Conventional collectivist created authority is a deception in consciousness. You are your own Authority!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Perry’s Epiphany

Republican presidential primary candidate Rick Perry was watching a movie last week while campaigning in Iowa when he experienced yet another profound religious epiphany – a sudden intuitive insight into the mind of God – which moved him to change his anti-liberty position on the issue of abortion.  
"You're seeing a transformation," Perry later told reporters about it.
Does this mean that the man who wears the badge of Christianity on his sleeve, and has made religion, and religious faith the focal point of his campaign, is now a pro-liberty Republican?
The movie was a documentary about abortion produced by former Baptist minister, Arkansas Governor, and 2008 Iowa caucus winner, Mike Huckabee. After the screening, Perry met with a woman depicted in the film whose mother was raped leading to her conception and eventual birth.
The meeting "started giving [me] some thought to the issue of rape and incest," Perry explained. "When the lady who was in it was looking me in the eye and saying, `You need to think this through,' she said, `I am the product of a rape' and she said `my life has worth,"' "It was a powerful moment for me."
Before that, Perry’s position was that he would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is at risk. Now he piously declares that he has strengthened his opposition to abortion and opposes it even in the case of rape, incest or when the woman's life would be at risk.
Get it? He would allow …
Perry's “transformation” from staunch anti-liberty to ultra-anti-liberty politician comes curiously just one week before the Iowa caucuses, a place where right-wing evangelical social conservatives dominate the Republican Party and where Mike Huckabee just happened to win four years ago in a surprise  upset victory over Mitt Romney.
He also signed the “Personhood USA” pledge, which states that "abortion and the intentional killing of an innocent human being are always wrong and should be prohibited."
Perry is desperately trying to regenerate the overwhelming support he generated from evangelicals when entering the race last summer but lost after a series of horrendous debate performances against his more politically nimble opponents.
All of this has had the effect on me of my own profound rational epiphany -- a sudden intuitive insight into the mind of a tyrant – which leads me to understand even more clearly the cancer of religion upon the body of civilization throughout the history of human consciousness.  
This man, like all other religious and political tyrants throughout history, would have no problem whatsoever with his conscience in forcing all women – in the name of Jesus Christ -- to bear unwanted offspring in every single instance, without exception, no matter what the consequences.
Get it? Now he would not allow…
Forgive me for thinking the unthinkable, but: if Rick Perry’s wife or daughter were, may chance forbid it, brutally raped and impregnated by a filthy evil lowlife criminal cretin; if afterward he had to face the prospect of witnessing his loved one endure nine months of unrelenting emotional anguish while carrying the vile perpetrators offspring inside her body to term; and then the indelible stain thereafter upon her physical and psychological well being for the rest of her life; I wonder …     
Would he just possibly experience another epiphany?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Religious Expression and Government Money

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C., speaking this week on "Fox News Sunday," said the federal government must take care not to penalize religious expression.
I agree.
The government should never penalize religious expression because that would violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The Catholic Church in America has always enjoyed a fundamental constitutional right to freely express its religion.
"The church has always been the public effort to meet issues like feeding the hungry, providing care for people in need, the homeless, that we would always be a part of that, and to do that today we need to be all the more respectful of the freedom of conscience, the freedom of religious expression of everyone of us," says the Cardinal.
Yes, there is no question about it; the Church must be permitted to go about its religiously oriented ministrations free from government interference.
But the good Cardinal isn’t really concerned about government interference with his church’s right to religious expression. No; what he’s really concerned with is keeping the uninterrupted flow of generous taxpayer funding in support of those activities while insisting that there be no strings attached. He wants government money without restrictions or any sort of regulations which might conflict with church doctrine.
"One of the things that our conference of bishop has done in response to some of the regulations and some of the difficulties that our Catholic institution are finding is to call all of us to reflect again on the importance that in a pluralistic society, the importance of respecting the religious traditions, the religious freedom, the freedom of conscious of everyone," Wuerl explained.
Yes, in a pluralistic society like ours, it is important to respect the religious freedoms of everyone, but, of course, that is not the point. If the government, because of its insistence upon compliance with its regulations, stops giving his church money that amounts, in the mind of the Cardinal, to government interference with religious expression.
At issue with the Cardinal, among other things, is the fact that the Obama administration in September denied funding to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help victims of human trafficking because the bishops refuse to refer victims of the slave trade to contraception or abortion services.
The Department of Health and Human Services, prompted by a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, decided to award the grants only to agencies that would refer women for those services. Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry calls that evidence of a government "war on religion."
Federal laws provide that no funding can be given to groups that directly provide abortion services and religious organizations cite that in support of their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Yet when the laws operate against them upon similar grounds they bitterly complain.
"We serve whether it's in education, catholic charities, whether it's in relief of migrants, immigrants, whether it's in social service ministry," said Wuerl. "We serve people all over this nation. What we don't do is violate the conscience of all of us involved there's some things we won't do but that should be respected because it's always been respected."
That’s all very commendable, well and good; the Catholic Church must be permitted to continue doing those things without government interference.  
And without taxpayer money.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Pathological Partisan Political Pledging

