These Cronies Must Go


RT.com points out the corruption and hypocrisy of Washington politicians who contradict our own top brass and intelligence agencies on foreign policy in favor of serial warfare benefiting the military-industrial complex all at the expense of the very people they were elected to serve:

Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn), Lindsey Graham (R – SC)  and John McCain (R-AZ) stick together through thick and thin. They are frequently seen side by side, both physically and politically, and the most common speech they seem to  give has to do with the need for more war.

Brian Becker, National Coordinator for the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, said, “These three haven’t met a war that they don’t like.”

Together, they led the charge to amp up the effort in Afghanistan.

“We need more troops there, American troops,” said Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn) at a Senate hearing on Afghanistan in 2009.

“IED attacks by the enemy have gone up by a thousand percent,” said Sen. Graham at the same hearing.

“In the words of Admiral Mullen,” Sen. McCain said, “time is not on our side.”

InAugust, 2009, the three of them met with Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi at a time when it was in the United States’ interests to call him friend.

Less than two years later, they called for him to be replaced.

“If you want Gaddafi to go,” said Sen. McCain, “then one of the steps among many would be to establish a no-fly zone.”

On CNN, Sen. Lieberman made the case for involvement to the American people.

“Will the world stand by and watch a leader like Qadhafi slaughter his own people?” he asked.

Perhaps the most constant target for the three senators is Iran.

“If we use military action against Iran, we should not only go after their nuclear facilities. We should destroy their ability to make conventional war,” said Sen Graham. “They should have no planes that can fly and no ships that can float.”

Even in 2010, Sen. McCain’s sense of urgency with Iran was immense.

“We keep pointing a gun and we haven’t pulled a single trigger and its time we did,” he said.

But two years later, that lack of immediate military action hasn’t resulted in Armageddon, or anything like it.  Still the calls for action expand – now across the globe

“The Iranian nuclear program is a threat to the entire world,” said Sen Lieberman this week in his speech at AIPAC.

And on Monday on the Senate floor, Senator McCain made the case for airstrikes in Syria.

“Foreign military intervention is now the necessary factor to reinforce this option,” he said.  “Assad needs to know that he will not win.”

Babka said it is a nearly identical debate to the ones in the past.

“Once again, almost with Pavlovian response, these guys come and say, well we gotta go to war,” he said

The mood  of the American people may have  shifted to ending the wars but the perpetual lobby for war does have its supporters, among them – defense contractors.

“They’re very popular with the military industrial complex which sees every new adventure, every new invasion, every new occupation, every new major bombing campaign as an investment,” Becker said.

But it’s an investment fewer Americans want their country to make as they have already lived through the consequences of the previous military adventures.

Remember, these are the exact same individuals who gave us the NDAA, SOPA, the PATRIOT Act, Kill Switch and more. Neoconservatives like Lieberman, Graham and McCain leave no room in their despotic ideals for preserving the integrity of our constitution, defending the rights of Americans or respecting the authority entrusted to them. These cronies must go.

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Linkstorm: The Totalitarian Edition


The Curt Jester points out a blatant flaw in the HHS’ decision making process

Everything you need to know about the Obama Administration’s decision making process on the HHS mandate:

1. U.S. Bishops consulted – No
2. Insurance companies consulted – No
3. Constitution consulted – No
4. Planned Parenthood consulted – YES

Mike Flynn makes the obvious yet ingenious observation concerning the erroneous statistic reiterated by the Obama administration as “fact”:

If it is true that 98% use contraceptives — and it isn’t, really — then they cannot really be hard to acquire.  One wonders how women got them for all these years since Griswold.

If 98% really do use contraception then there is obviously no issue of ease of access – and certainly not on a national scale – the HHS mandate suddenly looks so frivolously silly in addition to being tyrannical.

Ironic Catholic presents a satirical piece entitled NPR marks ‘Kick a Catholic Week’ with new t-shirt pledge drive gift which had me in stitches. Here’s an excerpt:

“We’re always looking for new incentives for our pledge drives,” said NPR promotions director Frank Byast. “People like things that are a fun twist on the news, so we think the ‘Kick a Catholic!’ thank you gifts will be a big hit. No pun intended.”

