Saturday, September 04, 2010

Defeating al-Queda in Pakistan

IF the US really wanted to fight al-Queda and the Taliban in Pakistan, we would be pumping massive amounts of foreign aid into flood-stricken areas of that country. We'd be feeding and housing people, rebuilding their homes and schools and hospitals (and, yes, mosques), raising dams, bringing electricity and data service to every village. When US workers finished up and departed (in less than a year), the people's infrastructure wouldn't just be would be improved. They would be better off, materially and spiritually, than they were before the floods.

(And not incidentally, we would supply jobs for many out-of-work infrastructure people in the United States.)

Look at the friends the US made in England and France during World War II. Look at the friends we made throughout Western Europe as a result of the Marshall Plan. The Taliban and al-Queda are popular because they feed and shelter and care for people -- so let's feed, shelter, and care for them better.

The Ivory Madonna has said it before and she will say it again: Envision a world in which anyone, anywhere, could go to a United States Embassy and get a good, nutritious meal for free. That would be a world in which the United States was much more secure.

Instead, we spend trillions...thousands of billions...on armaments and soldiers and logistical/infrastructure support for our troops in support of goals that no one can articulate, in a world in which our nation is less secure now than it was a decade ago.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers. Like the blog? Send the author a donation.  Subscribe in a reader

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Repeal That Doesn't

Comes news of "a new White House-backed plan for a vote in Congress to immediately repeal the law that bans gays from serving openly in the military."

Good news? Wait.

"In a compromise worked out Monday between the White House and some Democrats, the Defense Department's personnel policies wouldn't have to change until the president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff agree that the military was ready."

So Congress can vote to repeal DADT. Immediately. And the Democrats can take credit for repealing it. Immediately. Democratic candidates can lean on the LGBT community for those all-important campaign contributions, those all-important volunteers, and did I mention the cash? And the best thing about it...DADT will remain in full force until "the military is ready."

Isn't it delicious? Isn't it Karl-Rovian doublespeak? All the benefit of a repeal, without actually repealing anything. Once again, take full advantage of the stupid, stupid gays while simultaneously getting the pleasure of continuing to kick them in the face.

Let me say it right now: Any lesbian, gay man, bisexual, or transgender person who falls for this and contributes money to any Democrat is an idiot.

Here's what my creator, Don Sakers, wrote to Mr. Obama:

Mr. President, I have supported you faithfully on most issues, but I can no longer remain silent on your disrespect toward the LGBT community. Your latest proposal, to have Congress vote on a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell that wouldn't take effect until the military is "ready", is insulting. Imagine if President Johnson had urged Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act, but promised not to implement it until Alabama was "ready."

You are trying to claim credit for a repeal without actually delivering a repeal. The LGBT community is not as stupid as you think; we will not fall for that trick.

A repeal that does everything except repeal? I expected such doublespeak from the Bush administration. I am saddened to hear it from the Obama administration.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers. Like the blog? Send the author a donation.  Subscribe in a reader

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Lifeboat Rules?

The Ivory Madonna believes in trying to understand her opponents. It's always tempting to dismiss those who don't agree with her as ignorant idiots at best, or evil sociopaths at worst. But neither leads to useful discussion or rational solutions, so she'd rather assume that her opponents have soi-disant "reasons" for their actions.

Which brings us to the recent Arizona immigrant law.

This law is a clear expression of the larger sentiment behind it: that immigrants are not welcome. That they consume resources belonging to native-born citizens. That they should not be allowed to partake in the bounty that the rest of us enjoy. In effect, it's a sentiment that says, "Hey, buddy, I've got mine, the hell with you."

This same sentiment is applied to the rest of the underclass: the poor, the unlucky, those without good jobs or medical insurance or influential friends & family.

How can we understand this? In what kind of world is this sentiment right and moral?

Actually, there is such a world. It's called Lifeboat Rules.

In matters of life and death, when there are only enough resources to keep a small, finite number alive...then it is right and moral to keep others out. If you let everyone swarm aboard the lifeboat, it will be swamped and all will die.

The Ivory Madonna believes that this is the key to understanding those who say "I've got mine, to hell with you." They feel that we are in a lifeboat: that there isn't enough to go around, that if we let more people aboard, we will all perish.

Now, the Ivory Madonna disagrees: she thinks that our country is wealthy enough -- in riches, in ability, in ingenuity, and in compassion -- to share the benefits of our society with all who come here to live. She feels that welcoming immigrants has served us very well in the past, and there's no reason to stop.

However, the important thing is that by shifting the discussion to whether or not lifeboat rules apply, we've changed the nature of the dialogue. And maybe we'll start talking rationally to one another.

The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers. Like the blog? Send the author a donation.  Subscribe in a reader

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Hidden Agenda to Abolish Divorce

Some people want you to believe that marriage is a matter for religion, not government. But be careful: these people have a hidden agenda, and the Ivory Madonna has discovered what it is.

If marriage belongs to religion, then so must divorce. Doesn't this follow as the night the day? If a couple can only be married by their religious official (priest, minister, rabbi, etc.) -- then obviously they can only be divorced by the same official.

The shrill people who shout that marriage is a religious ceremony -- including the Catholic Church and the Mormons -- maintain that they are trying to prevent gay marriage. But obviously, they're after bigger game. In short, they want to abolish divorce as well.

Straight people, think about this. Do you really want to go to your church to get permission to divorce? Do you honestly think that you will have much of a chance asking the Pope for a divorce?

After all, these same people keep shouting that it's vital for children to be raised by two opposite-sex parents. If you grant them that argument, how can you object if they force couples to remain together against their will...for the good of the children, of course?

Make no mistake, that's what they're after: a complete change in the way marriage and divorce operate in the United States.

Under current law, you go to a judge to get a divorce, not a priest. Marriage and divorce are matters of civil law, not the property of religion. Let's keep it that way.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.
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