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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Tomorrow Benjamin Netanyahu will give his speech to a joint session of Congress.  We have heard a lot of talk about the speech.  Boehner, who invited him, is defending his actions even thought he broke protocol in his invitation.  Democrats are furious about the speech with some threatening to boycott it.  Netanyahu’s opponents, and even some Israeli hawks are against the speech.

One has to wonder exactly what John Boehner is trying to accomplish with his invitation.  Some believe he is trying to help Netanyahu win his election that is being held in two weeks.  Some believe that he is just trying to “embarrass” the President.  Others believe it is an attempt to derail the nuclear talks with Iran.

After reading everything from both sides of the spectrum, I have come to the conclusion that John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak at a joint session of Congress because he does want him to win the election in two weeks.  This is important to Boehner and the Republicans because they have one very real fear in common with Netanyahu.  They all fear peace.

I believe that if Netanyahu would actually negotiate with the Palestinians, recognize the Palestinian State, and stop throwing up settlements in the Palestinian territory we might actually see peace break out in the region.  Not only that, but if the Palestinian State was recognized, many of the arguments that other Arab countries in the region have against Israel may also fade away.

Allowing the Palestinians their own self-run state would let Israel stop looking like an aggressor.  It would allow Israel and the Palestinians to work together to maintain peace between the two states and even help the economy of both countries to grow.

Unfortunately, Netanyahu has shown no inclination of accepting the Palestinians right to their own state.  That continues to cause a bigger rift between the two parties and allows the radicals on the Palestinian side to fight against Israel by arguing that Israel is the aggressor.  Whether or not that is a valid argument it works to recruit more fighters to the radical side.

Of course the biggest fear for both the Republicans and Netanyahu is that the nuclear talks with Iran may actually come to a positive end.  The Republicans and Netanyahu claim that any deal with Iran will only mean they will be able to build their bomb.

I would not support any deal with Iran without very strong verification policies in place.  We do have to remember that Iran in the past claimed it wanted to wipe Israel off the map.  But, the Soviet Union also promised to “bury” us too.  It was only through diplomacy with Russia that things finally calmed down, even before the fall of the Soviet Union.

One only needs to remember Netanyahu’s speech at the U.N. with his hastily drawn bomb showing how Iran was so close to building an atomic bomb.  I wonder if he will bring it out for this speech as well.  I am certain he will argue that Iran cannot be trusted.  He will argue that any deal with Iran is against the interests of Israel.  I am also sure that the Republican side will erupt in applause when he does.

You would think that “peace in the middle east” would be a good thing.  You would think that everyone would consider that if all sides agree on creating peace that the radicals would lose their poster points for recruiting.  But since Netanyahu and the Republicans share an absolute hate towards Islam, they don’t want peace in the region.  If there is peace, you don’t have any justification to “wipe out” your enemies.

I am not stupid.  I know that reaching a point of peace in the middle east is not going to be easy.  I also know that steadfastly arguing against any diplomacy that may take a step in that direction is stupid.  Hawks all around the world believe that diplomacy is a form of appeasement.  That is ridiculous.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been as much of an impediment to peace in the region as the radical Palestinians have.  If he wasn’t, we would be seeing talks between Israel and the Palestinians.  He refuses to negotiate with them.  Israel has the right to exist as a country.  I believe that the Palestinian State also has a right to exist.  Mutual recognition of the rights of each state would go a long way towards creating an environment where peace is possible.

However, Netanyahu does not want peace.  If he gets it, he may lose power.  That is something that he is unwilling to risk.  So, he accepted the invitation from Boehner in order to help Republicans stop peace in its tracks.  Republicans don’t want peace either.  They don’t want anything to get in their way of a New Crusades against Islam.

That, I believe is the real reason John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak at a joint session of Congress.  We have already seen too many times that foreign wars take the spotlight off how much you are trying to screw your own people over.  This is just another case of the “tail wagging the dog.”

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The right-wing in this country want you to believe that if you allow them to enact “Christian Laws” into State and Federal Codes, everything will be perfect.  They want you to believe that their interpretation of what they call “sacred scripts” is the only way America can be perfect.  They tell you that they “love everyone and are not bigoted.”

However, their actions, as well as actions of right-wing Christians everywhere tell a different story.  These actions say that Christians are just as hateful and bigoted as any other religious group.  We have constantly heard about how evil Sharia Law is.  We have been told, erroneously, that there are “no go zones” in Europe because Muslims have put Sharia Law into place locally and Christians are afraid to venture into these areas.

