Boko Haram kidnapped 200 Nigerian school girls a year ago.
They’ve also kidnapped 100s of other Nigerians in the year since.
Kidnapping, slavery, murder and theft seem to be the hallmarks of both Hoko Haram and ISIS.
Boko Haram kidnapped 200 Nigerian school girls a year ago.
They’ve also kidnapped 100s of other Nigerians in the year since.
Kidnapping, slavery, murder and theft seem to be the hallmarks of both Hoko Haram and ISIS.
The boys and girls in DC are doing their doo-dah, once again.
It seems that Congress has labored and almost brought forth a bill. That in itself is newsworthy. Congress doesn’t make laws these days. It makes slander against anyone in the opposing political party that it can find to attack. By opposing party, I mean, of course, both of the political parties. Each political party is the opposing party to somebody.
It seemed for a moment in political time that this great American law-making body was actually going to make a law. They found something they could agree on enough to get enough of themselves to stop denouncing one another long enough to … ummm … actually do something that was part of the job they were elected to do.
Congress was poised on the tip of an actual vote on an actual bill. Americans everywhere held their breath. Would this Congress, long thought barren, bring forth a law?
Not, mind you, that it was much of a law. This particular bill would set up a fund for victims of sex trafficking. The monies to support this fund would come from fines that are paid by those who are convicted of sex trafficking. The money in the fund would be disbursed through grants to local law enforcement and non profits.
In other words, the law would not “protect” sex trafficking victims, as one headline I read stated. In fact, it would not do anything for sex trafficking victims in a direct fashion. But it would provide jobs for folks in the shiny new anti-sex trafficking industry, and some of them night help sex trafficking victims. Of course, the recipients of the grants would be subject to all sorts of politically correct stuff and nonsense, but that’s another post.
This bill is, as they say, a modest proposal. It is an especially modest response considering the horrific crime against humanity that it seeks to address. The real story here is that Congress actually came so close to passing a bill.
But, never fear my fellow Americans. Congress is not going to allow itself to break its losing streak by doing something. It seems that the Dems discovered that (Gasp!!!!) the bill does not allow these monies to be used to pay for abortions for victims of sex trafficking.
Now, we can not have that. Any piece of legislation that concerns “women’s issues,” which is to say any piece of legislation that involves sex, which as we all know, is a man’s delight and a woman’s “issue,” must have a codicil in it somewhere providing “access” for abortion. The reason for this is simple: All any woman needs, ever, is an abortion.
If a woman is kidnapped, raped, beaten, shut in a tiny room and only let out to be repeatedly sold so that she can be raped again and again and again, night after night, day after day. If she is sold across borders and put in “legal” brothels or put on the street and sold hand to hand, if she is told that if she resists, her family in her home country will be killed … if all this is done to her … why then, what she needs is an abortion.
I know something about this problem. I sit on the board of directors of a non-profit that rescues these women, often at great personal risk (people who will do all this, will kill anybody you know.) This organization provides a home environment, therapy, medical aid, education, clothing, and anything else these women need to help them rejoin humanity. Sometimes, the women are pregnant. When they have their babies, it’s a time of great rejoicing in the shelter. The babies are loved and the women are supported.
Odd as it may sound to the abortion-is-all-women-need crowd, when women are given the option of having their babies without paying a horrific price for doing so, when they are honored, respected and loved and their babies are honored, respected and loved, they want the children.
Many of the women we are talking about come from very traditional, conservative societies where children are valued. They value their maternity, when the people around them value it.
But I digress. Let’s return to the ugliness of Congress. It appears that this modest little piece of legislation is in big trouble.
The Democrats (or at least enough of them) are going into a you-can’t-pass-a-bill-about-women-without-promoting-abortion frenzy. They are willing to see the bill die rather than forego using it to fund abortion.
Because, you see, if help for women doesn’t include abortion, why then, it’s no help at all. Women need abortions. More than they need rescue, therapy, medical care (many of these women are horribly injured) freedom from slavery, legal aid, love, support and home, these women — like all women, everywhere — need abortions.
If the Ds can’t make sure that the sex trafficked ladies get their abortions, then they will protect them from having freedom, medical care, therapy, shelter, legal assistance, love, support and home forced on them. After all, without abortion, why would any of these things matter to a woman?
