Thursday, September 28, 2006

Just called my senators and rep

Here were the messages I left for them:

Rep. Tim Holden (D): "Your vote for the detainee bill is very disappointing. To vote for a bill that condones torture and wipes out habeas corpus in one bill is very, very disappointing." (I might actually try to set up an appointment with Holden in October since Congress will be out of session and he is breezing to re-election.)

Specter: "Please vote against the detainee bill, whether your amendments pass or fail. To condone torture and destroy habeas corpus is un-American." (Specter is going to introduce amendments to strike the habeas destruction clauses from the bill.)

Santorum: "Who would Jesus torture? Please think about that when you go to vote today."

Find your senators and your rep.

This will be a day long remembered

The day the democracy died. The Senate is poised to pass a bill to rubber-stamp the use of torture and the destruction of the courts in our military actions. Under this bill, rape is not torture. It allows the president to define what actions can be taken under the Geneva Convention without ever releasing what actions are on his list. The bill would not only allow the U.S. to pick up citizens of other countries in their countries as "illegal enemy combatants" but would also allow the president to pick up U.S. citizens and slap them with the same designation.
Here's what happens when this irresponsible Congress railroads a profoundly important bill to serve the mindless politics of a midterm election: The Bush administration uses Republicans' fear of losing their majority to push through ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws - while actually doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats betray their principles to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy is the big loser.

I'm calling Santorum today to ask, "Who would Jesus torture?" This is one of those days when I wish there was a hell because then I could take great pleasure knowing that Bush, Cheney, Santorum, Frist, etc. would burn there.

It's hard to believe that America has reached a day where we need a military coup to restore decency and common sense.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

From inauguration day to "zero hour": George Bush in the months before 9/11

With all this chatter about what Clinton did and did not do regarding the threat from al-Qaeda, Countdown with Keith Olbermann did a comprehensive report on the warnings the Bush Administration was receiving about the threat from global jihadists. (To view the report, visit Countdown's website and then click "Watch Video" under "Leading up to 9/11." The report is about 4 minutes into the segment.) Meanwhile, Bush was worried about Star Wars, aka the missile defense system, and Wolfowitz was actually arguing that the greatest threat from terrorism was from Iraq. From Bill Clinton to Sandy Berger to Richard Clarke to Senator Carl Levin to Senator Diane Feinsteinn, the bells were ringing all around President Bush, but he and his administration couldn't be bothered.

Why does this matter now? It matters because it shows that we cannot trust the judgment of George Bush and his party with national security.

Quote of the day

"If your workplace is safe: if your children go to school rather than being forced into labor; if you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a forty-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights; if your food is not poisoned and your water is drinkable; if your parents are eligible for Medicare and Social Security, so they can grow old in dignity without bankrupting your family; if our rivers are getting cleaner and our air isn't black with pollution; if our wilderness is protected and our countryside is still green; if people of all races can share the same public facilities; if everyone has the right to vote; if couples fall in love and marry regardless of race; if we have finally begun to transcend a segregated society-you can thank liberals." --Joe Conason, writer

I'm ready to go vote for Bob Casey

With all of the negative campaigning and the mud-slinging, it's easy to get down on the political season and the nonsense and the high jinks. And although the headline here is "I'm ready to go vote for Bob Casey," I'd be ready to vote for Terrell Owens if he was running against Rick Santorum.

But Casey's latest ad has me inspired. Go, Bob, go. You can watch the ad here. This is a clear contrast to Santorum's latest ad, the now-infamous jail cell piece.

There is a clear difference in this campaign. One candidate has class, and one is crass. I'm voting for class.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

You be me for a while and I'll be you

One of the great tragedies in our nation and the world, frankly, is the wide inability to see things from others' points of view. After 9/11, the mere suggestion of trying to grasp a better understanding of the Middle East was quickly yelled down by the screamers. And we have an administration that doesn't even bother talking with people they don't agree with, let alone trying to understand them. This is not a uniquely American problem either.

