12

Sore Losermen

One of the big stories of the year is the growth in prominence of the tea party movement.  Whether or not you are in accord with them politically, they have had an undeniable impact on the political landscape, bringing a new energy to the political scene.  Though tea party- backed  candidates have not been 100 percent successful, they have defeated a fairly substantial number of GOP incumbents and other Republican establishment candidates.  Even relatively conservative Republican incumbents like Senator Bob Bennett of Utah have been sent to an early retirement thanks largely to a grassroots revolt against his like.

One of the most recent successes of the tea party rebellion occurred in Alaska where Joe Miller defeated Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary.  Murkowski was appointed to the Senate to replace her father.  The governor who appointed her also happened to be her father, and it seems that she was led to believe that she is entitled to said seat.  So in the face of electoral defeat in the primary, Senator Murkowski – or Daddy’s Little Princess as she’s being dubbed in some circles – has launched a write-in campaign.  Evidently many voters in the state of Alaska crave royalty as she is actually running neck and neck with Miller in the general election campaign.

Murkowski is not the only moderate Republican who has demonstrated his or her contempt for the unwashed masses who dared to remove them from office.  Governor Charlie Crist, faced with a humiliating primary defeat in Florida against Marco Rubio, decided to jump ship and run as an Independent.  Alas Charlie now faces a humiliating thumping in the general election instead.  Mike Castle, who lost to Christine O’Donnell in the Republican primary for a Delaware Senate seat, toyed with a write-in campaign.  He decided against it, but has ostentatiously declined to endorse O’Donnell.  Other defeated incumbents, like Bennett above as well as Representative Bob Inglis have thrown temper tantrums because the voters dared remove them from office.

Alas it is not just so-called RINOs who have rejected the will of the primary voter. Continue Reading

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CatholicVote & Endorsements

The folks of CatholicVote had some objections to my post Tuesday. Brian Burch had this to say in the comment box:

Thanks Michael for your post, though I am compelled to respond and disagree with much of what you and others have written. I do believe that the questions you raise are highly relevant to the conversation occurring within the Church today about the proper role of the laity in public life, and especially American politics. I should also note for those that don’t know, Michael has been, and continues to be, a guest blogger on CatholicVote.org and we continue to welcome his contributions (and disagreements) on our site should he choose to cross post there.

CatholicVote.org was founded specifically to champion the cause of faithful citizenship from a distinctly lay perspective. As such, we seek to serve the Church by assisting the laity with material, catechetical resources, news and commentary, and tools for evangelization (videos, ads, etc) that incorporate an authentic Catholic worldview as applied to our civic life, in pursuit of the common good. To be sure, the issues that involve intrinsic evils, or questions that involve the “non-negotiable” issues are always treated as foundational, and not open to compromise or debate for Catholics. Our programming has almost exclusively been focused on the life issue, for example.

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Cultural Rot

My wife and I often joke that we are going to raise our children Amish so as to shield them from our depraved culture.  We jest, but there’s a sliver of truth in our jesting.  And of course  Donald has written a series of excellent posts here at TAC on the signs of our cultural decay.

It’s not exactly a newsflash when a bunch of cranky bloggers at a website called the American Catholic bemoan our hedonistic culture.  But when others of a less socially conservative bent join the fray you know that things may have reached a breaking point.

Ace of Spades is a conservative blog, though one that tends to a certain amount of, err, frivolity with regards to cultural matters.  I don’t think Ace deviates from most social conservatives on the core issues, but you wouldn’t necessarily expect a rant like this one a site like his.  But Ace completely lays into the singer Katy Perry and the awful message that she spreads to our youth.

Ace posts the lyrics to one of Perry’s new songs: Continue Reading

11

Unpopular President Obama

Most Presidents have a decline in their popularity by the time of the first midterm elections in their term, but few Presidents, except those who have reached an artificial high in popularity immediately following a national crisis, have fallen as far and as steadily as Obama.  When he was sworn into office, his approval ratings were in the mid-sixties.  The Real Politics average of current approval polls, has Obama approval at 45.3%.  The interesting thing about the decline is how steady it has been, just as the percent of the American people disapproving of Obama has steadily increased, and is now at 50.7%.

Even the artist who came up with the dopey socialist realism “heroic” multi-colored posters of Obama has recently expressed disappointment with him.

My favorite living historian, Victor Davis Hanson, believes the Obama decline will continue for the following reasons:

1) A bad agenda. Nearly every issue the president embraces polls against him, often at a 3-1 margin. Cap and trade, amnesty, state-run health care, more bailouts, takeovers, deficits, taxes, and the national debt. His vision is the same as that of the EU circa 1990 — one that even Europe now rejects as a failure.

The answer to every challenge is to found a new program, borrow billions to run it, hire millions more loyal to the progressive gospel of public employment, and demagogue any who oppose it.

*************************************************************************************

Hanson is on to something with this statement: The answer to every challenge is to found a new program, borrow billions to run it, hire millions more loyal to the progressive gospel of public employment, and demagogue any who oppose it.  Most analysts of Obama have stressed how different Obama is from past presidents.  Stylistically yes, to some extent, not in substance.  On economic issues Obama is a reactionary, a throwback to the New Deal Democrat era: massive spending on government projects is the way to restore economic health.  It was a dubious remedy almost eight decades ago and appears not to work at all today.  The failure of the stimulus to have any positive impact on the economy, and the inability of Obama to come up with any truly new policies to meet the economic malaise of the present, is now clear to all, even to many members of Obama’s own party.  Few things are more sad than a one trick pony who can’t even perform the one trick properly and that is the case with Obama on the Alpha and Omega political issue:  the Economy.

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6

"The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II" — George Weigel's sequel to "Witness to Hope"

George Weigel’s new book, The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II — The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy, which was published by Doubleday on September 14, is the fulfillment of a promise the author made to Pope John Paul II less than four months before the pope died. In “A Promise To Pope John Paul II” (“The Catholic Difference” 9/17/10), Weigel gives his account of his parting words to the late Pope before his death:

The conversation over dinner was wide-ranging, and at one point, after the usual papal kidding about my having written “a very big book,” John Paul asked about the international reception of Witness to Hope, his biography, which I had published five years earlier. He was particularly happy when I told him that a Chinese edition was in the works, as he knew he would never get to that vast land himself. As that part of the conversation was winding down, I looked across the table and, referring to the fact that Witness to Hope had only taken the John Paul II story up to early 1999, I made the Pope a promise: “Holy Father,” I said, “if you don’t bury me, I want you to know that I’ll finish your story.”