There is also something that they are not telling you.  That Christian fundamentalists all over the world are creating more bigoted laws than we have since the end of World War II.  Here are just a few examples of just how unloving and hateful Christians really are.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe.

We all remember our history and the stories about the Holocaust during Nazi Germany’s rule in Europe.  What the right is not telling you is that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe.  And, it is not just Muslims who are anti-Semitic.

We have seen the murders of Jewish people just because they are Jewish.  We have seen Jewish cemeteries desecrated.  In Strassburg France hundreds of Jewish graves were desecrated just last week.  We have even seen a video that was made in France where people were hurling insults at Jews as they walked down the street.  These were not Muslims hurling the insults either.

Anti-Semitism is nothing new in Europe.  Programs were initiated against Jews for hundreds of years.  Entire villages were either wiped out or their residents forced to move out simply because they were Jews.  Then Hitler took it even further with the Holocaust.

In its 2014 report, the Community Security Trust in the UK reported the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents it had ever recorded. In London, the Metropolitan police recorded a 120 percent rise in anti-Semitic crime in 2014. With hate crimes generally underreported, the real figures are likely to be much higher.

Pediatrician In Michigan Refuses To Treat Infant of Same-Sex Couple.

A pediatrician in Michigan refused to treat an infant because that infant’s parents are a gay couple.  At first the pediatrician, Dr. Vanessa Roi, agreed to treat the infant.  But later “after much prayer” apparently had a change of heart.  When the couple arrived for the infant’s first “wellness check” they were greeted by a different doctor.

That doctor told the couple that Roi would not be seeing them at all.  As it turns out, Roi was so firm in her beliefs that she did not even go into the office that day so she wouldn’t have to see the couple and their child.  The other doctor agreed to treat the infant.

The irony is that it is not illegal in Michigan for a doctor to refuse treatment of a patient based on sexual orientation.  Of course the American Medical Association’s ethics code says differently.  Roi has not been a member of the AMA since 2001 according to her website.  But she is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics which also says differently.

Since Roi “made this decision after much prayer” I guess she is saying that her Christian god allows discrimination against other humans.

Oklahoma Committee Sends “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act” To State House of Representatives

A Federal Judge has already ruled that Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.  But, those “god-fearing” Christians in Oklahoma will not be deterred from discriminating against the LGBT community by a “silly Judge’s” decision.

Once you understand the contents of the bill, you see that it is even more ridiculous than the title.  This bill prohibits taxpayer funds, including government salaries, to be used for any activity that supports same-sex marriage. It also says that those who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples can be subject to removal from office.

The state is trying to find a loophole where-by they can openly discriminate against the LGBT community.  Not by saying that same-sex marriage is illegal in the state, but rather by firing any official who issues a marriage license to same-sex couples.

Representative Emily Virgin, a Democrat who voted against the measure in committee on Tuesday, said: “No other state in the union has seen more anti-LGBT legislation introduced during this legislative session. The battleground is right here in Oklahoma.”

These are just a few examples of how right-wing Christians believe they will “make the world perfect.”  Of course there have been other stories about how they want to bring back prayer to public schools, place religious artifacts in court rooms, and allow business to openly discriminate against anyone they think goes against their beliefs.

This just shows that anytime we allow religious beliefs to bleed into society and our laws how other groups are targeted.   Christians have no more tolerance for those who believe differently than Muslims.  That is why the First Amendment says:  “The government shall not endorse any religion.”

I have said this before.  History is cyclical.  It is obvious that we have failed to learn from history, therefore we are doomed to repeat it.  Even if you agree with this nonsense, remember, at some point someone with more money and a louder bullhorn is going to come around and make your beliefs illegal.  That should be reason enough for everyone to fight this crap before it goes any further.

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During the mid-terms last November, we heard an awful lot about “following the constitution” by Republican candidates.  They harped about “freedom” and “liberty” as if those were things that somehow lost favor in our democracy.  Many others harped about the “law of the land” and other such wise words.  None were more vociferous than the candidates in Alabama.

However, all of that wonderful talk about upholding the Constitution turns out to be nothing more than poppycock!  Right now in Alabama, there is a mass disobedience of the Constitution.  It is even being led by the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore.

