Jihadists, Truth and Father Raymond J. de Souza

Friday, November 12, AD 2010

The appalling murder of dozens of Christians at Our Lady of Deliverance Cathedral by Al Qaeda on October 31, gives us another opportunity to look into the minds of these butchers.

Al Qaeda released a statement on the Internet claiming the attack.

“Upon guidance issued by the Ministry of War in the Islamic State of Iraq in support for our downtrodden Muslim sisters that are held captive in the Muslim land of Egypt and after accurate planning and selection, an angry group of righteous jihadists attacked a filthy den of polytheism,” according to the statement, which was obtained by The Long War Journal. “This den has been frequently used by the Christians of Iraq to fight Islam and support those who are fighting it. With the grace of God, the group was able to hold captive all those in the den and take over all its entrances.”

Based on the statement, it appears that al Qaeda in Iraq had hoped to hold the Christians in Baghdad hostage for at least two days, as a deadline for “the release” of Egyptian women supposedly being held in Coptic churches in Egypt was issued.

“The mujahidin in the Islamic State of Iraq give Egypt’s Christian and belligerent Church as well as its chief of infidelity a 48-hour ultimatum to disclose the status of our sisters in religion, who are held captive in Egypt’s monasteries of infidelity and churches of polytheism,” al Qaeda demanded. “The mujahidin further demand the release of all of them together with an announcement of the release via a media outlet that the mujahidin can access within the deadline.”

Al Qaeda said that if the demands were not met, “the lions of monotheism [al Qaeda’s fighters], who wore their explosive belts, will not hesitate to kill the militant Iraqi Christian captives.”

Al Qaeda in Iraq also threatened to carry out attacks against Christian churches across the globe.

“Afterwards, various attacks will be launched against them inside and outside this country, in which their lands will be destroyed, their strength will be undermined, and they will be afflicted by the humiliation that God ordained for them,” al Qaeda said.

The jihadists want us dead because we are Christians.  They have absolutely no compunction about slaying Muslims who oppose them, and in their eyes Christians are fit only to be killed or to be slaves.  The alleged reasons given by Al Qaeda for the attack on the Cathedral are completely delusional and demonstrate yet again that to them the murder of Christians is, in itself, a positive good.

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4 Responses to Jihadists, Truth and Father Raymond J. de Souza

  • From “Gates of Vienna” blog:


    “Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff Versus the State of Denial

    “When Barack Obama spoke in Mumbai about “the different meanings” of jihad, he set up us up again for the Big Lie: ‘I think,’ the 44th president said, sounding much like the 43rd president, ‘all of us recognize that this great religion in the hands of a few extremists has been distorted to justify violence toward innocent people that is never justified.’”

    “All — all — of the sacred books and schools of Islam say differently. Every, single one. The fact is — not the fantasy — there is no distortion of Islamic texts required to justify the violence of jihad from Mumbai to Tel Aviv to New York City to Bali to Madrid and beyond.

    “But we, dhimmi-citizens of an Islamizing world, are not supposed to notice the links between the violence and the faith, the faith and the law, the law and the violence — and certainly not say so out loud. Most people don’t. Increasingly, this state of denial is enforced by actual states of denial – the most recent example being Austria, which, in a trial on Nov. 23, will attempt to use “hate speech” laws to send Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff to prison for as long as three years for statements about Islam very similar to those I’ve just written.”

  • “Vengeance is mine says the Lord.” So Scripture teaches us, and so it must be for us, leaving vengeance to the Lord, and imploring the grace of reconciliation and mercy. But let us not blanch from raising our voices to the Lord . . . to bring down His wrath upon their heads, to exact upon them a terrifying price in full measure for their grievous sins.

    Is he saying that one must pray for God to show mercy and wrath at the same time?

  • Pingback: Jihadists, Truth and Father Raymond J. de Souza : The American Catholic « Deacon John's Space
  • I guess what he is saying is that on a personal level, we are to be merciful, leaving justice to God, and imploring God’s justice be swift.

    That’s the best I can figure it. It does seem a bit incongruous, but I can certainly understand and sympathize with the sentiments.

CS Lewis Explains Why We Honor Veterans

Thursday, November 11, AD 2010


When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.  Inscription on the memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Division at Kohima.

We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, God permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame.  CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters

Sometimes simple questions can help illuminate great truths.   Why do we honor veterans? 

 Today is Veterans Day.  Ironically, many veterans will be working today as the “holiday” is mostly one solely for government workers, and most veterans in the private sector will be on the job today.  Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day and was observed to recall the ending of that conflict on November 11, 1918 and to honor the American veterans who served in it.  After World War II, veterans of World War I, many of whom had sons who served in World War II, spearheaded a move to change the name to Veterans Day to honor all Veterans.   Legislation changing the name of the holiday was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower on May 26, 1954.  All well and good, but why do we set this day aside to honor those who have served in the military?

One veteran of World War I, CS Lewis, perhaps can help us understand why we honor veterans.  Lewis served on the Western Front as a Second Lieutenant in 1917-1918 until he was  wounded on April 15, 1918.  Lewis, the future Oxford Don, was an unlikely soldier and he wrote about his experiences in the War with humorous self-deprecation.  However, he had immense respect for those he served with, especially the enlisted men under his command, for their good humor and courage under the most appalling circumstances.  His war experiences had a vast impact on Lewis, as can be seen in his Screwtape letters, where Lewis writes about war.

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8 Responses to CS Lewis Explains Why We Honor Veterans

  • “Greet them ever with grateful hearts.” Chapter Heading, The Doughboys, Lawrence Stallings.

    In the book is a narrative of the famous WWI “Lost Battalion.” A US Infantry attacking unit that outran its flanks and was surrounded. The German commander, in asking them to surrender stated, “We envy you.”

    Enough said.

    My son is US Army Infantry, airborne ranger, who served 2009 in AfghanIstan. He is going back in May. Some of the troops then were on their third deployments.

    His best friend served in Iraq with the Marines.

    These are the finest we breed.

    Where do we find such men? I envy THEM.

    Our retired monsegnieur pastor prays for the veterans and military at every Mass, all year. Last Sunday, one of the older vets thanked him. He said, “How could I not?”

    Bless them all.

  • This is a beautiful post Donald. Thank you.

  • Thank you David.

  • What’s with the creepy Civil War video featuring some guy celebrating the heroism of Confederate soldiers? Practically ruins the article for me. Granted, I’m prejudiced on this point, but I can’t help it. Those nasty, murderous traitors were fighting for the right to buy and sell my ancestors like cattle. Thank God they lost. And kindly don’t hold them up to me as noble heroes. I’d as soon sing the praises of the SS. And yes, I know they weren’t quite as bad as the SS. But the difference is smaller than you might think.