It was the last time we saw each other, this side of the Kingdom of God.

The End and the Beginning covers the last six years of John Paul II’s life, including:

  • Karol Wojtyla’s epic battle with communism through the prism of previously classified and top-secret communist files
  • the Great Jubilee of 2000 and his historic pilgrimage to the Holy Land
  • September 11th, and the Pope’s efforts to frustrate Osama bin Laden’s insistence that his war with the West was a religious crusade
  • the Long Lent of 2002, when the Church in America grappled with the twin crises of clerical sexual abuse and episcopal misgovernance;
  • John Paul’s ongoing efforts to build bridges of dialogue and reconciliation with the Churches of the Christian East
  • his struggle with illness, “which brought him into at least one ‘dark night’ spiritually; and his heroic last months, in which his priestly death became, metaphorically, his last encyclical”

(Given that Weigel was personally engaged in the Catholic just war debate over the war in Iraq, it will be interesting to see the extent to which he covers this aspect of John Paul II’s pontificate).

Related

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TAC NFL Rankings Week 3

Well, this has been boring, right? Steelers, Bears, and Chiefs are undefeated, just like we expected. Yawn.

Rankings…BEFORE the jump! (gotta keep you on your toes). Comments by me (MD), MJ (MJ), and Paul (PZ).

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (4) – The most complete team in the NFL–without Big Ben (MJ)
  2. Indianapolis Colts – As is the case with Green Bay and New Orleans, one gets the sense that Indy hasn’t really kicked into high gear yet, which is just truly terrifying to ponder. (PZ)
  3. New Orleans Saints (TIE w/ Indy) – Losing a game coming off a Monday nighter on the West Coast isn’t the end of the world, but when you’re a field goal miss away from a win against the main division rival, it hurts. (MD)
  4. Green Bay Packers – Outplayed the Bears for 57 minutes (MJ)
  5. Chicago Bears – Has there ever been a softer 3-0 team?  Maybe the 2006 Bears.  They have a soft schedule coming up, so they may be able to coast by for a while, but something tells me we will be soon shown that they are indeed who we thought they were.(PZ)
  6. New York Jets – So is the secret recipe just letting Mark Sanchez throw the ball? (MJ)
  7. Atlanta Falcons – They got the win, but barely against a Saints team not at 100% (Porter, Bush out + short week). They won’t get that lucky again.
  8. Baltimore Ravens – Not sure about this team; we’ll find out this week when they play the Steelers (MD)
  9. Kansas City Chiefs – This isn’t going to last, but I can’t really keep an undefeated team out of the top ten.  Jamaal Charles is just absolutely explosive, and they need to stop giving Thomas Jones the majority of the carries.(PZ)
  10. New England Patriots – Not the best two weeks of Pats football. (MD)

Others receiving votes: Eagles & Texans

Dropping out: Texans, Dolphins, and Chargers

6

Pretend Clown Testifies Before Real Clowns

“Every time congress makes a law, it’s a joke. Every time congress makes a joke, it’s a law”.

Will Rogers

A fitting ending to the 111th Congress was having Stephen Colbert testify regarding migrant workers.  The Christian Science Monitor had a story on this bizarre episode entitled Stephen Colbert Congressional Testimony:  Why Was He Invited?

He was invited by the subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, a liberal Democrat from California representing a very liberal congressional district.  She thought that inviting Colbert to testify would get some publicity for her subcommittee.  Well it certainly did that!  Colbert’s testimony was so off-color that Steny Hoyer Democrat Majority Leader in the House on Sunday said:  “His testimony was not appropriate. I think it was an embarrassment for Mr. Colbert more than the House.” Continue Reading

2

E. J. Dionne & Maureen Dowd Are Playing With A Dangerous Fire

In a recent column Washington Post columnist, E J Dionne noted that the Tea Party movement is a great scam. Quite an indictment coming from the self described progressive Catholic who still thinks government can never be big enough and the Church should tell the faithful more about the teachings of the agnostic Saul Alinsky than that of 2,000 year old teachings of the Catholic Church. Dionne has made it his business to comment on all matter of politics and religion for quite some time. His partner in left wing chicanery is New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who never hesitates to go for the jugular.  Though she says he she comes from humble Washington DC roots, you would never know it by how she mocks those who really came from humble surrounding and never forgot it. She probably grew up with many Sarah Palin’s and Christine O’Donnell’s around her. Yet, I doubt she mocked many to their face as she gleefully does now to the backs of Palin and O’Donnell.

Dionne and Dowd seem to have it backwards, they don’t think citizens should voice their views about the fallacies of liberal Big Government, but they do believe everyone knows better than the divine about religion. This is quite common for liberals who often seem to think they are divine. Dionne and Dowd are part of a movement who thinks they should control government and religion, and those who disagree with them are often labeled as unintelligent; the worst sin as far as liberals are concerned. However, who is the unintelligent one? Big Government has never worked. It has only brought huge debt which has to be repaid by future generations. Individuals who go into debt face a series of tough measures. Yet Dionne and Dowd seem oblivious to this and advocate the same disastrous path for the government, the end result being tough measures for everyone.  In other words Big Government is a disaster that doesn’t work.

