Publius

The Voice of Reason. A look at contemporary philosophy and politics from outside the Left vs. Right continuum. RSS FEED

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Congressional Ethics

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-ethics13jan13,1,2860870.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

How about preventing convicted felons from serving in the United States Government at all?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Horn of Africa

Lost in the news about the ongoing battles in Somalia, and the US re-entry into Somalia after Clinton's disastrous 1994 "peace mission" there, is the fact that the US is cooperating with many horn of Africa nations in combating Islamic terrorists there.

Forces from Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are all cooperating in attacking the Islamofascists in Somalia. Al Qaeda and their homegrown Somali brethren are on the run

Of course, Europe is widely condeming the US airstrike which reportedly killed the man behind the 1998 embassy bombings. More to the point, they are widely condemning US military action at all. While Islamofascists in Somalia were oppressing a nation of millions, Europe would prefer to talk. Just talk, talk, talk is all they want and all the world ever gets from Europe.

Of course, military action alone does not build a nation. To do that you need ideas, and to get ideas you have to talk.

But no constructive dialog is possible when a nation is held on a short leash by oppressors.

Europe, we are well aware that you would rather be a slave to some dictator than fight for freedom.

But perhaps the rest of world - well, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and the US anyway - believe differently.

This is the first time I have ever been cheered by any news out of Africa. Ever. Cheers to the nations of the African horn, for taking your destiny into your hands, and choosing freedom over the oppression which has long been your lot to endure!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Hypocrites of Code Pink

From the Code Pink web site (http://codepink4peace.org/)

"My heart aches when I think about tragedy in the lives of so many in Darfur, and how their cries for help go unheeded, especially by the leaders in this country. Genocide in our time is unacceptable. Our government should be doing everything in its power to stop the suffering, to stop the pain, to stop the violence." -- Medea Benjamin

Yet:

"January 11 is the International Day to Shut Down Guantanamo. Join protests that will be taking place all over the country."
and
"As Bush considers sending thousands of additional troops to Iraq to control the violence, our troop death toll has reached the 3,000 mark. It is crucial that we commemorate this grim milestone in Bush's disastrous war by pressuring Congress to bring the troops home NOW, and to stop this insanity NOW!"

Code Pink is a steaming pile of hypocrital offal.

First off, they demand "our government do everything in its power to stop the violence in Darfur" (right after blaming the US for it). Does that include military intervention? Because that's what it will take. Whether it be US troops, or "UN Peacekeepers" who are authorized to fight, as opposed to the typical variety who just stand around and do nothing.

Second, they call the Iraq war "disastrous" because 3,000 US soldiers have died. Indeed, that is tragic. But they seem to forget that we succeeded in removing Saddam Hussein from power - a murderous butcher who was engaged in substantial genocide himself, not to mention starting multiple regional wars. I guess when Code Pink says "Genocide in our time is unacceptable", what they really mean is, "Genocide in Darfur is unacceptable, but Genocide in Iraq under Saddam is just fine by us, we wish he had been left alone to continue his butchery."

Finally, they went to Cuba to protest the "torture" of inmates at Guantanamo. Despite the fact that there have never been any actual allegations of torture there (disrespect of the Koran is not torture), despite the fact that the inmates at Guantanamo are routinely visited by the International Red Cross, despite the fact that the inmates there were captured in battle against the United States. Guantanamo inmates are alive and well; those same inmates, were positions reversed, would surely by now have tortured and executed any Americans under their power.

The insane irony of the Code Pink Cuba trip, though, is the fact that the 11+ million residents of Cuba are living in daily slavery, faced starvation in the 90's, have no freedom of expression, and "disappear" if they criticize Castro.

Code Pink is in Cuba, to protect the "rights" of enemy combatants, but totally ignores the daily human rights violations committed upon 11 million Cubans!

The sad fact is, Code Pink's values are not peace and human rights. Code Pink simply opposes George Bush. They will say anything to attack him, and defend and support anyone who opposes him even if those allies are slavemasters or brutal butchers. They are silent on Castro's abuses of the Cuban people, because Castro opposes Bush. Therefore Castro is an ally in the war against Bush. Citizens of Cuba, Code Pink has sold you up the river over politics!

Shame on you, Code Pink, shame on you!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Compassion

According to Webster's, compassion is:
sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it

When we keep alive a human body that has no human soul inside it, we are not acting in compassion. We are not acting out of a respect for "human rights". We are acting selfishly, in avoidance of the pain of loss.

Yet people in this situation replace the pain of loss, with a lifetime of suffering. Theirs, certainly. In many cases, that of the helpless patient as well.

Being human is more than having human DNA. It's more than having organs, heart lungs and liver. It's more, even, than being alive.

Our society has become fixated on the concept of life. We are obsessed with it. It is now assumed that in all cases, no matter what, to be alive is better than to be dead.

Yet many things in human behavior that are uniquely human, trade life for something more important. We trade life for love, or for freedom, or to save others. We are acting selfishly in these cases, because we are acting to further our values. OUR values. I would rather risk death than live as a slave. I would rather die than be comatose hooked up to a feeding tube for years. I would rather die quickly, than live months in pain dying slowly from terminal cancer. These are my choices. It's my life, and who the hell are you to tell me what to do with my life? I thought this country was about freedom?

And in the case of a person who is incapacitated, or even those who never developed a mind in the first place, the decisions of life and death must be made by others.

Compassion is not forcing the unlucky to bear a lifetime of agony keeping alive and caring for a soulless body. It does not alleviate the suffering of the victim, and it does nothing but create intense suffering in everyone else around. How is that "humanitarian"?

Those faced with the decision, take care of such a person or let them die, should be given the choice. And they should not be criticized, whatever the choice, by any of the rest of us -- those who do not step up and offer to take care of the victim in their place, have no goddamn right to say anything about it.

No person, whether parent, child, husband or wife, should be forced forever to endure the cost -- mental or financial -- of keeping alive an invalid who has no hope of ever gaining or regaining consciousness. To demand otherwise of them, is wholly uncompassionate.