Friday, September 28, 2007

Double Entry: CSE CopyWrong and the 9/11 Bullshit Movement

Oy! Kent Hovind's Creation Science Evangelism ministries are at it again. This time they've been making false copyright claims in order to get videos that criticize them pulled off of youtube. For more information, check these vids out (courtesy of Thunderf00t):








Here's the letter that goes with that last video:

Dear Sir,
I write to inform you of the abuse of copyright claims by cseministry (Creation Science Ministries).

cseministry (Creation Science Ministries) have been flagging videos as their copyrighted material even though they contain no material whatsoever from cseministry. cseministry was founded by the young earth creationist and public figure, Kent Hovind who is currently serving a 10 year jail sentence for tax fraud. Videos that cseministry have claimed infringed their copyright include phone calls from various scientists to Kent Hovind, Hovinds phone calls from jails where he conspires to hide property from the IRS and completely original satirical animations of the likeness of the public figure Kent Hovind. cseministry are evidently making abusive use of the copyright claims system by making false claims against videos which reflect badly on cseministry or their founder Kent Hovind.
-This is an abuse of the systems that cseministry have been systematically using as a form of 'back door censorship' and needs to be addressed.


Further cseministry have made copyright claims on videos they have previously made. Yet cseministry have previously declared that all material produced by their ministry is public domain material (see video below). Public domain material cannot be copyrighted. Indeed it would appear that it is only within the last week that cseministry have changed their website (drdino.com) to falsely claim they have copyright protection on all the material they have previously put in the public domain (see video below), simply so they can falsely flag videos critical of them on youtube. No-one can claim the copyright for public domain material, not even cseministry.
And even IF cseministry did own the copyright for any of this material, all of the videos they have flagged as infringing their copyright would fall into the category of fair use.

The following video explains the abuse by cseministry
watch?v=n953ZknacdE
watch?v=mAtTqCom8Fg

The following is a partial list of accounts that have had videos deleted by false copyright claims by cseministry.
rabidape, johnplex, Acorvettes, EGarrett01, Desertphile, qxdc, Chrisboe4ever, RationalResponse and ExtantDodo

Best wishes


I sent off my letter, what about you?

It appears to be working, a lot of those anti-Hovind videos are making comebacks.
------------------------------------

A few weeks ago all around campus I would find flyers like this one (I blacked out the city/town name and phone because I have a bit of an anonymity thing going on here):

For those of you who have trouble reading the text:


TUESDAY - SEPTEMBER 11 - 2007
--Moment of silence at 7:15 PM--

Film at 7:30 'Loose Change'
Coffee & Snacks - Discussion

Informational exchange - Open mic

LIVE MUSIC 10:00 - DJ INVINCIBLE & KARUNA

Admission by Donation



Who the heck gets a DJ to perform at a memorial service?

"LET'S GET DEH-PAR-TAHY STARTED FOR THE DEH-PAR-TEYD!" Dugalug-dug-dug-dug...

I've heard of Loose Change before, so after seeing these flyers all over the place, so I thought I'd check it out on the 'tubes. Needless to say, I wasn't very impressed. David Wong has an excellent piece on the film and its creators (as 9/11 "truthers" would say of Loose Change, it "makes you think").

Another great piece on this is Mark Roberts' Screw Loose Change, which goes through the entire video pointing out the errors and downright falsehoods.

I just can't buy into the idea that the U.S. government killed thousands of people in an immensely complex fashion making it look like something else, yet Dylan Avery and his buds are still alive. I mean, if the government can put a plane into the side of a building, what's to keep them from flying one into some college-dropout's apartment. No, no... a plane would be too big. It would have to be something smaller, like a riding mower.

Detective Blonsky: What happened here?

CSI: It appears a riding-mower crashed into this living room, slashing the inhabitants to ribbons.

Detective Blonsky: Damn! I suspect foul play, but without grainy photos and ominous-sounding music, I'll never be able to prove it.

9/11 is an open shut case for me, but I have my suspicions about another incidence...




