Dumb Ass Questions Show USA Has Long Way To Go

It’s so ridiculous to me that Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court is being questioned all over the country by white men who wonder if her ethnicity has anything to do with her nomination.  It’s pretty clear that Pat Buchanan thinks so for instance. 

Let me help ya’ll out.  Hell yes her ethnicity was a factor in her being selected.  What stupid white men don’t understand however, and never acknowledge is that:

1) Minorities are not unqualified for jobs just because they are minorities.

2) There are plenty, and I mean PLENTY of white men who get jobs who are not qualified.  And yet this is never questioned.  It’s ASSumed that they are.  For instance,you will never hear Pat Buchanan or Newt Gingrich say, “Hmm, I wonder if Stevens was nominated because he’s yet another white man picked by Bush.  I wonder if he is qualified or just advantaged because of his skin and who he knows?”

Nope you won’t hear that.  And yet white men have dominated the Supreme Court since it’s existance and continue to.  I dare to say they will continue to.  I am sick of these blatant hypocrites who bitterly question the intelligence and qualifications of every minority who runs for office or is selected to fill a position!   The highest court in the land should reflect a piece of every facet of society which includes gender, race, and socio-economic class.  That will assure the balance we need as a nation. 

You want to get rid of Affirmative Action?  Fine by me!  Just rid the nation of White priviledge first!

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LeBron Dominates! Cavs Win, Extend Series

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LeBron James took over the game.  He either scored or assisted on every fourth quarter point his team got in the fourth quarter.  He got yet another triple double in this crucial playoff game.  I won’t say it was the most dominating fourth quarter performance I’ve ever seen.  That’s no disrespect by any means to The King.  It was different than that. 

The fourth quarter of this game reminded me of a high school game where there was one dominate player on the court – clearly head and shoulders above all the rest in talent and athleticism.  In the crucial last 5 minutes of the game this guy got the ball every single time at the top of the key.  Held the ball, sized his man up and reacted to the defense by either scoring or laying down an easy assist via a three pointer from Daniel Gibson or Mo Williams.  If he didn’t score or pass to those guys he caught Varejaoor Joe Smith for an easy lay up.  There were no play calls, no strategy drawn up by the coach.  Simple meat and potatoes.  “Get this guy the ball and let him decide what to do with it… period!”

I know that there are a lot of people who feel that LeBron is better than Kobe at this stage in his career.  I tend to disagree though I feel The King is the most dominating player in the league right now.  LeBron turns the ball over too much for my taste to be considered better than Kobe.  This should change as he matures – and yes as great as he is he still has room for improvement.  If he stays healthy, there is no reason why LeBron won’t be top 5 of all time. 

The way he willed his team to victory last night was just phenomenal.

Christianity and Torture

Reading this article recently strikes me as yet another reason why I question the validity, dare I say the morality of Christianity.  At least in the fashion that it’s practiced in America.  It’s not that Christianity and Catholicism for instance have the market cornered on hypocrisy.  But because of the utter self righteous way in which many Christians paint themselves, believing that everyone should think and live as they do, I don’t understand how they can reconcile the Jesus in the bible as a savior who loves them and their agenda so much.  And so it is with a survey showing that 62% of White evangelical support torture.

Let’s examine just some of the opinions in this article for instance.  My response to these will be in bold:

Rev. Ronald Kuykendall, an evangelical pastor in Gainesville, Florida, says that the question is difficult to answer because everyone has a different definition of torture. He says he would support the torture of a terrorist if “the techniques used are lawful, necessary” and the ultimate purpose is to save lives.

Kuykendall says the New Testament (Romans 13:1-7) teaches Christians that “everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”

“The NT [New Testament] is clear that God grants the right of the ‘sword’ to the state to be used against wrongdoers,” Kuykendall says. “Just as I believe I don’t have a right to vengeance personally, I do believe that I can seek justice through the state and call the police on a robber, or a gunman threatening my life.”