There is something decidedly foul and unseemly in my mind about some vote pandering politicians – usually Republicans -- who are willing, for the purpose of appeasing the obsessive and peculiar fetishes of various special interest groups, to sign pledges solemnly promising and committing themselves to do this or that shameful overtly partisan deed if elected to office.  
Almost invariably these politicians are asked by right wing social conservative organizations to formally declare, in effect: “I promise to be and act like a religious bigot just like you and your organization if elected.”
True to form, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich recently became the latest Republican presidential candidate to sign the National Organization for Marriage presidential marriage pledge. NOM is a special interest group dedicated to fighting same sex marriage and preventing same sex couples from adopting children.
“We commend Newt Gingrich for signing NOM’s presidential marriage pledge, committing himself to play a leadership role as president to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said the group’s president, Brian Brown. “Mr. Gingrich joins all the other major candidates who have made a similar commitment, save for one — Ron Paul. Now we will embark on an intensive communications program to inform Iowa voters who will stand with them to preserve marriage, and who has abandoned them on marriage.”
Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have already signed the pledge, vowing to support a federal marriage amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman, to protect the Defense of Marriage Act in court, appoint conservative judges and a conservative attorney general, create a presidential commission to investigate harassment of same sex marriage opponents and put same sex marriage up to a vote in D.C.
The single major candidate demonstrating the courage and integrity to say “no!” to this group of religious bigots is the libertarian, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, even though he has said that in principle he personally supports the Defense of Marriage Act and personally believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman.  
For his principled omission of apostasy, ignoring this and other similar political pledges, NOM has singled Congressman Paul out for harsh criticism as a sort of false conservative Republican lost black sheep candidate and therefore a proper political target for their ire.  Paul has also refused to sign a pledge by the Family Leader, an Iowa-based Christian conservative group. Gingrich signed the marriage pledge last week.
“Many of Ron Paul’s supporters in Iowa believe that he is on their side when it comes to preserving traditional marriage, but he isn’t,” Brown lamented. “While Paul says he personally believes in traditional marriage, he has refused to sign our pledge and, worse, has said that marriage is strictly a private affair and that government has no role in regulating marriage. This is a dangerous position with profound consequences for society.”
If someone rightly believes that marriage is a private affair which is none of the government’s business, that’s a dangerous opinion according to NOM.
“NOM is not going to endorse a candidate in Iowa, but we will be making it clear through online ads, telephone calls and other actions that Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann stand with Iowans on defending traditional marriage, and Ron Paul does not,” Brown vowed.
Mr. Brown clearly has the unabashed sympathy of our friends at Fox News, including supposedly “fair and balanced” news anchor, Chris Wallace, who declared to all the world that Republicans in Iowa  should not go wasting their votes on Ron Paul.
Wallace, showing his undisguised journalistic bias in favor of former Fox News analyst and Republican statist candidate, Newt Gingrich, maintained that a Paul win “won’t count” nationally and would “discredit” the Iowa caucuses.
“The Ron Paul people are not going to like my saying this,” Wallace intoned, “But to a certain degree, it will discredit the Iowa caucuses because, rightly or wrongly, I think most of the Republican establishment thinks he’s not going to end up as the nominee …. So therefore, Iowa won’t count … It would certainly be a knock to Gingrich because, you know, right now he was the front runner — or a week ago he was the big front runner in this state so it would be missed opportunity for him.”
Well, so what?
I don’t believe that Ron Paul will likely get the nomination either, but a win in Iowa would go a hell of a long way in establishing the force of his libertarian credentials in the Republican Party and the credibility of his libertarian ideas on the national stage. In that sense, Iowa would most definitely count.
I for one hold a great deal of admiration and respect for Ron Paul, a principled candidate who has the integrity to forswear the temptation to pathological partisan political pledging.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Military Angst