However, Big Government isn’t the only disaster Dionne and Dowd advocate. They want the Catholic Church to turn her back on its 2,000 year old teachings and embrace the Dictatorship of Relativism, so named by Pope Benedict XVI. Dionne and Dowd are happy to embrace dissident Catholics who espouse this sort of thinking. It seems Dionne and Dowd are more comfortable with the views of Marx, Alinsky and Freud than they are with Christ, St Paul, St Thomas Aquinas, St Joan of Arc and Pope Benedict XVI. Continue Reading

40

TAC College Football Rankings Week 4

This weekend was the first opportunity for me to rejoin my brethren in purple & gold, and enjoy the tailgating, so college football has officially begun. Notes from the week:

  • 8:15 games are lame, made more so with long TV timeouts. I didn’t get home till 1:45 (granted, I waited out the traffic at a nearby apartment but still).
  • The Big East in in trouble. No one in the Top 25, with all three marquee teams losing this weekend (WVU, Pitt, & Cincy).
  • The ACC is a mystery to me. With GT losing and UNC’s troubles, hard to pick a favorite. Miami looks good, and NC State is undefeated, but the Hokies don’t have a conference loss yet and made a good statement against BC.
  • As of right now, the SEC West has the teams ranked #1, #10, #12, and #15 in the AP poll. Your chaos of the season will ride on what happens there (as well as what happens when Florida plays some of those teams-starting this week when Bama is rewarded for its efforts v. the Hogs by meeting the stronger-looking Gators at home). You may begin an “S-E-C!” chant now.
  • Do you think Brian Kelly & Notre Shame expected to be 1-3 right now?
  • What happened to Georgia? They got creamed by Moo U. and sit firmly behind Vandy in the SEC East. Very sad.
  • The Heisman race continues to intrigue. Ingram, despite missing a few games, looks solid. Robinson was out for much of the game but looks ok. Pryor handled business, and Peterson added another special teams TD. I will say that I acted very dignified when peterson scored his TD and did the Heisman pose. And by dignified, I mean jump up and down so much that I almost knocked my sister down. However, I did resist putting that picture as the lead this week (saving it for a future week, perhaps?)
  • Right now, I think conference ranks are 1. SEC, 2. PAC-10, 3. Big-10, 4. Big 12, 5. MWC, 6. ACC, 7. Boise St. 8. Big East.
  • This week, Idaho receives no votes in the TAC poll. In a unrelated story, the TAC poll gains nation-wide credibility (love ya, tito!)

Ok, rankings after the jump.

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18

CNN Joins The Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI and The Catholic Church

It would appear that those in the mainstream media who want to do hit pieces on Pope Benedict XVI need to take a number. The latest to engage in Yellow Journalism is CNN. The “network of record” dispatched Gary Tuchman to do the dirty work. One might recall that it was none other than Tuchman who remarked how distressing it was travelling in the heartland during the 2008 Election campaign. He complained that some who recognized him told him that their Middle American views and ideas were repeatedly mocked by the mainstream media, all the while those of the liberal establishment were hailed. Tuchman’s words were quite revealing when it comes to this story.

CNN has been advertising their hit piece on Pope Benedict XVI as if he was already guilty of some sort of cover up, even though during the Abuse Scandal it was none other than the New York Times who praised then Cardinal Ratzinger for tackling the tough problems. What tough problems did he tackle? The most notable example being Father founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Father Marcial Maciel was one of the few prominent conservatives caught up in the Abuse Scandal, most of the abusers were Church liberals who wanted to change the Church. Cardinal Ratzinger took on Father Maciel at the height of his power and popularity. One might recall that Father Maciel was quite close to Pope John Paul II. So from this example we can see that Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) showed no favorites and pulled no punches. The Legionaries of Christ were shaken to the core and as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI removed their leadership and installed his own, hardly the work of someone who was timid.

The CNN piece was perhaps even more despicable than the New York Times hit piece, because in the interim much of the modus operandi of the Old Gray Lady was exposed. Still CNN used the same material and claimed that they had something new. There is nothing new here. The crux of their argument comes from material provided by Jeffrey Anderson the attorney who has made millions off the scandal. Anderson says he is one a mision to “reform the Church.” What kind of reform would that be? Some Catholic dioceses have been forced into bankruptcy, which means the poor whom they dioceses assisted through their social programs are left in the cold. For all his concern of “reform”  Anderson hasn’t provided a penny to these particular poor.

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8

Civilization V is Here

I haven’t done a post recently to refresh my credentials as the geekiest member of the TAC blog.  Among my hobbies, besides writing blog posts and annoying people for fun and profit, is the playing of rather elaborate strategy games.  I began playing these games circa 1971 when I wheedled a copy of Luftwaffe from my parents for Christmas that year.  The next year for Christmas I received a copy of Panzerblitz, and I have been playing and collecting strategy games since that time.

My wife and I acquired our first computer in 1987, a commodore 64.  Since that time almost all of my playing of strategy games has been on the computer.  Christmas Eve 1991 was a memorable one in the McClarey household.  It was the first Christmas Eve we spent with our newborn twin sons, and our copy of the computer strategy game Civilization arrived in the mail. Continue Reading

6

The Minstrel Boy

Something for the weekend.  The Minstrel Boy.  The patriotic Irish song was written by Thomas Moore in honor of his friends killed in the Irish rising of 1798.  The video above is from the incredibly good movie Rough Riders, with some of the Rough Riders singing the song before charging up Kettle Hill on July 1, 1898.

The song is sung just after the death of Captain Bucky O’Neill who, the son of Irish immigrants, had made The Minstrel Boy the song of his company.

Theodore Roosevelt describes the death of O’Neill:

“The most serious loss that I and the regiment could have suffered befell just before we charged. O’Neill was strolling up and down in front of his men, smoking his cigarette, for he was inveterately addicted to the habit. He had a theory that an officer ought never to take cover – a theory which was, of course, wrong, though in a volunteer organization the officers should certainly expose themselves very fully, simply for the effect on the men; our regimental toast on the transport running, ‘The officers; may the war last until each is killed, wounded, or promoted.’ As O’Neill moved to and fro, his men begged him to lie down, and one of the sergeants said, ‘Captain, a bullet is sure to hit you.’ O’Neill took his cigarette out of his mouth, and blowing out a cloud of smoke laughed and said, ‘Sergeant, the Spanish bullet isn’t made that will kill me.’ A little later he discussed for a moment with one of the regular officers the direction from which the Spanish fire was coming. As he turned on his heel a bullet struck him in the mouth and came out at the back of his head; so that even before he fell his wild and gallant soul had gone out into the darkness.”

Bucky O’Neill is portrayed in the film by Sam Elliot who gives his usual fine perormance. Continue Reading

19

A Dead Horse and All That…

I shouldn’t have, but I did.

Today I read Fr. Richard McBrien’s article on Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the new head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. As the prefect for this congregation Cardinal Ouellet will play a crucial role in the appointment of the Church’s bishops in the years to come.

In his article McBrien makes the following observation:

When commenting on the greatest crisis to confront the Catholic Church since the Reformation of the 16th century, Ouellet seemed to blame the scandal of sexual abuse in the priesthood on the weakening of moral standards in society — a common explanation given by those who are reluctant to address the internal problems of the church, including obligatory clerical celibacy, the role of women, and the declining quality of pastoral leadership.

