Saturday, May 19, 2018

Trump's revival of Reagan gag rule unconscionable

While the 24/7 news cycle focuses primarily on Trump's foreign and financial corruption, the Trump administration focuses primarily on reversing many of the progressive policies which truly make life better for Americans. Take women's reproductive health. Trump just ordered Health & Human Services to prepare a 'gag rule' to prevent Planned Parenthood and other such counseling services from counseling pregnant women on available abortion services. Failure to comply will cause PP and others to lose precious federal Title X funds needed to provide these services. Physicians for Reproductive Health calls this proposal "unconscionable...undermining medical ethics by forcing health care professionals to withhold accurate and timely information from patients."
Trump isn't breaking new ground here. He's simply reviving President Reagan's gag rule from the early '80's. That rule never was implemented since it didn't survive court challenges till Clinton took office and ignored it; a humane response followed by Bush and Obama. Once again Trump proves that no decent progressive policy goes unpunished.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The mirror reflects Trib, NY Times, CNN

The uninformed reader of the Trib's editorial 'Who's to blame for the Gaza violence?' would have no idea that the Israeli army massacred 61 Palestinians and wounded several thousand more at the Israeli-Gaza border without suffering a single casualty. Nor would they understand the protesters were seeking to reveal in all its deadly horror, Israel's decade long blockade of Gaza's two million souls forced to the brink of joblessness, unsustainable health care, hideous living conditions, indeed, starvation; all supported and enabled by the United States. How cruel of the Trib to term possibly the world's worst man made humanitarian crisis as "economic hardship." How insensitive simply to "note that many of the protesters were peaceful", only massing "to reassert their 'right of return' to what is now express their despair — as generations of Palestinians have" and "to denounce the U.S. embassy switch." But the Trib is not alone. The New York Times has been called out for asserting Palestinians were simply "dying", while CNN rightly criticized for asserting that "clashes" resulted in "deaths". Instead of telling the unvarnished, horrific truth of Israel's weekly slaughter to keep Palestinians suffocating in the world's largest open air prison, mainstream media is using the mildest language possible to mask that truth.
The Trib calls on Palestinian leaders to look in the mirror for the source of Palestinian gunshot victims. The Trib, NY Times and CNN should all look in their mirror before their next weekly Gaza massacre story.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Israel 70, Palestine 0

Happy 70th birthday to Israel.
While Israelis and their supporters around the world celebrate three score and ten years as a thriving economic engine in the Middle East, Palestinians have yet to celebrate a single year or even a single day as a nation.
Two million Palestinians suffer in unbearable squalor imposed upon them by Israel in Gaza, and get shot down like ducks on the pond when they protest. Meanwhile, Israeli expansion in Palestinian areas of the West Bank continues at breakneck pace. Israeli infrastructure consisting of roads, settlements, military bases and nearly 600 checkpoints gobbles up 40% of the West Bank. Jewish settler population in occupied territories exceeds 600,000.
US officials make trip after trip after trip to the region imploring the Israelis to cease their settlements on occupied Palestinian land and negotiate fairly for a two state solution. But until the US makes our annual three billion dollars in aid to Israel contingent on actual progress instead of lip service while settlements grow unabated, the long suffering Palestinians will continue to be the most neglected and dehumanized folks on the planet.

Rauner's Seven Year Itch no comedy

The arc of human progress is slow and prone to setbacks. Consider abolition of the barbaric and inhumane death penalty. Seven years ago, under Governor Quinn, Illinois became the 17th state to abolish it, no doubt pleasing our Favorite Son Abe Lincoln, who must have applauded from the grave. Seven years on, Governor Rauner is proposing its re-instatement; albeit for really bad guys who kill cops or multiple persons. But Rauner is doing more than simply proposing; he inserted it into a gun control bill which will extend the waiting period to for purchasing assault rifles from 24 to 72 hours. The legislature must now override Rauner's death penalty provision or it becomes part of the gun control law. Rauner, desperate to win back the extreme wing of his conservative base picked off by Primary challenger Jeanne Ives, is simply throwing red meat to the death penalty crowd that resides within that base. It may be the most cynical ploy yet by a governor desperately trying to win re-election after failing to implement his 'turnaround agenda' in his first three and a half years.
In romantic comedies the 'Seven Year Itch' is a stitch. Bruce Rauner's seven year itch to re-instate the death penalty is a shameful embarrassment to Illinois. Now it's up to the legislature to keep the arc of progress in criminal justice from falling back to a barbaric age.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Die free now...or die later a staving prisoner

Dozens of Gaza's Palestinians chose death by a bullet to the head or heart this morning at the hands of Israeli sharpshooters, rather than wait for the slow death as a starving prisoner in the world's largest open air prison that is Gaza.
For the eight time in 7 weeks they put their bodies in front of bullets to protest the grotesque, inhuman treatment at the hands of their jailers in Israel's Likud Party. The death toll since March 30 approaches a hundred, with thousands more wounded.
The world reacts in horror everywhere except Washington, London, Paris, Riyadh and a few others that condone likely the most cruel horror being perpetrated on a powerless people by the all powerful.
As the Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano so aptly put it:
"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."