Palin doesn’t know difference between North & South Korea

Sister Sarah: North is North, South is South (AP)

Sarah Palin is drawing criticism from around the world after declaring that the United States has to stand with “our North Korean allies.”

Palin’s gaffe, made Wednesday during an interview on Glenn Beck‘s syndicated radio show, was quickly corrected by her host. But it drew immediate fire from liberal bloggers, who cited it as an example of the 2008 vice presidential candidate’s lack of foreign policy expertise.

Newspapers in Asia and Europe are repeating the criticism. The Times of India says Palin “did it again,” while London’s Daily Mail says she “may want to brush up on her geography.”

The conservative U.S. website The Weekly Standard came to Palin’s defense, pointing out that “she correctly identified North Korea as our enemy literally eight seconds before the mix-up.”

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

Enhanced by Zemanta

Is Sean Hannity Eureka’s Sheriff Andy?

1787 – America’s religion free Constitution signed into law

1967 – Mission Impossible premiers on broadcast TV


“Wow. That was neat.”
Sheriff Andy

“Let me be straight with you – I like George Bush. I think he’s a man of principle, a man of faith. I think he’s got a backbone of steel and he’s a real, genuine, big-time leader … He’s a consequential figure for his time. We don’t see it right now.”
Sheriff Sean


Is our citizens crazy?

Who are we?
How did we get here?
Where do we go from here?
What the effing hell is going on?

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Here’s a quicky quiz. Who said these wonderful words?

a) Sarah Palin
b) Newt Gingrich
c) Mitch McConnell
d) John Boehner
e) Jesus Christ
f) Niccolo Machiaveli
g) Joseph Goebbels

Here’s another, one that applies even better to today’s Tea Baggers:

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

a) Grover Nordquist, anti-Government a—hole
b) Amy Holmes, currently a GOP vagina free @_%#
c) Karl Rove, currently defanged vampire
d) Dick Cheney, former Vice and aid to former president
e) Koch Industry’s wholly owned subsidiary, Dick Armey
f) Jesus Christ, some make believe dude who never wrote a word in the bible
g) Phil Gramm, UBS’ wholly owned male  prostitute and briber
h) Joseph Goebbels, the poster child for today’s Tea Baggers

OK. How about this one? Come on. This is EASY!

“Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character”

a) Michael Steele, GOP’s poster child for hiring the mentally handicapped
b) Michelle Bachmann, who waits for god’s permission to run for president
c) Sarah Palin, you betcha.
d) Sean Hannity, as his pseudo-Veteran’s Support group becomes part of a criminal investigation for fraud.
e) Glenn Beck, as  his pseudo-Veteran’s Support group becomes part of a criminal investigation for fraud.
f) Sharron Angle, “How Dare you ask me real questions? That’s so unfair!”
g) Jan Brewer, “How am I a racist? Let me count the weighs.”
h) Joseph Goebbels, Confirmed sperm donor resulting in Rush Limbaugh’s birth (Google “Santorum” for the source of sperm)

Just three more, just for fun:

“In politics stupidity is not a handicap.”

a) Michelle Bachmann
b) Sarah Palin
c) Sean Hannity
d) Bill O’Rarely
e) Rush Limbaugh
f) Napoleon Bonapart
g) Sharron Angle
h) Jan Brewer

“Women are nothing but machines for producing children.”

a) Christine O’Donnell
b) Nadya Suleman
c) Newt Gingrich
d) Sharron Angle
e) Joseph Goebbels
f) Napoleon Bonepart
g) Jesus Christ
h) John Boehner

“I’ll tell you who should be tortured and killed at
Guantanamo – every filthy Democrat in the U.S. Congress. ”

a) Dick Cheney
b) David Addington
c) Alberto Gonzales
d) Sean Hannity
e) Sarah Palin
f) Michelle Bachmann

Enhanced by Zemanta

Obama on Muslim rumors: What? Me worry?


President Barack Obama said Sunday he isn’t worried about a recent poll showing that nearly one-fifth of Americans believe he is a Muslim. “The facts are the facts,” said Obama, who is a Christian. In an interview broadcast on “NBC Nightly News,” the president blamed the confusion over his religious beliefs on “a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly.”

