Debra Medina Fails To Disavow 9/11 Truthers, Rick Perry Gets My Vote

Thursday, February 11, AD 2010

[Updated]

It has been said that all politics is local.

And so it is.

I have had some issues with whom to vote for in the upcoming Texas gubernatorial elections.  Especially with the Republican primary coming up and Debra Medina gaining fast on current Governor Rick Perry.

Insurgent Republican candidate Debra Medina was a asked a question by Glenn Beck on his radio show if she would deny that there was any government role in 9/11 and she hedged.

Mr. Beck followed up with a direct question and she still hedged.

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103 Responses to Debra Medina Fails To Disavow 9/11 Truthers, Rick Perry Gets My Vote

  • I listened in this morning because I wanted to hear what she had to say. I saw this as a make it or break it moment for her campaign. The interview seemed to start off rocky. In reply to the question, “Who is Debra Medina?”, she briefly talked about herself and then went into critiques of Perry and Hutchison. Glenn was audibly annoyed, by that point.

    On the one hand, I wonder why the 9-11 Truther question was asked; it didn’t seem to pertain to the issues facing Texans today. But, as I sat listening, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She was dancing around the issue! This little dance routine looks like a tacit admission of Trutherism. She never outright rejected the notion. The perception now, despite what she said, is that she’s a Truther. She’s finished. Finished.

  • I didn’t listen to the radio show, only to Medina’s comments on the show.

    Like you the question wasn’t really relevant in certain ways, but the way she answered it was awful.

  • It’s because of Beck’s target crowd.

  • I listened to one of the clips and he said he brought it up because he got a lot of mail accusing her of being a Truther. Based on her answer, there was probably a lot of legitimate concern out there and it turned out to be a fair question. I’m not a Beck fan, but I’m not sure what’s wrong with not having Truthers as a target audience.

  • I thought Truthers were liberal Democrats who despised Bush, the same way Birthers tend to be conservatives who despise Obama.

    If this woman is running as a Republican for governor of one of the reddest of the Red States, by what logic does she figure sympathy for the Truther movement helps her win votes? If she were running for, say, mayor of Berkeley or for Congress from some hard-left-leaning district I could see her logic; but this doesn’t make sense.

  • Texas isn’t very red. The TX House of Reps is 77 Republicans and 73 Democrats — a 4 vote majority. The TX Senate is 19 Republicans to 12 Democrats — a 7 vote majority.

    There’s been much talk in terms of changing demographics in Texas. In about 10 years, this state will arguably be purple, politically speaking.

  • When I was working in politics in Texas we had a term, Texicrat, for Texas Democrats. Think RINO, but in reverse.

  • Tito, I must say I’m sad that you will be voting for Governor 39%. We’d be better off being governed by cardboard for the next four years.

    I am totally opposed to Governor Perry and I am still entertaining the idea of voting for Debra Medina (who I oppose practically down the line on almost every issue) to vote against Governor Perry in the GOP primary (which will count me as a registered Republican until the next election — the horror!). It was a gaffe, sure. I’m more disturbed that Perry was unaware that the Advanced Care Directives Law that has seen the euthanasia of a six month old infant and several others had passed through the Texas Senate when he was the Lt. Governor and President of the Texas Senate.

    You’ll disagree, sure. Vote your conscience. I’m not rather concerned that someone’s gaffe in failing to deny that they believe in a conspiracy theory as more important than defeating Governor 39% who has been more than a horror. I’m not how sure one’s views over something that has no affect over the immediate points of Texas’ public policy absolutely disqualifies someone from your vote unless you think the other candidate is better on public policy. Mandatory vaccinations? An education budget that has been either frozen or cut in the last 16 years? — In the last 5 year in Houston alone, nearly 250 teachers were fired for criminal activity including criminal misconduct, child sexual abuse, and workplace intoxication — and I can’t seem to find one candidate talking about such issues other than lets-be-anti-Washington. Great. How are we going to solve our state’s problems?

    Of course, there’s that ever-annoying dilemma. With any of these candidates, I’m going to find their agenda sickening and their Democratic opponent is almost surely going to be pro-choice. I’m really divided over the question of whether it is legitimate not to vote for conscientious reasons.

  • Medina is a Truther and therefore unfit for any public office as far as I am concerned. It takes a special type of paranoid idiocy to believe that 9-11 was the work of agencies of the government.

  • “Medina is a Truther and therefore unfit for any public office”

    Well, that depends on how you define a Truther. It could mean :

    1) someone who believes the 9-11 attacks were actually plotted or staged by the Bush administration;
    2) one who believes the Bush administration knew the attacks were coming but chose to do nothing to prevent them;
    3) one who believes the Bush administration discounted or misinterpreted evidence that the attacks were imminent, and thereby failed to prevent them;
    4) one who believes the U.S. government has not revealed all that it knows about the origin and nature of the attacks.

    Conclusions #1 and #2, which assume that Bush was willing to let thousands of innocent American citizens die purely to provide himself with a pretext for launching the War or Terror, the PATRIOT Act, and other measures, are examples of “paranoid idiocy.”

    Conclusion #3 simply assumes that Bush and/or his advisers made mistakes, though not necessarily malicious ones. Conclusion #4 presumes that the government might be withholding certain information for security reasons, or to protect certain parties from embarrassment or exposure. While we may not agree with these conclusions (and I don’t), I think they can be held by reasonable people.

    If Medina says simply she doesn’t know the “whole truth” about 9/11, she may mean something similar to Conclusion #3 or #4, not necessarily #1 or #2. However it’s evident she handled the question very badly.

  • I have to wonder, if Sarah Palin handled this question badly — let’s say almost identically — would it change your view of her or your willingness to cast a vote in her favor?

  • I don’t understand the Governor 39% thing. What’s that about?

  • My views regarding Truthers Eric are independent of the person making the statement.

  • Well, since at this time I have no intention of voting for Sarah Palin — it wouldn’t change my view of her.

    I’m just baffled that Medina would attempt to run as a more-conservative-than-thou Republican if she was a genuine, hard-core Truther who really believed Bush was that evil. Is she trying to appeal to the libertarian, Ron Paul types who consider everything the Big Bad Feds do evil?

  • My guess Elaine is that like Ron Paul she is a paranoid conspiracy nut who normally has the good sense to not go full headcase before the sane. Beck caught her in an unguarded moment.

  • Tito,

    With all due respect, this is a really poor reason not to vote for Debra Medina.

    And while I remain highly skeptical of the logistical aspect of the 9/11 conspiracy, it is a documented historical fact that factions in this government (and it is far from the only government in history) have considered false-flag operations in the past.

    Operation Northwoods, for instance, is not a hallucination. It’s not tin-foil hat spectulation, it is real, verified, accepted history that absolutely no one denies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods

    And this is only ONE example, ONE historically documented, scholarly approved, mainstream comfortable instance of the US government either considering, or actually perpetrating, harm on its own citizens (lets not forget the Tuskeege Experiments either).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment

    Unless Medina is actually coming out and saying that she believes the US government planned and executed 9/11, I think its incredibly closed-minded to write her off. Voters should look at policies, not implied personal opinions.

    That’s just my two cents, and I’m sure everyone will disagree. It’s cool 🙂

  • I’m also really just disturbed by this notion that an failure to immediately disavow an idea that isn’t popular (although I think this particular idea is more popular than you realize) is automatic grounds for disqualification, as if our minds must instantly shut down.

    Forgive me if I see this as an example of knee-jerk group-think and want nothing to do with it.

  • Perry won his 2006 re-election bid with 39% of the vote, which is humorously exactly where he’s polling right now in the GOP primary.

  • Perry won his 2006 re-election bid with 39% of the vote

    So what? 39% is a pretty respectable figure in a four person race, particularly when two of the other candidates are competing with you for votes on your half of the political spectrum.

  • Eric,

    you said, “I have to wonder, if Sarah Palin handled this question badly — let’s say almost identically — would it change your view of her or your willingness to cast a vote in her favor?”

    I am probably one of the Biggest fans for Sarah, but if she answered this way… I would have disowned her in a heartbeat!

    I’m sorry Joe, but you are wrong… we don’t need loons running the government.

  • This was a clear and definite set up. First of all, to not question what happened on 9/11 and to simply accept the government’s account is blissful and disgusting ignorance. Debra Medina did not say that 9/11 was an inside job or that she believed that government insiders allowed 9/11 to take place. It is a fact that some of the 9/11 commission members said that the investigation was doomed from the start. So what is the public supposed to make of such claims? Medina simply said that she was not satisfied with the official story. She is not alone. Many Americans feel this way and Mrs. Medina should not be expected to disavow a staff member simply because that staff member questions the government’s “official story”. Beck is a Hack and anyone who agrees with his sentiment on this issue will believe just about anything, I suppose. Any talk show host who labels an individual running for governor as a “9/11 truther” is only trying to do one thing and that is to distract the public from focusing on important issues like government taxation and an overreaching federal government. Make no mistake, this was a planned attack by the republican establishment of Texas to bring down Debra Medina. Sarah Palin just endorsed Rick Perry and Glenn Beck has been in Palin’s pocket from day 1. Medina’s following was getting to be just too large to be allowed to go on any further. Anyone who has followed her race closely can see through the blinders the neocons have put up for the public.

  • Debra Medina is like a non-press adored Barack Obama.

  • It is possible I suppose that she answered the question as she did because she assumed that Beck is a Truther. Surprise! Like a lot of Beck’s critics, and I say this as someone who thinks Beck is half a lunatic, she made assumptions about Beck rather than being aware about what his actual views are.

    Beck has long been a severe critic of the Truther movement as the nut cases in the movement themselves realize:

    http://www.infowars.com/beck-says-truth-activists-in-the-white-house-threaten-obamas-life/

    This might be an indication that Medina is not a Truther, but rather just another politician attempting to curry favor with whoever is interviewing her at the moment. That is somewhat pathetic, but it is not paranoid crazy.

  • I’m with Brett on this.

    I like Palin, but if she would say what Medina said, I would immediately drop any interest that I had for her.

    That simple.

    I don’t buy the conspiracy theory one iota.

    And with much respect to Joe, when it happens I’ll believe it.

    There would be a near-revolution if the government were actually implement anything like Northwoods.

    There are still people who believe that FDR allowed Pearl Harbor to be bombed, which I don’t believe one bit.

    🙂

  • Tito,

    The only reason government DIDN’T was because JFK was, in spite of his flaws, a man with a moral compass. This proposal was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It went almost all the way up to the top – but the buck stopped with Kennedy.

    Forgive me if I think it is reasonable to believe that George W. Bush was not of the same caliber. Or Bill Clinton. And certainly not the current clown.

    Bottom line – our government has factions within it that are morally willing and able to plan the mass murder of US citizens to advance a foreign policy agenda. The hard evidence that it carried out 9/11 is somewhat lacking – I personally believe that it was gross negligence and incompetence this time around – but I certainly don’t believe that those who think government is CAPABLE of it on a moral level are insane.

    I think you’re naive if you think people in power are checked by some profound respect for human lives that even the average citizen finds difficult.

  • I love the defenses of Medina: “Don’t listen to what she *said*, listen to what her campaign wrote after the fact!”

    Who are you going to believe, her furiously-spinning flacks or your lying ears?

    Listen, it’s pretty clear that her “Truth”erism is, like it is for all “Truth”ers, a lazy exercise in mental masturbation. Anybody who really, truly believed that the government was complicit in 9/11 would do more than try to argue it’s a “Federal issue” (which ranks as one of the 10 dumbest political statements I have ever heard or read). They would actually be trying to *do* something, and not just sign web petitions, make internet videos harassing Danny Bonaduce (no, really) or try to burn chickenwire. Consistent with her statements and political bent, you’d think that Medina would at least organize a tax protest, for the love of Ron. “Everybody fill out new W-4s!” Legal. Easy. Noticeable. And it would crimp the evil regime, even if just a little bit. But no, she makes a jurisdictional argument, of all things, not to address the issue.

    None of them deserve to be taken seriously because, deep down, none of them seriously believe a word they emit on the subject. To use an analogy appropriate to a Catholic blog, “Truth”ers are a church made up entirely of the lapsed.

  • I’ll continue playing devil’s advocate here, because I think it needs to be done.

    Dale,

    You said,

    “Anybody who really, truly believed that the government was complicit in 9/11 would do more than try to argue it’s a “Federal issue””

    Actually, no, that doesn’t logically follow. Belief and action are not logically connected in that way. You can say that they ought to or they should – but not that they must.

    “They would actually be trying to *do* something”

    Again, no. That’s not an argument.

    This really isn’t about the substance of their claims, but the error in logic you are making here. The actions or lack thereof of 9/11 truth folks have absolutely nothing to with whether or not they ‘actually’ believe it. Belief implies nothing.

    We might say that anyone who really believed in Jesus Christ would devote their entire lives to Him, but then, we’d only have a tiny handful of Christians left. There’s what we ought to become, and what we are.

  • The fact that Operation Northwoods was developed and advocated is not evidence that our government conspired to produce 9/11. 9/11 truthers are nutters of the same ilk as flat-earthers. Joe, you are a good and smart guy, but one really can have a mind so open that all gray matter manages to escape.

    Don’s hypothesis is the most reassuring, even if it does take considerable speculative liberties.

    Finally, I admit that it is technically possible that the truthers are right, just as it is technically possible that the flat earthers are right. But folks who vote and live their lives respectfully mindful of these bizarre technical possiblities are missing the boat big time.

  • Mike,

    “The fact that Operation Northwoods was developed and advocated is not evidence that our government conspired to produce 9/11.”

    I NEVER argued that it was. That is NOT my point.

    I said, very clearly – and against all hope that I would be properly understood – that it simply means that people who suspect that the government is morally capable of such a thing are not crazy. They have a precedent.

    So please understand, two entirely distinct claims. The precedent of Northwoods:

    1) Does show that it is not crazy to believe government is capable of harming its own citizens (and we have JFK alone to thank for putting a stop to what the CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to do)

    2) Does NOT prove a single thing about 9/11, obviously.

    So while I question 9/11 truthers on the logistics of the whole conspiracy, I DO NOT question their sanity for believing that the government could contemplate such a horrific act. And Northwoods is only ONE example.

  • Joe:

    Well, no right back! 🙂

    The lack of action–deeds–suggests quite a bit about the putative believer. It is a strong indicator that the belief in question is a matter of mere minor habit, or a dilettantish (word coining time!) dabbling done because it’s what a subgroup expects.

    Let’s try it this way. Consider the following hypothetical (none of which is true, amusingly enough): I say I’m a fervent Democrat and I believe the Republicans need to be stopped at all costs because their policies are uniformly destructive and threaten our nation.

    Subsequently, you find out that (1) I’ve never donated to a Democratic candidate, (2) never had a yard sign for a Dem on my property, (3) I’ve never done volunteer work for Democrats and (4) it turns out that I vote about 20% of the time.

    On the other hand, I’ve renewed my Detroit Lions season tickets at the first opportunity for the past 22 years, price increases or no, and despite the fact I know the feckless owner of the Lions bankrolls GOP candidates and causes.

    Thus, while you would not be in a position to call me a liar with respect to my claim to be a dogged Democrat, you could draw some conclusions about the nature of my claim and its importance in my life.

  • against all hope that I would be properly understood

    LOL 😀

  • We need to remember what this was all about:

    “Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.” — Body of Secrets, James Bamford, 2001

  • Dale,

    Yes, one could do all of those things – but one would have to make an awful lot of unwarranted assumptions to do so. All could be explained in ways other than laziness.

    1 – you have no money
    2 – you don’t have a yard
    3 – you’re too busy
    4 – you’re threatened with job loss if you leave work to vote

    Or, alternatively, one could do one or more of these things but just isn’t comfortable for whatever psychological reason.

    All of these things happen to people on a regular basis. The bottom line is that you can’t make judgments about a person’s sincerity without knowing something more about their circumstances.

    As for Medina, she’s running for office. Presumably she’s spending her own money toward that end. Perhaps she thinks that will be more effective than convincing a handful of people not to pay their taxes this year. Again, I think you’re making unwarranted assumptions about her. She might – might – embrace an unpopular position so its easy to just pile on the assumptions; she’s so unpopular, who will care?

  • I don’t think Operation Northwoods shows the government was capable of orchestrating 9/11. It’s one thing to talk about doing something like this, quite another to actually carry it out. Further, the scale of what was proposed was not comparable to what happened on 9/11. The proposals generally involved either fake incidents or attacks on a small number of non-citizens. That’s shocking enough, but it’s nowhere close to plotting to kill tens of thousands of Americans.

  • Eric, et al,

    I to have the very same concerns about Perry. I was quietly seeing and maybe even hoping that Medina would creep up the polls as she had recently overtaken Hutchison for number 2.

    Believe me, I’m going to hold my nose when I cast a vote for Perry.

    Like McCain, I’m not that enthusiastic as it is.

    Unlike McCain, I have seen Perry work closely with the pro-life movement in the legislature and he has been “our man” in Austin getting things done, or at least going to bat for us and our legislative bills.

    He’s learned his lesson, believe me, I’ve inquired.

    Perry has got my vote after Medina’s unfortunate comments.

  • Words just don’t matter any more, do they?

    I might as well type asjdkhbsjkfhbjskgbfjkdgbjk the next time I want to make a point. It would be just as effective.

    “I don’t think Operation Northwoods shows the government was capable of orchestrating 9/11.”

    It shows that government is morally capable of it – that is what I said. The logistics are a different story. I made that distinction several times. I should have typed djbfdsjkgbskjgdb instead.

    “It’s one thing to talk about doing something like this, quite another to actually carry it out.”

    Is it another thing when the Joint Chiefs of Staff propose it? The only reason it wasn’t carried out Kennedy’s personal opposition.

    The talk only does one thing – it obliterates the ceaseless and stupid claim that anyone who believes government could or would kill its own citizens is “crazy.” That’s the only claim I am making.

    Or, AJgjisfgbjfgbjshfgbsf.

    “Further, the scale of what was proposed was not comparable to what happened on 9/11.”

    The scale isn’t relevant. What was proposed was bad enough. And no one said anything about “tens of thousands” – only 3000 or so died on 9/11. A terrorist campaign “in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington” – could have ended up killing or wounding just as many. Not to mention all of the innocent people who would have died fighting the phony war.

    Or, ritoyritoyuitory.

  • Joe H.,

    Ewrtjvjrum gweercfviop weporijwoiu qwefijkfj qjkfaslkuj kljlkj eiruqtcb adfga? qpwoeiru alf, aslfkj to what asfkl.

    Eric,

    zvxbvbm tyru f asjg, afas ja asw.

    Dale,

    The city of Detroit reminds me of Kabul, just as pretty but not so much.

    BA,

    As mfnf, asdfklj “paokj” dhakh sdfho.

  • I mean, have you listened to the emotional-hysterical reasons why people won’t even CONSIDER the possibility? It’s just that they can’t bear to think for one second that American soldiers are being sent to fight and die for a lie. Well, that’s not an argument. It’s an emotional response.

    If someone wants to completely and totally reject 9/11 conspiracies on the facts, I respect that. In fact, that’s what I do myself.

    But to reject it on the assumption that government would never do or contemplate doing such a thing, or on the grounds that we MUST NOT THINK lest we denigrate the service of the men and women overseas are just forms of self-imposed idiocy. To then turn on people who share a different interpretation of the facts, given what government is historically capable of, and call them cooks, crazies, even traitors who ought to be shot, is just crazed mob mentality. It isn’t sane, it isn’t rational.

  • “I don’t think Operation Northwoods shows the government was capable of orchestrating 9/11.”

    It shows that government is morally capable of it – that is what I said. The logistics are a different story. I made that distinction several times.

    My comments were directed towards morals, not logistics.

    The scale isn’t relevant. What was proposed was bad enough. And no one said anything about “tens of thousands” – only 3000 or so died on 9/11.

    The expected death toll was in the tens of thousands. The only reason it wasn’t actually that high was that people ignored official statements that it was safe to stay in the Towers. Anyone who thinks the government was behind 9/11 has to think they were planning on killing far more people than actually ended up dead.

    A terrorist campaign “in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington” – could have ended up killing or wounding just as many.

    Allow me to quote from the Wiki page on Operation Northwoods that you linked to earlier:

    The terror campaign could be pointed at refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized.

    I don’t think attacks on Cuban refugees in the states “even to the extent of wounding” were likely to kill thousands of American citizens. Again, even trying to wound a non-citizen is really bad (and sinking a boat load of refugees would be horrendous), but it’s not on the same level as deliberately killing thousands if not tens of thousands of your own citizens.

  • Joe:

    You are a game interlocutor, I concede that! 🙂

    But…I don’t know that my carefully-stacked deck allows you to play all of the cards you want to play–e.g., the self-declared diehard Dem has plenty of money to spend on Lions–Lions!–tickets. Granted, that may also be a symptom of a delusional personality in and of itself, but I’ll put that aside for now.

    More to the point, my hypothetical shows the belief holder to be knowingly acting against the holder’s alleged firm belief by actually funding that which he asserts is anathema.

    Which is what the “Truth”ers are doing by living out the status quo under the most illegitimate regime in American history.

    It seems that you have met a better grade of “Truth”er than I have. I envy you. In *every* case where I have stumbled across one, it is either a case of lazy paranoia alloyed with dogged ignorance, or worse (and thankfully rare) is closely-associated with hatred of Jews.

    I have no problem with a distrust of government–even where it is reflexive, so long as there are limits. I think it’s wired into our national character and usually serves us well. But when it lapses into a habit of paranoia, it becomes corrosive. The “Truth”er mentality is deeply corrosive, and is of a piece with other anti-reason/hyper-individualist memes floating about in American life right now, which is why I react so badly to it.

  • “My comments were directed towards morals, not logistics.”

    That wasn’t clear. It is now. And I completely disagree.

    “Anyone who thinks the government was behind 9/11 has to think they were planning on killing far more people than actually ended up dead.”

    If the ends justify the means, then the difference of thousands isn’t really a difference at all.

    And again, you leave out all of the people who would have died in the phony war, a war against a country under the direct protection of a nuclear superpower. I’m sure the Soviets would have sat on their thumbs while all of this unfolded.

  • If the ends justify the means, then the difference of thousands isn’t really a difference at all.

    If numbers don’t matter, why did the report suggest that people would only be wounded in the attacks rather than killed, or that the various attacks would or could be faked rather than real. Why the focus on non-citizens? I don’t think it is realistic to human psychology to say these things don’t matter.

    And again, you leave out all of the people who would have died in the phony war

    Soldiers dying at the hands of the enemy in a war you started (for what you believe to be justified reasons) is not the same as you killing your own citizens.

  • Dale,

    “The “Truth”er mentality is deeply corrosive, and is of a piece with other anti-reason/hyper-individualist memes floating about in American life right now, which is why I react so badly to it”

    I’m not concerned with various “mentalities”, to be honest with you Dale. All that matters to me are facts and logic, both of which are independent from one or another kind of “mentality.” A crumpled up napkin in the gutter that has the expression “2+2=4” on it is telling me a truth regardless of its grimy and smelly presentation.

    On many of the facts, I think 9/11 truthers come up short. But the premise that government would carry out such an operation is not delusional, since there are plenty of historical precedents for it here and in every other country.