  • The scene Jesme is from the movie Gettysburg. The actor is Richard Jordan who portrays Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead who died gallantly leading his men during Pickett’s charge.


    The scene is given additional poignancy in that the actor Richard Jordan was dying of brain cancer at the time he appeared in the film.

    The men who fought for the Confederacy did not invent negro slavery. It was an institution that was over 250 years old in what would become the United States by the time of the Civil War.

    What to do about slavery seems simple to us now. It did not appear so to most people at the time as demonstrated by this statement from Abraham Lincoln in 1854:

    This declared indifference, but, as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I cannot but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world; enables the enemies of free institutions with plausibility to taunt us as hypocrites; causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity; and especially because it forces so many good men among ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty, criticizing the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.

    Before proceeding, let me say that I think I have no prejudice against the Southern people. They are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist among them, they would not introduce it. If it did now exist among us, we should not instantly give it up. This I believe of the masses, North and South. Doubtless there are individuals on both sides who would not hold slaves under any circumstances, and others who would gladly introduce slavery anew if it were out of existence. We know that some Southern men do free their slaves, go North and become tip-top Abolitionists, while some Northern ones go South and become most cruel slave masters.

    When Southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do as to the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves and send them to Liberia, to their own native land. But a moment’s reflection would convince me that whatever of high hope (as I think there is) there may be in this in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed there in a day, they would all perish in the next ten days, and there are not surplus shipping and surplus money enough to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think I would not hold one in slavery, at any rate; yet the point is not clear enough for me to denounce people upon.

    What next? Free them and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this, and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white peoples will not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and sound judgment is not the sole question, if, indeed, it is any part of it. A universal feeling, whether well- or ill-founded, cannot be safely disregarded. We cannot, then, make them equals. It does seem to me that systems of gradual emancipation might be adopted; but for their tardiness in this, I will not undertake to judge our brethren of the South.

    When they remind us of their constitutional rights, I acknowledge them not grudgingly but fully and fairly; and I would give them any legislation for the reclaiming of their fugitives which should not, in its stringency, be more likely to carry a free man into slavery than our ordinary criminal laws are to hang an innocent one.”

    It was the inability of both the North and the South to remove the stain of slavery peacefully from the land that led to the Civil War. Lincoln viewed the war as the punishment of God for this and I agree with him:

    “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope–fervently do we pray–that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.”

    The men who fought in the ranks of the Confederacy were not Nazis. They were men fighting for the freedom of their people to rule themselves. Tragically this included the right to continue the centuries old institution of black slavery. It took the worst war in our history to end that institution and to preserve the Union and it is a very good thing in my mind that the Confederacy lost. However, that fact does not negate that most Confederates fought gallantly for a cause they thought right, just as did their Union opponents, which of course includes their black Union opponents.

    Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the Union officer featured in the first video clip understood this. He was an ardent foe of both slavery and secession, but he had great respect for the valor of the Confederates he fought. He was chosen to oversee the Confederates as they marched out to surrender at Appomatox. As the Confederates passed by, Chamberlain ordered a salute to them by the Union troops. He explained why he did this:

    “I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. Well aware of the responsibility assumed, and of the criticisms that would follow, as the sequel proved, nothing of that kind could move me in the least. The act could be defended, if needful, by the suggestion that such a salute was not to the cause for which the flag of the Confederacy stood, but to its going down before the flag of the Union. My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;–was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?”



    The great lesson of the Civil War is that we are one people, North and South, black and white, and when I study that period in our history I always attempt to remember that fact.

  • Donald, thank you for those beautiful words. A better explanation of the complexity of Confederate character and motivations I’ve never read.

  • Thank you Lori! My heart is always with the boys in blue, but I seek to do justice to my fellow countrymen who bravely wore the gray.

Happy 235th Birthday to the Corps

Wednesday, November 10, AD 2010

On November 10, 1775 the Continental Congress passed this resolution authored by John Adams:

“Resolved, That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors, and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to office, or enlisted into said battalions but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve with advantage by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present War with Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by names of First and Second Battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered as part of the number which the Continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.”

The Marines have fought in all our wars and by their conduct have lived up to this description of the Corps:

“No better friend, no worse enemy.”

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2 Responses to Happy 235th Birthday to the Corps

Jim DeMint Speaks the Truth

Wednesday, November 10, AD 2010

When a politician says something that’s this on the money, one wonders if there is a “but” in there to soften the message.  Not with Jim DeMint:

You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.

Naturally this bothers AllahPundit and some of the other shrieking libertarians at Hot Air, but DeMint is of course right. 

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7 Responses to Jim DeMint Speaks the Truth

  • Another point – one I think I made to the Cranky Conservative a while ago – is that without social conservatism, fiscal conservatism doesn’t work. The more unstable the family structure is, the bigger the safety net has to be. Even if Schwarzenegger had been the budget hawk he claimed (or intended) to be, the state has to spend a fortune on prisons and social aid. Why? Because a high percentage of people live in poverty. Why? Because social liberalism has gutted the traditional family and neighborhood structures.

  • I agree with Pinky. A return to virtue would go a long way toward alleviating many of the societal deficiencies on which the government feels the need to expend $$$ trillions. Of course, many liberals are libertines and often are morally bankrupt (want all things good except themselves; “not that there’s anything wrong with that”) and may be motivated by the desire to solidify their (dependent/desperate) voting bases . . .

    Still the dilemma: How to persuade the masses to turn away from the seven deadly sins?

    I ought to be able to ascribe from whom I obtained the following.

    Replace pride with humility
    Replace greed with generosity
    Replace envy with love
    Replace anger with kindness
    Replace lust with self-control
    Replace gluttony with temperance
    Replace sloth with zeal

  • Washington Examiner columnist (and Catholic conservative) Timothy Carney discussed this with Matt Welch of Reason a while back on Bloggingheads. He argues that the belief in limited government and in man’s fallen nature have similar philosophical roots.

  • I actually think you can be fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative. Those people are called well Libertarians (Yes I know there is among some of them a small pro-life and pro-family wing)

    These creatures exist in great numbers. The problem is they can’t get build a political coalition to get elected

  • I think it would be more precise to say that there is no necessary logical contradiction between the components of the world view of Gov. Whitman or Gov. Schwarzeneggar, but that the dynamics of political life tend to render it a sort of unstable equilibrium among working politicians (Gov. Schwarzeneggar and, to the extent you might credit him with principles, Gov. Pataki) and on occasion among opinion-mongers as well (David Frum).

  • In theory you can support the ideas of small government and social liberalism at the same time. As a practical matter, they can’t exist simultaneously though.

    It’s like supporting demilitarization and peace. Sounds great. But if the military capability is necessary to ensure peace, then you can’t have both together. Politics involves a lot of brutal trade-offs. We want to have the best colleges in the world, and all our kids to be able to graduate from them. We want to have universal health care with declining costs. We want unemployment benefits that last forever, with no incentive against seeking employment.

