DENVER POLICE SURVEILLANCE
CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE
DRILLING IN ANWR
WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST
1. DENVER POLICE SURVEILLANCE
Dani: Itís bad enough that the Denver police department kept a secret list of thousands of names of citizensódoing nothing but exercising their Constitutional right to protest. Now the department refuses to give the list up. These guys apparently donít know that the First Amendment applies to them too. Iíd say call the Feds but John Ashcroft would give them a medal.
John: Wrong. Polls show most Americans applaud the US Attorney General for guarding against the enemy within. The police were doing their job in keeping an eye on civil and uncivil disobedience in these nervous times. Too much vigilance is better than too little. Wartime isnít naptime, Dani.
Dani: Wartime my eye Ė Denver started its spy file long before September 11. And who cares about pollsóour civil liberties arenít subject to popular whim. The Bill of Rights protects each of us against invasive governmental police power, even when the ignorant masses are content to give it all away. Thatís why federal judgesówho actually read the Constitution Ė have begun to rein in Commissar Ashcroft.
John: Thatís fine, say the ACLU catechism, Iíll say this to everyone in Colorado who takes Al Qaeda seriously. Because of the surveillance controversy, the city council has now ordered Denver police not to cooperate with the new federal anti-terrorism law, the USA Patriot Act. I mean it, they did. What are these people thinking?
2. CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE
Dani: I have a hard time finding the right words to describe the horror of priests sexually assaulting young boys in their care, intimidating them into lifetimes of silence and self-loathing, and the depraved conspiracy by bishops and cardinals to cover up the crimes. Lock Ďem up and throw away the key. No excuses--these perverts are beneath contempt.
John: These are dark days for the God-fearing. We grieve as the atheists gloat. Jihad by the Muslims, bigotry by Billy Graham, coverup by the Catholic Church. Worldly American bishops ignored both the Vatican and the Bible. Now thereís hell to pay. I pray the Pope really cleans house. Without a renewal in the faith, all humanity will suffer.
Dani: Who cares about gloating atheists or Billy Graham? Itís the children whose bodies were defiled and whose souls were murdered by these monsters that I care about. This is what happens when a cult of men cloaks itself in secrecy and power, demands lifelong abstinence and treats women like handmaidens. Deep, twisted and criminal dysfunction.
John: Christ commanded his followers to never hurt a child. He must be deeply angry at this betrayal. He expects his church to be a refuge of safety, not a den of sin. Sex-worship is seducing the whole world away from God-worship. Catholics and all Christians must rededicate themselves to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
3. DEATH PENALTY
Dani: Since reinstating the death penalty in 1977, the state of Illinois has executed 12 men, but has freed 13 innocent men on death row. No wonder Governor George Ryan, who supports the death penalty, stopped all executions in his state. He appointed a panel to make recommendations, but that they canít change what we already knowóinnocent people do get sentenced to death.
John: Innocent people get murdered too, especially when criminals neednít fear paying with their life if they take a life. Capital punishment does require strong legal safeguards, most of which already exist. But for heinous crimes, it is necessary, both to satisfy justice and deter wrongdoers.
Dani: If it is necessary, then every step in the justice system leading to it must be immune to corruption, racism, economic classism,--biases that influence DAís, juries and judges. This is impossible; bias permeates our system. So although many on death row deserve to be there, itís been proven that too many others have been put there by a fatally flawed system.
John: By your logic, there would be no death penalty. No mass murderer or terror bomber would ever again pay with his life. That would make America a more dangerous place. The system has safeguards. The reversal of those Illinois verdicts proves it. Timothy McVeigh deserved execution. So will Bin Laden when we catch him. So will others in the future.
4. DRILLING IN ANWR
John: Itís crazy for America to be dependent on oil imports from Iraq. Saddam Hussein is our worst enemy. His doomsday weapons could set off WW III. The United States could replace all Iraqi oil by expanding production in our own Alaskan reserve. We should insist Congress move ahead on this.
Dani: We should demand that car companies make their big fat gas hog cars fuel efficient first. Then we should demand that Congress fully support the development of affordable renewable energy sources. Then we should make sure that Congress doesnít let the oil companies destroy our wilderness and wildlife areas in their profit driven frenzy to feed our very bad habit.
John: Scold, scold. Itís still crazy for America to be dependent on oil from Iraq. Alaskaís caribou have thrived alongside oil development, and more drilling up there on an area no bigger than DIA could unhook us from Saddam in a matter of months, long before your Soviet-style solutions ever made a dent.
Dani: If Iím a commieóthen youíre a pig. Grown fat, lazy and addicted to oil to feed your fat cars and fat lifestyles, youíve fawned over dictators and gone to war to feed your habit. Rather than try to kick it, and live within sensible and healthy limits, like a junkie you focus your bloated vision on getting another hit, damn the consequences.
5. WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST
John: Suicide bombing by Islamic terrorists is never justified, never. It is an absolute evil, whether on an airliner in New York or on a bus in Israel. If Palestinians want their own state, they should come over to our side in the war against terrorism. They should halt their genocidal attacks against Israel.
Dani: Shame cloaks all the actors in this tragedy. Shame on Israel for terrorizing and colonizing millions of Palestinians. Shame on Palestinian leaders for allowing their people to wallow in poverty and self-loathing and ritualizing suicide and murder. Shame on oil-rich Arab nations for politically profiting from Palestinian misery yet doing nothing to alleviate their suffering. And shame on Europe and the U.S. for allowing it all to happen in the name of oil and politics.
John: There is no moral equivalence between these adversaries. Iíve been there and talked to both. The Jews will accept a Palestinian state. Palestinians will not accept a Jewish state. Hence this death struggle. Peace will come when Hamas is destroyed and Arafat is replaced. America should support Israel in fighting for that.
Dani: Your one-sided quicky trip to Israel made you a tourist, not an expert. 70 years ago Zionist terrorist groups, like Hamas and others today, killed and maimed Palestinians, British and U.N officials to achieve the creation of a Jewish state. But if America truly stands for freedom and democracy, it must support those ideals for both Palestinians and Israelis.