A poll released earlier this month by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center showed that 18 percent of people believe Obama is Muslim. That was up from 11 percent who said so in March 2009. Just 34 percent said Obama is Christian, down from 48 percent who said so last year.

“I’m not gonna be worrying too much about whatever rumors are floating on out there,” Obama said Sunday. “If I spend all my time chasing after that, then I wouldn’t get much done.”

Asked about persistent accusations that he wasn’t born in the United States, the president responded, “I can’t spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead.”

NBC anchorman Brian Williams also asked Obama about conservative commentator Glenn Beck’s rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday. While he didn’t watch the event, Obama said, “I think that Mr. Beck and the rest of those folks were exercising their rights under our Constitution exactly as they should.”

The president acknowledged the ralliers’ concerns about the economy and terrorism and observed, “Given the fact that, you know, in none of these situations are you gonna fix things overnight, it’s not surprising that somebody like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of the country.”

Obama added: “I have no doubt that we are gonna rebound and rebound strong. But when you’re in the middle of it, and if you don’t have a job right now, it’s a tough, tough situation.”

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

Enhanced by Zemanta

Get your Divinity Degree from the Church of Ineffable Stupidity

I am here to market a new product, made especially for the 21st Century – your very own Master’s Degree of Divinity from the Church of Ineffable Stupidity!

Apply now, while supplies last! Be the first on your block to wear your new title with pride! Don’t leave home without it! Now available in a new and improved, supersized version! On Sale Now! Buy Two, get the third one at Fool Price!

1949 – USSR detonates the first Hydrogen Bomb in the world

1966 – The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

2010 – Glenn Beck celebrates his 1,780,000 fans before whom he preached about how he is just like MLK.


So, what happened yesterday?  Some here complain about the insult to MLK, others crow about Beck not meeting his numbers. A few say we should ignore it all, because there are so few Tea Baggers in this world. Still others suggest that the Beck fan base is simply a misguided, doddering, pale-faced, slow-witted group of befuddled conservative christians.

I suggest that all of the above may be true, just as all of the above completely miss the point.

There is something far more important and critical going on here. There is a broad, deep, and growing discontentment in America. Frankly, it exists throughout the world. Today, we learned of even greater instability within China, of right wing groups protesting in Japan, even of riots organized by the right wing English Defense League in the UK last night. Europe, Asia, Africa, hell, everywhere change is coming, and it is being met with resistance and fear.

What is happening? Simply put, our global society is on a collision course with something else – the explosive growth of technological change. Not with just computers, Frankenfood, or material science, but in each and every aspect of technology, in every facet of our lives.

In his seminal book, “The Singularity is Near,”  Ray Kurzwell describes what he calls The Six Epochs, essentially describing the history of the universe, and how complexity in forms, starting with basic Chemistry after the big bang, to Biology & DNA, followed by Brains, Technology,  to the Merger of Technology with Human Intelligence, leading finally to the scariest thought of all, “The Universe Wakes Up.”  Kurzwell measures human progress and repeatedly notes that growth in systems is always misread and underpredicted – by experts, at least. I strongly suggest this book. It makes the Tea Bagger scenario so obvious, in retrospect.

“Another error that prognosticators make is to consider the transformations that will result from a single trend in today’s world, as though nothing else will change. A good example is the concern that radical life extension will result in overpopulation and and the exhaustion of limited material resources to sustain human life, which ignores comparably radical wealth creation from nanotechnology and strong AI. For example, nano-based manufacturing devices in the 2020s will be capable of creating almost any physical product from inexpensive raw materials and information.

“I emphasize the exponential versus linear perspective because it’s the most important failure that prognosticators make in considering future trends. Most technology forecasts and forecasters ignore altogether this historical exponential view of technological progress. Indeed, almost everyone I meethas a linear view of the future. That’s why people tend to overestimate what can be achieve in the short term (because we tend to leave out necessary details) but underestimate what can be achieved in the long term (Because exponential growth is ignored).”

It is not that the Tea Baggers are idiots, morons, and sheeple, easily led by knaves. It is precisely because they sense what we sense – there is a rapidly increasing change to our society, and the leaps and bounds taken by technology have a huge impact on our lives, each and every day. It is the ever accelerating pace of change that scares them silly.