Honestly I have no idea what he means or how this relates to torture.  But he really tried to get the scripture to endorse his support of it.  Is he saying that no matter what happens if it’s lawful then he supports it?  I would say that as a Christian he shouldn’t leave it to sinners to determine whether torture techniques are godly.  He doesn’t do that with abortion or gay rights.  Both have been lawful and yet people who share his beliefs are constantly on the fight to change the laws.  It’s as if he is complicit in support of torture but doesn’t want to get his hands dirty.  Let the “authorities” handle it.

Chuck Colson, the evangelical pastor who once served as an aide to President Nixon, answered the same question in an online discussion conducted by the Washington Post “On Faith” Web site.

Colson said that Christians are supposed to obey the law, but there may be times when there is a higher obligation, such as ignoring a “no trespassing” sign to rescue a drowning man.

“So it is with torture,” Colson wrote. “If a competent authority honestly believes that this was the only way to get information that might save the lives of thousands, I believe he would be justified.”

Again, does the comparison to saving a drowning man (saving a life) compare to torturing a man? And who defines competent?  Should it be a Christian who does the torturing?  And what if the beliefs the “authority” has are based in prejudice more than evidence?  He can “believe” the cow jumped over the moon but does that make it right?  Is this the foundation on which he is willing to stand in the face of Almighty God?

  

Charles Kammer, a religious studies professor, says he was not surprised to learn that a majority of evangelical Christians support the use of torture in certain circumstances.

Kammer says that despite Jesus’ own commitment to nonviolence, Christianity as a whole has never embraced nonviolence. He says some evangelicals also confuse patriotism with piety.

“What’s good for America has often been seen as God’s will,” says Kammer, who teaches at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

“They think the torture of evil people is not bad, but may be morally required as a way of protecting the good people.”

Kammer said he is a Christian and does not support torture in any circumstances. He considers waterboarding torture.

This seems to make the most sense to me.  When I first thought to write on this topic, I thought to myself, “Since the days of Columbus and perhaps before, Christians have always killed, maimed, tortured, stole, and dominated people when it served their interest.  Why should 2009 be any different?  To say many confuse patriotism with piety is an understatement!  They believe, or at least say they believe that God is an American and that His focus is on preserving the American way of life that isolates and separates from everyone who do not share like beliefs. 

I talked to a co-worker of mine who told me that she didn’t believe that waterboarding was torture.  I asked her if she knew what waterboarding was and she said no.  I figured she had listened to Rush or Coulter.  (I swear Coulter is one of the most dangerous and sick thinkers I have ever heard.  She is definitely serial killer material.  Rush is a drug addict so I can’t take anything he says seriously.  But I digress)  Anyway, I gave her this link on waterboarding which show the lasting damage that it causes.  Read it for yourself and see.  Also, I said to her, “If it wasn’t so bad, why would the CIA bother doing it?  If one believes in torture, surely he wouldn’t do something that seems like a mere nuisance.”  She agreed, but admitted that she likes the feeling of feeling safe.  She liked the tough talk of Dick Cheney and felt that her protection was more secure with the mobster like approach.  In other words it’s better for your neighbors to fear you more than respect you.  

But she wanted my opinion as well.  So I explained to this person who has an  Assemblies of God background the virtues of neighbors this way:

You, your husband and children live in a home which resides in a neighborhood.  You have neighbors.  Perhaps you can get along ok if you held every one of your neighbors at bay with a gun.  Let’s say no one will bother you.  Everyone fears you and you feel safe. 

But let’s say you’re away from the house and someone is snooping around your property.  Well the neighbor to your right would perhaps alert you or the authorities, but they are mostly indifferent because you aren’t friendly neighbors and have no respect for one another. 

Let’s say you go out of town.  You can tell a good neighbor, “Look I’m going to be away for a couple weeks.  Please keep an eye out for my stuff.  Get my mail for me.”  Well a neighbor who likes and respects you will go the extra mile to secure your property and personal safety.  Which of these two neighbor situations make you feel safer? 