I'm thinking about this in relation to the Iran situation. Ever stopped to think about what must be going through the Iranians' heads about their security? The president of the United States has called your country one of three countries in an "axis of evil." The U.S. then pre-emptively and on false pretenses attacked one of the other three in this "axis," who just happens to be your neighbor.

Is it any wonder Iran would want to pursue nuclear weapons? The bull-in-a-china shop approach toward the world by the Bush Administration has made the world not safer but more dangerous.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Regressives

It's about time someone connected the dots about the Republicans. Plenty of us out here in the hinterlands know this, but the Democrats aren't saying this or the media's not covering them saying it. This needs to be stated clearly, concisely, and strongly in every press appearance the Democrats do:

The Republicans do not believe in the rights of the people. They do not believe in American values. They believe in restricting rights, rather than expanding them. In short, the modern-day Republican party does not believe in freedom.

You can go right down the line and find so many ways in which the Rethugnicans believe in restricting people's rights:

  • Voting rights. Suppressing the vote has a sad history in our country. Unfortunately, it continues to this day. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved a bill to require proof of citizenship at the polls. It was a party-line vote with the Republicans in favor and the Democrats against.
  • The right to privacy. The Republicans believe that there is no right to privacy, that the government can and should monitor you anytime, anyplace. They can govern your body. They can govern your sex life. They can listen to your phone calls and read your e-mails and collect your records without showing any reason why they suspect you of a crime.
  • The courts. There are at least three bills bouncing around Congress that are complete about-faces on the American value of justice. The "compromise" detainee and military commission bill will block habeas corpus for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, a majority of whom, according to multiple military reports and sources, are innocent. The Streamlined Procedures Act (PDF) would severely restrict the access to federal courts for state prisoners and risk the execution of the innocent. And the Public Expression of Religion Act would keep those with low or moderate incomes from challenging violations of their Constitutional rights. Only the wealthy could carry forth with a complaint when their rights have been violated. The Republicans are in the process of obliterating our system of justice.

There are numerous other examples, of course. The attacks on gays and their desire to end their second-class citizenship is one.

The Democrats need to make it clear to the American public that the Republican party is against freedom. When the Republi-cons accuse the Dems of having a "pre-9/11 mentality," the Dems should retort that the Cons have a pre-1776 mentality.

People on the left like to call themselves Progressives. Today's Republican party should be known as Regressives.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

George W. Bush, war criminal

Whoa. This is the first time that I've seen a prominent pundit, and a conservative one, at that, suggest that Bush and his henchmen be prosecuted for war crimes:
What the Bush administration wants is to introduce vagueness to get away with exactly the same barabarism they have deploying illegally for the past five years. They must be stopped. And eventually, they must be prosecuted for war crimes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A list of op-eds and editorials from the week

There has been a host of op-eds and editorials worth note this week.

New York Times, John Tierney, columnist: Waiting for al-Qaeda (subscription required)
The Bush administration likes to take credit for stopping domestic plots, but it's hard to gauge whether these are much more than the fantasies of a few klutzes. Bush also claims that the war in Iraq has diverted terrorists’ attention there, but why wouldn't global jihadists want the added publicity from attacking America at home, too? Al Qaeda's leaders threatened in 2003 to attack America — along with a half dozen other countries that haven’t been attacked either.

Mueller's conclusion is that there just aren’t that many terrorists out there with the zeal and the competence to attack the United States. In his forthcoming book, "Overblown," he argues that the risk of terrorism didn't increase after Sept. 11 — if anything, it declined because of a backlash against Al Qaeda, making it a smaller and less capable threat than before. But the terrorism industry has been too busy hyping Sept. 11 and several other attacks to notice.
Compared with past threats — like Communist sociopaths with nuclear arsenals — Al Qaeda's terrorists are a minor problem. They certainly don't justify the hyperbolic warnings that America's "existence" or "way of life" is in jeopardy, or that America must transform the Middle East in order to survive.

There undoubtedly will be more terrorist attacks, either from Al Qaeda or others, just as there were before 2001. Terrorists might strike Monday. There will always be homicidal zealots like Mohamed Atta or Timothy McVeigh, and some of them will succeed, terribly. But this is not a new era. The terrorist threat is still small. It's the terrorism industry that got big.