You don’t believe it?  Think about this: It took 14 years from the development of the first commercial PC to the birth of the World Wide Web. When the “Internet” finally reached 1,000 nodes, people were actually worried about the Web coming to a crawl, because of a lack of capacity. Today, there are

billions of e-mails

transmitted each day. Every day. Cell phones are now the norm, not a unique, rather ineffective, heavy box that you would lug around.  Photos, music, video, are now sent from one user to another, without either party thinking about how new and powerful this technology has become.

Artificial intelligence is now the norm, even if it is in in infancy. Banks, credit card companies, Wall Street all live or die on AI, and it will not be long before every part of our lives are improved with AI, computer interfaces, and more. Should we join the Tea Baggers being afraid. Probably.

Tea Baggers (being more technologically impaired, and frightened off by Microsoft’s hideous OS systems of the past, Vista included), were and are rightly afraid of change, because they have not had the chance, or more likely, do not believe that they possess the capacity to accept and involve themselves with the changes we see each day.

For the most part, their past brushes with technology proved them right. Trying to reboot after yet another blue screen of death caused an emotional response to technology, one that is extremely hard to remove. To your Tea Bagger, seeing even more advances means only one thing, they are being “left behind,” and not just in the warped sense contained in some end of times, christian  novel written by a couple of christian charlatans.

If you actually sit down and have the chance interview a Tea Bagger, (any close family member will do) you will find that much of what is driving their actions, ideas and thoughts, is fear. Fear of the future. Fear of change. And the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of this world cravenly combine forces to control that fear, even to instill more, directing it against their political targets, for their own personal and professional gain. Throwing fuel on the fire is precisely what they do, because the time is right for them to do it – and to get away with it.

Tea Baggers see no difference between a smooth speaking, calm Obama explaining the intricacies of financial reform, or a smooth speaking Wall Street bank exec explaining why the Bush Tax Cuts must continue. So what happens? They fear and hate both, because of their own lack of understanding and lack of knowledge. Even worse, they lack the technical means to even begin to learn about what either or both really mean.

When they sense that increases and gains technology (and the related societal changes) are accelerating,  that ratchets up their fear even more. They are truly becoming desperate. The world is speeding up, and leaving them behind. They sense no security, no semblance of stability, nothing that they can grab and hang on to.

The seductive quality of Glenn Beck cannot be ignored. He panders to the lowest common denominator, and in doing so, he makes those slightly smarter feel, well, slightly smarter. He provides easily identified villains (liberals, democrats, progressives, social nets, Obama, and anyone who reads a lot of books) and constantly harps on their foibles, true or false. He scares people non-stop, and willingly plays the fool, because by being foolish, he gives his listeners and viewers an excuse – the excuse not to think, not to take responsibility, and the excuse not to work on working on our new society.   Religion, that old time religion, banning evolution, teaching older values, changing history to erroneously call our Founding Fathers  christians, these are all deliberate, planned means of controlling the sheeple who fear our world the most.

With many exceptions, especially here, generally, the older people are, the less they like technology, and the less they like how our world is changing.

There are several solutions, only one of which will benefit me personally, so I raise it first. Send me money. Lots of money. If I deem it enough, and if you pass the Church of Ineffable Stupidity worksheets, quizzes and exams, you will be awarded Divinity Degree in the Church of Ineffable Stupidity. Diplomas will follow through snail mail.

Another solution is less obvious, but more powerful. It is best described as self-correction. When there is a need, somehow, humanity finds a way to fill the gap, either with direct or indirect action. Often, over the longer term, the indirect action is the most beneficial, and provides the best fit.

Take the iPad, for example. I have a father who hates computers, cell phones, even voice mail. Yet, he still practices law, and has been forced to use technology, despite his hatred, even self-described fear of it. (“But, I can’t, I am afraid I’ll break it.”)  But, when I got him to finally try the iPad, he took to it like a fertile, pregnant, Snakehead Carp has taken to Lake Michigan, far happier than a clam in today’s Gulf.  Not only did technology create the problem (hideous human – technology interfaces), technology became so advanced that it solved them.

Many here are immune to Glenn’s attraction. For myself, I cannot stand more than three minutes, before I want to tear my eyes out, and stuff lit firecrackers in my ears. But, we have to take note of the movement that is driving his popularity. It is real. It is substantial. It is scared as hell, mostly because they see just how fast the change is accelerating. To make things worse, Obama ran on “Change” which is precisely what they fear most.

