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  • Archive for the 'Beck-O-Lanche' Category

    Tea for Texas

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 7th August 2011 (All posts by )

     

    In the spring of 2009, I was asked by an old military blog-friend, a retired Air Force officer, if I would join his local Tea Party Committee to plan the Tax Day protest. We all assumed at that point that we would have an event involving five or six hundred people; with luck, we might even nab of bit of attention from our local media. We’d do it in a park someplace, listen to some speeches – and hey, I was a former broadcaster, and he knew that I could write, and could I come along to write news releases?  Pretty please? S’help me, that’s all that I thought it would be, and it would have been, save for a series of fortunate involvement by people who had bigger ideas and useful connections. So, our simple, humble home-made Tax Day 2009 Tea Party protest turned into a massive blow-out in Alamo Plaza, an all-day and into the evening extravaganza with Ted Nugent, at least 15,000 people from all over Texas and the United States, and Glenn Beck – of whom at that point I had never heard. (Candidly, I had him mixed up with Jeff Beck and thought; oh, cool – another conservative rock musician besides Ted Nugent.)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Beck-O-Lanche, Big Government, Conservatism, History, Politics, Tea Party | 10 Comments »

    The Glenn Beck, Mahdism and Antichrist series

    Posted by Charles Cameron on 27th April 2011 (All posts by )

    [cross-posted from Zenpundit ]
    .

    Glenn Beck has a new documentary coming out tonight on Mahdism and the Antichrist.

    He calls it “the documentary that you will not see on mainstream television” and to get to see it, you have to be a subscriber to Beck’s Insider Extreme channel on the web. But then that fits with Beck’s emphasis right now — he doesn’t mind crying shame on the media for not carrying the documentary, but he doesn’t want unbelievers to see it either — he told his radio audience today:

    Make sure you see it tonight at nine o’clock. And if I may recommend that you watch it with some friends. Invite some friends over, some like-minded people, don’t try to get any converts in. Pull up the nets, man, pull up the nets.

    So okay — it won’t be on “mainstream television” but it will be seen in a million “like-minded” homes, and it will influence them, it will influence their perspective on Islam, and on the Middle East.

    Here’s a description of what they can expect, drawn from Joel Rosenberg‘s blog today. Joel is the author of the apocalyptic thriller The Twelfth Imam, has seen the rough cut and will be appearing on the video, along with those he lists here:

    Tonight on his website, Glenn Beck will premiere his new documentary film, “Rumors of War — Part Two.” As with Part One, I was interviewed for the film…

    The documentary examines current events and trends in the Middle East and the Islamic world from various vantage points — Biblical End Times theology, Jewish End Times theology, and Islamic End Times theology. It discusses the latest threats from the Radical Islamic world to Israel, the West and our allies. It features a wide range of Jewish, Muslim and evangelical Christian authors and commentators in a balanced yet provocative and fascinating way. Among them:

    • Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the U.N.
    • Reza Kahlili, former CIA agent inside Iran and author of A Time To Betray
    • Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind novel series
    • Brigitte Gabriel, author of They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It
    • Joel Richardson, author of The Islamic Antichrist
    • Dr. Zudi Jasser, president of American Islamic Forum for Democracy

    *

    The thing is, Beck doesn’t know a whole lot about these things, and his advisers get things wrong — sometimes flat out wrong, sometimes just out of proportion — too.

    I aim to review Beck’s documentary along with its predecessor, and the books of Joel Richardson and Joel Rosenberg, and also take a look at some other books and articles that cover the same materials with greater scholarship and less religious special interest — notably the works of David Cook, J-P Filiu and Timothy Furnish — clear up some of this issues in which definitive corrections are in order, suggest areas where the preponderance of evidence and informed commentary leans away from Beck’s position, and raise again those urgent questions which remain.

    Because from where I sit, Glenn Beck has hit on one of our blind spots — and is giving us a dangerously distorted mirror in which to view it.

