Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The meaning of life

A pain percolated in the right side of my head, just up and behind the ocular cavity. This gurgling discomfort developed shortly after watching Rick Santorum speak in the US Senate during floor debate on the stem cell research funding bill. As aggravating as watching or hearing Santorum say anything, growling head pain has not been a usual symptom and I am hoping that this was mere coincidence. If it is not, there currently remains the hopeful prospect that, by November, Santorum's political career will go swirling down the drain of electoral reprisal, sparing us all the ignominy and skull-wracking anguish of Santorum public policy statements.

Indeed, after the indiscriminate killing of what is now hundreds of Lebanese civilians by the Israeli Defense Force -- with US blessing -- and as Iraq becomes further mired in sectarian warfare, with reprisal massacres now a daily feature of the Middle East's "newest democracy," Rick Santorum stood on the floor of the US Senate and sincerely explained his position on the stem cell research funding bill. You see, it's all about saving lives:
This is an important moment for us in this country. This is about the value of human life....All I can suggest is, that every life, whether it's in a suspended state in an IVF clinic or they're standing on the floor of the United States Senate, attempting to protect those ... suspended lives, every life has meaning. Every life deserves protection under our Constitution.
As debatable as it may be, let us ignore the self-aggrandizing and gratuitous conceit evinced herein, that his life -- Rick Santorum's life -- is a life with meaning (frankly, I have my suspicions that, on the ladder of "meaning," frozen embroyos probably sit a rung or two higher than Santorum's ghastly presence on this earth, but no matter). Despite little evidence for an appreciation of the "value of human life" in the policies of the current administration and this Republican-led Congress, I still find it amazing that anyone in Congress can actually utter such specious bullshit, especially at the same time White House-sanctioned civilian slaughter is underway:
More civilians were killed in Israeli airstrikes today — at least 19,according to The Associated Press, while the BBC put the total at 40, and Reuters at 49. Israeli ground troops briefly crossed the Lebanese border and clashed with Hezbollah forces, news services said, while a cruise liner with 1,059 American fleeing the violence left Beirut to Cyprus.

Reuters reported that 12 Lebanese civilians, including several children, were killed and 30 people were wounded when Israeli jets bombed several houses in Srifa, a village in the country’s south. “There was a massacre in Srifa,’’ said Afif Najdi, the village’s mayor.

On Tuesday, 11 members of the Lebanese Army died when bombs hit their barracks east of Beirut, while in southern Lebanon, nine members of a single family were killed and four were wounded in an Israeli airstrike on their house in the village of Aitaroun, near the Israeli border.

Some 500,000 Lebanese have fled their homes to escape the violence.
And what is the Bush administration's position on this god-awful mayhem, where American forces are evacuating Americans while American bombs fall all around?
The outlines of an American-Israeli consensus began to emerge on Tuesday,in which Israel would continue to bombard Lebanon for another week or so...
Oh well, if it's only another week, hell, have at it.

Of course, Iraq was brought to us or, rather, we were brought to Iraqis, with promises of freedom, democracy, Burger King and all manner of marvelous western "philosophy" about free markets. What did Iraqis actually get?
In the last ten days, while the world has been absorbed by the war in Lebanon, sectarian massacres have started to take place on an almost daily basis leading observers to fear a level of killing approaching that of Rwanda immediately before the genocide of 1994. On one single spot on the west bank of the Tigris river in north Baghdad between 10 and 12 bodies have been drifting ashore every day.
But staying the course -- this course -- is Bush's only response and a Republican-led Congress, with Rick Santorum in the number 3 spot, is happy to allow this to continue (a few will, and undoubtedly already have, raised the "genetic" argument: it's those violent, swarthy desert folk. They just don't know a good thing when it's handed to them). When Rick Santorum said "every life has meaning," he didn't really say what that "meaning" actually is. With extant violence and death, sanctioned as it is by Congress, perhaps Santorum thinks that some meanings are simply to die young and horrribly in acts of civil war and state terrorism. Santorum should be made to clarify his remark about "meaning."

Of course, I'm joking about that. Santorum has no more ability to clarify what he means than we do. And we know exactly why Santorum has taken the position on stem cell funding that he has. It is the same reason the like-minded idiot in the Oval Office has vetoed the bill, a veto that the House has failed to override. Which means that the president and Republicans in Congress must really value life. Their political life that is, not anyone else's.

Hopefully, sense will prevail in November and voters -- huge numbers if they are to avoid another Diebold fiasco -- will repudiate this wretched band of self-interested na'er-do-wells who have managed to passively allow the wholesale slaughter now playing out across the Middle East while further rejecting the prospects of future medical research for the sake of playing to their base. I am not at all convinced that Republicans will loose either House right now but, at the very least, please Pennsylvania, get rid of Santorum. We could all use fewer headaches.


Blogger Kel said...

Great point Bhc. They say they care for lives, as long as it's the lives of those yet to be born, and then they stand by and do nothing while Israel kill hundreds.

The hypocrisy of these people is breathtaking.

3:14 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

It is particularly sickening to listen to idiots like Santorum spout on about the value of life when American bombs are killing people. I'm so sick of this myth that Christian Right values "life." It is a patently absurd, they have no idea even know what even they mean by that. I know I don't.

11:24 AM  
Blogger earthtogod said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:12 PM  
Blogger earthtogod said...

As a somewhat native Pennsylvanian, I know that many are sick of Santorum and few even follow his antics anymore. Most even wonder how he got elected in the first place, but that is an entirely different story that could be a blog in an of itself. Just rest assured that Santorum didn't start out this nutty, and actually did quite a bit for PA in the early years, until that cronyism infected him and he slowly lost his mind. The last few years, Pennsylvania has been extremely embarrassed by the man who thinks his life has meaning.

9:15 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...


There is a blog that tracks Santorum's antics,

Santorum Exposed

which is where you can watch him talk about the value of life and much else.

9:19 PM  

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