Chrysler UAW Workers Caught Drinking on the Job

Friday, September 24, AD 2010

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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10 Responses to Chrysler UAW Workers Caught Drinking on the Job

  • Given the future they have to look forward to under a government owned Chrysler, I can’t say I blame them.

  • Drinking beer at lunch? Not so bad… being drunk very bad… Smoking a jot ummm… WTF?? My stance is alcohol is fine only if not getting drunk or impairing the ability to perform. The Jot thing is a gov’t issue they should be going to jail it is illegal??? Although I do beleave we should legalize it .. still illegal at the moment… and doing that on the job is a def no no …

  • It’s okay! They work for the government.

  • I worked for the government in a Summer internship during college, and boy this stuff is minor to what else occurs “on the job”!

  • Yeah. Going out for a beer isn’t a big deal (as long as one isn’t impaired from doing one’s job or driving), but smoking joints and drinking a lot is a problem. While I doubt this means much for Obama, it is kinda embarrassing.

  • Think about this, If any one of those people in the video would have in anyway gotten hurt on the job and needed to go to the medical dept. in the plant, they would have been tested for drugs and alcohol!!! Wow if it should (would have)come back positive for either no workman’s comp. and immediate termination.
    So who’s the fool here the drinking pot smoking workers or the UAW for protecting them?

    I personally think if I where upper management in today’s UAW I’d vote to cut them loose from the union so that union could protect the image of the truly good loyal workers and to say the New UAW doesn’t tolerate that kind behavior any more!!!!!
    How many people do you think would be happy to come work in this economy for 1/2 the pay those guy’s where making?????
    I’m Proud to be an auto worker but not with fools like that.

  • Not to defend these workers for what they did — it was stupid and (as far as the pot smoking and littering) illegal — but… how is it that a bunch of blue collar workers drinking a beer or two at lunch is any worse than a bunch of white collar executives having a three-martini “business” lunch?

    If they were not impaired in their ability to do their jobs, the beer drinking should not have been an issue. The pot smoking and the littering are another matter.

  • Elaine, I agree. But for what it is worth drinking at lunch among white collar workers is pretty rare in most cities. Companies have policies against it, and customs have just changed.

  • As Mike said, the days of a three martini lunch are pretty much history. Even if it weren’t I don’t think the comparison holds up. I worked in factories for over 20 years and have recently transitioned to a corporate job. The difference is that if someone in a factory is impaired or even a little off their game (overly tired, hangover, etc.) people can die or get maimed. The white collar guy might make a mistake that costs millions of dollars but at the end of the day everyone went home to their families. Not saying it’s okay for the white collar guy or trying to set a double standard, just pointing out that the consequences can be quite different.

    The large modern factories are spectacular and the safety measures in place are very impressive, but they’re still not foolproof and never will be. One of the biggest challenges a factory supervisor faces is complacency. Trying not to keep people from taking safety (and quality, but that’s another story) for granted is a never ending battle. Someone pounding a couple tallboys or smoking a joint at lunch is just asking for trouble. We have a responsibility to not endanger our coworkers even if we’re too shortsighted about our own well-being. That is why these policies are in place and why they should be enforced. The unions should of course welcome rules like this, but they lost their way over a generation ago.

  • When I was in college I spent a summer working on a die press in a truck body plant. I kept counting the ways people could lose fingers or limbs if someone got careless. Anyone doing that type of work high, drunk or hung over is just asking for a trip to the emergecy room for themselves and the people they work with.

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

Friday, September 24, AD 2010

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.

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

  • Chris Christie is the kind of guy we need as President, but he has got that certain something called leadership, guts, courage.

  • It is great he cut their funding and our rosary group has been praying for the closure of this clinic. We were elated. But today I heard that they are only closing the part of the clinic that does routine tests like pap smears etc. The abortions will continue – If my information is correct.

  • “today I heard they are only closing the part of the clinic that does routine tests like pap smears, etc.”

    It wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case. In all probability, that is a move on the part of Planned Parenthood to try to gin up public sympathy, and make Christie look as mean and heartless as possible — “he isn’t stopping abortions, just punishing poor women who can’t get pap tests,” etc.

    Kind of like whenever school districts lose tax referendums, the first things they threaten to cut are always sports, music, and other highly visible programs that everyone likes — never something less visible like, for instance, the superintendent’s salary.

  • The sad fact is that Christie is on record, most recently during a 2009 National Public Radio (NPR) interview during the NJ Republican primary campaign, as supporting Roe v. Wade and pledging to enforce it. Would a “prolife” politician ever say such a thing? NJ taxpayers pay for Medicaid abortions and Christie has done nothing to stop that. He also recently appointed a well known supporter of “gay marriage” to the NJ State Human Rights Commission. Prolife Catholics should refrain from drinking the Christie Kool Aid.

  • You mistate Christie’s position on abortion. During a debate with the completely pro-abort Governor of New Jersey Corzine in 2009 he said the following:

    “I am pro-life but I believe in exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.”

    Here is the article:

    http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/10/trail_mix_after-the-debate_spi.html

    Christie is not perfect on the abortion issue from a pro-life perspective, but he has thus far delivered far more for the pro-life cause than many politicians who agree with the cause completely and then do almost nothing on the issue once they are in office. I assume your post is a reflection of the lingering animosity in some conservative circles in New Jersey from Christie’s defeating Steven Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, New Jersey in the gubernatorial primary last year.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/nyregion/03elect.html

Oops, There Goes Costa Rica!

Thursday, September 23, AD 2010

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.

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One Response to Oops, There Goes Costa Rica!

Mike Castle Considering Write In Campaign Against O'Donnell

Thursday, September 23, AD 2010

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.”

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10 Responses to Mike Castle Considering Write In Campaign Against O'Donnell

  • Two thoughts

    First there is actually a line of thought thsi could help O Donnell.

    Second this is not a good race to show as a example of “RINOs”w wanting hold power at all caost since O Donnell herself did a write in effort after losing the GOP Primary for Congress in the past

  • JH, O’Donnell ran as a write in protest in 2006 in the Senate election. The primary winner Ting, was a liberal Republican who everyone knew had no chance. Ting got 17% in the general election and O’Donnell got 4% as a write in. In 2008, the best Democrat year since 1964, O’Donnell got 35% against Joe Biden. That same year Ting endorsed Obama and left the Republican party. O’Donnell by running as a write-in in 2006 ensured that the voters would actually be able to vote for a Republican.

    I think it is clear that Castle running as a run in would be helpful to O’Donnell, and I think the polls will show that if Castle gets back in.

  • Well I am generally against epople running as a write in after they lose a primary regardless if they be conservative moderate or liberal. If this is not stopped soon we are going to have huge problems .

  • I think a write-in campaign would hurt her. She’s going to get the tea party and conservative Republican support either way. Castle could get the moderate Republican and moderate independent vote, which O’Donnell will need to offset the Democratic support for Coons.

  • I disagree Pinky. Castle would take far more votes from Coons than he would from O’Donnell. His voting record is hard to distinguish from a liberal Democrat. Additionally, Castle and Coons are status quo politicians and will both draw from the same pool of voters who believe that the country is in the best of hands right now. O’Donnell will take almost every vote in Delaware cast by a voter who believes the country is most definitely not on the right course, and that the people at the top do not have the faintest clue how to rectify the situation.