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has turned up the heat on Congress warning that looming automatic budget cuts of $600 billion or more over the next decade would undermine national security and set off a financial chain reaction from the Pentagon, to the battlefields of Afghanistan, to civilian assembly lines.
"The impacts of these cuts would be devastating for the department," Panetta told the two most influential U.S. government military hawks, Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina in a recent letter, saying they would trigger 23% across-the-board reductions and a halt to many new projects.
"It's a ship without sailors. It's a brigade without bullets. It's an air wing without enough trained pilots. It's a paper tiger, an Army of barracks, buildings and bombs without enough trained soldiers able to accomplish the mission," Panetta whined pitifully at a recent news conference, implying it would lead to a military with a shell but no core.
"It's a force that suffers low morale, poor readiness and is unable to keep up with potential adversaries. In effect, it invites aggression," he insisted. The reductions would "generate significant operational risks: delay response time to crises, conflicts, and disasters; severely limits our ability to be forward deployed and engaged around the world; and assumes unacceptable risk in future combat operations," Panetta warned.
"The consequence of a sequester on the Defense Department would set off a swift decline of the United States as the world's leading military power. We are staunchly opposed to this draconian action," the senators responded in a joint statement. "This is not an outcome that we can live with, and it is certainly not one that we should impose on ourselves. The sequester is a threat to the national security interests of the United States, and it should not be allowed to occur."
Gee, the situation sounds terribly dire, doesn’t it? If we can’t stop spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars every year on new military stuff  and new military adventures which would ultimately bankrupt the country, we’ll turn into a paper tiger nation with no claws or teeth. Oh, dear!

But wait a minute. President Obama just declared an end to the war in Iraq and brought home most of the troops. That ought to save us a ton of money in the future, right? That should help ease the pain of the looming defense cuts, right? We won’t have to spend so much money in the Middle East cesspool any more, right?

Wrong! The Obama administration was planning all along to bolster its military presence in the Gulf after pulling out its remaining troops from Iraq because U.S. military officers and diplomats are worried that the withdrawal could bring instability to the region.

So Washington has been negotiating to maintain a combat presence on the ground in Kuwait and is considering deploying more warships in the area. The U.S. also wants to expand its military ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

We’re “ending the war” in Iraq and pulling out the troops so they can stay scattered all over the Middle East waiting around for another conflict which is sure to start. Bottom line -- we’re not going to save a nickel.

Moreover, the U.S. is planning on staying in Afghanistan indefinitely and far into the future. A long-term security pact is in the works.
An Afghan national assembly has endorsed President Hamid Karzai's decision to negotiate a long term military pact with the U.S. with conditions, including an end to unpopular night raids by military forces searching for insurgents.
The U.S. calls it a “Strategic Partnership Document.” As part of a future deal, both sides visualize a force of several thousand, which would train Afghan forces and help with counter terrorism operations. The Afghans want a strong and binding agreement to govern the presence of American forces in the country after 2014.
Washington insists it is not seeking a "permanent" military presence in Afghanistan, saying instead it is looking to help Afghan security forces with intelligence sharing, air power and logistics beyond 2014.
"If they want military bases, we will allow them, it is in our benefit, money will come to us and our forces will be trained," said Karzai. "Regarding the strategic partnership with the United States, everyone said it is a must for the Afghans. It is the only way for Afghanistan to survive," said Mahmoud Karzai, the president's brother.
Karzai also reassured Afghanistan's neighbors, many of whom are concerned about a long-term US influence in the region, that any strategic partnership deal would not hamper relations with them. "Afghanistan sees its national interest in having good relations with neighbors and want our independence to have good relations with neighbors such as China, Russia and others."
But the average poppy pickin’ Afghan peasant doesn’t want us in their country any more than the average American peon wants us there.  More than 1,000 university students, for example, blocked a main highway in eastern Afghanistan in protest  of the pact to keep thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan past 2014.
"Death to America! Death to Karzai!" they shouted. They won’t accept any partnership with the United States.
The Taliban predictably condemned the pact calling its supporters traitors and puppets of the Afghan government. NATO and U.S. forces are occupiers in the eyes of the Taliban.
You see, the Karzai puppet government needs us to keep it in power. They want our continuing supply of cash. They want us to protect them while they do business with our rivals, Iran, China, Pakistan, Russia, and the rest of the motley lot.  They want us to pay for it all while our rivals pay nothing.
It’s a sweet deal for Afghanistan and everyone else in the region who hate our imperialistic guts  -- a sour pill for the American taxpayers – we get nothing out of the deal.
If the U.S. simply packed up and got out of the Middle East altogether as we should, leaving the myriad bands of savages there to fend for themselves; if we only put ourselves back where we were before George W. Bush caused this mess, our military financial problems would be solved in a heartbeat.  
Leon Panetta and the rest of us would no longer have to suffer any military angst.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Newt Gingrich’s Statist America