    The precedent, obviously, proves nothing. It does something else. It makes it reasonable to question and investigate the official narrative of 9/11. It provides a good reason to search for proof. It makes the people (or some of them at any rate) who do search for it “not crazy”, not traitors, but reasonable people with a legitimate concern.

    Now, let me address this:

    “More to the point, my hypothetical shows the belief holder to be knowingly acting against the holder’s alleged firm belief by actually funding that which he asserts is anathema.”

    By this logic, though, no one who pays taxes in this country really believes in anything. Both left and right disagree with where a lot of the tax money goes – to what the left believes are unjustified wars, to what the right believes are unjustified welfare programs, to what Christians believe are immoral, sacrilegious purposes, and so on and so forth. People pay taxes because they don’t want to risk jail, not because they don’t care.

    That’s just being pragmatic. There is a time and place for self-sacrifice in the name of a cause, and my guess is that most people do not feel that this is the time. Or, they are cowards.

  • “If numbers don’t matter, why did the report suggest that people would only be wounded in the attacks rather than killed”

    Different people and different governments have different approaches to these matters. The Project for a New American Century reports stated quite clearly that the entire foreign policy agenda they wanted to see implemented would require a “Pearl Harbor” type of event.

    A larger scale war may require a larger scale incident. It could be that simple.

    Of course, their saying it, and their being guilty for arranging it, are indeed two different things. It isn’t a distortion of the truth at all, however, to say that this think tank, whose members went on to occupy key positions in the Bush administration, greatly benefited from the 9/11 attacks. It’s the plain, unvarnished, indisputable, documented truth.

    “I don’t think it is realistic to human psychology to say these things don’t matter.”

    Then I believe you are being naive about man’s capacity to do evil.

    What you’re really saying here, in making these distinctions between citizens and non-citizens, terrorist attacks and wars, is that the same people who are willing to go to war on the basis of outright fabrications, drop bombs on civilians, and cause thousands of deaths – in the name of a cause they believe is justified – would be completely unwilling because of some magic barrier in their minds to do anything remotely similar to their own citizens.

    Forgive me if I don’t think that particular approach to human psychology is realistic. Operation Northwoods, is, as I said, only one example of the government’s willingness to commit crimes against its own people (or lets say, innocent people).

    There were Operations Ajax and Gladio, in which innocent civilians – albeit non-Americans again – were murdered by the CIA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies in foreign countries. There is MK Ultra, there is the Tuskegee Experiment, which WERE done on American citizens. There is the reckless use of depleted uranium which has caused untold misery to a number of US combat veterans, these are only a few.

    Personally, I don’t think the numbers mattered at all. IF the government did 9/11 – IF – then it was clearly aimed at simply bringing down the Twin Towers as a symbolic landmark, whether there was 1 person or 10,000 inside.

    “Soldiers dying at the hands of the enemy in a war you started (for what you believe to be justified reasons) is not the same as you killing your own citizens.”

    If you send soldiers off to die for a lie, and especially back then when the draft was being used, then I don’t think there is a relevant difference. How many people do you think would volunteer to fight and die for what was an obvious, open lie, or a reason so immoral and stupid that it would have to be covered up by a lie?

  • Plus, the wiki entry doesn’t have everything.

    “The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

    Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, “the objective is to provide irrevocable proof … that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic].”

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662&page=2

    Can we trust the crackpots at ABC news?

    We have a clear pattern of deception and reckless disregard for the sanctity of human life.

    Given that, the only thing I say follows is that we take claims seriously. It’s a lesson as simple as the one we learn from “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

  • “I’m not concerned with various “mentalities”, to be honest with you Dale.”

    You should be. The way people think–or, in this case, won’t–is exceptionally important, especially in the context of a society that aspires to be self-governing. To the extent lazy paranoid un-thought becomes widespread, all of us will suffer. The hardening of destructive intellectual patterns and the championing thereof by the strident is always a precursor to civil conflict. It was in America from the 1840s to Sumter and it was the same with the run up to the Spanish conflagration in 1936. I’m not saying we’re anywhere near such a horror here, but the initial signs are worrisome.

    More to the point, your tax analogy dodges the monstrous nature of what “Truth”erism says about our current republic–namely, that it is dead.

    Not reformable, not fixable at the ballot box, not subject to redress in the courts, but *dead.* It posits that an illegitimate regime has enthroned itself on the corpse of the American republic, having committed the mass murder of American citizens before our eyes for various sordid and squalid ends. That the murderous puppetmasters who perpetrated this atrocity are so slippery and clever that they cannot be rooted out despite the “obvious” “evidence.” With the war in Iraq or on abortion, the various political factions at least have the honest hope that the ballot box might move policy in their favor, however incrementally. Not so the “Truth”er.

    Whether honestly held or as is currently practiced, “Truth”erism is the political equivalent of the sin of despair. It is another toxin in the body politic. I pray to God that it remains in the inert form we see in adherents like Medina.

  • As a former resident of Texas I feel it is a shame that Medina fumbled the question and that so many are so sensitive to the ‘truther’ question they would actually fall into the arms of Rick Perry.

    Rick Perry has had more than enough time as governor of Texas. He should be retired from public service and forced to work the private sector.

    Medina has handled herself extremely well in the debate footage I have seen, and technically her answer was not wrong, just horribly answered. I would be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was shaken by the question which— lets be honest, has nothing to do with Texas politics. And shame on Glenn Beck for an atrocious interview. He just lost a viewer.

    Clearly Medina falls into the category of ‘truthers’ that do not necessarily accuse the government of being ‘behind’ the 9/11 attacks, but nevertheless suspects that all that can be revealed about that day has not seen sunlight. While I personally do not think the U.S. government had anything to do with the attacks I think it is fairly naive to portray the U.S. government as being completely in the dark regarding a rising and ongoing threat. Also it is naive to not believe that some in our political class privately wait for just such disasters in order to advance their own ideological agenda. ‘Never let a crisis go to waste’ indeed.

    One question I would have for those (among the Right) who immediately are now going to vote for frat-boy extraordinaire Rick Perry: if it is so easy to imagine a ‘conspiracy’ amongst bankers and politicians to extract money from the taxpayer through the bailouts, why is it impossible to imagine a ‘conspiracy’ among political elites to further entrench their foreign policy agenda?

    The 9/11 highjackers ‘conspired’ to murder thousands of American citizens. Enron executives ‘conspired’ to coverup their pattern of fraud and theft. The CIA conspires EVERYDAY to destabilize governments not to their liking. Environmentalists conspired to gain economic and political control in order to mold society as they see fit. A few thousand years ago, political and religious authorities ‘conspired’ to murder Jesus Christ.

    Again, do I believe the U.S. government, in twirling-mustache fashion engineered the fall of the WTC and Pentagon? No. Mostly, because they’ve proven themselves to be so grossly incompetent in all lesser ambitions. BUT if you think for one second that the most powerful and influential people in the United States do not have interests contrary to the safety and well being of the ‘common good’, and that they work (ie, CONSPIRE) in the advance of that agenda: you’re living in la-la land.

    People don’t suddenly become angels and saints when they work in higher office. When I entered the professional world at an ad agency, one of the biggest surprises was the open pettiness, back-stabbing, egomania and over-the-top theatrics of ADULTS. It wasn’t until several years after being on projects ranging from film productions to simple busy work that I realized it wasn’t much different in the upper-levels of society: just the stakes were much higher.

    I fully admit I’m not cutout for such an office. I would not want to be a part of a culture where my all too common weakness can result in lives being ruined or snuffed out.

    Bully for Medina for giving an honest, if not well-articulated answer, despite the known backlash that would come. Thats more than can be said for either Rick Perry or Sarah Palin.

  • The Project for a New American Century reports stated quite clearly that the entire foreign policy agenda they wanted to see implemented would require a “Pearl Harbor” type of event.

    I assume you are referring to the PNAC report Rebuilding America’s Defenses, which includes the following quote:

    Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.

    If you read the section of the report in which this quote appears for context, you’ll find that the “transformation” and “revolutionary change” referred to in the quote consists of things like adopting information technologies, reforming the military procurement process, and generally streamlining the military to make it smaller and more effective. So, in context, the quote 1) doesn’t say that a new Pearl Harbor is desirable; and 2) is talking about an area of military policy that a) doesn’t have anything to do with Iraq, and b) hasn’t actually happened yet. To say that this quote somehow gives any credence to 9/11 conspiracy theories is, in my opinion, pretty thing gruel.

    It isn’t a distortion of the truth at all, however, to say that this think tank, whose members went on to occupy key positions in the Bush administration, greatly benefited from the 9/11 attacks.

    It’s true that some people associated with PNAC held positions in the Bush administration. On the other hand, some of the people associated with PNAC who held positions in the Bush administration were against the Iraq War. So perhaps they needed to be a bit more discerning about who they let into their cabal.

    Personally, I don’t think the numbers mattered at all. IF the government did 9/11 – IF – then it was clearly aimed at simply bringing down the Twin Towers as a symbolic landmark, whether there was 1 person or 10,000 inside.

    The question isn’t whether you consider the cases to be morally different. The question is whether the fact someone is willing to attack, wound, or possibly even kill a small number of non-citizens means they would have no compunction about killing large numbers of their own citizens. I don’t find that remotely plausible.

    How many people do you think would volunteer to fight and die for what was an obvious, open lie, or a reason so immoral and stupid that it would have to be covered up by a lie?

    The assumption here is that if you have to lie to get people to support a war, then the reasons for going to war must not be compelling. I don’t think the folks who proposed Operation Northwoods saw things that way. They appear to have believed that a Communist Cuba was a severe threat to American national security, and that popular reluctance to take action wasn’t justified.

  • Dale,

    “Not reformable, not fixable at the ballot box, not subject to redress in the courts, but *dead.* It posits that an illegitimate regime has enthroned itself on the corpse of the American republic, having committed the mass murder of American citizens before our eyes for various sordid and squalid ends. ”

    If that’s what’s true, it’s what’s true. In my view it is never intellectually sound to reject a theory because of its implications – yet that is what most people seem to be willing to do. There are perhaps other good reasons to reject the 9/11 conspiracy, but the implications for the American republic is absolutely not one of them. One can believe that this country is finished without believing that 9/11 was an inside job. Personally I think we are hovering on the edge. And I don’t see how that is despair – that is just history.

    Countries, empires, they come and go, they rise and fall. You speak of the sin of despair – there is also the sin of presumption, in this case, that America is a divine institution that cannot fail, like the Church. I’m not saying YOU believe that, but it could follow from what you’ve said.

  • Plus, the wiki entry doesn’t have everything.

    “The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

    Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, “the objective is to provide irrevocable proof … that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic].”

    Actually, this is mentioned in the Wikipedia article, and the proposal wasn’t to kill John Glenn, but to blame the Cubans for it if he died.

  • For the record, the Project for a New American Century was not a ‘think tank’, but an advocacy group. I believe it employed four people.

  • I had a response typed up, but the internet connection here is so terrible that it failed to load it… and I don’t feel like doing it again.

    Needless to say, I disagree, BA. Briefly, by paragraph.

    1. PNAC also advocated regime change against Iraq, and the Afghan war was planned in advance of 9/11.

    2. Association is not membership.

    3. The thousands if not millions of people who die on both sides of a war also count – anyone willing to go to war under false pretenses at the potential cost of that many lives is certainly capable of carrying out acts of terrorism against citizens.

    4. Obviously, the reasons were not compelling to the American people, or to Congress, that democratically elected and accountable body that alone is supposed to have the authority to declare war.

    Instigating terrorist attacks to spread a level of fear and panic that will lead to a war that will cost thousands of lives is a criminal conspiracy, an act of evil on the scale of 9/11.

    That’s all I’ll say on it.

  • 1. PNAC also advocated regime change against Iraq, and the Afghan war was planned in advance of 9/11.

    Lots of people advocated regime chance in Iraq. What does that have to do with 9/11?

    You cited a PNAC quote about the need for a new Pearl Harbor. As I showed, the PNAC quote doesn’t actually say what you claimed. Do you not care about that?

    I don’t know what you mean when you say the Afghan war was planned in advance of 9/11. Nor do I see what that has to do with PNAC.

    2. Association is not membership.

    I don’t think PNAC even has members. If you’re going by employees of the organization, then it’s not true that they went on to hold high positions in the Bush administration. If you want to include people who were signatories on PNAC statements, then you’ll get people who opposed the Iraq war, as well as those who supported it.

    3. The thousands if not millions of people who die on both sides of a war also count – anyone willing to go to war under false pretenses at the potential cost of that many lives is certainly capable of carrying out acts of terrorism against citizens.

    I don’t say they don’t count. They do, however, count differently, at least to most people (if you don’t think it made a difference to the creators of Operation Northwoods, then why were their proposals so focused on non-citizens and/or plans involving minimal casualties?)

    4. Obviously, the reasons were not compelling to the American people, or to Congress, that democratically elected and accountable body that alone is supposed to have the authority to declare war.

    Sure.

  • Joe,
    You can *perhaps* make a plausible case for the federal government being willing to have the appetite for a horrible false flag operation on this scale (personally I think that is a real stretch when considered in context), but the case for the proposition that it could and did pull it off is simply not plausible. The very idea that thousands of co-conspiritors have successfully remained silent is just plain laughable, and that is why we are all laughing at the 9/11 truthers. The fact that you don’t think it is laughable is frankly kind of disturbing. The willingness to be a contrarian can sometimes be an emblem of courage and intelligence, but only sometimes.

  • BA,

    “Do you not care about that?”

    I do. Obviously that quote has been misused, so I care about that. But there’s still the fact that its foreign policy prognosis required a 9/11 to go into effect. That doesn’t prove anything, as I said.

    The only reason I brought it up was to answer one of your questions – why the Northwoods proposals weren’t as drastic as a 9/11. I said a bigger war, a longer war, a more expensive war on multiple fronts, would probably require a bigger justification. Just such a war was being dreamed up before 9/11. Again, it proves nothing.

    On Afghanistan:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm

    “why were their proposals so focused on non-citizens and/or plans involving minimal casualties?”

    See above. The scale of deception and the loss of life that would have resulted make it just as bad. We can only speculate on the reasons why the plan wasn’t more drastic – but when you fit it in with a PATTERN of willingness on the part of the CIA, factions of the military, and others to murder civilians to advance political goals, It ISN’T crazy. The other two operations I mentioned, Gladio and Ajax, involved exactly that. There was also Operation Condor in Latin America which the CIA had a hand in as well.

    People can justify these covert opts and the assassination of innocent civilians however they like. Frankly I would rather debate whether or not such things are justified rather than whether or not they happened, or could happen again.

    I’ll also remind you that I DON’T think the US government pulled off 9/11 – only that I believe that FACTIONS within it are CAPABLE of that level of evil, and that isn’t crazy to say so. That’s all. That’s the argument – that the supposed benevolence of the government, or some supposed barrier in their minds that says “murdering innocent civilians all over the globe is fine, but never ever domestically” is not the reason they wouldn’t do it. And that’s the reason I most frequently hear for dismissing 9/11 truth claims out of hand, without even looking at the evidence.

    If that doesn’t apply to you, then we have no quarrel. If you reject it for other reasons, then we probably agree.

  • Mike,

    “The very idea that thousands of co-conspiritors have successfully remained silent is just plain laughable”

    I don’t think you need “thousands of co-conspirators” – no one argues that. If their premise is that you need thousands of people to orchestrate this, then obviously that is laughable, but I don’t think they accept that premise and there’s no logical reason for them to.

    “The fact that you don’t think it is laughable is frankly kind of disturbing.”

    Again, I do – but I don’t think they would accept being boxed into that corner. So I’m not going to laugh at people for a position they don’t hold.

  • Joe,

    I was going to write out a response, but frankly the disagreement between us is minor enough that it’s probably not worth arguing over. I apologize if I came across as rude or overly hostile/nitpicky.

  • It’s all good. I get too defensive at times myself, so I apologize if I overreacted.

  • I’ll add one more thing for general consumption.

    It wasn’t that long ago that anyone who questioned anthropogenic global warming was considered a kook and a nut. Defenders would ask, “what, are you saying the whole scientific establishment is lying?”

    It turns out that the willful collaboration of thousands of people in a big lie wasn’t really necessary – it took one research team and its accomplices in the UN to trickle down false information to scientists all over the world. Before climategate, glaicergate, amazongate, et. al., the IPCC was consider “the gold standard.” Now it is about as valuable as dirt.

    Climategate and the surrounding “gates” are evidence of a conspiracy among a handful of people in positions of authority to distort and falsify information. They got millions of people to believe them unquestioningly, and thousands of scientists to use their data as a basis for their own research.

    For those who still don’t understand the extent to which the IPCC’s theory has imploded,

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/the-great-global-warming-collapse/article1458206/

    Again, none of this makes a case for 9/11. I reiterate that I don’t think Bush administration planned and executed 9/11. But it shows that conspiracies can begin with a few people “in the know” and spread down through compartmentalization – no one beneath those who know has all or most of the information, only enough to fulfill their part.

  • Hey Joe,

    in one of your beginning responses you said…”The only reason government DIDN’T was because JFK was, in spite of his flaws, a man with a moral compass.”

    I will disagree with you and so does President Diem, he had him murdered.

  • Oh sheesh Bret, I’ve heard plenty of JFK conspiracy theories but that’s the first I heard that President Diem of South Vietnam did it. Actually, if he really did do it (and that’s a big if), more than likely it was his sister-in-law Madame Nhu’s idea. As I posted some weeks ago, Madame Nhu seems to have been the closest thing to a bona fide female dictator in modern history.

    Between “Castro did it,” “the Mob did it,” “the CIA/FBI did it,” “LBJ did it,” and “Woody Harrelson’s father did it,” and now “the South Vietnamese did it,” have we missed anybody?

  • Pingback: The Adventures of Debra “Kadabra” Medina « docweaselblog
  • Elaine,

    “W” and Dick Cheney.

  • Elaine,
    I’m afraid that Bret’s imprecise use of pronouns confused you. I’m sure he was referring to JFK’s alleged involvement in Diem’s murder. The allegation that JFK had Diem murdered is also a bit imprecise. Most historians agree that (i) the US was indeed increasingly uncomfortable with Diem due largely to his contemptable oppression of Viet Nam’s Bhuddist community, (ii) Viet Nam’s military decided that Diem needed to go and plotted a coup, (ii) these military leaders sought and received assurances that the US would not intervene in the event of such a coup, and (iv) the military offered Diem safety if he surrendered, Diem declined and was killed later after being captured.

  • The reason to Vote for Medina is to get the entrenched political classes out of power. Perry is a corporate Republican as far as I have heard. I think the solution is to vote out every incumbant except proven – as in initiators of legislation and spenders of political capital such as Chris Smith of NJ pro-lifers. Perry is part of the problem with his mandatory guardicil vaccinations.

  • Elaine,

    Sorry for my imprecise use of pronouns. Diem was dead before Kennedy was assassinated.

    Mike what you said is true; however, to overthrow one of the Biggest Anticommunist during the middle of the Vietnam war because the press thought that the Buddhist community was being suppressed (which it wasn’t) was lunacy.

    He was a solid Catholic who knew the evils of communism.

    In reality, it was Roger Hilsman, Averell Harriman’s plan with Henry Cabot Lodge doing the ground work. Secretary of State George Ball approved the overthrow and Kennedy agreed (but to Kennedy’s defense he thought it had been cleared with Sec. of Def. McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor which it had not).

    He did not surrender to the Americans because he did not trust Lodge (with good reason). But he did surrender after he went to Holy Mass. He and his brother was gunned down afterwards.

  • Oh by the way Elaine, you have Madame Nhu all wrong. That is another female who was assassinated by the press.

  • How to destroy a 9/11 truther:

  • BREAKING: Sarah Palin 9/11 truther controversy makes hypocrite of Glenn Beck

    http://www.infowars.com/sarah-palin-911-truther-controversy-makes-hypocrite-of-glenn-beck/

  • If you can find a mainstream news organization reporting this it would be appreciated.

  • Glenn Beck is a truther himself. To all of you closed minded hate filled war mongers……

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBn-VIW7ivE&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

  • Not a hypocrite,

    I’ve wasted 7 minutes and 31 seconds of my life viewing and searching the video you posted of Glenn Beck accusing the U.S. government and “W” of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks.

    He never said anything remotely close to your claim.

    He did say we have a right to question our government and then quickly pointed out he doesn’t when it comes to 9/11.

    He made a reference to Sandy Berger and questioning if both Slick Willy and “W” were in cahoots in regard to him, but not to 9/11.

    You failed.

    Again.

    To prove that Glenn Beck is a truther.

    I will delete anymore posts that you put up if it includes calumny again.

  • Countries, empires, they come and go, they rise and fall. You speak of the sin of despair – there is also the sin of presumption, in this case, that America is a divine institution that cannot fail, like the Church. I’m not saying YOU believe that, but it could follow from what you’ve said.

    It’s late, but I don’t want to leave a misimpression. No, I don’t believe the U.S. is a divine institution, nor particularly one guided by providence.

    But I won’t back off the analogy of “truth”erism to despair: to the extent the phenomenon breeds a genuine cynicism and paranoia, it is a mental/quasi-spiritual cancer on the republic. I agree that America is in considerable trouble at the moment, but for the sake of my children (the first among many reasons) I don’t want to see it die on my watch. A determined, hard-working, clear-eyed and clear-thinking citizenry is a must at this hour. “Truth”ers present none of those virtues, and in fact prevent the cultivation of the same. Ditto the paranoia of birtherism, albeit on a much smaller scale.

    Put another way: the death of America would be a calamity that would make the fall of Western Rome in the fifth century look like a recession. Imagine Constantinople, Athens and Alexandria being obliterated at the same time, and you have a measure of what would happen.

  • Not a hypocrite:

    1. Tito is right. I’m no fan of Beck, but he is not a “truther.” You are mistaken or worse.

    2. There is only one way to avoid being a hypocrite: Conform you conscience to your actions. For those of us who struggle unsuccessfully to conform our actions to our conscience, we live with the knowledge of imperfections and therefore our hypocricy every day.

    3. Given your statement re Beck, I must assume defamation is not a sin in your book — you not being a hyprocrite and all.

  • Beck might not be a truther, but I think the rather rudely and aggressively stated point was this:

    Beck said the same thing Medina said.
    Medina said we have a right to question.
    Medina was called a “truther”.
    Ergo, Beck is a truther.

    All you have to do is disavow premise 3 for this thing to go away. Debra Medina is not a “truther”, and I hope she wins in TX.

    For Dale,

    “A determined, hard-working, clear-eyed and clear-thinking citizenry is a must at this hour. “Truth”ers present none of those virtues”

    That simply isn’t true, Dale, especially among the educated engineers and political activists in their ranks. Disagreeing with them is one thing; degrading their character is another.

    “the death of America would be a calamity that would make the fall of Western Rome in the fifth century look like a recession.”

    I think you overstate the problem a bit.

  • Joe,
    I don’t know whether Medina is a truther, but her handling of Beck’s question leads one to believe that she falls into one of the following categories:

    1. She is a truther.

    2. She is not a truther but is willing to pander to them.

    3. She is not sure and has no developed opinion either way.

    4. She thinks truthers are wrong but also thinks their opinion is a reasonable one.

    I realize that you are comfortable that a person can hold 3 or 4 and still be fit for office. I’m not.

  • Fair enough, Mike, but do you think that Beck and Palin, who have made similar statements, fall into the same category?

  • “educated engineers and political activists in their ranks”

    They’re the worst of the bunch, and are causing the most damage. A degree is no indicator of character, much less clear thinking. Likewise a career in political activism.

    “I think you overstate the problem a bit.”

    The mightiest nation in history, the lynchpin of the western political system, the strongest economic power ever to exist, going down in flames? Actually, I understate the potential horror. Western Rome didn’t have nukes, for starters. Nor did Rome provide massive amounts of aid to nations struggling with disease and poverty. The cascade effects are incalculable, and would take a great deal of work to overstate. Great empires–and, yes, America is in many ways an empire–do not die peacefully in their beds, unless there happens to be a reasonably like-minded heir to hand off the scepter to. That’s happened once in history–Great Britain passing the baton to America.

    Now, there’s no one to pass the baton to.

  • Joe,
    Yes, if they did in fact make similar statements. That said, I think it is disingenuous to say that Beck and Medina are comparable because both said that people have the *right* to question the government (something no American would disagree with), when Beck then explictly emphasizes his disagreement with truthers to the point of ridicule whereas Medina carefully and obviously deliberately chooses to not do so. And I’m not aware of Palin behaving similary to Medina. If I’m wrong on the facts, I’m all ears.

  • And Joe, I do not think Beck is fit for public office, but for other reasons. Palin is clearly fit for public office, though quite possibly an ill-fit for the presidency, at least at this point in time.

  • Mike,

    Palin, according to the video I saw on youtube, was willing to say publicly that she supported another 9/11 investigation. Though I think her intent was simply to tell the people who asked her what they wanted to hear, Medina supporters might understandably, if illogically, want to play the same game with Palin and say that supporting another 9/11 investigation is tantamount to not believing the official story, which could therefore mean that she gives credence to truther claims.

    Medina, moreover, HAS expressed her disagreement with truthers, unless we are of the mind that she did too little, too late after having been put on the spot. Her statement to the press afterward is good enough for me, and I think it would be more important to get back to the issues. To me its absurd to hold this against a person if you think they’re right on the issues.

    It would be one thing if she persisted and started campaigning on a truther platform, but she hasn’t done that. One moment of hesitation shouldn’t undo a campaign, and the fact that it can is precisely what is wrong with this country. It’s like the Dean scream. It’s media sensationalism and I reject Beck, Fox News, and Rick Perry’s attempt to manipulate the electorate with this irrelevant distraction.

  • Thanks, Joe. I admit that I have not followed this very closely, and it may be that Medina’s later statement is more than adequate — I don’t recall reading it. But I would emphasize that if the statement is basically akin to my option 4 above, it would not be adquate in my view. And it would not be comparable to Beck.

    As for Palin, it depends on context. If all she honestly meant was that thge 9/11 report was deficient and glossed over failures and errors that the public had the right to know about, fair enough. If she was playing with ambiguity to pander to the truthers, then bad on her and I see no difference with Medina at all.

  • To any truthers who might be reading this thread, please go to Popular Mechanics at the link below and learn why you are truly wasting your time.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html

  • In regard to Sarah Palin and 9-11, the question was asked her by someone calling himself Anthony the Activist during a rope line that she was proceeding down. Here is the video he made.

    Unlike Medina, Palin did not have the following question asked to her:

    “Do you believe the government was in any way involved in the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11?”

    Nor did Palin give this type of answer:

    “I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard,” Medina replied. “There are some very good arguments, and I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there, so I have not taken a position on that.”

    Comparing what Palin said to what Medina said is like comparing swans and swine.

  • Don,

    It really isn’t like that at all.

    If one voices support for the idea of a new 9/11 investigation, then one can reasonably assume that they believe the old one wasn’t good enough, that there are still problems with the “official story”, etc. That’s what 6 of the 10 people on the panel said anyway.

    That isn’t THAT different from what Medina said – using a little common sense. And it certainly isn’t different than the clarification she made afterward.

    So its probably time to move on and concentrate on the issues. I certainly don’t believe that Medina spends her waking hours in fits of paranoia about government conspiracies.

  • Mike,

    I think BOTH Medina and Palin were doing what politicians do.

    Medina, I think, probably assumed that a lot of her grassroots supporters were sympathetic to, or actually were, 9/11 truthers. And this might be the case, because a lot of them are anti-establishment types, and Medina is an anti-establishment candidate. That’s not her fault. It’s not her fault that polls show 86% of Americans question the official story and that the “truther” position, in one form or another, is a hell of a lot more popular than its opponents understand. And I think THAT ALONE was the real reason for her hesitation.

    Palin was being Palin – telling people what they want to hear. She’s an amazingly gifted politician.

  • Disagree Joe. Medina was specifically answering a question as to whether she believed that the government was involved in bringing down the World Trade Center. Her answer indicated that she believed that the truthers had asked some very good questions and made some very good arguments. She is either a truther, lying or was simply bone ignorant and pandering to Beck since she wrongly assumed that Beck is a truther.

  • As for Palin, she was indicating that she would support a new 9-11 investigation in order to assure that 9-11 didn’t happen again. Presumably she was referring to the miserable intelligence failure prior to the 9-11 attack and a new investigation could highlight steps that could be taken to correct such an intelligence failure in the future.

  • Joe,
    It may be that both Palin and Medina were saying what they thought their audiences wanted to hear, but the more important fact is that they did not say the same thing as Don amply demonstrates. To suggest that they were similar requires taking profoundly unfair and unwarranted inferential liberties with Palin’s statements.
    It may be that there are more truthers out there than I realize, but if so I’m glad I don’t get around more.
    I’m perfectly willing to believe that the 9/11 report failed to disclose certain intelligence failures, perhaps even deliberately failed to do so; but in my view anyone who takes seriously the view that the government was actually involved in some conspiratorial way with the attacks is seriously and sadly out of touch with reality.

  • “To suggest that they were similar requires taking profoundly unfair and unwarranted inferential liberties with Palin’s statements.”

    I think it’s also pretty unfair to not allow Medina to clarify her remarks, or apologize for them if that is what’s called for. This “one strike and you’re out” rule of politics is absurd, especially when the issues are so high. It’s like a shutting off of the mind. I can’t do that.

    The number of genuine truthers who believe that it is a proven fact that 9/11 was an inside job is probably small, but the number of people who think that the government is covering something up is a substantial majority, according to the polls I’ve seen.

  • Joe, I agree completely with your last post. If Medina has issued or will issue a statement that makes it clear that she is not only not a truther (something that I assume she already has done) but also understands that the truther position is irresponsible and nutty, then she is fine by me. In other words, thus far her conduct has led me to believe that she is in one of the last three categories I listed earlier. If she makes it clear that she is not, then we are good to go.

    There is a HUGE difference between believing that our government covered up or might have covered up some things not disclosed in the 9/11 report versus believing our government was actually involved or might have been actually involved in a conspiratorial fashion in arranging and executing the incidents. There are many plausible reasons one might speculate as to why the report could have been less than complete, including some that almost everyone might agree are legitimate. And might the report have glossed over some shortcomings and misteps in order to avoid embarrassing certain powerful parties or interests? Sure, that is possible. But I believe (and hope) that the number of Americans who actually take the inside job possiblity seriously (let alone think it is an established fact) is very small, but I don’t know. My point remains that it is this — the truther — position that is nuts. A candidate who leads me to believe that they don’t think it is nuts is simply not fit in my view.

  • “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

    “1,000 Architects & Engineers Call for New 9/11 Investigation ”

    More than 1,000 worldwide architects and engineers now support the call for a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. After careful examination of the official explanation, along with the forensic data omitted from official reports, these professionals have concluded that a new independent investigation into these mysterious collapses is needed.

    http://thetruthnews.info/census.html#911

  • Why would a call for an independent investigation into 9/11 throw such abject fear into people?

    And when did “truth” become a dirty word, and someone who wants to know the truth become someone to be despised, and a subject of suspicion?

    If the officially approved version of 9/11 is accurate and true, wouldn’t an independent investigation by “we, the people” just prove that fact?

    We all know that our government would NEVER, EVER lie to us. So what could they, or anyone else, possibly have to fear from some independent fact checking by the citizens?

  • It’s a shame that a Catholic website would attack the 9/11 truth movement. What is wrong with not believing the official story? It is not wrong to question authority. I am a Christian and I don’t believe the official story of 9/11. I am a responsible American, husband, and father. I am not a nutjob or Glenn Beck drone. I make my own decisions.

    Glenn Beck attacked Medina, threw her the question out of left field, to purposely cause her bad press, within 30 min. after hanging up with Glenn, Perry’s campaign had audio excerpts via cold calls sent to Texans trashing Medina.

    Glenn Beck is controlled opposition. His job is to subvert the Tea Party movement, water it down, and lead the masses back to the NEOCONS.

    There is nothing ‘Christian’ about Endless War.
    http://www.wtc7.net/

  • Joey,

    There is absolutely no evidence of government involvement.

    Do you also believe that FDR ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor?

    Do you also believe that the moon landing was staged?

  • Here is a video of Sarah Palin–saying she would like another 911 investigation and another video of Glenn Beck saying he has questions about 911 and its our right and DUTY to question government:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcngiD6Sq6Q&feature=youtu.be, Palin supports new 911 investigation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FSwztg8Xvk Glenn Beck video, says it’s our DUTY to question government

    It’s noteworthy that both Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin receive their checks from Fox.

    Debra Medina isn’t a 911 truther any more than I am.
    I knew the mud-slinging would start and it has.

    There is a difference between a “Truther”–one who believes the government is responsible for the attack on 9/11, and those who think the government may have known something and failed to stop it–as with the attack at Ft. Hood, Texas.

    Beck has lost a lot of Texas viewers; over 17% of his television audience over this–NOT INCLUDING those who have quit listening to his radio broadcast. One article I read said it was close to 1,000,000,000 viewers–probably a combined figure.

    Oh, and while I’m at it, here a link to an old speech by Governor Perry, in which he admits that he shares Vicente Fox’s dream of an open border with Mexico.

    http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/10688/

    Think about THAT before you cast your vote.

  • Beck EVERYDAY questions the validity of this present administration. I listened to him for years and can say that it seemed to me that he definitely had an agenda. Medina is the best for TX and for this country. Perry and Hutchinson are of the establishment and I would rather risk Medina then go with the same old same old making things worse. Take a look at who pays Beck his millions, who his publicist is and then maybe you will understand why he probably obeyed some directive from somewhere. Mr Beck is NOT WELCOMED in my home anymore on radio or TV.

  • Was Perry or Hutchinson ever asked if they were 9/11 truthers? And since when is it wrong to question the government? The greatest country in the world the USA is capable of evil…take a look at abortions…so I am not saying either way I am just saying that the evil perpetrated on our most helpless and who is to say the government never had any false flag operations!?!

  • It’s a free country.

    You have every right to question the government.

    With it comes consequences.

    For example my opinion is that Truther’s are nuts.

    I have a right to that opinion.

    Unfortunately for you and Medina, 99% of the rest of the country thinks Truthers are nuts as well.

  • I did not and do not like the way that Glenn Beck handled the interview with Debra Medina and at the time I accepted her later explanation and seeming clarification, as having been made in good faith. But this is my problem with Debra Medina. Debra Medina should either explain what is going on in the Debra Medina Facebook page or say why she does not accept the basic principles and ethos of the US Constitution ( if that is her position ) or shut up. Frankly, I am sick of Debra Medina rabbiting on, appearing to be a conservative constitutionalist nationalist republican, whilst on the Debra Medina Facebook page if one expresses views in the ethos of Ronald Reagan or Senator Barry Goldwater, one will likely be hounded remorselessly up to and including death threats and yet at the same time, the Debra Medina Facebook page is a comfortable place to express admiration for somebody like the British MP Mr George Galloway.

  • ” John Says:
    Sunday, February 21, 2010 A.D. at 1:13 pm
    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

    “1,000 Architects & Engineers Call for New 9/11 Investigation ”

    More than 1,000 worldwide architects and engineers now support the call for a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. After careful examination of the official explanation, along with the forensic data omitted from official reports, these professionals have concluded that a new independent investigation into these mysterious collapses is needed.

    http://thetruthnews.info/census.html#911

    I have tried to engage 9/11 truthers in reasonable debate about the events surrounding the World Trade Center on 9/11 and these folks are simply not willing to do that, what they will most usually do is spew Youtubes and cut and paste at one. In one of the rare instances, that one of these characters was willing to get in to a debate with me, in which in that particular instance they were making an argument that sprinkler fire suppression systems, should have been able to fight and extinguish the fire, having effectively lost the argument on that point, ( re the capabilities of the sprinkler systems ), they then went on to claim that no aircraft had hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. What is also interesting, is that when in a popular internet forum, I advanced the possibility that 9/11 might have been a false flag operation but conducted by Aliens from outerspace, this idea attracted little interest, despite the fact it is a more legitimately plausible concept than many of the arguments advanced by the truthers, which fits well with my view that the 9/11 truther movement has very serious ideological and political objectives and its not just a bunch of folks who prefer convoluted conspiracy theories to simple explanations well grounded in facts.

2 Responses to Faith Without Works Is Dead

  • I, for one, will not hesitate to show my anticipation for this coming series on Catholic Social Teaching. When can we expect the first post?

  • Thanks Andy- this was a sick week for my little growing tribe- priorities always go with the family- I should get caught up with my class preps and get something posted sometime next week- it is something that has been in my mind and heart for a while now- I want to really deeply engage the whole liberal v. conservative thing and basing my subjective critique on actual paragraph quotes from Pope B, The Compendium, Holy Scripure, Catechism, and even some speeches from Pope B. since we should always take the Pope’s words seriously and into our consciences- even when he is not making a solemn declaration or speaking ‘from the chair’. This should be fun and enlightening, and I’m not trying to make the silly case that liberals or conservatives are always right(or wrong)- and besides that there are many shades of liberal and conservative- I really wish we would just define ourselves as “Catholic” and leave go of the ideological labels – just as I am seriously considering leaving the ranks of the Democratic Party and trying to found something I would like to call a “Common Good Party”- a long term project that addresses the fact that both major parties have so severely compromised themselves in the mainstream that working to reform them from the inside as I have been attempting as a pro-life, pro-traditional family Democrat, has left me thinking that the prospects for success are too minimal to continue fighting- and my own role-model status is hurt by association by those who do not know or have time to consider my politics fully, and conclude that I must be “liberal” on issues where I am decidedly not.

Captain America vs. The Tea Partiers!

Thursday, February 11, AD 2010

In my mispent youth back in the Sixties I read a lot of comics.  My parents would give me and my brother a dollar each as our weekly allowance and at 12 cents a comic we could buy quite a few, even more if we purchased them for a nickel each used  at an antiques\junk store in downtown Paris, Illinois.  The most sacrificial Lent I have ever made was in 1965 at the age of 8 when I gave up my beloved comic books for Lent!  Back then comics were quite safe for kids.  On the whole I’d say they were beneficial for me, extending my vocabulary, introducing me to literary genres such as westerns and science fiction and the writing sometimes was of an unexpectedly high level.  Some of the artists who drew the comics were of high calibre.  Steve Ditko for example, the original artist who drew Spider-Man, had a very effective and memorable style of drawing.  I stopped reading comics back around 1972, although I do buy silver age comic compilations for nostalgia and I keep half an eye on the industry as an aspect of popular culture.

I was not surprised to learn that a current story arc in Captain America has the Captain taking on the tea party movement.  Comic book artists and writers have skewed heavily to the Left since the Sixties.  My first protest letter, my first pre-computer attempt at a blog post, was a letter I wrote to Marvel Comics in pencil in 1969 protesting a story line in which Captain America was turning against US involvement in Vietnam. 

In issue 602 of Captain America, the Captain and the Falcon, a black super-hero, see a tea party rally and decide that it poses a danger to, well that is not precisely clear, although I assume it is dangerous to the government.  Captain America hits upon the brilliant plan to have the Falcon pose as a black IRS agent and go to a red neck bar and stir things up.  (Hmmm, apparently plots and story lines have gone into steep decline since my day!)  The hoot about this is that as long as the Republicans had the White House, the comics were filled with paranoid story lines involving evil government plots.  With Obama in the White House, it is now evil to protest the government.

This of course has caused a huge amount of controversy.  When controversy rears its head the comic book industry has a traditional response: back down faster than a man who has forgotten his wife’s birthday. 

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9 Responses to Captain America vs. The Tea Partiers!

  • I always loved Catch Me Now I’m Falling by the Kinks. British rockers empathizing with the plight of America in the Carter years. After 911 it seemed all the more poignant.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBzasGRUk98&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

  • When I started collecting comics they were already expensive and this was the Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller’s) and Watchmen era. So things were edgy. At that age (high school) I was offended by the Leftist-lean and not so much by the libertine representations. Comics, especially superhero comics can be a very good influence in the culture but too many artists are indoctrinated into a leftist mentality. Comics should be apolitical, virtuous and entertaining. I don’t know what they are like these days.

    One of my favorite has always been Spiderman (Ditko did a good job, I especially enjoyed McFarlane). The motto of Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” That is awesome. If you notice in the recent Toby McGuire movies the depiction of Spiderman is of a brash youth, who learns the above lesson and sacrifices so much in his life to help people. At one point he is beaten to a pulp and the people of New York carry him, his arms are extended as if he is on a cross. When he gets invaded by a dark, alien symbiot he turns to a Catholic Church for help. He is also forgiving and empathetic to his nemeses.

    Superheros are based on the ultimate Superhero archetype – Jesus the Christ. A good superhero story always has miraculous powers or human enhancements, a vulnerability, a sacrificial attitude and stands for good as in Truth, Justice and the American Way.

    Excelsior!

  • When I collected comics, I didn’t read them. Comics belong in plastic sleeves.

  • One cannot be “Captain America” without being “pro- Tea Party”. Stan Lee has tripped off the line.

  • Ironically, not long ago Cap was literally fighting the Feds in the Civil War storyline.. but again.. that was based on leftist reaction to the GWB regime & the Patriot Act, so.. I dunno.

    Ugh.

  • Sarah Palin’s Nashville speech was the most significant oration of the 21st century.

    See:

    http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/tennessee-tea-party-sarahs-sassy-speech/

  • I can’t recall any leftist sympathies in my mile-high stack of Richie Rich comic books circa-1977.

  • I am sure Cadbury, the perfect butler, was a closet socialist!

  • On one hand, Marvel has a Catholic hero, Nightcrawler, who is one of the mutant “extra men” also known as “X-Men”. Nightcrawler looks like a demon but grew up in a monastery and carries a rosary. On the other hand, Marvel hosted students from the Harvey Milk School in observation of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Day, so it would be prudent to carefully screen materials from Marvel before placing them in the hands of young readers.

Poll Shows Americans Would Like to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too

Wednesday, February 10, AD 2010

The Washington Post has a new poll out which will please both political parties, since the American people in the main agree with both of them. A majority of people want Congress to scrap the current Health Care Reform bills, and a majority also think Obama has done a bad job of handling the health care issue. Yet a majority also want Health Care Reform passed this year and blame Republicans for lack of progress.

Solid majorities think that the current HCR bills are too complex and too expensive, but majorities also approve of the main components: require employers to provide insurance, require people without insurance to buy it, subsidize people who can’t afford insurance, and require insurance companies to give everyone insurance regardless of their medical histories or problems. So basically, people would love the bill as is, so long as it didn’t cost anything and wasn’t complex.

And in the results most likely to give legislators pause: People say they’re looking for new candidates of incumbents in the next congressional election by a 56 to 36 majority. 71% of people disapprove of how congress is doing its job. And of the 62% of the population that has private insurance (15% have MediCare, 3% have Medicaid and 17% have no insurance) 74% trust their insurance companies to do a “good” or “great” job of processing their claims fairly.

If people like the idea of health care reform, but don’t want it to cost anything or be complex, while distrusting congress and trusting their insurance companies, it sounds to me like nothing is likely to happen on the health care front this year.

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22 Responses to Poll Shows Americans Would Like to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too

  • Over four decades of brain-washing has caused cognitive dissonance and an inability for critical thinking. Oops, sorry I didn’t regurgitate a talking point. I promise not to think anymore and fall the alleged left-right divide.

    If nothing happens on the health care front this year is that an accident or is that by design? Could it be that despite the political class completely ignoring the Constitution and the general populace completely ignorant of the document it might actually still be working and preventing the trans-national elites from completely destroying this country?

    Me thinks the Founding Fathers might be smarter than our history books tell us.

    Shakespeare posited that first we should kill all the lawyers. I disagree, some of those lawyers are my friends. Perhaps we can just exile all the politicos and their financiers to Gitmo and start over from the Constitution, properly amended.

  • Harvey Mansfield is relevant to some of these points, Darwin:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/what-obama-isnt-saying

  • Truly people – regarding human nature, who doesn’t want their cake and eat it too?

    The problem is that our recent presidents and presidential candidates have for many years told the American people that they CAN have their cake and eat it too.

    I can’t remember the last time Mr. Obama has been truthful about the healthcare bill. He ascertains that it won’t cost the American people more but will cover more people and contain no cost control measures that are readily understandable.

    How about pulling a rabbit out of a hat?

    Both common sense and reality dictate that we have not been told the truth. I think that is why there is such a lack of consensus regarding this issue. Who really KNOWS what this bill is truly about? Who wants to both read and study over 2600 pages? Who would trust that.

    You can fool only some of the people some of the time…

    Thank God our founding fathers created a system of power separation, which causes all change to be slow.

  • What Americans (and the rest of Western civilization) will get is:

    No electricity, lighting or heating as our power plants shut down
    No fresh food
    No medicine
    No refridgeration
    No gas for cars, so no car travel
    No nothing.

    50 years of neglect with no investment in cheap clean energy like nuclear – we’re gonna get it right up the whazu! And we deserve it.

  • Given that this polling would seem to suggest the status quo will continue, I would think that Americans will continue to get very much what they’ve got in the past.

  • From a purely materialist perspective America has been getting better and better. We have the fattest most well entertained poor people. The cleanest air and the biggest cars, etc. As for energy and the rest of Paul’s list we will keep getting more of that too. The question is what are we selling to keep material enriching ourselves? Perhaps that price is too big.

    It is just as foolish to think any materialist solution is the answer whether it is altruistic (universal health care) or selfish (monopoly privileges). We are not ordered toward God; however, if I am going to live in an ungodly world for a while I’d rather live in a materially successful country and not an impoverished one.

    Perhaps it is time to give up this idea that government fixes things and makes life better. May be instead of forging new progressive ways of empowering government to do more for or to us. What would happen if we went back to the Ten Commandments, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, properly amended we may actually be free to reach for higher things.

    God made Creation good and He made us very good. Although sinful, we can participate in his creativity to improve things, as in order them more to Him. Government cannot be creative, it is only coercive.

    Americans are naturally looking for men of virtue to wield the reigns of power and knowing that the most virtuous man is still a sinner we shackle government with the Constitution.

  • Americans are schizophrenic !

  • No I’m not. Me either. 😉

  • Among the more interesting points is that employers should pay for health insurance. Then when the insurance becomes too costly for the employer, he goes under: leaving the former workers without insurance.

    This also affects employment. The attempt to increase the minimum wage law is similar. It makes the hiring of new employees more expensive.

  • I’m sorry the blog post seemed like the old ‘bunny in the hat’ trick, jillions of little baby bunnies just jumping out of that proverbial hat. Which little bunny to attempt to catch first?

    After a year of President Obama’s open discussion with the American people, I’m pretty sure most folks have got to realize a change simply has to happen…
    sky-rocketing costs…spiraling fragmentation of services…increasing levels of disparity among those working or disabled and even those that can afford paying cash (Warren Buffet? Self-pay? Doubt it.)

    In my early professional health care training many years ago, it still seemed debatable whether it was as bad it seemed. Back then, the main focus was ensuring that Social Security funding would last through the time the baby boomers would be eligible. It seems as if we were still quibbling about funding Social Security not that long ago while allowing the snowballing of events that led to the crash, while events were ‘crashing and burning around us’.

    I never in my wildest dreams considered the solution to insufficient funds for retirements would be resolved by perpetuating iniquities in health care; resulting in poor statistics about chronic illness and inadequate prenatal care as evidenced by one of the lower live birth rates due to prematurity compared to other civilized countries.

    The words paint a more vivid picture than simply saying health care reforms has been needed for a long time, and the business stockholders in health care businesses have been the major beneficiaries in the advanced health care available to US taxpayers.

  • Truly people – regarding human nature, who doesn’t want their cake and eat it too?

    The problem is that our recent presidents and presidential candidates have for many years told the American people that they CAN have their cake and eat it too.

    Yes, but the politicians tell us that because that’s what we want. The American people aren’t willing to sacrifice so we elect politicians who tell us that we don’t have to.

    He ascertains that it won’t cost the American people more but will cover more people and contain no cost control measures that are readily understandable.

    I don’t think he’s ever said that it won’t cost more. In fact, he’s been pretty explicit about the fact that he’s going to raise taxes to pay for it.

    The cost control measures aren’t readily understandable because the implications of cost control measures are not easily predictable. That’s why it’s a shotgun approach. Future reform will have to build upon what we learn from these measures.

    Thank God our founding fathers created a system of power separation, which causes all change to be slow.

    We could have a system that requires consensus that isn’t so darn slow. After all, good changes should be made immediately and bad changes never made. The founding fathers had to settle for this highly flawed system because it was too politically difficult to ratify a better one. Would it be so bad if we abolished the Senate and the presidential veto but required a 2/3 majority in the House?

  • “After all, good changes should be made immediately and bad changes never made.”

    Too bad the changes never seem to come with identifying signs on them?

    “Would it be so bad if we abolished the Senate and the presidential veto but required a 2/3 majority in the House?”

    For people who live in less populous states it would be a staggering loss of influence on the Federal government. It would be also another step down the road to treating states as mere provinces rather than co-equal members of the Union.

  • For people who live in less populous states it would be a staggering loss of influence on the Federal government. It would be also another step down the road to treating states as mere provinces rather than co-equal members of the Union.

    So are there any negatives?

  • Only for those who support the framework of our Republic restrainedradical as established by the Founding Fathers.

  • Of course everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too.

    Cut government spending — but only on programs “other people” less worthy than me use (Medicaid, food stamps) and not those I use (student aid/loans)

    Raise taxes if we must — but only on people who make more than I do, or on stuff I never do or never buy (cigarettes, liquor, gambling).

    Get rid of corporate and government waste — as long as it’s not my job that gets cut.

    Stop all pork projects — unless those projects are in my district or my community.

    Soak the rich — but only until I become “rich.”

    Vote all the “bums” out — except for my Congresscritter, legislator, mayor, alderman, etc.

  • What we should do is go back to Senators being representative of the state or commonwealth instead of popular elections. Repeal the 17th.

    The House is supposed to represent the passions of the people and the Senate is supposed to sober those sentiments when made into law. Both are bound by the Constitution.

    When you destroy this, and we have eroded it dramatically in the last 100 years, we are on the road to serfdom. It is called the Tragedy of the Commons. What belongs to all, belongs to none, or sometimes one. As Elaine illustrated, when we vote for largess at the expense of the ‘other guy’ we fall victim to the lie. As Thatcher stated, I am paraphrasing, “the problem with Socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

    People with an attitude like (notso)restrainedradical will be the ruin of what’s left of the Republic if we allow them to get their way. A Constitutional Republic is a bulwark against tyranny, a Democracy is a sure way toward anarchy followed by absolutism.

    Long live the Republic. In the end the Jedi win and the Empire loses. Darth Obama and his minions will be evicted and sensibility will be restored. Pray, vote, pray!

  • A faulty diagnosis, Darwin.

    A solid minority–and I would include myself in that–aren’t wild about insurance reform as it sits today in Congress because it doesn’t go far enough. The reform–including the president–tacks strongly to the middle, tries to ameliorate insurance companies, who obviously have large profits at risk, and who care little that middle class folks like me rack up four-figure hospital bills for our families as deductibles and premiums rise.

    As for those who favor keeping the status quo, I can’t identify them as pro-market or pro-business. With medical costs going way up, there’s no practical way for comparative shopping and competition. And my employer only offers me one choice of insurer. The GOP has taken “Just Say No” to a new and more ineffective level.

    So all the fears the insurance companies are drumming up: death panels, and the like, are already in place.

    If only we had a third and fourth choice in political parties: more difficult for corporations to spread their money around, more ways to represent the interests of citizens, and a way to ensure that being in last place as a political party was no guarantee of being second. As far as I’m concerned, the Dems are in second-last place in voters’ minds. And if you don’t believe it, consider what the effect of having a ballot line of “none of the above” would do to congressional races this Fall.

  • http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/11/30/bisb1130.htm
    Aetna drops 600,000 to boost profit margins–likely those overweight cake eaters….with diabetes.

  • Todd,

    That might explain why people want to throw incumbants out, but it doesn’t show why people are saying they want to vote for Republican congressional candidates at the highest levels since 2002, nor does it explain why people think the current HCR bills are too expensive (more reform would be more expensive, not less) and why they generally rate their insurance companies highly. Clearly, there’s a small core in the progressive camp who think that insurance companies as wicked and out to get people, but overall people who have insurance trust their insurance companies to do a good job much more than they trust congress.

    That may well not be a reasonable attitude for them to have, but it is what the poll shows.

  • I guess we’ll see how it plays out on Election Day instead of in the heads of pundits.

    The last polling I saw had about a 40-40 split between support and oppose, with about 16% thinking insurance reform was too timid. Thirty million-plus adults is hardly a small core.

    I’d have to say I also have confidence in the job my insurance company does: they are efficient; they let me delay payment on many co-pays and on my deductible. They haven’t cut me off yet for being in middle age.

    That’s not to say I don’t think the profit margin for stockholders is too high. I have a basic objection to making profits without working for them.

    I’m no polling expert, but I bet I could come up with some questions that would swing the confidence away from the corporations.

    Nevertheless, I think your title diagnosis is inaccurate. I think Americans want a greater degree of fairness, and frankly, I don’t see any other entity capable of enforcing it other than the federal government. If I thought my city council or state senate or the president of my neighborhood association could stand up to BC/BS, I suppose I’d be for “small guvmint” too.

  • Hmmm. Well, one assumes that the stockholders earned the money which they then invested in stock. For stance, if you have a 401k invested in mutual funds, or participate in a pension, which in turn invests in mutual funds, you may well be a stockholder of one or more insurance company.

    I’m curious: What profit margin do you think that the stockholders are currently getting for major insurance companies? What would be a fair profit margin?

  • DarwinCatholic…like the little bunnies analogy, let’s keep the focus on ensuring a certain level of quality health care is available to everyone (especially the workers in the US economy on Main Street, if they still have their jobs), and not go off on a tangent whether stockholders ‘earned’ their berth in the business? Most, if not all Americans contributing to the tax base have ‘earned’ a certain measure of tangible health benefits, that shouldn’t be doled out dependent on the beneficence of the stockholders of health business companies.

Here Kitty, Kitty!

Wednesday, February 10, AD 2010

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  I’m a dog man myself.  Feed them, walk them, and let them outside when nature calls, and you are a demi-God in their eyes.  As for felines, other than being chased by the noble canines, I am unsure what function they serve, although I am certain the cat fanciers among our readers can set me straight.

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17 Responses to Here Kitty, Kitty!

  • Cats are low-maintenance.

    When I want to pet them and play with them I just pick them up and have fun.

    Unlike dogs, cats clean themselves, can potty by themselves, and aren’t needy and clingy like dogs.

    Cats also eliminate pests such as rodents around the home and yard. Plus you can keep track of their tally because when you arrive home from work your cat lines up the days kills in front of the door to show to his master.

    Cats pretty much take care of themselves.

    They don’t slober all over the place, eat your sofa or your favorite golf club(s) and you don’t have to pick up their droppings each time you take them out for a walk.

    (Disclaimer, I also love dogs.)

  • “and you don’t have to pick up their droppings each time you take them out for a walk.”

    Where I live Tito, you don’t have to do that with dogs either!

  • I was raised a devout Cat-holic and remain one to this day. Like Tito said, cats are lower maintenance than dogs. However there does seem to be a bit of a gender divide on this question — men tend to be dog people and women tend to be cat people. Not sure why though.

  • “Unlike dogs, cats clean themselves, can potty by themselves …”

    Litter boxes are disgusting. And, because of the whole “cleaning themselves” thing, so are cats’ mouths. Yuck. And it’s not like a tempermental cat didn’t pee, at various times, all over (1) my wife’s wedding dress, (2) a brand new set of luggage, and (3) a box containing my wife’s childhood mementos. Our dog, on the other hand, does his business outside as opposed to where he lives.

    “… and aren’t needy and clingy like dogs.”

    So, then, what’s the point of having a companion animal (that’s “pet” to all you among the unwashed) around the house? I can think of better things to spend my money on than an animal who doesn’t care if I’m alive unless it happens to miss a meal or its litter box gets full.

    “Cats also eliminate pests such as rodents around the home and yard.”

    So do terriers. As far as I’m concerned, the varmint (that’s “pest” to all you who refer to pets as “companion animals”) catching function is the ONLY useful and worthwhile aspect of cats. But if you have a terrier – preferably a Border Terrier – that can do the same thing (and that can jump up and catch bats flying around inside the house in mid-flight, to boot), then there doesn’t seem to be much point to having a cat around.

    😉

  • lol @ Jay A.

    Don,

    You’re fortunate enough to live in an area that doesn’t to have a critical mass of liberals to impose such laws.

  • The problem Jay described seems to be most common among male cats due to their instinct to “mark” their territory. Female cats are much less likely to do this. I never had this problem but then I never owned any cats except spayed females.

  • Cats are great. After your city has been besieged by the enemy for a few months you’ll find that cats are quite useful.

  • Or during severe economic depressions. I have heard some old timers talk about eating “rabbit” during those days that they suspected might have “meowed” in life.

  • God provided me with an allergy to cats. Proof enough for me that they are of the devil. (Kidding, I actually like cats, I just can’t be around them long!)

  • Can your dog do this ?

  • We have both cats and a dog. At the puppy stage with the dog right now, so not fair to compare. But at least dogs can be trained. Cats, for the most part seem worthless.

  • Yep, Phillip. This morning ours did a little training on the carpet in my daughter’s room. Bet she doesn’t forget to clean the litter box next time!

    Jim, With a plate of food in front of them our dogs wouldn’t waste time waiting for the hands. So no, they couldn’t.

  • I loved this clip from the Onion myself! I wrote a post about why I think men who love cats are the Bees Knees (where did that expression come form anyway!). Hope you check it out!
    http://ihavecat.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/an-award-winning-blog/

    I HAVE CAT
    Single in the city – with cat (s)
    http://www.ihavecat.com

  • You don’t have a cat. The cat has you!

  • I am extremely allergic to cats. I think cats are OK, but I much prefer dogs. Elaine, I’m not sure if there is really a male/female divide on this. I think it has more to do with the pets people had when they were children (we were a solid dog family) and also with residential restrictions. I live in the city and know quite a few “dog people” who own cats because few apartment buildings permit dogs.

    The purpose of cats is to keep human beings humble. The love and devotion of dogs might lead us to believe ourselves to be gods if cats weren’t around to remind us that we’re not “all that” (as my teenaged niece would say.)

The Coming Open Rebellion Against God

Tuesday, February 9, AD 2010

The title of this article almost sounds surreal. At first one could be forgiven for thinking it was some sort of low budget End Times movie seen on some local cable access channel. However, the information contained within this article is real, fortunately, as believers and specifically those of us who are Catholic we know that Jesus promised that His Church would not fall despite the attempts of those working for the evil one. God is the truth and God is love, but the mere fact that He is both has caused many rebellions against him literally from day one. Sadly, those who often claim to be the smartest act the most childish, by at first claiming God doesn’t exist and then claiming if He does exist, He doesn’t make sense at least to them. This article will look at this behavior from the world’s earliest moments, but will mainly focus on what has happened in the last few years, right up until this very moment.

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61 Responses to The Coming Open Rebellion Against God

4 Responses to Corpseman

German Family Receives Policital Asylum in US

Tuesday, February 9, AD 2010

In a story those in homeschooling stories may already have heard about, Federal Judge Lawrence Burman issued a ruling in late January granting political asylum to a family of Evangelical Christians from Germany, on the basis that they faced religious persecution in Germany over their belief that they needed to homeschool their children in order to provide them with proper religious formation. With a number of writers, both American and European, pursuing a narrative in which Europe is far more civilized and tolerant than the US, this event provides an interesting example of how European laws are often, in practice, far more restrictive than people in the US would be comfortable with.

The family in question had suffered repeated fines for homeschooling their children, and had been threatened with jail time or loss of custody.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike, who are evangelical Christians, say they were forced to go the the US because they wanted to educate their five children at home, something that is illegal in Germany….

In October 2006, police came to the Romeike home and took the children to school. In November 2007 Germany’s highest appellate court ruled that in severe cases of non-compliance, social services could even remove children from home.

Uwe Romeike told the Associated Press that the 2007 ruling convinced him and his wife that “we had to leave the country.” The curriculum in public schools over the past few decades has been “more and more against Christian values,” he said.

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One Response to German Family Receives Policital Asylum in US

  • There are many more German families that have had the parents either imprisoned or children taken away or both.

    Very sad.

    I hope the homeschooling movement here in the United States is organized enough to prevent such laws from ever being passed or enacted.

Sanger: "We Want To Exterminate The Negro Population"

Tuesday, February 9, AD 2010

“We Want To Exterminate The Negro Population”

— Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. [1]

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24 Responses to Sanger: "We Want To Exterminate The Negro Population"

  • The fruit of liberalism, leftism and “Demokracy” which is but the other side of the coin whose head is “Socialism.”

  • I hate to complain, but if we’re going to win the argument on abortion, we need to be fastidious. The quote that you use as a title for this article is badly taken out of context. If you use that particular quote, you’re inviting an embarrassing refutation. Sanger said a lot of things that would offend modern people. Don’t use this one.

  • Yeah, not sure it’s a good idea to have a headline like on a blogpost. It could appear that American Catholic is saying that.

  • Interesting that EMILY’s List has an ad on this vid–are they hoping to cash in on backlash?

  • I have a different complaint. These sorts of arguments aren’t very convincing. Should we boycott Volkswagen because it began as a Nazi program? Convincing pro-choicers of their error requires addressing their concerns, not the concerns of their ancestors.

  • Gee, Volkswagen branched out from trying to kill Undesirables to trying to kill everyone?

    Dang, how did I miss that story?

  • As an American Catholic, the basis of my ‘anger’ with Planned Parenthood is that they receive Federal funding under false pretenses. They are the main US organization to procure and facilitate abortions, the US abortion-brokers, though stated reason for their existence is to provide family planning education.

    From a superficial viewpoint, founding of Planned Parenthood is not unlike the founding of Nazi party in Austria and Germany during the 1930s by a charismatic crackpot supported by those with nefarious and inhumane intent and purpose, that incidentally was detrimental to human society as a whole, and individually by outright killing of fellow humans in an effort to eliminate opposition to their supremacy.(

    The Planned Parenthood gang stoops to lies and distortions to gain political leverage and provide a political platform for one stated purpose while setting the stage for another purpose altogether, in part funded by our tax dollars. This ‘fact’ may be disputed, but I did receive 5-8 expensive colorful fliers in a State political election 3-4 years ago asking for support of their candidate because of unfair authority of ‘pharmacists making decisions about woman’s reproductive rights’ in filling certain type of prescriptions, which was indisputably wrong information.

    According to 2001 estimates, 76% Americans are Christian adherents (with 25% of US population Catholics). This ‘fact’ is barely disputable, with data showing a wide majority of Americans as Christian, and a major denomination the original Christians.

    There is a consistency between Constitutional rights and Christian beliefs that women have a basic right to bear a child, a healthy child as a gift from God, especially if provided necessary attention to fetal growth and development. So is Planned Parenthood promoting support of delivery of healthy babies, even similar to March of Dimes efforts in minimizing congenital birth defects? I think NOT. I don’t this is a debatable fact.

  • Yeah, using that as a headline was a terrible idea, it DOES make it sound like the the blog authors are the ones advocating genocide. The next conclusion one is led to by the picture of Barack Obama under the title is that Obama is the one who said it. It is not explained why a picture of Obama is even included.

  • ….because he’s standing in front of a huge wall covered with “PLANNED PARENTHOOD” in huge, red letters?

    Even if one didn’t know he’d spoken for PP in the past, it does kind of offer a large chunk of dark humor, kind of like having a chicken for the “spokesman” of KFC or something.

  • PP is no different than the KKK.

  • I think that’s a very serious concern as regards the title of this post — and given that know Tito is not able to be at the computer for long stretches at the moment, I’ve gone ahead and edited it.

  • restrainedradical’s Volkswagon comparison would be more convincing if PP no longer lauded its founder.

    Sanger’s portrait hangs in the board room of PP’s Atlanta office. Good luck finding Hitler’s portrait in any VW office.

  • The creation of an affordable People’s Car was actually one of the better and legitimate initiatives of the Third Reich (legitimate from a fascist perspective). A better comparison might be with buying Zyklon B if it were being marketed as a chemical to rid your yard of all pests from Ants to Zionists. I just don’t see that happening.

  • About the first comment… I don’t understand why all Americans seem to just misunderstand the whole of socialism? Would someone please answer?

  • Like the portraits of slaveowners in the White House?

    If the point of this post was to argue that Sanger should not be celebrated, then I join the author and I think even many PP supporters would approve Many would probably support a campaign to remove Sanger’s portrait from the boardroom. Other PP supporters might say that her racism is but a small stain on an otherwise great woman.

    But if the point is to paint PP as racist, you’ll have to provide modern-day evidence. And if the point is to discredit the larger pro-choice movement, you’ll have to tackle the issue of abortion itself, not these tangential stories of Depression-era activists.

    I only point this out because I see this sort of tactic often and I just don’t think it’s effective. To use another analogy, it’d be like someone using the priest sex scandal to imply that the Church is on a mission to molest children.

  • “But if the point is to paint PP as racist, you’ll have to provide modern-day evidence.”

    Perhaps the fact that reps of PP are on tape having no problem accepting a donation from someone who explicitly wishes to have his donation used to abort black kids.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,338529,00.html

    Then we have the charming habit of Planned Parenthood locating their abortion clinics in or adjacent to minority neighborhoods.

  • Hey Foxfier,
    Meebbe we better get rid of the Interstate Highway system while we’re at it–that was another idea that owes some inspiration to the Nazis.;-)

  • Thanks Darwin!

    The quote is attributable 100% to Margaret Sanger.

    tour86Rocker,

    If you can come to those conclusions then let me introduce you to some truthers and birthers.

  • I agree w/ restrained radical. I’m seeing this line of attack cropping up more and more and it disturbs me b/c I think a) it’s not fully accurate and b) it’s ineffective and possibly harmful to our cause.

    The racist roots of planned parenthood and it’s founder don’t necessarily mean that’s what planned parenthood stands for today. Planned parenthood stands for unrestrained sexual freedom and abortion as their cash cow backup plan. Simple. Evil. They think they’re providing a good – that women need these “services” in order to fully realize their freedom. Sex is good. Sex without consequences is better and is the ultimate goal. So yes, they provide their evil twisted services in poor neighborhoods (which tend to be disproportionately minority populated) because that’s where their clients are. That results in a disproportionate impact on black children, but in their eyes that’s disproportionate for the good – minority women are getting what they (and all women) need. I see no evidence of a Sanger-like intent to reduce the number of black children b/c they are undesirable. Abortion and sexual freedom are the only desired ends here. As for the undercover tapes, I never found them as damning as everyone else did. Certainly it showed me that PP people have no principles (though, what do you expect from people who literally make their living on blood money). However, I don’t think it evidenced a racist motivation on their part. They think they’re providing a good and I’m SURE that look at minority specific donations as a benefit to a poor minority (like a minority specific college scholarship). That they didn’t care that the person giving the money was a racist doesn’t mean they were acting in a racially motivated way. Even the one employee who said she “was excited b/c she’d never done this before” seemed to me to be stalling for time and trying not to piss off the caller so she could still get the money. Again – no principles at all, but none of them seemed to be REALLY agreeing w/ the caller so much as yessing him just to get the money.

    We don’t need this line of argument b/c I think it is open to valid dispute. The pro-life movement has everything it needs in the scientific fact that a human life is being taken. Point out the disparate effects, sure (just like it’s good to point out that 1/3 of this generation is missing). However, it’s counterproductive to attribute that impact to a racial motivation that I see very little evidence for.

  • CT,

    I respectfully beg to differ.

    I am on the board of a pro-life organization and am quite familiar with the many practices that PP does.

    The racist beginnings of PP are carried on through their policies and actions.

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=57526

    I can see your point to a certain degree, but if we are playing by the liberal playing book, then PP is inheritantly racist and they should be called out for it.

    Especially when a the first president of African heritage has spoken at a PP event, it’s amazing how Margaret Sangers plan to use “social activists” within the “negro community” has panned out.

  • Perhaps the confusion is between the word ‘racist’ and ‘eugenicist’. PP is formerly named the Birth Control League and it was designed to exterminate the ‘inferiors’ so that we can be the masters of our own evolutionary process and become gods. Yeah, in its simplest form PP is the modern manifestation of the first lie.

    As for the modern agenda of PP, it is no different than it ever was. The only difference is the masterful deceit of masking the true intentions with socially acceptable images and politically correct terms.

    Anyone, especially a professed Catholic, that thinks PP is simply trying to help women make choices is sorely misguided. The are designed to kill as many babies as possible because lower-forms of humanity are a cancer on the planet and for our master race to thrive we need to reduce the population of undesirables including effete fag**ts, nig**rs, kik*s and the lowest of the low: Orthodox CATHOLICS.

    Ugly words. Face the truth. This is what PP is all about. Be honest. There is nothing defensible about this anti-human conspiracy.

    Not to mention their desire to engineer humans with embryonic stem cell and cloning technology. The massive dollar supporters of PP want to engineer eternal life for themselves to reign as gods over their homo-simian slaves. It is insanity.

  • American Knight, I’m not sure if something in my post lead you to believe PP is “simply trying to help women make choices.” I know PP has an evil agenda. But I just haven’t seen any evidence that this agenda is currently racist at an organizational level. Yes they are designed to kill as many babies as possible, but I don’t know that they care which babies they kill (ie I see no design to kill black babies b/c they’re black). They’ll kill anyone’s baby as long as they pay and I don’t think they care at all how that falls on the racial spectrum.

    Tito, I still don’t see how those investigations show racism on the part of the employees rather than an indifference to the racism of the caller so long as money is coming their way. Now, maybe that indifference IS a sort of racism and I’ll give you that. But the accusation is that PP in it’s current form carries forth the same overt/race-elimination kind of racism that it’s founder had. I would like to see more than quotes from their founders and videos showing that employees don’t care where their money comes from.

    Just for the record – I absolutely abhor PP and in NO way do I think they provide anything good for anyone. In my above post, I was referring to PP supporters’ subjective perspectives that abortion is a good thing to provide for women.

  • CT, I hope I did not make you feel as though I thought you support Planned Parenthood. I was just emphasizing that their agenda is a general reduction in population with a specific emphasis on the ‘undesirables”. The largest percentage of killing centers are in ‘minority’ neighborhoods. A third of the babies killed are black. Poor whites and South American Indians are considered as undesirable as Negros.

    Planned Parenthood is ultimately a tool of the Devil; however, it has a human face and the humans that perpetrate it are in favor of having a small white Super Race rule the world and a ‘manageable’ amount (500,000,000 or so) of sub-human, engineered homo-simian slaves. This only sounds like science fiction until the science catches up with the fiction. The fiction is not a fantasy it is an evil delusion that is shared by a sick cadre of rich trans-national eugenicists.

    To think otherwise is to disregard a large part of the New Testament. Don’t give the Devil and his minions the benefit of the doubt. The Evil One is real and he presents destruction as a pleasurable goal.

  • Here’s the thing. If a neutral person were to read that quote, “we want to exterminate the Negro population”, they’d assume that Sanger was a monster. But they might also find the whole quote on any number of internet sites:

    “The minister’s work is also important, and also he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation, as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs.”

    Sanger wasn’t calling for the extermination of black people in that quote, she was seeking to prevent that false impression from getting out. The truth is, she didn’t want to exterminate them, she just wanted to thin out their numbers because she believed them to be inferior. Given that truth, we shouldn’t use selective editing to make it sound worse than it is. There are plenty of words and actions of Sanger’s that can make the argument fairly.

The Hands of Sarah Palin

Tuesday, February 9, AD 2010

My colleague Eric, a man of the Left, and someone who has my strong respect due to his pro-life commitment, has posted that Sarah Palin had a few key words written on a hand as a mnemonic device during the teaparty convention.  Much of the Left is of course in a feeding frenzy about this, betraying  the unending obsession they have with Palin.  This of course is more fun for them than concentrating on the abysmal failure of the Obama administration and that their agenda is only slightly more popular currently with most of the American public than the bubonic plague.  Palin, with the good humor that has been her characteristic response to the nuttiness from the Left, wrote on her left hand “Hi Mom” for her appearances the next day to give the Lefties something more to read.

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65 Responses to The Hands of Sarah Palin

  • I’m eatin’ up with a spoon.

    1. Disbursements under the TARP program are complete.

    2. Our observable experience with fiscal priming over the last year suggests that the economists who offered the cautionary that public spending crowds out private spending and the estimate that it only begins to stimulate when unemployment rates exceed 12% were correct.

    3. Maybe Eric Brown will explain thus the utility of a 50% nominal increase in federal expenditure over a three year period of time in which one might expect the growth of nominal domestic product to be about 10%.

  • Yes, thank God we have the “competent” and “post-partisan” guy with the “first-class temper” in the White House as opposed to having this crass philistine with ink-stained hands a whole heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    😉

  • “Wait, she writes notes on her hand instead of having a teleprompter for every single talk? Oh NO! Wait, what if she uses note cards AND writes on her hand? Frenzy!”

    I took public speaking a number of years ago as a college course. We were told, if you’re not good at memorization, or not good with impromptu, then have note cards with major points on them. Seriously, is this different?

  • I am utterly in disbelief that anyone of sound mind- on the Left or Right- is taking Sarah Palin seriously as a political leader. My impression of her went from hopeful when I first heard about her- to “Oh, no” after I heard her first speech. There are those individuals who could make a pretty good case for “conservative” leadership- Pat Buchanan always struck me as fairly solid even as I completely reject the very notion that faithful Catholic social doctrine understands blends neatly into liberal or conservative ideologies.

    Sarah Palin comes across to me politically as a rank opportunist, transparently so. I can’t speak to her personal life, only to what I see and hear of her in public speeches and interviews. It is true that many Leftists would necessary dislike her first and foremost because she talks the talk of pro-life, pro-traditional family. But I am not complaining over that- in fact my first strong reaction against her was that in her first big speech at the Republican convention she failed to make the pro-life issue- The Issue- or even a issue.

    The bottom-line here is that if someone on the Right believes that the only people who are completely turned off by Palin are pro-abort Lefties, think again- my wife and I are walking evidence that there are at least some pro-life, pro-family types, who just don’t get the Palin attraction- at all.

  • Sorry, Phillip. I have not been able to stomach Vox Nova for a year now. I am sure the article was…..good…..

  • Sarah Palin comes across to me politically as a rank opportunist, transparently so.

    Educate me, Tim. How is she opportunistic in manner or degree in ways other politicians are not.

    I am utterly in disbelief that anyone of sound mind- on the Left or Right- is taking Sarah Palin seriously as a political leader.

    The current President is Barack Obama. In the line of succession are Joseph Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Byrd, Hilary Clinton, and Timothy Geithner. Thems our leaders.

  • Art,

    Opportunism, inexperience, inability to speak without a teleprompter, and populism are only important when it’s a Republican. Otherwise, why would Ben “Buyout” Nelson, Nancy “Family Fly” Pelosi, and President Barack “Narcissomegaloegomaniacalkleptoutopian” Obama get free passes on many of these same things?

    🙂

    -J.

  • I look forward to the day when the outright hysteria that left-wing Catholic bloggers exhibit over Palin is reserved for the scandal that we face everyday having a pro-abort, anti-American, anti-Catholic, radically secular President.

  • Eric said that he would rather vote for copy toner than vote for Sarah Palin.

    I think I’d rather drink the copy toner.

    I’m sick to death of this being reduced to a childish “left-right” issue. Please, fellow Catholics, stop abandoning reason to rigid ideological affiliations, as if “right” and “left” were your teams at the Super Bowl, and Palin was your team’s mascot.

    I am certainly no leftist, and I think Palin is less fit than Mayor McCheese for public office. I don’t abandon my ability to think, reason, and form independent evaluations because I adopt one set of values and reject another. Yet that’s what it sounds like some of you want.

    “Accept Palin’s validity as a political figure or you’re a stupid leftist!”

    I reject Palin for the same reasons I would reject a return of George W. Bush, or for that matter, another round of Obama. It isn’t even about her ignorance anymore. It’s about her willing devotion to continuing policies that would further expand the police-state and the military-industrial complex in the name of defeating terrorism – a lie, spending us into bankruptcy, increasing federal power at the expense of local power, and pursuing an insane foreign policy of adventurism and brinkmanship.

    She would be like an Obama for conservatives – promise a million things that sounded great, then deliver none of them as she implements the real agenda of the people who usher her into power, like Bush Jr., like Obama. Every candidate promises a “new era” in politics, and because suckers are born every minute, there are always enough people around to believe them.

    I think its sad that Palin has hijacked the tea-party movement, which was at one time as opposed to big-government Republican neo-conservatism as it was to big government Democrat neo-liberalism. Now it has been reduced to an appendage of the “warfare” side of the “warfare-welfare” state.

  • It also frightens me to death that some of you are unable or unwilling to look into Palin’s past and look at the means and ways in which she rose to small-time power – cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, smear campaigns, intimidation – it’s as if she were nurtured on Machiavelli instead of milk as a baby.

    This woman is even more ambitious than Obama, more intoxicated by power. And yet some of you will wail and cheer because she is on “your side”, she’s on “your team”, just like Obama was for so many now regretful, mournful liberals and leftists.

    It’s not worth it.

  • cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, smear campaigns, intimidation – it’s as if she were nurtured on Machiavelli instead of milk as a baby.

    You are welcome to discuss it, with references, rather than merely assert it.

  • Couldn’t disagree with you more Joe. Palin is on my side on the issues that matter to me especially the issue of abortion. As to her position regarding national defense, it coincides with mine. Those who do not believe we are in a life and death struggle with people who would not hesitate at nuking an American city once they have the capability are living in La La Land. As to your comments about cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, smear campaigns and intimidation, do you have anything to back up these allegations, or were you merely venting your spleen?

  • I agree with AD. I get suspicious when a critic strings together a series of vague and somewhat synonymous nouns to describe someone. Looks like smear to me.

  • Joe- Your projections on how a hypothetical Palin Presidency would be a failure are self-defeating. In the first respect because there is no moral equivalency between an avowed supporter of infanticide and a mother of a Downs child. On the second account because this only serves to reinforce the idea that this is most definitely a left-right issue. No one could possibly equate a Palin to an Obama without ignoring the secular radicalism that Obama represents…in other words, without having an ideological blindspot. You don’t have to be a Palin fan to see that.

  • Yes, circle the wagons.

    I’m not going to write a Palin expose here, at least not now. What I refer to is common knowledge about her history – either look it up, as you did with Obama in order to scrutinize him, or conclude that it doesn’t matter.

    As long as we can agree that one doesn’t have to be some radical leftist to want nothing to do with Palin, that’s fine.

  • Eric said that he would rather vote for copy toner than vote for Sarah Palin.

    I think I’d rather drink the copy toner.

    I want to go on record as saying that I’d rather vote for Sarah Palin than drink copy toner.

  • I look forward to your eventual expose of Palin Joe, since I am rather familiar with her career and I can think of very little in it to warrant the colorful charges you have made. However, as I always tell adversaries in litigation, I am always open to new evidence.

  • “I want to go on record as saying that I’d rather vote for Sarah Palin than drink copy toner.”

    I want to go on the record as saying I would rather Joe drank copy toner than I vote for Palin.

  • Yes, circle the wagons.

    I haven’t any granular knowledge of Alaska politics, Joe. I tend to think if her political enemies had any serious dirt on her they would not have been reduced to filing ethics charges which made an issue of the logos on her clothing and her husband’s clothing, or to filing ethics charges pseudonymously (with the name of a character on East Enders).

  • Isn’t there a choice besides Palin, copy toner, and Obama? I understand some people argue that because Palin is pro-life, they’d have to pick her over Obama. I don’t understand why they want her to be the Republican nominee. Besides the fact that she has huge negatives (almost half the country has negative perceptions of her, and that can’t be because they don’t know anything about her), I don’t see how she can be argued to be among the more competent or intelligent Republican candidates.

  • Tim and Joe, you both have literally spoke my mind.

    Don — While I am a Democrat, I can hardly be judged to be ignoring the “abysmal failure” of the Obama Adminstration, on the contrary. I didn’t even vote for this failure-of-a-president.

  • Just FYI: toner is a powder, not a liquid. Perhaps the brave volunteers could try snorting it rather than drinking it?

    Call me crazy, but my theory is that either:

    a) Palin will prove to be more substantial than generally considered or

    b) She won’t be winning the GOP primary even if she runs.

    I’m pretty happy leaving things to that process.

  • Tim Shipe writes Tuesday, February 9, 2010 A.D. at 8:13 am
    “My wife and I are walking evidence that there are at least some pro-life, pro-family types, who just don’t get the Palin attraction- at all”.

    You seem to need to spend a little time in that large area between the coasts.

  • Joe Hargrave writes Tuesday, February 9, 2010 A.D. at 11:13 am
    “It also frightens me to death that some of you are unable or unwilling to look into Palin’s past and look at the means and ways in which she rose to small-time power – cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, smear campaigns, intimidation – it’s as if she were nurtured on Machiavelli instead of milk as a baby”.

    Sounds like FDR, JFK, LBJ, et hoc genus omne.

  • Joe fires off a string of generic assaults on the intelligence and character of Sarah Palin, then he whines about those unimpressed by his less than stellar takedown of “circling the wagons.” Yawn. Wake me up when any of these guys has something substantive to say.

  • Jonathan,

    Can you sing this word to the Mary Poppins song?

    “Narcissomegaloegomaniacalkleptoutopian”

    It’s almost as cheeky as Sara’s “Hi Mom” on her hand.

    I didn’t know if she could take the heat from those that wanted to destroy her. She has gained some points in my book for this 😉

  • Paul,

    I didn’t even really say anything about her intelligence. But there you go, assuming that I did. I’ve even said a number of times that I actually don’t think she’s stupid at all. Ignorant, yes. Unfit to lead, yes. But not because she is stupid. At least, that’s not MY reason, even if it is for some others.

    This is just a sad thing to watch. It’s sad because all of you – Paul, Don, Art, Gabriel, and others – are men whose intelligence and knowledge I respect. I think you’re all being hoodwinked by Palin.

    You may not see it now, and I hope she is never in a position to prove me right.

    One last thing, for Don:

    Engaged we may be in a struggle with Islamic jihadists, but that will NEVER serve as an excuse for aggression against other countries or for the loss of civil liberties at home.

    I am sure we will disagree on the extent to which those phenomenon have taken place, but lets say in theory that you recognized the wars abroad and expansion of police powers at home for what they were – my sincere hope is that you would not agree with those who would trade constitutional rights for a phony sham of “security.”

  • I fail to see any acts of agression against any other countries Joe, or any diminution of our civil liberties. This war actually is fairly unusual in the non-impact on our civil liberties. Many American wars, the Revolution, the Civil War, both World Wars, to a much more limited extent Vietnam, did involve substantial restrictions on civil liberties for the extent of the conflict. Of course holding enemy combatants for the duration of a conflict is standard practice in all wars and has nothing to do with our civil liberties.

    In regard to being hoodwinked by Palin, I believe I have an accurate assessment of her. In any case, if she ultimately becomes President and disappoints me in some areas, that will be no different from any other politician I have supported in my lifetime including Reagan. For me politics is always a matter of comparisons among alternatives. As of now I believe Palin is the best pick for a 2012 run for the GOP if she chooses to enter the race. My opinion could alter if someone abler appears during the primary contests.

  • It’s sad because all of you – Paul, Don, Art, Gabriel, and others – are men whose intelligence and knowledge I respect.

    Joe, then I must ask with all due sincerity – shouldn’t you re-consider your assumptions about Palin?

  • To clarify – if all these people whose opinion you respect (and the feeling is mutual with the exception of this one issue) differs from your own, is it just to conclude that they’re all being duped rather than perhaps that your own opinion is misguided? Just something to consider – we could be the ones out to lunch.

  • Conservative politicians seem to have the amazing ability to be both Machiavellian and dumber than sticks of gum – at the same time. It astounds me, since in real life, I have certainly met people who are not bright and (unfortunately)I also have run into a few Machiavellian schemers who still give me the chills when I think of them. But they weren’t the same people. In fact, to be Machiavellian you really have to be pretty sharp.

    Yet, somehow Reagan managed the feat of being both stupid and calculatingly evil. To say nothing of Dubya, who was at once the Prince of Evil and a complete dunderhead in the eyes of his opponents. And now Palin has been revealed as not only a bimbo, but an evil one as well. To Andrew Sullivan, she’s our own homegrown Evita Peron.

    There is no contradiction in the leftist mind, because if you disagree with their political philosophy, you must be either stupid or evil. If you are smart and good, you are a leftist, say the leftists. Palin survived being labeled stupid, so let’s haul out “evil” and see if that sticks. The problem is that many Americans of genuine goodwill have accepted the left’s characterization of her.

  • Don,

    “I fail to see any acts of agression against any other countries Joe, or any diminution of our civil liberties.”

    I figured you would. We will, I suppose, disagree over what constitutes an act of aggression. As for civil liberties, we just had a new “cyber security” bill passed in the House that allows the president (Obama) to shut down the internet to combat “cyber terrorism.” I doubt it will fail in the senate.

    Why should we assume that this power will always be used for good? Of course this is only the latest example.

    We’ve had examples of violations of Posse Comitatus in Pittsburgh recently as well.

    http://fromtheold.com/news/pittsburgh-mayor-calls-national-gaurd-do-police-work-2010020916569.html

    I mean, these are only two examples that come to mind of a creeping police state – I could dig up thousands of links if I had the time or inclination. I just read the news every day. And every day it seems, in the name of keeping us “safe”, government is asserting authority or control over some new area of life, declaring new institutions, organizations – what is this new “Council of Governors” established by Obama? And why should anyone, let alone children, submit to naked body scans at the airport? Why should they be forced to take vaccines they don’t want to take? Or pay “carbon taxes” on the basis of the biggest scientific fraud in history? It’s not just about the war, though that is part of it.

    I think a lot of conservatives can see that Obama is doing his best to expand the police state – what they won’t acknowledge is that he is simply continuing what Bush started. And when Obama leaves, and Palin or some other neo-conservative continues HIS policies, then they will go back to justifying them.

    Paul,

    “is it just to conclude that they’re all being duped”

    Is it “just”? I don’t know. But it’s what I think, based on what I’ve discerned for myself about Palin.

    Donna,

    It might be too much to ask for, but I sure hope I’m not included in this “leftist mind.” I don’t think Palin is dumb.

    Let me say it again, for effect.

    I DON’T THINK PALIN IS DUMB.

  • I take it back – not what “Bush started”, but what really kicked into high gear under Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

  • Diminution of civil liberties in war time Joe is a fascinating topic. During World War I people were sent to prison for sedition, speaking out against the government. During World War II, as I noted in my Go For Broke post, 120,000 Japanese-Americans were interned. During the Civil War, martial law was freely used, papers supressed, men held for long periods without charges, a Democrat Congressman exiled to the Confederacy, etc. During the Revolution Tories enjoyed no freedom of speech, were expelled from their homes in many areas and their property confiscated. The British of course, usually with the eager assistance of Tories, engaged in similar activies in areas they controlled. Compared to such enormities as these, what concerns you does not loom large to me. I am not saying you are wrong to be concerned, just that from a historical standpoint what you have cited is pretty small potatoes.

  • Joe,
    As you know, I’ve come to agree with some of your criticisms of Palin, but I do wonder *which* movement she’s co-opting–the Tea Partyers or the neocons. After all, it was the neocons who initially rejected her.
    At this point, I agree that you’re either absolutely right or not, if that makes sense. Palin’s whole mystique, besides living the pro-life message, is her “rogue” image, the claim that she’s an outsider, and I still believe she is. Of course, as you noted on Facebook, the fact that she may not be a member of the Dominant Class doesn’t prevent her from being her own evil.

    But I *do* believe her views are essentially libertarian. She endorsed Ron Paul in the early 2008 primary; she was also a Buchanan supporter before that. She has raised eyebrows by endorsing Rand Paul in KY. I really think she’s essentially a libertarian pretending to be a neocon, not a neocon pretending to be a libertarian.

    When I first heard of Obama in 2004, I knew he’d be president in 2008. I knew he was totally an instrument of the Machine. Palin didn’t give that impression at first, but, increasingly, she does.

    Three governors fought the made-up bailout money: Jindal, Palin and Sanford. Jindal caved. Palin was forced to resign. Sanford had his adultery outed.

    If Palin had any real scandals, they’d have forced her to cave in or they’d have come up with something the way they did against Sanford.

    If her resignation was sincere, she did it for her children. If she runs for president in 2012, I will not vote for her, because her resignatoin speech was thus insincere. She needs to wait till her kids are a little older if and when she runs for office again.

    As for palmgate, my understanding is the *less* notes you need for a speech, the better. When I delivered my master’s thesis, I never went beyond the table of contents. I still needed some kind of prompt to remember my material, but I didn’t have to look at the text itself, which really impressed my committee.

    Whether the notes were lecture points or “core principles,” she probably just needed the prompt.

  • Palin as a libertarian?

    Her enthusiasm for war with Iran, or war in general, and her endorsement of Rick Perry in Texas instead of the actual libertarian candidate Debra Medina, throws some cold water on that idea.

    Maybe the Palin of early 2008, who was chummy with Alaskan secessionists and apparently supportive of Ron Paul would have understood and agreed with the anti-war position of the Pauls and all of their supporters.

    The Palin of 2010 is beating the neo-con war drum.

    http://rawstory.com/2010/02/palin-war-with-iran-would-help-obama/

    She wants Obama to declare war on Iran? This is probably another example of her extreme carelessness with words – especially since, as we all know, this country doesn’t declare war anymore, and hasn’t since WWII. But she obviously wants Obama to pursue an aggressive policy with respect to Iran.

    Agree with that or disagree with it, but don’t pretend that Ron Paul libertarians would have anything to do with this madness.

  • She endorsed Ron Paul in the early 2008 primary; she was also a Buchanan supporter before that.

    There were some media reports to this effect in the weeks after McCain announced Palin as his running-mate, but they turned out to be incorrect.

  • The business/function of the US Government is more than a grand marionette ‘show’ run by ‘others’ with a ‘cheer-leader’ at the helm. It seems to me as neither ‘LEFT’ nor ‘RIGHT’ that Ms. Palin’s function was and has always been a ‘rah-rah’ girl, under her husband’s tutelage in AK and the ‘paucity’ of notes she had detailed on her hand; not much substance between the ears–not enough to ‘lead’ anyway, when the going gets tough…she gets gone.

  • No, Joe, I don’t include you in with the “left.” But plenty of sensible nonleftists seem to accept the left’s valuation of Palin. Look, I don’t think Palin should be president either. I like her in her present gadfly role, because she is a. making points that need to be made and that the GOP has forgotten, and b. because she drives the left absolutely nuts. The delicious part of this is that if they had not attacked her and her family so viciously and personally and kept on with the attacks after the 2008 election, she would have probably disappeared from the national scene. Sure, Cinnamon, she’s a dolt, controlled by her husband. You just keep right on telling yourself that.

  • Just like Reagan, Sarah has an incredible ability to piss-off intellectuals on the so-called right and the left. It is fun to watch them squirm.

    This is testimony to her popularity, which is far greater than any of you give her credit for. Debate her all you want. She is the most powerful force in politics right now and she isn’t in office nor running for it.

    The progressive establishment on both sides of the false political spectrum is frightened. Sarah will be a focal point in all the coming elections for quite some time, whether she runs or not.

    Go cry your pretty, little intellectual brain to sleep. Americans are overwhelmingly more honest, down-to-earth and straightforward than any complex poll, editorializing journalist or political hack can ever understand.

    Most of America gets Sarah. If you don’t it indicates an out-of-touch view. That is not a personal insult, it is an objective observation. Examine yourself as to why she sends you into fits and spasms. I don’t mean you have to agree with her, but why get so violently upset?

