Wednesday, August 23, 2006


In the August 21 edition of the Canton Repository, letter writer John Reinier pointed out the obvious contradiction between George W. Bush’s "respect for life” rhetoric and his very real war in Iraq. The letter is worth a read in its entirety, but I’ll quote a few lines here.

There is no disagreement about war among men who sanctify human life. It’s the last thing on their minds, not the first thing. Unnecessary war never enters their minds. Being bent on waging war sealed the president’s response to the current Middle East crisis, even after it developed into a caldron for sacrificing children. The reality of children bearing the brunt of war didn’t warrant stopping it.

Mr. Rainier’s letter reminded me of a discussion I had in June when I covered the HB 228 hearing at the statehouse. HB 228 is Rep. Tom Brinkman's bill that if passed would ban all abortion in the state for any reason and make it illegal for anyone, including husbands and parents, to transport Ohio women across a state line to get an abortion. It is considered the most Draconian anti-abortion bill introduced in any state legislature. I cut the discussion from my original article for space purposes. It bears telling now.

The hearing room was packed and I got there just before the hearing started (ironically, because I was also covering the anti-war exhibit “Eyes Wide Open: the Human Cost of War," installed on the statehouse lawn--right), so I sat in the overflow in the atrium. Seated next to me was a congenial middle-aged man from Mansfield, a self-described Christian and supporter of the bill who told me he considered abortion murder. He was also gung-ho for Bush and the Iraq War. I asked him how that jibed with his "pro-life" beliefs since hundreds if not thousands of Iraqi babies and children have died and fetuses have been lost through miscarriage or stillbirth due to US "intervention." I also pointed out that some of the ultra-militant anti-abort crowd (such as Dr. Patrick Johnston) oppose the war for several reasons, including the loss of fetuses and "potential life." He didn't even pause to think about it.

"That's different," he told me.…“They're out to kill us all, so we have to kill them first. We can't let them be born."

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Last month while you were sleeping, the Christian Coalition of Ohio (CCO) went out of business. But don’t get too excited. It re-formed under a new name, The Ohio Christian Alliance

On July 22, CCO executive director Chris Long issued a press release announcing the name change and CCO disaffiliation with the moribund, financially strapped, and ethically challenged Christian Coalition of America (CCA) national office.

Taking a swipe at his former mother, Long wrote of CCA:

“We will only be of service to our Lord and our fellow man if we uphold standards of moral integrity. We are choosing not to compromise our original mission of restoring righteousness to our land through voter education and working for pro-life, pro-family traditional values…It was a sad day when our board found it impossible to continue to maintain a name that was associated with the national organization, the Christian Coalition of America. We desire to carry out the original mission without compromise and with integrity.”

A few days later, Long elaborated. In a short article in the July 28 Columbus Dispatch Faith & Values section, Long says that National didn’t “pay a lot of attention” to two key OCC issues argued recently on Capitol Hill: the federal marriage amendment and the expansion of stem cell research--issues he says are the “core issues that we’re all about.”

The Ohio problem is part of a larger National willful disregard for state organization priorities, a problem which has led at least two other state organizations, Iowa and Maryland, to break away from the National office. This spring, Iowa disaffiliated and reformed as the Iowa Christian Alliance and Maryland merged with the Association of Maryland Families/Maryland Family Protection Lobby. More may be on the way.

The Christian Coalition, founded in 1989 by televangelist Pat Robertson and political operative Ralph Reed, has been hinky from the get-go. In 1996, CCA’s chief financial officer Judy Leibert, reported Reeds’s alleged financial shenanigans with a vendor to federal prosecutors. Reed was never prosecuted, but resigned the following year to set up a political consulting firm. In 1998, People for the American Way asked the IRS to investigate CCA's political activities including its “voters guides,“ which resulted in CCA losing its provisional tax exempt status a year later. Other observers say, though, that CCA’s downward spiral didn’t really start until 2001 when the controversial Robertson, saying he wanted to get out of politics, stepped down after coming under fire from the Right when he agreed publicly with China’s 1-child policy and -- in the eyes of his grassroots constituency--abortion.. His replacement, Roberta Combs, Robertson’s 1988 South Carolina presidential campaign chair, has been blamed for much of CCA’s cognitive dissonance since then, such as the 2003 Alabama dust-up when National supported a proposed state tax increase that the Christian Coalition of Alabama, the Eagle Forum, National Taxpayers Union, and other rightwing groups opposed. The proposal was defeated. There has also been bickering between state organizations and National over the protracted IRS investigation with states arguing that the agreement National made with IRS about its “voter guides” in order to restore its tax exempt status, makes the guides less effective. The camel’s back finally broke, though, when National joined what Dick Armey calls “a sit-in with the far left activist group” and a bevy of other liberal organizations to support the federal net neutrality act--a bill that CCA state organizations and numerous conservative organizations despise.

