a phone message response to my call the next morning, he insists that he intended to follow up. He didn’t. Instead, he included false material in a story set-up by the PE whose loaded caption is ”Outspoken liberal.”

Two issues: (1) a monopoly newspaper that colludes with the extreme theocratic right to smear a critic; (2) the extent to which fabricated “events” distract us from the real issues. The applause for “Patrick Henry’s” promotion of secession, June McWilliam’s praise for the racist Minutemen, William Reil’s insistence on the “Biblical Law” of the Constitution, James Bridge’s reference to Obama as a “Communist,” or Debra Smith’s incoherent rant about how, since she had healthcare during a “medical mess,” we ought not reform healthcare to make her access available to others—all of these were missed in favor of setting up a smear-shot—and then telling a story that’s not only a lie but was clearly intended to impugn the patriotism of someone who so obviously loves her country that not even this set-up can silence her.

Wendy Lynne Lee

592 words

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Spring Liber-Tea Party: The Patriot's Voice Latest Venture into the Far-Right

On April 10th, 2010. the Patriot’s Voice will hold their second Liber-Tea party in Bloomsburg Town Park. They have every right to conduct such a gathering, sponsor speakers, and have vendors.

Last year the gathering included a vendor selling Confederate Flags, and while PV “CEOs” Evy Lysk and Robert Runyon denied that they invited the vendor, the vendor knew where to find buying customers.

That was last year. Let’s take a look at what the PV stand for this year:

*In his 3.21 Op-Ed, Runyon waxes nostalgic for the good old days before the civil rights movement, promotes a nationalist theocracy, and insists that education “dumbs down” children.

*The PV-website’s “Special Bulletin” promotes the John Birch Society (The National Center for Constitutional Studies), and one of its fellow travelers Cleon Skousen: “A 1962 FBI memo described Skousen as affiliating with an "extreme right-wing" group which was promoting ‘anticommunism for obvious financial purposes.’ Skousen authored a pamphlet titled The Communist Attack on the John Birch Society, characterizing criticism of the Society as incipient communism” (Wikipedia).

As is well-documented, the JBS is simply a better-dressed version of the Klu Klux Klan. No wonder the Confederate Flag Vendor felt at home last year.

*The website calls Obama the “post-American president.” In a section of “Obama-Nation” titled “The coming battle,” they claim that Obama supports the end of marriage/family, and that he seeks to erect a one world government. Democrats are all socialists—and socialists are all evil.

*Evy Lysk calls “comrade Obama” a closet Muslim,” and insists “he appointed Communists, haters of white people, and socialist czars.” She claims his plan is to “delete” our nuclear arsenal, erect a “one world government,” “rid us” of patriotism and religion, and that he “hates America.” So sure is Lysk of her view she repeats it on and Last year she sported a placard promoting Glenn Beck—who recently hosted the JBS Sam Antonio on his FOX program. Beck promotes Skousen’s nationalistic screed, The 5000 Year Leap: “Skousen was too extreme even for the conservative activists of the Goldwater era, but Glenn Beck has now rescued him from the remainder pile of history, and introduced him to a receptive new audience” (

*Last year’s Tea Party included speakers who called for the expulsion of gays from the country and claimed that the scourge of the nation were women who’d had abortions.

People applauded the death of Michael Jackson.

The Press Enterprise characterized the gathering as a peaceful assembly of anti-tax advocates.

What the Patriot’s Voice stands for is a matter of public record; it’s neither political conservatism nor libertarianism. The vast majority of Republicans don’t want to be associated with the patent racism, homophobia, fear-mongering and character assassination the PV deploys against its critics.

Here’s the question: Are these the views their speakers wish to be associated with? Or did Sam Rohrer, Peg Luksik, Lou Barletta, and Bloomsburg University’s Young Americans for Liberty, among others, not do their homework? The latter’s inexcusable—the PV mission is wholly accessible.

The Patriot’s Voice is no more the voice of conservatives than of liberals.

It IS the voice of xenophobic nationalism, racism, and a vision of Christianity closer to that of the Hutaree Militia than to any Christianity worthy of the name.

It’s supremely ironic that they plan to utilize a public space supported by tax dollars—to argue for the end of taxation—and their first amendment rights—to argue for the repression of liberty for all those who don’t fit their narrow vision of a patriot—or even a citizen.

Wendy Lynne Lee

594 words

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The manipulation of a small town newspaper and the control of public opinion: The Press Enterprise

We all know that Editor Jim Sachetti [of Northeast Pennsylvania's The Press Enterprise] manipulates 30 Seconds [a call-in/email opinion feature] through placement, delays, snide remarks, strategic silences, and comments aimed at fueling the local fires of bigotry, encouraging personal assault on his nemeses, and encouraging those with whom he agrees to post more often.

What we didn’t know, until now, is that the same strategy governs the Op-Ed page, putting the lie to any respect Sachetti may have had for the first amendment. Fact is, he cares no more for free speech than suits the promotion and protection of the Eyerly Tabloid Empire.

Indeed, Sachetti’s cliam to be impartial with respect to who gets a hearing on the Op-Ed page is a sham.

Example: Jay Nixon recently submitted a letter to the editor where he demonstrates Sachetti’s manipulation of 30 Seconds. Each case Nixon details shows how Sachetti accomplishes this objective.

When Evy Lysk used 30 Seconds to make the unsubstantiated claim that Benton School Board members are guilty of recruiting, Sachetti not only let the remark stand without challenge, but printed several reiterations of it.

