Monday Midday: Sacrilege in the Church of Baseball,* Midwest Christian Militias, Fundamentalist Manifestos, and Pedophile Priests

Fenway Park, Boston

* Annie Savoy in Bull Durham:

I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there’s no guilt in baseball, and it’s never boring…

Why is ESPN allowed to ruin an age-old Boston sports tradition?

The home opener in Boston has always meant a day game during the week, with kids skipping school, adults skipping work, and local pols skipping graft and corruption to watch the game. But thanks to ESPN and baseball, we now have a Sunday night game instead. That’s just pathetic! No sunshine, no opportunity to skip out of school or work. Baseball was meant to be played with the sun shining. Now there are so few day games and the powers that be have taken away the most sacred day game of all.

Do those ESPN morons even know what Boston weather is like in April? On April 4 (opening day) the high will be in the 70s in the daytime, which would be nice, but at night it will be in the 40s–ugly, horrible weather for a baseball game.

And why do the Red Sox have to play the Yankees on opening day? That has never been a baseball tradition. The Red Sox-Yankee rivalry isn’t even fun anymore, after all the exploitation of it by Major League Baseball and TV. it used to be we wouldn’t see the Yankees until Patriot’s day (Boston Marathon Day) after both teams had had a some chance to get up to speed.

Okay, rant over.

The rest of this morning’s post will be about religion and politics. I was a little bit intimidated by the reaction to my Friday post, but I got over it. Rude and offensive comments will be removed and posters of those comments will be put in moderation for the duration of this thread. I hope that is perfectly clear. Feel free to post and discuss news links on any topic at all.

Midwest Christian Militia Members Busted by Feds

Members of Hutaree and another Michigan militia group

Here’s some interesting religion/politics news. According to the Detroit News, seven members of a Christian militia group called “Hutaree” have been arrested in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana in “massive” raids involving the FBI, Homeland Security, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The raids took place on Saturday and Sunday.

Sources have said the FBI was in the second day of raids around the southeastern Michigan city of Adrian that are connected to a militia group, known as the Hutaree, an Adrian-based group whose members describe themselves as Christian soldiers preparing for the arrival and battle with the anti-Christ.

WXYZ-TV reports that helicopters were spotted in the sky for much of Saturday night, and agents set up checkpoints throughout the area. Witnesses told the station that it was like a small army had descended on the area. The Department of Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are also involved in the raids.

According to several reports, the town of Adrian, Michigan looked like it was being invaded.

Helicopters, foot patrols, Michigan State Police, FBI, and a tank were seen in Lenawee County since Saturday evening.

Resident Christina Lamb says folks said the group was “KKK. That they’re making bombs. That they have a whole bunch of drugs and guns.”

The focus of the raid was a large rural property in Adrian where a militia member lived in a house and his two sons lived in nearby trailers. From Huffpo:

Law enforcement swarmed a rural, wooded property Saturday evening near Adrian, about 70 miles southwest of Detroit, neighbors said. Two ramshackle trailers sat side-by-side on the property, the door to one slightly ajar late Sunday as if it had been forced open.

Phyllis Brugger, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, said some people who lived there were known as having ties to militia. They would shoot guns and often wore camouflage, according to Brugger and her daughter, Heidi Wood.

Similar operations took place in Sandusky, Ohio and Hammond, Indiana.

In Hammond, Indiana, several young men standing outside a pizza place where they worked saw “a swarm of law enforcement” swoop in. According to George Ponce, 18,

“I heard a yell, ‘Get back inside!’ and saw a squad member pointing a rifle at us,” Ponce said. “They told us the bomb squad was going in, sweeping the house looking for bombs.”

He said another agent was in the bushes near the house, and law enforcement vehicles were “all over.” He estimated that agents took more than two dozen guns from the house.

Two more arrests were made in Sandusky and Huron, Ohio. From Huffpo article linked above:

A young man who answered the door at the trailer Sunday said no one from the family wanted to talk. A neighbor said he saw authorities with rifles run past his window and toward the trailer Saturday night.

“They took over the block like it was the Army. I thought we were being invaded,” said Michael Morin, who lives two lots away.

Park manager Terry Mills said authorities blocked off the street for about an hour Saturday night.

“Needless to say, this has everyone talking,” said Mills, 62. “We have a lot of retirees here who don’t want all this commotion.”

Some militia members are reportedly on the run, and perhaps more will be arrested. It also isn’t clear what the charges were in these arrests. Two possibilities I’ve seen are that the group may have made threats against Islamic groups and that they may have been selling pipe bombs. That was a lot of firepower for some pipe bombs and threats.

So what is this group all about anyway? Hutaree supposedly means “Christian Warrier.” The group’s web page says they are “preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive.” According to news stories, this means they are preparing to fight the Anti-Christ. The Doctrine of the Hutaree is also posted on the site. It’s here if you’re interested in reading it.