(Unfastened Coins video courtesy of Maddox).

Coming soon: Another Every Man's Battle entry.

EDIT 2007/09/29: And how could I have forgotten the famous debunking done by Popular Mechanics.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

If You Love Homophobia So Much, Why Don't You Just Gay-Marry It?

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Before we get things started I just want to say to whoever is doing so, please don't spam my comments box. It's annoying, and we have all seen that ytmnd file by now. If you are gonna spam my comments section at least spice things up with a little variety. Like, I dunno, maybe some of those medieval ones, something that's animated, or perhaps you could upload my Samson & Goliath pic to ytmnd.com (uploading yours would be even better). But as for now, on to the show.
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College has kept me busy for quite some time, but I have decided to take a break from procrastinating my assignments to once again travel through the series of tubes to write about James Dobson, the Pope of politically participating patriarchal protestants.

Now, for those of you out there who don't know who James Dobson is, let me give you a bit of backstory. James Dobson (judging by the sound of his voice heard over the radio) was conceived in sodomy between John Wayne and Porky Pig. He was later adopted by a Nazarene minister and his wife that were so filled with the love of Christ that they would hit him whenever he used the exclamation "hot-dog". He accepted Jesus into his heart at the age of three, helping him overcome a life-destroying apple-juice addiction. While he was a child he made dogs fight for his own amusement and was beaten by his mother with her own garter-belt; experiencing a childhood that can only be described as one foot in the world of Father Knows Best and the other in that of a Thomas Harris novel. Little Jimmy then went off to Christian College to study psychology, hoping to one day become a Batman villain. He finally became a doctor only to later spit in the face of God by breaking his Hippocratic Oath through promoting the unethical, harmful and pseudoscientific quackery of reparative therapy.

One day, he climbed to the top of a mountain and saw that The Children of Baby-Boomer Evangelicals were being rude and unruly. He descended the mountain carrying a hardcover edition of his famous parenting book Dare to Beat the Shit Out of Your Kids, which he then used to whoop some serious whipper-snapper ass. When the BBEs saw how well behaved and twitching their children had become, they fell to their knees in gratitude and proceeded to suck off the good doctor as if his urethra was a juice-box straw and his gonads were filled with vanilla custard. And that is how Focus on the Family was formed; an organization that provides many services and tools to Evangelical families, like movie reviews that bring attention to the amount of cleavage shown by the Fairy Godmother in Shrek 2.

One day some politicians saw that there were a lot of BBEs and decided that the best way to be popular among the BBEs was to do what they were doing. So they went down on Dobson as well, shouting "HAGH GOARS! LOOG AD USH!" and the BBEs look out of the corners of their eyes and saw what the politicians were doing and said among themselves "LEGDS BOAT FOA DOSE GAISH!" And that was how Dobson, in his own special half-assed yet mad and power-hungry way, became involved in politics. This in turn led to him writing articles like this one, a synopsis of his book Marriage Under Fire. All presented in a neatly summarized, and easy-to-mock, format:

Ten Arguments Against Same Sex Marriage

(This is a synopsis of the new book by Dr. James Dobson, Marriage Under Fire.)

Argument #1.

The implications for children in a world of decaying families are profound. A recent article in the Weekly Standard described how the advent of legally sanctioned gay unions in Scandinavian countries has already destroyed the institution of marriage, where half of today's children are born out of wedlock.

It would be nice if he could link us this article, because -y'know- many newspapers have web-sites these days. Usually when a newspaper article that supports the his position is mentioned by a web-author on either his blog or a web-page, the author provides the common courtesy of linking to said news-article so the reader would then be able to read it and see if what the author is saying about it is true or not.

It is predicted now, based on demographic trends in this country, that more than half of the babies born in the 1990s will spend at least part of their childhood in single-parent homes.


"It is predicted now" by who? You? And gay-marriage will cause/has caused (?) this how?

Social scientists have been surprisingly consistent in warning against this fractured family. If it continues, almost every child will have several "moms" and "dads," perhaps six or eight "grandparents," and dozens of half-siblings.

OH MY GOD! I have three grandparents! We're practically halfway there! And no good Christian man should ever marry a "used" woman with children of her own. Why, he would miss out on that fresh-vagina smell.

Well, at least we know that little Billy is going to get a fair bit of Christmas presents this year.

"Dozens of half-siblings"? How is it that Dobson has a PhD yet somehow is unaware of the use of contraceptives?

It will be a world where little boys and girls are shuffled from pillar to post in an ever-changing pattern of living arrangements-where huge numbers of them will be raised in foster-care homes or living on the street (as millions do in other countries all over the world today).

Yep, gays are responsible for "huge numbers" of unwanted children. They reproduce like jackrabbits, them queers.

Yes, I hear gay marriage is very popular in countries that have a lot of street-children, like India.

All those children in foster-homes and living on the streets. It's a shame there isn't anyone that wants to adopt them. Well, anyone that isn't kept from being able to so by the followers of certain demagogues that misrepresent the scholars they cite (on rare occasions when they actually do cite a source instead of crying wolf).

Imagine an environment where nothing is stable and where people think primarily about themselves and their own self-preservation.

Reality TV?

The apostle Paul described a similar society in Romans 1, which addressed the epidemic of homosexuality that was rampant in the ancient world and especially in Rome at that time. He wrote, "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless" (v. 29-31, NIV).


Oy Vey! Time for me to whip out my notes from Countryman's Dirt, Greed and Sex.

Yep, Paul was talking about a homosexuality "epidemic" in Romans 1 (our God does condemn people for illness, does he not?). It's not like Paul wrote Romans as an attempt to heal rifts between Jewish and Gentile Christians at that church; He wasn't using Greco-Roman rhetorical technique to capture the sympathies of the Jewish part of his audience by expressing the Jewish cultural connection of idolatry to the "uncleanliness" of gentile culture (verses 18-27) by bringing up homosexual acts instead of unclean foods as that bringing up unclean foods in such a context would only exacerbate tensions in table-fellowship between Jewish Christians concerned with food purity and Gentiles that didn't observe kosher. Nope, he wrote Romans to warn us about gay sex being responsible for all manner of evil in the world.

Countryman notes that the Greek word epithymia, translated in the NIV as "sinful desires" is more accurately translated as simply "lusts" as it is used again by Paul in Romans 7:7 and by the Septuagint in Exodus 20:17 being defined as the sin of coveting, Paul himself uses the word positively in 1 Thess 2:17 (his "intense longing" to meet of with his brothers in Thessalonia).

Countryman also points out that Paul has a very rich plethora of Greek words he could've used to describe the "sin" of homosexuality, such as:

  • sin (hamartia, hamartema)
  • lawlessness/transgression (anomia)
  • unrighteousness (adikiu)
  • impiety (asebia)

But he doesn't use any of these describing the homosexual acts, although he does use the language of physical purity, describing them as "unclean" and "shameful" (which they would have been to Jews).

The list of sins found in verses 29-32 -the sins that "deserve death" (note that there are no "purity" violations on that list, sexual or in any other physical sense) although practiced by the "impure" gentiles, were not limited to them as Paul then follows this by rebuking in the following verses those who judged the "impure" and even noting that the "pure" Jews commit the same sins as Pork-eating, dude-loving, two-crops-in-the-same-field planting Gentiles (Romans 2). Thereby preserving the unstable unity of the Roman church by not alienating his his entire Jewish audience (by acknowledging the Jewish purity code and Jewish "superiority" in this regard) defending his Gentile audience (by not presenting Gentile culture as uniquely sinful in and of itself), and laying a rhetorical smackdown on Jewish Christians that judged "impure" Gentiles (while simultaneously not appearing anti-purity to his Jewish audience). It is only after lengthy exposition on Jews and the Law, Gentiles, and the Grace of Christ does Paul finally bring up the matter of food purity (Romans 14).