Just when it seemed that the Ds would take home the trophy for dereliction of duty for the week, the Rs jumped in. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that, unless the Ds stop fighting the sex trafficking bill, he will not schedule a vote on the confirmation of Loretta Lynch, who is President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General.
Because, you see, refusing to do its job is how Congress gets its way, and its way is always about partisan fighting.
There is the possibility that public dismay might jog the Stepford Congress out of its partisan thrall. But that won’t happen unless public dismay convinces the people who own Congress that their investment is in danger. It’s more likely that this bill will go the way of the ban on abortions after 20-weeks.
These people campaigned on all sorts of issues, and that got our votes. But they were lying in all those campaign ads. They were sent there to do what they are doing, which is to position their parties to take over the White House in ’16 and allow their money backers to take control of the Imperial Presidency.
The Ds are fighting over money for abortion because that’s big campaign $$ to them. The Rs are blocking everything that Congress might do because, as any politician knows, it’s easier to sell the public on being against things than it is to explain why you’re for something. They don’t want to do anything because there is risk in doing things and that might hurt the chances of taking the White House in ’16.
That’s why this little bill almost came to a vote. It looked like such a win-win-win-win that everybody thought it would be good political fodder for themselves.
But then, abortion reared its ugly head, and Congress stopped itself from breaking its self-imposed losing streak just in the nick of time.
From the New York Times:
WASHINGTON — An amazing thing about Congress: Things can always get worse.
After several years of troubles with spending bills that were once routinely bipartisan, the Senate has now found a way to disagree on a bill that would protect victims of sex trafficking. And in the process, that dispute has ensnared President Obama’s largely uncontroversial nominee for attorney general, Loretta E. Lynch.
The latest impasse sweeps up five years of the lowlights of congressional dysfunction: abortion and immigration policy disputes, White House exasperation, garden-variety distrust, and mutual loathing between Democrats and Republicans.
“Life is really simple,” Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada and minority leader, said on the Senate floor on Monday, attributing the sentiment to Confucius, “but we insist on making it complicated.”
The bill in question, sponsored by Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, is a modest measure with broad support in Congress that seeks to create a victims’ fund from fines collected from perpetrators of sex trafficking. A similar measure has passed the House and was expected to pass easily in the Senate.
But a provision in the Senate bill would prevent the fees from being used for abortions for the victims. Democrats say Republicans sneaked it into the bill. Republicans firmly deny the charge. And Democrats now say they will not vote for it unless the language is removed, something that Republicans decline to do.
In turn, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has said he will not turn to the matter of confirming Ms. Lynch, Mr. Obama’s nominee to replace Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., until the sex trafficking bill gets off the floor. A procedural vote to move the bill forward was expected on Tuesday.
Evidently, Pope Francis was concerned about problems in Argentina and, in a private correspondence, said, “Hopefully we are in time to avoid Mexicanization.”
When this statement became public, there was tsk-tsking in all the predictable quarters and Mexico went into the usual knee-jerk outrage and demands for apologies. I’m not sure if the Mexican president said he was “hurt” by the Pope’s remarks, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Everybody is “hurt” by things that couldn’t possibly hurt these days, including private remarks in private letters written by people they don’t know.
The Vatican apologized. Sort of. Here’s the sort-of apology:
‘The pope intended only to emphasize the seriousness of the phenomenon of the drug trafficking that afflicts Mexico and other countries in Latin America,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. “It is precisely this importance that has made the fight against drug trafficking a priority for the government.”
Now, according to the New York Post, Mexico is rebuffing the Pope’s sort-of apology.
I know this puts me entirely outside the politically correct industry of constant complaint and apology, but Mexico needs to get real.
I’m not outraged by the Pope’s comment. I am outraged by the long-standing corruption in Mexico’s government which has allowed drug cartels to kill, rape, torture and terrify civilians for decades.
The murders of women in Juarez has been going on for decades. The people there have staged marches, asking for police protection. When families reported that their daughters were missing, the police told them they had run off with their boyfriends. When the mutilated bodies were recovered, the police told the families the girls were prostitutes. Even if that had been true, it had nothing to do with the fact that the women had obviously been murdered; except in the minds of these Mexican police.
