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Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Supreme Court Confirmation

Posted by AB on July 13, 2009

Today marked the beginning of a truly important democratic process atthe United States Capitol.  Sonia Sotomayor–only the third woman, and the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee–began her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Beyond all of the political ruminations of the Senate, which will certainly be seen, this is an opportunity for Americans and the entire world to witness the confirmation process.

The hearing began with opening statements by the members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, consisting of twelve Democrats, including Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and seven Republicans.  Following the statements by all committee members, Judge Sotomayor was introduced with statements from her home-state Senators, (D-NY) Chuck Schumer and (D-NY) Kirsten Gillibrand.  After two compelling introductions, Sotomayor was sworn in by Chairman Leahy, and then offered her own statement, which was a brief summary of her journey to this point.  It was her first opportunity to speak publicly since her nomination.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor is sworn in during ...

After today’s hearing, I heard most media pundits declare that Republican committee-members were very tame and respectful.  I don’t know whichSupreme Court confirmation hearing those people were watching, but the one that I watched was one in which Republican members were setting the precursors for an attack.  This will not only be an attack upon Sotomayor, but an attack upon President Obama, most importantly.

Despite the filth of some partisan politics that will be on display for the rest of the hearing, I encourage everyone to watch as much of this process as possible.  It’s not quite Haley’s Comet, but there are only nine Supreme Court Justices, and they all have lifetime appointments. 

*This seat became available with Justice David Souter’s retirement.

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Posted in Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

The President’s Address to Congress

Posted by AB on February 26, 2009

OBAMA/FEB24

Tuesday, President Obama addressed a joint session of congress for the first time.  It was not considered a State of the Union Address; his first official SOTU will not happen until next year.  Nevertheless, it was an important speech. 

The introduction of our new President into the hall really amazed me, visually.  I was struck by the vitality of the new face our nation.  He was brimming with the confidence that is critical for America at this uncertain time.  We are fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but those conflicts do not seem to be of most concern to the majority of citizens.  For those who do not have loved ones in the military, and even some that do, the economy is in the forefront.  Some people are worried that they will not have a job next week.  Others are worried that they will have no home in a month, and some are even worried about how they will feed their children tomorrow.  We are looking for someone to lead us out of this desert and, in my opinion, President Obama is that leader.     

I did vote for Barack Obama.  I am a liberal.  I am a Democrat.  But I do not know the answers to the tough questions that we face, and do not think that anyone really has the silver bullet that will return us to a vibrant economy.  Democrats and the President will not always be right about every issue, but the ideas from the left are the most promising.  The ideas from the political right are few, while Republicans attempt to regain relevance against a popular Democratic President.  Thus far, the response of the Republican party is to morph from opposition party to obstructionist party. 

President Obama promptly disarmed his opponents with another electrifying speech that was hailed by Democrats and Republicans alike.  He did an excellent job of inspiring confidence and hope before congress and the American people.  I anticipated the speech with cautious optimism, for the global economy relies, in large part, upon the confidence of consumers.  I was impressed, but Tuesday night was a nice first step, and we have a long way to go.  These problems did not occur overnight, and they will not be resolved overnight, but we will soon be on the correct path to prosperity.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Shiny, New Blog

Posted by AB on February 24, 2009

Welcome to my new blog, tar heel pirate.  For a long time now, I have been reading blogs related to many subjects.  I have a large diversity of interests–from sports to politics, business to pop-culture, and everything in between.  I have been interested in posting on my very own weblog for sometime, but have consistently put it off.  I am being more proactive, and I am going to do my best to learn how to make interesting, thoughtful, and insightful posts.

I know that the more that I practice, the more I will learn, and the better this blog will be.  I think that it can be therapeutic and educational to record ones thoughts in journals, diaries, and blogs.  Hopefully, there will be some people willing to read and comment about my thoughts, and maybe I can learn new things. 

I don’t presume to be right about anything that I post, and I am open-minded.  I live my life to learn new things, so any comments and recommendations are golden to me.

Welcome to my shiny, new blog.

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