Sunday, November 15, 2009
On the first score, I can respect anyone's religious beliefs (or none). While I might think they are crazy for believing as they do, I am comforted and humbled in the knowledge that they feel the same about me.
On the second score, that's just politics. For myself, I always strive to communicate with everyone in a manner that highlights our unity and downplays our differences. This comes from my deepest held belief that there is always far more unifying us, than dividing us.
But on the third score, I am truly mystified. This is a woman who was campaigning to be the person one heartbeat away from the button that ends all Life as we know it.
Ms. Palin gave a speech on November 6th, to thousands of pro-life supporters in West Allis, Wisconson. In that speech she cited an urban legend as a "disturbing trend," claiming the Treasury Department had moved the phrase "In God We Trust" to the edge of the new presidential dollar coins.
Excuse me? This would be a SUGGESTED alteration that NEVER happened. (There was a different alteration that ultimately did happen which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Republican President.) Ms. Palin uses this "controversy," however false, to conveniently illustrate how a tyrannical, God-destroying, secular big government (controlled by liberal Democrats one would suppose) is against humble God-fearing folk like herself and those to whom she was speaking. (This urban legend Ms. Palin cited most likely originated with a 2006 story on the website WorldNetDaily.)
If one chooses to believe that our government is a tyrannical, God-destroying, secular beast, so be it. One has that right. I've carried myself into more war zones in defense of that right than I care to remember. But if one is going to make political hay making that point, at least take the trouble to find and present defensible facts in support of the point.
I don't let my best friends get away with repeating such patently untrue urban legends. For someone who campaigned to be Vice-President of the United States to lend her considerable political weight to validate a patently false urban legend? As my wife would so eloquently say, "When donkey's fly."
USNS Yano, T-AKR 297
Sunday, October 25, 2009
That which makes Fox News an opposition political outlet to the Democrat Party and the Obama Whitehouse rather than a news channel has nothing to do with any editorial bias on their part, real or imagined. What makes Fox News an opposition political outlet rather than a news channel is that they are expending their money and resources actively organizing anti-government street protests. Example one. Example two. Example three.
THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the difference.
USNS Yano, T-AKR 297
P.S. For anyone interested, here is a very well spoken video commentary (i.e., reporting & OPINION) by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow about this 800 lb. gorilla. Regardless of whether one is a Fox News junkie or not, Ms. Maddow should not be dismissed merely because she is liberal, or gay, or works for MSNBC. She is a Rhodes Scholar. She has a degree in public policy from Stamford and her Ph.D. in political science from Lincoln College at Oxford. Regardless of what one feels about her political bent, Ms. Maddow has the intelligence and talent to make a rational and lucid argument to support her views of the news as she sees them. She deserves respect and an honest listen for those reasons alone.
Monday, September 7, 2009
There is a fine Labor Day article here by Juan Cole, of Informed Comment. It is a long involved article and there is little need to further expound upon what he so eloquently writes. For those who do not know, anyone reading Informed Comment prior to this latest Iraq war would have been aware that there was no connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. Moreover, Informed Comment readers were also aware of the almost non-existent evidence of WMD remaining in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Mentioning this is not an attempt to further beat a dead horse, but only illustrate that Informed Comment has valuable information not to be found on the Fox Network or its ilk. Today, Mr. Cole turned his attentions not on "Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion", but on Labor Day in America and the state of our "Grand Experiment".
Upon reading Mr. Cole's post, I was vividly reminded that we can not support "family values" while we export good paying working class jobs overseas. We can not support "family values" while we hamstring the labor movement in our country. While the labor movement has certainly been fraught with its share of corruption, any measure of justice for the working class in America was born from the efforts of organized labor. It is the height of hypocrisy to decry the breakdown in family values while at the same time supporting politicians who have done the most to increase the proportion of the wealth held the top 1% of our population. For it is this inequitable sharing of the wealth in America that leads to an exacerbation of all the social ills that any good and decent citizen decries. For ultimately, any action that adds to the deterioration of the economic status of most Americans, adds to the deterioration of the social fabric that binds our communities and in turn ensures there is even MORE need for women to choose the abortion option.
Politicians can continue to support tax cuts for the super-rich, bailouts of the super-rich, bail-outs and wrist slapping punishments of corporate executives who steal millions (and even billions) as long as they can count on the support of those Americans who will ultimately rely on only one benchmark to decide their support of a politician..., whether or not they are anti-abortion.
S/S Cape May
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Profiting from illness and injury? Profiting from the crisis, struggles and even deaths of real people? To be very clear, this is not commentary regarding earning a living helping people through their challenges, but rather commentary on the concept of investing in the health challenges of human beings. The immorality of THAT type of investment is of epic proportions.
S/S Cape May
Monday, August 10, 2009
Even though the AARP is endorsing health care reform, this is nothing but an attempt to incite fear of "health care reform" in that huge voting bloc that is our senior citizens.
But is this lie something that should incite fear, loathing and mistrust? I heard on the news this morning that on average, during the last year of an American's life, $80,000 is spent on hospital stays and life prolonging machines. Now, I have not fact-checked that number, nor am I sure that one really could, as there are many subjective ways for bean-counters to count beans. (At what point can one decipher statistically that the end is imminent and attempts to stave it off create more pain than they save?) However, given the costs of health care in this country, that certainly seems like a logical number and within the bounds of reason. Given that about 2.4 million people die each year in the United States, suppose that just 10 percent decided, with counseling and support, to forgo any life prolonging procedures in hospitals when their end was imminent and chose to simply die at home, (sign me up). That's about 19 billion health care dollars that could be spent elsewhere.
Now obviously this is a grossly unscientific use of numbers and statistics and can in no way be used to consider the costs of health care and where/how health care dollars are spent. However, this does raise an interesting question. Which is the greater sin: Someone with counseling and support deciding to let their life end sooner than is medically possible, or someone having to choose between buying food or going to the doctor or dentist? The virulent rhetoric by those against health care reform regarding the former is noteworthy when juxtaposed against their almost pathological silence regarding the latter since they last killed an attempt at health care reform.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Here is a link to Senator John Cornyn's questioning of Judge Sotomayor which includes a couple of questions on the New Haven firefighter's case. It's a fair bit of reading so scroll down to the end, the questions at hand are the last two. (However, the whole line of questioning/answers is worth the read if you have the time.)
Sometimes we need to move outside of established law and precedent in order that justice be served. Established law and precedent gave us the Plessy decision, but didn't give us justice. (In 1896, Plessy v. Ferguson was the case that firmly legalized racial segregation in the U.S.) Could established law and precedent of the time found for Plessy instead? Or would that have been "judicial activism" and therefore a bad thing? Therein lies the real question that can be applied to virtually every case where "judicial activism" is decried. The answer of course depending entirely upon to whom one talks.
S/S Cornhusker State
Newport News, VA
Monday, July 13, 2009
Of note, here's a quote from Justice Alito at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing:
But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, "You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country" . . . .
When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.
The difference between this and what Judge Sotomayor said about being a 'wise Latina woman' is what, Oh Fair And Balanced Ones?
(For those interested, here is a link to the video from Justice Alito's confirmation hearing from which the above quote is extracted.)
S/S Cornhusker State
Naval Station Norfolk