    Here’s my thinking. Anything that destabilizes families or neighborhoods removes the traditional local support system. This will result in widespread poverty, which can only be mitigated by the traditional local support system being reinstituted, or the creation of a new larger support system.

  • Paul,

    I only noticed this now, hence this comment appearing somewhat late.

    It is unfortunate that a lot of libertarians do have this “irrational fear.”

    They should read Edward Feser:


New Blogsite: Gulf Coast Catholic

Wednesday, November 10, AD 2010

A blogsite dedicated to all things Catholic in Houston

Gulf Coast Catholic is a blogsite that will be serving the Catholics of the the great Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.  A group of writers got together over a year ago and have been working and planning together to get this site up and running.  I am their Chief Editor and we will be writing on activities, events, apostolates, and other things Catholic that are occurring in Houston area.

We hope you all take a look at it give us some feedback on this new endeavor.

There will be a slight emphasis towards young adult Catholics, but like anything Catholic, there is always something for everyone.

We will be serving the laity and clergy of the Gulf Coast region in establishing a strong, vibrant, and orthodox fellowship among Catholics!

For the Gulf Coast Catholic link click here.

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5 Responses to New Blogsite: Gulf Coast Catholic

  • Nice nod to the old Houston Gamblers logo, those were the days. Looking forward to your new blogsite for Houston area Catholics.

  • Patrick,

    You are my man!

    Yes, I took the old (and hopefully public domain) Houston Gamblers logo and turned it into the official logo of Gulf Coast Catholic.

    I am still working on the logo, I am going to remove the star and place a cross in its place when I have the time.

  • Excellent site! I will be adding your site to my blogroll.

  • I was just about to write that this looks like a trademark infringement of the Houston Gamblers logo.


    By the way, the leading rusher in Gamblers history is from my hometown of Van, TX – Todd Fowler. His dad was the head football coach of the fighting Van Vandals, and I have to say that I was pretty honored that the jersey number Coach Fowler gave me to wear was Todd’s #46.

  • Teresa,



    I’ve changed the color scheme around for the old Gamblers logo. I’ll be replacing the star with a cross sometime in the future.

    And great job in getting the number to wear, especially from his own father!

You May Be Dead!

Wednesday, November 10, AD 2010

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  Actually this isn’t too much wilder than various other scams my elderly clients have brought to my attention over the years.  One scammer wanted one of my clients to defray the costs for an expedition to reopen the lost King Solomon diamond mines in Kukuanaland, in exchange for 25% of the profit from the mines for ten years.  I explained to my client that I was impressed that the scammer had read H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, or at least seen one of the film adaptations, but I was unimpressed that he had mispelled Africa.

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5 Responses to You May Be Dead!

  • Pingback: You May Be Dead! : The American Catholic « Deacon John's Space
  • As a disclaimer, I understand we should pray that all repent and make it to Heaven. Having said that, there should be a special extra miserable place in Hell for those who prey on senior citizens and others not able to defend themselves.

  • Amen Largebill!

  • Really appreciate your recommendation for the onion and then when I go there, up front and right in the face, unavoidable when site clicks into view, is a topless bimbo. Some news service, some recommendation, really impressed by your catholic counter-cultural warfare. Don’t expect me back and will notify my friends what you traffic in.

  • Gee ddent, you must be confusing me with someone that has any control over what the Onion posts on its website. I post material from all over the net to make the points, humorous and otherwise, that I wish to make on this site. I do not thereby endorse any website that I took the material from. If that explanation isn’t satisfactory, we shall struggle on somehow without your readership.

November 9, 1989

Tuesday, November 9, AD 2010

Twenty-one years ago today my wife and I arrived home from buying software for our Commodore 64  (Yeah, it is that long ago.) and watched stunned after we turned on the tv as we saw East Germans dancing on top of the Berlin War, tearing into it with sledge hammers.   It is hard to convey to people who did not live through the Cold War how wonderful a sight this was.  Most people at the time thought the Cold War was a permanent state of things.  Not Ronald Wilson Reagan.  He knew that Communism would end up on the losing side of history and throughout his career strove to bring that day ever closer.  His becoming President so soon after John Paul II became Pope set the stage for the magnificent decade of the Eighties when Communism passed from being a deadly threat to the globe to a belief held only by a handful of benighted tyrannical regimes around the world, and crazed American professors.  In most of his movies, the good guys won in the end, and Reagan helped give us a very happy ending to a menace that started in 1917 and died in 1989. 

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12 Responses to November 9, 1989

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  • My close friend’s son-in-law was in Berlin at the time on his OE, and he collected 2 small rocks from the wall, which he considers priceless souvenirs.

  • I have a piece also Don, and I agree that such bits of the wall are priceless reminders that tyranny can be defeated.

  • Small correction – the USSR fell on December 25, 1991, I believe.

  • A good point Mark, but I think 1989 was the decisive year for the ending of Communist regimes in Europe. 1789 ushered in the era of totalitarian regimes in Europe and 1989 ushered them out. God has an exquisite sense of humor.

  • My daughter will remember the date, and tell folks about it, because she was born on the 20th anniversary.

    Can’t ask for a better start!

  • Indeed Foxfier, and happy birthday to your daughter!

  • Ahhh I remember being in 6th grade and winning 1st place ribbons and a gold medal for all the physical fitness tests our school went through. I was the fastest girl runner in the whole school. But what I remembered the most, and cherished, was my physical fitness award signed by none other than the greatest president of my time, Ronald Reagan. It was great to be a kid back then. So many hopes and dreams. I’m sad to say my kids don’t have those same hopes and dreams of the America today. But , I do believe that the hope we all still have is eternal life after death. So know matter how bad it gets here in this life we always have the after life to look forward to and if that’s the only hope I can encourage my kids with then I’m one up! 🙂

  • Happy birthday to your daughter, Foxfier. My eight year old daughter was born on D-Day. I affectionately call her my D-Day girl and her birthdays serve as an opportunity to recall that great and horrible day. Last birthday when I asked “And what is D-Day again”, she replied in one of those questioning tones, “when we won the war.” I replied, “No no no. It was when the Allied Powers assaulted Fortress Europe at the rocky beaches of Normandy to begin the long drawn out process of wresting the continent free from the dark power of the National Socialism.” Oh what fun it was to say that!

  • “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall” is the perfect ante-upper to “Ich bin ein Berliner,” in my opinion.

  • “An OCED (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) study of 1985 carefully examined the performance of the advanced capitalist economies and concluded… [that] Sweden, with one of the most generous welfare states, outperformed Ronald Reagan’s America at a time when he was cutting programs… As the Wall Street Journal editor computed those Reagan percentages [of his public spending ratio], they were over 23 percent of the GNP and therefore higher than at the end of the Carter presidency, which Reagan himself had excoriated for its big spending… ” – Michael Harrington’s Socialism – Past & Future

1946, 1994, 2010 => 1948, 1996, 2012?