The shirt was inspired by NPR’s “Kick a Catholic Week,” the brainchild of NPR reporters forced to cover the controversy generated by the Obama administration’s mandate that Catholic institutions pay for contraceptives and abortifacients.

“We thought, ‘Okay, we can’t ignore this anymore, so how can we have fun with it?’” said Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. “That’s the nice thing about a story like this. When one side is so clearly wrong, you’re a little less concerned about being fair and balanced. It’s like covering the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. You’re not going to ‘balance out’ your coverage by interviewing Nicolae Ceaușescu, right? It’s the same with the Catholic bishops.”

Byast says that the organization doesn’t mean the promotional items to be taken literally. “We don’t want public radio members walking into a Catholic Mass and kicking people in the shins during communion,” he laughs. “It’s meant more figuratively.”

Staff in the NPR newsroom have posted a list of ways to celebrate “Kick a Catholic Week.” First on the list? “Read Catholic teaching documents on human sexuality.”

“Yeah, that one’s pretty tongue-in-cheek,” laughs religion reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty. “Who has time for that kind of deep background research? I mean, I printed a few documents, but after a couple hundred pages, the printer ran out of paper. And it’s all in Latin! So we recycled it in the NPR bathrooms. Which, come to think of it, would be a great membership premium—Catholic-themed TP.”

One of the most popular suggestions from the list has been #18: “Misrepresent embarrassing survey results. Repeatedly.”

Oklahoma Senate Recognizes Conception as Moment Life Begins


A couple of days ago I wrote about the opposition lead by Constance Johnson against Oklahoma’s personhood bill:

In response to the proposal of a personhood bill in Oklahoma banning abortions, Democrat Constance Johnson sarcastically proposed the following:

“Any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child,” Johnson stated in a handwritten amendment to Oklahoma senate bill 1433.

The personhood bill declares that “unborn children have protectable interest in life, health and well-being.” However, Johnson categorically opposes the initiative stating that “My amendment seeks to draw attention to the absurdity, duplicity and lack of balance inherent in the policies of this state in regard to women.”

Indeed, Johnson’s amendment does in fact draw considerable attention to absurdity and duplicity but its not the personhood bill. That Johnson would mock initiatives defending human life beginning at conception and liken such measures to treating misplaced semen as an act against a child displays an astounding ignorance of basic biology. The only time in human develop that we can point to as the moment when a new person comes into existence is conception, when a whole new and unique sequence of DNA is created in a cell distinguishable from both the mother and the father. Everything from that moment on is muddled in ambiguity (and if your response to that is, what about delivery? See here. Or, if you say what about the moment of “viability”, remember that the definition of “viability” is constantly changing as medical technology becomes ever more advanced). Prior to conception, however, no act against an unborn child can be committed because one does not yet exist. Likening sperm to a zygote is the biological equivalent of comparing an adult stem cell to a man walking down the street and sarcastically remarking, “to make the destruction of this stem cell illegal is obviously absurd. Therefore, protecting that man’s rights demonstrates absurdity, duplicity and lack of balance.”

Yesterday, that bill passed the senate. Life Site News reports the following:

By an overwhelming majority, the Oklahoma Senate declared yesterday that human life begins at the moment of conception when a personhood bill cleared the legislative body by a vote of 34 to 8.

The vote comes days after the Virginia House of Delegates passed a similar personhood measure.

The Oklahoma bill, introduced by Sen. Brian Crain, is expected to pass the Republican controlled House as well, and will then head to the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin for signature.