Long story short. Dobson just shot himself in the foot, as Paul is saying that "every kind of wickedness" can also be found among those who practice purity codes. And adherence to purity codes are not conditions to receive the Grace of God.

It appears likely now that the demise of families will accelerate this type of decline dramatically, resulting in a chaotic culture that will be devastating to children.

Uh. Mr Dobson, I don't know what they taught at University. But at where I attend college my profs teach me that when you put forth an argument against something, you're actually supposed to put forth an argument.

Argument #2
The introduction of legalized gay marriages will lead inexorably to polygamy and other alternatives to one-man, one-woman unions.

In Utah, polygamist Tom Green, who claims five wives, is citing Lawrence v. Texas as the legal authority for his appeal. This past January, a Salt Lake City civil rights attorney filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of another couple wanting to engage in legal polygamy. Their justification? Lawrence v. Texas.
Tom Green? I thought he was only married once, to Drew Barrymore, and even that only lasted a year.

Mr. Dobson, Lawrence v. Texas was about decriminalizing homosexual sodomy. It didn't really have much to do with gay-marriage (other than allowing the "gay" without the "marriage"). It seems to me that it was more a case of "there is no way we can enforce this law without violating the constitution, screw it" kind of thing.

I can't be the only person here who can see the irony of a "traditional, Biblical-model" family advocate complaining about polygamy which technically is the most "traditional, Biblical-model" type of family (although I believe it wouldn't function well in today's society, much like Dobson's patriarchy).

The ACLU of Utah has actually suggested that the state will "have to step up to prove that a polygamous relationship is detrimental to society"-as opposed to the polygamists having to prove that plural marriage is not harmful to the culture. Do you see how the game is played? Despite 5,000 years of history, the burden now rests on you and me to prove that polygamy is unhealthy. The ACLU went on to say that the nuclear family "may not be necessarily the best model." Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalia warned of this likelihood in his statement for the minority in the Lawrence case.10 It took less than six months for his prediction to become reality.
Of course the state will have to prove that polygamy will hurt our society (which should be easy for them to do) because, technically, you can't prove a negative.

Why will gay marriage set the table for polygamy? Because there is no place to stop once that Rubicon has been crossed. Historically, the definition of marriage has rested on a bedrock of tradition, legal precedent, theology and the overwhelming support of the people.
Yep, the institution of marriage never changed from it's original state of a man owning one or more wives (and perhaps a few concubines and slaves) obtained at the age of menstruation from their parents in exchange for three goats to a man owning only one wife (something the Jews adapted from those Grecian fags when Alexander the Great conquered Palestine, according to Bible Scholar L.W. Countryman) to the woman having a degree of ownership of her husband as well (You can thank the J-man for that one) to a committed and consensual life partnership between two adults where their financial assets are united, their insurance carried, ect.

Another thing Dobson didn't learn at school: "Slippery-slope" arguments are almost always fallacious.

After the introduction of marriage between homosexuals, however, it will be supported by nothing more substantial than the opinion of a single judge or by a black-robed panel of justices. After they have done their wretched work, the family will consist of little more than someone's interpretation of "rights."

As opposed to the prohibition of marriage between homosexuals being supported by nothing more substantial than a power-mad right-wing demagogue's context-ignoring interpretations of a religious text, his nation's history, and the U.S. Constitution.

Given that unstable legal climate, it is certain that some self-possessed judge, somewhere, will soon rule that three men and one woman can marry. Or five and two, or four and four.

He's shooting off numbers like an auctioneer.

"Andthentwoandthreepeoplewillbeabletomarrythensevenandeleventhenpi
andthity-seventimestentothepowerofeightthenzeropointfiveandagooglethey've
SOLD out our nation's Christian heritage."

Who will be able to deny them that right? The guarantee is implied, we will be told, by the Constitution. Those who disagree will continue to be seen as hate-mongers and bigots. (Indeed, those charges are already being leveled against those of us who espouse biblical values!)

Like Tom Green the polygamist.

