The sanctity of life.

This story and the thousands of negative comments in response to it really upset and confounded me:

By AMANDA LEE MYERS | Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — The mother of a 19-year-old man fatally shot in the back by a U.S. Border Patrol agent has sued the federal government and the agent himself, claiming it was “an appalling use of excessive force” because her son was unarmed, had his back to the agent and posed no threat.

Guadalupe Guerrero said Monday that the Border Patrol had no right to take her son’s life, even if he had marijuana in his truck as they say — though she disputed the allegation.

A Border Patrol agent identified by police as Lucas Tidwell shot Carlos La Madrid three times — twice in the back and once in the thigh — as he climbed a ladder on the U.S.-Mexico border fence in southeastern Arizona on March 21, 2011.

The Arizona man, who did not have a weapon, fell to the ground and died about five hours later at a hospital.

“Why did they kill him? Who are they to play God?” Guerrero said in Spanish on what would have been her son’s 21st birthday…

I couldn’t find even one sympathetic comment for a mother who tragically lost a child. This sad tale has lots of red meat for conservatives: The border, the drugs, Spanish as a first language, and a lawsuit. Apparently in this Christian Nation it’s okay for law enforcement to shoot an unarmed suspect in the back.

Just like the Trayvon Martin tragedy, Family Values Pro-Life Christians support the taking of a human life. I’ve tried to understand the blood-lust of these people. I just can’t reconcile how these people steadfastly believe in the sanctity of life for the  unborn, yet have no compassion once that life emerges from the womb.

Infallibility.

First the facts.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed a bill into law Wednesday that abolishes the death penalty, making his state the 17th in the nation to abandon capital punishment and the fifth in five years to usher in a repeal.

During a Sept. 2011 Republican presidential debate NBC’s Brian Williams asked Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) a question about the death penalty and pointed to the 234 executions during his watch, and even before Perry answered, the Republican debate crowd erupted in applause for the governor’s actions.

Since the death penalty moratorium ended January 17, 1977 African Americans made up 41 percent of death row inmates in Texas while making up only 12 percent of the state’s general population.

According to deathpenaltyinfo.org, since the re-institution of the death penalty, 142 innocent prisoners have been exonerated from the death row. (No. 142, Robert Dewey from Colorado, was exonerated on April 30, 2012.) It is unknown how many of the people executed since 1976 may have been innocent, but some of them were executed although there was considerable doubt about their guilt, e.g. Cameron Willingham (2004) and Troy Davis (2011).

Now the opinion.

When God told Moses “a life for a life”, there was exactly one person who judged an individual’s guilt or innocence. That person’s name was, you guessed it, Moses. Since he was imbued with the perfect Spirit of Jehovah, there was a 100% certainty that every single verdict decided by God’s messenger was correct. In today’s world, where only a handful of nations still have the death penalty on the books, the legal system isn’t quite so infallible.

Sure, there’s the question of humaneness. I find that issue to be of lesser importance, but distinct from, the human error argument. And I understand there’s a chance my opposition to the death penalty might be wrong. After all, I’m only human.

The failure of success.

Okay, forget that Mubarak, Gaddafi and bin Laden are gone; it’s easy to do if your name is Mitt Romney. He’s still on that “Apology Tour” kick. So it’s left largely to other republicans to throw dirt at the Commander in Chief over some of his other key foreign affairs wins.

See, The New York Times reported that the President has a “Kill List”. This is obviously the first time in American history such a dastardly thing has been done. And you know that Stuxnet computer virus? The weapon as technologically significant as the H bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima? Turns out stopping the Iranians from blasting Israel into the stone-age isn’t nearly as important as finding out who spilled the beans to the press.

I seem to recall the Bush Administration strutting their stuff at every opportunity that they pulled off another victory of some kind in the War on Terror. There was always a lot of high-fiving and chest-beating, but that’s about all.

Obama’s foes around the world aren’t nearly as smart as his foes at home. His enemies abroad burn him in effigy whenever things go wrong. Here, they do it when things go right.

Caveman politics.

To comprehend our present predicament, I believe the only way to move forward is to look at our past. I’m not talking a year ago, or a decade, or even a century. I’m talking waaay back.

Humans have always perceived reality through a sort of political looking-glass. In order to make sense of things, a person’s heart and mind must be in agreement.

We’re back in the stone-age, as a small band of hunter-gatherers stumble upon a watering hole. This little group is now in possession of something more precious than gold. Life is wonderful for a while, till that fateful day when another group of cave-dwellers spot the creek.

