Saturday, February 11, 2006

I was in the bus the other day and chanced to see a Coast Guard advertisement which said, "Courage, Conviction, and Compassion which got me thinking. Compassion. What does it mean? How many times have we heard this word from the National Litterbox? He uses it so much that the word which was powerful in its own right is cheapened down to a whored-out phrase that earns political points. What did it use to mean now that the word itself has evolved into something very different?

Compassion is defined by as "Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it."

We show compassion abroad because Americans believe in the God- given dignity and worth of a villager with HIV/AIDS, or an infant with malaria, or a refugee fleeing genocide, or a young girl sold into slavery.

We also show compassion abroad because regions overwhelmed by poverty, corruption and despair are sources of terrorism and organized crime and human trafficking and the drug trade.

yet he does nothing about workers in the Mariana Islands exploited with forced prostitution and forced abortions. Tom Delay, supposedly one of the "godliest" members of Congress today for his stance against abortion is connected to the Mariana Islands sweatshops. Women from mostly China are lured to the islands promised a chance to immigrate to Asia but are forced into 70-hour weeks and when they can't pay off their debts are forced into prostitution. Basically Abramoff met with Tom Delay to kill Frank Murkowski's bill that would have extended U.S. minimum-wage and labor protection laws to the workers over in Saipan. In addition, the workers over there are forced to have abortions. How's that for family values? STOP THE PRESSES! Where are the Evangelicals? Where are the fundamentalist Christians?! Where are Falwell, Dobson, Perkins, and Robertson? Where are the Men of God? Where is the Man of God?

I understand that abstinence is a way to prevent AIDS but he and the Religious Right are not concerned with fighting AIDS. Nope, they are more concerned with regulating what they consider to be morality. It's not our fault that couple over there got AIDS. They chose to have sex and now pay the consequences. A vaccine that would prevent millions of deaths from cervical cancer? Who opposes it? Of course, those who spew out the word compassion, compassion, compassion! because why should sluts who might get the HPV virus that is linked to cervical cancer be vaccinated? Let them die for choosing a LIFE OF SIN!

Let us not forget the aftermath of the tsunami that killed over 200,000 people. Where were the armies of compassion then? Where were the Religious Right groups soliticiting donations from their members? Where were the requests for donations on the American Family Association's webpage? Focus on the Family? I checked their sites after reading Bill Berkowitz's article and all the hype was about the threat to marriage and such.

America is a great force for freedom and prosperity. Yet our greatness is not measured in power or luxuries, but by who we are and how we treat one another. So we strive to be a compassionate, decent, hopeful society.

As we renew the promise of our institutions, let us also show the character of America in our compassion and care for one another.

Unfortunately, America is where greatness is measured by how much money you have and Bush is not lifting a finger to change all of that. It seems that in Bush's America, if you're rich, powerful, and well-connected, you get some. Everyone else (students, those on Medicare, the poor, those who cannot afford to go to college without financial aid, etc.) gets fucked. It is no surprise that this "compassionate" administration's budget cuts what they consider "waste" like health care, child care programs, and student loans while it seeks more tax cuts for the richest Americans. All we hear from this administration is tax cuts, tax cuts, and more tax cuts, clinging to the discredited theory which states that tax cuts help stimulate the economy and provide jobs. You tell me. Which is the party with no ideas?

So in conclusion, Bush has now redefined the term as "Deep awareness of the suffering of the most oppressed of Americans (corporations and the richest 1%) coupled with the wish to relieve it through tax cuts, corporate subsidies, and cuts to programs that benefit the oppressor (the middle class, the poor, US).

Lest I forget, compassion is now also defined as showing a faux compassionate expression on your face in photo-ops after disasters such as 9/11 and Katrina and being photographed with minorities to show that you think of them, come election time. Even then, he isn't good with that and then last, but especially not least, you have Cat Killer's "Get some devastation in the back,"(after his visit to the areas affected by the tsunami).

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