Monday, May 21, 2018

Europeans Still Need To Confront The U.S. Over Scuttling Iran Nuclear Deal

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 "The truth is that the deal had frozen in place a huge reduction in Iran's capacity to pursue nuclear weapons. Trump's false assertion to the contrary comes at a high price, including a weakening of United States credibility in all of its future international negotiations, particularly with North Korea.  That collapse of the U.S. diplomatic reputation will also extend far beyond Trump; the fear that some equally erratic president might be waiting in the wings may take a generation to fade." -  David Goldfischer, 'Trump's Dangerous Decision On Iran', Denver Post, May 13, p. D1.)

 
Given now that every sentient citizen grasps the full folly of Trump's decision to back out of the Iran nuclear deal, including that the U.S. has now lost the moral high ground to Iran, e.g.

It ought to be incumbent on the European signees and their allies (e.g. China, Russia) to come full force to rescue the deal anyway they can, and trash or ignore all U.S. sanctions.  As reported by Michael Birnbaum in The Washington Post

"The European Union's chief diplomat took a defiant stance Tuesday after meeting with Iran's foreign minister and other top European diplomats to try to salvage the Iran nuclear deal following Trump's decision to withdraw the United States.   Federica Mogherini, who negotiated the deal on behalf of the European Union, listed a string of proposals that taken together may not be enough to convince Iran's leaders to hold to the deal but probably will be seen in Washington as a raised fist against U.S. policy."
To which I say, terrific!  Or at least I did - before reading the WSJ  article (Saturday, p. A7) that both Angela Merkel and  Emmanuel Macron had gotten cold feet about challenging the U.S. Trumpies about sticking to the Iran deal. But they need to know the betrayal and rejection of that policy was spawned by a cabal of  international gangsters, grifters, swamp parasites  and traitors trying to pass themselves off as a legitimate government. Trump, the chief 'don' of gangsters and uber traitor (which will be proven after Mueller indicts him for conspiracy with the Russians to undermine and steal a U.S. election) was behind the torpedoed deal - which destabilizes geopolitics on a level that his reptile base can't begin to understand.
That is all the more reason for the EU and allies  need  to have acted to bust the Trumpie Imperium in the snout, and demonstrate there is at least one credible Western side that remains committed. This even while Ms. Mogherini admitted the EU is "operating in a very difficult context" especially given Washington's (aka the swamp's) ability to "strike around the world because of the reach of the U.S. financial system".

But this is why the spectacle of Macron and Merkel throwing their hands up instead of fighting was so dispiriting. Macron himself, as reported by the NY Times Friday- has become a subject of derision by 55 percent of French citizens for his fawning display on his visit with the Dotard in D.C.. This included letting the arrogant swine remove "dandruff" from his suit coat in a display of alpha male supremacy. Most Frenchmen were aghast calling Macron a "serf", a "stooge", Trump's lap dog and worse. Had he no shame, no pride? Plus they regarded him as a loser for doing all the posturing and getting nada. He, above all, could have shown he did possess some few milligrams of testosterone by putting up a fight. (Most French poll respondents didn't believe his subsequent, hard hitting speech to the U.S. congress was good enough to overcome the image of a submissive little whelp to Trump's Top dawg earlier.)


As for Merkel, she has much more power in terms of the German economy - i.e. we know it will be carrying a large surplus forward through 2020. She could easily have committed to a more powerful Iranian deal without losing any face. But I suspect perhaps she's terrified of the rising German "Alt" party nationalists,  especially after the flood of refugees that poured in by Sept. 2015. So maybe by not taking on Trump in an Iran face -off she hopes to curry some favor with the new brand of German fascists.
Or maybe, taking the kindest interpretation, neither Merkel nor Macron knew there were remedies despite the EU having tried them before and succeeded -  with the U.S.  I refer, of course, to the EU's use of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to defy the U.S. embargo against Cuba in 1996.   The WTO ruled in the EU's favor and the Yankee imperialists had to back off. The world's rejection of the U.S. position - including Europe - meant the D.C. "swamp" wasn't able to dislodge the Cuban government and the Castros.  And yeah, I have a dog in this fight - namely with the U.S. in its Cuba posture - given it was the CIA -abetted terrorist Luis Posada, e.g.