  • OT, but here’s some terrific news:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/247495/christie-veto-shuts-down-abortion-clinics-nj-daniel-foster

    My admiration for Christie continues to grow. And that’s not the end of PP’s woes. Surprise, surprise, according to a PP whistleblower, it looks like there’s some very creative accounting going on there:

    http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/09/09/could-whistleblower-claims-strip-planned-parenthood-of-government-funding/#ixzz10NgdRmie

    For example, in one year Gonzalez says PPLA paid $225,695.65 for Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control pills, yet billed the government $918,084 – for a profit of $692,388.35.

  • Liberals and the media really seem to hate nice looking consevative women for some reason…

  • It is great news Donna, and you anticipate my post today!

    Jasper, attractive conservative women running for office is pure heresy as far as liberals and the mainstream are concerned. The sight really does produce the most amusing antics from them!

  • The problem in this country we have alot of physically mature people who have never grown up. These politicians like Lisa Murkowski, Charlie Crist, Arlen Spector and Mike Castle are the perfect example.

    Part of maturity is showing integrity, and courage to accept the will of the people and support your party. Now we have people who want to “get even” with the member of their party who dared to take their apparent job for life from them.

    I have always been troubled by the number of Senators and Congressmen for life from both parties. Frankly it is time for term limits to the House and Senate, in both cases no member can serve for more than 12 years in the House and 12 in the Senate.

  • The fact that being a politician has turned into a career is a problem. It tends to influence one’s decisions in office towards that of self-interest rather than that of true representation.

Harry Reid Is Attempting A Coup Against Joe Biden!

Wednesday, September 22, AD 2010

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.

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6 Responses to Harry Reid Is Attempting A Coup Against Joe Biden!

Wishful Thinking Revisited

Tuesday, September 21, AD 2010

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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14 Responses to Wishful Thinking Revisited

  • By financially irresponsible, I assume you think that it will not pay for itself and actually reduce public deficits. I assume you think that the CBO is simply wrong.

    Even so, I assume you will admit that the Act at least attempts to pay for the subsidizes involved, which was not true of any of the three big Bush episodes in fiscal irresponsibility – tax cuts tilted toward the rich, war, and Medicare Part D – each of which cost more than the price tag for healthcare, and none of which was paid for.

    I assume you also think that extending insurance to 32 million people is not worth the risk that the CBO might know something more than you.

  • What is truly telling about Obamacare is that this is the signal accomplishment of this administration, and that not one Democrat running for Congress is touting this “achievement” in campaign ads, while several Democrats are touting their opposition to Obamacare. Bloggers can say what they will, but the proof that something is truly unpopular is the total silence of the candidates of the party which passed the legislation.

    http://www.gaypatriot.net/2010/09/13/is-any-democrat-running-on-obamacare-in-10/

  • By financially irresponsible, I assume you think that it will not pay for itself and actually reduce public deficits. I assume you think that the CBO is simply wrong.

    No, I think the CBO was correct. They followed their stated methodology, and acknowledged that their methodology was very unlikely to accurately reflect reality. The difficulty is that we were already on the path to financial insolvency from Medicare and Social Security; by using up all of the easiest cuts to those programs on this go-round to “pay for” an expansion of entitlements (and notice the payments don’t start until 2014, while revenues are collected much earlier), we made our long-term debt load significantly more difficult to service. Additionally, the Act did not do much at all to increase the supply of health care services; it’s primary effect is to increase demand. This will dramatically increase costs and/or rationing in the long-term.

    Even so, I assume you will admit that the Act at least attempts to pay for the subsidizes involved, which was not true of any of the three big Bush episodes in fiscal irresponsibility – tax cuts tilted toward the rich, war, and Medicare Part D – each of which cost more than the price tag for healthcare, and none of which was paid for.

    I know the tu quoque is invaluable for partisan hacks and polemicists the world over, but I find it tiresome. The Bush tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible. The Iraq invasion did not meet just war criteria, and additional taxes were not raised to finance it. Medicare Part D was somewhat fiscally irresponsible (although I can’t imagine why you, of all people, would object to it). So what? The Bush era deficits were a drop in the bucket compared to the current projected Obama deficits, and Bush had more reason to suspect they could be paid off than Obama. If you actually object Bush’s record on the grounds of fiscal irresponsibility (as opposed to reflexive partisanship), I imagine that you are horrified by the Obama-era deficits. Certainly, the polls suggest that many voters are.

    I assume you also think that extending insurance to 32 million people is not worth the risk that the CBO might know something more than you.

    As I said, I think the CBO did a perfectly fine job; I simply accept their statements that their projections are unlikely to match reality. Keep in mind that insurance is not health care; a promise to provide health care is not health care. The AHCAA is a leap into the dark. We are certain it will be expensive. We are certain it will lead to more rationing. We aren’t certain of much else, and if the wishful projections of the health care reform proponents on the finances are anything like their political prognostications, we will have simply added another unaffordable entitlement program on top of social security and medicare. The goal of expanding access to health care is admirable; the moment was not right and the means were ill-chosen.

  • By financially irresponsible, I assume you think that it will not pay for itself and actually reduce public deficits.

    Am I missing something – how will it pay for itself? Raising taxes to cover it is not “paying for itself” – it is us paying for it.

  • Heck, even the Dems aren’t arguing anymore that it will save money and reduce the deficit:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0810/The_new_message_Improve_health_care_dont_talk_cost.html

  • Heck, even the Dems aren’t arguing anymore that it will save money and reduce the deficit:

    I suppose it’s just a concession to voter ignorance: any educated voter knows that financing health care for 32 million more people (10% of the population) will reduce the deficit. I chalk it up to Republican lies and fear-mongering. 😉

  • Yes indeed. The Koch brothers at work. Obviously. :0

  • Polling is typically +/- 3.5% error. Add to that a likely voters model which introduces its own error, and you end up with crap like this that treats an issue as determinate that may or may not be determinate. There are so many problems with this analysis I don’t hardly know where to begin. Probably a good start would be requiring him to retake his stats course. If he would have ran the model with several other votes, we might approach having some data on what is costing people voters in certain districts. This again assumes congressional votes are determinant in elections which is hardly settled. Of course the easy way to ascertain this is to ask the poll question, “Does Congresscritter’s vote for/against health care reform make you more likely or less likely to vote for said critter?” While it wouldn’t be perfect, it would be better than trying to infer by a several weeks of polls occuring months before likely voters starting really caring about candidates.

  • M.Z.,

    Polling may typically have +/- 3.5% error, but the numbers above aren’t based on one poll, but rather an aggregate of a number of polls across many races based on 538.com predictions, which is pretty much the best available data (and hardly likely to be skewed toward GOP favorable narratives). It’s not perfect as professor Masket acknowledges, but if you want to debunk the poll, I think you’ll have to do better than the observations above. I doubt political science professor Seth Masket needs to retake (presumably one of his own) stats classes, and I certainly took it as an argument against interest given the respective political affiliations of Matt Yglesias, Masket, and 538.com.

