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"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, February 23, 2006

And so it begins...
Shocked? No. Concerned? Yes.

South Dakota lawmakers have voted to outlaw nearly all abortions, setting up the first direct legal attack on Roe v. Wade by a state in 14 years.

Abortion rights advocates across the country reacted with outrage and dismay. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which runs the sole abortion clinic in South Dakota, said it was bracing to fight the move in court immediately, if the governor signs it.

"This represents a monumental step backward for personal privacy for [all] women," said Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America.

Some opponents of abortion rights celebrated what they called a bold and brave move and lauded South Dakota for taking the lead in what they said they hoped would become a series of states to challenge Roe, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal.

The shifting makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, the opponents said, offered a crucial opportunity, the first since at least 1992.

"It is a calculated risk, to be sure, but I believe it is a fight worth fighting," State Senator Brock Greenfield, a Republican who is also director of South Dakota Right to Life, told his colleagues in a hushed, packed chamber here.

After more than an hour of fierce and emotional debate, the senators Wednesday rejected exceptions for incest or rape or for the health of a mother and voted, 23-12, to outlaw all abortions, except those to save a mother's life.

They also rejected an effort to allow South Dakotans to decide the question in a referendum and an effort to prevent state tax dollars from financing what is certain to be a long and expensive court battle.[source]

So, if you live in South Dakota, and your a woman, you lawmakers will be making this decision for you. The only question is how soon will we be saying if you live in the U.S., your lawmakers will be making this decision for you?

I am certain anti-abortion proponents everywhere are cheering. They have no idea what the real underlying issue is here (well either that or they just don't care). This is NOT just about abortion. This is about the individual's right to privacy. The right of an individual to make his/her own health decisions.
Let me put it this way. What happens when the state of South Dakota decides that anyone needing life support no longer qualifies as a living human being and should be taken off life support and their organs passed on to those who need them? Or, lets say they decide that anyone ON life support is a living being and cannot be taken off such life support? Let's go one step further, what if they decide smoking/drinking/overeating/ect., is bad for your health and should be illegal. ANYWHERE. Even in your home? Oh, and don't forget they will have the right to have cameras in your home to make sure you're not breaking the law.
Think it can't happen? Wait and see.
This is but one step in the process. So many have already gone unnoticed.
I thought Republicans were all about LESS government in our private lives. Of course I also thought they were all about conservative spending. (In all fairness they do believe in cutting spending. On social/ entitlement programs.)

I'm kind of wondering how long it will be before I have to shut down this blog. After all I can't afford to be classified as a terrorist. [Bush Tags Bloggers As Potential Terrorist. There are other indications that the Bush administration deems bloggers well within the reach of any definition of terrorist, if for no other reason than the crime of dissent and criticism. There are also indicators that relevant parties would be somewhat prepared to assist in the nabbing of terrorist bloggers.]
Yeah, I know, that's not going to happen, this is America. Right?


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stirring the Coals & Pressurizing Iran
Rice seeks $75 million "Emergency Funding"
(a guest post by - Scott)
The wasington post (feb 16th 2006) reported Rice's stated objectives, at the recent Senate Hearing, were in expanding radio and television broadcasts into Iran and promoting internal opposition to the rule of religious leaders. Apparently it's an emergency freedom thing and thus needing emergency funding.
"Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), who has called for $100 million to promote democracy in Iran, applauded the initiative as the "absolutely right move at this point in time." ...Brownback said the administration had been "very methodical" in fighting terrorism. "The first step was Afghanistan, then Iraq, and now you're seeing an increasing focus on Iran."
Apparently practice makes perfect regarding the terrorism-freedom thing they have down pretty well now. However, in the article Martin S. Indyk, (Saban Center on Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution), said:
"The democratic forces the (Bush) administration wants to support have failed in the past to take on the clerics and have little basis of support -- and would be tainted by U.S. aid. "It's hard to see how $75 million makes a dent in that political reality."
That would very likely be because this particular $75 million little to do with terrorism or a US interest in Iranian freedom and democracy. It was, potentially, an expensive publicity stunt staged for the benefit of the american public and a confrontational gesture designed to escalate and rachet up tensions with Iran.
The Bush Administration's focus was challenged by Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R-R.I.) at the Senate Hearing who blamed the Bush administration for Hamas winning recent Palestinian legislative elections. He said:
"The whole year, 2005, nothing was done, opportunities missed, and now we have a very, very disastrous situation of a terrorist organization winning an election," Chafee asserted. Rice acknowledged the victory of Hamas is "a difficult moment" in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but she said it was due to a backlash against the ruling party, not a failure of U.S. policy."
Meanwhile the washington post also reports U.S. and Iraqi authorities also reported discovering an apparent twenty-two (22)-man death squad/platoon/company operating within the ranks of the police force of Iraq's newly made free and democratcic country's Interior Ministry. Apparently, other Iraqi troops prevented the gang/clan/bevy (?) of Highway Patrol Officers (we all know what a clump of 22 police officers looks like anyway) from killing a Sunni Arab man the officers had arrested, an American military spokesman said Thursday. The article also reports,
"American military authorities have vowed to make 2006 "the year of the police," working more closely with the ministries' personnel and improving training standards."
It's a catchy concept phrase anyway. Though it begs the question - uh, so...what was it we were doing in 2005 with the hundreds of billions of US tax dollars spent or borrowed from our grandkids (that were not part of the $8.8 billion "lost") - if not working with the ministries' personnel and training?
In Turn...Iranian leader urges Muslims to fund Hamas Government
The Washington Post and The Associated Press reported today:
Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Muslim nations Monday to fund the new radical Islamic Palestinian government, defying efforts by Israel and Western donors to isolate the government led by Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headed to the Middle East with a warning to countries not to help Hamas, a political party which won a large parliamentary majority in democratic elections last month.
In case anyone might be confused about US policy regarding advancing and funding "democracy" in the Middle East: You're not alone but we might assume it has very little to do with the aspect of freedom and democracy.


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