15h43 UTC; SUNDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2012: Having spotted the preceding on a blog entitled "I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists" (ultimately via Facebook, in case you ask, readers), you just have to imagine the irony of a whole troupe of Ku Kluxers in full regalia at a revivalist meeting under a banner proclaiming "Jesus Saves."

Especially considering where the Ku Klux Klan, in its numerous permutations of starched-white paranoia, saw the defence of God and Country among its dearest articles of faith. (IMHO, the photo dates back to its rather infamous comeback in the 1920's, terrorising blacks and "undesirable" immigrants.)

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Which brings to mind these remarks, vintage 2008, from GOP Presidential wannabe Rick Santorum, himself especially popular with the Elmer Gantry element, as dusted off and transcribed by Right Wing Watch:
This is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country - the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age. There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost two hundred years, once America's preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers.

He didn't have much success in the early days. Our foundation was very strong, in fact, is very strong. But over time, that great, acidic quality of time corrodes even the strongest foundations. And Satan has done so by attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.

He was successful. He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions. The place where he was, in my mind, the most successful and first successful was in academia. He understood pride of smart people. He attacked them at their weakest, that they were, in fact, smarter than everybody else and could come up with something new and different. Pursue new truths, deny the existence of truth, play with it because they're smart. And so academia, a long time ago, fell.

And you say "what could be the impact of academia falling?" Well, I would have the argument that the other structures that I'm going to talk about here had root of their destruction because of academia. Because what academia does is educate the elites in our society, educates the leaders in our society, particularly at the college level. And they were the first to fall.

And so what we saw this domino effect, once the colleges fell and those who were being education in our institutions, the next was the church. Now you’d say, ‘wait, the Catholic Church’? No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it. So they attacked mainline Protestantism, they attacked the Church, and what better way to go after smart people who also believe they’re pious to use both vanity and pride to also go after the Church.

After that, you start destroying the Church and you start destroying academia, the culture is where their next success was and I need not even go into the state of the popular culture today. Whether its sensuality of vanity of the famous in America, they are peacocks on display and they have taken their poor behavior and made it fashionable. The corruption of culture, the corruption of manners, the corruption of decency is now on display whether it’s the NBA or whether it’s a rock concert or whether it’s on a movie set.

The fourth, and this was harder, now I know you’re going to challenge me on this one, but politics and government was the next to fall. You say, ‘you would think they would be the first to fall, as fallible as we are in politics,’ but people in political life get elected by ordinary folks from lots of places all over the country where the foundations of this country are still strong. So while we may certainly have had examples, the body politic held up fairly well up until the last couple of decades, but it is falling too.
Which, doubtless, calls to mind The Church Lady routine ("Weeeelllllll now, isn't that special?!!") on Saturday Night Live as parodied pseudo-religious "ministries" in their Luscious Glory of notoriety before Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL ministry collapsed in a 1987 sex scandal as sought to cover up misapplication and improper diversion of viewer donations ... not to mention apartheid South Africa's insistence that they were God's Own Country thanks to the "natural dominance" of the white Afrikaner minority By Biblical Edict and Ordinance as per the disciplines of the Dutch Reformed Church, itself recalling a Monty Python sketch where an English court judge, fed up with the all-too-common leniency of legal sentences, decides to pack it up and emigrate to South Africa, where, as he explains it, "you've got your cat-o'-nine-tails ... you've got three death sentences a week ... you've got cheap drinks, slave labour and a booming stock market!"

In any case, Meneer Santorum (himself a devout Roman Catholic) doubled down on the previous remarks by questioning President Obama's brand of Christianity before a rally of "Tea Party" Zealots and True Believers preparatory to the Ohio Primaries on "Super Tuesday" by claiming President Obama's Christianity is
not about you. It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your jobs. It's about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology.
(Which, in its turn, prompted a spokesman for President Obama's reelection campaign to charge that "This is just the latest low in a Republican primary campaign that has been fueled by distortions, ugliness, and searing pessimism and negativity - a stark contrast with the President who is focused everyday on creating jobs and restoring economic security for the middle class.")

And which should bring to mind where the first Juan Peron regime in Argentina (1945-1955) was brought down in the wake of Pope Pius XII's excommunicating Peron after it emerged that he was trying to use the Roman Catholic Church as a tool of his regime through coercion of the clergy ... his giving sanction to divorce and prostitution ... and the Nelly Rivas affair. Not to mention wholesale socioeconomic mismanagement aggravated by American trade embargoes, misguided attempts at socioeconomic self-reliance and several years of drought aggravating poor harvests. "Those who do not recall the past," &c.

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With some analysts suggesting that gasoline prices could increase to $4/gallon ($1.06/litre) by the Memorial Day Long Weekend in line with current trends, Bloomberg hath news that could make Beautiful Downtown Pyongyang, in its Luscious Glory of True Belief in the Juche Idea's disciplines of socioeconomic self-reliance, blushing in jealousy: Viz., that Our Dear Lovely and Morally Superior United States, thanks to all manner of energy-conservation initiatives and reduced dependency on imported crude oil from politically-unstable channels, may be more self-sufficient in terms of energy supply than ever before ... and, subject to present trends continuing, could mean that we may become a net exporter of natural gas within measurable distance.

But then again, we shouldn't read too much into this news: Concerns about the health and environmental effects of the "fracking" method for extracting oil and natural gas could put a crimp into things, not to mention such a pipe dream being too overzealously advanced to the point of backfiring upon its zealots most ardent.

So what would stand in the way of further healthy emphasis on renewable energy sources if we're to remain all the more self-sufficient in the energy department?

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As if that weren't enough, consider where Texas, perhaps the greatest textbook example of end-user electric-supply deregulation known (howbeit in selected regions, know), actually has higher end-user electric costs on average (expressed on a per-kilowatt-hour basis, the electric industry standard) than other states, even when factoring in the fact of the Lone Star State generating more of its power from renewable sources (wind and solar in particular) since deregulation was introduced.

And making things even more complicated here is the fact of Texas lacking any direct hookup to the greater national grid, the Western Interconnexion in particular, in case of possible grid problems in-state, even with the current being to the American standard of 120 volts @ 60 Hz./sec.



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