The Patriot News, editorial: Detainees
Under our Constitution, the most heinous criminal is entitled to due process and a day in court. This is what separates us from many other countries around the world where the rights of the accused are not protected, and torture and gross mistreatment to obtain confessions are routine.

Philadelphia Inquirer, editorial: Remember 9/12?
On that day, we had the world's sympathy and, for a short while after, its admiration. "We are all Americans," European newspaper headlines declared. You could not pay the same publications enough euros to print the same headline today.

Why? Because of the ways we did not change for the better, and the ways we changed for the worse.

In these five years, the nation has been poorly led. History's verdict on those men and women (of both parties) will be severe.

Ny Times, editorial: 9/11/06
When we measure the possibilities created by 9/11 against what we have actually accomplished, it is clear that we have found one way after another to compound the tragedy. Homeland security is half-finished, the development at ground zero barely begun. The war against terror we meant to fight in Afghanistan is at best stuck in neutral, with the Taliban resurgent and the best economic news involving a bumper crop of opium. Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11 when it was invaded, is now a breeding ground for a new generation of terrorists.

Listing the sins of the Bush administration may help to clarify how we got here, but it will not get us out. The country still hungers for something better, for evidence that our leaders also believe in ideas larger than their own political advancement.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Return to Guantanamo Bay

I was able to track down an online version of the Rolling Stone article on torture at Guantanamo Bay, so the more disturbing excerpts can be easily copied-and-pasted. It was available in a database from school, so I cannot link to it.

These words speak for themselves:
Upon their return, the MPs uncuffed Omar's arms, pulled them behind his back and recuffed them to his legs, straining them badly at their sockets. At the junction of his arms and legs he was again bolted to the floor and left alone. The degree of pain a human body experiences in this particular "stress position" can quickly lead to delirium, and ultimately to unconsciousness. Before that happened, the MPs returned, forced Omar onto his knees, and cuffed his wrists and ankles together behind his back. This made his body into a kind of bow, his torso convex and rigid, right at the limit of its flexibility. The force of his cuffed wrists straining upward against his cuffed ankles drove his kneecaps into the concrete floor. The guards left.

An hour or two later they came back, checked the tautness of his chains and pushed him over on his stomach. Transfixed in his bonds, Omar toppled like a figurine. Again they left. Many hours had passed since Omar had been taken from his cell. He urinated on himself and on the floor. The MPs returned, mocked him for a while and then poured pine-oil solvent all over his body. Without altering his chains, they began dragging him by his feet through the mixture of urine and pine oil. Because his body had been so tightened, the new motion racked it. The MPs swung him around and around, the piss and solvent washing up into his face. The idea was to use him as a human mop. When the MPs felt they'd successfully pretended to soak up the liquid with his body, they uncuffed him and carried him back to his cell. He was not allowed a change of clothes for two days.
While he was at Guantanamo, Omar was beaten in the head, nearly suffocated, threatened with having his clothes taken indefinitely and, as at Bagram, lunged at by attack dogs while wearing a bag over his head. "Your life is in my hands," an intelligence officer told him during an interrogation in the spring of 2003. During the question' ing, Omar gave an answer the interrogator did not like. He spat in Omar's face, tore out some of his hair and threatened to send him to Israel, Egypt, Jordan or Syria - places where they tortured people without constraints: very slowly, analytically removing body parts. The Egyptians, the interrogator told Omar, would hand him to Asfyri raqm tisa - Soldier Number Nine. Soldier Number Nine, the interrogator explained, was a guard who specialized in raping prisoners.

Omar's chair was removed. Because his hands and ankles were shackled, he fell to the floor. His interrogator told him to get up. Standing up was hard, because he could not use his hands. When he did, his interrogator told him to sit down again. When he sat, the interrogator told him to stand again. He refused. The interrogator called two guards into the room, who grabbed Omar by the neck and arms, lifted him into the air and dropped him onto the floor. The interrogator told them to do it again - and again and again and again. Then he said he was locking Omar's case file in a safe: Omar would spend the rest of his life in a cell at Guantanamo Bay.