No matter how corrosive and destructive Beck and Palin are to America, they will fail. The juggernaut of technological growth has a life of its own. Its growth is exponential. If you look back to the past and try to measure the future, you will fail, just as Kurzwell described. It is incredibly hard to focus on the future. For one thing, it is too high up the slope. For another, we concentrate on failures and errors, on roadblocks, just as other means and methods, other systems and discoveries lead to leapfrogging over the spot where we thought we were stuck.

That is why I view this idea of net neutrality is a false issue. Technologies are growing so fast, that should a company or three decide to limit access and charge more for archaic  “premium” internet access, they will have created the very means of their own destruction. By pressing on technology in one place, (by monopolizing the internet), technology will pop up and skip that blockage elsewhere. What will replace the internet, I do not know. But the days of wired connectivity will soon be at an end. Much like the singing telegram, cables, and semaphore from ship to shore, we live in a very unbrave new world.

So, sign up for my classes and earn your degree in your spare time! Send a check for 19.95 by February 30, 2011, and you will get a free surprise gift!


Reading list:

  1. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Sir Adams)
  1. The Singularity is Near (Kurzwell)

Read these bibles carefully. There will be a test next week on content, imagery, and philosophical impact of each.


List three ineffable stupid things that belong in a church sermon, that you personally viewed or experienced. (Personal experiences earn extra credit!)
Write down two ways that Tea Baggers’ faith can be used to keep them non-violent.
Boycott your local Target, if you have more spare time.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Beck’s success means big problems for Democrats

Glenn Beck at Washington rally (Reuters)

If Democrats had doubts about the voter unrest that threatens to rob them of their majority in Congress, they needed only look from the Capitol this weekend to the opposite end of the National Mall.

It’s where Ken Ratliff joined tens of thousands of other anti-government activists at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial for conservative commentator Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally.

“There’s gotta’ be a change, man,” said Ratliff, a 55-year-old Marine veteran from Rochester, N.Y.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans can afford to ignore the antiestablishment fervor displayed Saturday during Beck’s rally that took on the tone of an evangelical revival.

Billed as a nonpolitical event, it nevertheless was a clarifying moment for those curious as to what clout an anti-Washington sentiment could have on midterm congressional elections in November. The gathering was advertised as an opportunity to honor American troops. But it also illustrated voters’ exasperation — and provided additional evidence that Democrats in power — as well as some incumbent Republicans — may pay the price when voters go to the polls.

The tea party is essentially a loosely organized band of anti-tax, libertarian-leaning political newcomers who are fed up with Washington and take some of their cues from Beck. While the movement drew early skepticism from establishment Republicans, these same GOP powerbrokers now watch it with a wary eye as activists have mounted successful primary campaigns against incumbents.

The Beck rally further demonstrated the tea party activists’ growing political clout.

If the GOP is able to contain and cooperate with the tea party, and recharge its evangelical wing with Beck-style talk of faith, it spells the kind of change Ratliff and others like him are searching for.

The promise of change helped President Barack Obama win the White House in 2008, but could turn against his fellow Democrats this year. Americans’ dim view of the economy has grown even more pessimistic this summer as the nation’s unemployment rate stubbornly hovered near 10 percent and other troubling economic statistics have emerged on everything from housing to the economy’s growth.

That’s been a drag on both congressional Democrats and the president. While Obama has shelved his soaring campaign rhetoric on change, Beck has adopted it.

At Saturday’s rally, the Fox News Channel personality borrowed Obama’s rhetoric of individual empowerment from one of the then-candidate’s favorite themes on the 2008 campaign trail.

“One man can change the world,” Beck told the crowd. “That man or woman is you. You make the difference.”

Or change Washington. And while Beck didn’t say so, that means change the party in power.

His followers got the message.

“A lot of people want our country back,” said Janice Cantor. She was raised a Massachusetts Democrat and is now a North Carolina tea party activist.

Beck’s religion-laden message was a departure from most tea party events, which tend to focus on economic issues.

Beck, who speaks openly about his Christian faith on his radio and cable news shows, relied heavily on religion during his speech, perhaps offering up a playbook for tea party activists and Republicans this November.

Earlier, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin urged the gathering to change the course of the nation, although she said “sometimes our challenges seem insurmountable.”