How about group marriage, or marriage between relatives, or marriage between adults and children? How about marriage between a man and his donkey? Anything allegedly linked to "civil rights" will be doable. The legal underpinnings for marriage will have been destroyed.

I'm sorry Dobson, but marriage between relatives has been going on long time before the gay-rights movement.

"The legal underpinnings for marriage" destroyed? I guess Adam's insurance won't be carried to Steve then. Kinda like when they change the speed limit for a stretch of road, the legal underpinning of traffic-control is destroyed.

Yes Dobson, I see your point. Two consenting adults of the same sex entering into a state-recognized legal contract is a gateway to marriage with animals ("good luck signing the marriage certificate with that hoof, eh.") and that the only thing keeping courts from giving the seal of approval to relationships where the small and weakest of our society are selfishly abused by their elders is the "ick" factor, because it sure as hell can't be that courts recognize the fact that pedophiles actually hurt children.

Argument #3
An even greater objective of the homosexual movement is to end the state's compelling interest in marital relationships altogether. After marriages have been redefined, divorces will be obtained instantly, will not involve a court, and will take on the status of a driver's license or a hunting permit.


Oh, so they don't want any of the legal benefits of marriage, since ending of the state's compelling interest in marital relationships altogether would result in said benefits (aside from a very tall cake and a ceremony) going down the crapper. This is basically a modern day version of "if we let Jews drink from our well they will poison it".

And Dobson, as long as married couples own things, divorce will always be a matter of the courts.

With the family out of the way, all rights and privileges of marriage will accrue to gay and lesbian partners without the legal entanglements and commitments heretofore associated with it.

So gays want to get married and adopt kids because they hate commitment and the family. Makes sense.


Argument #4
With the legalization of homosexual marriage, every public school in the nation will be required to teach that this perversion is the moral equivalent of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Textbooks, even in conservative states, will have to depict man/man and woman/woman relationships, and stories written for children as young as elementary school, or even kindergarten, will have to give equal space to homosexuals.

NO! Not TEXTBOOKS! I want my kids to learn about homosexuality the old fashioned way. Evangelical Right-wing congressmen sending them dirty emails.

Argument #5
From that point forward, courts will not be able to favor a traditional family involving one man and one woman over a homosexual couple in matters of adoption.

Wow, I had no idea that there is such a high demand for and limited supply of orphans these days. I bet they move faster than flapjacks.

"Sorry, but Angelina Jolie was in here earlier today and she just cleared us all out. Why don't you come back Monday, that's when the truck comes in."

Children will be placed in homes with parents representing only one sex on an equal basis with those having a mom and a dad. The prospect of fatherless and motherless children will not be considered in the evaluation of eligibility. It will be the law.

Yeah, it's worse for orphans to be raised by a gay couple than to remain without parents, shuffled from pillar to post in an ever-changing pattern of living arrangements-where huge numbers of them will be raised in foster-care homes or living on the street (now where have I heard that before?).

Yeah, I remember when you argued that straight-parent families do better than gay-parent ones from your guest column in Time, where you lied like the sleazebag you are.

Argument #6
Foster-care parents will be required to undergo "sensitivity training" to rid themselves of bias in favor of traditional marriage, and will have to affirm homosexuality in children and teens.

What can I say, it beats shipping them off to ex-gay camp against their will.

Argument #7
How about the impact on Social Security if there are millions of new dependents that will be entitled to survivor benefits? It will amount to billions of dollars on an already overburdened system. And how about the cost to American businesses? Unproductive costs mean fewer jobs for those who need them. Are state and municipal governments to be required to raise taxes substantially to provide health insurance and other benefits to millions of new "spouses and other dependents"?

Is he just pulling these "arguments" out of his ass? It is speculated that roughly 10% of the population is gay, so even if they all decided to get married I seriously doubt it would flood the system. And since having dependents "burdens the system" why doesn't Dobson encourage cohabitation among his straight followers instead of marriage? Real swell knowledge you have of the economy there, Dobbie.