Tuesday, November 9, AD 2010

Picture it: Upper East Side of Manhattan, November 9, 1994.  There is a buzz throughout the halls of Regis High School, and it’s not just because today is student exchange day and there will actually be girls in our school.  The previous night the Republicans had won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, and my friends and I – little Republicans in training that we all were – were quite joyous.

First period was US History, and our teacher knows that I am certainly excited about the election.  So he writes on the board the following:


His point?  As was the case in 1946, the Republican victory would be short-lived.  Republican gains in 1946 were wiped out – and then some – in 1948.  On top of that, Harry Truman was re-elected.  History would repeat itself.

I scoffed at this ridiculous notion.  There was certainly no way that Slick Willy Clinton could possibly earn a second term as US President.  I had been counting the days to his 1996 electoral humiliation since roughly November 7, 1992.  Surely this was the first stage on the road to that inevitable defeat.

Fast forward to November 5, 1996.  Needless to say I was as disappointed on that night as all us Regians were at the end of that November day in senior year. (I mean come on, we’re talking about a bunch of nerdy kids from an all boys school.  It took most of us a full year of college before we could properly talk to members of the opposite sex.)  Mr. Anselme was right.

But not entirely.  Though Bill Clinton had indeed won re-election, the election was not a total repeat of 1948.  The Republicans lost a few seats, but in the end they retained control of both houses of Congress – something they had not done in successive cycles since the Hoover administration.

History is informative, and we certainly should be aware of the lessons of elections past when we think about what will happen down the line.  But we should refrain from assuming that events will necessarily repeat themselves.

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2 Responses to 1946, 1994, 2010 => 1948, 1996, 2012?

  • “Some may disagree with me on this score, but Obama does not have the same ability as Bill Clinton to play Jedi mind tricks with centrist voters.”

    I view President Bubba as probably the worst man to sit in the White House, and one of the best politicians. Clinton also loved politics and campaigning. Obama strikes me as bored with politics now and bored with being President. It is going to be an interesting two years.

  • Clinton also had another major advantage over Obama:

    As a governor, he had to know how to work the legislature. I assume that Arkansas’ legislature was heavily Democrat, but a much more conservative Democrat than the kind that Obama hangs around with.

    Also, Clinton was the head of the National Governors’ Assocation.

    In both of these capacities, he had to learn how to appeal to a broader spectrum, and how to triangulate when necessary.

    Excluding the 2008 Presidential election, Obama has not had to do that kind of work. In the ’08 election, Obama benefited from Bush fatigue and the novelty of electing a minority. Surely, his oratory and charisma were at a peak; but, rather than his skills causing the buoyancy, it was the popular mood that elevated him.

    Obama cannot move to the middle the way that Clinton did.

    The only thing that can save his re-election is if the economy turns around. And, then, maybe not.

TAC College Rankings: Week 10

Tuesday, November 9, AD 2010

This post is dedicated to my beautiful wife Shannon. On Tuesday, she gave birth to our son, Benedict Michael. Do you know where she wanted me on Saturday? In Death Valley, watching LSU end Alabama’s dreams of a national title. It need not be said that I love my wife, very, very, very, very much.

With LSU’s glorious victory and TCU’s pasting of Utah in Salt Lake, the national title race has narrowed down considerably. The Big 12, with Oklahoma’s loss to the Aggies and the near loss by the Cornhuskers to freaking Iowa St., will almost certainly not send a team to the BCS title game. I imagine the same will also be true for the Big 10, though I suspect Ohio St. has the best chance of proving me wrong there. Still, the Big 10 will likely get 2 BCS bids, which is not too shabby.

To me, there are 5 teams in contention: Oregon, Auburn, TCU and Boise being the obvious, with LSU still an outside shots. For LSU, they’d need 2 out of the 3 of the Ducks, WarPlainsTigersEagleMen, or Horned Frogs to lose. I don’t think LSU needs Boise to lose. Before you call me a homer, look at the computer rankings. LSU is already above Boise in the computers and we have an opportunity to improve that ranking when we play Arkansas. The human polls may revolt against LSU if it gets close (b/c they really don’t like the idea of LSU playing for the title) but there are plausible scenarios where LSU makes it in-even if LSU doesn’t win the SEC. Of course, if LSU jumps Boise without winning the SEC, there will be a riot. While I expect Oregon to remain undefeated, the other three undefeated have at least one more test left. Auburn, a team weak against the pass, has to face AJ Green and Julio Jones (as well as possible Florida). Boise still has Nevada, and TCU has to avoid the let-down game against a San Diego St. that’s 7-2 and getting some votes in the polls. It ain’t over yet, and it’s so much fun!

This would all be simpler if the NCAA did its job and declared Cam Newton ineligible. Seriously, do you think he decided to not play for Dan Mullen b/c he was impressed with Gene Chizik’s record at Iowa St.? The whole thing stinks, and someone is going to get busted for it. It would be a tragedy if the NCAA waited to finish this investigation until it’s too late (i.e. after the SEC title game).

When on earth did the Big 10 decide to play like the PAC-10? I’m looking at you, Michigan & Illinois. At least the Big 10 has a bunch of bowl eligible teams. Speaking of teams that may not get into bowls, what happened to Texas? We knew it’d be a down year, but losses to Baylor, Iowa St. & Kansas St? At least Texas fans can watch their beloved Cow… oh. Same goes to Notre Dame. They have to win 2 out of 3 against the Utes, USC, and Army. While I’ll be rooting for them against the Utes and USC (yeah, this is the time of year where I root solely to hurt other teams in front of LSU. You do it too), if they don’t get in one perhaps may start considering an Obama curse. Since Notre Dame invited Obama, they haven’t been to a bowl.

Important games of the week:

San Diego St. v. TCU, Georgia v. Auburn, VT v. UNC, South Carolina v. Florida,

I may want to explain the VT v. UNC game. Boise’s big win is against VT; LSU has a win over UNC. If UNC beats VT, VT might fall from the rankings and UNC get in. While the humans may not care, the computers will, and LSU will get even stronger in the computers. Furthermore, a VT team with 3 losses, including the one to James Madison, isn’t going to motivate voters to support Boise. On the other hand, a VT team that goes through the ACC undefeated with only another loss that’s almost excusable (you’re an idiot scheduling a Sat. game after a Mon night game, even if it is James Madison) is a very strong win. Combined with wins against Nevada, Boise would have a very strong case to make it in if people start losing ahead of them.

Alright, let’s get to the rankings!

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19 Responses to TAC College Rankings: Week 10

  • I’m wondering if we’re about to see a shift in the balance of power in Texas. Aggies ranked. t.u. not. It was 15 years ago they ended our home field winning streak. And thus began our slide into mediocrity (at best). Is the balance shifting? I guess we’ll see.

    I was particularly impressed by the three goal line stands the Aggies had against the Sooners. That was great stuff. Ryan Tannehill… thank you very much.

  • Oh, and I want the games against Okie Lite and Mizzou back.

  • Important games of the week:

    Joe Pa going for win # 400 in the Horseshoe against the Buckeyes.

  • Oh, and my prediction is that Bama is going to shake things up in a couple of weeks by beating Auburn.

    While that will help LSU’s chances, it won’t be enough unless there’s a combination of losses from two of the other three teams ahead of them: Oregon, TCU, and Boise State.

  • Never mind. I guess Joe Pa won 400 this past weekend. For some reason I thought that was win # 399.

  • First off: Congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your son. May God continue to bless you.

    About football: excellent commentary. I just want to gloat (a little). I picked the LSU win last week in the combox of the Week 9 rankings. Most people (certainly most outside Louisiana) thought ‘Bama was going to trounce the Tigers.

    Here’s another prediction: Cam Newton’s Heisman chances are done, even if an investigation clears him. No way voters are going to take a chance for a a Bush repeat.

    I really hope the NCAA finishes up the investigation in time for LSU to play in the SEC Championship. If the Tigers can get in the title game, they’ll beat any SEC East team, and get into the BCS National Championship game.

    Otherwise, it’ll be Sugar Bowl for LSU. If that’s the case, I think it’ll be Oregon vs TCU in the national championship because Auburn will lose to ‘Bama.

  • I’m wondering if we’re about to see a shift in the balance of power in Texas. Aggies ranked.

    A win over the Sooners is nice, but I think you have to beat UT first before discussing a shift. I do think the Aggies with the new Big 12(?) contract is in a good place to take advantage and make a run at their big brother.

    Joe Pa going for win # 400 in the Horseshoe against the Buckeyes.

    That’s a good game too. In the Big 10, every game is so important b/c everyone is so tight. I don’t quite buy Penn St. as being in a spot to challenge the Buckeyes though.

    While that will help LSU’s chances, it won’t be enough unless there’s a combination of losses from two of the other three teams ahead of them: Oregon, TCU, and Boise State.

    That may be true, though I think LSU could squeak by Boise as long as TCU also loses. Still, LSU certainly needs helps and it would certainly help if 3 out of the 4 (preferably those not Oregon) would lose.

    Here’s another prediction: Cam Newton’s Heisman chances are done, even if an investigation clears him. No way voters are going to take a chance for a a Bush repeat.

    I don’t know. They’re still giving him the nod with little mention of the scandal. If he loses and James in Oregon continues to shine (or Moore in Boise) then he’ll be in danger.

  • Otherwise, it’ll be Sugar Bowl for LSU. If that’s the case, I think it’ll be Oregon vs TCU in the national championship because Auburn will lose to ‘Bama.

    I have no problem with the Sugar Bowl. I’d like to play Boise St if we go. Show those Idaho people a good time and then show them a real football team 😉

  • “If the Tigers can get in the title game, they’ll beat any SEC East team, and get into the BCS National Championship game.”

    I disagree. By no means is LSU assured of a BCS berth should Oregon, Boise State, and TCU remain unbeaten. This is the year when I believe the pollsters will want to prove that the BCS system “works” by including one of the non-BCS schools in the championship.

    In my opinion, by virtue of their being the defending champs, Alabama was the only SEC team who could have run the table with 1 loss and still made it into the BCS Championship. That 2nd loss kills Alabama’s chances.

    Besides, LSU needs to watch out for the Hogs in that last game. Over the last 5 years, that game has been decided by a grand total of 13 points (that’s less than 3 points per game).

  • “I’d like to play Boise St if we go.”

    That’s the one team I would NOT want to play in a bowl game. There’s simply no upside to it. It’s like the poor guy who had to wrestle a girl in the state playoffs a couple of years ago. If you win, then people will say “Well of course you won. It’s Boise State.” But if you lose, it’s the same sort of shame Oklahoma faced when they lost to Boise State and Alabama faced with they lost to Utah.

    And Boise State seems to bring it in bowl games, so beating them is definitely not assured.

  • By no means is LSU assured of a BCS berth should Oregon, Boise State, and TCU remain unbeaten. This is the year when I believe the pollsters will want to prove that the BCS system “works” by including one of the non-BCS schools in the championship.

    I agree. The pollsters hate LSU and will need to have the same record as TCU, Oregon and Boise to jump them in the computer polls. The computers don’t care too much about Boise, and LSU may be able to stay close enough to Boise to jump them b/c of the computers. Still, LSU is an underdog here and needs plenty of help/chaos to make it in. However, don’t be surprised if LSU gets in and is the impetus for changes to the BCS system.

    If you win, then people will say “Well of course you won. It’s Boise State.”

    Not anymore, I don’t think. While beating them is not assured, I think it’s about time Boise got a real test in a BCS game.

  • A “real test” would include an offense that doesn’t rely on gimmicky game-time calls by the head coach.


    Seriously, LSU plays some awesome defense, but I’m still not sold on their offense. I could see Boise’s offense getting just enough production and making just enough big plays, with their defense getting just enough stops to pull off the upset. Actually WANTING to play Boise State is like playing with fire.

  • <i<The pollsters hate LSU and will need to have the same record as TCU, Oregon and Boise to jump them in the computer polls.

    I disagree. I think that the human voters recognize that LSU is playing in the hardest division in college football.

    Jay, I agree that LSU needs to watch out for Arkansas. I don’t at all think that LSU will have an easy time of it. Let’s not forget that the game will be in Arkansas. That’s why a win over Arkansas will be very convincing to voters.

    If LSU wins out – with a convincing win over Arkansas, then they’ll have more wins over ranked opponents than any other Div. 1 team (6). That counts for something.

    If their offense continues to come around, this is the right time to do it. Voters will recognize that the Tigers are peaking at the right moment.

    I don’t think that an 11-1 LSU can vault into the top 3 without winning the SEC Championship, but I think that voters will like them over Boise.

    It could also be wishful thinking.

    About Cameron Newton and the Heisman: If the NCAA comes out with a strongly-worded report that clears him of any wrong-doing, then he’ll be the winner.

    Other than that, and I think the prospect of taking it back a couple of years from now will have some voters looking at James, who would be a legitimate winner.

    (By the way: I love this blog. I think that it covers the widest ground, in the most depth, with the most authority. Keep up the good work.)

  • A “real test” would include an offense that doesn’t rely on gimmicky game-time calls by the head coach.

    Are you talking about Boise or LSU here? Think of a game between the two: there would be no punts!

    Seriously, LSU plays some awesome defense, but I’m still not sold on their offense.

    Then welcome to Baton Rouge! We’ll see if the Bama games marks a turn of the corner for LSU, but they need to turn the corner still.

    I think that the human voters recognize that LSU is playing in the hardest division in college football.

    But they think LSU has won by luck and gimmicks rather than by playing good football. Pat Forde still thinks Les has sold his soul to the devil-even after admitting Miles outcoached Saban.

  • Pat Forde still thinks Les has sold his soul to the devil.

    Well, Pat Forde is guilty of plaguarism, because that’s exactly what I told my dad – half-jokingly – after the Tenn. game.

  • A win over the Sooners is nice, but I think you have to beat UT first before discussing a shift. I do think the Aggies with the new Big 12(?) contract is in a good place to take advantage and make a run at their big brother.

    Seeing how they are playing, a win over t.u. is more than just a possibility. I see the Aggies getting two more wins (Baylor and t.u.). Beating Nebraska would be nice as well, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • Big Tex: That “Okie Light” team has now owned TAM for three years in a row! Are you sure you want more of that? And it will be four in a row next year with both Blackmon and Weedon returning. I know it wont stop the TAM faithful from getting big heads as usual.

  • I love the trash talking! However, David, you do assume Blackmon isn’t in jail next year.

    Any one have any thoughts on the latest news about Newton?

  • Yeah, I want them. Did you see the game we had against them when we were struggling with turnovers? It was handed to them on a silver platter and was within our reach.

Grief Counseling For Defeated Democrats

Tuesday, November 9, AD 2010

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Apparently the staffers of defeated Democrats in Congress are being provided with grief counseling. 

A staffer for a congressional Democrat who came up short on Tuesday reports that a team of about five people stopped by their offices this morning to talk about payroll, benefits, writing a résumé, and so forth, with staffers who are now job hunting.

But one of the staffers was described as a “counselor” to help with the emotional aspect of the loss — and a section in the packet each staffer was given dealt with the stages of grief (for instance, Stage One being anger, and so on).

“It was like it was about death,” the staffer said. “It was bizarre.” The staffer did say the portions about the benefits and résumé writing were instructive.

I have always had a keen concern for the mental health of Democrats in Congress, so I will attempt in this post to give them a few pointers to help them work through their grief:

1.  Denial:  As the saying goes, it is just not a river in Egypt.  Best to deal quickly with this stage.  “The Election was just a bad dream.  We did not suffer the worst rejection at the polls of either party since 1948.  All will be well, all will be well.  Chant together:  Hope and Change!  Hope and Change!  Hope and Change!”  With luck you can get beyond this stage in a few days, certainly by the time the office movers come.

2.  Anger:  Let it all out.   “Blast those lying, knuckle dragging Republicans!  Can you believe how stupid the average voters are!  After all we did for the country!  This nation is doomed!  I’m moving to Canada!”  Turn on Hannity and engage in primal scream therapy at the TV.  Listen to Rush as you dust off that voodoo doll of him and stick pins in it.  After a few days you will get past the teeth grinding stage whenever you think about the election.

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2 Responses to Grief Counseling For Defeated Democrats

"The New Evangelization"?

Monday, November 8, AD 2010

Carrying on the mission of his predecessor, Pope Benedict announced in June 2010 a pontifical council for the “the new evangelization”, the principle task of which was to:

[promote] a renewed evangelization in the countries where the first proclamation of faith has already resounded and where there are churches of ancient foundation present, but which are living through a progressive secularization of society and a kind of ‘eclipse of the sense of God.

Fr. Mirilli of Rome seems to have interpreted the Holy Father’s directive in a rather novel manner:A section of the crypt of the Basilica di San Carlo al Corso near St. Peter’s Square has boasted tombs of cardinals for centuries, has been turned into a nightclub by Rome’s Catholic Church.

Image Source: The Beerean

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4 Responses to "The New Evangelization"?

One Response to Lame Ducks, Internet Hitler and Olbermann Anger Management Counselor

  • Haha. I don’t know what is funnier, the Hitler video or the idiocy of the VP. Probably the former I suppose, because there’s no real risk of Hitler ending up as President.

Saint Oliver Plunkett: Deo Gratias

Sunday, November 7, AD 2010

Oliver Plunkett first saw the light of day on November 1, 1625 in Loughcrew, County Meath, Ireland, a scion of an Irish-Norman family.  Educated by his cousin Patrick Plunkett, Abbot of Saint Mary’s in Dublin and a future bishop, Oliver decided at a young age that he wished to become a priest, and in 1647 he went to study for the priesthood in Rome at the Irish College.  Ordained in 1654, he acted as the representative of the Irish bishops in Rome.

While performing duties as a Professor of Theology at the College of Propaganda Fide, he never ceased speaking out on behalf of the suffering Church in Ireland, enduring massacre and suppression under the brutal Cromwellian Conquest.  On November 30, 1669 he was consecrated Archbishop of Armagh. 

In Ireland he went at his duties with a will, traveling up and down the country confirming Catholics, the sacrament often being administered in huge open air masses.  He joyously shared the sufferings of his persecuted flock, often living on a little oat bread as he brought Christ to his people.  He attacked drunkenness as being a prime curse of the priesthood in Ireland and championed education for the youth of the Emerald Isle.

A renewed period of persecution struck Ireland in 1673, with the churches being closed, and the schools disbanded.  The Jesuit college at Drogheda that Plunkett had established was leveled.  With a price on his head, he refused to go into exile and traveled in disguise.    The Archbishop carried on with his duties, undeterred that his episcopal palace was usually a simple peasant’s hut. 

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"We Are Elected!"

Sunday, November 7, AD 2010

Since a number of regular bloggers and visitors here at TAC are Abraham Lincoln and Civil War history buffs, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you my impressions of a unique event held last night in Lincoln’s hometown (and mine) of Springfield, Illinois. Saturday, Nov. 6, was the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s election to his first term as President in 1860.

To commemorate the event, the Old Capitol and Lincoln Home historic sites staged a reenactment of Lincoln’s election night celebration. This also marks the beginning of what is likely to be a boom period for history buffs nationwide — the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and of Lincoln’s presidency. But more on that in a moment.

Lincoln’s election marked the end of a bitter four-way contest for the presidency among Lincoln, the nominee of the recently organized, anti-slavery Republican Party; U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas, also of Illinois, the Democratic nominee; then-Vice President John Breckinridge, nominee of Southern Democrats who split from Douglas and the rest of the party over the issue of expanding slavery to the western territories; and John Bell of the Constitutional Union Party, a loose coalition of former Whigs, Know-Nothings, and moderate Democrats who hoped to avert secession and war by evading the slavery issue altogether.