Newt Gingrich, who just like at least 100 million other innocent Americans, candidly admitted once that he smoked marijuana while in college, now (unless he’s changed his mind in the last 15 years) believes in the death penalty for marijuana offenders.

That’s right. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Newton Gingrich, in a serious attempt to position himself to the political right of Attila the Hun during the mid 1990’s, introduced H.R. 4170: the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996.” Under this draconian proposed law a mandatory death penalty would have applied to anyone convicted more than once of importing two ounces or more of marijuana or other controlled substance across the U.S. border.

“If you import a commercial quantity of illegal drugs, it is because you have made the personal decision that you are prepared to get rich by destroying our children,” he explained at a 1995 fundraiser. “I have made the decision that I love our children enough that we will kill you if you do this.”Gingrich went on to suggest that a few mass executions of people convicted under such a law might prove an effective deterrent.

About his own marijuana possession and smoking days, Gingrich explained: “That was a sign we were alive and in graduate school in that era.” “See, when I smoked pot it was illegal, but not immoral.” “Now, it is illegal AND immoral. The law didn’t change, only the morality… That’s why you get to go to jail and I don’t,” he told a reporter in 1996.

Just last week, Gingrich declared that if he had his way all post conception birth control methods would be illegal in the United States of America.

He supports a federal “fetal personhood” constitutional amendment, and formally signed the Personhood USA group pledge which proclaims “unalienable personhood for every American from the moment of conception until natural death," pledging also that he would “endorse legislation to make clear the 14th Amendment protections apply to unborn children ... without exception and without compromise.”

If elected president, he pledged further to “only appoint federal judges and relevant officials who will uphold and enforce state and federal laws recognizing that all human beings at every stage of development are persons with the unalienable right to life.” 

Never mind that such loony statist and religious ideas have now failed to pass with voters in Mississippi, the heart of the American Bible belt, and every other state where they have been on the ballot; Newt Gingrich is concerned only with dishing out red meat to his religious ultra-right-wing social conservative base in an effort to secure an Iowa caucuses victory and ultimately the Republican Party nomination so he can lose the 2012 general election to Barack Obama.

Then during the recent Iowa debate, in what I can only describe as a spectacular proclamation of un-Americanism bordering on an outright personal declaration of treason against the Democratic Constitutional Republic of the United States, Gingrich stated that if elected president he would work to abolish federal judges if he didn’t agree with what he called their “anti-American” or “dictatorial” rulings.”

“It alters the balance because the courts have become grotesquely dictatorial, far too powerful,” Gingrich opined. “I’ve been working on this project since 2002 when the Ninth Circuit court said that ‘one nation under God’ is unconstitutional in the Pledge of Allegiance. And I decided that if you had judges that were so radically anti-American that they thought ‘one nation under God’ was wrong, they shouldn’t be on the court.”