Who was responsible for blowing up Cubana Airlines Flight 455  off the southwest coast of Barbados on Oct. 6, 1976, killing all 73 on board. I  was at the Paradise Beach with my five nieces when it occurred. We witnessed the plane come down, and wondered what the hell had happened – then watched in horror barely an hour and a half later as bloody body parts began to wash ashore.  See also the video:
If you are not up to speed on the event. Certainly that act of terror is just as emblazoned in Barbadian neurons as the 9-11 attack for those in New York. Maybe worse,  since the scale of Barbados is radically smaller than New York, or the U.S. On a national scale of devastation, that Cubana Airline bombing took out a percentage of people equal to 0.03% of the total populace, while numerically as a % of NYC, 9-11 took out roughly 0.0001%. Thus, in purely proportionate numerical terms, Cubana 455 was much deadlier. But sadly, it's not on most citizens' radar - certainly not in the US Of A.

Anyway, that is why I fully backed the EU end around using the WTO of the then Cuban embargo. Not because I am necessarily a fan of the Castros, but because the Cuban nation suffered at the hands of U.S.-backed terrorists who've yet to receive their just deserts. 
The European governments have as much right now to protect their own companies and business interests vis-à-vis the Iran nuclear deal  -especially given France's Total SA and Airbus SE have billion dollar projects in the works that stand to be scuttled.   This despite the WSJ's  Dan Henninger recent caterwauling ('America's So-Called Allies' , May 16, p. A13) that the Europeans were "only in the Iran deal for the money they could get". To which my response was a pronounced, "Meh".

If the US. stood to lose such business does anyone believe it would stand idly by? Does anyone with more than air between the ears not believe it would jump at a similar nuke deal?  In addition, France's financial system still has $163 million in cross -border claims on Iranian banks as of the last quarter. - according to the Bank of International Settlements (WSJ, May 12, p. A3)
Another option would have been for the EU to draw up counter legislation to the U.S. and also order European companies to ignore U.S. sanctions, equivalent to the thumb in the eye of the Amerikkan Trumpie nationalists and warmongers.

Meanwhile, it's since been learned the U.S. "wants to restart nuclear talks with Iran" with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to "outline a new strategy today" (NY Times, May 19, p. A8).  This would be nothing more than a brain fart effort given it "is centered around a demand  that the European allies have already rejected."   What is this hare brained scheme? It basically entails putting indefinite limits on Tehran ever gaining access to nuclear weapons. (Whereas the deal just scuttled set a ten year limit).  The plan is hare brained because the Iranian hardliners had even barked loudly about the original deal and 10 year delay. SO why would they now accept an "indefinite" postponement? Fact is, they wouldn't,  and the Europeans know that too.

This is why the  Europeans -  perhaps with Russian and Chinese help -  need to do something to beat aback the Trump- Nazi cabal.  The WTO gambit seems like the best bet, combined with alternate legislation to neutralize the Trumpite treachery.  It's an issue of essential peace, not to mention saving the U.S. from itself - given it's being run by money pirates, conspirators and gangsters.  
See also:

Why The Parkland Students #Never Again Movement May Founder

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Delaney Tarr, a senior at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland FL, three months ago, warned the NRA backing pols: "We are coming after every single one of you and demanding that you take action, demanding that you make a change!" 
People gather at the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC on March 24, 2018. Galvanized by a massacre at a Florida high school, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to take to the streets in cities across the United States on Saturday in the biggest protest for gun control in a generation. (NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Part of the crowd which showed up for the "March for our lives" in Washington, D.C. two months ago.