You may ask who is Roy Moore.  Roy Moore was first elected to Chief Justice in 2000.  In 2003, he refused to follow an appeals court ruling that a mammoth 2 ton and a half ton monument to the Ten Commandments be removed from the courthouse.  Law suits were filed against the monument claiming it violated the Constitution’s prohibition against religious endorsements.  The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit agreed and ordered Moore to remove the monument.  He refused.

In its ruling the court linked Moore’s actions to the “position taken by those southern governors who attempted to defy federal court orders during an earlier era,” citing the actions of former governors Ross Barnett of Mississippi and George C. Wallace of Alabama in trying to block campus integration and protest marches during the height of the civil rights movement.  It wrote:

Any notion of high government officials being above the law did not save those governors from having to obey federal court orders, and it will not save this chief justice from having to comply with the court order in this case.

A state ethics panel unanimously voted to remove Moore from the bench later that year.  They said:

This court has found that Chief Justice Moore not only willfully and publicly defied the orders of a United States district court, but upon direct questioning by the court he also gave the court no assurances that he would follow that order or any similar order in the future,” the ethics panel wrote. “In fact, he affirmed his earlier statements in which he said he would do the same.”

Unfortunately, that did not preclude Moore from trying again for the top court office.  He successfully ran again in 2012.  In his victory speech he claimed “I have no doubt this is a vindication.”

Which brings us back to today.  A U.S. Appeals Court ruled that Alabama’s law against same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.  Yesterday, Alabama was supposed to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.  Even the U.S. Supreme Court refused to give a stay against the ruling just yesterday.

However, only 12 counties issued marriage licenses to gay couples.  The rest refused following Justice Moore’s orders.  In a letter late Sunday night Moore told the state’s probate judges to ignore a federal judge’s ruling that same-sex marriages could proceed and told them not to issue marriage licenses.  He further said:

Effective immediately, no probate judge of the state of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama Probate Judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with a constitutional amendment and a state law banning same-sex unions.

So, once again in a state that claims to “uphold the constitution” another right-wing wacko in charge is defying the constitution simply because he hates the idea of same-sex marriage on “religious” grounds.  Except that this wacko is supposed to be the Chief Justice of the state’s Supreme Court and swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United Sates.  If you are wondering if Federal Law supersedes state law, Article VI of the Constitution states:

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

This mess in Alabama is just another example of religion interfering with secular law.  Once again we have “religious believers” denying civil rights to a group of people just because they don’t like them.  I will even go so far as to say this is nothing less than terrorism again.

The Conservative Christian Cult is continuously complaining about Sharia Law.  This is a perfect example of the Cult enforcing their version of Sharia Law on the rest of society.  It is just as dangerous and vicious as Sharia Law practiced in Muslim countries.  There is absolutely no difference.

Before you start talking about the murders of the “non-believers” under Muslim Sharia Law, what will stop the Cult from implementing the same atrocities if this continues?  I believe the answer is “nothing.”  We live in a country where our civil liberties are supposed to be protected by laws and the courts.  Moore is one of those people who believe that only his favored people should be protected and not everyone.

Whenever you hear Republicans talking about “upholding the constitution” you can simply look to Alabama to realize that it is all a bunch of crap!  It is the conservatives, not the liberals, who are violating the constitution!  They are out to establish a Conservative Christian Theocracy in our country and as far as I am concerned it falls under the category of Religious Terrorism!

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When man first crawled out of the caves, he looked up into the night sky and saw the stars.  He thought they were something to eat.  But, when he couldn’t reach them, he figured they were groceries belonging to a more powerful being.  Thus Jehovah was born.   (From the movie Inherit the Wind)

From the very moment man began believing in a “supreme being” or “gods” we have had horrendous acts of violence and terrorism against one another in its name.  It doesn’t matter which religion you talk about, it always makes one person feel superior to another who believes differently.  In ancient times, empires were created on the belief that the “gods” favored the victors.

Today, I listen to all of the arguments about religion and can’t help but hearing a couple of second-graders in the playground arguing over which dad is the toughest.  Remember, “my dad can beat up your dad?”  This nonsense has been going on for so long, that I have come to believe that people identify with religion more out of being accepted by others than truly believing what the religion teaches.

Just in our lifetime, religion has been at the heart of some horrendous acts of terrorism.  Yes, Muslim terrorists have committed acts of violence against the innocent.  But, we have also seen similar acts of terrorism by Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and Christians as well.