“Look around you,” she told the crowd. “You’re not alone.”

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

Enhanced by Zemanta

Beck: America ‘wandered in darkness’ for too long

Some of those attending Beck Rally (Reuters)

From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck told the tens of thousands of activists he drew from around the nation Saturday that the U.S. has too long “wandered in darkness.”

His rally’s marquee speaker, Sarah Palin, praised “patriots” in the audience for “knowing never to retreat.”

The two champions of the tea party movement spoke from the very spot where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech 47 years ago. Some civil rights leaders who have denounced Beck’s choice of a venue staged a rival rally to honor King.

Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee who may make a White House run in 2012, said activists must honor King’s legacy by paying tribute to the men and women who protect the United States in uniform.

Beck, pacing back and forth on the marble steps, said he was humbled by the size of the crowd, which stretched along the Washington Mall’s long reflecting pool nearly all the way to the Washington Monument.

“Something beyond imagination is happening,” he said. “America today begins to turn back to God.”

“For too long, this country has wandered in darkness,” said Beck, a Fox News host. He said it was now time to “concentrate on the good things in America, the things we have accomplished and the things we can do tomorrow.”

Neither Beck nor Palin made overtly political comments.

Palin, greeted by chants of “USA, USA, USA” from many in the crowd, told the gathering, “It is so humbling to get to be here with you today, patriots. You who are motivated and engaged … and knowing never to retreat.”

“We must restore America and restore her honor,” said the former Alaska governor, echoing the name of the rally, “Restoring Honor.”

Palin told the crowd she wasn’t speaking as a politician. “No, something more, something much more. I’ve been asked to speak as the mother of a soldier and I am proud of that distinction. Say what you want to say about me, but I raised a combat vet and you can’t take that away from me.” It was a reference to her son, Track, 20, who served a yearlong deployment in Iraq.

Palin honored military members in her speech. She likened the rally participants to the civil rights activists who came to the National Mall to hear King’s historic speech. She said the same spirit that helped civil rights activists overcome oppression, discrimination and violence would help this group as well.

“We are worried about what we face. Sometimes, our challenges seem insurmountable,” Palin said.

“Look around you. You’re not alone,” Palin told participants.

The crowd — organizers had a permit for 300,000 — was vast, with people standing shoulder to shoulder across large expanses of the Mall. The National Park Service stopped doing crowd counts in 1997 after the agency was accused of underestimating numbers for the 1995 Million Man March.

Civil rights leaders protested the event and scheduled a 3-mile plus march from a high school to the site of a planned King memorial near the Tidal Basin and not far from Beck’s gathering.

Karen Watts, 57, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., was among those attending the King rally and march. “The dream is not forgotten,” she said. “I live my life honoring Dr. King to make sure I’m part of that dream, by serving my community.”

Of Beck’s rally, she said, “They’re American citizens. So long as they don’t infringe upon my rights … let them do what they do.”

Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s delegate to Congress, said she remembers being at King’s march on Washington, which she said prompted change and ended segregation in public places. “Glenn Beck’s march will change nothing. But you can’t blame Glenn Beck for his March-on-Washington envy,” she said.

Beck has said he did not intend to choose the King anniversary for his rally but had since decided it was “divine providence.”

Beck, in a taped presentation mixed in with his live remarks, invoked King’s message and said “the fight for freedom was not easy.” He repeatedly injected religion into the event and urged rally participants to rely on faith to help the U.S. recover from an economic recession that has given the country stubbornly high unemployment.

“Faith is in short supply,” Beck said. “To restore America, we must restore ourselves.”

Organizers said their aim was to honor military personnel and others “who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.”

Many in the crowd watched the proceedings on large television screens. On the edges of the Mall, vendors sold “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, popular with tea party activists. Other activists distributed fliers urging voters “dump Obama.” The pamphlet included a picture of the president with a Hitler-style mustache.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, leading the civil rights march, said Beck’s demonstration was an anti-government rally that advocated states’ rights — counter to the message in King’s speech, in which the civil right leader appealed to the federal government to ensure equality.

“The structural breakdown of a strong national government, which is what they’re calling for, is something that does not serve the interests of the nation and it’s something that Dr. King and others fought against,” Sharpton told C-SPAN hours before his event.

