Triumph of the King

Sunday, April 17, AD 2011

 

zechariah

(This is my regular post for Palm Sunday which I repost each year.  Have a happy and blessed Palm Sunday and Holy Week.)

“9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And I will destroy the chariot out of Ephraim, and the horse out of Jerusalem, and the bow for war shall be broken: and he shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the end of the earth.”

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2 Responses to Triumph of the King

One Response to What Wondrous Love is This?

  • “We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You. Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.”

    Wondrous Love indeed: Christ loves us, forgives us, and redeems us. Even though we completely, utterly do not merit salvation.

    His Sacred Heart was so filled with love for us even during in His three hours agony on His Holy Cross.

    He loves us and forgives us despite the fact that we were utterly unjust in condemning Him. How could we? Not only is He all good and sinless. He is Our God and Reedeemer. And, He, despite all the horrid evil we did to him: it was completely unjust and disobedient; He still loves us and forgives us. That is wondrous, eternal, divine love, indeed.

    “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fire of Hell; take all souls to Heaven; and help especially those most in need of Thy mercy.”

    I am not worthy. That hand with that hammer is my hand when I fail to forgive, when I abandon charity, when I sin.

    “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

Abby Johnson and the Still Small Voice of God

Friday, April 15, AD 2011

As faithful readers of this blog know, I am an attorney, for my sins no doubt.  It supplies me with bread and butter for my family and myself as well as an opportunity to observe the frailty, follies, crimes and, occasionally, the nobility, of the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve.  However, that is just my day job.  For over a decade now I have also been chairman of the board of directors of the Caring Pregnancy Center located in Pontiac, Illinois in Livingston County, the county in which I live.  There, dedicated pro-life volunteers, almost all of them evangelical women, labor ceaselessly to help women in crisis  pregnancies.  In the movie the Agony and the Ecstasy Pope Julius II is depicted as saying that when he comes before God he will throw into the balance the ceiling painting of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel against the weight of his sins and he hoped it would shorten his time in purgatory.  If such an opportunity exists for me, it will be due to my association with the Caring Pregnancy Center and their truly awe-inspiring and selfless female volunteers.

On April 14th, we held our 25th anniversary banquet which was a grand affair, with our supporters and well-wishers turning out in en masse.  I opened with a few introductory remarks where I talked about the Center and its 25 years of service to the women of Livingston County and their babies.  I also asked why we did this.  First and foremost to protect innocent human life, and, second, because we remember with Thomas Jefferson, “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”  It will come as a vast shock, no doubt, to faithful readers of this blog that I somehow worked into my remarks the surrender of Fort Sumter 150 years before on April 14, 1861 and Mr. Lincoln’s remarks in his Second Inaugural Address that the terrible war the nation had been through was God’s punishment on both the North and the South for the sin of slavery.  I ended by stating that it was still possible for America to turn around and repent for the great sin of abortion and that the great words of the prophet Isaiah, as always, give us hope:  “Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be made white as snow.”

Abby Johnson was our speaker, and she gave the most effective pro-life speech I have ever heard and I have heard many over the decades.

She was funny and moving at the same time.  Her delivery was as natural as if she was talking to a next door neighbor, but every word she said was riveting.

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14 Responses to Abby Johnson and the Still Small Voice of God

14 Responses to Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood Fails in Senate 42-58

  • I little surprised by Nelson. Very surprised by Manchin. I take that to mean that political pressure within the party is stronger than political pressure from voters.

  • How does Casey remotely justify this?

    There was a time when I took him at his word, but it seems that he’s just another Dem who claims the pro-life mantle to garner the blue-collar traditionally-Democrat pro-life vote and then promptly acts just like the rest of his party.

    I hope his dad is praying hard for him, ’cause I’m having a hard time doing so right now.

  • Which will address the 2011 graduating class of The University of Notre Dame? Which Georgetown’s?

    You’re going to see a leprechaun riding a unicorn down le Grand Boulevarde du Shangri-La before you see dems vote pro-life.

    But, that’s okay. Pro-life/pro-abortion/pro-PP dems are 24/7 social justice, 100%. No sweat: 43,000,000 dead babies!

  • 0 Democrat senators voted to defund Planned parenthood while 42 Republicans did.