It would appear that religion, all religions, are at the heart of terrorism around the world.  The biggest contributing factor in this is that the media, political pundits, politicians, and everyday citizens refuse to state that as a fact.  Some will demonize one particular religion as the culprit spreading terrorism as an excuse to “wipe them out” as quickly as possible.  Of course which religion is the demon depends upon where you live and what religion you espouse.

To be fair about this, hatred and bigotry are written into the so-called “sacred books.”  Each religion props itself up as the “one true religion” and that makes them superior to any others.  Each of the “sacred books” either reports past genocide or actively promotes it as a way to “save” the infidels.

The Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible tells of the Hebrews committing genocide when they took over Canaan.  The Quran actively calls for the death of anyone who does not convert to Islam.  These texts actually encourage terrorism around the world, and followers are more than willing to “obey” these commandments.

It is not coincidence that the Roman Catholic Church offered forgiveness of sins and a trip to paradise to anyone who participated in the Crusades.  That is exactly the same “martyrdom” the Quran offers for similar reasons.  Whether you are talking about Jihad or the Crusades or the Hebrews taking the Promised Land, all are “holy wars” perpetrated on another religion in order to “wipe it out.”

In the Middle-east and Europe we have seen horrific examples of “saving” the infidels through the use of torture and death.  Every religion has used similar forms of execution against anyone who doesn’t “convert” to the preferred religion.  Jihad was waged for centuries in the Middle-east and Africa while the Inquisition was used to “weed out” the heretics in Christian countries for centuries.  Beheadings, burning at the stake, drawing and quartering are all examples of horrific deaths meted out to the non-believers.

All religions have used their teachings to justify slavery.  The Bible even says that “slaves must obey their masters.”  Which was very convenient for the slave holders here in America.  The Bible was even used to justify the Jim Crowe Laws that lasted until the mid 1960s.

Today there are hundreds of groups who are willing to commit acts of terrorism around the world.  We have seen it everywhere.  Groups identifying with particular religions have committed acts of terrorism in the past and continue to do so in the present.

Groups like ISIS, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nation, and others have committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion. Then there are acts of terrorism like bombing abortion clinics, or killing abortion doctors, even in church.  In less violent acts, other “believers” have committed acts of terrorism of a lesser, but no less dangerous, form.

In some countries Sharia Law has hampered societal growth.  Things like making it illegal for women to be educated or having to be fully covered in public.  In western society things like ignoring secular law that guaranties the rights of every citizen because it doesn’t mesh with interpretation of the Bible is very similar.

The list of these atrocities goes on and on.  The history of mankind is full of terrorism, intolerance, hatred, and death all in the name of religion.  Since I wasn’t present when the Founding Fathers created our Constitution I cannot say for sure, but I believe that is the real reason they created a secular society and forbid the naming of any religion as “official.”  They were still living in the time of the Inquisition.  That must have played a role in the “separation of church and state” that they put into the Constitution.

The fact of the matter is that we must stop rationalizing terrorism as something that is committed by the fringe elements of religion.  It is time we recognize that religion itself is the cause of terrorism.  Until we recognize this fact we can never hope to put an end to this insanity.

Maybe one day religion will fade away.  Maybe one day, at the very least, it will be the personal view held by people who do not consider themselves so much better than someone else.  Maybe then, we will see an end to the killing of others in the name of God.

But, as long as religious leaders in every religion keep preaching the hatred inbedded in their religion, I am afraid we will continue to see the slaughter of the innocent.  The insanity of all religions must end before terrorism ends.  I am not holding my breath.

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The far right is still howling about the attack on Charlie Hebdo and that “free speech” is at the heart of the matter.  They are arguing that the President did not go to Paris for their march because he “hates free speech.”  They argue that blasphemous cartoons and art are a form of “free speech.”  They also forget about all of their cries for “censorship” against art they deemed to be blasphemous towards Christianity like “Black Jesus” and “Dung Virgin Mary”.  But, we shall leave that for another time.

But, is “free speech” especially as defined by the French really at the heart of the matter?  France has a problem that they don’t like to talk about.  They surrendered to Nazi Germany during WWII.  As a result, they were collaborators in the Holocaust.  After the war, they had to do something to make sure they were on the right side.  As a result, they passed laws that made it illegal to deny the holocaust and/or make anti-Semitic comments.