Several weeks later, a man who claimed to be Afghan interrogated Omar. He wore an American flag on his uniform pants. Hc said his name was Izmarai - "lion" - and he spoke in Farsi and occasionally in Pashto and English. Izmarai said a new prison was under construction in Afghanistan for uncooperative Guantánamo detainees. "In Afghanistan," Izmarai said, "they like small boys." He pulled out a photograph of Omar and wrote on it, in Pashto, "This detainee must be transferred to Bagram."
In his debriefing, Abdurahman Khadr told the CIA that only ten percent of the detainees at Guantanamo "are really dangerous." The rest, he said, "are people that don't have anything to do with it, don't even . . . understand what they're doing here." One innocent man, Abdurahman said, was given up by his own son for $5,000. Another detainee was nothing more than a drug user: Every time the MPs came around, he begged them for hashish: "He doesn't even know what he's doing here," Abdurahman said. "Truly a drug addict, not Al Qaeda at all."

One military-intelligence officer, speaking anonymously, told a reporter that more than seventy-five percent of the detainees at Guantanamo are innocent. When the government recently prepared Summaries of Evidence for its 517 detainees in an attempt to justify its "enemy combatant" designation, only eight percent were "definitively identified" as Al Qaeda fighters. Sixty-six percent have no definitive connection to Al Qaeda at all. The detention camps of Guantanamo Bay are filled with shepherds, taxi drivers, farmers, small businessmen, drug addicts, homeless people and children.

For Rick Wilson and Muneer Ahmad, this nasty truth led to an unnerving conclusion: After the invasion of Afghanistan, the Bush administration effectively kidnapped hundreds of innocent people because they looked like Arabs and shipped them to a detention facility designed to torture them nonstop and in perpetuity. If the president were tried in the Hague, the prosecution would have an easy case.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Removing religion from the public square.... an overused and twisted phrase but completely appropriate for Thursday's column by Stu Bykofsky from the Philadelphia Daily News. Stu suggests that faith remove itself from public policy debates:
The separation of church and state protects the church from intrusion by the state. It should also shield the state from intrusion by the church, whether the issue be stem-cell research, abortion, Terri Schiavo or the death penalty.

And he completely mangles Jesus' teachings:
He certainly wasn't talking about Jesus' admonition to "render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Jesus meant the Romans had the right to tax the Jews and to impose Roman law.

To suggest that Jesus would teach his followers to simply stand-by while the government commits unjust acts is just wrong. He said that if a soldier forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two, which would break the etiquette of what soldiers could and could not do to citizens.
You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

If you turn the other cheek, your attacker would have to hit you overhand, which would be a sign of equality. It was more shameful to see someone naked than it was to be seen naked, and hence the suggestion to "let him have your cloak as well." Jesus taught people non-violent civil disobedience.

"Render unto Caesar" is not a blank check for the government to do whatever it wants.

Faith has played a role in the great movements for progress and against injustice throughout this country's history- the civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, women's suffrage, the abolitionists. Stu's suggestion that faith and faith leaders play no role in public policy infringes on basic American freedoms of religion and political expression.

For many Americans, faith and spirituality give us a compass for direction on social justice. It's impossible to disconnect it from public policy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

"This country faces a new type of fascism- indeed"

Keith Olbermann gripped it and ripped it last Wednesday on Countdown. In response to Don Rumsfeld's speech to the American Legion in Salt Lake City, Olbermann noted
For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration's track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life's blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as "his" troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

You can watch the video and read the text here.

The answers Casey could have given

Yesterday Senator Rick Santorum and Democratic challenger Bob Casey, Jr. faced off in a debate on Meet the Press. Casey did pretty well. Several times, particularly when moderator Tim Russert pressed him on Iraq, Santorum got hot and bothered, so imagine the surprise when the Patriot News today said that Santorum was "sedate and less emotional." That's not what I saw. The Patriot said, "Independent analysts called it a clear Casey victory."