No sentient citizen can forget how the Parkland #NeverAgain protest movement began with great fanfare three months ago, marking its high point with the "March for our lives" on March 24. The event featured stirring speeches from a number of the students whose Parkland FL school was the scene of the worst ever mass shooting for a high school.  In one of the first speeches, Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior Delaney Tarr told the crowd of the students’ demands, including background checks and a ban on assault weapons.

“When you give us an inch, that bump stocks ban, we will take a mile. We are not here for breadcrumbs, we are here to lead.


Before her D.C. march appearance, Ms Tarr appeared a number of times earlier, including on CNN, and MSNBC, warning NRA-backed politicos that "we are coming after you".  She achieved much prominence, as did the other Parkland students  - including Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and Cameron Kasky  - based on their poise, knowledge and ability to articulate the anxieties of millions of kids nationwide, trapped in an out of control gun culture. (An estimated 300 million guns are possessed by a minority of U.S. citizens.)

Parkland student Jordan Khayyami, 15, warned: “I think that legislatures should be aware that the next generation of voters is right in front of them so if they don’t want to promote change then we will vote for change.”

The scenes of  hundreds of thousands of activated students was overwhelming to many of the victims of earlier gun violence, including Mark Barden, whose seven-year-old son Daniel was one of the 20 children murdered at Sandy Hook in 2012, Barden told a reporter from the UK Guardian:

“I did not expect this. I’m still astounded,. To me, it looks like our entire nation is finally on board, on the right side of this issue. It’s so inspiring and encouraging and overwhelming, and beautiful to me.”

The students - including speakers from other gun-victimized high schools, e.g. in  D.C., Maryland, Chicago,  also took time to set up voter registration booths, to prepare as many 18-year olds and others eligible to vote this year as possible.
But what has transpired since the last marches in April? Not much, and this bespeaks why the #Never Again movement may now be running out of steam.   This also highlights the bane of too many incipient mass movements that begin with energetic protests but soon expire in the modern era (including "Occupy Wall Street"). The cautionary note being that even the most sensational mass marches and actions are often interpreted in hindsight as merely temporary shows of enthusiasm.  

Indeed, as we discovered in the 1960s, it is extremely difficult to translate march protests into mass movements that are sustained and change history.  In fact, for most of American history -  going back to the "Wobblies" in the 1920s and even before - it was understood that movements required months or even years of planning and effort as well as determined commitment. It couldn't simply be a case of rousing the masses to concerted action, then say going off to college and forgetting about them, or assuming they will organize on their own.

This is why starting in the mid 1960s one was often asked to be part of "the movement", which was understood to mean committing your heart, mind and soul to the work at hand and then showing up whenever and wherever bodies were needed. That included not only in march protests like the kids from Parkland put on, but also appearing in Southern diners alongside African American students - say in Birmingham or Jackson, Mississippi in the fall of 1964, or on buses as "Freedom Riders".

I learned early at Loyola, in September, 1964, at a rapidly- called meeting by the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) that I was not cut out for such commitment.  I came out of curiosity to the meeting, held at nearby Tulane - with about 35 other Loyola freshmen - expecting to learn ways we could contribute. But when we were told we needed to board buses that weekend to go to Montgomery, Alabama as "Freedom Riders", many of us balked. For me it was a matter that I'd just commenced my college first year and was on scholarship - which I didn't want to risk. For others, it was that they simply didn't feel the amount of time  needed was feasible,  For others, it was a fear of actual physical harm since we'd already read of Freedom Rider buses being set on fire.

As it turned out, whose who joined in the CORE campaign were not seen at Loyola from the next year. The word was most had either dropped out to join the movement full time, or had been injured, or flunked out and left.   This brings us to the #Never Again movement.