  • John Henry writes: “you actually object Bush’s record on the grounds of fiscal irresponsibility (as opposed to reflexive partisanship), I imagine that you are horrified by the Obama-era deficits.”

    I am horrified by this statement. Are you at all aware why the deficits are so high? The vast majority can be explained by the Bush-era policies and the automatic stabilizers from the deepest recession since the Great Depression. I assume that not even you would propose a procyclical fiscal tighening in the midst of deep recession.

    As for the old cannard on social security and medicare – yes, medicare is becoming unsustainable (social security is totally different, something the punditocracy simply don’t get). The healthcare bill takes the first step toward curbing the growth of costs, including with the Medicare commission that Republicans are demonizing (funny how they can rail against “government” healthcare and defend a single payers system tooth-and-nail at the same time, isn’t it?). In fact, most experts praise the delivery system reforms as the first ever real attempt to bend the curve here. I advise you to actually look at what is in the bill (start with the Kaiser video if that is simpler).

    On costs, another points is that private insurance costs are rising dramatically more than public costs. Of course, this cost is really borne by lower wages, and so is not transparent, but it is real.

    Finally,I find it dismaying that you paint pictures of phantom “rationing” while saying nothing about the scourge of rationing by cost today in uninsurance and underinsurance. Brining 32 million more people into the net is a great achievement. And yet you remain cavalier. You claim to support the goal, but you claim the means were ill-chosen. Please tell me what means you would choose. I can tell you that universal coverage pretty much always requires some form of community rating alongside an individual mandate. This is why none of the Republican proposals would not even make a dent in the number of uninsured. The laughable part is that this reform was considered pretty conservative only a decade ago – it was basically the Republican alternative to Clinton healthcare reforms, and formed the basis of Romney’s reform. But now, with the inmates running the asylum, it has been transformed from a prudential private-sector approach to a socialist conspiracy. And you call me a partisan hack.

  • I am horrified by this statement….I assume that not even you would propose a procyclical fiscal tighening in the midst of deep recession.

    This is either ignorant or deliberately obtuse MM. The major expenditures for the health care bill don’t even start until 2014. The point above was obviously not that right now, in the midst of a terrible recession, we’re running deficits. Of course we are; tax revenues fell of a cliff. The point was that adding a new entitlement program to our long term commitments was unwise; it makes the structural problems with our existing entitlement obligations worse.

    As for the old cannard on social security and medicare

    Canard? Medicare and Social Security have grown from 16% of the budget forty years ago, to 40% of the budget today, and they are expected to continue to consume even larger percentages of the budget going forward.

    The healthcare bill takes the first step toward curbing the growth of costs, including with the Medicare commission that Republicans are demonizing (funny how they can rail against “government” healthcare and defend a single payers system tooth-and-nail at the same time, isn’t it?). In fact, most experts praise the delivery system reforms as the first ever real attempt to bend the curve here

    Yes, as I mentioned above, the health care reform bill makes some reforms to medicare (I have a friend in charge of implementing some of them – and he’s skeptical they really will reduce costs). But all of these ‘cost-savings’ were used to finance an expanded entitlement. Even if the reforms to Medicare are as effective as advocates hope (about which many experts, including my friend, are skeptical), that money is simply being used to finance another entitlement that we also have to hope won’t be more expensive than forecasted. The Administration has dishonestly tried to double count the Medicare savings on a number of occasions – despite the CBO’s explicit statements to the contrary. Calling this activity ‘curbing costs’ requires some real creativity.

    On costs, another points is that private insurance costs are rising dramatically more than public costs. Of course, this cost is really borne by lower wages, and so is not transparent, but it is real.

    Right, and the CBO estimates that the health care reform bill will cause the cost of private insurance plans to rise an additional 10%-13%. That’s curbing costs, alright.

    Finally,I find it dismaying that you paint pictures of phantom “rationing” while saying nothing about the scourge of rationing by cost today in uninsurance and underinsurance. Brining 32 million more people into the net is a great achievement

    Right. Or rather, it would be a great achievement if it doesn’t cause problems worse than it sought to resolve. In Massachusetts, costs have skyrocketed, and it’s not clear that health outcomes have improved. I believe that a similar thing will happen in the U.S. as a whole, and I see little reason for optimism on that account. A promise of health care that can’t be delivered on because of much higher costs and lower supply of medical professionals is not a better outcome than the status quo.

  • John,

    You are making a number of factual errors that have been debunked many times.

    First, the huge long-term funding gap in entitlement program is almost exclusively medicare; social security makes up only between 15-20 percent of it, if I am remembering correctly. Social security can be fixed very easily, while bending the long-term healthcare cost curve (both public and private) is a lot harder. And you are not giving the PPACA any credit for at least taking a tentative step in the right direction.

    Second, PPACA is not an entitlement. It is an mandated expansion of insurance through the private sector. You might call the subsidies an entitlement, but that twists the definition somewhat. (And anyway, if you are so worried about long-term trends, how about we agree to raise taxes on the rich and cut military spending – the two discretionary items that would have the largest budgetary impact?).

    Third, you misinterpret, or misunderstand, what the CBO found on premiums. See here: http://vox-nova.com/2009/12/03/health-reform-bill-lowers-premiums/#more-11179. The bottom line is this: premiums in the small- and large-group markets (159 million people, the vast majority) will see little change (a minor reduction, in fact). In the individual market, you do see premiums rise by 10-12 percent, but the CBO goes to great pains to explain that this is all from better packages. With access to real affordable options, people are choosing higher quuality packages – this accounts for a 30 percent price increase, suggesting countervailing savings from the individual mandate and elsewhere. Oh, and if you get a subsidy, your premiums fall by 60 percent. Not a bad deal.

    Fourth, you claim the Romney experiment has failed. Not so. Coverage is now close to universal, and both the individual and employer mandate are working. This reform mirrored the federal reform on access to healthcare, but not on cost control, so we won’t expect to see big savings, especially in the group markets. But there is one area where we do – the same old previously-dysfunctional individual market. Jonathan Gruber wrote a paper on this, and his conclusion is that the average individual premium fell by 40 percent, while the rest of the nation was seeing a 14 percent increase. Again, this is not bad.

  • The looming entitlement crunch is going to be brutal. Two partisan-like points that don’t seem terribly arguable, in my opinion:

    Bush and the GOP were reckless in recent years, particularly with military expenditures in lives and money.

    The Democrats, led by Obama, are not only bad on such measures (less so on military adventurism, more so on entitlements and deficits) they are worse.

    This is one reason to wish the populist Tea Party folks well, even as I dislike populism.

  • First, the huge long-term funding gap in entitlement program is almost exclusively medicare; social security makes up only between 15-20 percent of it, if I am remembering correctly. Social security can be fixed very easily…

    First of all, 15-20 percent is a significant component of a problem; it’s not a ‘canard’ to note that. And while the fixes for social security are easy conceptually, that does not mean they are easy politically. If they were, they would already have been made (and many of them, like means testing, will be fought tooth and nail by the Obama Administration).

    Second, PPACA is not an entitlement. It is an mandated expansion of insurance through the private sector. You might call the subsidies an entitlement, but that twists the definition somewhat.

    It’s not “twisting” the definition at all in this context; health care subsidies are simply slightly differently structured entitlement programs. Certainly it makes no difference from a fiscal perspective, which is what we were discussing.

    Third, you misinterpret, or misunderstand, what the CBO found on premiums. See here: http://vox-nova.com/2009/12/03/health-reform-bill-lowers-premiums/#more-11179. The bottom line is this: premiums in the small- and large-group markets (159 million people, the vast majority) will see little change (a minor reduction, in fact). In the individual market, you do see premiums rise by 10-12 percent, but the CBO goes to great pains to explain that this is all from better packages.

    Well, it depends on what ‘a better package’ is. If the new package is expensive as projected, less and less people will be able to afford it, which in turn places more pressure on private market premiums. A 7 series BMW is better than a Civic. But a Civic is fine for most people; what the new health care reform bill did was ban the sale of Civics, and mandate everyone purchase a somewhat cheaper 7 Series. For some people that’s great – they get a cheaper 7 series; for a lot of other people (who will likely then require more government subsidies) it means they can’t afford a car at all.

    Fourth, you claim the Romney experiment has failed. Not so. Coverage is now close to universal, and both the individual and employer mandate are working. This reform mirrored the federal reform on access to healthcare, but not on cost control, so we won’t expect to see big savings. Jonathan Gruber wrote a paper on this, and his conclusion is that the average individual premium fell by 40 percent, while the rest of the nation was seeing a 14 percent increase. Again, this is not bad.

    I am not sure what you mean by ‘working’. Contra Gruber, costs have risen significantly for private insurer plans in Massachusetts – and those costs can be directly linked to the health care reform legislation. Massachusetts has the second most expensive health insurance in the country. The health care market basically shut down earlier this year when state legislators decided that the cost increases required by legislation they passed were too expensive for insurers complying with the laws to pass on to consumers. As to why I rely on experts other than Gruber, this would be the same guy that wasn’t even honest enough to disclose that he was being paid $300,000 by the Obama Administration to reporters when he provided them with quotes as an ‘independent’ expert?

TAC College Football Rankings: Week 3

Tuesday, September 21, AD 2010

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!

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7 Responses to TAC College Football Rankings: Week 3

  • Florida v. Arkansas should be an excellent game. BTW, Razorback fans–you’re welcome for Mallett.

    Oregon’s offense reminds me of accounts of the Mongol invasions.

    We won’t know anything for sure about the Wolverines before the Michigan State game. Unless, of course, they pratfall or have UMass-like near misses against Bowling Green or Indiana.

  • Seeing the Aggies in the Top 25 is nice, but seems a bit unwarranted… especially with two games in a row with 5 turnovers… each. But then again, it only took them one quarter to outscore FIU.

  • Yeah, Tito ranked them high but no one else ranked them (not even MJ, who is an Aggie alum). I was not impressed with their effort v. FIU. I wish them all the best, but it looks like a rough year for them unless they can muster together one huge upset.

  • I am a big TAMU fan, but I must admit that they don’t belong (yet) among the T-25. They barely got by Florida International, and J. Johnson looked like a freshman against the FIU defense. I’m a bit worried about Big-12 play for the Aggies.

  • Texas A&M is my Notre Dame.

    They have the most outstanding Catholic apostolate in the country when it comes to public universities. I have met so many faithful and devout Catholics from that school that I have adopted A&M as my school to root for (after Arizona and Hawaii) while Notre Dame tries to recover from the Obama fallout.

    Yes, I’m disappointed at how A&M has started the year, but they still won. Though if they do another dead-cat bounce victory then I too will begin to think twice of their worthiness to be in the T-25.

  • Well, that game, or at least the third quarter (4 INT’s) was very uncharacteristic of Jerrod Johnson. My hope is that this was an aberration. They did manage to pull out the win in one quarter of play, so that says something about character. Well… it’s on to Okie Lite.

  • The Aggie defense was outstanding, but Johnson was the very definition of erratic – I think the creative defensive scheming of FIU had him for three quarters (plus the very, very young O line).

    This Thursday will tell us a lot (although the OSU defense isn’t the greatest).

A Tale of Three Videos

Tuesday, September 21, AD 2010

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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2 Responses to A Tale of Three Videos

  • Well, I don’t know what hope n change meant during the campaign, but now it seems to mean: hope he doesn’t get re-elected and change control of the house and senate.

  • I hope the American people learn a lesson from this: Government is not God. Unfortunately, I think most will just reach the conclusion that the Obama Administartion is not God but the right Administration can be and Republicans will help push that myth.

13 Responses to O'Donnell Raises Two Million Dollars Online Since Primary Win

  • Who’d’a thunk there were 30,000 wiccans (with $5 in their pockets!) in the country!

    Maybe the geniuses feverishly running the country into the crapper are misunderestimating the slow-burning dudgeon of we the unwashed peasants.

  • I like her for every reason you hate her. She spoke the absolute truth about masturbation, and Christ’s teaching on lust.

  • What is most remarkable is the sense of general revolt to encrusted power structures and arrogant political elites now clearly assuming gigantic proportions.

    If you look at Countries like the UK and Germany, nothing of the sort is happening and what you see is the silent majority quietly tolerating a reshaping of society they do not approve of, but have no guts to revolt against.

    This they do because of the erroneous misconception that they be “somewhat wrong” and “backwards” and their progressivist, PC-talking headmasters the “enlightened” ones.

    I see a completely different spirit the other side of the Pond; I hope that its effects will soon be felt here, too.

    M

  • From your lips to God’s ear mundabor!

  • I support her. I agree with Joe. I hope she cleans house.

    That’s interesting how you described the three counties in Delaware. I used to live about 10 miles from the Maryland/Delaware state line and remember being on Bi State Boulevard where the street was literally split in half between two states. I remember standing on one side of the street I being in Maryland and then standing on the other side of the street and being in Delaware.

  • Yes, I really do want my political analysis from some yahoo called “topnotchentertainment.” I am supposed to take this left wing looper seriously?

  • ya I just did a nice piece on….Miss O’Donnell

    If by “nice piece” you mean “copying and pasting from the Daily Show” then perhaps. But there was nothing original or insightful about the piece.

    You would have thought the left would have learned its lesson from Palin’s rise. Instead of just leaving her alone and letting her trip herself up due to her own failures (Palin-ignorance on foreign policy; O’Donnell-questionable history re taxes and employment), they’ve gone after her for essentially being Christian. Like Douthat pointed out, the left turned this into a culture war, and for that I hope they enjoying having to deal with a Senator O’Donnell for 6 years.

  • Denton – Exactly right. A calm, systematic effort could have buried her. The current hysteria against a sweet young lady, led by a creepy atheist, is her best hope for the Senate seat.

  • You make fun of the “topnotchentertainment”, but I guess your pope just admitted that child abuse by your priests is a problem not being resolved fast enough. So you may want ms O’Donnell to clean the house but take a look in the mirror. Certain old saying says that when you are pissed off at someone else, it is you who makes the reality what is. So may be the reality is your anger at “Washington elites” is an emotional response to some unresolved issues with an authority figure. No? Could it be your priest?

    Your O’Donnell dumb crack has support of about 30,000 Sussex and Kent County brainless ‘fud’ – Just for your information Delaware is close to a 1 mil in population. If 10% of them were democrats and independents who see her exactly for what she is and vote accordingly, she goes down 3:1. However, I do believe that number will be higher.

  • Little someting to think about Robocall.

    “Contempt is an emotion displayed by those without valid rebutal”

  • When I read the sort of commentary posted by “topnotchentertainment” I have to wonder whatever became of art of meaningful political debate?
    Lets see, it is okay to berate a Senate candidate for statements made as a 19 year old young woman regarding her dabbling in witchcraft in her high school years. The problem is that for so many years there are Senators and Congressman who have done far worst and are lionized. The list:
    -Senator Edward Kennedy (D) Massachusetts – This fine gentleman left the scene of an accident and ran away leaving a young woman to drown. Had he used his head and knocked on the door of a nearby house help may have come in time to save poor Mary Jo. This man has been called “The Lion of the Senate” . This incident should have called into question, the integrity, judgment and courage of the Senator.
    -Senator Robert Byrd (D) West Virginia – The press used to tell stories of the love for the Constitution this man had. He was actively involved with the Klu Klux Klan an illegal, racist and criminal organization. The post mortem defense that President William Jefferson Clinton used was that he had to be part of the Klan how else would he be elected. If he did as Bill Clinton said then he showed an incredible lack of integrity. If he joined because he really believed what the Klan stood for then he is simply a hatefilled bigot. Funny no one on the Tonight show, Late Night with David Letterman or the Daily Show has ever thought this worth comment.
    There are so many more examples of progressive Senators, Congressman, governors, mayors, who get a pass from the media. Why because they “have the correct opinions”.
    What is Ms O’Donnell’s crime, she holds the wrong opinion.

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

Monday, September 20, AD 2010

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

  • I wonder how More would view the current state of affairs with divorce, annulments and those of us who have sought Roman intervention as our adulterous spouses are welcomed, unrepentant, in the Catholic Church?

    We are ignored, as we remain faithful to our vows.

    Our children are abused as well, taken from innocent abandoned, faithful, parents and the new lovers are listened to, by the Church in our place as we
    are allowed no place in our childrens lives but what is allowed by the state and our violators.

    I had NO SAY AT in our children’s sacraments! What good is a refused annulment, when it means nothing, except postponing a Church wedding
    until our deaths are hastened, with the full cooperation of the Church, and then the unrepentant lovers can have their cake andeat it too.

    No, Benedict does not impress me.

    He knows what is going on and he does nothing to come to our aid.

  • Karl I am sorry for your pain. I think it would be wise for all readers to pray for people in your situation. However, I don’t believe any of this is Pope Benedict’s fault. The fault lies with a society that condones immorality and believes there is no black and white, only gray.

  • The Popes visit seems to have gone not according to the secularist vision of things. We are fortunate to have this man as our Pope.

  • Doug, you are absolutely right. I think the Holy Father has caused the militant secularistss fits since the day the Holy Spirit helped inspire his election. Pope Benedict goes against everything the secularists believe and lacks the charisma of his predecessor Pope John Paul II. Yet, he draws bigger crowds than anyone expected, both in Vatican City and his international trips. May God keep him safe and healthy for many more years.

  • I live in the UK and in my eyes the most striking event was the fact that the protesters were utterly and completely ignored.
    Ignored by both the people – who gathered at the roadside and at the official celebrations in huge numbers – and the media – who kept largely silent about them in view of their utterly obvious irrelevance -.

    For months in this country, liberal media have tried to identify the Church with the (homosexual) pardophile priest scandal; many a tv station and particularly the BBC would mention the Church **exclusively** in connection with the (homosexual) paedophile priest scandal.

    This visit was a brilliant reminder that the media cannot shape public opinion to more than a very limited extent. People continue to think with their own heads and whilst they are often weak or indifferent (as in the largely secularised United Kingdom) they are most certainly not anywhere near as stupid as our smug journalist class thinks they are.

    Mundabor

  • Mundabor, good to see someone from the UK weigh in on this, your personal observations are very heartening. I do believe even in the UK the tide is beginning to turn!

  • After this truly triumphant visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Great Britain, not only are the British martyrs smiling in Heaven but, also, I can just hear Queen Mary saying “Hah!” to both her father and her sister!

  • Apollo,

    Hopefully, she doesn’t have to shout that a long way down, as it were.

  • Pingback: Olive Selection Blog
  • If you seek the true faith of the ancient church, see orthodoxinfo.com, monachos.net, ancientfaith.com, “The Orthodox Study Bible.”

  • Thank you for posting Eastern Orthodox. Due to the onslaught from militant scularism and radical Islam, our churches are closer than they have been since the 11th Century. However, I do think it is fair to remind the readers that it was to Rome that the Early Church always looked. From those in Corinth who wrote to Pope Clement in 96 AD, to those in the East who pleaded for the Pope’s intervention during the Iconoclast Movement. One must also remember that the Orthodox Patriach pleaded to Pope Urban for help during the Islamic Invasion (which lead to the First Crusade.) I hope and pray the division can cease and we can become One as Christ commanded (John 10:16.) Judging from the cordial visits Pope Benedict XVI has had with various Patriarch, this may soon be a reality. God Bless & take care!

  • And to think of how deflated are those who thought they had the pope right where they wanted him.

  • Pingback: CNN Joins The Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI & The Catholic Church « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: E. J. Dionne & Maureen Dowd Are Playing With A Dangerous Fire « The American Catholic

Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists

Monday, September 20, AD 2010

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.

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33 Responses to Of Black Magic and Bearded Marxists

  • Expecting our JournOListas to have fixed, transparent, and non-sectarian standards of conduct has turned into a utopian disposition.

  • Whatever!

    Ms. O’Donnell was not insisting that global warming is going to raise ocean levels by 20 feet; that heterosexual AIDS is a major health concern; that law-abiding Americans can’t be trusted with guns; that every nation and every culture is superior to our own; that illegal aliens and Islamic jihadists are entitled to all the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens; that providing 31 million additional people with health insurance will save us billions of dollars; that Supreme Court justices should essentially be social workers who get to wear their robes to work; that drilling for oil and digging for coal are evil endeavors; that windmills and sunbeams can supply all the energy a modern industrial nation needs; that Christian symbols should be eliminated from the national landscape; and that the redistribution of personal wealth is a moral imperative.

    She was not displaying the arrogant disdain for traditional American virtues, not to mention logic and common sense as her opponents have habitually done.

    As if anyone cared: What was the current occupier of the White House doing in high school – selling cocaine? He can’t release his Birth Certificate.

    Double standard?

  • Our chosen one in the White House did his dabbling in Christianity with the Rev. Wright for an extended time(and never remembered what was said). His personal inspiration and serious pondering came from those who prepared him for his real lifes work while with Ayers the bomb throwing Marxists and other real extremists.

  • The Coons piece looks entirely mainstream.

  • I agree with RR since “mainstream” often has a weak relationship with reality.

  • The Coons piece was done back in May RR by the internet journal Politico.

    Linked below is a google search of Coons and Bearded Marxist. With the exception of Fox, no mainstream media organ has touched it. I do not count Slate as it is internet only:

    http://www.google.com/#q=coons+bearded+marxist&hl=en&prmd=ivn&ei=Y3GXTP-QE8P2nAfQ8Y2GCA&start=0&sa=N&fp=8ce9e1c25799f52d

    Then we do a google search of O’Donnell and witchcraft and all the networks are represented.

    http://www.google.com/#q=o%27donnell+witchcraft&hl=en&prmd=ivnu&ei=_XGXTJudHo_sngfqkv3KCA&start=0&sa=N&fp=8ce9e1c25799f52d

    None of this comes as a surprise to conservatives. For us the media rooting for the other team is just a fact of life.

  • Don, I meant that I didn’t see anything in the Coons piece worth reporting. Did you see a shocking revelation that I missed?

  • Calling oneself a Bearded Marxist at 21 RR is as newsworthy as a candidate who is now a strong Christian mentioning 11 years ago on a talk show that she dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager. In either case I don’t think the items are very newsworthy or relevant to the campaign. However, one is trumpeted by the mainstream media and one is completely overlooked. I think the reaction of the mainstream media would be reversed if it were a liberal Democrat who engaged in Gaia worship in her teen years and a conservative Republican who in a college newspaper at 21 jokingly referred to himself as a “fascist reactionary” in commenting how his political views had become more conservative during his college years.

  • I thought liberals liked wiccans?

  • According to the article Coons’ political transformation came while on a trip to Kenya. So the shocking revelation is that he, too, is motivated by Kenyan anti-colonialism.

  • I’ll take O’Donnell’s simplicity over duplicity and evil wrapped up in a veneer of sophistication.

    Seriously, I think some people, even some Christians, would be deceived by Satan if he did no more than adopt the title “faculty chair” when presenting his arguments.

  • “I’ll take O’Donnell’s simplicity over duplicity and evil wrapped up in a veneer of sophistication.”

    She has not only gone on the air talking about lies and why they are not permitted, she has a history of lies for herself. Duplicity? Her life is full of them. When she went to ISI she made false claims about herself; when she left them, she made false claims about herself. She has a history of seeking after her own good over others, and using everyone for her own benefit. That is her history.

    And people would be interested, while talking about how people “hang out” with “bad people” in high school, it is not just in high school she hangs out with people who dabble in the occult (good or bad, it’s up to you and the voter; but it seems her sister continues to dabble in it). So acting like it is a thing of the past, when she continues to hang out with occultists is again another example of her ways. Now, I think it is good she stands by her sister, but in doing so, she should honestly reflect upon what that means for who she “hangs with.”

  • Btw, I find it amusing that people are saying O’Donnell shouldn’t be Senator from Delaware because she has made some “crazy” statements. Do they not remember Joe Biden?

  • Let’s apply the standard to Richard Blumenthal in Conn. Much worse by far.

  • The most hypocritical thing of all is Bill Maher calling his show “Politically Incorrect” – you couldn’t find a more politically correct show.

  • Yeah.
    My son used to say that Maher is to politically incorrect what MTV is to music.

  • HK: Try applying that “open and honest” standard to Barry Sotoero or Barrack Hussein Obam or whatever is that fake, phony fraud’s name . . .

  • Oh please Karlson. If it was some lefty calling for universal, tax-payer subsidized hugs and tickles who had once dabbled in witchcraft, you would be citing ecumenical decrees in their defense.

  • Joe

    Once again, your response shows no comprehension to what was said. I pointed out the issue is her lack of honesty. It had not to do with who she hung out with, or continues to do so, but how she explains it, and how this connects to her other misrepresentations, something one can find as a pattern in her life.

    If someone wants to be a witch, or hang out with them, fine. If one once was a witch, and no longer is one, fine. However, if one’s sister is still practicing practices she learned from wicca, and you hang out with her, it is clear, you hang out with such people. Why say you don’t? That is the question.

  • Destructive dem stooges and penurious propagandists in the media can’t devise answers for America’s problems: one-in-seven Americans living (hope and change!!) in poverty, unemployment at horrid levels, unprecedented federal and state deficits, foreclosures tragically up, and businesses driven to despair by unfunded mandates and ruinous regulations. So, they dig up high school silliness to misdirect voters’ sensibilities.

  • There’s a lot of old scuttlebutt surrounding Hillary Clinton and her association with New Agers Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston and Mary Catherine Bateson. It has been reported that part of Hillary’s therapy, to help her reach her full human potential, was “channeling,” including, under the guidance of these New Agers, directing Hillary to converse with the dead: Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi. I guess that one could say that Hillary Clinton dabbled in seances. At least Ms. O’Donnell has not/will not be running for the presidency.

  • After decades of “Christianity Light” everywhere in the West it is really not a great surprise to read that the one or the other, in younger years, has “experimented” with stupid things.

    Yes, this wouldn’t have happened 100 or 200 years ago; not because the teenagers of those times were less stupid, but because they were taughts more properly.

    What is more relevant and is not said, though, is that O’Donnell is, by all his faults, clearly Christian *now*, whilst you have a President of the United States clearly and wilfully omitting the Creator when reading from your Constitution. This, Obama did not as a teenager or as a child whilst attending a Muslim school, but just a few days ago.

    Some people never change.

    Mundabor

  • “taught” and “her” fault, of course 🙁

  • Look to her sister, and look to Christine’s checkered history. Indeed, she doesn’t want to answer anything to do with that history. “Liberals” mention it, so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me! She is looking out for herself, no one else, as her history shows.

  • so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me! She is looking out for herself, no one else, as her history shows.

    No, her history does not show that. It shows a woman who has not succeeded at constructing and maintaining a fully adult life. That is a legitimate concern, and not merely in Delaware. (It has been a legitimate concern about Patrick Kennedy throughout his entire career in politics, just not a concern throughout all sectors of the population).

  • “so it’s ok to dismiss legitimate concerns because liberals mention it. You got to be kidding me!”

    Before I kid anyone Karlson I attempt to discern if they have a sense of humor. If you have that attribute I have failed to observe it from your postings or comments.

    As stated in the post, I view Ms. O’Donnell as a flawed candidate. However, politics is the art of comparison, and compared to either Mike Castle or Chris Coons, avatars of politics as usual, she is far and away the superior candidate. She understands that we simply cannot continue to spend money we do not have and continue to sink into an economy destroying pit of government debt. That alone is enough for me to support her. That she is right on abortion and the other moral issues is icing on the cake. That you make such strenuous efforts against her is a tribute to how wedded you are to massive government and massive government spending. Those days are drawing to a close if for no better reason than we are simply going broke. O’Donnell understands this, and Coons and those who support him do not.

