Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sigh and Double Sigh

The fence-that-never-was never will be, and a Vatican cardinal says dumb stuff:

The incoming U.S. Congress will review the law mandating 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, and may seek to scrap the plan altogether.

He said that the high technology Secure Border Initiative, or SBI Net -- essentially a set of monitors, cameras and other integrated surveillance systems to monitor the border -- was a viable alternative.

"We might do away with it, or look at (integrating it into) SBI Net," he said, "A virtual fence rather than a real one."

Emphasis mine. I think its the most telling sentence in the whole piece. We're trading a real fence for a not-real fence.

Explain this to me, please. A man walks across the border, and is filmed. How, then, are we to stop him, considering that our border patrol agents are prohibited by law from pursuing known criminals and have no legal recourse to stop infiltrators or would-be illegal immigrants? (See this).

Next on the list of things that make me sad:
A senior Vatican cardinal on Tuesday condemned the building of walls between countries to keep out immigrants and said Washington's plan to build a fence on the U.S.-Mexican border was part of an "inhuman program".

Cardinal Renato Martino made his comments at a news conference presenting Pope Benedict's message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Migrants and Refugees, in which the Pope called for more laws to help immigrants integrate.

"Speaking of borders, I must unfortunately say that in a world that greeted the fall of the Berlin Wall with joy, new walls are being built between neighborhood and neighborhood, city and city, nation and nation," said Martino, head of the Vatican's Council for Justice and Peace.

This sort of rhetoric is so worn out. If he's truly for Justice and Peace he should encourage people to follow the law, not break it. The fence-that-never-was wasn't a preventative measure, it was reactionary. We didn't even think of putting up a fence until it became painfully obvious that this was a serious issue.

Also, the fence-that-never-was is again compared to the Berlin Wall, which is becoming something of a trend among global leaders who should keep their mouths shut about our country's sovereign policies.

My response to Cardinal Martino will be the same as my response to Gorbachev:
We're not building an iron curtain here. No country in its right mind has a totally open border with completely ineffective police / laws and is serious about security. The border with Mexico is a magnet for drug and human trafficking, illegal immigration, and likely terrorism.

The Berlin wall was the East keeping the West out for fear of losing people to the freedom of democracy. It was just another means of Soviet corruption. This wall is a wall of defense, aimed to protect us from the dangers of a non-cooperative neighbor and a global terrorist threat. The difference between the two is significant.
Finally, a little research on Cardinal Martino reveals this lovely gem of illogic:

On November 6 2006 he said after the death sentence had been passed on Saddam Hussein that "punishing a crime with another crime – which is what killing for vindication is – would mean that we are still at the point of demanding an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".

To quote from Matthew 5 directly
38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."
This is directly and completely referring to personal practices, not practices on the judge or legal level. Christ is not reversing the concept; He is correcting a verse that had been taken out of context to condone personal vengeance. After all, Christ and God are but two aspects of the same Being. How could they disagree?

The original reference that Christ quotes, "Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth" comes from Exodus 21:24, Lev. 24:20, and Deut. 19:21. All are rephrasing of the same aspect of Mosaic Law - and every single one is referring to the "law of retaliation," which limits punishment to fit the crime on a legal level. So, if anything, Cardinal Martino is using his bully pulpit to denounce the Old Testament. You'd think someone who spent his life studying the Bible would know better than to abuse a passage of scripture so thoroughly.

He goes on The List of Stupid People Who Say Stupid Things, right up there with Murtha for Iraq-related comments and Al Gore for global warming climate change..