Recall how two beat writers (Arian Campo-Flores and Nicole Hong)  on the staff of The Wall Street Journal wrote a stirring article ('From Shooting To Gun Control Movement')  of why these Stoneman  Douglas students were different, noting:
"The students at Stoneman aren't like those who witnessed previous mass shootings at Columbine High School in 1999, or Virginia Tech in 2007. They are digital natives, at one with the language and power of smartphones and social media.  That is one reason why the movement they started, dubbed #NeverAgain, has become a nationwide phenomenon in barely a few days, and shows signs of becoming the kind of campaign success that a company or politician can only dream of."

And this and other media attention naturally prompted vast expectations.  It prompted the expectation - especially after a number of states had enacted new gun laws in response  - that this was just the beginning. But one little element appeared to escape the attention of the movement optimists: Most of the Parkland activists were Stoneman Douglas seniors who were now in the midst of Advanced Placement preparations (the AP Calculus test, for example,  was last Tuesday a.m.) and are going off to college. How then can the needed motivation and commitment be sustained if one must take on new commitments? As many of us learned in our first year at Loyola, it can't. You can't honor two masters at the same time. If you honor your education with first priority you have to let full commitment to the movement go.

This is what Parkland's ambitious student activists are now learning and the rest of us as well.  That is, just dispatching social media texts  from an office and organizing to show up on the streets and in schools,  does not necessarily presage a movement or earn you enduring credit.  While jump starting a movement is easy, making it stick is a helluva lot more difficult - especially to translate into concrete change.

Make no mistake the latter has been achieved by the Parkland kids and victims, in terms of new state gun laws (see previous post), but much more could still be done - especially mustering the numbers to get 18 years registered to vote for the mid terms. Who will see this through?  What is possible, of course, it that the younger Stoneman Douglas students, e.g. 15 year old Jordan Khayyami and 16 year old Morgan Williams, can now take up the banner from their older peers.

If they don't, or can't - say because of time constraints or academic priorities - then the #Never Again movement that held so much promise three months ago, may now founder on the rocks of lower energy and inattention.

See also:




Saturday, May 19, 2018

Another Mass Shooting In Texas - But Some States Aren't Tolerating This BS Any Longer


Santa Fe HS student Paige Curry declared a sense of inevitability about school shootings. In fact, that only applies to states like hers that fail to act with new gun laws.

And yet another school shooting, the news of which came over wifey's Daily Kos cellphone feed yesterday a.m. barely minutes after she got her coffee. "What the hell is wrong with this damned country?" she yelped.    "Everything!" I replied, "And more than you can know as long as that human pustule blights the White House." (Referencing NY Times' Roger Cohen's  op-ed reference to "moral rot" now taking over our nation.)

She agreed and then went on to describe the god-awful news of the 16th shooting this year at a school during school hours that caused injury or death. Combined, the tally of the previous fifteen incidents is 21 deaths and 46 injuries -  this time at Santa Fe High about an hour outside of Houston. The only relatively positive aspect that could be found is that the shooter didn't use an AR-15 but a shotgun and .38 revolver. Which was bad enough, ending up killing 10 though with an AR-15 the total easily could have been doubled.

The deaths and injuries in Santa Fe happened three months after 17 students and staff were shot dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida, generating an immense amount of activism and attention, but has not so far translated into meaningful political action, well at least at the federal level. As I will show, however, a number of forward looking states have taken matters into their own hands, convinced Trump is a bought and sold whore for the NRA.

Noteworthy here - and relevant to the case I will make - is a  television journalist’s interview with  Santa Fe student, Paige Curry, which went viral on social media.   The reporter asked:
Was there a part of you that was like, ‘This isn’t real, this would not happen in my school?’” 

Curry gave a rueful semi-laugh, and replied,
 “No, there wasn’t.  It’s been happening everywhere, I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here too.”
A truly sad declaration disclosing resignation and a pervasive learned helplessness that infects too many in this country.. But must it be so? No, not at all! TX Governor Greg Abbott declared in the wake of the incident that "this is one of the most heinous attacks we're ever seen in the history of Texas schools" then added: "We need to do more than just pray for the victims". Indeed, but what?  Since the mass church shooting in his state, then the Parkland massacre, Abbott hasn't done a damned thing to alter the dynamic so his end question of  paralysis is weird.  Meanwhile, other states have made tangible progress to dispel the "learned helplessness" in the face of NRA obstruction.

