Josh Glasstetter's blog

The Racist Email that Federal Judge Richard Cebull Sent to His ‘Buddies’ about President Obama’s Mom

By now you’ve probably heard the news that Judge Richard Cebull, Chief U.S. District Judge for Montana, sent a “joke” email from his courthouse chambers, using his official court email account, that compares African Americans to dogs. Here’s the punchline

A little boy said to his mother, “Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?”
 
His mother replied, “Don't even go there, Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!”
The text of the email is bad enough, but it’s even worse when you see how the email appeared on Judge Cebull’s screen. Below you can see the email as it appeared on the web last September.
 
Judge Cebull, who was nominated by President Bush and has served since 2001, admits he read the email, knew it was racist and intended to pass it along to his “old buddies.” He has apologized “to anybody who is offended by it,” which isn’t really much of an apology. He should be apologizing for the substance, not the perception, of his act.
 
Judge Cebull gave this explanation to John S. Adams of the Great Falls Tribune, who broke the story:
"The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan," Cebull said. "I didn't send it as racist, although that's what it is. I sent it out because it's anti-Obama." […]
 
Cebull said he does not consider himself prejudiced against people of other races or ethnic backgrounds, and that his actions in his courtroom have demonstrated that. 
It’s one thing to criticize President Obama’s policies or leadership or even his character. But to insult his mother and equate interracial sex with bestiality? That’s completely beyond the pale.
 
What is the psychology of a federal judge who, while sitting in his chambers checking his official email, reads an email like that and decides to pass it along? It begs the question of whether Judge Cebull can fairly hear cases involving discrimination, race, the President, and so on.
 
Here’s the full email:

FRC’s Religious Freedom Expert would Force Raped Woman to Give Birth to Rapist’s Child

The Family Research Council bragged earlier this week that Jeanne Monahan, the head of its Center for Human Dignity, would be testifying today before Congress on how mandatory contraceptive coverage is an affront to Americans’ religious freedom.

However, FRC and allies like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have an odd of understanding of freedom. It’s really just the freedom for everyone to live according to their religion, and only a very narrow interpretation at that. Monahan, who holds a master’s degree in theology of marriage and family from the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, is no exception.
 
In a blog post from January entitled “A Pro-Life Hero: Minka Disbrow,” Monahan wrote the following (emphasis mine): 
In 1928, as a young and innocent teenager, Minka Disbrow lived in South Dakota and worked on a dairy farm. One day while enjoying a picnic, Minka and a friend were jumped by three men and raped. Innocent to the degree that she didn’t comprehend how babies were created, months later the 17-year-old Minka was confused and surprised to find her body changing and growing. Her parents soon found an adoption agency. […]
 
In a similar story, Ryan Bomberger, of the Radiance Foundation was conceived in an act rape. Like Minka, Ryan’s mother chose to carry her child to term. Ryan now dedicates his life to promoting and protecting the dignity of every person. For a recent lecture by Ryan on the hope and joy of adoption click here.
 
All can agree that rape is a horrific act of violence that no one should ever undergo. But abortion after a rape robs an innocent victim of a very beautiful life.
While it’s incredible that Monahan would suggest that Minka Disbrow “chose to carry her child to term,” given the description she provided, the bigger issue is that she would force a woman to give birth to her rapist’s child.
 
In a column from last November, Monahan spoke out against providing the full range of medical care to female victims of human trafficking. Her overriding concern was that women who had become pregnant after being raped might choose abortion (emphasis mine):
Evidence exists that shows women who seek an abortion after rape add to their suffering: they now struggle with the coupled pain of the rape and the abortion; the abortion can become what some have termed “a second rape.”
 
Additionally, a recent peer-reviewed meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry revealed that women who choose abortion have a significant increase in mental health problems including depression, anxiety and suicidal behaviors. A situation where a woman is trafficked and becomes pregnant is extremely difficult, but such women deserve loving and honest care and attention, and abortion is not part of that.
Monahan’s writing makes it plainly clear that she is far less concerned about helping women and defending human dignity than she is with forcing all of us – women in particular – to live by the narrow religious views of herself and her employer. That’s what they really mean when they talk about religious freedom.
 
