Sunday, October 12, 2008

Palling With Terrorists

Sarah Palin has made that statement in regards to Barack Hussein Obama. It throws light on his association with Bill Ayers, the infamous domestic terrorist. She states this while blithely ignoring her husband's membership in the Alaska Independence Party for 7 years.

Can you guess who made this statement "My government is my worst enemy. I’m going to fight them with any means at hand.”? Was it Bill Ayers?

It was made by Joe Vogler, who founded the AIP. Volger also had plans to address the UN in 1993. Sponsorship was to be provided by Iran, that bastion of freedom. Volger was murdered by another member of the AIP before he could make his speech. I wonder if it would have been along these lines:

Before his strange murder in 1993, party founder Vogler preached armed insurrection against the United States of America. Vogler, who always carried a Magnum with him, was fond of saying, “When the [federal] bureaucrats come after me, I suggest they wear red coats. They make better targets. In the federal government are the biggest liars in the United States, and I hate them with a passion. They think they own [Alaska]. There comes a time when people will choose to die with honor rather than live with dishonor. That time may be coming here. Our goal is ultimate independence by peaceful means under a minimal government fully responsive to the people. I hope we don’t have to take human life, but if they go on tramping on our property rights, look out, we’re ready to die.”

Todd Palin joined the AIP soon after Volger's death.

The AIP was instrumental in the rise of Sarah Palin's political career:

So long as Alaska remained under the boot of the federal government, said Chryson, the AIP had to stand on guard to stymie a New World Order. He invited a Salon reporter to see a few items inside his pickup truck that were intended for his personal protection. “This here is my attack dog,” he said with a chuckle, handing the reporter an exuberant 8-pound papillon from his passenger seat. “Her name is Suzy.” Then he pulled a 9-millimeter Makarov PM pistol — once the standard-issue sidearm for Soviet cops — out of his glove compartment. “I’ve got enough weaponry to raise a small army in my basement,” he said, clutching the gun in his palm. “Then again, so do most Alaskans.” But Chryson added a message of reassurance to residents of that faraway place some Alaskans call “the 48.” “We want to go our separate ways,” he said, “but we are not going to kill you.”

Though Chryson belongs to a fringe political party, one that advocates the secession of Alaska from the Union, and that organizes with other like-minded secessionist movements from Canada to the Deep South, he is not without peculiar influence in state politics, especially the rise of Sarah Palin. An obscure figure outside of Alaska, Chryson has been a political fixture in the hometown of the Republican vice-presidential nominee for over a decade. During the 1990s, when Chryson directed the AIP, he and another radical right-winger, Steve Stoll, played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward. Both Stoll and Chryson not only contributed to Palin’s campaign financially, they played major behind-the-scenes roles in the Palin camp before, during and after her victory.

Ayers remains unrepentant for his role in the murders of fellow Americans and the terror caused to many more. Chryson half-jokingly states the AIP isn't going to murder US citizens. If people are so concerned about the influence Ayers might have on Obama, how much more so would Todd Palin's membership in a decidedly strange political party be on his wife? The founder of AIP openly advocated shooting federal agents. Reminds of moonshiners who used to say they would shoot any of those revenuers from the government.

While Sarah Palin was never a member of the AIP, her husband's political views would affect her more than Bill Ayers could ever hope to influence Obama. The AIP has not been involved in any domestic terrorism. The same cannot be said for Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground. It's useless to speculate but I wonder what would have happened if Volger hadn't been murdered. Would we have seen more Oklahoma City bombings?

I have a big problem with Sarah Palin apart from her husband's membership in a very fringe party. For decades now, Christian groups have been trying to get prayer in schools. While this may seem like a good idea, it defeats the very purpose of our Constitution. The Constitution is designed to keep mob rule from infringing on the rights of minorities. While the majority of US citizens are Christian, there are millions of US citizens who are not. The Constitution protects the rights of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, pagans, atheists, and others to live their lives as they see fit. Religion should not be a matter for public schools. It is a private issue and while some do not see the harm of allowing prayer in schools, it harms those whose beliefs are different from Christians.

Since the steam-roll of the cry for public prayer has largely failed, Christian groups are now focused on another tactic and it is one that Sarah Palin instituted while mayor of Wasilla. One of her first acts as mayor was to declare Wasilla a City of Character. Sounds like a good idea but what does it mean to be a "City of Character" and who or what is behind the idea?

Thanks to Palin’s efforts, Wasilla is now among roughly 200 cities nationwide (and others in 27 countries around the world) that have committed themselves — in name, at least — to following the teachings of the International Association of Character Cities (IACC), an organization that purports to be secular but is modeled on the evangelical teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP).