For example, Gov. Rick Scott in Florida, after Parkland, pushed the state's GOP dominated legislature and got a robust new gun law that included: implementing a red flag law that enabled law enforcement to remove a gun from a person at risk, raised the minimum age to purchase a gun, added a 3-day waiting period and banned bump stocks.

Meanwhile, Vermont's Republican governor also signed a bill raising the purchase age, banning bump stocks, limiting the size of magazines  and requiring all sales to go through a licensed dealer.   Following similar suit, Maryland - also with a Repub governor- enacted a red flag law, banned bump stocks  and forbade any domestic abusers from owning guns.

The latter is also the law now in deep red Kansas.

Meanwhile, New York also tightened up its laws and Oregon closed its so called "boyfriend" loophole. Neighboring Washington state banned bump stocks and Rhode Island joined Flordia and Maryland with a red flag law.

All of this follows  Connecticut's lead, which has passed sweeping legislation in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting., 

As  CT  Gov. Daniel Malloy made clear on Chris Hayes' 'All In' , the states can do much more when the federal government won't.  His example, also pertains to other states, e.g. Massachusetts, which requires not only passing a state -approved gun safety course first, but also being licensed - as one would if getting a car - as well as fingerprinted.

Why are the states more successful in gaining passage of key gun laws, which seem to falter at the federal level? According to Gov. Malloy:

"Frankly, I don't think the NRA has the level of influence by demand in state capitols , because they are not paying for it.... Look, I don't care how late you come to the table, just get it done in your state.

Let me give a statistic. Last year the state of Texas saw more than 3, 500 dies as a result of gun violence. In my state it was 172.  Taking into account population difference, 12.6 per 100,000 lost their lives due to gun violence in Texas compared to 4.6 in my state. You can make your state safer.

You can be part of changing the culture that death is okay as part of some idealized notion of what the constitution says."

What were the "best practices" that Connecticut did to reduce the level of gun violence? Gov. Malloy named the following:

- Implemented background check and a 3-day waiting period

-  Banned assault weapons and bump stocks

- Banned large capacity magazines.

Malloy notes:

"In the last four years, as a result of what we did, Connecticut has had the largest drop in violent  crime of any of thee fifty states. And thirty percent better than the next nearest state. And look, it's not just about violent crime. Children are killing themselves because they found a parent's gun. How much more likely is it that someone in your home will be killed, or kill himself because of a gun, or the gun will be stolen as part of a crime.... Now at least, we also have formed a consortium of states - including Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to do our own gun research and publish it."

Good points! Too often glossed over by the NRA's vocal minions. And as Malloy noted at the end, which ought to provoke a head snap to attention for Greg Abbott:

"I understand that Governor Abbott is embarrassed that he had a mass shooting at a church and now a mass shooting at a school, and 3,500 people a year die of gun violence in Texas. But hey listen! Join us! Do something about it and make your citizens safer by passing sensible gun laws."

Malloy's take is that states either take action like his state and Florida, or they "cower" in front of the huff and puff of he NRA.

 If Greg Abbott wants to do more than say prayers in the wake of more shootings in his state maybe he ought to listen to Gov. Malloy!

Of course, if Abbott does find the courage to make common cause with Malloy, he will have to expect blowback from gun nuts, such as we're now witnessing in Boulder, e.g.
A man named Steve joins about 200 gun supporters at a rally in downtown Boulder on April 21.
After that progressive burg now has a rule prohibits the sale and possession of assault weapons and outlawed high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. Owners of the large magazines and bump stocks have until July 15 to dispose of or sell them.