Apparently, Newt’s insistence on the incredibly trivial point of maintaining his Government God in the Pledge of Allegiance is more important to him than upholding the fundamental constitutional integrity of the three separate branches of government and the corresponding checks and balances so arduously conceived and implemented by the founding fathers of this nation.

"There is steady encroachment of secularism through the courts to redefine America as nonreligious … which is enormously dangerous," Gingrich said on CBS's Face the Nation.

I have a news-flash for the former speaker: America IS and always has been a secular nation; the government IS non-religious, and all of it was designed that way on purpose. He’s the one who wants to redefine America – as a Christian theocracy.

He’s obviously far more concerned that judges support his religion than he is with judges following the provisions of the Constitution and the law. "An overwhelming majority of Americans are going to say when a judge is aggressively anti-American, aggressively anti-free speech, and aggressively anti-religious -- that judge ought to not be on the bench," Gingrich told reporters later.

Anti-American; who is anti-American in this picture? If Newt Gingrich doesn’t agree with the Supreme Court, he’ll abolish it, and he thinks that’s American.

Newt Gingrich actually believes that if a few dissatisfied members in Congress don’t agree with this or that legal ruling, they should have the power to subpoena judges to come before them to “explain” and be reprimanded for their court decisions -- an outrageous, unconstitutional and totally unprecedented crackpot idea.

Doesn’t he know that judges always explain the legal reasoning and precedent for their decisions in written published opinions? Just read the opinion, Newt, and you’ll get your explanation. I’ll bet he’s never read a legal opinion in his life. If a litigant doesn’t like it, they can appeal.

Former staunchly conservative attorney generals under President George W. Bush, Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, told Fox News that they were alarmed by Gingrich's argument that Congress should be allowed to subpoena judges after controversial rulings to "explain their constitutional reasoning."

"I think we have a great government, a great country because it's built upon the foundation of the rule of law. And one of the things that makes it great and the rule of law is protected by having a strong independent judiciary," said Gonzales.

I never much liked Mr. Gonzales; and I don’t believe we have such a great government anymore; but if anything is still good about it, it’s the separation of powers mandate in the Constitution.

Judges in America shouldn’t be reduced to the status of rank politicians. Judges in America shouldn’t be so easily subjected to intimidation and bullying by the ragged political mob. True justice is only possible when judges are independent of politics and bound only by the constraints of the law.

Newt Gingrich should know better.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Are Courthouses Christian in Texas?

“I’ll tell you this — I’m going to fight this until hell freezes over,” Henderson County Texas Commissioner Joe Hall bellowed in response to a Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) letter politely asking that a Nativity scene erected on the county courthouse lawn be removed because it violates the Constitution. He called the letter “stupid” and vowed to do whatever it takes to stop the Atheists.

“I hope and pray that we leave it up … It’s been up there for decades without any complaints,” he told Fox News. “I’m an old country boy, you come to my house looking for a fight, you’re going to get one … That’s from the bottom of my heart.”

Enough is enough declared a group of east Texas pastors about the FFRF request. “It’s time that Americans stand up and take America back for the faith that we were founded upon,” said one of them from the First Baptist Church. “We’re going to stand up and fight for this.”

“It’s time to draw a line in the sand and start standing up for the Christian faith … Christianity is under attack in America … Our country is quickly heading down a direction which the Christian faith is taking a hit; it’s quickly becoming suppressed,” cried the man of God, who wants his children to grow up in the same country that had the religious freedom and opportunity to “worship Jesus as I did,” he explained.

“So now they’re trying to take Baby Jesus,” whined one shocked and rattled resident in the overwhelmingly Christian community. “What is so offensive about a baby in a manger? If it does not mean anything to you, why does it offend you?”

A huge community rally is planned to defend the courthouse Nativity scene. “We cannot sit by,” said the pastor. “It’s a hill to die on. It’s a fight worth having. I’m here to be a voice in that movement. We are a people of the Christian faith.”

And now the Attorney General for the State of Texas is getting into the act by offering to defend Henderson County in court in the event of a lawsuit.

“Don’t mess with Texas” is his official government response to the FFRF.

“Our message to the Atheists is don’t mess with Texas and our Nativity scenes or the Ten Commandments,” Attorney General Greg Abbott declared in full agreement with the group of aforementioned pastors. He apparently believes as does the First Baptist Church pastor that courthouses in Texas are places to go to worship Jesus.