People began filling up the space between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument early in the day, many waving American flags. Wasington’s subway system was extremely crowded with long lines of people trying to get to the rally. Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said that there was crowding at least a dozen stations.

Ricky Thomas, 43, a SWAT team police officer from Chesapeake Beach, Md., brought his 10-year old son Chase to the Beck rally. “I wanted my son to see democracy in action,” Thomas said.

He said he wants government to stay out of people’s lives. He acknowledged that he works for government, but said it’s “a part of government that helps people when they are in trouble.”

Beck has given voice to those angry and frustrated with President Barack Obama and other Democrats this election year, especially members of the tea party movement.


Associated Press writers Brett Zongker, Nafeesa Syeed and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.



Beck rally:

Sharpton rally:

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

Enhanced by Zemanta

Palin channels King at rally

Sarah Palin (AP)

Sarah Palin  says the way to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is to honor those men and women in the military who protect the United States.

The potential 2012 presidential candidate says those who fought at Bunker Hill and Gettysburg protected the freedoms that allowed thousands of people gather on the National Mall in Washington on the 47th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

While broadcaster Glenn Beck’s rally isn’t billed as a political event, Palin says voters must reject calls to “fundamentally transform America.” Instead, she says “we must restore America.”

Palin, whose son served in Iraq, says the country is at a perilous moment.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Beck steals lines from Obama

Beck speaks (AP)

Glenn Beck is borrowing some lines from President Barack Obama.

At his rally with tens of thousands on the steps of Lincoln Memorial, Beck used the closing lines of then-candidate Obama’s campaign stump speech of 2008.

“One man can change the world,” Beck told the crowd. “That man or woman is you. You make the difference.”

Obama used a similar message on the campaign trail. He used to say that once voice could change a room, one room could change a city, and one city could change a state. Obama liked to say that state could change a country and urged supporters to go out and change the world.

Beck says his supporters should do the same.

He says, “Look to the heavens. Look to God. And make your choice.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thousands expected at Beck rally

Chris Foran of Sarasota, Fla., sells items to people on their way to the Glenn Beck 'Restoring Honor' rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington Saturday (AP)

Broadcaster Glenn Beck is calling on thousands to rally Saturday in the nation’s capital on the anniversary and at the same site of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Civil rights leaders are protesting the event.

Beck, a Fox News personality and a conservative favorite, insists it’s just a coincidence that his “Restoring Honor” rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is overlapping with the 47th anniversary of King’s speech. Potential 2012 presidential candidate Sarah Palin is expected to attend along with some 100,000 people. District of Columbia officials had granted a permit for some 300,000.

Beck and other organizers say the aim is to pay tribute to America’s military personnel and others “who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.” The broadcaster toured the site Friday as supporters cheered.

The Rev. Al Sharpton called the demonstration an anti-government rally advocating states’ rights. And Sharpton said that goes against the message in King’s speech, in which the civil rights leader appealed to the federal government to ensure equality.

“The structural breakdown of a strong national government, which is what they’re calling for, is something that does not serve the interests of the nation and it’s something that Dr. King and others fought against,” Sharpton said Saturday on C-SPAN.

“It is ironic to me that they come on the day of a speech where Dr. King appealed for a strong government to protect civil rights and they’re going to the site of Abraham Lincoln who saved the union against the state rebellion,” he said.

Sharpton and others planned to rally at a high school and march to the site of a proposed King memorial not far from the Lincoln Memorial.

Beck, a Fox News personality and favorite of conservatives, has given voice to those angry and frustrated with President Barack Obama and other Democrats this election year, especially members of the tea party movement.

A conservative blogger’s assertion that parts of the nation’s capital should be avoided as unsafe, created an uproar on the blogosphere, accusations of racism and a sharp response by angry city leaders.

With emotions already high, the work of a largely unknown tea party blogger, Bruce Majors, brought them to a fever pitch on Friday.

The blog, which first appeared last Monday and has been widely viewed and distributed since then, warned conservative protesters visiting the nation’s capital to avoid certain subway lines, suggesting they are unsafe, that certain neighborhoods should be avoided, that the city is populated by the world’s refugees — that taxi drivers are often Arab or African — and that generally visitors should be wary.

And it inspired a satirical map of Washington with all of the city marked unsafe, except for the tiny sliver of the National Mall, home to the Lincoln Memorial. Some people mistakenly assumed the map was put out by Beck rally supporters.