    *

    Here’s Beck talking about the upcoming documentary this morning on his radio show:

    Tonight, you don’t want to miss, on Insider Extreme, something that we have been trying to tell the story for quite some time, and I have told it to you many times before, the story of the Twelfth Imam, well this is not the full story of the Twelfth Imam, this is what people Middle East believe about the Twelfth Imam, or the Mahdi as the… Sunnis? Sunnis are in Egypt, Shias are in, ah, is it Shias in Iran or is it the other way around? I think it’s S.. Shias are in Iran. One believes in the Twelfth Imam, the others believe in the Mahdi, same guy, it is the… the… you would know it as the Antichrist. It is the, it has every earmarking of the Antichrist, every single one, I mean, he makes a peace for seven years with Egypt, he viol… — I mean with Israel, he violates it, he marks people with a number, he beheads people if they don’t submit, I mean it’s all there. It’s all there. And Ahmadinejad says that he is alive and well and orchestrating the things in the Middle East.

    Did you get that? He’s not sure: “is it Shias in Iran or is it the other way around?”

    If Beck has been working on this documentary for a year now, let’s hope he does in fact know the difference between Sunni and Shi’a, and that he’s using the popular gag technique of pretending not to know, so his audience — who haven’t all been working on a documentary and may well not know — can feel all the more strongly “he’s one of us”. And besides, Sunni, Shia, it’s all the same, Mahdi, Twelfth Imam, no difference at all, right?

    So that’s the level of required accuracy that’s tolerated here. Which side was it wanted to keep slavery? I forget now, I think it may have been the South. Belfast — now is that Catholic, or Protestant?

    *

    And one last quick note from the same post on Joel Rosenberg’s blog:

    As far as I can tell, Glenn Beck is leaving the Fox News Channel in part because Fox is opposed to him devoting so much time on his program to End Times issues, Bible prophecy, Iran’s eschatology, and the linkage of these things to left wing efforts to sow seeds of revolution and chaos. It’s too bad, really.

    That’s an interesting data point.

    *

    There will be plenty to talk about, anyway:

    the new documentary, Joel Rosenberg’s thriller, which I enjoyed, Joel Richardson, with whom I correspond and whom I like, the new Mahdist video in Iran which is causing quite a stir, and may or may not be an “official” Iranian production, the vexed question — vexed in all three Abrahamic faiths — of whether you can hasten the coming of the Awaited One and if so, how, and the implications of all this both in the United States and in the Middle East, the Iranian nuclear program…

    The Glenn Beck, Mahdism & Antichrist blog series, coming up.

    Posted in Beck-O-Lanche, Christianity, International Affairs, Iran, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Rhetoric, Terrorism | 12 Comments »

    “Whoever took religion seriously?”

    Posted by Charles Cameron on 8th January 2011 (All posts by )

    [ cross-posted from the DIME/PMESII boards at LinkedIn and Zenpundit ]

    I’ve been hammering away at the importance of a nuanced understanding of religious drivers in successful modeling of our world, and today I ran across some paragraphs from a book by Gary Sick that explain, forcefully and briefly, just why this seems like a big deal to me.

    1

    Sick, who was the National Security Council’s point man on Iran at the time of the Ayatollah Khomeini‘s Iranian Revolution, recounts how totally unprepared we were for the sudden emergence of a theocracy in his book, All Fall Down:

    Vision is influenced by expectations, and perceptions — especially in politics — are colored by the models and analogies all of us carry in our heads. Unfortunately, there were no relevant models in Western political tradition to explain what we were seeing in Iran during the revolution. This contradiction between expectation and reality was so profound and so persistent that it interfered fundamentally with the normal processes of observation and analysis on which all of us instinctively rely.
     
    On one level, it helps to explain why the early-warning functions of all existing intelligence systems — from SAVAK to Mossad to the CIA — failed so utterly in the Iranian case. Certainly, US intelligence capability to track the shah’s domestic opposition had been allowed to deteriorate almost to the vanishing point. But even if it had not, it would probably have looked in the wrong place. Only in retrospect is it obvious that a good intelligence organization should have focused its attention on the religious schools, the mosques and the recorded sermons of an aged religious leader who had been living in exile for fourteen years. As one State Department official remarked in some exasperation after the revolution, “Whoever took religion seriously?”
     
    Even after it became clear that the revolution was gaining momentum and that the movement was being organized through the mosques in the name of Khomeini, observers of all stripes assumed that the purely religious forces were merely a means to the end of ousting the shah and that their political role would be severely limited in the political environment following the shah’s departure, The mosque, it was believed, would serve as the transmission belt of the revolution, but its political importance would quickly wane once its initial objectives had been achieved.