Mexico’s corrupt police have allowed the situation to fall into a near state of anarchy in parts of the country in which citizens are murdered and battles occur that rival actual war zones. Tourists have been advised to avoid Mexico because of the violence.
This violence and corruption play a major role in the situation in which the Mexican people are so unhappy with their home country that they risk walking across the desert to get into this country. I’ve been saying for a long time — to deaf ears, I might add — that if America wants to stop the influx of illegal immigrants at our Southern border, we need to help Mexico develop good government. That would mean, among other things, that we need to stop exploiting Mexico, which gets into corporatism.
Government in Mexico is a failure. It is not just and it certainly is not stable. If Mexico had a just and stable government, these people would not leave their homes and families to make the perilous journey to this country. They would stay in the comforts of their own lives rather than go live as strangers in a strange land. They would stay home, if home was livable.
So, the Pope said something that was based on actual fact, and the Mexican government goes through the faux outraged dignity routine and demands more and better apologies.
The real apology should be made to the Mexican people by the Mexican police, Mexican elected officials and everyone else in Mexico who has failed their people so abysmally for decades. I’ll go back to the women of Juarez to make a point: If this violence against women had been addressed at Juarez — as a legitimate police force and a legitimate federal government would have done — it would not have worsened and spread into the rest of the country. Instead, it was ignored and allowed to continue. The official response seems to have been misogynist jingoism rather than police work and justice for the women of Juarez.
I think, instead of “rebuffing” the Vatican’s apologies, Mexico needs to get real. The Mexican government is the one that should apologize, first to its own citizens and second to the world community, for allowing corruption in its police force and its government to continue unabated and unchallenged for decades.
Will Mexico be able to pull itself out of the abyss of bandit government where the nation is run by drug cartels and the people flee the result of that corruption in such mass numbers that it has created a crisis of illegal immigration in this country? Not unless it decides it wants to, and not unless this decision goes from the top to the bottom.
I would guess that being an honest official of any sort, be that cop, elected official, priest, teacher or clerk, is dangerous business in Mexico. From the things my former constituents from Mexico have told me, the corruption honeycombs the country and all its institutions.
I don’t think the Pope should apologize to anyone for his comment about Mexico. The word choice may have been inept, and the fact that he said such a thing is sure to get him hammered by gaffe reporters and the politically correct censorship cops. But the comment was based on a sober reality that no amount of politically-correct censorship can change.
Mexico does not need the band-aid of politically correct censorship. Mexico needs a just and stable government.
This video describes beginning of the Spanish Reconquista. It discusses people and events that are unknown to most of us today. I think the story of Pelayo, testifying to faith in Christ to the co-opted bishop, is especially dramatic.
I am aware that there are Islamic teachings which lead to a more peaceful application of that faith. I think that the interpretation referenced here is an accurate depiction of of the application of Islamic teachings in 633-638 AD. It also seems that it is still relevant to Islamic extremists today.
I want to emphasize that this video discusses events which happened almost 1400 years ago. The reason I am posting it here is to correct the inaccurate history of the Crusades which is being used in the popular media to attack and degrade Christians and Christianity.
Fifty Shades of Grey did big box office yesterday. It pulled in $30.2 million. It is also, as the article I linked to shows, being regarded as something of a cultural event. I imagine today will be even bigger box office for the movie.
The fact that many of the viewers are women tells its own tale about the degradation of the female which has taken place in our world. There was a time when the feminist movement would have tarred Fifty Shades and women themselves would have been willing to march against it. It is the essence of failed feminism that, after decades of “advocating” for women’s rights, this is where we are.
In my opinion, that has everything to do with the fact that feminism replaced the just and prophetic cause of women’s rights with the fight for legal abortion. I feel so strongly about this that I’m writing a whole book about it.
If you plan to give this movie a pass, you need to congratulate yourself. You’re doing the right thing.
In case you need them, here are 10 reasons why.