  • Look my friends- I was raised in Ohio so I’m not a coastal limo liberal, and I did not take my impression of Palin from the liberal msm, and I brought up that my first impression of her from reading about her was positive- both my wife and I were encouraged by reports that she was pro-life, had a downs-syndrome child she was proud of and all of that. My buzz kill was her opening speech at the convention- my wife and I were totally aghast- she didn’t get around to using the bully pulpit to preach pro-life values, she came across to us as someone very petty, very divisive, a champion of American warfare- hiding behind the dubious notion that this is what being a patriot is all about. I’m sorry to say that beyond this her whole approach to pro-life is one that is popular in conservative circles- but not in my house- the idea that one can go around and say that you have to respect the original intent of the Constitution framers and thus exclude the unborn from all the current Amendment- and so Palin et al can go into friendly pro-life audiences and claim to be 100% pro-life, and then go in front of a mixed crowd on national tv and say- well these are my personal beliefs, but really this is all about overturning R v.Wade and turning this debate back to every state. It is the conservative attempt to sound sophisticated and ‘progressive’. Meanwhile in the conduct of war pretty much anything goes- geneva conventions become quaint.

    Palin wastes her time in the bully pulpit, she spins a ‘hate national government’ message which I don’t find supportive in the official Catholic social teachings where the whole business of governance is in providing assurances for the universal common good- meanwhile the ‘onservative’ notion that while government is inherently untrustworthy, multinational corporations are the ones doing good for everyone- even though their whole purpose in existing is to merely provide increasing profits for the investors in said corporation- if one were to look for an institution that has more probability in being a force for good- I would go with representative government, not to take over the roles of businesses, but to find the proper regulations and oversight that are always needed in our fallen universe. So- no I don’t buy into the Hate Government pitch to get angry taxpayers to buy into another agenda which is designed to allow non-democratic corporate power to wield decisive power over all levels of governance. I am suspicious of all forms of power, I don’t buy into the Left or Right thesis that only government or only corporations or only trade unions are to be feared- all have their weaknesses because of the human dimension- but we need to go back and look at the founding purposes of each such institution and try to locate references back to official Catholic social teaching documents. On that basis we may find some common ground- otherwise we Catholics will remain as lost as Fox news commentators vs. CNBC- those guys will never find any common point or shared vision.

  • The shorter version Tim is that you are a Democrat and you do not support the Republican policies that Palin proposes. I find that quite understandable. I would hope that you understand why I, being a Republican, do support her policies. I do not agree with your characterization of those policies but I can understand that is how a Democrat would view those policies. Honest policy disagreement is always a good reason to oppose any politician. That is why I would never support Obama for any public office.

  • I am not a Republican because that party has been hijacked by the socialist progressives of the Rockefeller/Bush I/McCain ilk. Thank God I am not a Democrat because that party jumped the shark with the Great Society and their anti-life/anti religious agenda. So why do I like Sarah?

    Because she speaks to plain Americans in easy to understand language. For you intellectual elites that language is simple American English. What the elite and their fellow travelers consider unintellectual is just common sense (natural law) principles in bold primary colors. For those of you confused and mired in pastels she will not make any sense – ever.

    Is she going to be an office holder or a king maker? It doesn’t matter. The days of the false left-right dichotomy and the Hegelian dialectic are coming to an end – at least for a little while, like a couple of hundred years.

    As for Church teaching being in favor of big national government, hmm? That is a tough one Shipe. How do you square massive centralization of power, wealth, command and control with the principle of subsidiarity? Also, why is it that most Democrats receive more contributions from large corporations than most Republicans if Republicans are the corporate party? Wall Street bankrolled Obama and seems to really, really like him still. Remember the corporatist Mussolini was a leftist and the ultimate blend of politics and corporations was in Germany under the leadership of the National Socialists. How exactly is the Left against corporations?

    One of my favorite past times is to go to some lefty, elite coffee house (preferable one based in Seattle) and loudly yell, “Sarah Palin!” with a smile on my face and watch the progressives have seizures. Try it some time – it is a hoot. 🙂

  • Sarah Palin is a Libertarian with Neocon views on foreign policy in the Middle East. Her Neocon foreign policy views are largely shaped by her religious views regarding the Second Coming of Jesus and the Rapture.

  • “Her Neocon foreign policy views are largely shaped by her religious views regarding the Second Coming of Jesus and the Rapture.”

    Wrong. Feel free to try again.

  • Sarah is a libertarian as Ronald Reagan as in small l. Libertarian economic and property principles are completely congruent with authentic conservative Republicans. Most of the rest of the libertine Libertarian ideology is incompatible with traditional views of Christian people, yes, even our separated Protestant brethren heretics as they are.

    As for Neocon – I am not sure that is Sarah or if that was McCain campaign influence. She hasn’t sounded like a Neocon except about support of the modern nation-state of Israel but then again blind support of Zionists isn’t limited to Neocons.

  • She is annoying. Why be a sheeple and follow this buffoon.

  • “She is annoying. Why be a sheeple and follow this buffoon.”

    Who could argue with this blinding logic?

  • Sarah is an attractive woman with charisma and energy – the reason I think many like her. But, she is not seasoned enough to be President of the U.S. Her zeal for conservative values such as being pro-life and pro-family, should be put to use supporting a virtuous candidate who has potential of defeating the Democrats.

  • My beef with those so-called political leaders who seem to feed on the hatred of government- particularly national governments- the idea that national forms of governance are inherently evil or always wrong when it comes to regulating things like the economy- that seems completely off from the totality of the CST- subsidiarity does not imply that some things must be handled at national and even international levels of political authority.

    I believe that Sarah Palin is one of those politicians who is going too far with her criticisms of government when there is a lot of blame to spread around- government-yes, but also the greed that propels the corporate world, the corruption of labor union reps, and the lack personal initiative of most citizens for taking up their own civic responsibilities- all of these targets are fair game- both the decidedly left and right among us are only selecting out one or the other, and this is why I believe we keep catapulting back and forth between two big failing parties and the limited, inconsistent ideologies that they are using as their intellectual foundations. All I ask is that Catholics use the complete social doctrine of the Church as their primary intellectual foundation- and then see where we all might meet up- and I don’t think it will be at obama or palin’s camps.

  • Agree that there is a false dichotomy between left and right and that each may choose things that are closer to their own intellectual hearts. The problem is that people do have intellectual premises that can lead to quite different conclusions even given the principles of CST. This is even a principle of CST as it does not necessarily imply that we “might meet up.” In fact CST clearly states that people of good faith may come to completely different solutions to the same problems. Yes, let’s agree on the principles. But let’s not say that this agreement will lead to the same conclusions.

  • Tim this country was founded by men who had a healthy distrust of government. Considering how close we are to national bankruptcy as a result of hare-brained mismanagement and overspending by government, I’d say the Founding Fathers were justified in their admonitions against large and expensive governments.

  • Well- my plan is to take as many pieces of the official social doctrine – as found in such things as the most current encyclicals, the Compendium of Social Doctrine and at times Scripture and the Catechism, and just put it out there- be it an explicit principle being defined as such, or suggested applications for one or more of the principles. The fact is that there is plenty of solid food in these documents which we are compelled as faithful Catholics to at minimum take into our consciences to be well-formed- even if one concludes that the application of a formal principle of social teaching which is found in an authoritative source is to be rejected, and replaced with some other viewpoint or expert source.

    The fact cannot be avoided that what the Magisterium puts down on the record in official documents concerning the temporal order cannot be simply ignored, or bypassed in one;s Catholic conscience formation. The teachings in the encyclicals and the Compendium must be received with “religious assent”, now it’s not clear to my understanding exactly how we are to interpret this type of assent, and if it applies to the writings contained in authoritative sources which are not just explicit definitions of formal moral principles, but may also apply to the elaborations and suggestions offered by the Popes and Holy See as found in these authoritative sources. By “religious assent” I am thinking that that would imply that one could disagree with the Church’s thinking in one;s private conscience, but to publicly reject this official Church expression one would need to tred very lightly and perhaps need to explain how they are going against the tide of the official Church’s view- like for example in taking a position on the role of political authority in general that certainly goes against the general lines given us in the relevant sections of the Compendium, or to say that government is not in the business of working to ensure the common good of society, or that the only good global economy is a completely unregulated one- these kind of positions would not be found to be connecting to the general treatment of such subjects in formal Church documents relating to the social order.

    The fact is that I am American, yes, but I am Catholic first. As Scott Hahn has stated, “the best gift we can give to America is our Catholic faith”. Nationalism and ideologies of every stripe serve to confuse many, but if one sticks to Mother Church closely, in her many authoritative teachings, and doesn’t take a minimalist approach, I think there will be a lot more common ground to be shared by Catholics who are free of ideological shackles.

  • Tim, I do not think there is anything in the teaching of the Catholic Church that in anyway mandates big government or big government solutions. In the 19th Century the Church was hostile to Liberalism and virtually all manifestations of the modern world as typified by Pio Nono’s Syllabus of Errors. In the early 20th Century the Church was quite hostile to socialism of any sort. Since World War II the Church has had several popes more or less comfortable with a social welfare state. None of these passing political predilections of individual pontiffs have much more long term significance for the Church than the condemnation of Magna Carta by the pope of that time. People are always tempted to have the Church baptize their political beliefs, but other than abortion and a very few other issues, the Church, long term, has usually left Catholics free to determine their own political courses.

  • I am a Catholic first and an American also. This does not dilute my identity as a Catholic as being a husband and father does not also.

    Yes religious assent to moral principles. Principles that also recognize the value of the free market, the right to private property and the impairing effects on personal development by welfare states.

    But there are also in the social encyclicals matters of prudential judgment. Several encyclicals note that what they present also admits of prudential judgment. The key is to discern the moral principles from prudential judgments.

    The ideological shackles can be quite broad and hard to discern at times. They include those who don’t think they have any.

  • “but other than abortion and a very few other issues, the Church, long term, has usually left Catholics free to determine their own political courses.”

    Free to make sound prudential judgments within the constraints of certain moral parameters and obligations we have to others — how one accounts for that in their judgments is what we’ll debate about, but it really is non-negotiable in principle. You don’t develop a theory that totally ignores subsidiarity and pretend the Church said “its okay” because it’s not abortion. You don’t make a prudential judgment that is contrary to preferential option for the poor because it’s not abortion. I hope I’m preaching to the choir.

  • When it comes to politics Eric, even a cursory study of the history of the Church will find various political views held on a great many issues by the leaders of the Church at various times. A few examples. The Church today stands four square for religious freedom. Throughout most of her history the Church did not support religious freedom. The Church today is friendly to democracy. Until circa 1930, the Church was extremely skeptical of democracy. Today the popes are content with the Vatican State. Throughout most of the history of the Church the struggle to hang on to the Papal States was one of the chief political issues for the Church. The Church today supports equality. In past times the Church lent support to aristocratic systems of government. My point is that when we see the Church veering with the times on political issues over the history of the Church, this might imply that the positions taken on those issues have more to do with the political attitudes of the men at the head of the Church than they do with the teachings of Christ. The morality preached by the Church has been quite consistant overall since the time of Christ. Implementing this morality in political action through the Church has often been shifting and frequently contradictory over time.

  • Don raises many valid points.

    This article really changed my thinking on the application of CST.

    http://www.takimag.com/blogs/article/ron_paul_and_pius_ix/

    Zmirak makes points that I could simply no longer ignore or try to counter. That is why I can call myself a libertarian-distributist – because these two ideas working together are the best chance we have of implementing CST at the local level, which is the only level we will ever be able to implement it on in America.

  • Eric,

    I suspect you are preaching to the choir. In fact I suspect, given my age, I’ve been in the choir longer than you.

  • Pingback: Palin: The Alienator « Vox Nova
  • In political terms, Palin lost me when she supported Rick Perry: an arrogant frat boy whose in the pocket of companies like Merck, supported the pro-choice Guiliani (remember that?!) and has had way too much time in office

John Murtha, 1932 to 2010 Anno Domini, Requiescat In Pace

Monday, February 8, AD 2010

John Patrick “Jack” Murtha, Jr. died Wednesday morning at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA, after complications from gallbladder surgery. Murtha was 77.[1]

Congressman Murtha was a Democrat with a relatively populist economic outlook, and is generally much more socially conservative than most other House Democrats. He is opposed to abortion, consistently receiving a 0% rating from NARAL and 70% rating from National Right to Life Committee; however, he supports embryonic stem cell research. He generally opposes gun control, earning an A from the National Rifle Association.  Murtha was also one of the few Democrats in Congress to vote against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 and also one of the few Democrats to vote in favor of medical malpractice tort reform.[2]

May he rest in peace.

_._

[1] Fox News entry by Chad Pergram.

[2] Wikipedia entry for John Murtha, Political Views

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5 Responses to John Murtha, 1932 to 2010 Anno Domini, Requiescat In Pace

Go For Broke

Monday, February 8, AD 2010

My wife gave me for my birthday on Saturday a compilation collection of 15 World War II films.  I immediately noticed one of the titles:  Go For Broke (1951).  It had been over thirty years since I last viewed that film and I watched it last night and greatly enjoyed it.

Go For Broke, tells the story of the 442nd regimental combat team during World War II.  Made up of first generation Japanese-Americans, Nisei, the 442nd, along with the 100th Infantry battalion, made up of Nisei from Hawaii and which became associated with the 442nd, fought in Italy, France and Germany.   Many of the Japanese-American actors in the film were combat veterans of the 442nd which lends the film a very realistic, almost documentary feel, especially in the combat sequences.

The film opens in 1943 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi where the men of the 442nd are being trained.  Van Johnson, portraying Lieutenant Michael Grayson, is a “90 day wonder”, an enlisted man commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant after completing a 90 days officer’s candidate school.  Prior to officer’s candidate school he had been a member of the 36th National Guard Division, one of several National Guard units from Texas that fought in World War II, sometimes waggishly refered to as the Texan Army.   Grayson was hoping that he would be reassigned to the 36th and is dismayed to find that he will be leading Japanese-American troops, sharing to the full the prejudice that most Americans felt against everything Japanese following Pearl Harbor.  He immediately asks Colonel Charles W. Pence, portrayed by Warner Anderson, for a transfer to the 36th.  Pence quickly realizes, despite the denials of Grayson, that he is prejudiced against the Japanese-Americans, and informs him in no uncertain terms that his men are loyal Americans, that there will no be transfer, and that he is to take up his duties as a platoon commander, a 40 man unit, immediately.  The scene shifts to the platoon, where the men are relaxing in the barracks.  Other than their ancestry, and different slang, viewers quickly realize that they are like other American soldiers, griping about the Army, wondering what is going on back home, playing craps, etc.  Grayson and his men are a poor fit initially, but he does his job and helps turn them into soldiers. 

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20 Responses to Go For Broke

  • Donald,

    Excellent analysis!

    I remember first watching the film many years ago and I understood the slang (pidgin English brah!) immediately. Especially “Katonk!”

    We still used that term while I was growing up in Hawaii as well as “Go for broke”.

    A little inside information, in Hawaii the word “katonk” also has the double meaning of brown on the outside, white on the inside. This was in reference to the coconut itself, which has a brown husk and a white interior when you crack it open. It described Japanese-Americans from the mainland as looking Japanese, but acting “haole” or white.

    Which some of us back in Hawaii refer to our Dear Leader today.

    As for buddha-head, in high school we used that term for anyone who was bald! Good times 🙂 .

  • Fascinating Tito! I’ve never been to Hawaii, so this is all news to me.

  • I never saw that movie, going to have to make an effort to find it. I can’t believe the decorations. In about a year and a half of combat a unit of 2000 (which you know had to be operating with far fewer than that most of the time) racked up 21 MoH, 52 DSC, and 560 Silver stars. Incredible! Anyone of those counts would be super impressive, but the three counts together boggles the mind.

  • ugh …not Anyone, but Any one. Doh!

  • Donald can correct, but I ‘think’ they are the most decorated unit during WWII.

    I can’t find the quote, but General Patton was very fond of the 442nd.

  • You are correct Tito. For size and length of service the 442nd is the most highly decorated military unit in American military history.

  • Suppose there were a military unit comprised entirely of loyal U.S. citizens of the Muslim persuasion, who would fight just as valiantly in the War on Terror? Since military units can’t be segregated by race, nationality, or religion this could not happen today, I presume.

    Also the situation wouldn’t be the same — the WWII Nisei soldiers were not sent to the Pacific theater for obvious reasons, whereas an all-Muslim unit would have no other theater in which to fight at this time. (Unless it ends up being a future war on the Korean peninsula.)

    Still, it’s interesting to speculate.

  • Interesting post Don.

    The excellent series on WW2 “Band of Brothers” has recommenced on our TV1 for the third time. I watched part 4 last night – an excellent series. This will be followed in a couple of monthe with Spielberg’s “new” series, “Pacific”.

    My mum passed away last weekend, and as I and a sister were going through her stuff, we found dad’s brief diary (dad died 4 years ago) he kept during WW2. We are up to the stage where he was on a troop ship of 2000 troops (packed in like sardines, he says) from Wellington NZ to Fremantle, West Australia in April 1944. The passage took eight days of high winds and rough sees across the Tasman and the Great Austr. Bight to WA (that’s Western Australia 😉 )

    He recounts a very sad event in Perth. Some NZ and Aussie soldiers got into a fight (probably at a pub) with some American soldiers there on R & R. Two NZ Maori boys were killed (knifed) and another injured. All leave was cancelled till they re-emberked for Egypt. Dad’s disgust was obvious when he wrote “A few idiots ruin things for thousands.”

    One of the many of sad incidents you speak of.

  • My deepest sympathies over the loss of your mother Don. Bar room brawls have been a traditional feature of military service, but murder is beyond belief. I can just imagine how the parents of the two New Zealand soldiers felt when they learned about it.

  • Thank you Don, for your king wishes re mum. We all know that she is now enjoying the presence of her Lord, for whom she had an immense love. She attended Mass and communion for most days of the past 40 years.

    I can very easily imagine, with a bunch of young gung ho men, exchanging what probably started as friendly banter – one smart alec makes a derogatory comment which is taken as an insult, and its all on, fuelled by several pints of good ale.
    I’m sure this was not the only incident in a time of world wide stress and disfunction.

  • My father-in-law was one of those Silver Stars. He climbed a mountain in Italy in the middle of the night, very quietly. Germans on top of the mountain. We have his uniform in the closet at home.

    He claimed he got flat feet from all that marching, but the rest of the family has flat feet too! Jin was in the Army before the war started. He thought they would kick him out and send him to a relocation camp. No such luck.

    Your list of Medal of Honor winners includes Daniel K. Inouye. He lost his arm in the war and was later elected US Senator from Hawaii.

  • Your father-in-law sounds like he had a good sense of humor Patrick as well as a lot of courage.

  • Some one mentioned Gung-Ho, which has it’s origins in the motto of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives of the late 1930s. A New Zealander (Rewi Alley) associated with them who later worked with Colonel Evans Carlson forming the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, was fond of the term which means “work together”, and Carlson adopted it as a training philosophy for the Raiders. It caught on, and became the motto of the 2nd Raiders in WW2, and eventually a common slang term through the Marine Corps and American society in general.

    A movie called Gung-Ho! which tells the story of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion was released in 1943 during the war. It’s a good film but not nearly as good as Go For Broke!

  • Templar.

    Interesting story.
    Rewi is actually a Maori name – so Rewi Alley was probably maori.
    Thanks for that.

  • Outstanding post, Don. I’ll have to look the film up.

  • Thank you Darwin. It is not only one of the best of the World War II films, but I would place it in the top ten war films I have seen.

  • Templar, Gung Ho is one of the films in the compilation that my wife gave me. I think it is one of the better war films released during World War II, but I agree it is not in the class of Go For Broke.

  • Yay! I have that collection too. I picked it up a few months ago and haven’t had time to watch any of them yet. It’s actually a rather obscure list of movies so my expectations weren’t that high, but I really like WWII movies so I knew it was a safe bet. Happy to hear that at least two of these are really good.

    I’ll be sure to share with Darwin too. 😉

  • I put it on NetFlix and kicked it up to the next in queue.

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Tim Tebow Pro-life Superbowl Ad

Sunday, February 7, AD 2010

Hattip to commenter restrainedradical.  One of the two Tebow pro-life Superbowl ads has leaked.  I can see why the pro-aborts fought tooth and nail to keep it off the air.  In tandem with the other Tebow pro-life SuperBowl ad,  it is devastating to them.  For background to the ads go here.  For the rest of the pro-life Tebow story, go to Focus on the Family here.

And here is the second ad:

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.  The pro-aborts by their hysterical reaction made sure the Tebow story of how his Mom refused to abort him got broadcast over America for free.  Now these two anodyne ads featuring a loving Mom and son make the pro-aborts look like the intolerant bigots they truly are!

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12 Responses to Tim Tebow Pro-life Superbowl Ad

  • Why exactly is this prolife? This ad in isolation says nothing and probably will only confuse people. Is there another ad?

  • There is NOTHING particularly pro-life about these ads. We were scammed. They were NOT what they were represented by Focus on the Family to be. They were about promoting Tim Tebow and Focus on the Family and that was it. Nothing about choosing not to abort, nothing about choosing life.

    We were had.

  • The message is in the Focus on the Family tag: “Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life.”

    No wonder the pro-aborts want to censor this ad.

  • Zach and Bender the “ads” weren’t the message, they were just teasers to get you to go to the web site where the real message was conveyed in an interview. The link is at the end of the first paragraph above.

  • So what was demonstrated by this event in contemporary culture is that it takes precious little to send pro-aborts over the top in preserving abortion on demand. That their extreme views and actions can work against them in unforeseen ways. That Focus on the Family must have some serious monetary resources!

  • You’re right, the ads weren’t the message — Focus on the Family’s misrepresentation about the content of the ads was the message, and FF’s manipulation of the pro-life community for it’s own purposes has now become the issue.

    I defended the ad because they said it was a pro-life ad. It wasn’t. It was a Tebow and FF ad. And I don’t particularly like being used to end up promoting Tebow and FF, rather than defending life as we all thought we were doing.

    Fraud and dishonesty are not the way to promote anything, especially the pro-life cause.

  • NOW is now condemning the ad for advocating violence against women. No, I’m not making this up:

    NOW president Terry O’Neill said it glorified violence against women. “I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it,” she said.

    Source.

  • Let’s not overrect–as far as I know minimal information about the ad was given out beforehand by FF and much of the expected content was inferred by the opposition based on what was already known about the principals. While I wouln’t put it past Focus on the Family to engage in a little pro-abort leg-pulling, I’m hard pressed to discern a concerted effort to exploit pro-lifers. I believe most defenders of the ad acted spontaneously out of respect for the Tebows’ right to tell their stoy and weren’t goaded to it by FF. Anyway, FF succeeded magnificently. Weeks before the ad was aired, large numbers of people who had never before heard the story were suddenly aware of Tebow’s birth story. The ad itself was the most innocuous of teasers, exposing those pro-aborts who objected the loudest as the bigots they are. And the weblink at the end of the ad enabled anybody who hadn’t yet heard the Tebow family’s story to do so, if they wished. FF got its money’s worth several times over out of that thirty-second spot, and they did it in such a way that no reasonable opponent of their viewpoint could have protested.

  • Excuse me, that would be “overreact.”

  • “Violence against women?” Someone needs to tell that pro-abortion pseudofeminist that abortion is violence against women.