Perhaps Mrs. Combs (right) and National have been too busy fending off lawsuits, bill collectors and accusations of racism and nepotism to bother with what is happening in the sticks. In 2002, around the time Mrs Combs took the reigns, CCA was socked with a racial discrimination suit filed by 10 African American employees and former employees who said they'd been forced to come to work through the backdoor and eat lunch in a separate dining space. CCA eventually paid out close to $1 million in an out-of-court settlement ($300,000 to plaintiffs and nearly $700,000 in legal fees).

And a lot more money leaked out or dried up depending on who’s telling the story. Combs daughter Michele Combs (Ammons), claims that it’s hard to raise money when your man is in the White House. Steve Scheffler, director of the Iowa Christian Alliance, complained recently in the Washington Times that since 1996 National’s annual budget dropped from $26 million to $1 million and is $2 million in debt, a figure that Combs doesn’t dispute. CCA, in fact, has still not paid off its big name 2002 Road to Victory conference (which I attended) in Washington and is up to its neck in creditor lawsuits.

According to a recent report in the Washington Post, CCA’s longtime law firm, Huff, Poole & Mahoney PC in Virginia Beach says CCA owes it over $69,000. The Virginian-Pilot earlier reported that the firm had secured a 2003 judgment of $63,959 against CCA that resulted in a garnishment of the organization’s bank account and a partial payment of $21,136. Oklahoma fundraising firm Global Direct says its owed $87,000. Focus Direct Inc. a San Antonio direct-mail company was stiffed for tens of millions of CCA 2000 presidential election voter guides it printed and mailed. The company received a $200,000 settlement in 2004. CAA’s former Chesapeake, Virginia landlord sued the group in 2001 for $76,546 in back rent. Even the company that packed up furniture when Combs moved the national office from Washington Metro to Charlestown in 2002 is standing in line for $1890. Pitney-Bowes and FedEx are also suing. Tammy Farmer, a bookkeeper for National in 2001 filed an affidavit saying that phone service was cut off occasionally and vendors refused to do business with them. “I witnessed a very consistent and chronic pattern of Roberta Combs intentionally refusing to pay valid debts, salaries and accounts for no discernible reason,” she said . “Don’t pay, they’ll never sue,” Combs told her. Steve Scheffler commented:. “We believe, our board believes, any Christian organization has an obligation to pay its debts in a timely fashion.”

To add insult to injury, in 2003 Mrs. Combs pulled National into the messy divorce and child custody battle of her daughter Michele Ammons, who she appointed CCA events coordinator (and later its vice president ) and her soon-to-be former son-in-law Tracey Ammons, CCA’s former lobbyist. In a complex 2004 post-divorce action, Tracey Ammons claimed National owned him around $123,000 in back pay which he alleged was held by Millennium Consulting a company set up in 2002 by Michele, and owned solely by her. The complicated arrangement set National against IRS “excess benefits” regulations and reportedly created questions of insurance fraud. Pretty heady stuff for the traditional values crowd.

And, of course, there’s the Jack Abramoff-Ralph Reed mess.

Stench sticks.

On August 21, the Ohio Christian Alliance will throw its annual golf outing fundraiser at the Rosemont Country Club in the Akron suburb of Fairlawn--with a very interesting speakers list: Assistant Secretary of State Monty Lobb and Jerry Corsi, co-author of Ken Blackwell’s “visionary” plan for Ohio (and the country if he gets his way) Rebuilding America.

