Category Archives: Military

A provocative passel of pistol-packin’ pastors

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Dutch journalist and documentarian Koen van Groesen and his Polygooi Productions cast a critical gaze on the bizarre intersection of pulpit and pistol in America’s fundamentalist religions, as well as a munitions maker who sells them “Muslim-proof” assault rifles emblazoned with a Crusader cross and a Bible verse.

Via Journeyman Pictures:

Gospel And Guns: How Religion And Gun Law Intertwine In America

Program notes:

Mass shootings in schools and churches have become a regular occurrence in America. Christians in the south have responded by arming themselves, calling upon their God-given right to firearms.

God, Gospel and Guns. For many American Christians, this is a holy trinity. “We as Christian people can be people of faith and also be people of firearms. No contradiction”, says Pastor Ken Pegano. With an unshakable faith in both God and guns, Ken advocates the carrying of firearms and encourages his congregation to do so too, even by holding raffles to win guns during services. The intertwining of faith and weaponry permeates life in the Bible Belt, where many believe that their right to carry a weapon is granted by God and it is the only way for them to protect themselves. One churchgoer explains, “Church is always first and then we always go to the gunnery and just shoot and interact as a family. And family is key, and God and guns and stuff”. Even specialised ‘Christian’ weapons engraved with scriptures are being produced. Yet as mass shootings continue to occur at a worrying rate, others call for tougher regulations. “As Christians, if we are going to ask the nation to be less violent, then we should demonstrate that”, says the granddaughter of a victim of the recent Charleston Church shooting. Amongst all these churches in Kentucky there stands a small Mosque where they do not believe weapons and prayer go together. “We would be labelled as terrorists if we gave away guns at the mosque”, says the Imam. “And personally, I would never allow that. This is place where people come in and worship and connect to God, it is not a place to come in and learn how to fight”.

All of which apparently answers the question, raised by Literati Press:

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Map of the day: Caution, spooks at work

From the US Forum on Combating Globalization:

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A nuclear war drill along the California Coast

From the London Daily Mail, covering top secret naval nuclear war drills that have forced airline flights to change routes and included Saturday’s spectacularly terrifying and unannounced firing of a Trident missile from an offshore submarine [click on it to enlarge]:

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Abby Martin on U.S. press subservience to Israel

No other foreign power exercises so tight a hold on American news media as does Israel, as we have learned firsthand [and previously].

So we were pleased to see that Abby Martin has devoted the latest edition of her Telesur English series the Empire Files to a look at how the media spins the conflict between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people.

From the Empire Files:

The Distortion & Death Behind Israel/Palestine Coverage

Program notes:

A crisis in Palestine is again all over the headlines. From stabbings and Molotov cocktails, to killing of protesters and anti-Arab lynch mobs — how much of the mass media coverage can we really trust?

Abby Martin takes a look at how the so-called “Israel-Palestine conflict” has been covered by the mainstream press during the last crisis in the region, and the variety of tactics employed by the state of Israel to control the narrative: from its Hasbara propaganda machine, to outright killing of journalists.

Featuring interviews with Dan Cohen (@DanCohen3000), investigative journalist who just returned from 7 months of reporting from Gaza and the West Bank, and Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhelek) writer and editor with Electronic Intifada.

Headline of the day II: We are not surprised

From a Glenn Greenwald piece posted at The Intercept:

Leaked Emails From Pro-Clinton Group Reveal Censorship of Staff on Israel, AIPAC Pandering, Warped Militarism

Map of the day: A chilling Cold War legacy

From CIVIL DEFENSE SHELTERS: A STATE-OF-THE-ART ASSESSMENT — 1986 [PDF], a declassified report from Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the nation’s readiness to a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union:

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And what do those exposure levels mean?

This chart from the National Science Digital Library’s Atomic Archive has the answers [LD refers to lethal dose, and the numbers refer to the percentages of those exposed to a given dose who would be expected to die as a result]:

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Quote of the day: Onward Christian soldiers

From former CIA office Philip Giraldi, writing in the American Conservative:

 General David Petraeus, when head of the Central Command was well known for his strong commitment to “spiritual fitness” as a sine qua non for his officers, providing a top level sanction for including religion in one’s professional development. In 2007 Petraeus endorsed Christian rock concerts on military bases. A year later, senior Army chaplain William McCoy took the argument for spirituality one step further, explaining how the non-religious soldier, having no protection against sin, might cause the failure of his unit.   Petraeus blurbed McCoy’s book Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, recommending that it be in every backpack for those times when a soldier needs “spiritual energy.” A senior chaplain in Afghanistan also enthused about how leading by example produces positive results, with 85 percent of the 22 officers reporting to Petraeus engaging in “dynamic Bible study,” though one has to wonder if they might have been doing so to enhance their promotion prospects.