While there might be some who see the clergy sex scandal as the greatest crisis for the Church since the Reformation, I am certainly not one of them. But what I found completely absurd — again, I should’ve avoided the article to begin with, because it was to be expected — was McBrien’s reference to the role of women in this context. How, exactly, would priestesses have prevented the abuse of children by clergy?

Father McBrien: your vision of the Church and of the Second Vatican Council is both erroneous and dying. Only a tiny fraction of young Catholics in general and those seeking degrees in theology in particular accept that erroneous reading.

Might I propose that you get with the times?

7

White Tea Party Racist to Run for 2012 US Presidency

[Update:  There is already a Draft Cain 2012 website up!]

Oh wait, the picture doesn’t follow the mainstream meme does it!

I guess Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann’s running narrative of extremists running the Tea Party doesn’t quite fit the pic.

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WSJ Poll Alert, Should the Church Drop Celibacy?

[Update:  Great job TACers!  The poll has swung heavily to Catholic teaching.  It is now 83.3% wanting to keep to Catholic teaching, which was 44% previously.  See the updated poll below after the jump.]

The Wall Street Journal is running a poll on whether or not the Church should drop the requirement for celibacy by priests.

The results so far as of September 24, 2010 at 2:17pm US Central time:

We recommend our readers go visit the poll with fidelity to the Church.

Hat Tip:  Father Zuhlsdorf.

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10

Chrysler UAW Workers Caught Drinking on the Job

Less than two months after President Obama visited the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit to highlight the billion dollar government bailout of Chrysler, Chrysler UAW workers were caught on tape drinking alcoholic beverages on a 30 minute lunch break.  Not to mention what looks like marijuana joints in between swigs of grog and then littering a public park with the empties.

That’s a nice liquid lunch… if it were a public holiday!

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6

Worse Than Murder Inc. Meets its Match In Governor Chris Christie

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a man who is rapidly becoming my favorite male politician, has successfully cut state funds for Worse Than Murder, Inc, a\k\a Planned Parenthood.

After the New Jersey state Senate defeated an attempt to override the decision of Gov. Chris Christie to cut off state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood abortion businesses, the first facility run by the national abortion giant is closing.

The Cherry Hill Courier Post newspaper says a Planned Parenthood facility located on Haddonfield Road and operated by Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey will close down.

PP-SNJ stands to lose as much as $160,000 in taxpayer funds because of Christie’s decision and the upholding of his veto. With the closing of the Cherry Hill center, Planned Parenthood customers seeking abortions or other “services” must go to PP centers in Camden, Bellmawr, and Edgewater Park.

Parenthood of Southern New Jersey president Lynn Brown told the newspaper, “We are in think mode and creative mode and we are doing all that we can to try and salvage to see as many people as we need to see.”

“We all know it’s strictly ideological,” Brown said of the funding cuts to the abortion business. “This is a very frustrating and perplexing time for us.”

While the Cherry Hill center does not do abortions, it gives abortion referrals to Planned Parenthood offices in Hamilton Square, Princeton, and Trenton where abortions are done on women and unborn children.

Marie Tasy, the head of New Jersey Right to Life, told LifeNews.com she applauded the state Senate for not overriding Christie’s veto of the Planned Parenthood funding bill.

“We applaud the Senators who voted No to override Governor Christie’s veto of S2139,” she said. “This debate was never about health care, it is about advancing a political agenda and rewarding ‘friends’ and a radical special interest group with our tax dollars.”

“We commend Governor Christie for his steadfast opposition to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and for working to promote the best health care for all NJ citizens,” Tasy added.

Christie won the praise of pro-life advocates in July by vetoing a bill that would restore the family planning funds his administration cut from the state budget because of deep economic troubles. Continue Reading

1

Oops, There Goes Costa Rica!

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  I have received inside information about this incident from Dan McLockinload, currently a blog contributor at the american fascist.  He was reluctant to talk at first, but when I advised him that his comments would be posted on a blog that people actually read, he decided to tell what he knew. Continue Reading

10

Mike Castle Considering Write In Campaign Against O'Donnell

Hattip to Allahpundit of Hot Air.  Perhaps joining a list of defeated Rinos who simply want to hang on to power at all costs, Charlie Crist in Florida and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mike Castle is considering a write-in campaign in the Senate race in Delaware. 

“I don’t want to necessarily interfere with Republican chances,” said Castle, although he added, “I’ve had a lot of people approach me about it.”…
Asked directly whether he was considering a bid, Castle said: “I’ve given it some thought. I probably won’t do it…. I’m not exactly approaching this with bated breath.” Castle spokeswoman Kate Dickens said the congressman has had conversations about a write-in effort but that he likely won’t pull the trigger.
“We are getting a lot of mail and calls on it,” Dickens told POLITICO. But she said the likelihood of Castle mounting a campaign was still, “under 5 percent.” Continue Reading

6

Harry Reid Is Attempting A Coup Against Joe Biden!

As faithful readers of this blog know, I am Joe Biden’s number one fan.  Not for his meaningless job as Veep, which does suit Joe like a velvet nose warmer as long as Obama, please God!, remains in good health.  I am of course referring to his real job:  beloved National Clown.  In these dark days of the Obamacession, he has lightened the national mood with his verbal pratfalls, non-sequiturs, theater of the absurd behavior, inability to think first and talk later and, in general, his heroic willingness to be a fool 24/7 to put a smile on our faces as we stare into the economic abyss.  A tear almost comes to my eye when I think of Joe’s unflappable dedication to a comic idiocy which no doubt is being loudly applauded by the  Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers in that land which knows only laughter.  We love ya Joe!

Therefore I can only view with complete alarm the ongoing campaign being waged by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take away from Jolly Joe his status as our National Fool.  True, Harry Reid has always been given to saying wacky things.  For example, in 2008 he referred to Obama as a light skinned negro who didn’t speak with a negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.  In 2008 he gave his opinion of tourists in Washington:  “You can always tell when it is summertime because you can smell the visitors. The visitors stand out in the high humidity, heat, and they sweat.”  In 2009 he referred to tea-party members as “evil-mongers”.  So a certain level of daffiness is standard operating procedure for Reid. Continue Reading

14

Wishful Thinking Revisited

Following the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, it looked for a time as is if the passage of the recent Health Care Reform legislation was unlikely. The most common arguments aimed at moderate Democrats in the House during this time period were as follows:

1) That the Health Care reform bill would become more popular after it had passed.

2) That given widespread voter ignorance, it was unlikely that this particular vote would have much effect on any individual House member’s re-election campaign.

The first argument has long since been proven false. And now it appears the second was incorrect also:

Out of the original 50 districts, only 41 had members who cast a vote on health care reform and are running for reelection.  If we just divide these members based on their health care votes, those who voted for health reform are running 2.7 percentage points behind those who voted against it.  But, of course, we should control for other things, especially district conservatism, since those from the more conservative districts voted almost uniformly against reform.  I also included the members’ DW-NOMINATE scores to distinguish the health care vote from the members’ overall voting records.

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7

TAC College Football Rankings: Week 3

No upsets before midnight central standard time made for a fairly quiet rankings; this week we lined up more or less with the AP poll (though Tito and I threw it some curves). Some random thoughts of my own before the rankings:

Could we please stop with the Locker for #1 pick and Heisman? This is the second game he’s blown this year. He shouldn’t still be on a Heisman ballot. The Heisman is between Pryor, Robinson and Patrick Peterson (his interceptions this weekend were insane) at this point.

If Ole Miss had listened to their fans and made Admiral Ackbar their mascot, maybe they would have known that Vanderbilt & Jacksonville St. had the potential to be A TRAP! (Seriously, Ole Miss is terrible and Ackbar is a better choice than the moronic suggestions they’ve come up with so far to replace Johnny Reb. of course, the stupidity & lack of creativity of Ole Miss’s student body is how we got stuck with the lame “Magnolia Bowl” title between LSU & Ole Miss /rant.)

Brian Kelly is not a good coach, or at least not from what I saw Saturday night. A bizarre 4th & 1 decision to go for it in Notre Dame territory late in the 4th quarter as well as being totally unprepared for an obvious fake field goal situation makes me question Kelly. Coming from a fan who puts up with Les Miles’s gambles, that’s saying a lot.

Ok, time for the rankings! Continue Reading

2

A Tale of Three Videos

Ah the exuberance of the Obama supporters just two years ago.  Peggy Joseph was especially fervent in her unrealistic expectations of Obama, but I think it is fair to say that most of his supporters really did think Obama stood for Hope and Change, whatever that campaign shorthand was supposed to mean.

After two years of an economy in the tank, and government running the largest deficits since World War II as a percentage of gdp, I think the woman who spoke up yesterday at an Obama townhall speaks for many of Obama’s erstwhile supporters:

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In Britain, the Triumph of Pope Benedict XVI And the English Martyrs and the Tragedy of Those Who Would Not Listen To Them

It seemed unfathomable, even a few short years ago; an aging German pope arriving in Britain to the cheers and rapt attention of many, all this while his detractors were dismissed as everything that is wrong with Britain and the modern world. Saint Thomas More, Bishop John Fisher and the rest of the English martyrs must be smiling in heaven. The English martyrs, like the well known (like Sir Thomas) and the unsung Saint Margaret Clitherow found their views more often than not supported by the rank and file. However, the same rank and file didn’t have the courage to make the stand as did these courageous men and women who were martyred. Though Catholicism was widely practiced, the fear of blood thirsty king, left many too weak to fight the good fight. (If you don’t believe this, read Eamon Duffy’s The Stripping of the Altars.)

Yet, the truth will either set you free or convict you of false witness. It was the brutal King Henry VIII, who left Catholicism because Pope Innocent III wouldn’t give him a divorce. The king later had two of his wives beheaded, a rather odd sort of person to start a church, but start a church he did. Starting in 1534 Catholics would be killed and a legal Catholic Mass wasn’t allowed to be celebrated in Britain, or conquered Ireland, for nearly 300 years. The creation of King Henry the Anglican Church would reach the far flung corners of the mighty British Empire. As recent as fifty years ago, the Anglican Church in Britain had one of the highest rates of church attendance in the western world. Her teachings were mirrored by the life of those CS Lewis. Fifty years later, her teachings are mirrored by the likes of Elton John. However, to be fair to Sir Elton, even he is to the right of the Anglican Church on matters like welcoming Islamic Sharia Law to Britain as the spiritual leader of the Anglicans, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams recently did.

The Catholic Church has been derided and mocked by the mainstream media for some time. One might think that with all of this and the horrible Abuse Scandal within the Church; it would be the Catholic Church that would be withering and not the liberal Anglican Church, who is modeling the whims of the modern world. Yet, the Catholic Church continues to grow and even rapidly so in Africa and Asia (Christ told us this would be so Matthew 16:15-20.)  The faithful aren’t as ignorant as the militant secularists would like to believe. The religious faithful of all stripes are beginning to clearly understand what Pope Benedict XVI is saying about the dangers of the Dictatorship of Relativism. It cannot work, as Jesus reminded us; we cannot serve two masters. Sadly that is what modern Anglicanism and liberal Christianity has tried to do. The results have been disastrous.

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Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists

I assume that only deaf and blind individuals in this country are unaware that GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell said on the execrable Bill Maher’s show Politically Incorrect in 1999 that as a young woman she dabbled in witchcraft.  What brought this up is that O’Donnell on the show was criticizing self-proclaimed witches and made this comment to demonstrate that she had personal experience of what she was attacking.  Her appearances on Maher’ s show were to serve as the token Christian conservative who Maher could attack.   As this essay on chastity which she wrote in 1998 indicates, O’Donnell was doing far more than making guest appearances at this time on Maher’s show, and I interpret her agreement to be on Maher’s show as an attempt to get her message across in an unfriendly venue.  She is making light of the whole stupid issue which I think is the right tack to take.

Less well known is that her opponent Chris Coons wrote an article when he was 21 for the Amherst student newspaper entitled The Making of a Bearded Marxist in which he described how his college experiences transformed him from a conservative into a leftist.  (Son of a gun, I guess there are people foolish enough to fall for the low level political indoctrination that many campuses engage in in lieu of an education.)  What do I make of this statement of Coons?  Other than that 21 year olds are apt to make fairly foolish statements, certainly I did, nothing. Continue Reading

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A Hymn Before Action

The second in my series examining the poetry of Kipling.  Kipling liked to keep his religious views obscure.  In 1908 he described himself as a “God-fearing Christian atheist”.  There are many other remarks he made about his religious views which are just as cryptic.  Why he did this is hard to say, except perhaps for his own amusement.  Kipling had a well-developed sense of humor and enjoyed practical jokes both literary and otherwise.  He was an enthusiastic mason for a number of years, but there is little evidence he viewed it as anything other than an amusing convivial organization.

