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Posts Tagged ‘arkansas’

Hellfire & Brimstone

Posted by AB on December 21, 2009

The battle over health care reform has brought some pretty fiery rhetoric to the good people of the United States.  In my opinion, save for the outbursts of Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Congressional Republicans have been spreading the most abhorrent language to his or her constituents.  When we look back to this debate 20 years from now, we will all remember the big lie that was “death panels,” used by Republicans to scare senior citizens.  Unfortunately, the closer we get to a health care reform bill, the more incendiary the rhetoric has become.  Over the weekend it became biblical.

This weekend in Nebraska, former Republican Presidential nominee Mike Huckabee visited to criticize Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE).  Why would the former Arkansas Governor travel to Nebraska on short notice?  Because he saw an opportunity to once again act as demagogue when Nelson finally agreed to join the rest of the Democrats to vote for a health care reform bill.  Huckabee, forever the political opportunist, dropped this little line to drive home his point (via CNN):

 “I don’t want [senators] to go up there…and then somehow go back and boast ‘Here’s some money I got from you.’  The last time we saw that kind of historic moment it was 30 pieces of silver, and that didn’t work out to well for us either.”

He, of course, was referring to Judas’ betrayal of Christ.  Of course it is the same as expanding health care coverage to 30 million Americans, right?  What a stupid think to say, Mr. Huckabee, even for you.

And last night, stung by the realization that Senate Democrats had assembled the needed 60 votes to stop a filibuster, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) went to the floor of the “greatest deliberative body in the world” to release one of the most heinous comments that one could ever imagine.

That’s right; Sen. Coburn is calling for the American people to pray that a Democratic member  is unable to show up.  To the great disappointment of Sen. Coburn, God did not intervene, and even the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) made the 1 a.m. vote.  Democrats reached cloture by a vote of 60-40, along party lines.

I don’t know what is going on with our politicians these days–they seem to have all lost their minds.  The Senate bill should pass on Christmas Eve, and then there will be a whole new series of vitriol, as the Senate bill will go to conference to merge with the bill that was previously passed by the House of Representatives.  After the eventual passage of the health care reform bill, maybe we can all begin thinking more clearly.  Until then, get accustomed to “crazy talk.”

Posted in Economics, Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Two Names

Posted by AB on June 3, 2009

Two names:  Scott Roeder and Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad.  When you see the these two names, what comes to mind?  Believe it or not, these two men have a great deal in common.  They are both American citizens.  They both feel very strongly about their beliefs.  Oh, and they are both domestic terrorists.  My guess is that you may not be surprised that Mr. Muhammad, a converted Muslim, is a terrorist.  But Mr. Roeder?  A white, Christian, anti-abortion advocate?

For many years–at least since September 11, 2001 for most Americans–we have been continuously conditioned by the media and other groups that terrorists are Arab, Muslim men who hate America.  We have been conditioned to be suspicious of anyone wearing a turban, or other traditionally “foreign” dress.  Americans have been conditioned to keep an eye on Arab-looking men with beards out in public places.  There have even been suggestions that “racial profiling” might be a good idea, because we all know that all terrorists are Muslim, right?  Wrong.

Let us take a look at the definition of terrorism from an online Military Dictionary

The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.

Scott Roeder, as you may know, has been is the news, recently, for his actions on Sunday, May 31.  On that day, he walked into a church in Witchita, Kansas, and shot down controversial OB/GYN, Dr. George Tiller.  Dr. Tiller, dubbed “Tiller, the Baby Killer” by his critics, was one of only a few doctors in the country that performed “late-term” abortions (after 21 weeks) for women who were having complications with their pregnancies.  No matter how you feel about abortion, I think that most can agree that it is wrong to murder anyone.  Mr. Roeder has been an anti-abortion activist for many years, and even served time in prison in the late 1990’s for possessing bomb-making materials.  Take a look at the definition of terrorism above, and this incident clearly falls within that description, but you will be hard-pressed to find a media outlet call it for what it is:  domestic terrorism.

Another case of domestic terrorism happened just a day later, when Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a converted Muslim, previously know as Carlos Bledsoe, opened fire on an Army recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The shooting killed Pvt. William Long, and wounded Pvt. Quintin Ezeagwula.  When it was discovered that Muhammad was believed to be targeting military members for political and religious purposes, there was no problem calling that an act of terrorism.

There you have two acts; both acts of terrorism, both dispicable, both sad for the victims’ friends and families.  They both fall into the description and definition of terrorism, but only one is actually called terrorism.  Why is that?  Is it because killing a man who performed abortions is okay?  Is it because the terrorist is a white man in the Tiller case?  Is it because Muhammad is Muslim?  Or is it because of the way that we have been conditioned in this country to think of terrorism?

There are bad people lurking in all races and religions, many of which who use religion to justify lawlessness.  If both of these men are convicted, and there are no other suspects at this point, then they deserve to spend the rest of their lives behind bars, and some will say that they should be executed.  At this point, I could think of no better way for these two men to live the rest of their lives than to spend them together as cellmates in Leavenworth.

Posted in Misc. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »