15 Responses to For the record…

  • Chris,

    I tried valiantly to fight that battle a decade ago. Since then, I’ve decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

    Happy New Decade!


  • Chris:

    I have to take issue with you. I’m a stickler for this sort of thing, and I was one of those who refused to start the new millennium/century in 2000. Decades, unlike centuries, are not counted ordinally. We don’t say we’re beginning the 202nd decade. Decades refer to a random set of 10 years, unlike centuries, which refer to a specific set of 100 years. Thus the 2010s do indeed begin today.

  • Paul,
    You raise a fair point, but it is not altogether persuasive. First, strictly speaking I don’t think that either millennia or centuries must be counted ordinally, though they certainly commonly are. Similarly, I don’t think decades are necessarily not counted ordinally, though I concede they mostly are not. Shoot, even a year can be any random or assigned set of 365 days (e.g., fiscal years), but that does not mean that we don’t also count years ordinally. It is difficult to ignore the fact that today’s common practice of counting decades starting with year zero, even if technically not incorrect, is almost certainly the result of the same erroneous thinking that caused most people to regard January 1, 2000 as the first day of a new century and new millenium. The bottom line is that while starting decades is not technically incorrect, the custom is probably the result of fuzzy thinking; and this same fuzzy thinking is commonly applied to centuries as well (for the exact same reason) and will quite possibly lead to an analogous custom there as well.

  • Fuzzy thinking, maybe. Perhaps just a harmless and useful categorization. When people refer to a particular decade it’s usually a casual reference and the mind is probably just focusing on the numeral in the “ten” place. i.e. Reagan was elected twice in the 80’s. Super accurate, no. Useful and meaningful, yes. Similarly, in the tech field they use base 10 – the ten numerals start with 0 and go through 9. I think it’s just a similar mode of thinking. Besides, you may not want to make an issue of it because it will change nothing and might make you seem like the types who can’t distinguish between conservative and liberal in a given context – and you sure don’t want that. 🙂

    Happy New Year, all, and blessing in this new decade!

  • Thank you Chris.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  • Where’s a Magisterium for numbers et al. when you need one? 🙂

  • Of course this is the last year of the decade. And 2000 was the last year of the 90’s, and 1990 was the last year of the 80’s, and 1980 was the last year of the 70’s…

    Actually I TRULY TRULY doubt that any of the pedants who insist on reminding everyone that there was no year “zero” and thus every decade starts at a 1 would say that a person born in 1980 was born in “the seventies” and the lack of consistency irks me a lot.

    This pointless bickering about how to divide the decades / centuries / millenia turned up ten years ago, too, and it’s primarily the fault of insufferable know-it-alls that we have these ridiculous arguments in the first place. There’s a difference between the LINGUISTIC way of referring to the decades, in which speakers of English divide them beginning at the zero year of a decade, and the MATHEMATICAL way of dividing them, which calculates them according to how many full ten-year periods have passed.

    It feels like writing the number seven as “7” and then having a computer scientist come and say, “No, that’s wrong, it’s 111”. Believe it or not there are just different standards for calculating these things and I absolutely can’t stand the smugness of people who insist on bringing this up when it’s REALLY a non-issue. Just move on people.

    Sorry to take out all my frustration at this site but I’m getting sick of rehashing this conversation and this was the last straw. And it wouldn’t even be a problem if the “decades start at 1” constituency didn’t insist on talking down to everyone. We’re all aware of your argument and don’t really give a (you know).

  • If you want to get REALLY picky on this question, the Year 1 A.D. (Roman year 754) WASN’T the actual “Year One” of Christ’s life on earth, which is supposed to be the basis of our year numbering system.

    Scholars have long believed Christ was born sometime during the period we now reckon as the years 8 to 4 B.C. He could NOT have been born any later than 4 B.C. (Roman year 750) since that is the year Herod the Great (who tried to kill the infant Jesus) died.

    So technically speaking, the “third millennium” Anno Domini really began sometime between 1992 and 1996, and all our year, decade, century, etc. numbers are probably off by about 6 years anyway.

    Happy Year of Our Lord 2016 everybody! 🙂

  • Chris, one man plus the truth makes a majority. Stick to your guns.

  • SJG, tell us how you *really* feel. 🙂

  • I hope my post didn’t come across like SJG’s. There was no frustration, or derision behind mine. Frankly, I don’t care how people view it and was only trying to express what I consider valid observations.

  • I see both arguments having some validity; however, the fact remains that we use a dating standard, which is far more recent an occurance than commonly beleived in order to regulate our interactions, especially in a global 24/7/365 world (I know a year is not exactly 365 days – leave it alone). We do need to agree on time and date in order to interact with each other in some manner of order.

    There is another less practical and more important aspect. Elaine discussed it very well above. We date from Anno Domini, the Year of Our Lord. Is it cosmically and methematically accurate? No. Then again we also know that The Nativity of Christ is not on December 25th. So what? That is the number the Church has fixed and our liturgical years are set by it. 25 Chislev is the day the Temple was rededicated – so it is an important date.

    I think that part of our obedience (and this is not obligatory because it is not a matter of fatih or morals, but it is important) is to follow the Church as accurately as possible. Especially in the liturgical cycle.

    If we count the year that occured 2,010 years ago as the first Year of Our Lord, then this year ends the first decade of the third millenium, which began on January 1, 2001.

    As the world tries to crowd out God and His Son, we need to take every opporunity to remind the world that she has a Savior. I notice this website is one of the few places where I see dating using A.D., mostly it is ignored and far too often it is C.E. – what the heck is so bloody common about this era anyway?

  • Rick, I thought you made some excellent points, e.g. “the 80’s”, which SJG echoed with his reference to linguistic/mathematical conventions. And I certainly found no derision or frustration in your post.

  • On the bright side we only have to revisit this question every ten/eleven years! 🙂

  • When we are born, we start from a few seconds old, and as we grow through the days, weeks, and months, we achieve our first year – we are ONE year old, after we have journeyed through our first year.
    When we have done this for ten years, at our 10th. Birthday, we have lived for one decade.

    Similarly, in 2010, we have lived through that number of years since the agreed Anno Domini.

    2010 is therefore the end of the old decade, and therefore the commencement of the new.

    BTW, we had a Blue Moon on New Years Eve.

    Does that portend anything cataclysmic for the future? 😉

Obama Greater Than Jesus

Thursday, December 31, AD 2009

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Cult, what cult?  The Danish paper Politiken assures us that the South Side Messiah is greater than the real Messiah.

He is provocative in insisting on an outstretched hand, where others only see animosity.

His tangible results in the short time that he has been active – are few and far between. His greatest results have been created with words and speeches – words that remain in the consciousness of their audience and have long-term effects.

He comes from humble beginnings and defends the weak and vulnerable, because he can identify himself with their conditions.

And no we are not thinking of Jesus Christ, whose birthday has just been celebrated – – but rather the President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama.

For some time now, comparisons between the two have been a tool of cynical opinion that quickly became fatigued of the rapture that Obama instilled prior to and after the presidential election last year.

From the start, Obama’s critics have claimed that his supporters have idolised him as a saviour, thus attempting to dismantle the concrete hope that Obama has represented for most Americans.

The idea was naturally that the comparison between Jesus and Obama – which is something that the critics developed themselves – would be comical, blasphemous, or both.

If such a comparison were to be made, it would, of course, inevitably be to Obama’s advantage.

Today, his historic Health Reform is being passed through the American Senate – a welfare policy breakthrough that several of his predecessors have been unable to manage.

Despite all the compromises, it has finally been possible to ensure something so fundamental, as the right of every American not to be financially shipwrecked when their health fails them. Add to that the biggest ever financial support package in America’s history, a major disarmament agreement and the quickest-ever re-establishment of American reputation.

On the other hand, we have Jesus’ miracles that everyone still remembers, but which only benefitted a few. At the same time, we have the wonderful parables about his life and deeds that we know from the New Testament, but which have been interpreted so differently over the past 2000 years that it is impossible to give an unequivocal result of his work.

Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus – if we have to play that absurd Christmas game. But it is probably more meaningful to insist that with today’s domestic triumph, that he has already assured himself a place in the history books – a space he has good chances of expanding considerably in coming years.

Without, however, ever attaining the heavens….

I can’t even get angry at this.  Stupidity of this magnitude is to be laughed at, not to be enraged at.  Suffice it to say that the fools who wrote this did Obama no favors.

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4 Responses to Obama Greater Than Jesus

  • Certainly difficult to be angry at such silliness, Don.

    It does make me wonder though at times, if I lived in Jesus’ time and knew him/of him, would I have recognized the Truth?

    Its all too easy to find yourself if that crowd chanting ‘crucify him! crucify him!’ That scene from Gibson’s ‘Passion’ film where Pilate asks his wife if she can recognize the truth when she hears/sees it always struck a chord with me. Our Lord is one of surprises, after all!

    Not that BHO’s policies resemble Jesus in the slightest.

  • I can work up a little exasperation, but that’s about it. I’m a complete dolt, too. Just in different, non-O-worshipping ways.
    Anthony, if you recognize Him now, you would’ve recognized Him then.
    Happy New Year, Happy New Decade to all!

  • Same to you Suz!

    “It does make me wonder though at times, if I lived in Jesus’ time and knew him/of him, would I have recognized the Truth?”

    As long as we had stayed for an answer.

    “WHAT is truth? said jesting Pilate,and would not stay for an answer.”

  • Just don’t dare say The One is better than Mohammed.

Auld Lang Syne and Dune

Thursday, December 31, AD 2009

Auld Lang Syne from the Scottish Parliament, proving once again that most politicians cannot sing to save their souls.  At least it was done on the tax dime of the Scots and not us!  At any rate, have the happiest of New Years. 

Clan McClarey will be spending this New Year’s Eve in our traditional New Year’s Eve activities:  eating snacks, and watching Dune, a movie so bad that it is good!

Who cannot laugh at such unintenionally hilarious lines of diaglogue as :

Muad’Dib: Gurney, when the storm hits… set off the atomics. I want an opening through the entire Shield Wall. Stilgar, do we have wormsign?
Stilgar: Usul, we have wormsign the likes of which even God has never seen.

Paul Atreides: Father… father, the sleeper has awakened!

Piter De Vries: It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

Paul Atreides: Shield practice? Gurney… we had practice — this morning… I’m not in the mood.
Gurney Halleck: Not in the mood?! Mood’s a thing for cattle and love play… not fighting.
Paul Atreides: I’m sorry Gurney.
Gurney Halleck: Not sorry enough.

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen: He who controls the spice, controls the universe!

Stilgar and the Fremen: Hmmm. Shai-hulud.

Feyd-Rautha: I will kill him!

Alia Atreides: And how can this be? For he is the Kwisatz Haderach!

Put into a very good mood we toast the new year with egg nog and retire.  See you all in 2010!

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9 Responses to Auld Lang Syne and Dune

  • Hilarious movie, Donald. I haven’t seen it in years. The thing I remember most about it was the complete lack of subtlety in the depiction of the houses. The good family was beautiful, noble, and always posed majestically. The bad family was decadent and covered with sores.

    Peter Jackson should be forced to remake Dune.

  • Subtlety was not Frank Herbert’s strong suit, nor intentional humor. Dune actually wasn’t a bad novel or Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. After that the novels became increasingly esoteric and unreadable.


    The film took the Dune mythos with the same seriousness that Herbert did, with disastrous and hilarious results.

  • Merry Christmas Donald, Happy New Year, and Long Live the Fighters.

  • Same to you Pinky, and may Shai Hulud never seek to camp out in your back yard!

  • Happy New Years Don (and all)!

    A Peter Jackson remake of Dune — that would be something!

  • Oh dear, I missed “Dune” somehow and I dearly love hilariously bad movies. I miss “Mystery Science Theater 3000” terribly. I’ll have to make sure to rent “Dune” from the library. Even the few snippets Donald quoted had me laughing.

    A very happy New Year to all of you!

  • Happy New Year Donna. You should pick up a copy of Dune. It is a true hoot!

  • Happy New Year Christopher. A Peter Jackson remake of Dune is something to conjure with.

  • Maud’dib is supposed to be some kind of worm-commanding desert messiah but he comes across more like Mohammad than the Messiah. Racing out of the desert to conquer, with violence and new high-tech weaponry is far less like a true Messiah than the poor babe born in a manger in an obscure West Bank town who overcomes the world.

    Star Wars had a more hopeful messiah-type with Luke despite the simplistic story telling (Episode V excepted).

    None carry the grandeur of Tolkien. Hobbits are far more messianic than Muad’dib or Jedi. Pick up your ring and carry it to Mordor; that rings of Matthew.

    Nevertheless, Dune is entertaining . . . I hope the Clan McClarey enjoyed this movie in all its over-acting drama. I hear it is much better if you take some spice and sync it up with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon 🙂

    Have a Blessed New Year

What Virtue In False Promises?

Wednesday, December 30, AD 2009

One of the things that strikes me repeatedly watching the global warming debate (especially in the lead-up to and in the wake of the Copenhagen conference) is the incredible amount of excitement people have about trying to get countries to make commitments in regards to CO2 emissions which they obviously are not going to keep.

For instance, in discussing their hopes for Copenhagen, a number of environmentalists expressed hope that there would not be another “do nothing” commitment such as the Kyoto Accord — despite the fact that even those countries which did agree to Kyoto had not managed to keep those very modest commitments. The goals that environmentalists did very much want to see committed to (generally a 80-90% global drop in CO2 emissions within somewhere between 10 and 40 years) are far more aggressive, and thus far more unrealistic.

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7 Responses to What Virtue In False Promises?

  • Fantastic post, Darwin. And so true!

  • If committed environmentalists are only finding ways to decrease their household CO2 emissions by 25%, how in the world do they expect a whole country to drop its emissions by 80%?

    Households can reduce consumption but have to, more or less, accept the type of energy they consume. Governments can turn coal-fired plants into wind farms.

    Those who claim that carbon pricing will ruin our economy, overestimate the costs. They have the tendency to think of carbon emissions reductions as cuts in consumption alone. If we had to reduce our consumption 80%, we’d be in trouble. But most of the reductions would come from switching to alternative energy and make more efficient use of it. It’s possible to cut emissions by more than half without any change to our lifestyle.

  • The reason that none of these leaders are making firm commitments to reduce carbon emissions is because they don’t want their peoples to live in poverty. It’s well-established that the prosperity of a society is strongly correlated with its energy consumption. It so happens that presently the most effcient energy sources also produce a lot of carbon dioxide. Reducing carbon emissions therefore necessarily reduces one’s energy use, which necessarily reduces one’s propsperity. Their rhetoric otherwise, these leaders know this, which is why, for the time being, their talk about emissions cuts will remain a bunch of, uh, hot air.

  • Households can reduce consumption but have to, more or less, accept the type of energy they consume.

    Actually, households are in the same position as power producers and governments: they can reduce consumption, or they can make massive capital outlays in order to use the same amount of energy from some other source. I could, if I wanted to spend 20-40k on it, cover my roof with solar panels and massively reduce my carbon footprint. I don’t do so because I’m hesitant to turn a monthly bill of around $100 into an immediate outlay of 300x that amount, especially when that wouldn’t even totally cut my dependence on carbon-based electricity as I’d still need to get electricity from the power company on cloudy days (like the whole last week).

    If individuals are hesitant to make this kind of massive capital outlay for questionable benefits (the idea of powering most of the US by wind and solar is massively unrealistic — at best one could do so through lots more nuclear power), I don’t know why they should be surprised if the government is unwilling to make the same sacrifices on a larger scale.

  • Like you said, solar won’t eliminate your dependence on the grid. The vast majority of us need to use electricity generated from coal. Transitioning to wind and nuclear over the next few decades is not unrealistic. 80% by 2020 may be too optimistic but 2050 is doable.

  • Nuclear moreso than wind. Wind is good for supplementing whereas nuke power would be a solid backbone. Two problems: wind requires much real estate and has the “not in my backyard” issue to contend with. Nuke is a PR nightmare that also brings its “not in my backyard” issue.

  • I can see the concerns about promises that aren’t going to be kept, particularly as international law is so weak at holding anyone accountable to their commitment.

    However, I do want to say that your comment about activists reducing their emissions is a straw man argument. They are reducing their emissions 25% over the next year or two. They are asking the government to reduce emissions 80% by 2050, 40 years from now.

    McKinsey Consulting said that we can slash our emissions in half at net zero cost and in fact the first 40% of emissions reductions will make us money, more efficient, and more competitive internationally.

Did Little Susie Like Her Present?

Wednesday, December 30, AD 2009

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  Ah, the perennial problem of shopping for relatives you have met maybe once or twice, and trying to remember that the cute niece who just last year it seems was five years old is now 22 and probably is not still playing with dolls!  Fortunately my wife keeps the situation under control so I do not appear completely out of touch in my gift selections.  Hmmm, now that I think about it, my wife did request a tea kettle for Christmas.  Onion, you are a life saver!   Too late for Christmas, but not for her January birthday!

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4 Responses to Did Little Susie Like Her Present?

Nancy Pelosi to Bishops on Abortion: I practically mourn this difference of opinion

Wednesday, December 30, AD 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was interviewed in a recent edition of Newsweek, in which she had the opportunity to set the bishops straight on the participation of Catholics in public life.

I think you have had some brushes with [church] hierarchy.

I have some concerns about the church’s position respecting a woman’s right to choose. I have some concerns about the church’s position on gay rights. I am a practicing Catholic, although they’re probably not too happy about that. But it is my faith. I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that is that we are all endowed with a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will.

Is it difficult for you to reconcile your faith with the role you have in public life?

You know, I had five children in six years. The day I brought my fifth baby home, that week my daughter turned 6. So I appreciate and value all that they want to talk about in terms of family and the rest. When I speak to my archbishop in San Francisco and his role is to try to change my mind on the subject, well then he is exercising his pastoral duty to me as one of his flock. When they call me on the phone here to talk about, or come to see me about an issue, that’s a different story. Then they are advocates, and I am a public official, and I have a different responsibility.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf applies the necessary fisking and muses: “I cannot fathom why she hasn’t been told she must not receive Holy Communion. How much more public scandal does she have to give before the bishops of the places where she resides take concrete action?”

My thoughts exactly. Note that she has already received an admonishment from the Holy See and an invitation to “converse” from San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer.

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11 Responses to Nancy Pelosi to Bishops on Abortion: I practically mourn this difference of opinion

  • Can a person rise to a political position so powerful that Bishops are unable to preform as they should in fear of retaliation? Not just the House Speaker but all so called Catholic politicians. Even after much discussion by the Bishops with these persons, nothing is done other than rarely. . If so, are they not therefore condoning the acts of this person by omission of action, and putting politics ahead of their beliefs.

  • The Lying Worthless Political Hack before breakfast is a bit hard on the digestion. Seeing the look on her face after she is no longer Speaker of the House is all the inducement I need for all of my political activities and donations in the coming year.

  • “When I speak to my archbishop in San Francisco and his role is to try to change my mind on the subject, well then he is exercising his pastoral duty to me as one of his flock.”

    At least she admits that much; which means that she would, logically, also have to admit that he would be within his bounds of “pastoral duty” to bar her from Communion. However this is not likely to happen since Abp. Niederauer seems not to be known for possessing an episcopal spine.

    Pelosi points out that she had five children in 6 years and “appreciates all that they (bishops) want to talk about in terms of family.” Does she bring this up in order to establish some kind of “pro-life” street cred — “Hey, I had lots of kids so I was really pro-life when it counted” — or as a subtle dig at the Church — “I kept myself barefoot and pregnant all those years because the Church demanded it and now look what they are doing to me.”

  • “I practically mourn”? What the heck is that? She does or she doesn’t. It means she doesn’t. What a wretched woman who has shipwrecked her faith.

  • St. Paul in 1st Timothy 1:19-20 shows our Bishops how to deal with this; why won’t they simply just do it?

    “Some, by rejecting conscience, have made a shipwreck of their faith, among them Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.”

  • TDJ Says: “I practically mourn”? What the heck is that?

    It means she mourns… right up to the point where the campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood and the gay brigades come in. Then the sack cloth and ashes turn into singing and dancing. Put another way…

    “I voted against abortion before I voted for it”

  • I echo the comment on Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s post. It is creepy that a woman who has five children is so adamant in supporting abortion.

  • Mrs. Pelosi is quite correct to say that she has free will. It has been the Church’s position since the beginning. It has been only the Church which has defended the free will of women, which is part of their dignity.

    Mrs. Pelosi fails, however, to acknowledge that women may also choose badly. They may talk themselves into hell.

  • Spot on, Gabriel. Pelosi is rated 100% by NARAL. She also voted against the partial birth abortion ban act. How dare Pelosi be a catalyst for the heinous sacrifice of infants when her Savior hung from a scaffold for her sake! She is trampling on the blood of Jesus. I would think she would tremble mightily when she hears the sound of the trumpet. Along with Ben Nelson.

    On a slightly different note, I was glancing through Good Housekeeping Magazine today and happened upon an eye-appealing ad reflecting a pretty American girl named Nina, from Chicago, aged 22, who wasn’t sure which job offer to accept. Contrasted was Wanjiru, 22, from Nairobi, who isn’t sure she can handle her fifth pregnancy. The ad states, “If you lived in a place like Kenya, chances are you’d have little say about when and how many children you’ll have. For these women and girls, life isn’t about choices.” This ad immediately gave me the willies, especially in this particular magazine. Unfamiliar with EngenderHealth, I did a little checking and found out that it was awarded the United Nations Population Award for its contribution to reproductive health care in resource-poor third world countries. I also discovered that EngenderHealth group was formerly the Steirlization League for Human Betterment. The pro-choice movement under the Obama administration has become very audacious in its ad campaigns. “Pro Choice” is simply a fashionable catch-all for eugenics, but since the Nazi regime, it’s uncool to use that terminology. Ironically, our secular world, oblivious to sin, but intent upon Utopia, is creating the very antithesis of a perfect society. They plot evil and they will perish in it. To create a perfect society, we must strive to emulate the sanctity of the Holy Family, and Our Lady, the most perfect of all mothers, is the premier example of every virtue. Perhaps Nancy Pelosi’s five children will pray for her salvation.

  • Oh, I get it. So for the BotoxBiddy it’s “MY will be done.” Not, “THY will be done.”
    Mmmmm ka-ay.

  • Pingback: Archbishop Niederauer instructs Nancy Pelosi on “free will, conscience and moral choice” « The American Catholic

Alternate History: If Gore Had Won, Who Would Be President Now?

Tuesday, December 29, AD 2009

This started as an attempt to annoy a somewhat too Obama-struck Democrat on Facebook, but I think the question is an interesting one to play with at this point:

Imagine that Gore had been given Florida in the 2000 election and was thus elected president. How would subsequent history have been different? Who would be president now? (Would anyone outside of Illinois have heard of Obama?)

I’ll provide my initial thoughts in the comments in order to keep the playing field level.

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31 Responses to Alternate History: If Gore Had Won, Who Would Be President Now?

  • – Gore would have started his term highly unpopular and completely obstructed in congress, though the Republicans would have also got a black eye for responding childishly.

    – As sitting president, Gore would have received a major bump in popularity after the 9/11 attacks, and with strong VP leadership from Leiberman (remember when he was a Democrat?) he would have sent US troops into Afghanistan.

    – Desperate to clear up the dot.com-bust and 9/11 recession, the Gore administration would have strongly supported the low interest rate policies of the Fed, and would have taken the opportunity to push “homeownership for all”. The real estate bubble would have thus begun inflating.

    – I think it’s a toss up whether Gore and Leiberman would have led us into Iraq in the wake of 9/11 and Afghanistan, but for the sake of this exercise I’ll say they wouldn’t have, but would instead have pushed a much strong nation building effort in Afghanistan — and ended up in an identical morass to Iraq there. (Indeed, if anything, it would have been worse since Afghanistan is a much harder country to rebuild than Iraq.)

    – Budget surplusses would have been gone by 2002 as a result of the war in Afghanistan, falling tax revenues due to recession, and one or two major spending initiatives supported by the Gore administration (I’d guess a prescription drug benefit and a climate change initiative).

    – Barack Obama would have made it to the US Senate, and remained fairly unremarkable there, as Gore began his second term with a razor thin majority. His opponent in 2004 would have been John McCain, with a promise to bring new strategy to Afghanistan and end the war.

    – In 2008, Hillary Clinton would slugged it out against Lieberman in the Democratic primaries, and won. But she would have been beaten in the general election by Jeb Bush — the first Republican president in 16 years and the second Catholic to hold the office. He would have been aided by a collapsing construction/real estate economy, which the GOP would successfully blame on Fannie and Freddie.

  • – Assuming 9/11 happened, we would have gone to Afghanistan — we would have been in and out quickly because of liberal pressures and Republican criticism of the handling of the conflict. The mission might not have been accomplished; other strategies of fighting terrorism would be considered. This is, again, assuming that we were actually attacked.

    – We wouldn’t have gone to Iraq.

    – Our deficit would be much better off than it is now.

    – There would be a strong pro-Roe majority on the Supreme Court.

    – Gore would have climate change and environmental regulation as a strong central focus of his governing.

    – Gore would have lost the presidency in 04.

    – The Democrats would have taken Congress in 2008.

  • – Gore’s speech following 9/11 is reenacted in school plays for centuries.

    – Gore invades Afghanistan and, without the distraction of Iraq, Bin Laden is captured and executed. The Gore Republicans are born.

    – Gore passes some carbon pricing legislation which further improves American standing around the world. Carbon pricing spurs innovation and we are on track to be completely energy independent by 2012.

    – Gore enjoys another surge in popularity after his awesome display of leadership during Katrina.

    – Gore appoints two liberal supreme court justices. The partial-birth abortion ban is ruled unconstitutional and hope of overturning Roe v. Wade is lost for another generation.

    – In 2008, Romney-Hutchison defeat Lieberman-Kerry.

  • Personally, I don’t see how one could assume anything other than that 9/11 would have happened. The first three Al Qaeda attacks against the US during the Clinton administration had all been successful, and planning for 9/11 was already under weigh in Nov 2000.

  • I think Gore would have been a bad man to have at the helm in a crisis. I think he would have attempted to treat 9-11 as a question of law enforcement with some Clintonesque futile cruise missile strikes. I think the Republicans would have done well in 2002 and ousted Gore in 2004. If the economy had gone South in 2008, I suspect the Republican incumbent would have lost in 2008, perhaps also with the Democrats retaking the House and Senate.

  • The real question: would he have made An Inconvenient Truth?

  • Probably not Kyle, but after his term he might have written an autobiography, An Inconvenient President.

  • Gore’s speech following 9/11 is reenacted in school plays for centuries.

    This one is particularly funny to me because I don’t picture the type of scene where some lad is wearing a large hat and dramatically orating, “Four score and twenty years…” in front of smiling parents, No, I picture a kid standing nearly motionless and in a monotone and almost robotic fashion performing to a chorus of guffaws, “Today we were attacked. I am prepared to put some of the carbon credits I have mysteriously generated, a $500,000,000 value into a lock box to be delivered al Queda in reparation for our nation’s environmental sins.”

  • Maybe Bush would have made a pro-oil-drilling movie called A Convenient Truth. Sarah Palin could have then stared in the sequel.

  • Cruise missles would have been lauched at Afghanistan.

    There would be increased law enforcement efforts to stop terrorism without increased surveillance powers.

    American cooperation with the UN would increase with regards to Iraq and Iran with about the same result that we have with Iran now. The world would still dislike the US.

    Terror attacks on the US would increase resulting in decreasing Democratic popularity.

    Anyone-but-Gore wins the Presidency in 2008 with a Republican majority in Congress.

    Sarin Palin would still be gov. in Alaska but, not having run for VP, the liberal press would be stumped for another Republican enemy.

  • BHO wouldn’t have crawled out of the Chicago college of vermin if Ryan could keep it in his pants.

    Gore would be as inneffective as BHO is now where it counts. Democrats are far more experienced at launching protracted wars than Republicans so Afghanistan would have been entered into Soviet-style and Iraq was on the table before 9/11 so Gore would have been pushed into it just as Bush was, although Gore would have been more eager at getting control of all that earth-killing black gold to save the planet.

    Abortions, ESCR and other anti-life measures would have had major expansion.

    The Pope would not have been welcome in DC.

    Morality would have spiraled farther out of control. Other than that it would be the same because the President of the USA is just the current face of the Wall Street-banking-fascist-big business elite. When he doesn’t play ball, they shoot him.

    Housing bubble, artifically low interest rates, high unemployment, rampant inflation of the money supply, crashing stock market, bailouts, stimulus, waste, pork, graft, sensless spending, government expansion, liberal ideological indoctrination at all levels of education, moral decay, etc.

    The Constitution and the Ten Commandments would still be unwelcome in DC.

    The major difference as I see it is that we would have a slow decline into death; rather than the fits and starts we are getting now (Tea Parties, etc.) in reaction to the dramatic slide toward collapse.

    The good news is that it is Christmas time and we have nothing to fear from Republicrats or Democpublicans becuase Christ has overcome the world.

  • I don’t think things would have gone much differently than they did. Gore would have passed an education bill similar to NCLB, would have passed a prescription drug bill, and a slightly beefier “patients bill of rights” (remember that?). We still would have invaded Iraq. I seem to recall Gore downplaying his climate change advocacy during the 2000 campaign, so I don’t think he would have done much on the issue unless he got a second term (which I doubt). The main difference, policywise, would be that we’d get ESCR funding 8 years earlier than we did.

    Vice Presidents have succeeded directly to the Presidency via election (rather than Presidential incapacity) only twice in our nation’s history, and in neither case did the President in question win re-election. So it’s plausible to think that Gore would have lost to McCain in 2004. I think we would have gotten a surge a year or two earlier than we in fact did, but otherwise things would have played out much the same (I wouldn’t be surprised if we still had Roberts and Alito on the court). Of course the financial crisis would have doomed McCain’s re-election. I somehow think that Clinton would have won the primary in these cirs rather than Obama, but it’s not out of the question that Obama would be president right now.

  • How in the world did this ever happen? That one nation under God would become so immoral, so idolatrous, so evil no matter who won the Presidency?

  • Ummmm… Where has it ever _not_ happened? it’s not like other countries at other times have exactly been beds of roses.

    The evils of different times and places are often different, but they’re still evil.

  • Sad but true, Darwin Catholic. One would have hoped, however, that the United States could have proven the exception to the rule. Alas – ’twas not to be.

  • I find it highly unlikely that Gore would’ve invaded Iraq. Bush’s base was behind him on Iraq. Gore’s base would not have been. It takes a particularly hawkish president to preemptively invade a country without evidence of an imminent attack. At most, Gore would’ve lobbed a few missiles.

    Bill Clinton probably would’ve been the first president to visit North Korea if he had a few more months in office. I think Gore would likely have met with Kim Jung-Il.

    If it weren’t for Iraq, I think Bush would’ve won the ’04 election by a landslide. If Gore were president, without Iraq, he could very well have won a second term.

    Gore was less ambitious about carbon emissions regulation during his campaign but we know that he was dedicated to the cause. I don’t know if we would’ve gotten major legislation but I think it likely that we would have gotten some tougher emissions regulations.

  • Gore has at times been quite the hawk. That’s the way he positioned himself in his 1988 presidential run, as a Southern pro-defense moderate Democrat. He’s authoritarian by nature. He would have definitely gone into Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Gore version of the Patriot Act would have been much harsher.