  • “It has been a legitimate concern about Patrick Kennedy throughout his entire career in politics…”

    That should read: “It has been a legitimate concern abouth the Kennedys throughout their careers in politics…”

  • But since we are on the topic, it is interesting to note that the Ted Kennedy, in spite of killing an aide, committing adultery, corrupting the morals of his nephews and being one of the strongest supporters of abortion and the homosexual agenda, still managed to receive an elaborate funeral from the Church.

    I suspect O’Donnell still has a lot of work to do to equal that man.

  • Seriously, I think some people, even some Christians, would be deceived by Satan if he did no more than adopt the title “faculty chair” when presenting his arguments.

    And how often he does no more than adopt the title faculty chair … expect me not to be impressed by academic titles.

    Achievements included in their usual background (as well as in some non-titled ones) involves knowing more facts than the public. There is nothing short of an obligation to personal sanctity that could give them an over all better judgement.

  • Art

    She has a history of making things up — like her law suit; she just does whatever suits her. Some, like Donald, say politics is the art of compromise (funny how we hear that now). I have no problem with compromise; what I have a problem is someone whose record is checkered with dishonesty and manipulation for the sake of her own gain ( such as when she said she had finished undergraduate studies and was in a graduate program). Of course, I find this behind much of the Tea Party — dishonest presentation of the facts so that people can get in power and use that power for their own will, with the people who are following them often not seeing the disconnect (such as the focus on the taxes for the rich as being somehow the government is seeking to tax the middle class!)

  • “Some, like Donald, say politics is the art of compromise”

    Actually I said politics is the art of comparison. Pericles, Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, etc. are not standing for election, and therefore we have to choose between those who are, write in a candidate or stay home.

  • Ok, you said comparison; fine – that was my mistake for doing a quick skim of the responses. Nonetheless, even then, comparison ends up choosing a candidate which rarely equals our own desired candidate, and end up establishing principles which we think are more important and others of secondary importance which can be compromised. Politics still takes it. And when we do comparisons, we must not confuse the rhetoric or the image, but also the ability of the people involved in relation to our principles of choice.

  • She has a history of making things up — like her law suit; she just does whatever suits her.

    I do not find the supposed contentions of her lawsuit against ISI Press (as summarized in news reports) plausible on their face, but it is very imprudent in that sort of circumstance to accuse someone of fabricating unless you’ve considerable granular knowledge of the dispute at hand.

    Her disinclination to publish her curriculum vitae is an indication that she has an unhappy history with her employers. Bad enough.

    That should read: “It has been a legitimate concern abouth the Kennedys throughout their careers in politics…”

    Some Kennedys, not others. Joseph Kennedy, four of his nine children, and several of his 28 grand-children have transgressed in manners gross and unusual against the moral law. The ways they did so have differed from person to person. Patrick Kennedy is a much more benign figure than his father or his cousin Michael. He has suffered from a generic incompetence at the art of living that is the closest to Miss O’Donnell’s manifested troubles.

6 Responses to A Professional Pirate

A Hymn Before Action

Sunday, September 19, AD 2010

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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5 Responses to A Hymn Before Action

  • Recessional

    God of our fathers, known of old–
    Lord of our far-flung battle line
    Beneath whose awful hand we hold
    Dominion over palm and pine–
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget – lest we forget!

    The tumult and the shouting dies;
    The captains and the kings depart:
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget – lest we forget!

    Far-called, our navies melt away;
    On dune and headland sinks the fire:
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
    Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
    Lest we forget – lest we forget!

    If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
    Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe– Such boasting as the Gentiles use
    Or lesser breeds without the law–
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget – lest we forget!

    For heathen heart that puts her trust
    In reeking tube and iron shard–
    All valiant dust that builds on dust,
    And guarding, calls not Thee to guard–
    For frantic boast and foolish word,
    Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!

  • Donald

    For those who kneel beside us
    At altars not Thine own,
    Who lack the lights that guide us,
    Lord, let their faith atone!

    If wrong we did to call them,
    By honour bound they came;
    Let not Thy Wrath befall them,
    But deal to us the blame.

    A very good point on the first part of the stanza. I always read this part of the stanza to refer to the enemy, if we going to war unjustly give them the victory.

  • 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.

    Or by way of confessing masonic leanings?

  • “Or by way of confessing masonic leanings?”

    Kipling never made any secret of his membership in the masons. Several of his stories have masonic membership as a plot element, including one of my favorites, The Man Who Would Be King.

  • Pingback: His Boy Jack « The American Catholic

Obama Omits Creator From The Preamble of The Declaration of Independence

Saturday, September 18, AD 2010

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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9 Responses to Obama Omits Creator From The Preamble of The Declaration of Independence

  • Good find, Tito. I was just talking about this on another thread!

  • ALL ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.

  • Of course the government is the purveyor of our human rights! It is painfully obvious that without the government, we wouldn’t exist!

  • Sheesh – he looked possessed

  • ALL ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.

    While Barack Hussein Obama makes use of all the power of the White House to protect some Qurans of being burned by the brave preacher Terry Jones, his defense department burns hundreds of Bibles.

    “””Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan

    (CNN) — Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.

    The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.

    Troops at posts in war zones are required to burn their trash, Wright said.”””

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/20/us.military.bibles.burned/index.html

  • You’ve got to admit this creature knows how to sell his product (progressive socialism) to those who are short on history and long on entitlements or who have little appreciation for American sacrifices for freedom around the world but will offer their social integrity and personal allegiance to anyone promising a piece of the American pie.

  • At least this proves he is not Muslim. Perhaps instead of having Billy Graham as a spiritual advisor he uses Dawkins.

  • Give him a break Tito! It was probably the first time he read the Declaration and he thought “endowed by their Creator” had to be inserted by some Tea Party wacko intent on making him look foolish!

  • Why are people so surprised that non-christians don’t comply with a love for God? You will know a tree by it’s fruit. Isn’t that what He told us? Christians are not Christians because they chose to say they are Christians. Christians are Christians because God has made them His own. Though I will admit there are millions who think they can count themselves as part of God’s people by doing or saying something “special”.

    By His Grace.

Spartacus

Saturday, September 18, AD 2010

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.

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5 Responses to Spartacus

  • Well said. Thank you!

    And there are no computer graphics. I do wish films made an up-front revelation of how much golly-gee-whiz electronic cartooning is used to obscure and thus ruin the plot, settings, and characterizatons. And color would be nice, too. The world is in color. What is with the current fashion of filming in murky blue or gree monotones? Dimming the lights ain’t art.

  • It is not historical inaccuracy. It is thinly disguised communist propaganda. Howard Fast, Dalton Trumbo … ’nuff said.

  • I saw the movie in 1961 when I was a callow youth of 19. I didn’t get any communist connection – political/ philosophical matters were furthest from my mind then.
    I saw it only a few years after my school days of Latin and Roman history, so was it was almost topical, and I was quite engrossed in it, and loved it.

  • The little guy going up against the corrupt rich and powerful is not the intellectual property of the communists -there is a reason this theme has universal appeal – a great film…

  • Peter Ustinov was worth his considerable weight in gold in this film. Every moment he was on screen was pure perfection. It’s often said that you can judge a film by its villain.. and how much better can you get than Laurence “I prefer both snails AND oysters” Olivier??

The Third Rail of the Catholic Blogosphere

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

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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17 Responses to The Third Rail of the Catholic Blogosphere

  • Looks like whoever writes the dress code in Rome agrees. 🙂

  • Note that the author of the piece that triggered this inanity alleges that _he_ wears skirts, a rather peculiar style for most men in most places these days. In line with usual journalistic practice, it might be worth checking out the nature of the source before paying any attention to his words.

  • Elaine, the author of this post, is most definitely not a man.

  • I read the linked Catholicity article.

    Does the bloke who wrote it really a Muslim – perhaps of the Taliban persuasion?
    I found his points 1,2,4,5,6 & 8 very extreme.

  • Don, some of the commenters on Simcha Fisher’s blog seemed to know the guy by reputation at least–it seems there is at least anecdotal evidence that he’s a rad trad Catholic of extremely Puritanical stripe (also, a general jerk and hypocrite on some matters other than Apantscalypse 2010.) I’ve often reflected that political diametric opposites actually resemble each other; perhaps the same can be said of religious diametric opposites.

    And thanks for providing me the opportunity to work “Apantscalypse” into this thread! “Legmageddon” also came to mind, but it just doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely.

  • The consensus seems to be that the author of the original Catholicity article — the “rad trad Catholic of extremely Puritanical stripe” — was Bud McFarlane. However, I prefer not to get into a debate about HIS character. I was simply rather struck by the fact that hundreds of people would be so concerned about the viewpoint of one “rad trad Catholic”.

    At least the whole affair has inspired some creativity — sola skitura, Apantscalypse, Legmageddon 🙂

  • As a practicing (and conservative) Catholic, aged 26, I confess to be completely astonished by this controversey.

    I can’t be considered an orthodox Catholic, but I don’t know what the controversey really is with jeans and pants.

    But those I do know who are orthodox Catholics do not seem engaged in this controversey either. I see them wearing the same things everyone else is — with a bit more modesty in terms of shorts, of course.

    I could just be used to current dress, however. But between wearing pants and wearing a skirt — I am completely befuddled.

  • I (a man) like the idea of women wearing dresses and skirts; but I find the common reasoning — that it’s less distracting to men — unconvincing. A pair of slacks covers at least as much as a skirt, and as long as they aren’t tight, they don’t show off any physical attributes. On the other hand, a woman in a dress or skirt does look more feminine, and isn’t femininity in itself distracting for men — especially when it’s rare, as these days?

    I find the same thing to be true about veiling. Some say women should veil to hide their distractingly attractive hair from men. But the first time I went to a Latin Mass, the first person I met was a young woman wearing a long veil, and I thought, “Wow, she’s gorgeous.” Meeting her later in civvies, I realized she was pretty enough, but not as stunning as she had been in dress and veil.

    If women should wear dresses and skirts (and veils), I think it has to be because it makes them look and feel more feminine, not because it reduces temptation for men. If that were the goal, they should all wear baggy sweats — and not wash them very often.

  • “If that (reducing temptation for men) were the goal, they should all wear baggy sweats — and not wash them very often.”

    LOL Aaron! I know some of the commenters on the other blogs had a sneaking suspicion that the men who are most insistent upon women always wearing dresses and wearing veils to Mass were not really interested in minimizing “distraction” — just the opposite, they wanted prettier looking women TO distract them!

    Hmmm, maybe I could start a counter-movement of women who wear baggy sweats, don’t do laundry or wash their hair too often, and eat lots of chocolate and potato chips because they are simply trying to protect men from temptations against chastity 😉

  • To all, there is an interesting website dealing with the whole issue of Catholic modesty: http://www.catholicmodesty.com/

  • As a man, maliciously forced into celibacy, I am quite torn about this. I do not want the temptation but as a man I remain attracted to women and enjoy their beauty. I would not want to be a near occasion for sin for anyone
    and I certainly do not want to place myself in a position where temptation would be unlikely to be resisted.

    So its my tough luck. I am glad to be old enough to deal with my circumstances but I have sympathy for those who find the temptation a great burden. I resent priests who moan about celibacy, when they had a choice. I wish they would shut up, grow up and understand others are forced, by the policies of the Church, to live the life they chose. I am not a fan of a lot of priests. But that is a diferent axe to grind.

  • I think there might be a generational and sexual divide on this question. I have no problems whatsoever with pants (my wife wears them quite frequently and I have no objections-though quite frankly she’d laugh at me if I did). Men of my generation have been raised in a pornographic culture-by the internet and media, men are trained to automatically objectify women, and it’s quite a struggle to turn that habit off (though it can be done, through grace). It’s difficult for women or men who grew up without the Internet to quite comprehend this. It seems to me that standards of modesty might need to be increased or emphasized more to counter this. That said, Elaine’s suggestions for modesty seem perfectly reasonable to me, so I guess I’m simply advocating for women to be conscious in how difficult a struggle it is for many men of my generation.

    Now, I might argue that Padre Pio was correct, in that a skirt or dress in his culture and ours is dressier and thus more appropriate for the serious occasions of Mass & Confession. However, I’m a guy who wears suits to Mass, so I tend to be a little stricter than the norms on such issues.

  • My saintly grandmother referred to proper, modest attire as “dressing with charity.” As in, don’t frighten children, startle women, or cause men to commit an instantaneous mortal sin. I think I read something once in the FSSP newsletter about women wearing dresses (there may have been a lightly implied “or else”), but otherwise I’ve never encountered the topic off these internets. I’m desperately mildly curious to know how women keep warm in skirts during northern winters. And how kilts fit into the overall picture. And if manufacturers should take some responsibility, and simply say no to micro-miniskirts, superscooped halter tops, and mankinis.

  • Thanks for the moderation and common sense you express on this issue.

    I’m amazed at the vitriol and hatred directed at those who suggest that pants might not be the optimally modest dress for women in many situations.

    It does, I think, underscore a division between the more liberal folks who have imbued the spirit of the post-conciliar age, in which such questions are prima facie indicators of incurable fussiness and puritanism, and those who hearken back to a time, only 40 years ago, when Catholics routinely asked these questions about the parameters of modesty. Perhaps, with traditional Catholicism on the upswing, these types of issues are bound to surface, as the the younger set, or converts perhaps, unaware that these issues are even important, discover that yes, Catholics think it worthwhile to figure out what’s modest, what’s not, and seek for perfection, rather than for whatever fashion or habit urge us to accept.

  • I must admit that as a woman, I find myself confused. Dresses seem far more alluring (more feminine) than pants are. I think of pants as practical – business suits, jeans. Assuming the pants aren’t too tight, I would think that they are even more modest than dresses/skirts. I’ll admit I’ve never given this much consideration, but this is the exact opposite of what I would have expected from a modesty standpoint.

  • “My saintly grandmother referred to proper, modest attire as ‘dressing with charity.'”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself Suz. Actually the virtue of modesty isn’t ONLY about avoiding occasions of lust; it also means avoiding tempting others to envy or making them feel embarrassed or out of place. Someone who flaunts their ability to afford and wear designer clothing, for example, in front of people who are not as affluent, may also be guilty of immodesty even if they are completely covered from neck to toe and not a flash of skin is showing.