Argument #8
Marriage among homosexuals will spread throughout the world, just as pornography did after the Nixon Commission declared obscene material "beneficial" to mankind.11 Almost instantly, the English-speaking countries liberalized their laws against smut. America continues to be the fountainhead of filth and immorality, and its influence is global.

Wait wait wait. Pornography "spread throughout the world" -from America- after the Nixon Commission?

America is the "fountainhead of filth"? Somebody get this man an internet, STAT! Has this guy seen the shit coming out of Japan? Does he know what bukkake is? I know he has some familiarity with porn, mainly the kind with chicks "hanging from trees, and being murdered with knives, guns, ropes, etc" (me, I happen to be partial to the big-butts; but whatever floats your boat, man).

The point is that numerous leaders in other nations are watching to see how we will handle the issue of homosexuality and marriage. Only two countries in the world have authorized gay marriage to date-the Netherlands and Belgium. Canada is leaning in that direction, as are numerous European countries. Dr. Darrell Reid, president of Focus on the Family Canada, told me two weeks ago that his country is carefully monitoring the United States to see where it is going. If we take this step off a cliff, the family on every continent will splinter at an accelerated rate.

Actually Canada has already legalized gay-marriage. And, surprise surprise, families still exist and fire isn't raining from the skies. Who woulda thunk it?

And Dobbie, it might surprise you to realize that Canada and Europe doesn't look in your direction and think to themselves "That country run by George W. Bush, how can we become like it?"

Conversely, our U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that it looks to European and Canadian law in the interpretation of our Constitution.13 What an outrage! That should have been grounds for impeachment, but the Congress, as usual, remained passive and silent.

So looking at how laws in other countries with cultures similar to yours for ideas on how similar laws will affect your country is grounds for impeachment, but lying about a reason for war isn't? Nice set of priorities you got there.

Argument #9
Perhaps most important, the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be severely curtailed. The family has been God's primary vehicle for evangelism since the beginning.

That's kinda weird, considering how even though Jesus was not overtly hostile to the institution of the family, he did not portray"family-values" as a central part of the Gospel. There's also the fact that the Apostle Paul personally believed that raising a family distracted one from the work of the Kingdom. Ah Dobbie, your knowledge of scripture is rivaled only your knowledge of anthropology, sociology, and snuff-porn.

Its most important assignment has been the propagation of the human race and the handing down of the faith to our children. Malachi 2:15 reads, referring to husbands and wives, "Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth" (NIV).

This is just me talking, but judging from the rest of that chapter, it's a condemnation of divorce, which you haven't really proven is caused by gays marrying in your country.


That responsibility to teach the next generation will never recover from the loss of committed, God-fearing families. The younger generation and those yet to come will be deprived of the Good News, as has already occurred in France, Germany and other European countries.

Yeah, I hear families and Christianity don't exist in Europe anymore.

Instead of providing for a father and mother, the advent of homosexual marriage will create millions of motherless children and fatherless kids. This is morally wrong, and is condemned in Scripture.

You see, this is what separates James Dobson from actual academics. Actual academics will actually present a case whereas Dobbie here will just repeat himself and panic.

Are we now going to join the Netherlands and Belgium to become the third country in the history of the world to "normalize" and legalize behavior that has been prohibited by God himself? Heaven help us if we do!


"The third country in the world to 'normalize'" homosexuality? Somebody's doctorate isn't in historical studies.

Argument #10
The culture war will be over, and I fear, the world may soon become "as it was in the days of Noah" (Matthew 24:37, NIV). This is the climactic moment in the battle to preserve the family, and future generations hang in the balance.


"Like in the days of Noah"? I didn't know the Bible taught that God punished the entire earth for disobeying a Levitical purity law that didn't exist at the time.

This apocalyptic and pessimistic view of the institution of the family and its future will sound alarmist to many, but I think it will prove accurate unless-unless-God's people awaken and begin an even greater vigil of prayer for our nation. That's why Shirley and I are urgently seeking the Lord's favor and asking Him to hear the petitions of His people and heal our land.


"You need to pray harder, dammit!"