But in the wake of passage,  the hardheads, goofballs and nuts, who don't grasp there is no 2nd amendment protection for assault weapons (according to the 2008 SC case District of Columbia vs. Heller) cf.:
http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2018/02/sorry-you-have-no-constitutional-right.html
have kicked up a ruckus with a protest. This has been led by radical libertarian gun nut and talk show blowhard Jon Caldara. He is now suing the city to have his way, but my bet is he is wasting his time and money. He also needs to back away from his fake news sites and re-read the Heller decision again.

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Nun Who Needs To Educate The "Little Sisters of the Poor" About Being Pro-Life






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What is the pro-life position?  What defines it? Is it truly pro-life without qualification or only up to birth? And if resources are denied after birth, is that still pro-life or only pro-life to birth, hence only pro birth?
In previous posts I've not held back from criticizing the Little Sisters of the Poor for their backward and myopic stance on artificial contraception as part of the ACA - which they have mightily protested having to accommodate.  I've pointed out, for example, that logically, the Little Sisters "can't have it both ways".   You cannot proclaim you're against abortion but then protest the best means to reduce abortions, which is artificial birth control
The Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious zealots have argued constantly and vocally that their precious "pro life" beliefs are being "disrespected" by being forced to pay for contraception for their employees. This is even after President Obama loosened the rules, i.e. so the religious institutions didn't have to pay for the contraceptives directly (their insurance companies did), and they still squawked.
But given that artificial contraception is the optimal way to family plan, and hence  avoid unnecessary abortions, if you cut out affordable access to  the first you will have to expect the second. You can't have it both ways: No contraception and no abortion. To me and many others, if abortion is the last thing we want then we permit control of family planning via artificial contraception. It is deliriously unrealistic to expect poor or even moderate income families to simply make 'baby roulette' bets with their lives. Yet that is what these Catholic false dogmatists expect.
Now, an outspoken nun - Sister Joan Chittister-  has added critical insight to the abortion issue by exposing - as I have in previous posts - that being pro- life means a hell of a lot more than protecting it up to birth.  What she has done is exposed the total hypocrisy in much of the  pro life babble of the Right  as when she pointedly states (in recent quotes from assorted media, e.g. Daily Kos):
"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion that makes you pro-life. In fact, in many cases your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born and not a child fed, not a child educated or a child housed.   Why would I think you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life, that's pro-birth."
But see, pro birth doesn't cut it, if subsequently feeding,  housing, educating kids is not on the horizon.  But that is the M.O. of the repukes who even now are pushing a farm bill that includes cutting food stamps. And this cutting will largely affect families with kids. So those repugs who are pushing it cannot really be pro -life even if they might pass a smell test for being pro -birth. 
Sister Joan's zeroing in on spending tax money cuts to the chase. Because now we can further generalize by asserting all those in favor of cutting taxes are absolutely not pro-life, and maybe even not pro-birth. Why not pro-birth? Because prospective mothers - who might fancy having a kid or two - will now think twice realizing after parsing the tax cut bill and seeing  that there won't be anything to support the family later: no child care, no food stamps - or not enough - if they are needed, no relief to do with student loans, and even cuts to their parents' Medicare support. 
Indeed, given taxes are critical for support of an expanding population, to maintain any quality of life over multiple dimensions, then tax cutting is anti-life to the core. It effectively says: "We don't give a crap how many people there are in need, how many more have been born and need medical and other services, we aren't providing them."
For example, take the cruel and austere stance of Walter E. Williams, the deranged libertarian prof at George Mason University who recently scribbled in one of his syndicated op-eds:
Before the massive growth of our welfare state, private charity was the sole option for an individual or family facing insurmountable financial difficulties or other challenges. How do we know that? There is no history of Americans dying on the streets because they could not find food or basic medical assistance...During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, charities started playing a major role.
Of course, any sensible person with an IQ over room temperature would know this is errant twaddle. First of all, in Williams' bygone era of charity support the U.S. population was only around 100 million, compared to 330 million today. With a vastly greater number of people to support, and also factoring in inflation, there is no way that charity alone would provide for all the families in need today.
The housing shortage alone, with supply outstripping demand, is creating enormous hardship. Many families in the Denver area must lodge at cheap motels or in public shelters - like the family below. This is through no fault of their own.
Michael Lee, 38, looks at a water bottle his daughter Kayah Lee, 6, brought back as her mom, Cristal Olko, 32, and sister, Kemani Lee, 3, look on at the
Trulia recently estimated that only 29 percent of homes listed on the metro Denver market are affordable, and that was to those workers earning at least $70, 790 in 2015.  This from The Denver Post, April, 8, p. 10B.   The median listing price for homes on the Denver market now is:   $529,000
The average teacher and cop wages are significantly less than the $70-k figure, and with median  rents now running nearly $2,100  a month for a typical Denver area apartment. Hence, it doesn't take a math genius or Mensa member to run the numbers to see that after accounting for a domicile (whether rent or mortgage) and utilities, food - say to feed a family of 4 - there will be scant disposable income left. Hence, the need to supplement via food stamps.
But despite these facts and stats, Williams has the chutzpah to insist there is "no material poverty" in the U.S. Rolling out the hackneyed trope that most poor families still have stoves, bathrooms,  TV sets and maybe even a/c  for a room or two - or at least a fan. To which I retort: So what? You'd prefer they give up what few "luxuries" they have, build mud huts and live like swamp rats? WTF are you, a useful idiot - out to appease your libertarian masters at George Mason U.?