In his poems Kipling did not shy away from religious themes.  More than a few of his poems, short stories and novels have a fairly strong religious element.  Perhaps his most strongly religious poem is a Hymn Before Action which he composed in 1896:

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Obama Omits Creator From The Preamble of The Declaration of Independence

Jason McNew of the American Thinker wrote it better than I could:

Friday evening President Obama addressed the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.  At around 22:30, he incorporates part of the preamble of The Declaration of Independence, removing “Creator”.

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal….. endowed with certain unalienable rights, life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”

After President Obama says “created equal…”, there is a long pause during which he scowls and blinks several times.  For once, he may actually have opted to not read something that was on the teleprompter.  Is looks like he is disgusted and decided it would be better not to read what the preamble actually says.

President Obama, if our Creator is not the purveyor of our human rights, then who is?  The government?

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Spartacus

Something for the weekend.  The intro to the movie Spartacus (1960), one of the best film intros, with a superb melding of the music and “Roman” statuary.  I saw this film initially in 1967 when it was first broadcast on television and it awakened a lifelong love of ancient history in me. 

 The film is full of historical howlers, par for the course for Hollywood.  Crassus, the richest man in Rome, was not a proto-Fascist dictator.  Spartacus, who is a shadowy figure because the source material is sparse (only Plutarch’s Life of Crassus and a brief section in Appian’s Civil Wars), did not simply march to the sea to escape Italy with his liberated slaves, but marauded throughout Italy, defeating several Roman consular armies in the process.  There was no  Senator called Gracchus, magnificently portrayed in the film by Charles Laughton, who led the  opposition to Crassus, and Crassus wasn’t interested in personal dictatorship in any event during the time he put down Spartacus and his slave army.  The list of substantial factual errors in the film could go on for considerable length. 

However, all that is beside the point.  The film is a magnificent work of art, and it gets the atmosphere of the late Roman Republic right:  old Roman morality being forgotten, a growth of decadence fueled by ever more wealth from foreign conquests, endless amounts of slaves flooding into Italy from the same foreign conquests, factions in the Senate engaging in what amounted to a cold civil war between bouts of hot civil war, the Roman Republican government teetering on the brink of military dictatorship, the movie presents all of these elements more clearly than any  classroom lecture could. Continue Reading

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The Third Rail of the Catholic Blogosphere

The “third rail” to which I refer — a topic likely to severely burn any Catholic blogger, particularly a male blogger, daring or foolish enough to touch it — is the issue of modest and appropriate dress … specifically, whether Catholic women ought to prefer wearing skirts/dresses rather than pants or jeans at all times.

This Great Pants Debate seems to have triggered an intense reaction on some other Catholic blogs. So, as a currently active female member of TAC, I thought I would tackle it so the guys would not have to endanger themselves or their domestic peace by doing so.

The debate began with this recent post (http://www.catholicity.com/message/2010-07-30.html) at CatholiCity. The author counsels observant Catholic women to eschew pants and wear skirts or dresses at all times because this will, he says, enable good Catholic men like himself to appreciate their God-given femininity without being (ahem) distracted or tempted by certain physical attributes.

Meanwhile, other bloggers (http://simchafisher.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/pants-a-manifesto-2/) and commenters (http://markshea.blogspot.com/2010/09/go-simcha.html) reacted with amusement, outrage, resentment, defensiveness, or some combination of them. Some dubbed the author’s teaching “sola skirtura” and characterized it as merely a chauvinistic man’s attempt to control women instead of controlling himself. Others saw it as a ham-handed attempt to create a litmus test for judging a woman’s piety, chastity, and/or obedience to her husband. Still others attempted to defend the author by citing the dress code Padre Pio imposed on penitents and the reported warning of Our Lady of Fatima concerning “certain fashions… that will offend God very much.”

I must admit I was surprised at the level of interest in this subject — more than 600 comments just on Simcha Fisher’s and Mark Shea’s blogs alone. I would have thought that a debate over whether or not it is appropriate for Catholic women to wear pants would be about as timely as, say, the Kennedy-Nixon debate over Quemoy and Matsu. For most people that train left the station at least 40 years ago. Why the big deal now?

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Benedict at Westminster

The text of Benedict’s keynote speech on his trip to the UK is here; video of the speech can be found here.

Obviously, you read or watch the speech in its entirety, but I will present a few highlights for readers:

And yet the fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More’s trial continue to present themselves in ever-changing terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident – herein lies the real challenge for democracy.

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Suspected Al Qaeda Plot to Kill Pope Benedict XVI Foiled In London By Scotland Yard

A sophisticated attack to kill Pope Benedict XVI was appearently foiled in London by Scotland Yard. The Middle Eastern Intelligence website Debka, normally on top of such matters reports that the attack was foiled at the last possible moment.  Several men are in custody. Obviously this is still a breaking news story. However, while many people will say the Holy Father and the police were lucky, the faithful look to providence as the answer. How ironic that this is the feast day of the famous German Saint Hildegard. Something to ponder on this momentous day. May God keep our Holy Father healthy!  Below you will find my article that appeared last week which discussed Al Qaeda’s little reported on war against the Catholic Church.  UPDATE: Police in London have released those arrested.

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Lies People Tell Children

Ann Althouse has fun with a recent back-to-school speech delivered by President Obama:

President Obama’s back to school speech contained blatant lies…and if there were any students not bright enough to notice that they were hearing lies, the lies, in their particular cases, were, ironically, bigger lies. Check it out:

  • “Nobody gets to write your destiny but you. Your future is in your hands. Your life is what you make of it. And nothing — absolutely nothing — is beyond your reach, so long as you’re willing to dream big, so long as you’re willing to work hard. So long as you’re willing to stay focused on your education, there is not a single thing that any of you cannot accomplish, not a single thing. I believe that.”

If you believe that, you are so dumb that your chances of controlling your own destiny are especially small. But it’s absurd to tell kids that if only they dream big, work hard, and get an education, they can have anything they want. Do you know what kind of dream job kids today have?  A recent Marist poll showed that 32% would like to be an actor/actress. 29% want to be a professional athlete.  13% want to be President of the United States.  That’s not going to happen.

Even young people with more modest dreams — like getting a decent law job after getting good grades at an excellent law school — are not getting what they want. To say “nothing — absolutely nothing — is beyond your reach” is a blatant lie, and Barack Obama knows that very well…

…Does [Obama] look at a poor person and say, his life is what he made it? Of course not.

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T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII Weighs in on the Delaware Race

The indispensable Iowahawk brings us again the thoughts of T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII, Rino of the Rinos, and his musings on the Christine O’Donnell victory in the Delaware GOP Senate primary:

Thus I assumed when the Delaware Republican party approached me last week requesting high-level strategic advice it was in regards to the November general election. Mr. Biden’s elevation to the executive branch created an open Senate seat and, mercifully, a rare moment of kismet for moderate and intellectual conservatives; here, at last, the right kind of seat, for the right kind of state, and the right kind of candidate in Mr. Mike Castle. With his nomination a forgone conclusion and a voting record scarcely distinguishable from Mr. Biden’s, Mr. Castle would be undoubtedly competitive in November and could be supported by a better stripe of conservative without fear of Washington social embarrassment. Better yet, his nomination would represent a return to the rational conservatism which has been all but eclipsed by the dark moon of Tea Party lunacy. All that remained to formulate a strategy to position Mr. Castle further to the center for the general election, and to make arrangements for cocktails; two task for which I am eminently qualified and brimming with ideas. Instead, I was mortified to learn from party officials that they were in fact seeking help in parrying a primary challenge to Mr. Castle from a dark horse Republican who was in the midst of a last minute charge in the polls.

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Burleigh Defends the Pope

My second favorite living historian, Michael Burleigh, who has written stunningly original works on subjects as diverse as Nazi Germany, religion and politics in the last two centuries,  terrorism, and morality and World War II,  has taken up the cudgels against the despicable attitude of many Brits of the chattering classes regarding the visit of the Pope to the Island next to Ireland.

Under normal circumstances, one might say “welcome” rather than “receive”. But the multiple sexual scandals that have afflicted parts of the Catholic Church have created a window of opportunity for sundry chasers of limelight – including human rights militants, crusading gays, Islamist fanatics, and celebrity God-botherers – to band together to “arrest” the Pope under laws so obscure that few knew they existed. Because child abuse is involved, rather than the more widespread phenomenon of homosexual predation on young men, these manifestations will receive much media attention, especially from the BBC, to the guaranteed perplexity of a less involved general public in a nominally Protestant country. It will require some effort of mind to tune out this noise to hear what the Pope will be saying.

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The Pope Of Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI Is In The UK

Many in the mainstream media have failed to see the obvious concerning Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to the United Kingdom, the truth of the Catholic Church has won out. The Pope of Christian Unity (as he is often called by the blogging Father Z) is reaching out to serious minded Christians. The Holy Father is asking them to unite as they once were under the leadership of the Successor of Saint Peter. Now I realize Pope John Paul II went to the UK, but the Anglican Church is in a far more dilapidated condition than it was then.  In addition, I am aware that many in the United Kingdom, and Western Europe for that matter, have little to do with religious matters, but the same could be said in the early days of the Roman Empire. Against all odds, three centuries later Catholicism would be the dominant faith.  It can happen again.

The Holy Father is about to beatify John Cardinal Henry Newman. He was a towering figure in the 19th century state run Anglican Church. He came to the Catholic Church and gave us this memorable quote; To go deep into history is to cease to be Protestant. I am not bringing this up in the spirit of triumphalism but in the spirit of truth. Christ promised us that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church, and though it has been through many rough patches (we are currently in one) the truth is winning out. (Matthew 16:15-20.)

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Politicians and Church Platforms

MM is leading a campaign to protest a book-signing of Newt Gingrich’s latest book to be held at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. The book is “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Regime” and Amazon provides a description.

For once, I agree with MM: the book-signing is a bad idea. I’m a very big believer of separation of church from state, and I don’t like the appearance that the Church is being co-opted here. The book isn’t religious; it’s political. Even if I would agree with what he says in the book, I’d rather it not be promoted by being offered at a Catholic bookstore, much less be publicized through a book-signing.

Unfortunately, this is not the grounds that is offered to oppose it. Instead, we find references to Newt’s “hyper-partisan” nastiness, his racism, and his serial adultery. I don’t wish to get into an argument about the virtues and vices of Newt’s career or his potential presidential candidacy (in part b/c being of the generation I am, I have little knowledge of what Newt did). However, I do find it useful for thinking about how the Church interacts with politics, in part b/c it’s not the only example in the last week. Tony Blair wrote a column published on the front page of the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, in anticipation of the Pope’s visit to the UK. There are a number of problems with Blair’s political career from the Church’s view, including his support for legalized abortion, gay marriage  and  the invasion of Iraq. While it doesn’t appear that Blair has political aspirations any longer, it brings up the question of how much past political failings ought to deter Church officials from granting a stage to politicians, particularly repentant ones?

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A New Logo? Yeah, That'll Turn Things Around!

Hattip to my friend Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia.  Yesterday Democrat leaders had a momentous press conference.   With considerable fanfare they announced:

Yep, with the Party of the Jackass set to get perhaps the worst drubbing since 1894, a truly forgettable logo is brought forth.  Ma Bell should sue:         Continue Reading

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TAC Pro Football Top 10

We promised pro rankings, and here they are. I promise not to abuse my discretion as poster to unnecessarily promote the official team of all orthodox Catholics, the New Orleans Saints…

…after I post that picture. Ok, now I’m done. Maybe.

