Bad Deeds for 5-26-2009

Evangelist TV Preacher Rakes in the Money – As Easter approached, the ad ran repeatedly on the Inspiration Network: David Cerullo, clutching a Bible, told viewers they, too, could receive prosperity, physical healing and other blessings God gave the ancient Israelites.

All they had to do, the televangelist said, was send him $200 or more.

“Go to your phone,” he said. “Sow your Passover offering and watch God do what he said he would … Call now.”

Pitches like this have transformed the Charlotte-area cable network into one of the world’s fastest-growing Christian broadcasters, beaming into more than 100 countries on five continents. They’ve also helped turn Cerullo, Inspiration’s CEO and on-air host, into a wealthy man.

He brings home more than $1.5 million a year, making him the best-paid leader of any religious charity tracked by watchdog groups. His salary dwarfs those of executives leading far larger religious nonprofits.
David and Barbara Cerullo live in a 12,000 square-foot lakefront home in south Charlotte – complete with an elevator and an 1,100-square-foot garage. Their grown children also receive handsome salaries.


Republican Blog Says Jesus would be OK With Waterboarding – The following appeared in the Republican blog, Red State:

It’s likely even Jesus would have OK’d water boarding if it would have saved his Mom. He would’ve done the same to save his Dad, or any one of His disciples. For that matter, He even died to save all humans.


U.S. Holds Journalist Without Charges in Iraq – The Obama administration harshly criticized Iran for its imprisonment of Roxana Saberi, the U.S.-Iranian journalist who was convicted of espionage and sentenced to eight years in prison before being freed two weeks ago. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized Iran’s treatment of Saberi as “non-transparent, unpredictable and arbitrary.” Washington also has called upon North Korea to expedite the trial of two U.S. journalists being held on spying charges.

Yet the U.S. has routinely used the arbitrary powers it assumed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks to hold journalists without charge in Iraq, as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Ibrahim Jassam, a cameraman and photographer for the Reuters news agency was arrested by U.S. Forces in Iraq in September. Jassam, 31, has been in U.S. custody ever since. His case is the latest of a dozen detentions the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has documented since 2001. No formal accusations have been made against Jassam, and an Iraqi court ordered in November that he be released for lack of evidence.


Land of the Safe and Home of the Cruel – Obama’s May 21 speech at the National Archives combined a general repudiation of the Bush-Cheney policies with a surprising concession to methods that the former vice president, Dick Cheney, tried to graft onto the Constitution. This approach the Constitution repels as surely as a healthy body rejects poison; for in the Cheney interpretation, the common-law right of prisoners to be charged with a crime and to have due process in challenging the accusation was abridged in cases specified by the executive. Cheney singled out for detention as “enemy combatants” persons suspected of being hard-core terrorists without there being sufficient identification to charge or sufficient evidence to convict them.

We may think ourselves a safe country, but we can hardly be the United States of 1776, of 1865, and of 1945 so long as we retain a power imported by Dick Cheney and his lawyers from the 17th century into the 21st — the power of government to imprison and keep in jail a person against whom nothing has been proved and nothing charged. It is a bondage as complete as slavery; and like slavery, it can last for life.


Cheney’s Speech Was Full of Lies and Distortions According to Former U.S. Senior Interrogator in Iraq – The former U.S. senior interrogator in Iraq dissects former Vice President Dick Cheney’s speech on National Security, point-by-point. In essence, harsh methods don’t work and are not needed. Valuable information was obtained from detainees by working smarter, not harsher.


Dick Cheney Urges Obama to Name Bitter Psycho to Bench (Humor) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney weighed in today on President Obama’s impending choice to replace Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the President to name a bitter psycho to the bench.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Cheney said that the President’s choice to replace Justice Souter “should send a strong message to bitter psychos across the country that they will have a voice” on the nation’s highest court.

Mr. Cheney’s comments were widely interpreted as a sign that he himself was angling for a position on the Supreme Court, a charge he flatly designed.

“I have no designs on the Supreme Court,” Mr. Cheney said. “There are many other embittered psychotics out there who could do an excellent job.”

Mr. Cheney said that his own time was better spent “driving down the Republican Party’s approval rating to zero.”


Lack of Health Care Drove Terror Plotter to Get Money to Cover Brother’s Transplant – The lack of health care drove David Williams to plot an act of terror. “My insurance wasn’t good enough,” said Lord McWilliams, 20, who has a deadly liver disease. His brother, David Williams, wanted money “to speed up the process,” McWilliams said. “Medicaid only goes so far.” McWilliams said the FBI informant who lured his brother and three other hapless petty criminals into a plot to blow up synagogues and shoot down a plane promised enough money to take care of his transplant.