As of this time, however, large segments of the church appear to be unaware of the danger; its leaders are surprisingly silent about our peril (although we are tremendously thankful for the efforts of those who have spoken out on this issue). The lawless abandon occurring recently in California, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington and elsewhere should have shocked us out of our lethargy. So far, I'm alarmed to say, the concern and outrage of the American people have not translated into action.


It could be that they aren't "taking action" because Christians are finally realizing what deceitful, wolf-crying, fear-mongering paranoiacs you and your Focus-fluffers are.

This reticence on behalf of Christians is deeply troubling. Marriage is a sacrament designed by God that serves as a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and His Church. Tampering with His plan for the family is immoral and wrong. To violate the Lord's expressed will for humankind, especially in regard to behavior that He has prohibited, is to court disaster.

Long story short, if gays are allowed to marry, America will turn into this:





And to end things on a pleasant note. The musical humor of Roy Zimmerman:

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Haggard's Back

Yup, and he needs your money too:

Gayle and I, along with Alex (16) and Elliott (14) have decided to move into the Phoenix Dream Center on October 1st. The Phoenix Dream Center is a half-way house for the homeless, those coming out of prison, recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, and other broken people. I identify.

The building is sponsored by Phoenix First Assembly, our new church home, but the workers are volunteers. The Dream Center also houses a church called "The Church on the Street." I met the pastor and he asked me if I would be willing to counsel some of the men and to teach the group from time to time. The woman directing the ministry to women invited Gayle to teach and minister to the women.

Gayle and I spoke to the boys about it, and after a series of discussions with several leaders and our pastor, Tommy Barnett, we decided to serve the dream center in whatever capacity asked, whether it's cleaning the building, hosting a visiting group, attending a meeting, or facilitating a study. In order to increase our availability to serve, we have decided to move and live in the Dream Center.

As a result, the Phoenix Dream Center team is creating an apartment for our family by combining a small, one-bedroom apartment with an adjacent room so our boys will have their own rooms. Even though Alex and Elliott's drive to school is quite a distance every day, we think it is worth it to be given the privilege of service.

In preparation for the future, Gayle and I are both enrolled at the University of Phoenix at their main downtown campus. Gayle is in the undergraduate program studying psychology. I am pursuing my master of science in counseling degree, which means we are both full time students. Alex and Elliott are both attending a local Christian school. Elliott is playing 8th grade football this fall. Everyone is busy!

It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years. During that time we will continue as full time students, and then, when I graduate, we won't need outside support any longer.

But for the next two years, we will need support. Between now and the end of the year, we have to find the people who want to help us transition into our future. So I am starting today to let friends like you know that we are raising money for support as we move into the Phoenix Dream Center.

Would you be willing to help us find people who can give a one time gift or make a commitment to help support us monthly for two years? If so, that would be a blessing.

If people want to support us directly, they can mail checks to Ted and Gayle Haggard, 9699 N. Hayden, Suite 108, PMB 180, Scottsdale, AZ 95259. This is a private mail box address that we have been using since we moved to the Phoenix area. If any supporters need a tax deduction for their gift, they can mail it to Families With a Mission at P.O. Box 63125, Colorado Springs, CO 80962. The supporters would need to write their check to "Families With A Mission" and put a separate note on it that it is for the Haggard family, then Families With a Mission will mail us 90% of the funds for support and use 10% for administrative costs.

Thank you so much. We feel our move into the Dream Center is the next step God would have us take. Any help we can get with this will be greatly appreciated and, I believe, rewarded in heaven.

Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might have an interest. Any assistance we receive will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

God bless,

Ted Haggard
"Preparing"


(bold text emphasis courtesy of Colorado Confidential)

And now, the shit on this bullshit:

In what is clearly a fundraising letter, Haggard indicated, "we need to raise our own support." However, he doesn't mention that when he left the church, New Life Church leaders agreed to pay his salary through 2007 - estimated at about $138,000 annually.