    2

    The blissful ignorance didn’t end back there in 1979. Right at the end of 2006, reporter Jeff Stein asked Rep. Silvestre Reyes (Dem, TX), the incoming head of the House Intelligence Committee (which has oversight of the entire US Intelligence Community) whether Al-Qaida was Sunni or Shiite – noting in two asides, “Members of the Intelligence Committee, mind you, are paid $165,200 a year to know more than basic facts about our foes in the Middle East” and “To me, it’s like asking about Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland: Who’s on what side?”

    Reyes guessed wrong – not good – and so did a lot of other senior people in the FBI, Congress and so forth. Understandable perhaps, but still, not good.

    The popular media keep many of the rest of us confused, too. Glenn Beck has been misinformed by the Christian thriller writer Joel Rosenberg, and refers to the “Twelvers” when he means the “Anjoman-e Hojjatieh” -which, to extend Stein’s point, is the equivalent of saying “Catholic Church” when you mean “Legionnaires of Christ”.

    3

    Okay, we know that religion has something to do with all this Iran – and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq, and Yemen, and Somalia, and Nigeria — and maybe even homegrown — mess. And I agree, other people’s religions really aren’t our business normally, and it’s not surprising if we don’t know much about them.

    Except, I’d say, when religions take up the sword, or have significant power to influence decisions about the use of nuclear weapons — at which point it’s appropriate to get up to speed…

    Posted in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Beck-O-Lanche, Christianity, History, International Affairs, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Middle East, Military Affairs, National Security, Religion, Terrorism | 12 Comments »

    The power of network visualization

    Posted by Charles Cameron on 11th December 2010 (All posts by )

    [ cross-posted from Zenpundit ]

    We’ve been having an intriguing discussion recently in the comments on Zenpundit about mapping / modeling complex situations in a way that leaves us humans more liable to come to nuanced understandings and less liable to unintended consequences, and one point that keeps on cropping up is the need to pare down the number of nodes in our mapping without losing sight of the subtleties…

    I was thus delighted to find, as I was doing my morning trawl of usual and unusual news sources, that Glenn Beck had come out with his estimate of how many Muslim terrorists there are in the world (10% of the global Muslim population, ie 157 million), Fareed Zakaria had refuted him — and there was even a helpful Silobreaker network diagram to show me how the relevant nodes under discussion fit together:

    Beck Muslims and Brewery

    I was delighted to see that (Mormon) Glenn Beck is more closely associated with (Muslim) Rep. Keith Ellison than he is with terrorists, and sorry to note that Beck’s Brewery and Islam are somehow linked… But naturally, once I had seen this much I wanted to drill down even deeper — so I entered the appropriate keywords at Silobreaker and found this:

    silobreaker beck islam

    You’ll see that Beck’s link with Al Qaeda is, thankfully, a weak one. And I think you’ll agree with me that even shifting from a six node to an eight node graph considerably ups the sophistication of analysis required to fully comprehend the issues portrayed.

    *

    In any case, I thought it might be appropriate to post Silobuster’s more detailed map of the current situation with WikiLeaks here:

    Wikileaks Silobreaker

    All becomes clear, eh?

    I particularly like the node labeled “Gland” (it’s almost hidden but not quite, you’ll find it lower right, between PayPal and Twitter)– that might be the one I’d zero in on to get a fuller appreciation of the complexities of the situation.

    And for the record, this post is an example of British “humor” — or as we prefer to call it, “dry wit”.

    Posted in Beck-O-Lanche, Britain, Diversions, Humor, Islam, Miscellaneous, Terrorism, That's NOT Funny | 3 Comments »

    Wherein Lex takes issue with Seydlitz89

    Posted by Lexington Green on 13th September 2010 (All posts by )

    Our Roundtable colleague Seydlitz89 has a post up which discusses the recent Glen Beck posts, and also my Afghanistan Roundtable wrap-up post.

    His post is here.