Lincoln had not been the first choice of the Republicans; many had preferred William Seward of New York or Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, who had more experience in public office (both had been governors and U.S. Senators from their respective states) and had taken stronger public stands against slavery. Also, several Southern states had made it clear before the election that they intended to secede if Lincoln won. Nevertheless, Lincoln won 40 percent of the popular vote on Election Day, and Douglas finished second with 29 percent.

It’s worth noting that the electorate even in Springfield was sharply divided that day. Lincoln prevailed in the city of Springfield by just 70 votes over Douglas, but lost surrounding Sangamon County by about 40 votes. As the official Democratic candidate Douglas would have enjoyed strong support among the Irish and other predominantly Catholic immigrants that were flooding into Illinois at the time. Douglas also campaigned in person throughout the nation — something that no presidential candidate before him had done, while Lincoln allowed Republican operatives to do most of his campaigning for him.

On Election Day itself, Lincoln had not originally planned to vote, believing it wouldn’t be appropriate to vote for himself. However, his law partner William Herndon persuaded him that he should at least vote for the other offices on the ballot, so he walked across the street from his office to what was then the Sangamon County Courthouse to cast his ballot.

Later in the evening, after the polls closed, he gathered with other supporters in the State House of Representatives chambers to await the results, transmitted via telegraph. He later went directly to the telegraph office in hopes of getting the results more quickly (lacking, of course, the modern advantages of exit polls and network news anchors projecting the results).

Around 11 p.m. Lincoln received word that the critical state of Pennsylvania had gone to the Republicans. He and his group then adjourned to a saloon near the Statehouse to await results from New York, the state that would put him over the top in electoral votes. Around 1 a.m. he learned that New York was safely in the Republican column, and the celebration began. Accompanied by a throng of supporters, he arrived at his home on Eighth Street and announced to his waiting wife, “Mary, we are elected!” Illinois historian Paul Angle describes the scene that ensued:

Old men and young men, bankers and clerks slapped each other on the back, danced, sang and yelled until their voices sank to hoarse whispers. Outside one long shout announced the news. From stores, from houses, even from housetops, men called out that New York was safe, while groups ran through the streets shouting their joy at having joined the Republicans. Never had Springfield seen anything like it.

Since I live just a few blocks from the Lincoln Home, the weather was nice (albeit chilly) and the event was free, I decided to participate in the election night reenactment. (Unfortunately, my cell phone didn’t have enough charge left to take pictures.)

The event began with local Lincoln presenter Fritz Klein and others in historic dress leading a torchlight parade from the Old Capitol to the Lincoln home.  National Park Service personnel then conducted candlelight tours (using electric candles for safety reasons) of the home at 10-minute intervals. Each tour began in the home’s front parlor with a beaming Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln greeting each visitor. Costumed interpreters were stationed in each remaining room of the house, explaining not only the room’s use but also the impact Lincoln’s election would have had on the occupants.

For example, the interpreter outside what had been the bedroom shared by the Lincolns’ youngest sons, Willie and Tad, noted that the boys had frequently “campaigned” for their father and were excited at the prospect of living in the White House. However, they would now have to leave behind their friends as well as the family dog, Fido. The interpreter also pointed out the small bedroom used by the Lincolns’ live-in maid. With the family on their way to Washington, the maid would have realized her days of working for the Lincolns were numbered.  On the other hand, having the President of the United States as a reference probably didn’t hurt her prospects for future employment!

Another interpreter noted that Lincoln greeted his wife by saying “We are elected” because in many ways, he could not have achieved that milestone without her. Mary Todd Lincoln had been born into a prominent Kentucky political family, had a lifelong interest in politics and unfailingly promoted her husband’s political ambitions. Her husband’s election as president would have seemed like a dream come true for her. Of course, she did not know then that the next four years would turn into a nightmare of war, personal attacks against her, and grief over the loss of both her son Willie and her husband.

The pride that the Lincolns and the citizens of Springfield felt at his election was tempered by their realization of the enormous burden he faced. By the time the Lincolns departed for Washington in February 1861, seven Southern states had seceded and a provisional Confederate government had been organized.  We see those times through a somewhat romanticized lens since we know the outcome.

However, the people who actually marched through the streets of Springfield with Lincoln that night in 1860 had no assurance that their nation would survive. For all they knew, Lincoln would be the last president of the United States and they would be living within shouting distance of a hostile slave nation a few years hence.

Three months later, on the day Lincoln left Springfield for the last time, he acknowledged that he faced a task “greater than that which rested upon Washington”  at the nation’s founding.

“Without the assistance of that Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed,” he added.  “With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well.” That’s still good advice, especially for those times we are tempted to become mired in despair over the state of our current political discourse.

Update: The New York Times last week launched a series of opinion pieces titled “Disunion”, analyzing events of the same week 150 years before as if they were being covered in real time. The feature began with an analysis of the 1860 presidential race and Lincoln’s chances of victory in New York.

In 1860 St. Louis reporter Samuel Weed spent Election Day with Lincoln. His account, however, was not written until 1882 and not published until 1932. The story can be read at this link.

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3 Responses to "We Are Elected!"

  • A superb piece Elaine! May I republish this as a guest post by you on the American history blog Almost Chosen People that I run with Paul Zummo?


  • I’d be honored if you did, Don. Thanks.

    Also, the Washington Post is launching a series of opinion pieces debating Civil War related issues…. this week they have a panel of experts discussing what would have happened if Lincoln had lost in 1860.

  • Thank you Elaine! My wife mentioned that series to me. There is a great alternate historical novel waiting to be written chronicling the administration of Stephen A. Douglas.

6 Responses to Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

  • If one is referring to nancy pelosi she is not ‘dead’ but has resuscitated herself and will now be the minority leader in Congress…she decapitated all her loyal followers and while they lost, she grasps what power is left to her. This ‘Catholic’ has been the strongest advocate for abortion on demand here and abroad and yet our Bishops continue to consider her a Catholic in good standing and permit her to receive the Eucharist…who is more at fault here – Pelosi believes that this is a matter of personal opinion among the bishops and that she is indeed a Catholic in good standing…Archbishop Burke has been clear and consistent about this – those who publicly stand against the teachings of the Church, in particular regarding the killing of unborn human babies, must not receive Holy Communion…but many Bishops disagree with him and with Church teaching…and so Catholics continue to be confused and lost…shame

  • Florin, I am aware that the Lying Worthless Political Hack, as I affectionately refer to soon to be EX-Speaker of the House Pelosi, has such a lust for power that she is going to be minority leader. This of course will keep her in the public eye during the next Congress. As a Republican I can only respond to that news in this manner:

  • Would you believe, in my home town earlier this year, the song “Ding dong, the witch is dead” was used at a funeral for some woman unknown to me.
    Fortunately, it was a secular service at a non-denominational crematorium chapel.

    They used to say, “Only in America…..”

    I’m beginning to wonder.

  • Well Don, I’d say the gal in question was either crazy or had a great sense of humor, or perhaps her relatives were sadistic!