Monty Lobb (no downloadable photo available) is not a household name. He should be. Appointed Blackwell’s chief of staff in 1999, since March he’s been the secretary of state’s mini-me breaking tie votes in county election board disputes and signing off on directives and advisories, duties which Blackwell is mandated under Ohio law to do himself. Blackwell spokesperson Carlo LoParo tried to brush off criticism of the hand-over, saying Blackwell outsourced the work to Lobb under a vaguely worded regulation. And as both the SOS and Republican gubernatorial candidate Blackwell wanted a “level of insulation for the decisions in his office,” but he remains “ultimately responsible” for every decision Lobb makes. The implications of this arrangement are obvious. Steve Harsman, Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections and president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials says that election officials are concerned that Blackwell isn’t breaking the ties or making other decisions himself. He told the Columbus Dispatch that the SOS decisions have larger ramifications because they set precedents for similar disputes and officials need guidance because of changes in this year’s election laws. “These are critical items, and we need that leadership from Mr Blackwell.”

One of Lobb’s tie-breakers involves the bid of conservative Columbus Republican Charlie Morrison (right) to run as an Independent against incumbent moderate Republican Cong. Deb Pryce in November. When the Madison County BOE deadlocked on Morrison’s certification, “Blackwell” stepped in and ruled that Morrison was disqualified under Ohio law to run as an Independent because he held Republican Party affiliation. Morrison had not only run for Republican Party posts in the May primary, but had voted Republican in that primary--just one day before filing his papers in Madison County. Ohio's"sore loser law" is up to interpretation and Morrison has filed an appeal in Federal Court. But it appears that Blackwell & Co's' real deal is to keep Morrison, who until recently supported Blackwell, from snagging conservative votes from Pryce who is taking a pounding in the polls from Democrat challenger Mary Jo Kilroy.

Lobb also broke a tie vote in Clermont County which favored Republicans in a hiring dispute over a new deputy director.

Of equal interest: Lobb is director of Blackwell’s Ohio Center for Civic Character, the character building scheme run out of the SOS office, which has come under scrutiny since the Cincinnati Beacon and Akron Beacon Journal investigated its connection to Bill Gothard's cultish Institute for Basic Life Principles. A few years ago I did a preliminary investigation of Gothard. It needs serious updating, so for now I‘ll remain silent on this intriguing topic. But if the Gothard-Blackwell connection is solid, and it appears it is, it could cause a bit of a hurley-burley amongst some important Ohio theocons, especially in the Cinci area, who don‘t go with some of Gothard‘s nuttier ideas. For a detailed look at Gothard connection to Cinci’s rightwing political establishment see “The Grand Unification Theory: From Local Republican Phil Heimlich to President George W. Bush” published in the August 5, 2006 Cincinnati Beacon. For a number of other Hamilton County Gothard sightings go to the CB’s search engine and type in “Gothard.”

Lobb is no political innocent. He’s a longtime theoconic player with an historical relationship to Cincinnati‘s right wing. From he was president of Citizens for Community Values (CVV). CCV was founded in 1955 as Citizens for Decent Literature by anti-porn loon and later Lincoln Savings and Loan felon Charles H Keating, Jr. After several name and leadership changes in 1983 it became CVV, and is now run by Blackwell’s best bud, self-described “recovering pornocholic,” Phil Burress (left). CCV is a local affiliate of Focus on the Family and works with Russell Johnson‘s Ohio Restoration Project and Rod Parsley‘s Reformation Ohio. CCV spends a lot of time running porn shops out of business, shutting down strip clubs, removing Playboy and Penthouse from newsstands, cleansing local cable of unwholesome displays of sex, demanding that the Marriott remove its soft-porn pay-per-view movies from its hotels, and protecting Ohio from the queer menance. It enjoys support from Cincinnati millionaire businessman Carl Linder, former Bengal’s coach Sam Wyche and retired Bengals players Jim Breech and Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deeters, and Larry Flynt ‘s porn- obsessed stalker Hamilton Count Sheriff Simon Leis. In 1992, CCV sent out an X-rated mailing to members warning of “women’s genitals, sexual intercourse, masturbation, oral and anal sex, mechanical vaginas. penis enlargers, vibrator use, and excretory functions” on the “public airwaves.” CCV’s thousands of worker bees, in collusion with Ken Blackwell, and the Parsley and Johnston groups were largely responsible for passage of the 2004 Draconian “anti-gay marriage” amendment to the Ohio Constitution that lured conservatives to the polls not only to “save marriage,” but to push Bush over the top (if indeed he did go over the top)

In 1990 Lobb and Simon Leis, spearheaded letter-writing and fund withholding campaigns and the eventual prosecution of the Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center director Dennis Barrie on pandering charges when he refused to remove nine pictures (later seven) deemed pornographic by CCV from the center‘s Robert Mapplethorpe show, "The Perfect Moment." Lobb even shows up--or rather an actor playing him does--in the Showtime production, Dirty Pictures, a made-for-cable movie about what might be the most controversial art show in American history. Lobb remains proud of his role in of art critic, even though the jury acqutted.