UPDATE: Here's a recent video of Monahan, who is testifying now, on her views on reproductive rights:
 

Is This Woman ‘Fracking’ Crazy? – Ann McElhinney of Frack Nation at CPAC

Ann McElhinney is very upset about dumb, lying environmentalists and very excited about fracking, which is a miraculous gift from God. She’s making a film about it – Frack Nation – and she pitched the CPAC crowd last Saturday on her right-wing response to the critically acclaimed documentary Gasland.
 
The thesis of McElhinney’s manic, meandering speech is that fracking is the best thing to ever happen to us, but it could be squandered by ignorant and dumb people who have been tricked into opposing it by scheming, dishonest environmentalists who agree with Vladimir Putin and secretly hate the Bald Eagle.
 
During the course of her screed, and in between all the “fracking” puns, she suggested that drinking water in the US has always been flammable and that renewable energy sources only work while, for instance, the sun is out or the wind is blowing.
 
Here is a highlight reel for your viewing pleasure:
 

 

Rick Santorum Just Had Dinner with White Nationalist Bob Vandervoort

Bob Vandervoort’s group, ProEnglish, just tweeted:
You’ll recall that Vandervoort, the executive director of Pro-English, was previously the leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance. He is scheduled to appear at a panel tomorrow morning at CPAC along with two Republican members of Congress and the Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.
 
Kobach, an outspoken immigration opponent, distanced himself from Vandervoort and ProEnglish this morning:
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he “had no idea who was going to be on my panel” when he agreed to appear Saturday on an immigration panel at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington, D.C. […]
 
Kobach said he does not recall ever meeting Vandervoort. He also said organizers usually try to put people with differing views on panels to make it interesting.
 
The two split on bilingual ballots, mandated by federal voting law. Kobach said he thinks bilingual ballots are “reasonable,” so voters will clearly understand the ballot.
Around noon, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh, who is also scheduled for tomorrow’s panel, tweeted that Vandervoort appears to be a racist.
 
And the organizers of CPAC even distanced themselves from Vandervoort and another white nationalist speaking at the conference:
The American Conservative Union, CPAC’s organizer, is keeping its distance.
 
“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.” 
Despite all of this, Rick Santorum just had dinner with Vandervoort. We can hope that Santorum did not yet know Vandervoort’s full background. Now that he does, will he denounce white nationalists, including Vandervoort, and say they have no place within the GOP and conservative movement?

UPDATE: Santorum adviser Hogan Gidley told BuzzFeed that Vandervoort "was part of a large gathering that showed up to listen to rick speak today at a CPAC luncheon." No response yet from Vandervoort.
 

Two Miami-Area Congressmen to Appear with White Nationalist at CPAC

There’s already been substantial coverage of yesterday’s CPAC panel on multiculturalism featuring not one, but two, prominent white nationalists – Peter Brimelow and Bob Vandervoort. That may have just been the warm-up act for tomorrow morning.

Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and David Rivera, both Republicans from the Miami metro area, are scheduled to appear on stage at CPAC with Vandervoort on an immigration panel entitled “High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Identity”:
 
Vandeervoort is currently the head of ProEnglish, which supports making English the official language of the US, but previously he was the leader of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of the American Renaissance. As the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported:
Vandervoort was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. The group held events featuring numerous white nationalist figures. Vandervoort also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
 
Started as a modest newsletter in 1990, American Renaissance has grown into an important vehicle for white nationalist ideas. American Renaissance first described itself as a "literate, undeceived journal of race, immigration and the decline of civility." It claimed that "White people" had lost their voice and that the United States was in danger of losing its "national and cultural core."
American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor wrote in the magazine that “the greatest threat to whites today comes from immigration.” He continued: “Racial preferences, guilt-mongering, anti-Western education, even anti-white violence are manageable problems compared to a process that is displacing whites and reducing them to a minority. With a change in thinking at the right levels, anti-white policies and double standards could be done away with practically overnight, but that would still leave us with nearly 100 million non-whites living in the country.”
 