    Twelve years of scandal would have caught up with the Democrats. State Senator Barack Obama would have given a minor speech on day three of the 2004 Convention, and won his Senate race. George Allen and Elizabeth Dole would have beaten Gore handily, and have won their second term in 2008.

  • In 1988, Gore opposed public funding for abortion and favored school prayer. His views changed when he left the South. He opposed the Iraq War while it was still popular.

  • RR, when the country is attacked, a president toughens up. Any president would. With his Vietnam cred, Gore would have been able to take stronger military positions than Bush was. Also, he was part of an administration that had favored regime change in Iraq and professed belief that Iraq was advancing toward WMD’s. Additionally, the control freak in him (as well as the tech geek) would have loved a super survaillance program in the Patriot Act.

    As for Gore’s opposition to the Iraq War, I don’t know if he really stood for that or not. Gore hasn’t always been a man of principles, as you note. His opposition made him very popular among the left at the time, and returned him to the spotlight as a voice against his old rival.

  • I find it highly unlikely that Gore would’ve invaded Iraq. Bush’s base was behind him on Iraq. Gore’s base would not have been.

    As it was roughly half the Dems supported the war, that percentage would have been substantially higher if a Democrat were president.

    Gore’s campaign rhetoric in 2000 was pretty hawkish (more so than Bush, actually), and his foreign policy team would have been predominately hawks (Lieberman would have been VP, ferpetessake).

    In general I think we overestimate the extent to which policy depends on who holds office. In theory Republicans are more hawkish than Dems, Dems are more willing to intervene in the economy, etc. In practice what you get is Republicans bailing out auto companies while Democrats double down in Afghanistan.

  • I don’t even think Bush would’ve invaded Iraq without Cheney. It took a special set of circumstances that would’ve been very difficult to replicate with Democrats running the show. Bush was surrounded by people who articulated a desire for forceful regime change in Iraq even before 9/11. I don’t think Gore would’ve had many neo-cons in his administration. Without the preexisting focus on Iraq, I don’t think members of Gore administration would’ve pushed for war.

  • Darwin and American Knight’s thoughts ring most true to my ear. The major disasters of the Bush years would still have happened much the same way they did, minus the Iraq war. BHO would not be pesident now, but possibly in the 2012-2020 cycles.

    If there is one good thing that has come of all this, at least for me, it has been to see the GOP for what they are and to hope for a more libertarian-bent party to emerge. I’m not convinced either party can remain as is and survive the next decade. If 2000-2009 was akin to the 1920s then we’re about to enter a bumpy 20-teens.

  • I don’t even think Bush would’ve invaded Iraq without Cheney.

    I don’t think putting the war down to one person is very plausible. You might as well say that Gore certainly would have invaded Iraq because his VP was Lieberman.

    This was an establishment war. Much of the establishment wants to downplay that fact now, and try to make out that the war was the work of a small cabal, but that’s not what actually happened.

  • This was an establishment war. Much of the establishment wants to downplay that fact now, and try to make out that the war was the work of a small cabal, but that’s not what actually happened.

    I think that’s a good point. (Honestly, it was kind of a flip of the coin for me whether to predict that the Iraq war would have happened anyway or not — I picked the negative because I thought it was mildly more interesting.)

    I’d also say, that it’s not really shocking or horrifying that this was an establishment war. Wanting to get Hussein out of control of Iraq is hardly a disreputable desire. It was pretty clearly understood that we could manage that — what we were very much mistaken on was our ability to handle what happened in the vacuum that resulted. That’s unfortunate, but hardly surprising given the tendency of those in charge to assume that they can handle things and make them work out well.

    From today’s vantage point, people tend to forget that actually toppling Hussein was done with a minimum of loss to either the US or civilian Iraqis. It was the inability to control the country afterwards that got nasty.

  • War requires money and it is very profitable for those who finance it. They need it to keep going becuase it forces nations to borrow more money from them. Without the unlimited supply of money, most wars would never be fought. When they must be fought, they are fought quickly becuase the aim of a just-war is peace, as in the end of hostilities and God-willing a victory. Conservation of blood and treasure is forced on those who prosecute the war. When human life and human dignity are ignored (one cannot deny that we ignore these things – we may be squeemish and not want to see actual death but we abort 4,000 babies a day so we really don’t give a spit)and paper ,or worse, electronic money buys war materiel then our political masters have no need to end the war quickly. Wars are useful for controlling your own population. All welfare-warfare states need war. Preferably one that is hard to define like a war on poverty, drugs or terror. No objective. Just endless war with the enemy-the-of-the-day. Eastasia, Eurasia, Islamofacist or Tea Partiers, it doesn’t really matter as long as we have war.

    Wars are created by certain moneyed interests referred to as the Establishment, which is neither Dem or Rep, but entrenched political interests that never die and thrive in either environment so long as we allow them to with our apathy, fear, greed, material satisfaction and immorality.

    As commander in chief, the President, can exhert his power over the war once declared. When was the last time we actually declared a war?

    Bush is a moral man – misguided? Sure, but relatively moral. Gore is not, he is a typical political opportunist. Gore would have been far, far more hawkish than Bush and the current wussy-in-chief will end up being more hawkish than either of them. We just don’t know who he will attack – maybe us!

    The left always perfers wars more than the right, which is why the neo-con leftists have positioned themselves on the right so that we will get war no matter how we vote.

    The Constitution is dead, long live the State!

  • Ummmm… AK, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  • Sorry if it was unclear – I did not edit it at all. No time now. I will try to get to it today.

    Merry Christmas and a Holy New Year!

  • AK, for over a year now I’ve been saying that the one positive thing about an Obama presidency would be that he’s more likely to get into a direct military confrontation with Iran than McCain would have been. McCain would have been crazy tough, which would have resulted in peace. Obama would/will/is/whatever be incredibly passive, leading to a crisis, an overreaction, and probable war.

    I hope that Iran overthrows its government before that happens, but one way or another that regime’s got to end.

  • I subscribe to the cabal theory. Sure, the establishment didn’t like Saddam but it still takes a huge leap to get to preemptive invasion (not just preemptive missile strikes).

  • Darwin,

    I agree that was a very poorly wirtten post, but (barring punctuation) it didn’t seem that non-sensical to me. Please let me know where I went astray.

    Allow me to restate some points:

    War is a benefit to an expanding state and allows both for control of the state’s population as well as massive profits for the financiers of the war. So wars are fought not to end but to be perpetual. Drugs, poverty and terror are the types of intangible objectives that yield to perpetual war. This is our current state.

    If we had a hard money (not necessarily gold, just a fixed supply of whatever we use as money) then wars would cost too much to prolong and there would be little profit in it. This is the type of currency our Founding Fathers established depsite the massive interference of the moneyed elites, mostly through Freemasonry. In 1910 the enemy succeeded in changing our monetary system to a fiat system, which leads to expanding state power, perpetual war and marginilazation of true religion, especially Christianity and specifically the Catholic religion.

    Since that time the Presidency has increased in power dramatically, it is effectively codified as a dictatorship and the president has become less and less important – merely a useful figurehead. The real power is hidden and entrenched. Did you notice any major changes in defense and monetary appointments with the regime of hope and change? McCain would have been the same as Obama who is the same as Bush in these areas.

    The difference as others have pointed out is that Obama has a cabal of obvious anti-Americans in his White House, which has made what should already be obvious more visible. With McCain that would have remained hidden to most eyes.

    Iraq was going to happen with Clinton, Gore, Bush, Romney, McCain, BHO or any other acceptable candidate. Iran is going to happen either way too. As Pinky pointed out, BHO is likely to instigate it as wussy-in-chief faster than McCain would have as war-monger-in-chief. The left is far more effective at launching unnecessary wars and extending them while at the same time dividing the country by opposing them. The goal: bring the system down. Reset. Start over with a Marxist utopia. Stupid? Yes. Nevertheless, it is what they beleive.

    The so-called Right is simply making a feeble and hollow stance against the Left. A pathetic distraction for the immoral masses. What they miss is that more of us beleive in Christ than they think. Christ has overcome the world. We win.