But Williams points up the very core issue Sister Joan Chittister is all about.  That if you are going to adopt an austerity position concerning social benefits then you can in no way be pro-life. No matter how long and hard you proclaim to be such.  Clearly, since Williams is adamant he wants no federal taxes increased to support what he calls a "welfare state" we can conclude he is emphatically not pro- life. The very fact he'd invoke private charity to cover people's needs indicates he's smitten - like most libbie academics - with the easy cop out.

At the core Sister Joan's moral stance against pro-life hypocrisy is based on the realist POV that population increase beyond resource availability leads to destitution.  We call such a condition  "overshoot" and it is illustrated in the diagram below in the radical divergence between population and resources by 2030. Even conservative UN scenarios suggest that if current population and consumption trends continue, then by the 2030s we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us.  This is shown in the following graph:
Factoring into this is that  every energy conversion pollutes and degrades the natural environment we depend upon. Hence, the more people, the more energy conversions and the more rapidly we descend into a high entropic, high waste world. Classic pro-lifers like the Little Sisters, the Pope and others fail to appreciate that every energy conversion process has as an accompaniment entropy, or disorder. In most cases this appears as waste heat, as well as pollutants.  Worse, they're willing to welcome millions more births but then bemoan spending on cancer treatments, needed drug , treating water fouled from lead poisoning or other health needs when the waste factor comes home to bite.  They deliriously want the extra babies, the burden of more and more human life - but refuse to take responsibility for paying (via taxes) the inevitable extra costs. 

This is what Sister Joan is all about and she deserves to be applauded for it:  One of the few moral realists amidst an amoral or pre-moral culture wedded to illusion.


Update:  Title X, our nation’s family planning program, which began in 1971, provides funding for a wide range of birth control and preventive health services to clinics or public and nonprofit entities serving poor women, many of whom are women of color, uninsured women and/or adolescents. 
Now, Title X is under attack by the Trump administration—which has announced that it intends to impose a gag rule preventing doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers at these clinics from providing any information about abortion to their patients or referring them to abortion providers.  This again confirms the Trumpies and their lackeys in the GOOP party are not pro-life, they are pro-birth. They don't give two craps about post - birth  life given the tax cut they passed at the end of last year will now require enormous cuts to everything from food stamps to Medicaid and health care for kids.