Vandervoort’s extremism hasn’t gone unnoticed by conservatives who don’t share his bigoted ideology, including fellow panelist Alex Nowrasteh, who suggested today that Vandervoort is a racist:
The conservative Daily Caller also noted the explicit white nationalism of American Renaissance and put the conference organizers on the defensive:
The American Conservative Union, CPAC’s organizer, is keeping its distance.
 
“This panel was not organized by the ACU,” CPAC spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller, ”and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization.”
But let’s recall that the American Conservative Union was fully in control when it came to GOProud, the conservative gay rights group that it banned from CPAC this year. Evidently, they can keep gay groups out but are powerless when it comes to white nationalists.
 
Which brings us back to tomorrow’s panel featuring Vandervoort, two Republican members of Congress, and Kris Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas. Do Reps. Diaz-Balart and Rivera and Secretary Kobach really think it’s appropriate to appear on stage with a white nationalist? Will they denounce white nationalism and say it has no place within the GOP and conservative movement?
 
Tune in tomorrow morning to find out.

 

 

CPAC: White Nationalism Shunned in 2011, Welcomed in 2012

How times have changed. Last year, white nationalist Jamie Kelso attended CPAC looking for European-American allies in his quest to keep America genetically pure and lily-white. However, his potential young recruits weren’t having any of it:

As Ed Morrissey reported on Hot Air:
A group of young attendees, and a few older conservatives as well, at first politely rebuff Kelso’s racist arguments, and then begin aggressively arguing with him in the hallway. Ron Paul supporters told him four times to take off his Campaign for Liberty button and paraphernalia.
The Daily Caller reported that Kelso “got an earful from some conservative activists who sent him packing” and “let him know that racism is not welcome in the conservative movement.” It was heartening to see young conservatives take a stand against the kind of bigotry that has no place in modern conservatism.
 
That was 2011. CPAC 2012 has revealed that the paleoconservatives are still firmly in control.
 
The conservative gay rights group, GOProud, was banned this year, but two prominent white nationalists were allowed to appear on a panel opposing multiculturalism.
 
And they were hardly sent packing. Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa fawned over Peter Brimelow, founder of the white nationalist site VDARE, saying, “I read your books!” Tomorrow, white nationalist Bob Vandervoort is scheduled to appear alongside two other Republican members of Congress.

 

Does Google Know It’s Sponsoring a Right-Wing, Anti-Gay Conference?

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Google, joining with the likes of the NRA and Heritage Foundation, will be a primary sponsor of CPAC, the right-wing conference kicking off tomorrow in DC. Google portrayed its sponsorship as just another way for the company to reach campaign professionals, candidates, and tech-savvy young adults:

The company says it will have a presence at both Republican and Democratic events during this year’s election season, including each party’s convention. Google also had a role in the Iowa caucus last month. The CPAC event was attractive because half the attendees are under 25 and heavy users of technology, Google said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
 
“This event is a great opportunity for us to showcase Google.com/elections and tools like Google+, which we hope will be used by every candidate and campaign,” the Mountain View, California-based company said.
That would make sense if CPAC was just another GOP event. It’s not.
 
CPAC 2012 is as notable for who is coming as who isn’t. Peter Brimelow is a prominent white nationalist and founder of the racist and anti-Semitic website VDARE. He’ll be at CPAC 2012.
 
“Birther” leader Joseph Farah will be there. He has boycotted CPAC since 2009 when he was blocked from hosting a panel questioning the President’s citizenship. This year he’s being welcomed back with open arms.
 