    I have several problems with his post. I tried to post a few responses as a comment, but it did not work for some reason. If you are interested in this sort of inter-blog argument, please read his post, and see my responses, below the fold.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Afghanistan 2050, Beck-O-Lanche, Military Affairs | 29 Comments »

    Others’ Shoes

    Posted by Cheryl Rofer on 3rd September 2010 (All posts by )

    [I first posted this at my home blog, Phronesisaical. It's a response to Lexington Green's now famous Glenn Beck post. I'm reposting it here at Lex's request. And forgive me if I seem slow to respond to comments; mine are frequently rejected by this system.]

    Perhaps I’m taking on too much at once. I’m listening to Tchaikovsky’s symphonies and reading some Russian history to get a feeling for before the Revolution. I’m re-reading Daniel Martin to get a better feeling for what La Vida Es Sueño is about. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum today sent me an invitation to visualize O’Keeffe’s creative process.

    And I’d really, really like to understand what is going on with the admirers of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, the Tea Partiers.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anglosphere, Beck-O-Lanche, Christianity, Civil Society, Conservatism, Elections, Libertarianism, Obama, Politics, Religion, USA | 121 Comments »

    The Deeper Meaning of the CBz Beck-O-Lanche

    Posted by Lexington Green on 3rd September 2010 (All posts by )

    [This was an update to a previous post, but I decided it should stand on its own. There are some inspiring lessons here.]

    Great thanks to Glenn Beck for the mighty call-out on his TV show. He quotes this post here starting at 12:10, and continuing here. The transcript of the show is here.

    This has been an interesting couple of days.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anglosphere, Beck-O-Lanche, Christianity, Civil Society, Conservatism, Elections, Libertarianism, Politics, Religion, USA | 19 Comments »

    I Think I See What Glenn Beck is Doing (Updated)

    Posted by Lexington Green on 3rd September 2010 (All posts by )

    The Glenn Beck rally is confusing people.

    Why?

    He is aiming far beyond what most people consider to be the goalposts.

    Using Boyd’s continuum for war: Material, Intellectual, Moral.

    Analogously for political change: Elections, Institutions, Culture.

    Beck sees correctly that the Conservative movement had only limited success because it was good at level 1, for a while, weak on level 2, and barely touched level 3. Talk Radio and the Tea Party are level 3 phenomena, popular outbreaks, which are blowing back into politics.

    Someone who asks what the rally has to do with the 2010 election is missing the point.

    Beck is building solidarity and cultural confidence in America, its Constitution, its military heritage, its freedom. This is a vision that is despised by the people who have long held the commanding heights of the culture. But is obviously alive and kicking.

    Beck is creating positive themes of unity and patriotism and freedom and independence which are above mere political or policy choices, but not irrelevant to them. Political and policy choices rest on a foundation of philosophy, culture, self-image, ideals, religion. Change the foundation, and the rest will flow from that. Defeat the enemy on that plane, and any merely tactical defeat will always be reversible.

    Beck is unabashed that God can be invoked in public places by citizens, who vote and assemble and speak and freely exercise their religion. They are supposed to be too browbeaten to do this. Gathering hundreds of thousands of them to peaceably assemble shows they are not. But showing that the people who believe in God and practice their religion are fellow-citizens who share political and economic values with majorities of Americans is a critical step. The idea that these people are an American Taliban is laughable, but showing that fact to the world — and to potential political allies who are not religious — is critical.

    Beck is attacking the enemy at the foundations of their power, their claim to race as a permanent trump card, their claim to the Civil Rights movement as a permanent model to constantly be transforming a perpetually unjust society.

    He is nuking out the foundations of the opposition’s moral preeminence, the very thing I proposed in this post.

    Ronald Reagan said we would not defeat Communism, we would transcend it.

    Beck is aiming to have America do the same thing to its decaying class of Overlords, transcend them.

    Beck is prepping the battlefield for a generation-long battle.

    He is that very American thing: A practical visionary.

    See, simple.

    Restore pride and confidence to your own side, and win the long game.

    As Ronald Reagan also said, there are simple solutions, just no easy solutions.

    God bless America.

    [bumped]

    [UPDATES BELOW THE FOLD]

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anglosphere, Beck-O-Lanche, Christianity, Civil Society, Conservatism, Elections, Libertarianism, Obama, Politics, Religion, USA | 242 Comments »