According to Ann Arbor.com, members of Michigan militias, including Hutaree have recently helped local law enforcement to find missing persons:

…several Hutaree members were recently involved in searches in Bridgewater Township after two residents went missing in separate incidents. Schiel [seen in photo above, second from left] worked closely with Hutaree members during those searches.

Both missing people were found–unfortunately dead. One, a woman, died from hypothermia (friends said she may have taken too much anti-anxiety medication) and the other, a man, was found in his car dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. The large women on the left side of the above photo is a Hutaree member who helped in the searches, Wendy Lineweaver.

She joined the tightly-knit unit after meeting several members at a Ron Paul rally several years ago in Ann Arbor. Lineweaver opposes surveillance cameras on streets, the use of body scanners at airports and fears the government may microchip people.

“If you really want to try and install a police state in this society, you’re going to hit a brick wall, meaning us,” she said. “That’s what we’re preparing for.”

The group also has a MySpace page and a YouTube channel with lots of videos of people running around in camoflage and shooting off guns.
Continue reading

Thursday Morning News Links (with a little help from my friend Katiebird)

harvard.square

News from the Boston Area

Good morning, Conflucians! It’s another gray day in New England, but at least the Red Sox are still in first place.

Kansas City Royals play Red Sox this weekend.

José Guillen returned to the lineup — but as the designated hitter — and could spend time this weekend battling the Green Monster, the big left-field wall at Boston’s Fenway Park, in an effort to reduce strain on his aching legs.

Good luck with that, old man.

In other provincial news, legendary local gangster Whitey Bulger is still on the run, and his crimes are still being investigated and prosecuted.

Tall ships arrive in Boston (gorgeous photos!)

Mass. becomes the first state to challenge Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

“Our familes, our communities, and even our economy have seen the many important benefits that have come from recognizing equal marriage rights and, frankly, no downside,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said this afternoon at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “However, we have also seen how many of our married residents and their families are being hurt by a discriminatory, unprecedented, and, we believe, unconstitutional law.”

Texting trolley driver indicted in crash

Governor’s Race Heats Up in Mass. (scroll down for story)

After years of consideration, republican Charlie Baker has decided to quit his lucrative job as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care so he can devote his full time to a 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial bid.

News from Another Corrupt State

Ex-Blagojevich aide pleads guilty, will testify

A blow for Illinois’s Blagojevich in corruption case

Illinois political floodgates open after Madigan passes on governor, Senate bids.

News from Washington, DC

Democrats say CIA deceived Congress for years.

Obama threatens veto of intelligence bill.

Healthcare overhaul bill stalls in Congress

What’s So Scary About Offering People the Option of a Public Health Plan?

Howard Dean: This is ridiculous. We’re 60 Years Behind the Times” on Fixing Health Care

Your candidate won, Howie. So why are you whining?

Cities Lose Out on Road Funds From Federal Stimulus

For [Marion] Barry, a Familiar Script Takes an Unfamiliar Twist Continue reading

Thursday Morning at The Confluence: Going to Carolina in My Mind

Can’t you see the sunshine, can’t you just feel the moonshire?

Here in the Boston area, you can hardly tell day from night anymore. The gray skies and rain have been with us day after day for more than a month. July 2, and it’s 57 degrees outside my house. I had to turn the furnace on for awhile last night! What the heck is going on with our weather?

The Eastern U.S. was expected to continue seeing severe storm development on Thursday from a slow-moving low pressure system hovering over the Great Lakes region.

Widespread scattered showers were to continue across the Northeast and New England, with moderate to heavy showers over New York.

A slow-moving low pressure system? I’ll say it’s slow-moving. It’s been hovering over us since May. Will we ever see the sun again? That’s what I want to know.

So what else is happening out there?
BostonRedSoxLogo
This time the Red Sox stole a win from the Orioles, rallying in the ninth inning for a 6-5 win.

One day after the team had left shards of dignity on the field at Camden Yards, their best-in-baseball bullpen obliterated by 10 runs in two innings, the Sox were down by four runs with three outs to go.

But Dustin Pedroia worked a walk. And, as Orioles manager Dave Trembley said afterward, “If you’re going to walk people, it’s not the time to do it in the ninth inning.’’

[....]

It spiraled, spurred on by an energizing two-run home run by Kevin Youkilis, and ended two innings later on a redemptive single by Lugo that capped off a 6-5 triumph in 11 innings that turned the night before on its head, turned the series around, and left the Sox with a celebration for the plane ride home.

And the Red Sox still lead the Yankees in the American League East by 2.5 games. All right! It sure doesn’t feel like summer, but at least the Red Sox are doing well.

Politics

Moving on from New England-centric news, in politics, Chris Cillizza has a lengthy wrap-up of how Al Franken finally won the Minnesota Senate seat from Norm Coleman. Apparently Franken had good lawyers and consultants, and he was smart to stay out of the limelight during his long legal battle.

Right wing blogs are still buzzing over the Helen Thomas-led mutiny of the White House press against the Obama administration’s worse-than-Nixon efforts to control public perceptions. That Robert Gibbs sure is a smarmy, arrogant SOB, isn’t he? Continue reading

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