Associated Press writers Brett Zongker and Nafeesa Syeed contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

Enhanced by Zemanta

DC rally will test Beck’s power

Glen Beck greets supporters (AP)

Glenn Beck, the man behind Saturday’s rally at the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, has built an empire around his own voice that grew exponentially with his move to Fox News Channel and President Barack Obama‘s election to the White House.

Beck has become a soundtrack for conservative activists and members of the tea party movement, angry and frustrated with Obama and other Democrats in a highly charged election year. Beck suggests Obama is a socialist moving the country away from its ideals of limited government. Beck’s critics contend that he exploits fear with conspiracy theories and overheated rhetoric.

Organizers say the “Restoring Honor” rally isn’t about politics. It’s to pay tribute to America’s military personnel and others “who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.” It also is to promote the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides scholarships and services to family members of military members.

The event at the Lincoln Memorial — where 47 years ago King delivered his speech — is expected to feature 2008 vice presidential nominee and potential 2012 White House candidate Sarah Palin. Organizers have a permit for up to 300,000 people at the rally, although Beck has said he expects 100,000. Counter-rallies with the Rev. Al Sharpton and others also are planned.

Beck, 46, is a former “morning zoo” radio DJ who cleaned up after years of drug abuse in the 1990s and switched to talk radio. CNN’s then-named Headline News network gave Beck his first TV home, and he switched to Fox in January 2009, shortly after Obama was inaugurated.

His Fox show created an immediate sensation, as Beck spun his theories with an emotional fervor that Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert quickly dubbed “crank up the crazy and rip off the knob.” MSNBC rival Keith Olbermann likens him to Lonesome Rhodes, the rags-to-riches everyman who spoke to a nation before he was unmasked as a fraud in the 1957 film “A Face in the Crowd.”

In interviews, Beck sees himself more as broadcaster Howard Beale, the “mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore” character in the 1976 movie “Network.”

He was the driving force in stories about former Obama adviser Van Jones, who resigned after Beck publicized some of his past statements. Jones was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the 2001 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.

Beck’s own statement last year that Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people” led to an advertiser boycott and protests from civil rights groups.

His Washington rally has attracted attention and criticism because it is taking place on the anniversary of King’s speech and in the same spot. Beck has said it will be the moment when “we reclaim the civil rights movement.”

His own Fox News colleague, Greta Van Susteren, said he should move his event. She said he should do it for sensitivity reasons, much as both she and Beck argue that an Islamic Center should not be built near the site of the World Trade Center, where terrorists struck in 2001.

“It does not help the country on so many fronts if we poke a stick in eyes,” Van Susteren wrote on her blog.

Beck has said he wouldn’t have picked the date if he had known about the anniversary. But he rejected attempts to move it, arguing that what he will say is consistent with King’s “message of focusing on the content of a person’s character above all else.” King’s niece Alveda King is scheduled to speak.

The size of the crowd will be a visible manifestation, beyond radio and television ratings, of how Beck has connected with people.

He was already the fifth most-listened-to radio talk show host when he moved to Fox, and he’s since vaulted to third “with a bullet” behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, says Michael Harrison, publisher of the trade publication Talkers.

More than his rivals, Beck has led the way in turning himself into a multifaceted brand. Besides the radio and TV shows, he goes on concert tours, he write books, he sells fans access to an “Insider” account for $74.95 a year and he sells his own advertising on his website.

“He’s a model for a 21st century talk show host and businessman,” Harrison said.

On his website, Beck offers access to “Beck University,” a series of lectures. He sells hoodies touting his “9.12 Project,” an attempt to recreate the national unity of the day following the terrorist attacks. He sells copies of his own Fusion magazine, so named for the “fusion of entertainment and enlightenment” that he calls his shows.

Beck and Fox colleague Bill O’Reilly occasionally bring their talk to stages with their “Bold & Fresh” theater tour.

And recently, Beck has begun a “morning prayer” podcast of inspirational messages that fans can access at 7:05 a.m.

On Thursday, he brought Father Terrence Henry of the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, to deliver a prayer — and promote Beck’s rally.

“Like Paul Revere, you are spreading the alarm,” Henry said.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

Enhanced by Zemanta