Category Archives: Politics

The Beatitudes, Republican Party Translation

I’ve been paying attention with interest to the 2010 midterm elections, where America seems poised to make the mistake of putting the Republican Party back in the driver’s seat, since apparently the 6 years of Republican rule in the last decade were simply not awful enough. What particularly fascinates me, though, is to listen to Republican primary candidates simultaneously promote themselves as Christian, with talk about values and such, while at the same time relentlessly undermining the values propagated by Jesus Christ.

It occurs to me that perhaps there’s a reason for this. Growing up Catholic, it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I discovered that the Bible I read had several more books than those of my Protestant friends. It was then that I also discovered different translations of the Bibles, sometimes hinging around quite important theological points.

Accordingly, perhaps it is not that Republican candidates who promote themselves as Christian while at the same time viciously working to undermine the lives of the poor are not hypocrites. Indeed, it seems much more likely that they simply have a different translation of the Bible than I do.

As it turns out, I’ve been able to find a part of this translation for Luke 6:20-26, more commonly known as the Beatitudes. As it turns out, the Republican Party translation is a bit different than the one you may be familiar with. Here it is:

Looking at his disciples, he said:

“Blessed are you who are rich,
for yours is the kingdom of God.

Blessed are you who want more drilling for oil,
for you will be satisfied and it will never run out or spill.

Blessed are you who weep now because of high taxes,
for you will laugh when they are lowered.

Blessed are you when the media hates you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil, because they’re liberal meanies.

Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is Fox News’ reward in the ratings battles. For that is how you can avoid contrary points of view.

But woe to you who are on unemployment,
for you have already received your comfort and you should get a real job.

Woe to you who are hungry,
because food stamps are a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Woe to you who laugh when Democrats are in office,
for you will mourn and weep when sharia is declared.

Woe to you when the media speaks well of you,
for that is how they treat RINOs who want to attend cocktail parties.”

You can understand now why the GOP is the way it is, right?

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I Don’t Care Much About Elena Kagan

As someone who’s decided to comment on politics, I feel somewhat obligated to comment on the Elena Kagan nomination, but it’s hard to care too much. Like Sotomayor, she’s pretty biased towards the system–police, prosecutors and Presidents–and doesn’t seem to be too much concerned about the rights of the accused.

But realistically, I wouldn’t expect any other type of Justice to be nominated anymore. I’m sure I’d have the same complaints about any of them.

That’s depressing, but it’s also the way of the world.

Taking Back Mother’s Day

I said back in my first post a couple of days ago that we’re going to focus on people doing good things and I feel like I haven’t quite lived up to that promise, focusing as I have been on the angry and depressing things in this world. So let’s work to change this for a bit, shall we?

Today is Mother’s Day–a day in which you should, of course, call your mother.

However, it’s important to remember that Mother’s Day did not begin as a windfall for Hallmark and flower shops. It was begun by Julia Ward Howe, the suffragette and activist. But it’s purpose wasn’t to congratulate mom’s. It was a stand by the mother’s of soldiers in the name of peace. Here’s a bit from the original Mother’s Day Proclamation:

We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.

The good people of the organization Julia’s Voice will be out this afternoon reminding people of the original meaning of Mother’s Day. If you get the chance, why not show them some support?

Join the devastated Earth in crying “Disarm! Disarm!”

Who knows? If enough people hear us, they may actually listen.

CIA Given the Go-Ahead to Send Robot Death in Pakistan

Nobel Peace Prize Winner and U.S. President Barack Obama has, it appears, given the go ahead to the CIA to send its Predtor drones out into the Pakistani countryside at any targets it so chooses.

The CIA received secret permission to attack a wider range of targets, including suspected militants whose names are not known, as part of a dramatic expansion of its campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan’s border region, according to current and former counter-terrorism officials.

The expanded authority, approved two years ago by the Bush administration and continued by President Obama, permits the agency to rely on what officials describe as “pattern of life” analysis, using evidence collected by surveillance cameras on the unmanned aircraft and from other sources about individuals and locations.

The information then is used to target suspected militants, even when their full identities are not known, the officials said. Previously, the CIA was restricted in most cases to killing only individuals whose names were on an approved list.

The new rules have transformed the program from a narrow effort aimed at killing top Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders into a large-scale campaign of airstrikes in which few militants are off-limits, as long as they are deemed to pose a threat to the U.S., the officials said.

Given that this is the same CIA that assured us that the case for “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq was a “slam dunk”, told us that the Soviet Union’s economy would eclipse our own a few years before it collapsed entirely, and has unsuccessfully assassinated Fidel Castro approximately 973 times, I’m certain that we can trust them to be only hitting the correct targets.

Of course, the fact that we are not currently at war with Pakistan, that Congress has not authorized any military action in Pakistan, and that Pakistan has not authorized U.S. strikes within their borders is often deemed irrelevant in this scenario. But dammit, it should be front and center. The President of the United States may be the commander-in-chief, but decisions about whether to go to war should be left up to the Congress. I realize that Congress has truly given up having any say in these matters of the past 40 years, but we really should demand that that change. The President should not, at his discretion, allow the CIA free reign to send robot planes to bomb targets in a foreign country.

No matter how many damned “Peace” prizes he’s won.