Lobb has a whiff of Republican piety and respectability, but Jerome Corsi, who unaccountably holds a doctorate in Political Science from Harvard and bills himself as an expert on terrorism carries the stench of rotten meat. He is best known as the co-author of the 2004 best seller Unfit for Command--Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. His new book, Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America’s Borders, written with Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist and Cong. Tom Tancredo, is just out. No one should be surprised then that Corsi is in Ohio flogging his book(s)--and Blackwell.

Before the publication of Unfit for Command, Corsi was a frequent contributor to Free forums where he routinely red-baited “BJ“ and “HELLory Clintoon.“ John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Katie Couric, Peter Jennings, and John Lennon. A certified homophobe, he speculated routinely on the sexual leanings of liberals, Democrats, “ragheads,” movie stars, and the Pope.

I took a break from writing this and went through literally hundreds of Corsi’s Freeper posts written between to get a feel for what this guy is about. It‘s not so much the vileness of the juvenile rantings of this chickenhawk bully, (though they are bad enough, but then I have a high tolerance for hyperbole and BS), the type of which can be found on most any Internet Usenet group, but the sheer volume of the work that is overpowering. In nicer times Corsi would have wasted his fetid life writing poison pen letters to his neighbors or beating up queers in back allies or turning his co-workers over to Joe McCarthy, but in these unnice times, he’s ascended to the heights of political relevancy and praise as pundit, respected authority, truth-teller, and well-paid, after diner speaker, legitimized by Ken Blackwell, the Republican Party, and born again Christians who claim to value character, ethics, and morality.

Shortly before publication of Unfit for Command, Corsi issued a pre-emptive “apology” to all the groups he offended in his Freeper Days. Those comments certainly didn’t reflect Corsi‘s “real“ beliefs he cried. They were only meant to provoke discussion. He told the Washington Post in 2005 that the posts were “old news” and feigned surprise that anybody cared.

The Freeper posts resurfaced when Blackwell’s book came out earlier this year, and at least some of the Blackwell camp were unaware of Corsi's Freeper history. Blackwell’s campaign spokesperson Gene Pearce was charged with clean-up duty. Dan Williamson in his weekly political column in The Other Paper (February 9-15, 2006, no longer online) quoted Pearce who practiically held his nose. “What Corsi said goes beyond reasonable rational discourse, and it’s appropriate that he apologized.” Pearce averred that didn’t know if his boss had known about the posts before the book deal was signed.

How could Blackwell NOT have known? But then, if Blackwell doesn’t mind sharing the podium in front of the statehouse with Qu’ran burning Operation Save America's Flip Benham, why would Corsi bother him?

Ohio Christian Alliance press release, July 22, 2006: We will only be of service to our Lord and our fellow man if we uphold standards of moral integrity"

Monty Lobb, The Spirit of Citizenship and Democracy newsletter, Summer 2004, published by the office of the Ohio Secretary of State:"Demonstrating high character is intentional. One can show high character simply by respecting others by keeping promises and trusts, by forgiving the transgressions of others, or seeking the forgiveness of ones we may slight. People with high character simply strive to treat others as they expect to be treated."

Ken Blackwell from“Declaration of Character: Noble visions, worthy missions and guiding values all require and are validated by character ethics. Thus, a strong character foundation is and always will the key predicator of the true personal health, impersonal vitality, and organization success".

Uncommon Sense ™: from the American Center for Civic Character published on the Ohio Secretary of State webpage: “COMPASSION FOR OTHERS: High-character people are compelled by wisdom, fidelity and integrity to extend unmerited kindness to others as an act of the will, They are compelled by a operative conscience (rather than their emotions alone) to be genuinely benevolent and sacrificially giving. They abhor meanness, cruelty, and neglect of others. Act-of the-will compassion makes loving the “hard-to-love” possible. (Observable Virtues: kind, gentle, patient, benevolent, generous.)”

Jerry Corsi to Freeper Forums, January 29, 2003: Only HELLary supports terrorists who torture and kill childre -- "It takes a Mosque" ought to be her next book. Kissey, Kissey, Mrs. ARABrat. Anyone out there looking into the terrorist connections into HELLary's campaign fundraising efforts?"