In addition, as Colorado Confidential reported earlier this month, El Paso County Assessor property records show that the Haggard's still own their 5-bedroom, 3-bath home in Colorado Springs. Sitting on 5.1 acres, its current market value is listed at $715,051.

The home is not currently on the market for sale.


In a handy bit of sleuthing, a blog team at the Stranger in Seattle has followed up this story with some interesting info about the organization that Haggard is asking people to send money to, Families With a Mission.

An independent confirmation with the Colorado Secretary of State's office shows that the organization's corporate offices were moved from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii to the Town of Monument, north of Colorado Springs, in July, 2003.

Its Colorado Springs mailing address is the same one to which Haggard is asking people to send donations. However, Secretary of State records show that Families With a Mission was administratively dissolved earlier this year, on Feb. 23.

And the man who is listed as the president of Families With a Mission, Paul Gerard Huberty, appears to be the same Paul Huberty who was convicted in 1996 of having sex with a 17-year old girl while he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force stationed in Germany, and who later registered as a sex offender in Hawaii. The organization Family Watchdog, which tracks sex offenders, currently lists Huberty at the same Monument address that was the principal address of Families With a Mission.

As well as:

The overseers said Wednesday that Haggard will not be moving into the Dream Center.

"It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry," wrote the overseers.

"Mr. Haggard will not be moving in or working with the Dream Center. He will not be doing any ministry. He will be seeking secular employment to support himself."


Now, back when the Ted Haggard scandal hit, I saw this on the news:



Now, this is what strikes me as odd. We all know that hypocrisy and deceit are nothing new. But when you look at Ted Haggard and other contemporary two-faced individuals in positions of authority, it becomes apparent that we, as a people, are losing our skill at the ancient art of bullshitting*. I mean, come on! "I bought the meth, but then I threw it out"? "Mommy, I took a cookie out of the cookie-jar, but I didn't eat it, I was tempted to, but I threw it away instead". Little children lie that way. Heck, look at Alberto Gonzales: "I can't recall", "I don't remember", I used those exact same lines in grade five to get out of doing my homework assignments**. These aren't evil, corrupt geniuses covering their tracks. They're just little kids doing just some plain old, half-assed, lousy lying.

Ted, if you're reading this, pay attention. As someone who has seen your earlier work, let me just say that, yeah, your past performances...





...had their moments. But let's face it, they just stopped being believable later-on. For starters, to reduce suspicion you could have done a few things like, oh I don't know, not hang paintings of buff, well-oiled masculine angels and white-hooded middle-eastern men groping buff yet accident-prone handymen in your church building. And when you left that voicemail message on Mike Jones' answering machine, you could've at least tried to disguise your voice. I myself highly recommend the "Donald Duck", and if you can't do that try inhaling helium from a balloon the next time you order drugs over the phone.

As for your your newest project, the Disgraced-Yet-Repentant-Man-of-God-Begging-for-Handouts chain-letter, would have actually been quite believable if it weren't for a few things. Your first mistake was sending out the letter too soon (your salary was still going to be paid until the end of December) when you should have waited at least until January/Feburary. Flaw #2 there was keeping your $715,051 house when you could have simply "sold" it to, let's say, "Bernie MacIntosh". And instead of asking people to send the money to Mr "But officer, she told me she was 18" in Hawaii, you could have simply set up a paypal account and receive money through a website. Perhaps slap one of those plotless webcomics with self-insertion characters made using old-video game sprites (I hear they are quite popular) to increase page views.

Ted, you shouldn't studying "science of counseling", you should study acting. The theater, boy, is the place for you. Think about it; as a former MegaChurch pastor you already have plenty of stage experience. A few acting classes should definitely improve your skills. You weren't even that bad to begin with as you've had them convinced for so long. Hell, you've even convinced yourself.



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*However, in the case of Bob Allen, I gotta give him an "A" for effort with his "I'm scared of black men and thunderstorms" approach to covering his restroom indiscretion.

**In grade five that line didn't work to well for me, yet today it seems to be working pretty well for Gonzales. America is becoming a very scary place these days.