  • It will be good to see Boehner finally take care of the abortion issue once and for all so other issues can be addressed- as we all know that is what the GOP and the Dems want- to resolve that issue so they can’t use it anymore on the national level to divide Americans. So I eagerly await that . . . I’m sure it will happen and all those multi million dollar anti and pro abortion groups and their lobbyists will fade away- shut down- and get new jobs.

    And I’m sure the new good Catholic that is Boehner will address the tiny problem of Christian Fundamentalism running rampant in the military and about which the American Catholic Church is very very vocal upon . . .

    I’ll bet he calls a big public hearing about that. And I’m sure he is going to address the wars and crimes and the assassination power claimed by Obama and so forth. I can’t wait for all the great changes and moral awakening that is going to be brought forth by the new speaker and upstanding Catholic that is John Boehner.

  • “It will be good to see Boehner finally take care of the abortion issue once and for all”

    Perfectly attainable Chris. All we have to do is have all Catholic Dems in Congress have the same voting record against abortion in the next Congress that Boehner does. Time for you to get on the phone now!

Free Olbermann

Friday, November 5, AD 2010

I think that Keith Olbermann is one of the lowest of all media low-lifes — a rude, ignorant and bigoted opinionator posing as a journalist, but I am frankly flummoxed by MSNBC’s decision to suspend him indefinitely for making political donations to Democratic candidates. This is, apparently, a portion of their employee code of conduct, and so they are certainly within their rights to do so. But it makes no sense to me that they should suspend him for donating a could thousand dollars to a specific Democratic candidate, when he nightly performs the far more valuable service to the Democratic party of supporting them and attacking their opponents before hundreds of thousands of views. It would be an insult to sock puppetry to compare this charade of journalistic objectivity to such.

If MSNBC objects to the flagrant support of one party over the other, they should simply shut down. If not, they should leave Olbermann alone, and silently signing a check is doubles one of the less offensive ways that he has supported the Democrats in recent years.

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19 Responses to Free Olbermann

  • My only question is, how is what MSNBC any different than the schilling that Fox News does for the Republican party?

  • I’m kind of conflicted over this. Yes, I think Olbermann is classless and a moron, yet I am still for his free speech rights no matter how much I disagree with him but at the same time he did violate NBC’s rules. Even though I agree that Olbermann violated NBC’s policy I don’t think that suspending him indefinitely is the correct course of action.

    Maybe fining him would have been more appropriate?

  • Bill,

    Personally, I think they tend to be more rude to their opponents, but I watch TV very infrequently, so I’m not an expert.


    MSNBC can, obviously, do whatever they want within employment law, but my main beef is with this “we can’t have anyone being partisant by donating to candidates” charade. Olbermann is one large, walking political rant, the idea that his giving a couple thousand dollars in cash to a candidate constitutes a lack of otherwise intact objectivity strikes me as intensely laughable.

  • Yeah, I can’t see any reason why that policy should apply to people like Olbermann or Maddow or O’Reilly or Beck. Their whole job is to rouse the troops with tales of the perfidy of the other political party. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to put their money where their mouths are?

  • I don’t mind a company having a code of conduct. In fact, I’m in support of such things, generally speaking. But Olberman’s infringement of the MSNBC code of conduct seems to be contradictory to their business model.

  • Freedom of the press (or cable channel, or blog) is granted to those who own one. You violate your employer’s rules, you get fired. End of story.

    That being said…having been a journalist myself, I think it is ridiculous to expect them all, in the name of “objectivity,” to be opinionless robots without any discernable personal convictions. They need not wear their political leanings on their sleeves (I never did), but neither do they have to pretend not to have any political or philosophical leanings either.

    As long as a journalist shows FAIRNESS to both or all sides of an issue when doing straight news reporting, what he or she does or what causes he or she supports on their own time, with their own paycheck, is their own business as far as I’m concerned.

    If Olbermann had been OFFERED some kind of “donation” or gift to his favorite political candidate, group, charity, etc. by a prospective guest in return for favorable coverage, that would be an entirely different matter. However that was not the case here — just the opposite. He gave money to them, not the other way around.

  • I think they canned him for not giving enough money to the Democrats.

    I wonder if this makes him one of the (start spooky music) “The worst person in the world” (end spooky music).

  • Well, there’s only one thing to do now…

    Olbermann will have to take Juan Williams old job at NPR

  • from MSDNC
    to National Progressive Radio

  • I am sure that the hundeds of Olbermann fans will soon announce a viewer boycott of MSNBC and reduce their ratings from abysmal to below test pattern.

  • Oh, and as a service to the 99% of Americans who have never seen Olbermann in action, here is his reaction after Scott Brown began the GOP electoral avalanche at the beginning of this year:

  • Hattip to Instapundit: In Memoriam:

  • @DarwinCatholic,

    You are spot on. If MSNBC wanted to pretend that it is unbiased and objective then MSNBC shouldn’t have employed such people as Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann who violate their so called code of objectivity pretty much every time they open their mouths and speak.

  • Agreed, Darwin. There is a strange inconsistency playing at MSNBC.

  • As Charles II said of a minister: “He preaches the kind of nonsense which suits their nonsense”. He sounds like schoolyard name calling.

  • We have one network – Fox – that is pro-Republican. We have all the rest that are pro-Democrat: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, etc. No contest. I am always glad when a Democrat gets canned. But if MSNBC (owned by GE) really wants to change, then it’s got to change all its liberal left wing zealots who parade as journalists. The same is true for the rest. In the meantime, I’ll be cheerleader for Fox News. At least that’s an alternative to the rest of the pro-Obama socialist nonsense that pretends to be news.

  • I suspect that this is MSNBCs way of starting to move Keith along. He has really bad ratings. It is all about profit and MSNBC can’t charge very much for ad time if no one is watching.

    Keith should have stuck to being a Sports Anchor at ESPN.

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Remember, Remember

Friday, November 5, AD 2010

The idiotic anti-Catholic celebration of Guy Fawkes Day , observed each November fifth, was effectively ended in America during the Revolution in large part due to George Washington.  Here is his order on November 5, 1775:

As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope–He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.

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3 Responses to Remember, Remember

  • I didn’t know of this. Yet another reason to honor the Father of our Country.

  • “First in war; first in peace; first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

    Having read, in the past several years, McCullough’s 1776 and Barnet Schecter’s The Battle of New York, I marvel at Washington’s courage and determination. He (in my opinion) held it all together and single-handedly forestalled military defeat of the revolution.

    And, I believe that Divine intervention brought our country into being.

    Guy Fawkes was the name of a saloon in NYC in the 60’s and 70’s. I am no longer allowed to do that stuff.

  • What is up with this being so *big* this year?

    It’s been everywhere– even facebook games are incorporating the dang thing.