As we discuss these laws deeper, you have to wonder if we had similar laws concerning “free speech” would people like Rep. Steve King, Sen. Ted Cruz, David Duke, all of the KKK, all of the Aryan Nation, and many others be in jail right now?  As you will see, they have all used “hate speech” and/or “incited violence” according to French Law.

These laws have been in existence for years.  They limit the “hate” speech that is allowed in French society.  Since the Charlie Hebdo attacks, they have started enforcing these laws harshly.  As a matter of fact, in November they added harsh penalties for anyone invoking or supporting violence.  They added prison sentences up to seven years for backing terrorism.

But, what does “backing terrorism” really mean?  Well, the French are answering that question.  Since the attack, up to 100 people are under investigation for “backing terrorism.”  One is a 28-year-old man of French-Tunisian background who was sentenced to six months in prison after he was found guilty of shouting support for the attackers as he passed a police station in Bourgoin-Jalieu on Sunday.

Another, a 34-year-old man who on Saturday hit a car while drunk, injured the other driver and subsequently praised the acts of the gunmen when the police detained him was sentenced Monday to four years in prison.   This is after, on Wednesday, the Minister of Justice told Prosecutors to fight and prosecute “words or acts of hatred” with “utmost vigor.”

That utmost vigor has resulted in several people being arrested, charged, tried, and sentenced to prison in as little as three days!  The anti-terrorism law that is being used has some very harsh provisions.  It targets “hate speech” and is more severe if the words are posted on the internet.  If the offense is spoken, the law allows a sentence of five years and a fine of almost $90,000. If it is on the Internet, it allows sentencing up to seven years and a fine of nearly $120,000.

But, what is spoken “hate speech?”  Well, it is clear that the accused did not have to threaten actual violence to run afoul of the law.  According to the actions of Mr. Cabut, the prosecutor who brought the case of the man who shouted as he passed a police station: “They killed Charlie and I had a good laugh. In the past they killed Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Mohammed Merah and many brothers. If I didn’t have a father or mother, I would train in Syria,” that is enough.

But Mr. Cabut also says that there were limits as to how far prosecutors would go.   He is sure that no one would be prosecuted for refusing to stand during a moment of silence.  Maybe not prosecuted, but maybe suspended or fired.  Thursday a parking attendant in Paris was suspended by the police prefecture for refusing to observe a silent tribute to the victims.  It must be pointed out here, that to date, no one who has called for violence against Muslims in France has been arrested or prosecuted for their “hate” crime under these laws.

As you can see, “free speech” in France is not the same as “free speech” in America.  If it were, thousands of people would be in prison for invoking violence and/or using hate speech.  Under these laws, the simple act of speaking at a white supremacist group might have landed Mr. Scalise in prison under these “free speech” laws.  Instead he is the number three person in power in the House of Representatives.

I know that conservatives and the Cult don’t care about the obvious double-standards and hypocrisy.  Just remember, when they cry about the attack on Charlie Hebdo being an attack on “free speech”, they don’t mean “real free speech.”  That is why no conservative in this country is complaining about all of these arrests of people “exercising free speech.”  Conservatives, I am sure would love to have similar laws, with a few tweaks of course, in this country.

Other European countries have similar laws.  The laws themselves infringe upon what we in America consider “free speech.”  Let’s be honest, if you are going to have laws that restrict “hate speech” you cannot allow the type of cartoons that Charlie Hebdo prints.  Many people around the world, not just Muslims since they also attack other religions, would consider those cartoons as “hate speech.”

No, the attack on Charlie Hebdo was an act of terrorism.  The cartoons may have been used as the excuse, but terrorism knows no religion, race, or ethnicity.  It is simply acts of violence against society by evil people who want to control us.  That is the point that is lost on conservatives, and why incidents like this will continue.  George W. Bush proved that when you don’t recognize the real enemy, you fight the wrong wars.  Conservatives still don’t recognize the real enemy!

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“This is simply no way to treat our oldest and first ally. President Obama should have stood with France in person, defending Western values in the struggle against terrorism and showing support for the victims of this despicable act of terror. Skipping this rally will be remembered as a new low in American diplomacy.” Rick Perry

Ever since the President decided not to attend the anti-terrorist march in France, the conservatives have been having kittens.  According to these conservatives, we have basically snubbed our closest ally.  We have shunned them in their time of need.  We have abandoned them at the very moment they need us the most.

