Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Independent Asset Acquisition

I could decide that my economic situation was dire and that I didn't have the time or inclination to do the hard work to earn my way out of my predicament.

So, I could then go out and get a couple of lawyers friends to write a 'legal opinion' for me that could serve as my justification for my actions, It could be claiming that Independent Asset Acquisition and the use of threatening negation tactics while in the process of Asset Acquisition was perfectly acceptable if my situation was dire enough.

Then, I could try to use this justification and walk into my nearest Bank of America with an AK-47 and demand all the cash in the joint.

That doesn't mean it isn't bank robbery and I won't soon be going to jail.

It seems that some in the Bush Administration thought that something like this should work. They said, lets just claim it isn't torture (despite that fact that we convicted Japanese soldiers for doing precisely this), and bippity bobbity boo, it perfectly OK.

I am still amazed that our national press has not yet wised up to that fact that simply calling torture "harsh interrogation techniques" doesn't somehow make it not be torture, or make its use in any way legal.

About 60 years ago we sent men to jail, and executed a few, for these actions, about the same time we wrote and signed a treaty making these actions an international crime, 35 years ago we denounced other nations for engaging in like behavior, and after all of the time and effort demanding proper behavior from the other nations of the world, we have folks that pretend that by changing what we call torture, we have somehow made it legal and acceptable.

I am sorry, but that is simply wrong, on about every level.

And one other note to the Obama Administration;
Following World War II we made it clear to Captured War Criminals, even the low ranking ones, that just following orders is no excuse for engaging in torture and other war crimes. Assuring those who actually preformed the acts of torture for our nation that they are clear of legal responsibility is not a great way to uphold this standard of behavior. Just a stray thought.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What A Breath Of Fresh Air

We have a christian historian pointing out the foolishness of the
Christian Nation Argument.

The fact that some parts of the Declaration and/or Constitution are not in conflict with verses in the Bible does not mean that the Bible was the source. This is especially important when -- as in the case of the Declaration and the Constitution -- the authors claim other sources, but do not claim the Bible as a source!
In a May 8, 1825 letter to Henry Lee, Jefferson identifies his sources for the Declaration's principles. He names as sources: Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, and (Algernon) Sidney -- he does not mention the Bible. Then again, the terminology in the Declaration is not specifically Christian -- or even biblical, with the exception of "Creator." The term "providence" is never used of God in the Bible, nor are "nature's God" or "Supreme Judge of the world" ever used in the Bible.

In the hundreds of pages comprising Madison's notes on the constitutional convention (and those of the others who kept notes), there is no mention of biblical passages/verses in the debates/discussions on the various parts and principles of the Constitution. They mention Rome, Sparta, German confederacies, Montesquieu, and a number of other sources -- but no Scripture verses.

In The Federalist Papers, there is no mention of biblical sources for any of the Constitution's principles, either -- one would think they could squeeze them in among the 85 essays if they were, indeed, the sources; especially since the audience was common men who were familiar with, and had respect for, the Bible. The word "God" is used twice -- and one of those is a reference to the pagan gods of ancient Greece. "Almighty" is used twice and "providence" three times -- but neither is ever used in connection with any constitutional principle or influence. The Bible is not mentioned.

These are not little details and are facts that anyone who wants to argue the history and intent of the founding of our must understand. Yet we still see an army of liars for Christ trying to invent a false history that fits their world view and justifies their political objectives.