1. Linking sex and violence is evil.
2. Depicting women as objects and degrading them for entertainment is evil.
3. Getting your jaw smashed is not liberating.
4. Men who abuse women shouldn’t be “rescued.” They should be put in jail.
5. Holding up the masochistic woman as a twisted ideal is the oldest misogynist game in the world.
6. There’s nothing romantic about excruciating pain.
7. Celebrating mental, emotional, spiritual sickness is not good for your own mind, heart, soul.
8. Blood, fecal matter, torture and abuse are not turns-ons … unless there’s something really wrong with you.
9. Your lifespan is finite. Why waste 125 minutes of it on this trash?
10. Your money is finite. Why waste a chunk of it on “art” that degrades the female half of the human race?
What is it with women who read Fifty Shades of Gay and who will go to the movie? You got me.
Fifty Shades sounds like the classic masochistic nonsense: Woman redeeming the bad man by allowing him to abuse her. This sort of claptrap has been used to keep women in abusive relationships for millennia. It’s right up there with the “she asked for it” defense of rape.
It is interesting that it’s Christians who are speaking out most strongly against this misogyny. The feminist response, such as it is, has been much weaker and more muted. For instance, this is the only response I found on NOW’s website. There was no comment about Fifty Shades on the National Women’s Political Caucus website.
This is the same old sick stuff that feminists once rightfully condemned with all their force. In my opinion, the popularity of Fifty Shades after decades of feminist work is a sign and a symbol of a failed movement.
One of the commenters in the video below says that linking sex and violence is evil. I absolutely agree. That fact that this sicko movie is the big box Valentine’s Day release says a lot, and none of it good, about our culture.
Public Catholic reader Ken gave me the link to this story.
According to Crux, the Vatican has announced an International Day of Prayer and Recollection Against Human Trafficking on February 8.
Slavery is on the rise, and a lot of people who think they oppose slavery are aiding and abetting it. I could write a series of posts on the ways in which those of us who oppose slavery with our words end up buying products made by slaves, hiring people who are slaves and, yes, using prostitutes who are slaves.
One of the things I’ve heard from human trafficking victims who have been sold as prostitutes is that they fear going to church because they will see men who have bought them there. This is a startling example of how low we can go.
Don’t buy other people, and that means, among other things, do not use prostitutes. Also, do not hire people’s services when they are sold to you on street corners.
We like to rant and rave about “illegal immigration” in this country. It comes up every four years in every off election, just like clockwork. Then, after the election passes, so does the concern. Remember last fall and all the carrying on about the invasion at the border? Where is that now?
But don’t worry, it’ll be back in four years for the next off-year election.
In the meantime, corporations bring people into this country illicitly to work on their farms and similar low-skilled jobs. No one is actually going to do anything about illegal immigration because there is money to be made from it.
Human trafficking gets lost in this political demagoguery and the corporatism that drives it. Slave labor is used on a massive scale around the globe. There is a distinction between free illegal immigrants who cross the Rio Grande to work in this country and people who are brought here and used as slaves. We tend to lump them together, but the difference is that one is a slave and the other is a free human being. This difference eludes a lot of people.
I’m not going to get into the question of hiring illegal immigrants in this post. All I will say is that I know – know – that we will never pass meaningful laws against the practice. The money interests don’t want such laws, and the money interests control our government. I doubt that we can even stop money interests from knowingly using slave labor.
What is possible is for you and I to make an effort to do so. Small business people out there who hire day laborers, are oftentimes employing slaves without being aware of it. They don’t have to commit this crime against humanity, if they are willing to work to avoid it.
The easy way to avoid using slaves is to simply refuse to hire people off street corners and through shady agencies. You might also look into the lives of the people you hire. If they go home to their own home, with their own family, if they go to church and sit out in the yard on Saturday night, trading stories with their friends and knocking back a few brews, chances are good that they are not slaves.
Human trafficking, which means slavery, is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. According to many news reports I’ve read, groups like ISIS finance their operations at least in part by taking civilian populations, including large parts of the local Christian populations, captive and then selling them as slaves.
Of course, they could not do this if other people didn’t buy these slaves.
That’s the equation with slavery. Someone must sell the slaves. And someone else must buy them.
We need to join with Pope Francis on February 8 in the International Day of Prayer and Recollection Against Human Trafficking.
We also need to do everything we can to make sure that we do not buy products made by slaves, and do not unwittingly use slaves in our businesses.