I said it’s the same with other nations.  When Bush and Cheney drew the line in the sand and said, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us,” (meaning if you don’t agree with everything we do the hell with you) it put us in a position of alienating nations/neighbors.  Perhaps that nation/neighbor wouldn’t be as excited to share information that they may have obtained about our nation’s safety that our own intelligence didn’t pick up.

I don’t want to give the appearance that war is not necessary at times.  Nor that I don’t believe a strong military is a vital part of national security.  But there are other areas that are important to.  And it takes wisdom to deliver balance and righteousness.  I simply can’t reconcile the beliefs of the Christian leadership to bear witness with my own spirit.  And this is one of the reason why it’s difficult to subscribe to believing and worshipping as they do.  Worst of all, (or not) it causes me to question and doubt the very foundations of their beliefs.

Tale of Two Extremes!

Most Promising Outlook

Vick leaves prison

Michael Vick finally gets out of jail.  Hey won’t make the loot he used to, but finally he can get his second chance and life.  I hope he doesn’t mess it up!  I can’t say I am all that confident.  Arrogance is a mother and if one does’nt have people around who are truthful, it’s easier to repeat the same mental mistakes.  Up until now, Vick’s money has purchased many liars within his inner circle. 

Most Miserable Outlook

Dirk Nowitzki who knocked up a crazy ass woman who’s locked up for fraud.  She is in jail singing the blues about how broke she is.  This may be her biggest heist ever!

Kobe, Ariza, & Fisher Save the Day! Great Game 1

Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo was off the hook!  And I could tell by the body language and swagger of the Nuggets that they thought they had this game in the bag.  But they learned that you can’t sleep on a champion. The Lakers may have struggled some but they are NOT the Mavericks nor the Hornets.

This is shaping up like a great series!

Justice Obama? A Novel Idea!

Of course this isn’t going to happen… but I bet she would make an interesting Justice and bring a fresh perspective that’s needed.

Thanks for this article by Eva Rodriguez 

Justice Obama?

By Eva Rodriguez of the Washington Post

Mr. President:

Stop your search. I’ve got the perfect candidate for that soon-to-be vacant slot on the Supreme Court.

She’s a Harvard Law grad with a Princeton undergraduate degree. She was a lawyer in private practice with a prestigious national law firm. She worked in-house for a large and complex medical facility. She’s also paid her dues in local politics and knows a thing or two about the national political arena — yet she doesn’t have much of a paper trail.

 And this woman clearly has the empathy gene you’ve been looking for. (I have a feeling you’d hit it off during the one-on-one interview.) She knows first-hand how difficult it is to strike the right work-life balance. She knows what it’s like to put your career on hold to help a partner, a husband fulfill his dreams.  She has spoken eloquently about the plight of single moms and their challenges in making ends meet and finding quality child care. She knows through her own experiences and those of her family how far this country has come in eradicating racism and how far it still needs to go.

And — to state what is by now obvious — she is a woman of color. Best of all, Mr. President, she already lives right here in the nation’s capital and could walk to work. Think of the benefits to the environment! Jack had Bobby. You’ll have Michelle. Whether you call her First Lady or Madame Justice is up to you. Being commander in chief has its privileges.

 To be fair, there may be a few drawbacks to this appointment, not the least of which will be the separation of powers issue.  It may at times get awkward when Justice Obama is forced to review legislation you signed into law.   And you really shouldn’t try to coax her to reveal how the court — read: Nino Scalia — is leaning on a particular matter; you’ll have to wait just like the rest of us to read slip opinions when they’re published. 

You may be the former constitutional law professor, but she’ll have the last word on what “the law is.” She’ll also have to wave goodbye to bare arms since she’ll be forced to spend big chunks of her working hours in robes. One last thing: Since you’ll be the only parent working from home once Justice Obama is sworn in, you’ll be in charge of Bo. (Maybe Rahm could help with that.)