“[My brother] told me, ‘Don’t worry, when you go to the doctor, tell them you got money,'” McWilliams said. McWilliams, who has already had his spleen removed, said his brother told him he would have $20,000 for the operation. Their mother, Elizabeth McWilliams, said her older son had told her he would be able to give her a wad of cash Thursday, which was the day after the terrorist plot was to have been carried out.


Fox Sports Starts Their List of Star Female Athletes With a Horse – Fox Sports has compiled a list of women that can hold their own against men in the sports world — because everyone knows the real measure of a female athlete is how she competes against dudes. Fox starts their “Girl Power” list with Rachel Alexandra. Perhaps you’ve heard of her: She’s a horse.

Last weekend Rachel Alexandra became the first filly in 85 years to win Preakness Stakes. And if horses can do it, so can humans!

Which female athletes had the good fortune of an equine comparison? Well, there’s Katie Hnida, first woman to score in a NCAA football game, but she was entangled in a rape-allegation scandal, Fox notes. There’s Michelle Wie, but of course she faced “substantial criticism” when she only qualified for one of 14 PGA events. Legendary athletic phenomenon Babe Didrikson Zaharias is also mentioned, plus that one time she didn’t qualify for that one event.

See [in Fox Sports land], it’s important to remember that while these women were able to compete against men, they weren’t necessarily very good at it.


Conservative Commentator Says Oprah is Secretly Running the Obama White House – Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart told Glenn Beck on Friday that he thinks that Oprah Winfrey is the real power behind the Obama throne:

Breitbart: Well, this doesn’t surprise me. Does it surprise you? This is the Oprah Winfrey presidency. She was his biggest supporter, and I think that she’s been behind the scenes orchestrating this presidency as a media presidency, photo ops, giving billions of dollars of gifts away to people and to companies like General Electric, and until the mainstream media starts realizing —

Beck: Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that Barack Obama walks into a room and goes, “GE CEOs, look under your seat!”

Breitbart: I think that’s exactly what it is.

Beck: You’ve got a bailout. Is that what you’re suggesting?

Breitbart: That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. It is the Oprah Winfrey presidency.


Newt Gingrich Proves That Fearful People Do Stupid Things – It’s hilarious that Newt Gingrich perfectly encapsulates the overriding motivation for everything about the GOP: they are frightened little bunnies, petrified by the bogeyman coming to get them. And according to the Newt-ster, because that bogeyman is so vewwy scawwy, anything and everything you do in the name of making the bad man go away is fine, damn treaties, laws, and morals, much less effectiveness.

The thing that I think motivates Cheney, and I watched this firsthand after 9/11, is the shock of 9/11, the reality that his children and his grandchildren could die, that he has an obligation to America to take extra steps to keep us alive. And I think this was burned into him that day and the following day, and the realization we had been caught totally off-guard. Despite all the warnings of the ’90s, we have been caught totally off-guard. And so they did everything for seven and a half years to–and they have a very simple principle: If you’re in doubt, do what it takes to help America survive every time. … Let me just say, I think people should be afraid. I think the lesson of 1993, the first time they bombed the World Trade Center, was fear is probably appropriate. I think the lesson of Khobar Towers, where American servicemen were killed in Saudi Arabia, was fear is probably appropriate. I think the lesson of the two embassy bombings in east Africa was fear is probably appropriate. I think the lesson of the Cole being bombed in Yemen was fear is probably appropriate.

(The terrorists are in the fear business. Newt Gingrich, why are you helping the terrorists to succeed? You are proof that fearful people do stupid things. – JLV)


Coalition and Afghan Forces Caused 828 Afghan Civilian Deaths, Largely From Errant Air Strikes and Raids – Incidents where Afghan civilians are accidently killed by coalition forces are not uncommon in Afghanistan today and parallel the situation in Iraq where similar shootings were instrumental in turning popular sentiment against the coalition forces led by the United States. In Afghanistan, as it was in Iraq, when civilians die, international forces say that a suspicious vehicle approached a checkpoint or convoy and failed to heed calls as well as possibly warning shots to stop. After those standard procedures are done, an “escalation of force” takes place.


British Network of Cameras and Computers Automatically Tracks Cars Including Protestors – A national network of cameras and computers automatically logging car number plates will be in place within months. Thousands of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras are already operating on Britain’s roads. John Catt found himself on the wrong side of the ANPR system. He regularly attends anti-war demonstrations outside a factory in Brighton, his home town.

It was at one of these protests that Sussex police put a “marker” on his car. That meant he was added to a “hotlist”. This is a system meant for criminals but John Catt has not been convicted of anything and on a trip to London, the pensioner found himself pulled over by an anti-terror unit.

“I was threatened under the Terrorist Act. I had to answer every question they put to me, and if there were any questions I would refuse to answer, I would be arrested. I thought to myself, what kind of world are we living in?”





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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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