Youth for Western Civilization’s founder was arrested in 2007 for karate chopping an African-American woman on the street while calling her “n****r.” They, like Google, are sponsoring this year’s CPAC.
 
Romney, Gingrich and Santorum will be there too, along with major Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council.
 
FRC boycotted last year’s CPAC to protest the participation of a conservative gay rights organization, GOProud. CPAC 2012 will be different. The gay group got the boot, and CPAC and the Family Research Council kissed and made up.
 
Google told Bloomberg that the company is “planning hangouts with top Republicans and well respected conservative journalists at CPAC.” That’s not all they’ll find at CPAC if they go through with their sponsorship.

 

Does Google Know It’s Sponsoring a Right-Wing, Anti-Gay Conference?

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Google, joining with the likes of the NRA and Heritage Foundation, will be a primary sponsor of CPAC, the right-wing conference kicking off tomorrow in DC. Google portrayed its sponsorship as just another way for the company to reach campaign professionals, candidates, and tech-savvy young adults:

The company says it will have a presence at both Republican and Democratic events during this year’s election season, including each party’s convention. Google also had a role in the Iowa caucus last month. The CPAC event was attractive because half the attendees are under 25 and heavy users of technology, Google said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
 
“This event is a great opportunity for us to showcase Google.com/elections and tools like Google+, which we hope will be used by every candidate and campaign,” the Mountain View, California-based company said.
That would make sense if CPAC was just another GOP event. It’s not.
 
CPAC 2012 is as notable for who is coming as who isn’t. Peter Brimelow is a prominent white nationalist and founder of the racist and anti-Semitic website VDARE. He’ll be at CPAC 2012.
 
“Birther” leader Joseph Farah will be there. He has boycotted CPAC since 2009 when he was blocked from hosting a panel questioning the President’s citizenship. This year he’s being welcomed back with open arms.
 
Youth for Western Civilization’s founder was arrested in 2007 for karate chopping an African-American woman on the street while calling her “n****r.” They, like Google, are sponsoring this year’s CPAC.
 
Romney, Gingrich and Santorum will be there too, along with major Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council.
 
FRC boycotted last year’s CPAC to protest the participation of a conservative gay rights organization, GOProud. CPAC 2012 will be different. The gay group got the boot, and CPAC and the Family Research Council kissed and made up.
 
Google told Bloomberg that the company is “planning hangouts with top Republicans and well respected conservative journalists at CPAC.” That’s not all they’ll find at CPAC if they go through with their sponsorship.

 

Siri’s Evil Twin Sister Iris: Popular Android App Calls Abortion Murder, Cites Exodus

Apple’s electronic personal assistant Siri made headlines back in November for drawing a blank when asked for the location of the nearest abortion clinic. If you thought that was bad, meet Iris, Siri’s evil twin sister (or fundamentalist cousin).

Iris – Siri spelled backwards – is the popular electronic assistant created by Dexetra for Android phones. It’s been downloaded over 1 million times and is powered by ChaCha, the Internet’s “leading answers service with more than a billion questions answered.” In other words, Iris may be a knockoff, but it’s no joke.
 
That’s why we were surprised when we heard the Family Research Council crowing about the Android being “as pro-life as they come” and watched their video. We've posted the video and radio segment here:

After swimming through a sea of iPhones and Blackberrys, we found an Android and tried it for ourselves – sure enough, Iris did everything but condemn us to eternal suffering in hell.
 
Iris’ answers are drawn from ChaCha, which provided a string of anti-choice answers to our questions: 
 
 
It must be said that Iris isn’t all fire and brimstone. Iris failed to quote scripture in response to questions about adultery, birth control, homosexuality, working on the Sabbath, and eating shellfish (which is an “abomination before the Lord”). And if you ask Iris whether she is “pro-life or pro-choice,” you get this far more reasonable response:
 
Android certainly has a right to include a right-wing personal assistant in its app store, and ChaCha has the right to provide slanted answers, but that surely isn’t what the companies had in mind. This appears to be the work of a single employee with an agenda. ChaCha should take appropriate action to ensure that its service isn’t being used to inappropriately foist the views of certain employees on the public.
 