Rick Perry is not the only one who is jumping on the bandwagon either.  We are hearing from all of those wacky conservatives about how important it should have been for the President to go to France for the march.  He should have walked arm-in-arm with the French President, German Chancellor, et.al.

According to conservatives, France is and always has been our closest ally and we should show more respect towards them.  After all, they have stood by us when we needed them.  They have always gone to war with us against the terrorists.

How quickly they forget.  Or, more appropriately, how quickly they deliberately change their minds for political gain.  Remember “Freedom Fries” or the House cafeteria “Freedom Toast?”  Remember when conservatives considered France as the worst European Country?  All because France declined to participate in the “partnership of the willing” in the Iraq Invasion during George W. Bush’s presidency.

How about when John Kerry ran for President against Bush.  Because Kerry spoke French, he was also labeled as “looking French” by his opponents.  Maybe you remember this 2004 New York Times report:

But perhaps the surest indication that the looming political season will be ugly has come from repeated Republican suggestions that Kerry “looks French.”

Not only that: the senator is said to betray a dubious fondness for things French, even the language. A recent comment from Commerce Secretary Don Evans that the Massachusetts Democrat is “of a different political stripe and looks French” was only the latest of several jibes, mainly from conservative talk-show hosts and columnists, that have included allusions to “Monsieur Kerry” and “Jean Chéri.”

For some months now, the Republican House majority leader, Tom DeLay, has been opening speeches to supporters with an occasional routine. He says hi, then adds: “Or, as John Kerry might say, ‘Bonjour.’”

The remark “always brings the house down,” said DeLay’s spokesman, Stuart Roy, who added that its purpose was to highlight “Mr. Kerry’s lack of support for the war on terror and the way he seems to be in agreement with the arguments of the French.”

Of course, that even minded Congressman Randy Webber of Texas just had to make the obvious comparison between the President and Hitler in a tweet.  In his tweet, since deleted, he said even Hitler knew the importance of going to Paris.  Yesterday, he apologized for the tweet.  Not that the comparison wasn’t apt, but because it may have offended some people whose votes they need.

“I need to first apologize to all those offended by my tweet. It was not my intention to trivialize the Holocaust nor to compare the President to Adolf Hitler. The mention of Hitler was meant to represent the face of evil that still exists in the world today. I now realize that the use of Hitler invokes pain and emotional trauma for those affected by the atrocities of the Holocaust and victims of anti-Semitism and hate,” Weber said.

According to that dove Lindsey Graham, the attack was “America’s Fault” and no one else.  He said:

“I fear our intelligence capabilities, those designed to prevent such an attack from taking place on our shores, are quickly eroding. I believe our national security infrastructure designed to prevent these types of attacks from occurring is under siege.”

So Lindsey Graham seems to think this was not merely an attack on Charlie Hebdo, it was an attack against our intelligence infrastructure.  He later explained on Hugh Hewitt’s show:

Here’s what I take from Paris. We should reevaluate our Defense policies on several fronts…We’re in a religious war. These are not terrorists. They’re radical Islamists who are trying to replace our way of life with their way of life. Their way of life is motivated by religious teachings that require me and you to be killed, or enslaved, or converted. The President of the United States tip-toes around the threats we face, and he is trying to diminish the religious aspect of this war. Why? I don’t know. And he is not engaging the enemy in an aggressive fashion, which makes it more likely we’ll get attacked. What he’s doing is pretending to want to destroy ISIL when in fact, he’s trying to get out of office without having to commit American ground forces to do the job as part of a team in the region, because he made a campaign promise. His campaign promises, Hugh, are getting a lot of people killed!

Of course no one is mentioning that the President is currently bombing the hell out of ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.  Nor are they talking about his seeking an AUMF for that war with no timetable, geographical limitations or ban on the use of ground troops.  All of that is obviously just “liberal” wussiness.

Finally, the Canadian Senator couldn’t be left behind either.  He was up with a Time op-ed that said:

“The absence is symbolic of the lack of American leadership on the world stage, and it is dangerous. The attack on Paris, just like previous assaults on Israel and other allies, is an attack on our shared values. And, we are stronger when we stand together, as French President François Hollande said, for “liberty, equality, and fraternity.”

So, now that the conservatives have something to yell about, France is suddenly our biggest ally.  We snubbed them by not having the President there during the rally.  It was not only a snub, it was “dangerous” for him not to be there.  Very suddenly, France has gone from “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” to our best ally that the President has just thumbed his nose at.