When she and other Patriot’s Voice members accuse president Obama of being a member of an Islamic terrorist sleeper cell—no comment.

Yet when Jerome Cragle offers a remark critical of the climate change deniers, Sachetti asks about his profession snidely implying that Cragle has too much time on his hands.

There are no names John Pushinaitis cannot call me that Sachetti sees as unfit to print, but when I show that Pushinaitis’ anti-choice rhetoric effectively condones the murder of reproductive healthcare providers, Sachetti bans me from 30 Seconds, demands I make my case as Op-Ed (I did), claims to convene a three-member panel to consider it, and then pretends to chivalry reinstating me at Pushiunaitis’ “request.”

When Nixon challenges Sachetti to provide evidence to the claim that Nixon is disingenuous with respect to calling Sachetti out about the manipulation of 30 Seconds, Sachetti calls Nixon “delusional.”

This sample represents a fraction of the distortion and control with which Sachetti maneuvers 30 Seconds into Eyerly Empire sales.

But here’s the real story: Sachetti REFUSES to print Nixon’s letter, importing to the Op-Ed page the same control, the same disdain for free speech, that governs 30 Seconds. Perhaps those who benefit from this will celebrate.

After all, they win.

Thing is, they don’t.

Sachetti could change his mind, and because his decision-making—however cloaked in the ideological—is really an expression of his personal feelings of affection and loathing, even his love-fest with Pushinaitis, the Patriot’s Voice, Togno, etc. could end.

Love, after all, is fickle.

Nixon offers at least two examples in his letter that make the Eyerly Empire potentially vulnerable to lawsuit, and it’s no wonder that Sachetti doesn’t want that to come to light.

A terrible bind for the poor guy: He forfeits his integrity to sell Eyerly’s tabloid but fails to calculate that some of us might figure out that the empire is the Truman Show.

The Eyerly Empire’s goal is to control public opinion.

But Sachetti has choices:

He can “man up” and print Nixon’s letter demonstrating that he’s not Eyerly’s puppet.

He can print my letter and Nixon’s demonstrating that he really does care about free speech.

He can refuse to print one or both revealing once and for all that the PE is neither a newspaper nor a venue of democratic discourse—but instead an agent for an empire that manipulates its readers into PAYING to be the autonomic vehicles of its profiteering.

What’s it going to be, Mr. Sachetti?

Wendy Lynne Lee

592 words

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O'Reilly: Racism's God

To the editor,

While thousands of Haitians struggle to deal with an incomprehensible disaster, the racist right’s Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly leap at the opportunity to exploit it. Robertson claims that the earthquake is God’s punishment for a “’pact with the Devil’ Haitian people made in order to defeat French colonizers in the 19th century.” "They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.' "True story. And the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal,' …"Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another." A 700 Club “clarification” reassures its audience that Haiti is “cursed.” The remark was roundly condemned by Christians and non-Christians, but that’s not the point.

The point is that from within the racist fundamentalism that IS the Christian right, this claim makes perfect sense. Once reason is replaced by violent religious mythology, anything, no matter how cruel and absurd, goes.

Will Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, or Brit Hume forcefully condemn this deluded rant? Call to boycott 700 Club sponsors? Don’t hold your breath.

Then there’s Limbaugh who can’t resist an opportunity to attack Obama, and he’s willing to use injured, dying, and dead people to do it. In response to the president’s pledge of aid, Limbaugh accuses Obama of “apologizing for the American people.” In response to being corrected about Venezuela’s dispatch of aid workers, Limbaugh says that they can’t wait to leave Chavez’s socialist regime—tacitly identifying Obama with Chavez.

What he says next, however, takes the cake. Considering why Haiti’s poverty remains so entrenched, Limbaugh responds (referring to the island as “cruise-ship stop”) that it’s because of “Communism,” claiming that aid to Haiti is effectively a “Communist” strategy of the Obama administration to further Obama’s “Communist” goals. He accuses the president of viewing the disaster as a “crisis too good to waste,” an opportunity to get closer to “light-skinned and dark-skinned blacks.” Really. Any fair-minded person MUST wonder how this ass stays on the air.

Answer: “Dittoheads”: Bigots whose vision of the world is armed white men defending their women and children against the “Other.”

Bill O’Reilly, however, wins the prize for the most tasteless use of others to advance his anti-liberal agenda. In his 1/13 Talking Points Memo he claims that “[t]he problem with Haiti is massive corruption. The nation could be a tourist Mecca …No matter how much charity is given, no matter how many good intentions there are, Haiti will remain chaotic until discipline is imposed.”

In other words, what’s wrong with Haiti is that it enjoys too little corporate exploitation of a people who could be working to turn their island nation into a tourist paradise for wealthy Westerners like O’Reilly, a people who would, in other words, be benefitted by becoming subservient (say, like Atlantic City) to us.

What’s wrong isn’t too much corporate exploitation of those who use-up Haiti’s resources and then leave. No, it’s too little.

What’s wrong is that Haiti’s people need “discipline,” namely the discipline we (white wealthy) Westerners are in a position to “impose.”

This piece of racist trash could have come right out of a pre-Civil War defense of slavery. Robertson insists that Haiti will only be saved by soliciting the Christian god for forgiveness, Limbaugh and O’Reilly by soliciting the capitalist god for investors.

Trouble is, it’s all the same god—the one that allows “brown” people to die as an example of human sin. Whether a pact with Satan or a run with “Communists,” such a “god” deserves no patronage, and his followers should be ashamed.

Wendy Lynne Lee

593 words