Me, August 18, 2006: If it looks like a duck.

Stench sticks

Between September 26, 2001 and August 7 2004, Jerry Corsi under the sig “jrlc” slung hundreds of cow pies on to the Freeper Forums. Below is a selection of my personal favorites (spelling has not been corrected). Media Matters has culled its favorites here. If you prefer the Corsi Immersion Program, go directly to Free Republic.

*Maybe while he's there he can tell the UN what he's going to do about the sexual crimes committed by "priests" in his "Church" during his tenure. Or, maybe that's the connection -- boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press. (March 3, 2003)

*(On Cardinal Law’s Resignation): So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the laywers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that's probably about it. (December 16, 2002)

*The liberal press needs to take off the eye shades. The valued sexual "property" in Saudi Arabia is a boy prior to the age of puberty. Boy Buggering is the prefered sexual outlet -- women are considered dirty -- worthy only for procreation. Women bleed, as the Rolling Stones liked to point out -- so in this Muslim world, they are dirty. A little boy is a precious fruit -- too bad the Catholic Priests hadn't discovered Saudi Arabia. Their Muslim brethern would have welcomed their "boy love" society. (September 14, 2002)

*Isn't the Democratic Party the official SODOMIZER PROTECTION ASSOCIATION of AMERICA -- oh, I forgot, it was just an accident that Clintoon's first act in office was to promote "gays in the military." RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together. (November 11, 2001)

*Has anyone cross-referenced the list of terrorist organizations and funding fronts with the lists of donors to Bill, Hillary and the DNC while Clinton was in office? Could be worth the effort to see if there are any in common. September 26, 2001`)

*(Presidential aspirations):Let the FAT HOG run!!! (August 30, 2003)

*The only way to beat this bitch is to nail her on the issues. She's got the victim role down. Get her to go public on all the details of her voting, her speeches, her health care program -- detail, detail, detail. Force her to deny, change ground and recant ON THE ISSUES. All this personal BS is all too easy for HELLary. Make her be the communist she is ON THE ISSUES or get her to abandon her socialist base in an attempt to move to the center. Get her to LIE, LIE, LIE but only ON THE ISSUES -- forget all this BJ Bill BS. (June 8, 2003)

*Anybody ask why HELLary couldn't keep BJ Bill satisfied? Not lesbo or anything, is she? (June 8, 2003)

*Only HELLary supports terrorists who torture and kill childre -- "It takes a Mosque" ought to be her next book. Kissey, Kissey, Mrs. ARABrat. Anyone out there looking into the terrorist connections intoHELLary's campaign fundraising efforts? (January 29, 2003)

*(caption of 1971 picture of John Kerry and Ted Kennedy) "First let's undermine the US in Vietnam. Then we can go for gay marriage. When you get to be Pres. JFK-lite, there will be no end to how much of America we can destroy.” (May 17, 2004)

*The LIMOUSINE LIBERAL candidate, JOHN KERRY, has a problem -- nobody wants to run with him. It's like even the RATS see him as a ship going down and they know that if they got on, they'd have to jump off in the end. Maybe he can run with a dead Communist guy, John Lennon” (April 11, 2004)

*Pacifist. Communist. Liar. These are the words that come to mind listening to Kerry promote himself even 30 years ago. (March 21, 2004)

*Kerry is a Manchurian Candidate, he wants to capture the White House to promote his anti-American, Communist-leftist agenda. Any victory for the enemies of the USA, will be perceived as a victory for him. Kerry has supported Socialists and Communists since he got back from Vietnam (March 14, 2004)

John F*ing Commie Kerry discusses trashing Joe L. with his top advisor (February 4, 2004)


*Let's see exactly why it isn't the case that Islam is a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion? Where's the proof to the contrary? (May 4, 2004)

*Sharon sets the trap and invites mad-dog rag-head homide bombing after agreeing to the "roadmap." ArabRAT won't be able to stop his coward terrorist buddies from being themselves. Let's see how long it takes GWB to decide he has no alternative but to crush Hamas, the other BS groups like Hezbollah -- why stop there -- on to Damascas and Riyahd. (May 30, 2003)

*Time to pound Syria -- no more Hamas, no more Islamic Jihad, no more Hezbollah -- Talibanize them (May 15, 2003)

*Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind -- maybe even better as an analogy -- it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects. A throwback, Medieval, anti-modern, anti-science, anti-knowledge doctrine. Then too, Islam is a peaceful religion only so long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered, and the infidels killed. Worthless. No doctor would hesitate to eliminate cancer cells from the body. (November 26, 2002)

*Exatly, Grandpa Dave -- the only thing you forgot was that the RAG HEADS are also Little Boy Humpers, not just Goat Humpers. This goes along with their hatred of women. When is the leftist media going to start reporting on the homosexuality at the core of these Arab societies -- Oh, I forgot, ISLAM IS A PEACEFUL RELIGION. Yeah, right (November 16, 2002)

COMMUNISM -- it's simple NBC = NOTHING BUT COMMUNISM (April 19, 2004)

Chris Matthews belongs in France -- disgusting NBC (Nothing But Communism) show. Clinton Chris or is it Commie Chris should wake up and realize Tip O'Neill is dead and his form of warmed-over liberalism is dead as well. Commie Chris would be the first to echo HELLary in asking "What did he know and when did he know it" if Bush did nothing against Iraq (as Matthews and the French now urge) and Iraq or Iraq-backed terrorists (March 9, 2003)

Little Katie Communist -- proves the point -- all you have to do to advance at NBC is be a raving leftist a$whore. December 19, 2001)


Protestors greet Jerry Corsi, August 28, 2004 Borders Books and Music, Canton, Ohio. (Photo courtesy of Gust Andrews).

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Last weekend (July 30-August 1) the World Can't Wait: Drive Out the Bush Regime magic bus tour hit Columbus with a laundry list of places and people to picket, protest, and pontificate on.

Sunday morning, WCW staged a drive-by protest of Rod Parsley’s World Harvest Church. On Monday, there were three protests: a counter-demo against the anti-illegal immigration Paul Revere Riders rally at the Statehouse; a “spy on the spy” action at Ohio Homeland Security; and a protest against Ken Blackwell at the Secretary of State‘s office downtown featuring (excuse the mixed metaphors) a verbal ass kicking by Free Press publisher and Green Party gubernatorial candidate Bob Fitrakis (and here) with music by Ukulele Man and Victoria Parks. Tuesday a small group picketed The Pregnancy Decision Health Center, a so-called "pregnancy crisis center" franchise operated by Heartbeat International near the OSU campus. There were also some smaller spur-of-the-moment actions. During a lunch break on Monday local activist Connie Harris and a friend decided just for fun to park near the Ohio Republican Party headquarters downtown with a couple of anti-Bush signs duct-taped to their car. Within five minutes the police showed up to "investigate,"the ill-mannered ladies.

For three days I tagged along with WCW, ostensibly to document and cover its actions. I may write something about it for the Columbus Free Press, but after a week of thinking on it, I'm at a loss as to what to say for "official" publication other than a few sentences of straight reporting on each event.

Full disclosure: I am no fan of WCW, having watched some of its leadership last May in Philadelphia purposefully distort the content and meaning of the Teen Mania Battle Cry event (see "Teen Mania: Lift the Banner" in the Free Press (hard copy only; article not yet on the FP site or here) at its protest and later over the Internet to fit its own membership-building agenda. This is not a criticism of well-intentioned WCW supporters and rank-and- file members, but simply a statement on what I, a seven-year observer of of Teen Mania Ministeres, witnessed. WWC could not get TTM right. In fact, I'm not sure it ever intended to. I was, therefore, leery that it could get--even if it wanted to-- Parsley and his minions--or anything else--right either.

What follows are my impressions and some pictures of the Parsley drive-by. In the next few days I will publish separate blogs on other events of the week. None of these pieces are intended to be definitive or objective accounts, but simply personal opinion sketches.

All photos by the author.