There were a few times, though, when Santorum gave Casey hanging curveballs and Casey failed to knock them out of the park. Here are a few of those situations and what Casey could have said.

Santorum claimed we found WMD in Iraq. This is the continuation of a statement Santorum made on the floor of the Senate, but even the White House admitted these were old weapons that had been buried in a WMD graveyard after the Iran-Iraq war. Casey responded by saying that Russert found the 2% of the time that Santorum disagrees with the president.

What Casey could have said. "The weapons that the senator refers to were found in a WMD graveyeard. They were so old you would do more damage if you dropped them on your foot than if you tried to launch them. But the broader issue here is that this is a clear indication of why we need new leadership in the Senate. Senator Santorum went to the floor of the United States Senate to proclaim this information from the highest mountaintop in order to mislead the American people. It was picked up by the extreme right-wing talkradio hosts and Fox News, and now more Americans believe that we found WMD in Iraq. This country can no longer afford leaders who will manipulate information in this way. I make a promise today to the people of Pennsylvania and the people of this country that as the senator from Pennsylvania I will never mislead you for my own gain of power."

Santorum lambasted Casey for not stopping the state legislative pay raise. Santorum suggested that Casey could have stopped the pay raise by not signing the checks. Clearly, this would have been illegal. Santorum went on to accuse Casey of playing politics with the pay raise by filing an amicus brief in a lawsuit against the raise after the November 05 election, when a state Supreme Court justice lost in a retention vote.

What Casey could have said. Casey did note that if he did not sign the checks, he would be breaking the law. He could have carried that a step further: "Unfortunately, the senator and his party have made clear in recent years that they are perfectly content with government officials breaking the law. I am not comfortable with that and think that it undermines our democracy. I believe in the rule of law. It's unfortunate that the senator and his party do not."

Santorum revived the ghost of Bob Casey, Sr. to criticize Casey on emergency contraception. Santorum said that Casey's late father would be disappointed in him for supporting the FDA's approval of selling emergency contraception over the counter.

What Casey could have said. Surprisingly, Casey did not reply to this, but here's what I suggest. "During the 2004 campaign, members of the senator's party criticized John Kerry for mentioning Vice President Cheney's daughter during a debate. In that situation, Ms. Cheney was working for the Bush campaign. In this debate, Senator Santorum has the gall to super-impose thoughts on my father, who passed away six years ago. This is despicable behavior, and it has no place in politics. I would suggest that Senator Santorum should be ashamed of himself, but if there is one thing that has been made clear over the course of the senator's career it's that he has no shame."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Thoughts on Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion

The film industry has taken numerous cracks at telling the story of Tibet. The best known are Brad Pitt's Seven Years in Tibet and Martin Scorsese's Kundun. Both films were released in 1997 and both serve the Tibet cause well, telling the early story of China's occupation of "the roof of the world."

Other films, like Little Buddha and The Cup (which is a ton of fun, by the way), involve Tibetan monks in exile but don't get into the story of the invasion and destruction of the country.

The 2003 documentary Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion, which I just watched for the first time on Friday night, is an excellent source for all of the most pertinent facts and events during the 56-year occupation of Tibet by China. Narrated by Martin Sheen, it starts dramatically with the story of the monk in the above picture, who was severely burned and beaten during an uprising in 1987. The monk went into a burning building to save other Tibetans from further beatings at the hands of the Chinese police.

From there, the viewer learns about the back-story leading up to China's invasion and how the invasion occurred. It includes fascinating insights into the initial interactions between the Chinese and the Tibetans, which were positive, and how that relationship soured when it became clear that Mao's agenda would include the destruction of religion.

All of the major events that have impacted the country and its people are highlighted in the documentary, including the Cultural Revolution, the death of Mao, which led to a visit to Tibet by representatives of the Dalai Lama, and the pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square. Current conflicts like the abduction and imprisonment of the newest incarnation of the Panchen Lama and the construction of the new railway connecting Beijing and Lhasa, which just opened in July and which Tibet advocates fear will lead to further migration by the Chinese into Tibet and turn the natives into a minority in their own country, are also featured.