“There has been an ongoing battle between the forces of Atheism and the forces of those who are antagonistic to all things religious against those who recognize the religious heritage of this country, the highest ranking government lawyer in the State of Texas proclaimed. “And by defending Nativity scenes, by defending the Ten Commandments and by defending students who try to say a prayer at a graduation ceremony, we’re trying to preserve, protect and defend what we know is perfectly legal.”

Perfectly legal; did he say it’s perfectly legal? If it is perfectly legal for courthouses in the State of Texas to be avowedly Christian; for the Ten Commandments to hang on courthouse walls; and for prayers at public school graduations; then the First Amendment Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution is null and void in Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down every one of those government infringements.

I wonder what Attorney General Abbot would do if a rebellious courthouse in Texas hung a big bright banner over the front door entrance with the message in bold letters: “Gods Are Imaginary,” and a Christian in the community complained about it. I’m absolutely sure he’d go to court in a rage to have it removed.

I wonder what Henderson County Texas Commissioner Joe Hall would think -- from the bottom of his heart -- if he came home from a long day of work to find an Atheist sitting in his living room armchair eating his popcorn while watching his TV set. I bet he’d think exactly the same thing a non-believer thinks when he sees a Christian Nativity scene on his public courthouse lawn and the Ten Commandments displayed on his public courthouse wall.

I wonder why some Christians don’t understand the simple fact that courthouses and other public buildings belong to everyone – not just Christians. They don’t understand the simple constitutional concept that government is not supposed to take sides in matters of religion.

Every time someone in a religious minority objects to government sponsorship of Christianity, these Christians interpret it as an attack on Christianity when nothing could be further from the truth. No one complains about Nativity scenes on church lawns or anywhere else on private property, least of all Atheists. Nativity scenes, Ten Commandment displays, and religious rituals belong on private property.

These Christians, of course, would be the first to complain bitterly if the government was openly sponsoring Atheism on public property. And they would rightly rest their legal case on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which was written to protect the rights and freedoms of every one.

Non-believers now make up roughly 17% of the American people – more than the numbers of Jews and Muslims combined – a significant minority. Those who think of themselves as non-religious are growing percentage wise in numbers faster than those in any religion, including Christianity. They have rights too. Public buildings belong to them too.

Perhaps that’s why some Christians perceive their religion as under attack. If the government stops sponsoring them they think it’s attacking them. They’re willing to fight to preserve what they regard as their government God.  

No, Mr. Attorney General, courthouses aren’t Christian in Texas.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pretty Please Give Me Back My Spy Drone

The Obama administration this week formally requested that Iran return our U.S. spy drone airplane captured by Iranian armed forces recently after flying over Iranian territory in Iranian air space in violation of international law.
The President, without offering an apology for violating Iran’s sovereignty, said that he wants the sophisticated top-secret aircraft back. "We have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," he stated on Monday.
Fat chance of that, I think. Why should they give it back?
"The Americans have perhaps decided to give us this spy plane," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gloated. "We now have control of this plane." "There are people here who have been able to control this spy plane, who can surely analyze this plane's system also. “... In any case, now we have this spy plane." "Very soon, [the Americans] they're going to learn more about the abilities and possibilities of our country."
Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi shrugged off the request for return of the spy drone and said the United States should apologize for invading Iranian air space instead of asking for the return of the unmanned aircraft.