“But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow”

bounced around my head as we drove up and down and around and over Gender Road and back late Sunday morning. One (or at least, I) can't move too far from the thought that WCW is the invention of the cultish Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) (and here ) the gadfly of what passes for much of “progressive” politics in the US today. How an obscure state-snuggling, issue-squatting leftie group, with little credibility outside of the head of its founder, longtime expat Bob Avakian and his followers, has organized the physical presence of a critical part of the anti-war/anti-Bush movement is the US today (is there a difference?) is a subject to ponder at some later date. That RCP's latest eogtistical attempt to repolarlize to radicalize has been embraced, apparently without a background check, by such a wide spectrum of the reality-based, who in less perilous times would regard the RCP/WCW as a mid-20th century Maoist joke--Gore Vidal, Mark Crispin Miller, Daniel Ellsberg, Janis Karpinski, Grace Paley, and even Wavy Gravy and anarchists-- illustrates the sad state of current organized Bush opposition

But to get back to Sunday morning…

about 50, mosty local or Ohio World Can’t Wait members and friends gathered by the Goodale Park gazebo making protest signs and speeches. A good portion were young. Very young. A few had traveled across the country on the WCW bus. Two Columbus cops on bikes looked on boredly. The mood was festive. It’s not every day that Rod Parsley and his church get a public wupping.

Bush Step Down!
No Fascist Theocracy!
End the Neocon Culture of Death!
No slavery in Any Form!
World Can't Wait--Drive Out the Bush Regime!
"The Bible taken literally is a horror"

Despite the outward fun, the pre-event was predictably strident and mostly humorless. It was no pig-nic. Parlsey and his congregation, which includes a substantial number of African Amercians, were denounced as “christian fascists” without any explanation of what that meant much less any idea of who attends the church. The number of African American WCWers in Goodale Park could be counted on less than one hand.

Ponderous and serious speeches were read about Jesus and numerous Bush infractions of human decency. A young woman read a poem denouncing capitalism, corporatism, consumerism, pop music and fashion that sounded remarkably similar to Teen Mania’s Teenage Bill of Rights. A lighter moment came with the arrival of Jesus who is not amused by the Bush administration or Rod Parsley.

WCA, unlike many other lefties, are clock conscious. At exactly 11:30 after a rousing fist-waving salute to the people, the WCW caravan set off for World Harvest. A similar trip to Ohio Restoration Project and Patriot Pastor Russell Johnson’s Fairfield Christian Church in Lancaster was put on hold due to logistics but mainly due to the cost of gas. "Progressives" don't believe in war chests but wonder why Republicans keep winning.

We arrived at the target about 25 minutes later, just in time for church to let out. The lock and load Parsleyites were, metaphorically speaking, dressed to over-kill. About 8 police cruisers, a land rover, a few motorcycle cops, and a police tow truck sat at the ready, along with WHC security and what I believe were a crew of World Harvest Media Men in Black videotaping the drive-bys (below left). There were a couple of easily ID'ed undercover cops, too. Although WCW could not enter private property (the parking lot, that is, or beyond), I heard secondhand, but can't verify, that a space had been set aside where protesters could park and protest closer to the church. reportedy the same space reserved two years ago for Flip Benham and Operation Save America's "friendly" Parsley pickets. I did not see any such space used. WCW apparently preferred a road loop and the after-service traffic jam to get its message across, whatever it was.

Like Bush, WCW doesn't do nuance. “Get out of Iraq!“ “Rod Parsley is a liar!” “Rod Parsley is a thief!” “Rod Parsley condones torture!” “Rod Parsley is a racist!” I began to feel like I'd missed something. Is it the Parsley Regime or Bush Regime that WCW wants to run out of Dodge? Some of the congregants stood in the parking lot wearing WTF expressions. Later, except for one “go to hell” from a passing car, Parslelyite response ran the gamut of “Jesus loves you” to “I’m praying for you.” The WHC Media Men in Black recorded it all for later broadcast on Reformation Ohio Jumbotrons or big screen church services. The Arlington Group (and here), RNC fundraisers, and Ken Blackwell, none of who do nuance either, will find the drive-by helpful. “This is the face of (fill-in-in-the blank): Liberals. Democrats. Homosexuals. Baby Killers. Women's Libbers, Pagans. Hedoninsts, Islamofascists. The Unsaved. Evolutionists. Lesbians. Nancy Boys. Embryo Flushers. The End Days. Anarchists in the streets.


What was the point of this Sunday morning fire hosing at World Harvest? What was the strategic thinking? What was the focus? The goal? Who, in fact, saw any of this outside of church members, cops, and neighbors? Sunday morning is dead air, but there was no press coverage that I saw. (Had the press even been alerted?) Did drive-by sloganeering on Gender Road have any meaning other than personal-is-political therapy for "progressives" or signing on a few new WCW members?

Connie Harris, who is not a WCW member but supports the anti-Bush movement says that the drive-by was about “getting the message out.” Fair enough. But what message?