    RR, stop falling for pre-emptive. It is perpetual not pre-emptive. War is profitable, creates fear and reduces the population. All of these are noble goals for those given over to selfishness and Satan.

  • The perpetual wars of the United States won’t change either until the money runs out or the ‘right’ finally sees it for what it is. The former is more likely. Those on the ‘genuine’ left are swallowing the pill that liberals love war about as much as granola bars. They’re just hipper and have slightly better hair than your average GOP congressman.

    Eisenhower’s warning about the military industrial complex seems to have come to pass. Its hard to argue otherwise when the U.S. is engaged in a war or two at some point every decade.

    Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, Korea, an African nation… there are far too many opportunities for the war profiteers and corporatists.

    All they need to do is convince the American people they are ‘threatened’ and they’ll get their war in time.

Predictions for 2010

Tuesday, December 29, AD 2009

Here are my predictions for 2010.  I hope I have a better track record than I did for my predictions for 2009.

1.   The Republicans will take back the House in November, either outright on election day, or through party switches between election day and the swearing in of the new Congress in 2011.

2.   The Republicans will take back the Senate in November, either outright on election day, or through party switches between election day and the swearing in of the new Congress in 2011.  I am assuming that Joe Lieberman will caucus with the Republicans if the Republicans have 50 seats.

3.   The economy will continue in the doldrums next year with the unemployment rate not getting lower than 9%.

4.    Regime change will occur in Iran with the Mullahs being toppled by a popular insurrection.

5.    Pope Benedict’s Anglican Initiative will prove amazingly successful  with ever increasing numbers of Anglicans and Episcopalians swimming the Tiber to participate.

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22 Responses to Predictions for 2010

  • Good predictions there Don. I agree with 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 (and I bet Illinois is one of them), and, of course, 12 🙂

    I am not so sure about 2, 4, 9, or 10. Or 11. I also would add a #13: there WILL be another successful or at least attempted major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, similar to the Detroit bombing incident or the Fort Hood massacre. They keep trying and sooner or later, unfortunately, they’re going to succeed.

    I will also add a #14: at least one prominent pro-abortion “Catholic” politician will be publically banned from recieving Communion by his or her bishop before year’s end.

  • I agree with you Elaine that doubtless Illinois will be in the forefront of state bankruptcy.

    Another successful attack on the Continental US is probably a safe bet.

    I agree with you on 14, and I would also not be surprised if a Catholic pro-abort political figure decides to recant his or her pro-abort stance. The politics on this issue are beginning to shift, and I can imagine some Catholic pro-abort Democrat from a Red or Purple State deciding to seize the initiative.

  • I’ve got to admit to being highly skeptical on 2. The Democrats are getting trounced right now, but I don’t know if the right set of seats are open for a flip.

    On 7, do you mean Iraq rather than Iran, or are you making a much bigger prediction? 🙂

  • Cold fusion technology! You can already check off a wrong prediction. 🙂

  • I realize Phillip that many people put cold fusion technology in the same category as perpetual motion machines, but I think the technology is attainable. The US Navy has been doing some interesting work in this area, and I think we are getting close.

  • Numbers 1 and 2 are somewhat dependent on number 3. If you’re right about number 3, then I think #1 is a lock and #2 is a possibility, though I still don’t see a 10-seat swing this coming year in the Senate.

  • Okay. I’ll save the smiley face for next year.

  • I have no objection as to smiley faces regarding any of my predictions that do not come to pass! 🙂

  • I hope that 1 and 2 are right. My bet, the GOP and the Blue Dogs will constitute a majority in the House, but the institution will still be run by Speaker Pelosi. The Republicans will take 6 seats in the Senate and pick up one or two converts. We’ll see two years of paralysis in Congress, and Obama will run against the Washington establishment in 2012.

  • ColdFusion technology has indeed improved. Version 9.0 even features an IDE and it’s own ORM.

    (Sorry; it’s my bread and butter, so I couldn’t resist.)

  • I could see the Republicans picking up four or five Senate seats net (including Reid’s seat in Nevada). I don’t see any way to pick up ten.

  • 1 and 2 are clearly wishful thinking bordering on fantasy. I could see a populist third party making some headway against the Dems and the GOP if things continued in a bad vein.

    3 is a no-brainer considering that practical un/underemployment is probably double that right now.

    As for #7, it would be even better, if not more wishful in thinking, to suppose some stability could return to either nation. The ultimate goal is to get out of these quagmires and eliminate political and social corruption. The one thing I’ll say is that at least we don’t have the blind (the GOP) leading the blind on that score.

    Nothing would make me happier than seeing #9 come through. In spades.

    #10 only shows why you ended up in law, not physics.

  • Todd,

    I agree that “cold fusion” is not likely to ever amount to anything — though as I recall there was some mild hope of something along the lines of a “warm” fusion (compared to normal fusion reactions, that is); however I’m a little concerned that you keep using these “shows up why you ended up in law rather than physics” or “shows why you remain a lawyer rather than a judge” formulations on Donald.

    I’m not sure if you mean it that way, but many would take it as a very rude way of expressing your opinion. For isntance, if people frequently told you, “This of course shows why you’re only a parish music director rather than doing X”, you might well take that both as an insult to your current occuption and also to your general abilities.

  • 1.-2. I think the GOP has a reasonable chance of flipping control of the House. Short of (God forbid) some kind of national calamity, I don’t see the Dems losing control of the Senate.

    3. I’m beginning to think 9% is optimistic.

    4. Your mouth to God’s ear. That would make life much easier for everyone.

    5. I hope so, but I don’t know. There have been a lot of positive noises, but it’s going to take a bishop or two to leap to make it a torrent. The Anglo Catholics seem to be in a holding pattern right now.

    6. This will be a certainty in 2011.

    7. Your mouth to God’s ear. Different people, different terrain. But still possible with resolute leadership, I’ll grant.

    8. A reasonable possibility, which could be borderline catastrophic if it’s California.

    9. I thought there already was one…. :). More seriously, I hope not. I like her, but she’s not ready.

    10. Any links/articles on the Navy stuff?

    11. If it’s not reported, does it make a sound?

    12. No! 😉

  • “I would also not be surprised if a Catholic pro-abort political figure decides to recant his or her pro-abort stance.”

    If that does happen, I would expect it to occur among one of the “Blue Dog” Dems to which you refer — possibly in conjunction with him or her switching party affiliation to GOP or Independent like the Congressman in Alabama recently did (don’t recall his name off the top of my head).

    It might also occur to one or more of what I call the “soft” pro-aborts in both parties who are willing to vote in favor of some restrictions like a partial birth ban, no taxpayer funding, parental notification, etc. However, it WON’T be because his/her bishop barred that person from Communion.

    I expect a public communion ban or perhaps even a formal excommunication to be made against a “hard” pro-abort who vehemently opposes ANY restrictions on abortion. But, I don’t expect they will change their ways because of it. If anything, they will probably become even more entrenched in their views, because they can’t afford to look like they are “knuckling under” to the Church.

    Should any of the hard core pro-abort “Catholics” ever repent it probably won’t happen until after they retire from public life or get voted out of office.

  • I would also not be surprised if a Catholic pro-abort political figure decides to recant his or her pro-abort stance

    Has this ever happened? There are, I know, lots of examples of Catholic politicians going the other way, but I don’t know of any significant cases of Catholic pols becoming pro-life. There’s no margin in it if you’re a Democrat, and if you’re a pro-choice Catholic Republican you’re probably pretty firm in your view (Rudy is the only possible I could think of, and if he wasn’t willing to switch when running for President I don’t see why he would do it now).

  • BA, you’re correct in that the only “converts” from pro-choice to pro-life that I can think of offhand — Mitt Romney, George H.W. Bush, and possibly also Ronald Reagan (who did sign a law legalizing abortion while governor of California) — were not Catholics.

    I do seem to recall, years ago, reading a Catholic News Service interview with former Gov. Hugh Carey of New York in which he admitted having been admonished about his pro-abortion stand by his bishop, and that it did eventually cause him to reconsider his views; but his “reconsideration” didn’t occur until some time after he had left office.