Former Vice President, and rabid foaming at the mouth military Chicken Hawk, Dick Cheney, insisted that Obama should have immediately ordered an “air strike” on Iran after they captured the drone. He called the incident "a significant intelligence loss," and mocked the President for limiting his options by begging to “please give it back.”
“The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it,” Cheney barked. “You can do that from the air. You can do that with a quick air strike, and in effect make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone.
That’s the same old bloodthirsty torture happy saber rattling war mongering Dick Cheney from Bush days of yore talking. In his opinion, by jingo, the United States should compound its violation of international law with an all-out act of war.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta both said they are not optimistic about getting the drone back because of recent Iranian behavior that Clinton said indicated "that the path that Iran seems to be going down is a dangerous one for themselves and the region."
"We submitted a formal request for the return of our lost equipment as we would in any situation to any government around the world," Clinton sniffed. "Given Iran's behavior to date we do not expect them to comply but we are dealing with all of these provocations and concerning actions taken by Iran in close concert with our closest allies and partners," she added.
How about that? Forget about American provocations, concerning actions and bad behavior, i.e. illegally sending a drone airplane into Iranian airspace to spy on them; just blame Iran instead for embarking down a dangerous path for not meekly submitting to our request for giving it back.  
After all, it’s not really a spy plane in Clinton’s arrogant and deluded mind; the U.S. didn’t do anything wrong as far as she’s concerned; it’s simply “lost equipment” we would expect any government around the world to return to us.
The nerve of that woman! The nerve of Dick Cheney and my U.S. government! Have they no sense of shame?
What would they be saying and doing if the tables were slightly turned? If Iran launched a spy drone over New York City or Washington D.C., and we captured it, are they having us believe that we noble Americans would just give them back their “lost equipment,” pretty please?  
I hardly think so.
If it were up to old blood ‘n guts Dick Cheney, in that situation, we’d be giving Iran another flying gift wrapped present -- one of our nuclear warhead missiles to chew on.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rick Perry’s Promise: I’ll Trash the Establishment Clause

“I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry whined pitifully in his latest TV campaign advertisement which he calls: “Strong.”
“As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion,” he promised. “And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.”“Faith made America strong; it can make her strong again.” “I’m Rick Perry and I approved this message."
“Bringing America back starts with faith;” faith in the Almighty, who created us; faith in our friends and allies, in a time of trouble; faith in each other to not give up hope,” Perry told the Republican Jewish Coalition last week.
The nicest thing I can think of to say about Rick Perry is that he’s not the least bit bashful about showing his true colors to all the world all the time every time. He’s refreshingly honest -- not a lying weasel like so many other politicians.
He tells us straight out in so many words: “I’m a religious bigot.” “I’m a homophobe.” “If you elect me as your president, I’ll trash the First Amendment Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.”
He was flying so high right after he first announced his candidacy only to plunge to the ground, crashing and burning, when the majority of normal reasonable people found out who he is and what he stands for.
I feel somewhat sorry for Gov. Perry. He’s basically a likable man, but I’m afraid he has one or two loose screws rattling around in his head which too often cause him to play the fool. This TV commercial is a perfect example. It tells us a lot about the real Rick Perry.
First off, I’ve never known a Christian who was ashamed to admit it. So why would Rick Perry say “I’m not ashamed to be a Christian.”? Doesn’t that go without saying in the mind of all Christians? Doesn’t it go without saying in his mind? After all, what is there to be ashamed of about being a Christian?
This was the tip off to me as to what he was going to say next – things that normal people, whether Christian or not, would indeed be ashamed to admit: “… but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”
That’s what he admits yet he knows deep inside his mind that he’s rightly and properly ashamed to admit it. He’s prejudiced against gays and non-Christians. He’s ashamed to admit that if elected president he would flatly discriminate against gays and non-Christians upon religious grounds using his powers as chief executive of the United States government. If elected president he would diligently look for ways to circumvent the First Amendment Establishment Clause.
You see, Gov. Perry and all the other ultra right wing social conservatives in this country know very well that all the kids can openly celebrate Christmas and pray in school any time they want, right now today, and there is no law anywhere to stop them. The Constitution does not and never has prevented kids from openly celebrating Christmas and praying in public schools. That is their constitutional right under the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause.   
But Perry and his ilk aren’t concerned about that. What they are after; what they really want; what they won’t say out loud, but what they won’t be satisfied with until they get, is teachers and principals and school administrators using the facilities of the public schools to lead all the kids in prayer and celebrations of Christmas in the classrooms during school hours, baby Jesus, nativity scenes, Christian crosses on the walls and all.
What the Christian right desperately wants is to teach their Christian religion at the exclusion of all others in the public schools to all the kids regardless of their own family and personal religious beliefs.
Secondly, Gov. Perry, and his gang of right-wing Christian zelots know for a fact deep down inside their sanctimonious souls that Obama has never waged any “war on religion” during his presidency. That’s ridiculous. They know that there have never been any “liberal attacks on our religious heritage.” And they know that “faith” is not what “made America strong.”
Perry knows enough to be ashamed of such outrageous statements because he knows that the problem with people like me who care about the Constitution is not religion but keeping religion in its proper place in America – separate from government. He’s smart enough to know that the Establishment Clause protects the rights of all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike.
That is why he hates the Establishment Clause and has, in effect, promised on national television to trash it if he’s elected president.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Update: Trump Dump Becomes Dump Trump