Later a WCWer told me that Ohio was chosen as a target due to the convergence of issues here and the Blackwell candidacy and its ramifications. Again, fair enough. But, what was the purpose? Especially since the RCP disavows the electorial process.

The current christo-political situation in Ohio is complex and layered. WCW in "attacking" Parsley showed little understanding of theoconic history, context and lanaguage in general, and Parsley in particiular. While driving around shouting meaningless insults may have felt good, it did nothing to further the WCW's so-called goal of driving out the Bush regime. Instead, World Can't Wait legitimized rank-and-file fears, girded the opposition, and demonstrated the irrelevancy of 20th century protest strategies.

As an oppositional researcher documenting and writing about Biblical Ohio I was mainly interested in WCW strategies and motives and catching the reaction of the theoconic and Bushite recipients of WCW's drop-ins. The Gender Road action and reaction were predictable. The drive-by let the Progressive Gang vent and feel good about themselves. The Parsley Gang continued to operate from their safe spaces and feel good about themselves. Both groups fed off of each other's self-induced panic to build message and membersip, The theraputic pathologies,--the yin and the yang of Progressives and Regressives engaged seamlessly with nary a feather fuffled nor a sensibility rippled. When the dust bunnies scampered back into their holes it was business as usual.

When agit-props meet who is whose useful idiot?

NEXT; The Paul Revere Riders

Sunday, August 06, 2006


As reported earlier by me, Operation Save America's Flip Benham blew into town this weekend. Saturday morning (Aug. 5) I caught up with him and the gang, which included Minutemen United founder Coach Dave Daubenmire, New Beginnings Church pastor Bill Dunfee, a lot of regulars and some new faces, at Founders Clinic on E. Broad Street. Friday they paid a visit to CapCare's new clinic on Indianola where reportedly the gang moved illegally on to the parking lot. Flip and a couple others who were at the action told me "a baby was saved."

During our street interview Flip and I discussed various topics including OSA's Jackson, Mississippi event, anarchists, and Jean-Paul Sartre. I'll be writing about our interview after I transcribe the tape. Not surprisingly, I suffered a tape recorder malfunction (is their a law about that?) all the more frustrating since I had a digital recorder AND a standard backup recorder, both of which flaked.

In the meantime, I'm posting a couple picures here. (Pastor Bill Dunfee, right) Note: the sun was hot and high affecting the qualily of he pictures.

More to follow well as a group of reports on the World Can't Wait blitz through Columbus last week.

Friday, August 04, 2006


The fourth annual Pass the Salt/New Beginnings camp meeting, Revival at the River, opened Wednesday at New Beginnings Church in Warsaw. Besides bon fires, horseshoes and worship, the revival features Operation Save America director Flip Benham, OSA operative and Ohio convicted sex offender Scott Heldreth, and of course, Minutemen United founder Coach Dave Daubenmire and New Beginnings pastor, Bill Dunfee. Dr. Patrick Johnston and his wife Elizabeth will lead family worship services on Friday and Saturday. Coach is scheduled to speak Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, and Benham will speak Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday mornings. According to an announcement emailed this morning which included the roster of guests, they will deliver messages "guaranteed to motivate and inspire."

Friday and Saturday the camp meeting will pull up stakes temporarily and converge on Columbus "abortion mills."

Benham arrives in Central Ohio fresh from the OSA'a week-long occupation of Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Johnston was arrested there for obstructing traffic and protesting without a permit at St. James Episcopal Church during a Sunday morning anti-abortion demonstration.

In 1992 Scott Heldreth, was charged with 1 count of kidnap and 2 counts of criminal rape of at 18-year old woman at the Ohio University golf course. He later pled down to 1 count of sexual battery and was granted shock probation from Pickaway Correctional Institute after only 6 weeks incarceration. He is a registered sex offender in Illinois. The Florida, registery lists him as "released." Heldreth currently lives in North Carolina but is not listed in that state's sex offender registry since North Carolina's law pertains only to convictions after January 1, 1996. (Note: type Heldreth's name in at registry sites to get data.) As far as I know his last visit to Columbus was in July 2004 for OSA's take-over of City Hall Plaza (and here).

Most recently Heldreth was in the news when his oldest son, Joshua, then 10, was arrested at the Good Friday 2005 Terri Schiavo Death Watch in Pinellas Park, Florida when he attempted to take water to Schiavo. Go here for my article on the Heldreths at Pinellas Park.