Fallin has not commented on the legislation, but has a strong pro-life voting record as a Governor and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

On a related note, Oklahoma’s and Virginia’s embracement of the pro-life movement reminds me of the many accusations from the religious right against Ron Paul, claiming that he is not truly pro-life and some going so far as to label him pro-choice (and coming from the right that means exclusively pro-abortion). However, Ron Paul’s plan of action concerning abortion is (of course) grounded in his constitutionalist approach to politics. Congressman Paul wants to pass a personhood amendment overturning Roe v. Wade and returning this issue back to the states. After all, Ron Paul points out:

“I consider abortion an act of violence. Violence is one thing that the government has the responsibility to curtail. For the most part, all acts of violence are handled by state law … murder, and manslaughter, and accidents, and all kinds of things … Therefore, I think they should deal with this issue. It’s a more difficult issue than just plain murder and therefore it should be worked out at the state level, so I don’t want the federal government to do it.”

Many conservatives have countered however that such a victory is worthless if the states choose to keep abortion legal. However, as more and more states like Virginia pass legislation defending the unborn I have to wonder, what are these particular conservatives afraid of? Are they so afraid of letting the people decide important issues like abortion that they would entrust a few old rich men in D.C. with the well-being of the millions of unborn? Should our out-of-touch ruling class make our decisions for us? How is that any better? I for one am not afraid of liberty. Freedom may be abused, surely, yet it remains the prerequisite for doing the right thing, the means by which the ends of virtue and justice are achieved. If you take away liberty then you take away people’s ability to choose the right thing as well as the wrong. Congratulations to the Oklahoma Senate for choosing what’s right while they still have a choice. Now, lets hope that the House and Governor Fallin make the right choice as well.

The GOP Debate: as Disappointing as Ever


The GOP primary debate is currently on live in South Carolina and I’ve finally reached the breaking point where I just can’t watch anymore. If anyone says anything else interesting I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it. In the meantime there were two statements made that I found particularly enlightening and would like to address.

The first statement was made by Romney as he announced his support for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial under suspicion of terrorist activity thus allowing the executive branch to completely bypass our judicial system. Up to this point Romney has not held a position on the bill as far as I am aware (At the time of the Iowa caucuses he stated that he was “unaware” of the bill and promised caucus goers that he would read it at a later date). I personally find it very disturbing that our legislators and many of the GOP candidates vying for the presidency have apparently lost all faith in our judicial system during the course of their war on terror and are now eager to completely excise it from our justice system at the expense of the constitutional rights of all American citizens.

The second statement was made by Rick Perry regarding the marines who urinated on the corpses of Afghani soldiers. In response to the marines the Secretary of Defense and the Obama administration condemned the actions as “utterly despicable”. Perry, however, while he thinks that these soldiers should be punished by the military, believes that this reaction from the President is too strong and that the marines should not be prosecuted for any crime. Furthermore, he relayed this incident in order to provide an “example” of Obama’s “disdain” for our military. Let me repeat that: Rick Perry thinks that condemning the marines who urinated on foreign soldiers corpses within their own land as “utterly despicable” equates to disdain by Obama for our entire armed forces, dishonoring them and all their sacrifice. However, what Rick Perry seems incapable of understanding is that the president’s words were entirely accurate: desecration of dead bodies illustrates a grave disrespect for the sanctity of human life and the immutable truth that each and every human being is made in the image and likeness of God our creator. President Obama’s choice of words were completely appropriate in respect to this violation and in no way was a reflection of his views on the military at large. That Rick Perry is willing to compromise recognition of the infinite value innate to human life for blind allegiance to our military bodes ill for the protection of human rights.

This is why I don’t like watching these debates. It doesn’t seem like much to ask for public servants who will simply uphold our constitutional rights and respect and abide by Catholic moral teaching yet apparently even that is more than our politicians can handle. I urge my readers that, in order to send a message to our politicians, you simply support a candidate compatible with Catholic moral teaching no matter how “unelectable” they may be, a candidate who doesn’t support abortion, unjust war, assassinations, torture, preemptive military strikes, foreign aid to dictators, covert operations against countries without declaration of war, redefinition of marriage, or increases in government power at the expense of our constitutional rights to name a few. Its more difficult than it sounds as such candidates appear to be rare this presidential race. The only major candidate on either side of the aisle who comes close in my opinion is Ron Paul, but don’t take my word for it; find out for yourself.