The first instinct is to fight to the death for the sole right to the water. Let’s say our original small band of warriors wins, but half the group dies in the battle. Time passes, and another group of outsiders show up at the creek. This time our prehistoric friends are divided.

They can’t just let the enemy take what’s theirs; but how many more men can they afford to lose? Two camps arise: one advocating to fight like the last time, the other wanting to share the water with the intruders. This is the birth of politics. Conservatives/Republicans/Nazis wanting to hold on to what is theirs no matter what; and Liberals/Democrats/Communists wanting to “share the wealth”.

So, which side is right?

Wrong question. It’s not a matter of right versus wrong. It’s a matter of winning or losing. And as Solomon so keenly observed, there’s a time when the conservative way is best suited for the situation at hand; and there’s a time when the liberal approach makes more sense.

Our great nation has been on a conservative course since Day One of the Reagan Revolution. I may be in the minority but I’m convinced it’s time for a liberal awakening.

The last days of the Obama presidency.

Another day, another misstep by Obama. This morning the President once again inserted himself smack in the middle of the debt reduction talks. Once again, he spouted nonsense about bipartisanship. As more than one political pundit reminded us, the only thing Obama can do is either sign or veto a bill put before him. He has no business getting involved in the adult process of getting a bill passed in Congress. Mr. President – leave it to the professionals.

Let’s go through a short list of his failures to get a debt deal done.

Simpson-Bowles. Did he sign it into law? Nope. Never got through Congress, as it was met with disapproval from both parties.

A clean debt ceiling bill. Never got through the House.

The Biden Plan. Talks broke down after Obama tried to finesse the deal through “compromise”.

The Grand Bargain. Speaker Boehner had to literally walk out on the President upon indications the Tea Party wouldn’t march in lock-step with the President and his “balanced approach”.

Cut, Cap and Balance. Didn’t make it through the Senate after Obama threatened to veto it.

And now a last-ditch effort by Speaker Boehner to get a deal done by asking the Tea Party to make huge sacrifices to Obama seems perilously close to failure.

Throughout the debate, the President has failed to lead every time he let congressional leaders battle over the details. Throughout the debate, the President has acted like a dictator, summoning congressional leaders to the White House.

Mr. President, let me remind you, it was Bush who was The Decider – not you.

It is still possible to save the country from economic collapse. All we need to do is get Obama and Biden to resign in disgrace, and have John Boehner assume the Presidency. Eric Cantor would then take over as Speaker. Then we’d see Washington back on track. After all, it’s important to note that if John McCain were President, this debt ceiling nonsense would have cleared Congress not in a matter of months, but in a matter of hours.

Have it your way.

Prevailing wisdom says let the government default. Allow our credit rating to drop. Pay the interest on our outstanding debt first and stop payments on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Do not, under any circumstances, raise taxes.

I’ve reached the point that I realize opposing those ideas is counterproductive. Any kind of balanced approach to solve our debt crisis and avoid default will not succeed in Washington, and is anathema to the vast majority of the American people. They want Obama out of office and they want America to start over, with a clean slate.

No logic, no reason, will change anyone’s mind, so what’s the point? Americans are more upset that Obama interrupted The Bachelorette than that we might be headed for a major economic crisis. So, have it your way.

The law’s the law.

A couple of years ago, the Minnesota school district Michele Bachmann represents passed legislation that school employees could not teach that homosexuality was a ‘normal, valid lifestyle.’ The policy was later changed to require staff to remain neutral on the subject, but only if it should come up in class. Since then, nine students, victims of anti-gay bullying, have committed suicide:

Michele Johnson, whose 13-year-old daughter Samantha was one of the first students in the Anoka-Hennepin district to commit suicide in 2009, says she now wishes she’d never moved to the area.

‘I feel if I hadn’t moved to this district my daughter wouldn’t have died,’ Ms Johnson told Mother Jones.

The teachers used the excuse that they chose not to intercede for fear of losing their jobs. No, I’m not making that up. These public servants, who are charged with the duty of teaching our children how to survive in this cold, cruel world, decided that their paychecks were more important than human life.

The law’s the law? Well, if that’s true, and these teachers were simply “following orders”, they should be held guilty under the law. Nine murders. And these “public servants” signed contracts, knowing full well they would lose their jobs if they helped a victim of bullying. So the murders they committed were premeditated.

You have a problem with “homo-neutral” legislation? Work to get the law changed. But for now, these teachers need to be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law.