And oh yes, men should stop buying women and children off street corners to use for sex. When you buy a human being, that does not make them your date. It makes them your slave, and being a deliberate user of slave labor makes you a monster.
President Obama made some tough comments in a speech he gave during his visit to India. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had previous pulled out all the stops by greeting President Obama with a hug when he first arrived, and then issuing gushy statements about the “chemistry” between himself and our president.
President Obama has promised 4 billion in investment and aid to India. But along with that came a speech in which he stated that India needs religious freedom and that an Indian woman should “be able to go about her day — to walk the street or ride a bus — and be safe and treated with the respect and dignity she deserves.”
From Quartz India:
“Nowhere is it going to be more necessary to uphold religious faith than in India. India will succeed so long as it is not splintered on religious lines,” Obama said.
“Your Article 25 (of the Constitution) says that all people are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion. Every person has the right to practice their religion and beliefs and not practice it if they choose so without any persecution,” he added.In his 2010 town hall address, the US president had spoken of religion mainly in reply to a question on jihad and the distortion of Islam by extremists.
Obama was also much more vocal on women’s issues, unlike last time.
“A measure of a country’s success depends on how it treats its women. Nations are more successful when their women are successful. Every woman should be able to go about her day—to walk the street or ride the bus—and be safe and be treated with the respect and dignity that she deserves,” Obama said on Jan. 27.
The allusion to the brutal Dec. 2012 gang rape of a 23-year-old girl in New Delhi was clear.
“Our nations are strongest when we uphold the equality of all our people and that includes our women,” he added.
It appears that there’s a budding bromance between India’s Prime Minister and President Barack Obama.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted our president at the airport with a big bear hug and then went on to describe the “chemistry” and “strong friendship” between himself and President Obama.
Prime Minister Modi is leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is described as the Hindu nationalist party. His election raised fears that he would undermine religious freedom in India.
He was banned from entry to the United States for several years because of his connection to religious-based, sectarian violence, in particular the Gujarat riots of 2002. He was also the subject of a Congressional resolution asking the president to continue the ban on his entry into the United States.
As always with politics, it’s wise to look at these displays of affection between two people who do not know one another and who carry the power of heads of state with a critical eye. How does Prime Minister Modi stand to benefit from his bromance with our president?
I’m not in any way criticizing President Obama for making this trip to India. World leaders need to talk, and for better or worse, Narendra Modi is now a world leader.
But I want Public Catholic readers to think past the superficial headlines to the real political reasons underneath them.
Update: President Obama ended his visit to India by pledging 4 billion dollars in investments and loans to help “tap” India’s “potential.”
The United States House of Representatives’ leadership has made the decision to scrap a bill that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. They went for a bill banning the use of government monies to pay for abortions, instead.
I have a couple of points here.
First, why not amend the bill to allow this exception? I know that there are pro life purists who refuse to amend legislation in this manner, but I’m not one of them. The bill would save lives, even with such an amendment. I know from dealing with these things as a legislator that politics is always the art of the possible. If that’s what it takes to pass a 20-week ban on abortion, then do it.
Second, even though I have dealt with upset legislators on these issues and know very well that reasoning does not work, I want to make the point for the record and for public discussion, that 20 weeks and later in a pregnancy is too late to be having an abortion, period.
At this point, it is more dangerous and far more traumatic for the woman to have an abortion than it would be to simply deliver the baby and try to save it. There is a good chance that these babies would live, if they were properly cared for.
Second, rape victims have had months to decide to abort. Even if you accept the idea that a woman should be able to abort a baby because it was conceived in rape, there is no reason why any rape victim needs five months to make up her mind about the question. Abortions after 20 weeks are needless killings. There is no reason to abort any child that far into pregnancy.
If the mother’s health is in danger, just deliver the baby and try to save it.
It’s entirely possible that the House will re-think its decision about this legislation. They are going to get a lot of fire from their own base over it. It’s very, very possible that the heat will force them to back down and move forward with the bill.
If they do, and if the bill gets to the President, he has already promised that he will veto it. That will make the whole issue one big fat vote getting, money raising issue for both parties.
It will be a win-win-win-win for everybody.
Except the babies.