    How much more nonsense do we have to listen to about how both parties are equally evil…. Mr. Shea and Ms. Cardigan?

  • Jasper,

    I think Mark refers to the GOP as the Stupid Party, saving the Evil Party for the Dems. While he certainly calls Republicans on the carpet, I don’t think he equates the immorality of their erroneous positions with the Dems’ on abortion.

    But your larger point certainly stands… pro-life Dems are now almost entirely a joke, at least at the national level.

  • The Democrats are a wholly owned subsidiary of Abortion, Inc. When Planned Parenthood whistles all the jackasses come running. As for the Republican defectors, time to make the RINO an extinct species.

    “I think Mark refers to the GOP as the Stupid Party, saving the Evil Party for the Dems.”

    That was Mark’s original formulation Chris. I believe he then went to Stupid Evil Party for the GOP. Since I stopped reading Mark’s blog circa 2006, except on rare occasions, I am not sure what cute phrase he is addicted to now for the party that pro-life Republicans like myself have battled for decades keeping pro-life.

  • In addition to this unforgivable vote Mark Kirk was also one of the handful of Republicans who once again stabbed their own party in the back by voting with the Evil Party on the Cap and Tax bill.

    I would love to have him replaced him here in Illinois but the Republican Party in this God-forsaken state is woefully inept.

  • Mark Kirk is a living symbol of why the GOP in the Land of Lincoln needs a root and branch reformation. The great victories for the GOP in the Congressional races were all due to tea party enthusiasm and had nothing to do with the GOP-Lite Party we have in this state.

  • “I think Mark refers to the GOP as the Stupid Party, saving the Evil Party for the Dems.”

    “That was Mark’s original formulation Chris. I believe he then went to Stupid Evil Party for the GOP.”

    I think Don is right. The GOP is the Stupid Evil Party while the Dems are the Evil Stupid Party. Thus the equivocation.

  • There is solidarity in numbers, everyone. The solution is not to find the fault in individuals, but work HARDER next election to VOTE OUT pro-choice Reps and Senators, and VOTE IN pro-life Reps & Senators to the tune of a 2/3 majority.

    I’m not totally disappointed with this result. I have incredible hope, in fact, because now I know that it’s possible to win this battle for life.

  • In addition to this unforgivable vote Mark Kirk was also one of the handful of Republicans who once again stabbed their own party in the back by voting with the Evil Party on the Cap and Tax bill.

    The use of tradeable permits as a means of environmental protection and attempting to allocate the costs of economic activity was an innovation promoted a generation ago by resource economists. One of them who did so (in his teaching if not his professional publications) was Steve Hanke, currently associated with the Cato Institute, among other agencies. The Environmental Defense Fund was (ca. 1989) the first such organization to endorse the idea. Environmental lobbies were generally hostile to the idea prior to that. Tradeable permits, excises, regulations, tort suits, &c. are all inhabitants of a toolbox. The problem they are meant to address is the problem of externalities from economic activities. Which tool is best is going to depend on granular details. Cursing politicians for these sorts of decisions is needlessly sectarian.

    P.Z.: This fellow Kirk may be a disappointment or worse. Unless his complex of views renders him more suitable for the Democratic caucus, calling him a Republican-in-Name-Only makes little sense. Same deal for the Maine ladies. When policy preferences are bimodally distributed, you always have some people in the tails of the distribution, in the middle and on either end.

  • . Cursing politicians for these sorts of decisions is needlessly sectarian.

    The nature of my employment makes me uncomfortable discussing the pros and cons of the cap-and-trade bill that passed the House; however it is not unreasonable for opponents to question – even vehemently – the wisdom of voting this particular measure.

    As for the RINO label, I normally don’t like using it myself for the reasons you have mentioned. But for some politicians it is rather apt, and so far it seems appropriate for Senator Kirk.

  • “But for some politicians it is rather apt, and so far it seems appropriate for Senator Kirk.”

    It is a mild term for a man who symbolizes the fact that in Illinois the GOP establishment is Democrat-Lite and does their shameful best to sabotage conservative Republicans who run for election. With “Republicans” like Kirk Democrats are superfluous.

Patrick Henry, Liberty and Slavery

Thursday, April 14, AD 2011

In his day Patrick Henry was considered the finest orator in America.  Contemporary accounts often state that the cold words of the text of his speeches can give no true assessment of the impact of the words on his listeners as he spoke them.  I have always regarded his speech of March 23, 1775, prophetic in its prediction of the start of the Revolutionary War, to the Virginia Convention to be his finest, both for its fiery style, and for the timeless truths it conveys:

MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

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3 Responses to Patrick Henry, Liberty and Slavery

  • Good post, Don. St. John’s, in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond, still functions as an Episcopal parish, and they do a wonderful reenactment every year of Henry’s “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech, and some of the actual debate before and after the speech. Period costumes, real actors, in the actual setting, it’s very neat to watch.

    It’s an interesting point that many southerners even among the aristocracy, such as Jefferson and later, Lee, were not morally comfortable with slavery (obviously, many had no such compunctions). But De Tocqueville observed that “race prejudice seems stronger in those states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists, and nowhere is it more intolerant than in those states where slavery was never known.”

    While slavery was an undeniable moral evil, the racism that undergirded it ironically (?) perdured even more strongly in the North it seems.

  • I would disagree that racism Tom was stronger in the North than in the South, although I would concede that it was virulent enough everywhere in the US, and around the globe for that matter, except, perhaps, among the most extreme abolitionist circles. ( Interesting that Frederick Douglass indicated that of the white men he had known only two treated him with indifference to his color: John Brown and Abraham Lincoln, reflecting the two conflicting wings of anti-slavery sentiment.) In regard to considering slavery an evil, I think most of the Southern Founding Fathers would have agreed with that sentiment. Lee held to that sentiment, although in that, as in most things, he was an honorable throwback to the time of the Founding Fathers and did not reflect the views of his white Southern contemporaries most of whom, at least publicly, regarded slavery as a positive good. In this, as in most things when Americans diverge from the Founding Fathers, tragedy resulted.

  • McK: “Perdured”: good word!

    Sadly, the country still suffers from the curse of slavery.

The Birther Suplot: A Waste of Time

Wednesday, April 13, AD 2011

At my own blog I’ve already shared my annoyance with the Birthers.  For those of you not up to speed, “birthers” are those that doubt, to one degree or another, that President Obama was actually born in Hawaii, and who suggest, therefore, that he is constitutionally ineligible for the presidency.  To me it’s a silly conspiracy theory that doesn’t crack even a “1” on the credibly believable scale (and I am referring to the conspiracy being believable, not Obama’s family history).

Then there is what one might term the birther subplot.  There are those who don’t really doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii, but who nonetheless insist that he release his long-form birth certificate.  Donald Trump has harped on this issue quite a lot as he embarks on a futile attempt to draw more attention to himself on a bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency.  Long story short, Trump and others sense that Obama is hiding something.  The most common rumor is that the long-form certificate would (for some reason) indicate that he was a Muslim.  Commenter “The Man From K Street” offers a couple of other plausible theories on the blog “Est Quod Est”:

First (and to my mind the likeliest) — it will reveal what most people already have figured out: Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham were never actually married, let alone licitly (even a presumptive wedding would have been invalid as bigamous).

Second — there has been some speculation that BO Sr. might not have been the actual father. One alternative candidate in particular has been discussed in various parts of the net, but even if we saw the long form, this will probably stay graffiti on the bathroom wall of history forever.

Possibly.  And then there’s the conspiracy of the non-conspiracy, and Don alluded to it in the comments of my post.  Essentially Obama is dragging this thing out because he knows that the birth certificate contains nothing all that embarrassing, but by playing the story out it allows some of his opponents to look like complete loons.  Frankly, this would be my bet, and that gets to the heart of my annoyance with people like Trump.  Even if there is something on the birth certificate that is potentially slightly embarrassing, why should we care?  Nothing is going to have any bearing on his qualifications to be president.  The only theory that would be even partially troubling if true is that his religion is listed as “Muslim.”  Sure, it would create some tension because hard core Islamists view apostasy as punishable by death.  Well, yes, but my guess is those very same people who would seek to kill Obama because of his apostasy want him dead anyway.  And again, that really shouldn’t matter in the slightest when evaluating his worthiness to be re-elected.