Same deal as the college ranks, though we decided that debating whether the Browns or Rams were the worst team was boring, so we limited it to the top 10. Voters are myself, Tito, and Paul Zummo. Cue the ranks! Continue Reading

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Electoral Revolt

In a year of political stunners, last night’s result in the GOP primary in Delaware still stood out.  Christine O’Donnell, Palin-endorsed tea party activist, upset Mike Castle, former two-term Governor of Delaware and long term GOP congressman, who, until last week, was expected to be an easy victor, both in the primary and in the general election.  Castle is the archetypal Republican Rino and O’Donnell a life long conservative activist, and the GOP Delaware voters decided that counted for more than electability.  I view O’Donnell as a highly flawed candidate due to instances of bizarre behavior in her life, but nevertheless if I lived in Delaware I would have voted for her.  James Antle of of the American Spectator explains why:

For how is it a victory to elect a liberal with an “R” next to her name rather than a “D?” What does it profit a movement to win an election but lose its soul? Conservatives are saying to the Republican Party: for years you have taken us for granted. Now you can either win with us or lose without us. And if a conservative candidate loses anyway, so be it.

Rank-and-file conservatives no longer trust the Republican establishment. They don’t trust big-spending incumbents. They don’t even trust conservative magazines, websites, and commentators who in their view run down conservative candidates.

Are there drawbacks to this approach? As one Mama Grizzly might say, “You betcha.” Ideology and values are vital, but qualifications matter too. So do local conditions and regional differences, where one size doesn’t fit all.

Finally, few RINOs are as brazen as Castle or Scozzafava. They now have learned to talk like conservatives and check the right boxes on conservative litmus tests even as they expand government once in power. The George Romneys have become Mitt Romneys, the George Bushes George Ws. Will conservatives be as demanding of them?

But for now, this much is clear: Grassroots conservatives picked Christine O’Donnell over Mike Castle, electoral consequences be damned. If it can happen in Delaware, it can happen anywhere. Continue Reading

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Father Thomas Ewing Sherman

Abraham Lincoln said that “A House divided against itself cannot stand”.  Thomas Ewing Sherman was born into a House divided by religion on  October 12, 1856.  He was the son of William Tecumseh Sherman, at the time an obscure former officer, and Ellen Ewing Sherman.  Ellen Sherman was a devout Catholic, and, I think, a saint.  She constantly did good works and was a champion of the Church her entire life.  Among her many activities was the foundation of the Catholic Indian Missionary Association, and a prominent role in the Golden Jubilee celebrations in the US of the reign of Pio Nono in 1877 for which she received the personal thanks of the Pope.

William Tecumseh Sherman attended mass with his family when he was at home prior to the Civil War, but ceased doing so during the War.  He and Ellen had been raised together, Ellen’s father, Thomas Ewing, a Senator from Ohio, taking the orphan “Cump” Sherman into his home after the death of Sherman’s father, an Ohio Supreme Court justice, in 1829.  The Ewings were devout Catholics, although Thomas would not be baptized into the Faith until just before his death after decades of attending mass, and “Cump” was baptized a Catholic while living with them.  Sherman’s religious views are often described as agnostic but that is an oversimplification.  I think he basically believed in God, but he was skeptical of organized religion and especially the Catholic Church.  However, he had no objection to Ellen raising all of their children as Catholics, but over the years the religious tension between Sherman and his wife grew.  Continue Reading

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Fides et Ratio

Today is the anniversary of what might be John Paul II’s most important encyclical, Fides et ratio. Although I have not the time to give it a full treatment, if you have not read it I strongly urge you to do so as soon as possible. Catholicism’s eager embrace of reason & philosophy not only sets it apart from most other religions but also positions it to best respond to the philosophical failures that are hurting the modern world. If the modern world is to find some redemption, it will be because these words are heeded:

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves

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And Your Little Dog, Too!

Hands down the most entertaining political ad I’ve seen this year.  John Dennis has the well-nigh hopeless task of defeating the Lying Worthless Political Hack, a\k\a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House.  In Pelosi’s San Francisco District Che Guevara would probably be deemed to be a political moderate, but Dennis is running a feisty campaign nonetheless.  Here is his website.  He might be worth tossing a few dollars to if only as a salute for the entertainment value he is providing.

5

The Imam and the Truther

Hattip to Andy McCarthy at National Review Online. A very close associate of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the guiding force behind the Ground Zero Mosque and who I have designated the Flim Flam Imam, is a 911 Truther according to Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism:

Faiz Khan, a physician who claims to have been a first responder after the September 11 attacks, is a founding member of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth and is on the advisory board of the Muslims for 9/11 Truth. In an essay on the Alliance’s website, he argued that “the prime factor for the success of the criminal mission known as 9/11 did not come from the quarter known as ‘militant Islam’ although the phenomenon known as ‘militant Islamic networks’ may have played a partial role, or even a less than partial role – perhaps the role of patsy and scapegoat.”…

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Are you ready for Pope Benedict's next gig?

Preparing for Pope Benedict’s journey to England and Scotland later this week, Catholic bishops have likened the Pope to the headline act at a series of gigs in a ‘cringe-worthy’ guide, exposing the Church to new heights of ridicule.

The Daily Mail reports (September 12, 2010):

In a list of ‘useful terms’ in the official booklet, the three open-air Papal masses – the most solemn occasions of the historic trip – are referred to as ‘shows’ or ‘gigs’, terms normally associated with rock concerts.The document also compares the clergy who organise services – known as liturgists – to ‘performers’ or ‘artists’ …

The unusual glossary raises fresh questions over the handling of Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day visit, which starts on Thursday and has already been mired in controversy.

The Church is distributing thousands of copies of the glossy, eight-page booklet produced by the Papal Visit Team, overseen by Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols. Its cover carries the official slogan of the visit – the first to Britain since 1982 – Heart Speaks Unto Heart.

Insiders said the pamphlet is aimed at workers from companies arranging events, police officers, broadcasters and journalists who may not be Catholics and are unsure about the Church’s rituals and beliefs.

Thomas Peters (The American Papist) puts the Bishop’s phrasing in the most charitable light:

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TAC College Football Rankings: Week 2

Last week we debuted our fearless college rankings here at TAC. This week saw chaos in the middle and back as our #11, 12, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, and 24 teams all lost. Some of the chaos is surely due to this man:

The first lesson we need to learn is that if we keep ignoring the Federalist Papers, Madison will strike down our football teams. The other lesson is that it’s great to not be an ACC fan.

This week the rankings take on two new additions: our own Dave Hartline and Evangelical Catholicism’s M.J. Andrew. If you’re a Catholic blogger, and you’re interested in writing rankings, shoot me an email at michaelrdenton”at” gmail. com. Let’s see those rankings now, shall we?

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