  • I’m just sayin’, there was nothing pro-life about these ads. Superbowl viewers were exposed to nothing pro-life. I don’t care about getting scammed (which I don’t think we did), I’m simply disappointed that nothing pro-life was said.

  • Preccisely, Zach. At the end of the day, there didn’t have to be anything pro-life about the ads. The pro-life part of the ads was all off-camera.

Moving a Church From New York to Georgia

Sunday, February 7, AD 2010

Hattip to commenter Mike Petrik.  Mary Our Queen parish in Norcross, Georgia is growing.  Good.  They need a new church to accomodate their growth.  Rather than building a new church the parish has hit upon a novel idea.  There is a beautiful church in Buffalo, Saint Gerard’s.  Saint Gerard’s has been closed for two years.  The Mary Our Queen parish proposes to buy Saint Gerard’s, disassemble it, move it 1000 miles, and reassemble it.  Estimated cost:  $16,000,000.00.  Time to complete:  two years.

My hat is off to Mary Our Queen parish.  This proposal shows imagination and the desire to rescue a lovely church that has been put out to pasture.  May God aid their project.  Here is the parish website for this monumental undertaking.

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2 Responses to Moving a Church From New York to Georgia

  • Thanks, Don. We are plainly reaching for the stars on this one, but it is worth a shot. The bottom line is that if St. Gerard’s is not moved, it will be razed. The estimated cost of building a church like St. Gerard is over $40MM. The economic and aesthetic cases are compelling, but the parish does not have the wherewithall to raise this kind of money. We are praying that publicity will induce gifts from unconventional sources, especially some very big ones.

Fr. Frank Pavone Defends John Carr of the USCCB

Saturday, February 6, AD 2010

Here is the text:

I received some inquiries recently regarding John Carr, who serves as the Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the United States Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The inquiries, stemming from controversies over the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Center for Community Change, essentially asked if John is pro-life and committed to the goal of securing protection for the lives of unborn children.

Because I am in a position to answer that question, and because of the fact that hurting people’s reputations never serves our cause, let me state for the record that the answer to that question is “Yes.”

I have had many opportunities to talk to and listen to John over the years, in public and in private, to read his articles, and to discuss our common goal of seeing social justice and peace applied to our neighbors in the womb. His record is clear, and unlike some others, when he talks about justice and peace and human development, he does not fail to include the unborn.

I share with you below his own comments, as well as those of Richard Doerflinger, the Associate Director of the Secretariat for Pro-life Activities of the US Bishops’ Conference. As we work together to resolve the problems that do exist in our Church and in our culture, let’s do so with great caution to preserve the good reputation to which all of our colleagues have a right.

Fr. Frank Pavone

The statements referenced in the letter can be found here.

Update: Additionally, Catholic News Service reports that many bishops have come forward to defend Mr. Carr.

Update 2: Tom Peters has a level-headed take on the matter here. In particular, I think his observations regarding “RealCatholicTV” are worthy of consideration:

The situation has not been helped, either, by the sensationalist reporting at RealCatholicTV.com, which in a recent report claimed that the allegations of misconduct at the CCHD was what Pope Paul VI was referring to when he warned that the “smoke of Satan has found its way into the Church” … seriously? I don’t follow RCTV directly but the American Catholic does.

As I’ve said before, I agree with Mr. Peters (and many of our commenters) regarding RCTV. I do not doubt that the folks at RCTV are well-intentioned. Similarly, I do not doubt that there are some problems with CCHD and the USCCB. I simply think the RCTV coverage of this scandal has been too sensationalistic, and that their reporting should not be relied upon without independent verification.

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82 Responses to Fr. Frank Pavone Defends John Carr of the USCCB

  • Let’s keep the issues straight here!! Nobody is questioning John Carr’s personal beliefs. What is in question is how he can work for, support, and promote organizations directly opposed to authentic Church teaching.

  • What I find sad is this: what exactly is charity? People are saying “defend CCHD” and “just start giving to other Catholic charities.” Ok, but does that mean the other Catholic charities will not be giving money to people which end up giving material support for evil? Obviously all charity has that potential; give money to the homeless beggar on the street, and they might buy crack with it. Does it mean we should not try to help him? Some might say “give him food.”

    Fine, but then that means he can afford buying the crack the next time someone gives him money!

    Using the logic being given, that means you are still promoting crack!

    That’s the problem with this argument. It ignores that all charity as charity is going to give opportunity for evil.

    Jesus gave charity to a centurion of all people. And samaritans to boot. Imagine what 1st century Jewish bloggers would have done with that! “Is there no end to the evil this Jesus fellow won’t support? He helps Roman occupation! The soldiers are given support!” etc.

  • defend CCHD should have been defund

  • I wonder if this “guilt by association” thing isn’t getting a bit out of hand. By the logic being applied here, any Catholic who works or has ever worked for the state or federal governments (like me) “supports” a “pro abortion” organization (even if their job has absolutely nothing to do with abortion, same sex marriage, etc.) and is a source of “scandal” who has no business participating in any parish or diocesan endeavor or in any apostolate. Maybe I should quit this blog before Real Catholic TV decides that I’m a source of scandal to readers?

  • Henry,

    You are a liberal, left wing Marxist. Period. To your kind, there is only one gospel, the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price.

    But in reality (where you obviously don’t live) there is only one true Justice: God’s Justice, and if we continue to tolerate abortion, gay filth and all manner of putrid, sinful refuse, then we can and should expect the full measure of God’s justice.

    CCHD has funded pro-abortion, pro-gay rights groups. Period. And USCCB defends it. How horrible! Don’t you understand anything? You don’t get social justice, the common good, and peace without repentance and conversion first. Read 2nd Chronicles 7:14 and Matthew 6:33. Righteousness, holiness and virtue must come first, and have to come first before all these social and economic problems we have can possibly get fixed.

    I have zero tolerance for any of you liberals. You never discuss turning away from sin as THE prerequisite. What did Jesus say in conclusion to the woman caught in adultery? GO AND SIN NO MORE.

    Do you get it, liberal? Do you?

  • This is not to deny, of course, that there are some big problems with CCHD, but simply to emphasize what Fr. Pavone said, that it doesn’t give us license to play the guilt by association card against everyone that works there.

  • On Father Pavone’s blog, there is this comment which I believe is pertinent:

    “Benedicta says:
    February 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    The question of whether or not John Carr is pro-life is a straw dog. That’s not the problem the Reform CCHD coalition has been pointing to. They are saying that despite his attitudes towards abortion, he was in a leadership position with an organization (CCC) many of who’s member organizations (and most likely it’s stated mission, too?) had very “progessive” positions on gay and reproductive rights. Many of these groups were and still are funded by CCHD.

    This was sort of inevitable because CCHD’s mission forces them into such coalitions. They don’t do direct charity. They are commissioned to work with community organizing groups battling the causes of poverty. These types of groups are traditionally leftist and the left eschews the human rights of the unborn. I should know, I was one of them. To prove the point – is CCHD funding any chastity or anti-abortion grassroots groups? If there are such groups to fund, why bother to fund those that compromise church teaching? The connections are there between promiscuity, availability of abortion, as a backup to it, and poverty if you don’t abort after being brainwashed into promiscuity. Read Wilcox et al.

    People have recognized CCHD’s strong connections with Alinsky-style and/or founded organizations for years. No ones’s questioning Carr’s pro-life position. Only how he (read USCCB) carries it out politically. We at the grassroots – who struggle every day with Culture of Death’s brainwashing of our neighbors and friends – are waiting for the bishops (John Carr’s bosses) to take the bull by the horns. Perhaps these entanglements with “the dark side” are part of what’s keeping their hands tied.”

    As I have indicate before, rather than huffing and puffing at critics, the USCCB should be explaining certain things, among them:

    They should explain why they were shoveling money into an organization that one of their staffers served as the head of. Can they even spell “conflict of interest”? Rather than attacking the people who are bringing this to light they should be ramping up their own investigation. They might also wish to explain why Carr omitted noting his involvement with the CCC from his USCCB bio. They might also explain why Tom Chabolla, associate director of CCHD programs until 2008, and who worked under Carr, took Carr’s place on the CCC board after Carr left, during a time period when the CCC became involved in pro-abortion advocacy, and whether Chabolla and Carr maintained contacts about the CCC. Chabolla since leaving the CCHD is now assistant to the President of the Service Employees International Union. Finally, perhaps they can explain why, when this all came to light, the first reaction from the CCHD was to scrub their website of all mention of ties with the CCC.

    In regard to the CCHD, Tom Chabolla concerns me far more than John Carr. Chabolla’s involvement with the CCC and the CCHD while the CCC was becoming involved in pro-abortion advocacy, and his subsequent attempts to convince Catholics to vote for Obama, notwithstanding Obama’s strident pro-abortion stance, leads me to wonder how many CCHD staffers share the Church’s opposition to abortion, and how this plays out in regard to the groups that are funded.

    http://onelacatholic.blogspot.com/2008/11/ex-mahony-official-touts-obama-in.html

    Time for the USCCB to stop shooting the messengers and to conduct internal investigations and clean house.

  • Paul, do not personally attack fellow commenters. That is not helpful. I share your concerns to the full regarding CCHD, but you can express them without attacking Karlson personally.

  • “Henry,

    You are a liberal, left wing Marxist. Period. To your kind, there is only one gospel, the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price.”

    Paul.

    First of all, I’m not a liberal. Second, I’m not a Marxist. Third, Catholic Social Teaching is a part of the Catholic Church and its teaching. False Gospel? No. Christ calls us to charity. That’s the truth. Justice is God’s — right indeed. But that is truth in charity. God’s justice doesn’t demand us to ignore the needs of people just because they sin. The common good is indeed why Christ died. And peace at any price — Christ gave the ultimate price.

  • Elaine Krewer

    That’s exactly the kind of point I’ve been trying to make. This is mere guilt by association which is fallacious; and if one follows through with this, anyone who does any work with anyone can be found to be associated with sinners and doing things which ultimately helps people to sin in one way or another. Of course, Voris would do well to remember the principle of double effect.

  • I agree with you John Henry that Thomas Peters has a level headed take on the situation. I agree with his recommendation that the CCHD needs to be defunded.

    “Here’s my take: I think there are real problems with how the CCHD allocates its money. I must seriously question why the USCCB even needs to have such a department. There are, after all, so many excellent Catholic charities that disburse money, so I see no reason why Catholics ought to continue giving money to an organization that has now repeatedly been shown to have misused funds in the past (ACORN, for instance). And remember – these are funds that come from the pockets of Catholics in the pews.

    My personal hope, at this time, is to see the CCHD not reformed, but defunded, even though I highly doubt this will happen.”

    Time for the Bishops to find another mechanism to help the poor, and this time through Catholic organizations loyal to the Magisterium.

  • I am glad Fr. Pavone spoke up in defense of John Carr; Pavone is a straight shooter, and it’s not the first time I have known him to rise to the defense of people attacked as insufficiently Catholic for our self-styled guardians of orthodoxy. But I also find it ironic that Fr. Pavone is regarded as more of an authority on authentic Catholic teaching than our own bishops are. The Church teaches us very clearly where we should look for guidance on faith and morals. The “guru shopping” in which our religious right-wing so often engage is just another form of the cafeteria Catholicism they claim to deplore.

  • It seems to me that the CCHD has outlived its moment. The impetus behind its creation is gone, and the problems with some of the charities associated with it demonstrate that there are major problems with CCHD that have not been addressed. Perhaps the people in charge of it really can’t address the problems, because their method of carrying out the aims of Catholic Social Teaching doesn’t allow them to address these new or formerly less significant problems — the things the sort of organization CCHD funds do today have shifted from what they did 30 years ago.

    Some of the charities CCHD fund in our Archdiocese do excellent things — others, not so much. Should the good ones lose their funding because of the problematic ones? That is what defunding CCHD would mean. But unless the bishops and their offices do their investigations, those of us who see what is wrong with the problematic ones are left with only two choices: donate or don’t donate. Especially because our contributions don’t go only to our own dioceses, but are pooled and distributed throughout the country, it’s important for us to discern the best use of our “talents and treasures,” as the social justice people like to say.

    Giving money to or volunteering with charities who further the aims of Catholic Social Teaching is required of us as Catholics. Giving money to a particular charity recommended by the bishops is not.

  • The last I looked, CCHD proceeds were usually divided 75 percent to the national organization and 25 percent kept in the diocese where collected for local organizations. Why not just drop the national collection and make it all local? Some dioceses may still fund questionable projects that way but at least the more orthodox ones won’t have to.

  • If this is “guilt by association,” then could someone please explain to me what business people like Paul Booth, Fr. Thomas Reese, or Dr. Diana Hayes have at a USCCB-sponsored event?

    http://www.pewsitter.com/view_news_id_28931.php

  • “I do not doubt that the folks at RCTV are well-intentioned.”

    A fascinating choice of words. Good intentions are the close bedfellows of the skulls of bishops, so prominently mentioned in these reports.

    Heck, gossipmongers have good intentions, too. That doesn’t make them moral or even accurate in their reporting.

    The fact is that many bloggers and countless Catholic commentators have been duped by this issue. You’ve been led deeply into the sin of calumny, and isn’t it a good thing Lent is close to arrival? No concern about getting dates, facts, and people straight. And even an otherwise-reliable organ like OSV had to do considerable backtracking. Why any sensible person would rely on internet video gossip masquerading as television for reliable information is beyond me. Regular tv journalism isn’t real news these days, so I can’t imagine folks with no pretense of journalism would count for anything more.

    The movement to defund the CCHD is just frowny-faced Catholic Republicans simmering that they never had the good idea of addressing the systemic problems that lead too many unfortunate individuals into needing charity. I’m sure if conservatives ever bothered to come up with a small-guv plan to address the root problems of poverty, they would get a CCHD grant. Heck, you may even end up as poster children if you played your cards right.

    Meanwhile, thanks a whole lot for painting pro-lifers as mindless, insensitive, and sinful detractors. You’ve just set the movement back another several months. Who cares about the money? You haven’t given to the CCHD in years, if ever. You’ve just been cooperating with evil to snipe at your own, and tossed another few hundred thousand of the unborn into the trash heap.

    What about an investigation of RealCatholicTV? How do we know thesefolks aren’t on the PP or NARAL payroll?

  • Nice attempt to avoid discussing any of the relevant issues Todd.

  • Todd,

    Attack the messenger.

    Old bag of tricks for liberals.

  • “Many bishops” comes in the guise of three left-wing bishops.

    Yes, we’ll see what other bishops steps forward to defend a compromised executive such as John Carr.

    John Henry,

    You failed to point out that it is not the stance of John Carr, but his conflict of interest that is in question.

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  • Unfortunately for the Cause, Donald, Tito, the issue was made to be John Carr. And now that that line of attack has shown itself to be pretty impotent, I think it’s quite correct to shine some light on gossipmongers. If that makes it uncomfy for you, I’m not sympathetic. Usually when people do sinful things, there are consequences–and I don’t mean in the afterlife.

    But if you want to stick to the original post, since when do good intentions make up for sin?

  • Todd,

    That is amazing commentary from a guy who is an open dissident Catholic and voted for President Obama, the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States of America.

    If being called a gossip-monger is to report the conflict of interest of John Carr with CCC then we’ll let you live in bizarro world.

    You being unsympathetic shows again that you are a Catholic in name only.

  • Tito, it’s a classic strategy of human (not liberal) denial to attack the messenger. You do need a history lesson since I would count at least two presidents as more pro-abortion than Mr Obama: Mr Nixon, because it was largely his SCOTUS, and Mr Clinton who was a tad more enthusiastic than the current president.

    I know it stings to get taken to task on morals by a liberal, but there you have it …

  • Tito, no interest in addressing the moral relevancy of “well-intentioned” sinners, eh? I don’t mind straying off topic, if you don’t.

  • Todd,

    This isn’t my post.

    It’s my esteemed colleague John Henry’s post.

    As for “well-intentioned sinners”, what do you mean and to what reference?

  • Nixon was pro-abortion because it was “his” Supreme Court that decided Roe? That’s a bit of a stretch.

    Let’s see, of the 7 justices who decided in favor of Roe only 3 (Burger, Blackmun, and Powell) were Nixon appointees. Marshall was appointed by LBJ; Stewart and Brennan were Eisenhower appointees; and Douglas’ appointment went all the way back to FDR. Dissenters Rehnquist and White were appointed, respectively, by Nixon and JFK.

  • Also, don’t forget that SCOTUS justices have minds of their own and often disappoint the presidents who appoint them assuming they will be reliable “conservative” or “liberal” votes. Earl Warren did that to Ike, and Sandra Day O’Connor did the same to Reagan.

    As for Clinton, yes, he did indeed push for FOCA and for repeal of the Mexico City Policy, and for a national healthcare plan — I unfortunately don’t recall whether it was supposed to include abortion coverage or not — but what else did he do that made him “more enthusiastic” a pro-abort than Obama?

  • “I’m sure if conservatives ever bothered to come up with a small-guv plan to address the root problems of poverty, they would get a CCHD grant. ”

    They have. It’s called letting people keep the money they earn (instead of giving it to the government through taxation) so that they can better support their families, spend more on housing and other goods, and so that those who are inclined can start businesses and projects that create jobs, which in turn, lift more people out of poverty. A prominent conservative who “addressed the root causes of poverty” very well was the late Jack Kemp.

    Another very prominent small-guv or no-guv idea for addressing the root causes of poverty is the notion that people should get married BEFORE having sex and thereby having children (which can happen regardless of whether they have access to contraception or not; no method is 100 percent foolproof, other than abstinence). Single parenthood is one of the major “root causes” of poverty.

    I’m not a hard core anti-government or “all taxes are evil” libertarian by any means, but liberal programs and ideas aren’t the only ones that benefit the poor.

  • Todd, your statement that Nixon was more pro-abortion than Obama is laughable and demonstrates the lengths to which you will go to rationalize your positions. And on balance the notion that Clinton was a bigger pro-abort than Obama does not wash either.

  • I’ve decided to withhold my weekly parish offering until the Bishops get their act together on this issue of funding groups that promote murder-in-the-womb and pro-homosexual lifestyles because, even if I withhold donations from CCHD specific collections, how can I trust that the bishops aren’t giving money to these groups from their general funds or some other fund that my donations have gone to?

    Instead, I’ll give targeted funds for parish-specific collections such as energy, building fund etc. but also to worthy, faithful, and transparent pro-life and lay religious groups – in reparation for some of the damage that is being done. I will no longer allow my money (God’s money) to be funneled to the culture of death. I’ve lost trust for now.

    American Life League: http://www.all.org
    Human Lifer International: http://www.hli.org

  • “There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding, “Or a rape.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/us/politics/24nixon.html

    That promotes the use of abortion, not just leaves it as a choice. Seems to be more pro-abortion than Obama’s “leave it be as a choice.” He wanted inter-racial babies killed. That’s pro-abortion and not just pro-choice.

  • Spelling correction:

    Human Life International: http://www.hli.org

  • “Unfortunately for the Cause, Donald, Tito, the issue was made to be John Carr.”

    Nice try Todd. The issue was always USCCB funding of groups like the CCC. The groups bringing this to light took pains to note that they were not attacking John Carr’s personal bona fides:

    “Once again, please keep in mind that in no way are we stating or implying that any bishop or staff member of the USCCB holds pro-abortion views. We have conversed and exchanged correspondence on a number of occasions with USCCB staff and have nothing but the highest regard for the strength of their convictions. However, we cannot avoid the conclusion that there is a disturbing pattern of cooperation between the USCCB and organizations that do not share the same fundamental vision of human dignity as the Catholic Church.”

    http://bellarmineveritasministry.org/

  • Nixon indeed said years after he had left office that he had no problem with abortion being legal, but that the government should not pay for it. That is a far cry from Obama’s position that the government should always pick up the tab when women cannot afford the hit fees on their offspring.

    This was the stand that Nixon took publicly on abortion while he was president on April 3, 1971:

    “HISTORICALLY, laws regulating abortion in the United States have been the province of States, not the Federal Government. That remains the situation today, as one State after another takes up this question, debates it, and decides it. That is where the decisions should be made.

    Partly for that reason, I have directed that the policy on abortions at American military bases in the United States be made to correspond with the laws of the States where those bases are located. If the laws in a particular State restrict abortions, the rules at the military base hospitals are to correspond to that law.

    The effect of this directive is to reverse service regulations issued last summer, which had liberalized the rules on abortions at military hospitals. The new ruling supersedes this–and has been put into effect by the Secretary of Defense.

    But while this matter is being debated in State capitals and weighed by various courts, the country has a right to know my personal views.

    From personal and religious beliefs I consider abortion an unacceptable form of population control. Further, unrestricted abortion policies, or abortion on demand, I cannot square with my personal belief in the sanctity of human life–including the life of the yet unborn. For, surely, the unborn have rights also, recognized in law, recognized even in principles expounded by the United Nations.

    Ours is a nation with a Judeo-Christian heritage. It is also a nation with serious social problems–problems of malnutrition, of broken homes, of poverty, and of delinquency. But none of these problems justifies such a solution.

    A good and generous people will not opt, in my view, for this kind of alternative to its social dilemmas. Rather, it will open its hearts and homes to the unwanted children of its own, as it has done for the unwanted millions of other lands.”

  • “Once again, please keep in mind that in no way are we stating or implying that any bishop or staff member of the USCCB holds pro-abortion views. We have conversed and exchanged correspondence on a number of occasions with USCCB staff and have nothing but the highest regard for the strength of their convictions. However, we cannot avoid the conclusion that there is a disturbing pattern of cooperation between the USCCB and organizations that do not share the same fundamental vision of human dignity as the Catholic Church.”

    And who are they to make this decision? As I pointed out, will they judge Jesus guilty of supporting Roman occupation in Jerusalem? Of the Samaritans for his promotion of the good Samaritan? Will they tell people who pay sinners the money they are owed for working, because they pay sinners, they are cooperating with evil and should rather not pay until the sinner stops sinning? That’s the issue. People who get charity will often be sinners; giving them charity is not the promotion of sin. Otherwise God is the biggest sinner of them all.

  • Nixon said abortion is necessary for inter-racial couples. And you say he isn’t pro-abortion? Who cares who pays for it! It’s not the paying of it but the demanding of it as necessary which indicates someone far more pro-abortion than someone who doesn’t demand any abortions!

  • So I take TAC is now guilty of being pro-aborts and Catholics in name only because some people on here are now defending Nixon!

    See how this works?

  • Henry, it seems to me that what Nixon was expressing was the reverse of the “personally opposed, but” stance you often see today. Apparently, Nixon was “personally in favor, but” for what he considered “hard cases.” But in the same taped conversation, he expressed concern that legalized abortion on demand would lead to “permissiveness” and to a breakdown of the family.

    In any event that remark, distasteful as it is, comes from a private conversation with an aide that was never made public until long after his death. In his PUBLIC statements and policy moves Nixon never endorsed legalized abortion on demand, as far as I know, whereas Clinton and now Obama have.

  • I’m sure if conservatives ever bothered to come up with a small-guv plan to address the root problems of poverty, they would get a CCHD grant.

    If I am not mistaken, Milton Friedman’s first article on the negative income tax hit the presses in 1962; I doubt the Catholic Campaign for Human Development ever noticed.