 

Why Is Ocean City, MD Hosting a Bigot?

As we’ve previously reported, retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin is scheduled to be the featured speaker at next week’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Ocean City, MD. Local news reports have focused on Boykin’s decorated military career, but he also has a long history of trafficking in hate-filled conspiracy theories. For instance, he claims that President Obama is creating a Hitler-style militia to force Marxism on the American people and that international bankers are plotting to form a Marxist, global government.

Boykin first made headlines in 2003 over a series of controversial remarks he made in uniform. He was investigated by the Defense Department and found to have violated multiple regulations.
 
Now retired, Boykin’s rhetoric has become completely unhinged. Boykin, who has been billed by prayer breakfast director Bruce Spangler as an “expert on Islamic history,” has reserved his greatest scorn for Muslims and Islam. He has argued that Muslims are not protected by the First Amendment and that there should be no mosques in America. He has also revealed a profound ignorance of Islam by claiming that it is not an Abrahamic religion and has nothing in common with Christianity.
 
It’s unlikely that the mayor and city council were unaware of Boykin’s record of outrageous statements. After all, Ocean City works hard to market itself as a fun tourist destination open to the entire Mid-Atlantic. Hosting a bigoted and divisive figure like Boykin sends the opposite message.
 
People For the American Way president Michael Keegan wrote to the mayor and city council yesterday evening to provide Boykin’s record and call on them to find a speaker who can speak to the entire community. Here’s the small sampling of Boykin's rhetoric that we provided:

“We have incrementally moved towards Marxism and now I think it's at an accelerated pace. ...

 One of the things that Hitler did was he established the Brownshirts. ... Well, in the lead-up to the election, during the campaigns, our current president said very openly, and you can find it on YouTube, if I am elected President, I will have a national civilian security force that is as large as and as powerful as the US military.

 For what? Why do you need a national civilian security force?

 Now most people say, well we haven't seen any signs of the administration doing that. Until you go back and read what nobody in Washington read, and that's the health care legislation that lays out a provision for the commissioning of officers to work directly for the President in time of a national emergency.

 Now what would bring about a national emergency? An economic collapse, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster - we talked about all those things here - which would then allow for martial law. The foundation has been laid.”

“We need to recognize that Islam itself is not just a religion - it is a totalitarian way of life. It's a legal system, sharia law; it's a financial system; it's a moral code; it's a political system; it's a military system. It should not be protected under the First Amendment, particularly given that those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with sharia law.”

“No mosques in America. Islam is a totalitarian way of life; it’s not just a religion. … But Islam, we need to think Sharia, it is not just a religion it is a totalitarian way of life. A mosque is an embassy for Islam and they recognize only a global caliphate, not the sanctity or sovereignty of the United States.”

“A Defense Department investigation has determined that Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin, the Pentagon's senior military intelligence official, violated three internal regulations while delivering controversial speeches that linked the war on terrorism to what he depicted as an enduring battle against Satan, according to a copy of the probe obtained yesterday by The Washington Post.

The 10-month internal investigation, conducted by the department's deputy inspector general for investigations, confirmed news accounts that Boykin said in his speeches that President Bush had been placed in his post by God, that radical Muslims hate America because it "will never abandon Israel" and that the U.S. military is recruiting a spiritual army that will draw strength from a greater power to defeat its enemy.”

President Bush said on Wednesday that he disagreed with comments by a top Pentagon general who had cast the war on terrorism in religious terms, but the Defense Department said the officer would not be reassigned.

The comments by Mr. Bush were his first in public about Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, the deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence and war-fighting. General Boykin has likened the battle against Islamic militants to a Christian struggle against Satan and said at evangelical gatherings that a militant Muslim militia leader in Somalia worshiped an ''idol'' and not ''a real God.''

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