And how did our oldest ally take all of this?  A spokesperson for French President Francois Hollande said that the French government was not offended by the president’s absence. “President Obama supported France in their common struggle against terrorism,” the spokeswoman said, calling Obama’s visit to the French Embassy to sign a condolence book “a rather exceptional gesture.” She said that Obama’s actions since last week’s attacks have been “very important” to Hollande.  Maybe the conservatives think they are just being overly nice.

This is the kind of idiocy that comes to the forefront when politics, not governing, is the only thing that matters.  Anything to get a headline is fair game.  Even changing sides when it comes to an ally you have hated and ridiculed for over 10 years so you can pick on the other side.

I wonder if the conservatives will remember all of this next month.  That is when they will have to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security for the full year.  You know, the agency most responsible for protecting us from these terrorists?  So far, that funding doesn’t look good.

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Fox News likes to claim that it offers “fair and balanced” news reporting.  Of course we all know that is total crap.  If you consider propaganda as “fair and balanced” they may have a point.  But, most people see propaganda for what it is.  And, it is not “fair and balanced.”

Since the attack on Charlie Hebdo last week, Fox News has done everything in its power to scare the hell out of the world.  They have looked for all sorts of nasty things to say about Muslims in general.  Despite the Christian Theocratic form of government they want for America, they continually harp on the idea that Muslims around the world are trying to put Sharia Law in place in every country.

They have even come up with a new twist on this whole mess.  They call it “no-go zones.”  No-go zones are areas in cities where non-Muslims will be attacked if they dare to tread.  That is because the areas in cities are “controlled” by Muslims who have instituted secret police and enforce Sharia Law on everyone.

To accentuate this point, Fox News on Sunday trotted out that infamous “Islamist Terrorist Expert”, Steve Emerson.  If you were to ask Mr. Emerson, he will tell you that he is “one of the leading authorities on Islamic extremist networks.”  So, we should all listen to what he has to say on this subject.

According to Mr. Emerson, there are cities where Christians, Jews, even Hindus won’t go into.   “In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones. There are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”  I am sure that is news to the people of Birmingham.

Birmingham is the second largest city in England.  Just to show how much Mr. Emerson really knows, over 65% of the citizens of Birmingham claim to be either Christian or non-religious.  Yet Mr. Emerson seems to think that Birmingham is one of the European cities  “where Sharia courts were set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where the police don’t go in, and where it’s basically a separate country almost, a country within a country.”

In reality, one in five people in Birmingham practice Islam.  I wonder how many Muslims in an area it takes for Mr. Emerson to consider too scary to visit.  He doesn’t think that the problem is just confined to Birmingham either.  Mr. Emerson said that parts of London are too scary, too.  “Parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire,” he said.

Oops, there aren’t any of these instances that really exist.  There are no religious police and there aren’t any Muslim courts in these cities either.  Still, Jeanine Pirro, the host of the show, apparently believed what Emerson was saying, and it all seemed terrifying. “You know what it sounds like to me, Steve? It sounds like a caliphate within a particular country,” she said.

After the show, he was challenged by Raf Sanchez, from the British Newspaper The Telegraph.  As you can imagine, Emerson backtracked really fast.

 “I have clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry. My comments about Birmingham were totally in error. And I am issuing an apology and correction on my website immediately for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham.”

“There was no excuse for making this mistake and I owe an apology to every resident of Birmingham. I am not going to make any excuses. I made an inexcusable error. And I am obligated to openly acknowledge that mistake.”

If you noticed, he said he is issuing an apology and correction on his website immediately.  He even went so far as to say he would take out an AD in a Birmingham newspaper to apologize to the citizens.  He even offered to make a charitable contribution, apparently in an attempt to atone for his sins.  Since I do my research,  I went to his website this morning, and guess what?  No apology was found!

But, you will also note that he did not say that he would go on the air on Fox News to apologize and recant the statements he made.  I believe there are two reasons for this omission.  First, I don’t believe Fox News would allow him to recant his statements.  Secondly I don’t believe he is earnest in his apology and is still trying to fan the flames the fear of Fox News watchers against Islam.

That is Fox News version of “fair and balanced.”  Yet, the rest of the media won’t take it to task either.  Yesterday I wrote that Fox News is calling the negotiations with Dish to keep Fox News with the provider as censorship.  Let’s be honest.  Fox News is about as “fair and balanced” as the Spanish Inquisition was.

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