  • Don, thanks for the clarification.

    Apparently Nixon was more amenable to legalized abortion than I realized (I was only 10 years old when he left office and wasn’t paying attention to his abortion views at the time), but still, his stance is a far cry from what Obama is pushing today. Also, there is no evidence that Nixon ever sought as a matter of public policy to “demand” that interracial couples abort their children; that was merely his own personal preference.

    I’m not “defending” Nixon or his point of view, by the way, just pointing out that it can’t justly be compared to what Obama is doing via the healthcare plan, removal of conscience protections, revocation of Mexico City Policy, and expressed support of FOCA or something similar.

  • Elaine in his public stance as President, and in his actions as President, Nixon always acted against abortion. This is a far cry from Obama who is publicly and privately in favor of abortion. Karlson, of course, as usual, is carrying water for the Left and Obama in attempting to obscure this point.

  • So, it’s ok for him to say it is necessary for people to have abortions and he ends up not being pro-abortion? Very odd indeed. But I expect it. The same people who talk the talk end up bowing before the GOP before it is over.

  • If it were Obama who had said it and not Nixon, or if it were John Carr instead of Nixon, you can be assured both would be used by the people who defend him now. It is more important to point out the defense of Nixon’s “it is necessary to kill them” speech puts the people doing so not only in cooperation with evil but in its promotion!

  • Karlson, I am sure you are not so obtuse as to fail to understand the difference between a private opinion revealed more than a decade after Nixon’s death and his public statements and policies as President. Nice try however in attempting to run interference for the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history.

  • Like I said, Nixon was “personally in favor, but” when it came to abortion. He didn’t feel he could “impose his personal views” FAVORING abortion on the nation or on individual state governments that weren’t ready to accept them.

  • The most pro-abortion president? Pretty sure that would be Nixon. Let’s keep in mind that the original drive to decriminalize abortion came from Republicans lobbied by the medical establishment.

    Lies about John Carr. Misguided errors about CCHD. Not tracking important dates like the establishment of the CCHD in 1970. The real question is: why do we even bother with conservatives these days? Completely unreliable.

  • Todd, still trying to salve your conscience for your vote for Obama, the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history? Your attempt to rewrite history is as misguided as your vote. The move to legalize abortion was overwhelmingly from the radical feminists, the group that still owns body and soul your party on the issue of abortion.

  • “Let’s keep in mind that the original drive to decriminalize abortion came from Republicans lobbied by the medical establishment.”

    The Republicans in question were probably the more liberal leaning ones like Nelson Rockefeller, not Nixon, who relied heavily on a conservative “Southern strategy” to get elected.

  • As I said, the defense for President Nixon here and his stand on abortion and his belief it was necessary to kill interracial children says enough. It really does. It’s all it takes to do an expose. Ask Voris.

  • I guess you truly are much more obtuse than I thought Karlson.

  • Henry,

    You seem to reserve a special level of irrationality and intentional obtuseness for moments when you think you have some “gotcha” against conservatives. It would probably be a good idea if, when you have this feeling of “Ha! Now I have them saying something truly ludicrous,” you went off and did something else for a while, because these exercises never do you much credit.

    But to address the substance:

    No one here has defended the Nixon quote or claimed that Nixon is a role model on the abortion issue — what people have objected to is Todd rather strange claim that Nixon was a more pro-abortion president than Obama. (And come to that, that Clinton was — by just about any measure other than the wishes of his more deceived supporters, one would have to see Obama as more pro-abortion than Clinton. If you want a figure more pro-abortion than Obama, you’re going to have to go for someone like Barbara Boxer.)

    Your interpretation of Nixon’s comment (a comment which, as I said, is reprehensible) seems selective and intentionally obtuse. On the face of it, it would seem pretty clear that Nixon was listing of situations in which he thought that people might justifiably demand access to abortion because they considered it “necessary”. That interracial children was the first example that came to his mind certainly does him no credit, but one can hardly argue that Obama’s views are substantively different on issues of abortion being “necessary”. Think of the implication: Does Obama think that abortion is (as he claims) a regrettable and unfortunate thing, but insist that it should be allowed even though he believes it it’s never actually necessary (as in the only right thing to do) for someone to have one? In other words, he thinks that abortion is bad, but he insists that it be available at all times despite it’s being, at any given point, entirely optional? Surely not. If he insists that abortion be available he clearly thinks that in some cases people will find it necessary to have one. Indeed, if he thinks that it’s entirely optional as a medical and personal procedure (like what? teeth whitening? breast augmentation?) and yet nevertheless insists on its absolute availability over the moral concerns that he’s expressed, that actually puts him in a far worse light than if one accepts that he thinks it is at times a “necessary evil”.

    Goodness, what do they teach them in school these days?

  • DH,

    I’ve decided to withhold my weekly parish offering until the Bishops get their act together on this issue of funding groups that promote murder-in-the-womb and pro-homosexual lifestyles because, even if I withhold donations from CCHD specific collections, how can I trust that the bishops aren’t giving money to these groups from their general funds or some other fund that my donations have gone to?

    Weekly collections go primarily to the local parish, with roughly 10% usually going to your local diocese. They do not go to the USCCB or to other national programs. I would strongly recommend against refusing to support your parish because of a fairly minor USCCB program.

  • I think Obama’s statement that babies conceived of unplanned pregnanacies are a burden is quite contrary to Catholic Social Teaching also. We know he jokes about the Special Olympics in public. Who knows what he says in private.

    Bottom line about CCHD, just like we should not reward researchers who aborted babies with stem cell funding we should not reward organizations that fund anti-life, anti-family policies.

  • Todd, still trying to salve your conscience for your vote for Obama,

    I will wager it goes deeper than that.

  • Todd,

    The movement to defund the CCHD is just frowny-faced Catholic Republicans simmering that they never had the good idea of addressing the systemic problems that lead too many unfortunate individuals into needing charity. I’m sure if conservatives ever bothered to come up with a small-guv plan to address the root problems of poverty, they would get a CCHD grant. Heck, you may even end up as poster children if you played your cards right.

    This is just a dumb attack. (Sheesh, why is it that you’ve become so much more politically bitter since your guy won? It’s supposed to work the other way around.) Conservatives are widely supportive of small businesses, which is where most new jobs in the country show up. (While the more regulatory approach pushed by progressives normally helps large corporations keep small businesses from playing — though progressives often don’t seem to realize this.)

    The beef that a lot of conservatives have with the CCHD is twofold. First, they tend to fund some programs which run by organizations which also have programs which are directly contrary to Catholic teaching. Second, conservatives are not always as optimistic that funding groups which often just “raise awareness” or help people petition the government for things actually do all that much to “break the cycle of poverty” as compared to directly helping them with immediate necessities so they can get back on their feet or support themselves, or helping get businesses off the ground which actually provide people with employment. The former of these is a pretty good target for charitable work, the latter often doesn’t work out so well. (If you give people grants to start a business, because they don’t have investors and can’t get a small business loan, it often turns out the reason they couldn’t get a small business loan or investors is that their business plan wasn’t all that viable in the first place.)

  • DC

    When someone says “but still, his stance is a far cry from what Obama is pushing today,” and using that to make Obama is worse — yes, they are positing a defense of Nixon in relation to Obama. The problem is one said abortion is a choice, the other, necessity. And the people who are acting like “abortion is a necessity” is no big deal in comparison to someone saying “choice” show again the politics. This is not “gotcha.” This is just applying the standards in these threads. Wasn’t it the Peters piece which said “cooperation with evil” is evil? Cooperation with Nixon, who thinks killing innocent children is a necessity, falls under this, no?

    Of course many people see through this. What you call irrationality is the whole point. This whole “scandal” and the means by which it gathers evidence is irrational.

    This has nothing to do with “conservative” or “liberal,” because again, the so-called conservatives here are quite liberal (small government) indeed!

  • “onservatives are widely supportive of small businesses” even when they give cooperation for abortion (see health care insurance).

  • Henry,

    This is precisely where you intentionally being obtuse: It takes a massive stretch to argue that the Nixon quote meant “necessary” in the sense of “we must force this person to have an abortion whether they like it or not, because it’s an absolute necessity for society”. Whereas if one accepts the quote to mean that there are situations in which people will feel abortion to be their only option — then he means exactly the same as what Obama says.

    And what the heck are you talking about with “cooperation with Nixon”? The guy is dead, has long been politically irrelevant, and no one is taking him as a guide for modern conservative policy.

    I’ve not no interest in defending Nixon or his ideas about abortion, but claiming that he is “more pro-abortion” than Obama makes no sense when Nixon’s policies were far more anti-abortion than Obama’s and even this utterly reprehensible quote says nothing that Obama wouldn’t say himself (other than the underlying racism.)

    “onservatives are widely supportive of small businesses” even when they give cooperation for abortion (see health care insurance).

    Again, your “gotchas” are invariably foolish. Are you saying that conservatives would do better to only support small businesses which refuse to provide health insurance? Or are you claiming that being in favor or an economic environment which makes it easy for small businesses to establish and thrive somehow encourages them to elect to cover abortions in their insurance policies? I suppose the test case would be: Ask yourself, would conservatives prefer a small business which provided health insurance to its workers which excluded abortion, or a small business which provided health insurance to its workers that included abortion. If you answer the latter, you have a case.

  • One person says abortion is necessary; the other says it is up to the people, and the one who says it is necessary is less pro-abortion. I get it!

    What I learn on here.

    Yes. I’m obtuse! Teach me more!

  • DC

    “Again, your “gotchas” are invariably foolish. Are you saying that conservatives would do better to only support small businesses which refuse to provide health insurance?”

    Let’s take this one by one. STOP USING THE WORD CONSERVATIVE. False word. Next, I am saying the “scandal” with the USCCB is valid, than this applies across board. And sorry to point out, all the people supporting companies which have health insurance that gives abortion is “cooperation with evil” and “funding abortion.” What is difficult to see in this? Why is it that the same people who always speak about political point of views never do anything with the real promoters of abortion — the insurance companies? Why no laws to stop this? Why the constant funding of it? Why?

  • You people just slay me: tie yourselves up in knots to justify your relativism. Personally, I have no problem with my vote for Mr Obama. There was no real pro-life distinction coming from Mr McCain, especially on matters in government hands like ESCR and torture. So I voted for the Illinois senator. So what? Lots of independents voted for him. He was a bit too conservative for my tastes, but there wasn’t a real third party choice, in my view.

    Getting back to Fr Pavone’s defense of Mr Carr, let’s face it: the anti-CCHD crowd had no compunction about throwing a fellow pro-lifer under the bus, and trying to justify the lies and exaggerations to get it done. And you can ask yourselves: how many unborn people did it save? How many converts did you make for the cause? All because you’ve redefined “scandal” to mean something that bothers you.

    Jeez, with conservatives like you, I have no reason at all to be angry or bitter. All I have to do is visit here every week or so, point out your moral errors, get under your skins, and I have my entertainment.

    Take the last word, gents. You’ve worked hard enough in the trenches of relativism to earn it. Give us another justification or two, then watch the religious event of the day.

  • Translation Todd: you do not give a damn about abortion.

    “Take the last word gents.”

    You inevitably say that Todd, and you inevitably come back to comment on this blog.

  • Karlson is unable to distinguish between a President who makes a private pro-abortion statement and who makes public statements and policies against abortion, and the current incumbent who makes private and public statements in favor of abortion and who is dedicated to pro-abortion policies. Grad students have sadly declined in reasoning capacity.

  • Actually the latest turn in this thread is quite funny when you think about it. People are sincerely debating who is worse, Obama or Nixon and it was the Obama supporters who introduced that extremely low bar.

    I’m no fan of either, but clearly Nixon’s despicable “necessary” term wasn’t calling for a mandate and is more in keeping with Obama’s line about not wanting his kids punished with an unwanted child. It’s the same mentality of feeling the need to sacrifice the unborn for to avoid a consequence or perceived loss of good.

  • “Take the last word gents.”

    You also convieniently forget about the one “lady” blog member among these “gents” who completely agreed with the initial premise of this thread — that the attacks on John Carr and his past affiliation were not really valid criticisms of CCHD. However, that doesn’t change the fact that there are still lots of OTHER reasons to be critical of CCHD.

  • Elaine, I am sure that the implication that Todd is a sexist will pierce his conscience to the quick, and I mean that sincerely!

  • Also, I question the wisdom of voting for an Illinois senator for any office above dogcatcher 🙂

  • One person says abortion is necessary; the other says it is up to the people, and the one who says it is necessary is less pro-abortion

    One of the great things about the internet is that you’re never quite sure where a comment thread will go. I have to say, I didn’t expect the topic of Nixon, Obama, and abortion to dominate this thread. But since it has, I’ll just say I think Henry’s argument is based on an exceptionally weird reading of the word ‘necessary’. It’s obvious that Nixon means ‘in some circumstances abortion has to be available,’ rather than something like ‘abortion is necessary in all such cases.’ He was talking about how abortion laws should be structured, not opining about when people need to get abortions (my assumption is that not even Nixon would tell a woman who had been raped that she had to get an abortion). I can’t imagine how Henry could understand it otherwise. As to Obama, he certainly has the most extreme public record on abortion of any U.S. President, although on the plus side of the ledger, he is probably not a racist (like Nixon).

  • Getting back to Fr Pavone’s defense of Mr Carr, let’s face it: the anti-CCHD crowd had no compunction about throwing a fellow pro-lifer under the bus, and trying to justify the lies and exaggerations to get it done. And you can ask yourselves: how many unborn people did it save? How many converts did you make for the cause? All because you’ve redefined “scandal” to mean something that bothers you.

    You know, reading this last comment of Todd’s I’m getting the impression that he thinks that John Henry was attacking Fr. Pavone in writing this post. Which, if true, is certainly amusing.

  • Which, if true, is certainly amusing.

    Yeah, I had to laugh, when Todd told me above that I had “been led deeply into the sin of calumny, and isn’t it a good thing Lent is close to arrival?”

    This, for posting Fr. Pavone’s defense of John Carr and saying not a negative word about anyone other than the RCTV folks. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that my post is primarily a defense of John Carr of the USCCB, and a response to some of the USCCB’s less disciplined critics. Oh well, I guess Todd wanted to upbraid somebody and my post caught his eye.

  • that not even Nixon would tell a woman who had been raped that she

    Mr. Nixon was rather vindictive about the opposition and was willing to countenance unprofessional behavior and violations of the law to get at them. Regrettably, he was in a position to see that such things were done: Morton Halperin’s phone was tapped and the pornographer who produced Tricia’s Wedding got his tax returns audited. It could have been worse.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-860866.html

    Mr. Nixon’s mundane life was, however, free of severe blemishes. Most of us are not in a position to have someone raked over the coals by the U.S. Attorney, and its a good thing too.

  • The most frustrating part, John Henry, is that your response will be met with silence.

    I wish it were not so.

  • I’m a bit late to this discussion, but nevertheless it takes an appalling lack of judgement to suggest that Obama is not the most radical, pro-abort, “Party of Death” candidate ever to step foot in the Oval Office

    It is an unfortunate fact but no one in the history of the POTUS has uttered these words except for one man, who is Barack H. Obama:

    “But if they [my daughters] make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby”

    http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/ObamaBaby.jpg

    His position is so far outside of the mainstream that as an IL Senator he voted against the Infant Born Alive Protection Act. Let it be known that this man despises life and has actively used his political power in a way directly in conflict with Church Teaching on Natural & Moral Law.

  • If you recall, Nixon was close to being impeached by the House of Representatives for several counts of abuse of power. He resigned because he thought that, even if he could get (1/3 + 1) of the Senate to vote for acquital, the efforts focused on the trial would leave the nation weakened against foreign opponents for an extended period.
    By the time W. Clinton was impeached, the possible threat from other nations had receded to the point that the nation could endure a couple of months of distraction with little or no harm in foreign affairs.
    The reaction of the Senate at the time of Clinton’s impeachment in effect was “Lying about sex? Everybody does it, so the fact that Pres. Clinton did it is no big deal.”
    If bloggers who favor Pres. Obama’s policies want to compare him with Pres. Nixon, I see no problem with that.
    TeaPot562

  • Here’s something to remember, John: there is a thread of conversation in here, and you should look to one of your co-bloggers and how they entered into it. Then you might appreciate Todd’s responses. He didn’t say you did anything; there was a conversation and he was responding to that.

  • John Henry is surely reading all the comments. He’s a sharp guy and has gotten me to rethink some of my decisions.

    He’s just being prudent.

  • Well, Teapot562, there are disputes between authorities over the severity of Clinton’s offences per the positive law. The tainted Lawrence Walsh said Kenneth Starr’s line of inquiry was outlandish and Richard Posner said that prosecutorial discretion would not have saved Clinton had he been an ordinary citizen and that the federal sentancing prescribed 30 to 37 months in prison for the sort of offences of which he was guilty. Please note also that Clinton was disbarred, that Susan McDougal spent 18 months in jail rather than testify at grand jury proceedings, and that James McDougal died before his testimony could be offered to a petty jury.

    Please note also that Clinton has retained throughout a degree of respect in certain circles that Nixon never re-acquired.

  • Well the bottom line remains, the CCHD remains a major source of scandal today regardless of what Nixon said forty years ago.

  • I’m with Phillip on this still.

  • 1. I admire Fr. Pavone, but he has plenty of his own issues (saying it’s OK to vote for a pro-choice Republican over a pro-life Democrat, supporting the NRLC’s “keep abortion legal as long as possible” agenda with its numerous compromises, supporting the do-nothing “partial birth abortion ban”, etc.) In other words, I admire Fr. Pavone for what he himself says and does. I’m not a fan of the organizations he chooses to support, especially when his career was springboarded by Judie Brown to begin with.
    2. I think it’s *very* important to distinguish between “the bishops” and “the USCCB,” which is a useless bureaucracy in DC that, in the end, has very little to do with “the bishops.” The merger of the old “NCCB” with the old “USCC” (where all these problematic associations occur) is the real problem, IMO.
    3. There is a big difference between charity, social justice and political activism. Charity is a personal choice. The merit in charity is in one person’s free will decision to perform an act of love for another person. Jesus acted in charity to centurions and Samaritans, but He did so in love for them as indiviuals, to help them as people. He did not support them qua being centurions or Samaritans.

    Social justice is the remediation of economic ills the way criminal justice is the remediation of interpersonal ills.

    Much of this funding question has to do with neither. It has to do with the bishops giving money to activist organizations when they should be giving that money directly to people who need it. I would have just as much problem with the USCCB funding NRLC as ACORN.

    When we give our money to the Church, our expectation is that that money will go to actually help people or build up the Church. I’d rather tthe USCCB fund crisis pregnancy centers and adoption agencies than fund ALL or NRLC. If they want to support the poor, send the money directly to shelters and food pantries. Better yet, give the money back to Catholic religious orders that engage in these ministries.

    Imagine if this money were just paid back to Catholic schools, hospitals and ministries, instead of paid to secular organizations.

    4. Yes, “Guilt by association” is a bit overdone. But much of this goes beyond “guilt by association.” We’re talking about organizations that actively support agendas contrary to the faith, and officials at USCCB who have either worked for those organizations or served on their boards of directors, etc.

  • Re: John Carr: “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you what you are.” Fr. Pavone is a good priest but a very naive one. Or perhaps he fears the power of the USCCB.

  • Mike,

    There is no need for that type of demonization of the USCCB. Although I don’t agree with the direction they’re heading, I don’t find it necessary to degrade it.

5 Responses to USCCB Promoting Anti-Catholic Speaker This Weekend

  • Not a comment–a question:

    Does anyone ever call up the USCCB and just ask them what they have to say about this (or any of the other idiocies they inflict on us)?

  • Carol,

    They don’t return phone calls.

  • I know the USCCB isn’t open to the public but I emailed Cardinal George a very civil letter asking him basically “whassup with this?” Speaking of doing a yoeman’s job, he is & I have nothing but admiration for him & most of our bishops. What I cannot understand is why they don’t dissolve the USCCB & just start over. Do these people have tenure or what?

  • gb,

    I’m not sure why they don’t do a complete overhaul of the place.

    But it’s human nature to resist saying “I was wrong”. Pride then kicks in when the pressure mounts.

    In my opinion, nothing will be done.

    Just look at the pedophilia scandal.

    Nothing was done about that. Only when the media pressure became overbearing did “individual” bishops act.

    No bishop likes to be told what to do, especially from us plebians.

  • Cardinal Newman quoting St. Basil writing to the Western bishops on the onslaught of the Arian bishops:
    “The dogmas of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set to naught; the discoverers of innovations hold sway in the churches. Men have learned to be speculators instead of theologians… The aged sorrow, comparing what is with what was; more pitiable the young, as not knowing what they are deprived of”. [Ep. 90]

Why Non-Profit Workers Lean Left

Saturday, February 6, AD 2010

The recent series of posts expressing indignation that many people who work for the USCCB lean left reminds me of a pet theory of mine: All other things being equal, people working for non-profits will tend to lean farther left than the general population.

This fits pretty well with my experience, both seeing most of my more progressive friends seek work at non-profits (in the cases of religious ones, often parish or diocesan work.) But I think there are some general reasons why we’d see this be the case.

1) Selection bias: It’s one of the major themes of modern progressivism to be suspicious of the profit motive in general and of for-profit corporations in particular. If you see an organization making a profit as being particularly corrupting, it makes sense you’d gravitate towards organizations which are committed to provide a service to society without making a profit. You can see a reflection of this attitude in President Obama’s proposal to forgive college debt for people who go into non-profit or government work — behind which lies an implicit assumption that people working for non-profits and for the government are participating in work that is more virtuous or more valuable to society than people who work for mere businesses. (My impression is that conservatives tend more towards a “job is a job” attitude, seeing non-profit jobs as not being all that different from business jobs.)

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4 Responses to Why Non-Profit Workers Lean Left

  • I’m not trying to be unpleasant, but there’s another way it may be inherent to the work:

    For-profit groups have to be self supporting; they feel entitled, in the course of Right and Good, to being paid by those who ask for services to be rendered.

    Non-profit groups depend on the support of others; they feel entitled, in the course of Right and Good, to being paid so that services can be rendered.

    This division wouldn’t be there, or wouldn’t be there so much, if they were small enough that you’re dealing with people instead of supply and demand….

    Like you pointed out, NFPs tend to compare themselves against FP business… I imagine looking at the gross income to a business would really trigger something in one’s gut, especially if you ignore that the net is so much smaller.

  • In my limited experience, philanthropic concerns are typically deficient in operational measures of competence and in well-defined goals. Division of labor, wages and salaries, and promotions are thus based on marks of status, intramural politics, and (perhaps) seniority. There are some sorts of people who put up with this more readily than others, and that sort views their social world through a different prism than the rest of the population, hence different voting preferences, &c.

  • Interesting. I work for a nonprofit, but it is a professional association, and the professionals we serve are extremely practical people who have to meet budgets and make payroll. There are some dolts, particularly in upper levels, but overall it’s the best place I’ve ever worked.

  • I would add that in the five years I have been working for a for-profit company, I have observed the ways in which corporate taxes and government regulations shape business decisions, often for the worse. It has made me more skeptical of government-driven solutions.