  • Dale, in regard to Cold Fusion and the Navy see the link below.


    Darwin, Todd’s comments do not bug me. I am used to dealing with people daily on a professional basis who could give him a seminar on rudeness. At any rate I find it refreshingly more honest than his “Peace” salutation that he used to use in each comment years ago on other venues on Saint Blog’s.

    As to the House flipping Todd once again shows his lack of familiarity with how the races are beginning to stack up.


    I expect a bad situation to get progressively worse for the Democrats as unemployment continues to stay high.

    I have made my Senate picks in a recent thread but I do not have time to look for them now. The Law calls.

  • Toomey in Pennsylvania BA. Granted he is a Republican, but he started out as a pro-abort Congressman and switched to being pro-life. He is a Catholic.

  • I can imagine a scenario where the GOP takes the house and not the Senate.

    Any kind of new discovery that can be exploited by the private sector would be most welcome, cold fusion or otherwise.

    Unemployment will worsen and fear over the dollar will increase and become very real.

    Pope Benedict will continue to be a figure of controversey only for those whom Catholicism is a controversey.

    Agree that a few states will default. Maybe nations? Things will stay bad for Gordon Brown in the UK.

    Could the Global Warming/Climate Change nonsense continue to be exposed?

  • I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that one of the Obama cabinet members to resign in 2010 will be Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano. The Detroit bombing will do for her what Katrina did for FEMA head Michael “Heckuva job, Brownie” Brown!

  • Good call Elaine. Obama seems to be in a “who will be the fall guy for this one?” mode.


    When we can’t keep a terrorist off a plane after we receive a credible warning from the fellow’s father, something is deeply wrong.

8 Responses to A Leftist Who Gets It

  • “The rest of us poor slobs out here in real-world land, on the other hand, got a “jobs summit”.

    This is delicious, considering that the author has a tenure protected job.

  • Tenure makes it hard to get fired, but not impossible.

  • A Union employee in academia is almost as hard to can. A friend of mine worked three years to terminate a Union employee who showed up to work about 50% of the time and who did absolutely nothing when she appeared.

  • Obama’s done.

    Once he begins losing his base he’s lost his second term.

    At first I couldn’t even think it.

    Then I couldn’t believe it was even possible.

    Now it not only is possible, but tipping to probable that President Obama will lose his second term and lose by a landslide a la Carter.

    and somehow be even worse than Jimmah’?!

  • Bart Stupak for president!

  • Remember when professors used to write in some semblance of a professional manner? Good grief!

    U.S. Politics are fickle; George H. W. Bush had an 89 percent approval rating only two years prior to his reelection attempt, and still lost the election. There is still a lot of ground to cover between now and 2012. Obama’s fortunes could change several times between now and then.

  • Dminor,

    You are correct, but let me enjoy my fantasy!

  • “Obama’s fortunes could change several times between now and then.”

    It could well be Dminor. However, some Presidents get in the doldrums and stay there. A prime example is Jimmy Carter.

Predictions Old

Monday, December 28, AD 2009

Last year some of the contributors for The American Catholic made predictions for 2009 here.  Here is how I did:

1.  Bailout mania will continue, with the federal government adding 1.5-2 trillion dollars to the national debt in 2009.

Close.  The deficit for this year was actually 1.4 trillion.

2.  Two cabinet members in the new administration will resign in 2009.  (Make that one cabinet member.  I was counting Bill Richardson in my total and he withdrew as Commerce Secretary today because of an ongoing corruption investigation against him.)

Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination for secretary of HHS due to failure to pay his taxes in full.

3.  After he is forced out through impeachment and conviction, Blagojevich will spill his guts to Fitzgerald in a desperate attempt to forestall a criminal indictment of his wife and to gain sentencing leniency for himself.

Well Blago was impeached and convicted and thrown out of office as governor of Illinois, but he hasn’t sung yet.

4.  As a result of Blagojevich singing, Fitzgerald will open a series of new investigations on numerous Illinois politicians.

Fitzgerald throughout the year has continued to wage his one man war against the sickening political corruption in my state, but he has received no information from Blagojevich, other than what Blago blabbed when he was secretly taped.

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5 Responses to Predictions Old

Protests Turn Violent in Iran

Monday, December 28, AD 2009

(Updates at the bottom of this posting below)

Peaceful protests turned violent as Iranian authorities have authorized deadly force.  Thus far there are fifteen (15) reportedly killed in Tehran and four (4) in Tabriz. 

More details have filtered in that some Iranian policemen have refused to fire on the protesters.  The hated Basiji Militia headquarters is up in flames and more reports of unconfirmed deaths from all over the country of Iran are pouring in view various media outlets.

Among those killed is the nephew of Mir Hossein Moussavi, the leader of the burgeoning opposition as well as the leading vote getter in the last election which was hijacked by the clerical ruling class.  Ali Habibi Moussavi, the nephew, was shot in the chest and died at the hospital.  Details are still sketchy.

The Islamic Iranian regime has barred all journalists, but pictures and footage have confirmed large demonstrations nationwide that have not been intimidated by the use of violent force.

Some showed huge crowds chanting slogans attacking President Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

President Obama has failed to respond to the growing violence in Iran outside of a standard White House response from Washington of a bland condemnation of “violence”.  His hesitancy has betrayed many in the Iranian opposition to the point that if there is a regime change the opportunity to build again good relations with Iran diminishes each day as our president dawdles away in his luxurious resort home in Hawaii.

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4 Responses to Protests Turn Violent in Iran

Of Geese and God

Sunday, December 27, AD 2009

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday morning as my family and I were readying ourselves to go out of town to see a movie.  Flights of several hundred geese in their V formations flew over the town of Dwight, Illinois, heading south and honking their heads off.  This was at 8:00 AM and no doubt some of the citizenry who had made merry on Christmas did not find all the honking welcome, but I thought it was delightful and awe-inspiring.  Dwight is not on any major migratory flight paths for geese, so this was a rare event.  As I do whenever I see something in nature that inspires awe in me, I quickly thought of the Creator of nature, and I mused that after celebrating the Nativity yesterday, God deigning to become part of Nature, this sight reminded me of the delight that God takes in His creation, and why He marks the sparrow’s fall, and the honking of a goose.

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8 Responses to Of Geese and God

  • Hi Donald–

    I happened upon your blog at the global tags…

    In any event, I am attempting to locate articles, essays, etc., which treat of the topic of abortion being an infamy even to save the life of the mother.

    If you have seen such an argument please advise.

    Cheers! for the Holiday…

    Dean Taylor

  • derrida you will find many good articles regarding abortion on The American Catholic, but I don’t recall one treating that particular topic. Here is a good overview of the teaching of the Church.


    Fortunately with modern obstetrics, the situations where it could be argued that an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the mother, are virtually non-existent.

  • Speaking of birds… I have been noticing lots of red-tailed hawks perched on signs along central Illinois highways of late. It used to be pretty rare to see them and now I’m seeing them all the time. They are a pretty majestic sight when they fly (unless you’re a mouse or a rabbit or some other critter right in their line of sight, of course).

    Also bald eagles should soon be evident along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers… in late January or early February there are eagle spotting festivals in river locations such as Starved Rock, Pekin and Havana.

  • “They are a pretty majestic sight when they fly (unless you’re a mouse or a rabbit or some other critter right in their line of sight, of course).”

    LOL Elaine! I imagine they would call the sight heart-stopping!

    I’ve been noticing more red-tails the past few years too. They can almost hover when they are riding the convection currents on a hot summer’s day. A marvelous predator, as long as we are not on their bill of fare!

  • Migratory birds are fairly common here. The only geese we get here, other than domestic geese, are the Canadian geese that migrate from way up north to down under here. They cause a huge destruction to the crops in the South Island, so the farmers aren’t that welcoming toward them – many find their way to the cooking pot. But they are also a game bird here in season, but we don’t see them here on the coast – mainly inland around the aforementioned farms in the North Island as well.
    I think its marvelous to see them in their V formations, the lead birds changing from time to time, doing the hard work, so that the trailing birds get a lift off the currents set up by the bird in front.
    So that skill of the birds, getting a lift from the bird in front, is that by design, or has it merely evolved? 🙂
    And tame geese are marvelous “watchdogs”, giving warning of strangers, and are quite fearless in attacking any percieved ‘enemy’. In my boyhood I was on the end of such an attack, and it wasn’t an endearing experience. I have long since forgiven the goose, but I think it ended up in the pot anyway.