If you're interested in learning more about this human rights disaster but don't have the time for extensive reading or research, this film is a must-see. I found it in the "special interest" (aka "documentaries") section of my local Blockbuster.

What do the people want? Stoic or passionate?

Political pundits are hard to follow at times, and, frankly, it seems they just repeat each other's assertions, leading to the "echo chamber" effect.

Today's Patriot News featured a cover story headlined, "Style key to winning Senate seat, analysts say." With echoes of John Kerry, circa 2004, the lede of the story was
Asked whether there is a "charisma gap" between Democrat Robert P. Casey Jr. and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., offered an assessment that didn't exactly tout Casey as the most exciting of candidates.

"He is a low-key fellow," said Schumer, chairman of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee and one of the people who recruited Casey to challenge Santorum, R-Pa.

So this article was all about how Bob Casey, Jr.'s mellow personality could hurt him against the fiery Rick Santorum.

But then one turns to page A8 and finds this story: Voters Democratic wariness tempers mood for change. It includes this:
Voters like Jim Meyer are part of the reason one party is scuffling, yet the other not completely confident.

"I think we're in a lot of trouble," said the 59-year-old resident of Greenhills, Ohio, a Bush voter in 2004. His reasons: "Our commitment overseas, using our National Guard as much as we're using it, calling back our troops" to duty.

Still, he sized up the political alternative in less-than-glowing terms. "I think a lot of Democrats come across as crazies."

It's an impression Democrats are determined to negate and Republicans eager to reinforce in the 10 weeks from the traditional Labor Day campaign kickoff until Election Day.

Let's review. Casey might not be able to win because he's too mellow but people are unsure about the Democrats because they're "crazies." What gives? In PA, you have a candidate who is clearly not a crazy (going against a Senator, I might add, who is a polarizing bomb-thrower who couldn't keep his temper in check today on Meet the Press), but that Democratic candidate's style- stoic- could cost him votes. This is nuts. Is this real or is this the media's need to fill pages?

Enough said

Dumbsfeld should be careful when drawing Nazi analogies.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Harrisburg Zero: Rep. Ron Marsico

Pennsylvania is under siege!!!

Not really, but you wouldn't know by listening to the nativist race-baiters at the capitol. Unfortunately, that group includes my representative, Ron Marsico, which can only lead me to one conclusion: Rep. Marsico deserves the newly renamed "Harrisburg Zero" award.

Defying the position of his own Catholic church, Rep. Ron recently sent around an e-mail in which he encouraged constituents to sign a petition on his website "to protect our citizens and their property (GASP!) from the clear and present dangers (AAAAAH!) of illegal immigration."
Legislation has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that will restore safety and security (YES! UUUH!) to our state's communities by eliminating all economic attractions and incentives (including but not limited to: public benefits, welfare, education and employment opportunities) for illegal immigrants, as well as encourage our federal government to secure our borders against unlawful invasion (GRAB THE KIDS AND RUN FOR THE BASEMENT!!!!).

Of course, this is absurd. To suggest that there is "an invasion" (of hard-working people who want to care for their families, mind you) is to use hyperbole just a notch short of Don Rumsfeld.

But the nativists at the capitol are desperate because they know that the government reform movement has not forgotten the pay raise debacle, and they know it is in the Republican ranks in which the grass-roots are most restless. So they throw this red-meat out there, which is always divisive, to try to placate the base. It didn't work with the Marriage Protection-From-What Amendment. After five months of that debate, 13 incumbent Republicans lost in the May primary.

Hopefully it won't work this time either.

And here's a snippet of what the Catholic bishops have to say:
some aspects of the migrant experience are far from the vision of the Kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed: many persons who seek to migrate are suffering, and, in some cases, tragically dying; human rights are abused; families are kept apart; and racist and xenophobic attitudes remain. (my bold)

And we have a new attraction for the Harrisburg Zero. You are on notice.

Let's remove Terrell Owens since he seems to be making a strong effort to implode the Cowboys' season before it even starts.