Palin’s personal connection to IACC, and her efforts to bring its agenda to Wasilla as mayor, sheds new light on her connections to the Christian far right, as well as her willingness to infuse government with its ideals rooted in religion. Her championing of IACC principles raises further questions about Palin’s views on running government, including the hiring and firing of government employees, an area in which she has come under intense scrutiny in part due to her involvement in “trooper gate.”

By becoming a City of Character, Wasilla under Palin committed to adhering to 49 “character qualities” as outlined by the IACC, which are secularized versions of IBLP’s 49 “character qualities” derived from the Bible. Critics have charged that the organization and its affiliated Character Training Institute are for all intents and purposes a front group for the evangelical IBLP.

IBLP was founded in 1974 by evangelist Bill Gothard “for the purpose of introducing people to the Lord Jesus Christ,” and is “dedicated to giving individuals, families, churches, schools, communities, governments, and businesses clear instruction and training on how to find success by following God’s principles found in Scripture.” IBLP claims to have taught over 2.5 million people its Basic Life Principles seminar, and boasts assets exceeding $100 million, an affiliated correspondence college course program and an unaccredited law school.

I wonder if one of those 49 "character traits" covers deceitfulness? It would seem that lying would be a serious character defect and yet the very group who promotes the "City of Character" program lies about it. Some cities have found some of the programming to be alarming:

The IACC feeds into the Christian Reconstructionist nostalgic notion that if America could rebuild as a Christian nation on biblical principles, then social ills could be cured. Although the IACC strategically dodges the separation of church and state issue by eliminating explicit references to Christianity or religion, the character traits, while on their face innocuous guides to good behavior, have fundamentalist overtones.

“These are biblical principles,” acknowledges Steven Menzel, director of the IACC. “Character qualities set standards of morality and ethics, which has been hands-off for many years. Communities are finding out that being hands-off isn’t going that well.”

Former Mayor Byron Black is among those who signed the 1999 resolution. An ardent supporter of the program, Black acknowledges that its character traits are “Bible-based,” but says they can apply to Christians and non-Christians. At a recent meeting of the Character Council, Burleson’s moral rudder that meets monthly at City Hall, Black said, “If there are religious aspects, that’s OK. Governor Bush stressed character in the schools, and he can’t be wrong.”

Some of the character traits stressed by the "City of Character" program include:

Obedience figures largely in the Character materials. In the book, How to Build Character as a Family, obedience is mentioned no less than 10 times in a 68-page discussion of character traits, and is described as a protective force. Security: “I will look to my authorities for protection.” Flexibility: “I will respect the decisions of my authorities.” Honor: “I will obey cheerfully.” Justice: “I will respect the authority of the law.” Loyalty: “I will not mock authorities.” Obedience: “I will obey my authorities immediately.” Enthusiasm: “Not only does enthusiasm brighten the face and give light to the eyes, but it also acts as a natural medicine that builds strong and thick bones.”

Each character trait also has an opposite. The opposite of obedience is willfulness, which Shetter says might be desirable for some employees. “I don’t want a city manager who will do whatever City Council says,” he says. “And if I hire a finance director in charge of auditing, I want someone with a degree of willfulness.”


The emphasis on obedience echoes that of the institute, which demands that wives be submissive to their husbands, and women, in general, assume passive roles. Institute materials used in New Mexico’s women’s prisons prompted the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison, Wisconsin-based nonprofit, to sue the state and Corrections Corp. of America. In institute workbooks, says foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor, “even if authority is wrong or corrupt, it says you must obey it and let God deal with the authority.”

The "City of Character" program is being promoted as something that is very American. But it isn't really. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Paine, and so many others did not obey the authority of King George III. They protested the taxation without representation and other issues. They drafted and enacted a Bill of Rights that has a built-in right that if "the government of the people by the people" ever fails to be that, US citizens can change it. It gives us the freedom of speech to mock our leaders and authorities. It gives us the right to question authority. Far from the "City of Character" program being a model of US citizenship, it seems to promote the suppression of our given rights, those rights that so many have died for from the American Revolution to Iraqi war.

The McCain-Palin slogan for the presidential run is "Country First". I am reasonable certain that McCain's vision of our country is to promote the rights of all US citizens. I'm not so sure about Palin's based on some of the things I've found out today. Her views are a concern given how old McCain is. We are not a Christian nation. Nor an Islamic, Jewish, or Hindu nation. We are nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, atheists, and others. Evangelicals are seeking to destroy the very fabric of what makes our nation so great. So many still come to our great land seeking those freedoms. It is alarming that the US military is embracing this program.


Jack said...

I was going to vote for McCain until Sarah Palin became part of the ticket. I don't trust her, she strikes me as being dangerous.

Dangerous because she is unqualified and because she doesn't accept the separation of church and state. She concerns me.

shira0607 said...

She concerns me very much. McCain made a very bad choice with her.