  • Near Dwight Don we have a man-made lake called Lion’s Lake which was constructed only about 15 years ago. We have a few geese that stop off there to have goslings. The family and I throw bread to them several times during the year and love to watch their antics. Wild geese do not have the mildest disposition on Earth and we are careful not to try to pet them.

  • In late March of 2008 we saw a curious phenomenon involving geese. Though large numbers of Canadian honkers and snows are common enough hereabouts, just south of Lake Ontario, this time the flocks seemed to stall out right in our neighborhood. Seemed like it was too icy cold for them to travel any farther north.
    It was an exceptional experience to go for a walk on a sunny day, the snow still deep underfoot, and see and hear hundreds of thousands of snow geese settling and launching continually from the surrounding cornfields. A cacophony, yes, but thrilling in its sheer intensity.
    And there is something truly special about the sight of snow geese flying against a brilliant blue sky.
    Whenever Nature offers up one of these simple moments of magnificence, I tend to think…. “thanks, God!”

  • I’m not up on the stats, but I’m sure I see more raptors today than I recall seeing 20 years ago. I don’t think it’s just improved powers of observation, though location could be a factor. Our neighborhood has plenty of mature trees; we get red-tails, red-shouldered, small hawks (Cooper’s or sharp-shinned; I can’t say for sure because they’re always moving too fast) and hear barred and great horned owls from time to time. My next-door neighbor swears a young bald eagle stopped by his backyard for a rest recently (scouting out his privet for small critters, no doubt!)

    We are currently having Mass in our social hall pending construction of the church; the hall has several large west-facing windows behind the dais where the altar stands. Once, a flock of Canada geese grazing nearby decided to take off just as evening Mass was beginning. It was quite awe-inspiring to see those majestic birds crossing the windows with the sunset behind right at that moment.

Pope Benedict Assaulted, Doing Fine

Saturday, December 26, AD 2009

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was pulled down by a woman during the Christmas vigil Mass on Christmas Eve.  In the video you can see the woman jump the barrier and instantly you see Vatican security react but the distance between the Pope and the barrier was small enough for the woman to bring down the Pope.

Along the way Roger Cardinal Etchegaray also fell as the woman barreled her way towards Papa Bene and through Cardinal Etchegaray.  The good French Cardinal is currently still hospitalized with a broken hip.

Pope Benedict immediately got up and proceeded to celebrate Mass as the congregation clapped joyfully seeing that Papa Bene was unharmed (not shown in the video).

Vatican security is reviewing their procedures amid this recent break down in security.  But keeping in balance the Pope’s access to his sheep to his safety is a delicate task.  Father John Zuhlsdorf has floated the idea of bringing back the sedia gestatoria, the portable papal throne where adequate lines of men would flank the chair bearers.

Preliminary reports have suggested this is the same woman, identified as Susanna Maiolo a Swiss-Italian, also jumped a barrier at an earlier papal procession but was tackled before she could reach Papa Bene.  It has been reported that Miss Maiolo appears to be unbalanced, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Finally the Vatican will pardon her for her attack on the pope and offer leniency (in any future prosecution I assume).


To read the Zenit news blurb on the attack on the Pope click here.

To read Father John Zuhlsdorf’s suggestion for a return to the sedia gestatoria click here.

To read what a sedia gestatoria is by the The Catholic Encyclopedia (1912 version) click here.

To read a more contemporary definition of the sedia gestatoria by Wikipedia click here.

To read the pardon of Susanna Maiolo by Samuel Goldsmith of the New York Daily News click here.

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4 Responses to Pope Benedict Assaulted, Doing Fine

  • I think she’s CUTE and needs a MAN. No better man than our HOLY JOEY there!! Thank goodness that the Pope is OKAY and the attacker was not BGJ, a pal from my college years!!!

  • After careful thought already for a few years it does seem that signs are pushing for the safe return of the Sedia. If Rome so chooses we should fully support them. It does look safer. We must look at not only what could happen but what did. He was brought violently to the floor. That is not acceptable.

  • Since no one has brought it up here or at Father Zuhlsdorf’s, I will conjecture that use of the Sedia would inhibit removal of the Pontiff in case of incident and most likely block a route of escape once it is put down.

  • M.Z.,

    Excellent point.

    That may explain how the “Pope-mobile” came about.

Christmas Wishes from Hugo Chavez

Saturday, December 26, AD 2009

Surely every parent has moments when he or she think that the toy obsession at Christmas has got far out of control. Some turn to religion, seeking to “put the Christ back in Christmas”, but that big, cuddly man of the people Hugo Chavez has a better idea:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for an end of Christmas “consumption insanity” and replace presents for children with stories about national independence hero Simon Bolivar, local media reported.

“For the love of God, let’s halt this, let’s put the brakes on this consumerist, capitalist insanity, that leads us to lose our spiritual values,” said Chavez.

Chavez suggested to stop buying toys “that as mothers and fathers we are practically forced” to buy. He also said that there is little sense in buying new clothes each December before Christmas Eve as these sales do not benefit the small merchants, but “their owners, the wealthy, the big distributors that make a bundle squeezing people.”

“Let’s sit with the children and tell them stories of Bolivar, of the motherland,” the Venezuelan President said, adding that he makes this appeal from his heart “to put aside these vices.”

Somehow, I’m not sure that “Bolivar and the motherland are the reason for the season” has quite the same ring to it. But surely Chavez’s heart is in the right place.

Have a happy Boxing Day/St. Steven’s Day/ Second Day of Bolivar!

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4 Responses to Christmas Wishes from Hugo Chavez

  • Most of Latin America, specifically the majority of South Americans refer to Hugo Chavez as “el Payaso”. Which in English translates as “the Clown”.

    It’s interesting the the Euro-Trash at the Copenhagen Climate Conference all stood and gave him a standing ovation to this “Clown”.

    Says a lot about modern liberals doesn’t it?

  • Please, tell me you really are joking when you say Chavez’s heart is in the right place.

    Anything that appears to be a light in the dark heart of Chavez is in deed reminiscent of Paul’s words when he says, even if an angle of light should come to you with another gospel”

    No matter how reasonable he might sound, he’s robbed the Catholic Church of their voice in Venezuela, so he’s using false piety to stir the hearts of others.

  • Yes. I would take a statement that Chavez’s heart is in the right place to be either:

    1) Insane

    2) Ironic

    Since I deny the former, I’ll claim the mantle of the latter.

  • Darwin’s tongue couldn’t have been further in his cheek!

Good King Wenceslas

Saturday, December 26, AD 2009

Something for the weekend and the feast of Saint Stephen, the first of the glorious line of martyrs for Christ.  Good King Wenceslas has always been one of my favorite Christmas Hymns.  We see in this hymn how the love of Christ in the breast of the King translates into immediate and personal action on his behalf to aid the poor man.  The winter storm are the adversities of life that deter so many of us from good works.  Following boldly in the footsteps of the saints can allow us to conquer all obstacles in our path to carrying out  that prime command of Christ:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The video above is my favorite of the three I have posted, replete with images of Saint King Wenceslas.  However, the Irish Rovers add their own Celtic lilt.

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4 Responses to Good King Wenceslas

A Merry Christmas To Those Who Guard Us While We Sleep

Friday, December 25, AD 2009

Hattip to Big Hollywood.  A film clip from Battleground (1949), a rousing tribute to the heroic stand of the 101st Airborne at Bastogne at Christmas 1944, which helped turn the tide of the Battle of the Bulge.  We should always be mindful of the men and women in our military who are far from their families today, celebrating Christmas often in dangerous situations.  May God bless them and keep them, and may we always remember the sacrifices they make for us.

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