Trump Dump, as I referred to it in my December 6th post, has become Dump Trump as three more Republican presidential primary candidates have decided to decline their invitations to the scheduled December 27 News Max Iowa debate set to be moderated by “The Donald.”
Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman were the first to respectfully bow out last week from the forthcoming tacky political TV reality show circus; Paul explaining in his usual candid style that such a debate format was beneath the dignity of the office of the presidency.
Trump was clearly miffed at this development so he proceeded to verbally attack Paul viciously as a marginal candidate who “has zero chance of gaining the nomination” anyway. He also dismissed Huntsman as a non-factor in the race.
But then Texas Gov. Rick Perry followed suit, together with former MA Gov. Mitt Romney, and MN Rep. Michelle Bachmann, leaving former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, and former PA Sen. Rick Santorum as the only invited guests to Trump’s party event who actually plan to attend.  
The latest snubs have left “The Donald” surprised, furious, and baffled, wondering even whether to reconsider putting on the show.
Trump told CNN that he was surprised when Romney turned down his invitation. "He wants my endorsement very badly. We've seen him come up. We speak. I like him a lot. I think he's a terrific guy, but I was really surprised that he didn't want to do the debate."
Michele Bachmann's decision had “The Donald” fuming: "You know who I'm very disappointed in? Michele Bachmann," he whined. "She's come up to see me four times; Four times. She's called me, she's asked me for advice, she said she'd like to think about me for the vice presidency, all of these things."

"Most importantly I did like a two hour phone call for her with her people and it caused me certain problems … People asked if I was endorsing her, and the answer was no. And then after all of that, she announced she's not going to do the debate. It's unbelievable. You know, it's called loyalty. It's actually called loyalty. How do you do that? You know, it's amazing to me."

Loyalty; did he say loyalty? Who does this guy think he’s kidding? She wants his endorsement. He tells people “No,” she can’t have it, and then he expects loyalty? If you ask me, he’s the one who is unbelievable – Donald Trump: kingmaker rebuffed by his subjects, the peasants.

Don Imus asked Trump if he will still do the debate if only Gingrich and Santorum show up. "I don't know, I'd really have to look into it and see," he said. "They want me to drop my status as someone who's going to run as an independent, and I don't think I'm going to do that."

Trump actually has the nerve to wonder out loud why any self respecting candidate would hesitate to participate in a debate that he will moderate when he’s told the world that he plans on endorsing one of them afterward; and that he might just become a candidate – again – himself if he doesn’t approve of the eventual nominee. The raw arrogance of this man is unbounded.

"I know a lot of the moderators and some are wonderful, and some aren't, but I know the issues better than the moderators" he bragged shamelessly while touting the ratings of his TV reality show “The Apprentice” as an additional incentive to participate.

But Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chair, criticized Trump’s role as moderator: "I think that having a successful businessman serving as a moderator has a lot of value but the issue here is whether the moderator should be a person who is still batting around the idea of running as an independent," he explained. "I think it would be malpractice for me as an RNC chairman not to believe that's an issue."

"I would have an issue with that and I would understand candidates who say, 'Look, I don't know if I want to avail myself where the moderator might be… still talking about potentially running as an independent candidate,'" he added. "I think that's a problem."

That’s what this is all about with “The Donald.” It’s called self promotion. Self promotion and self aggrandizement is his role in life. TV ratings and attention are what he craves.

He’s not the least bit serious about running for president – he never was -- but he wants the suckers out there to think he is so that he can keep the spotlight on himself and his inflated sense of “importance” in the political process for as long as possible.

If “The Donald” does moderate the debate, as currently planned, I for one won’t be watching. Fortunately for us, most of the candidates with integrity in the process have also wised up to this clown’s political charade and decided to dump Trump.