At the risk of going back on my New Year’s resolution not to discuss the 2012 presidential race until Labor Day, I am going to have to side with Mitt Romney on this (something I might not be saying too often after Labor Day):

Mitt Romney forcefully said Tuesday night that he believes President Barack Obama was born in America and that “the citizenship test has been passed.”

“I think the citizenship test has been passed. I believe the president was born in the United States. There are real reasons to get this guy out of office,” Romney told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow the day after he formally announced that he’s exploring a run for the White House. “The man needs to be taken out of office but his citizenship isn’t the reason why.”

As Ed Morrissey adds:

The 2012 election should hinge on real issues and deep questions about Barack Obama’s ability to handle the office.  The freak show is a distraction that damages the serious nature of Obama’s opposition — and don’t think the media isn’t eating it up, either.

Indeed.

Update: As if to bolster my point, I would think that Obama being a demagogic manchild incapable of serious governance is enough reason to oppose him that we don’t need to manufacture stuff.

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73 Responses to The Birther Suplot: A Waste of Time

  • Only a logical person would question why he sealed ALL his records including his birth cert. Look, this guy came out of nowhere and became the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Is there anyone here who believes that just anyone can become president? No, boys and girls, only those groomed for the job. Obama does not pass the smell test and could put many “thoughts” to rest by just presenting the asked for documentation.

    Frankly i am annoyed with the sheeppeople in this country…

  • As conspiracy theories go, this one is pretty lame. I still want to know who was actually on the grassy knoll in Dallas, where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, what happened to Amelia Earhart and Judge Crater, and whether “spontaneous human combustion” can ever been scientifically verified.
    : )

  • http://patdollard.com/2010/08/cnn-poll-only-42-of-americans-believe-obama-is-a-citizen-only-23-of-republicans/

    a cnn poll no doubt!

    only 42% of Americans believe BO is an American citizen….. if it was truly a honest poll and not one of the left wing it would probably be well over 50%…

    Thank God for logic ….

  • Angie said: “he sealed ALL his records including his birth cert. ”

    Obama did not seal any of his records. He published the official and only birth certificate of Hawaii, and the facts on it were confirmed by THREE Republican officials. As for school, college and graduate school transcripts, his parents’s marriage license, etc, Obama does not have to publish them. They are not sealed, they are simply private. No president has ever shown all these records, and none have shown school transcripts or college transcripts (a few were leaked by colleges, but the candidate or president did not show them).

    IF, however, in the next election the Republican candidate shows her or his college records, parents’ marriage license, etc., then Obama is likely to do so too.

  • He published the official and only birth certificate of Hawaii, and the facts on it were confirmed by THREE Republican officials.

    I’m not sure that is true. I think he released an unsigned “certificate of live birth”, not his actual, signed long-form birth certificate.

    I rather suspect that the “birther subplot” is where the actual facts lie: that is, Obama was born in Hawaii but is concealing his long form birth certificate – and all sorts of other personal information – because there are things in it that he believes to be politically damaging. Of course that is just speculation though — my own gut feeling if you will.

    For a guy who wrote two autobiographies before he had accomplished much of note Obama is really, really cagey about actual, detailed personal data.

    In short, I think Lawrence Auster’s take on the issue is about right: Obama is clearly hiding something or somethings, and while it is unreasonable to jump to conclusions – after all, the central point is what we don’t know because Obama has chosen to hide it – it is not at all unreasonable to ask, and persist in asking, just what he is hiding and why.

  • Re: “I’m not sure that is true. I think he released an unsigned “certificate of live birth”, not his actual, signed long-form birth certificate.”

    Answer: The unsigned short-form CerificaTION of Live Birth is the official birth certificate of Hawaii. Thousands of people use it every year to get their US passports. It is not supposed to be signed or to have the name of the hospital or the doctor because it is the short-form, which many if not most states have adopted.

    Re: :’Obama was born in Hawaii but is concealing his long form birth certificate – and all sorts of other personal information – because there are things in it that he believes to be politically damaging. Of course that is just speculation though — my own gut feeling if you will.”

    Answer: There are two reasons why he does not release the long form. The first is that the short-form is the official birth certificate now, and hence is the RIGHT form to release. The second is that Hawaii does not release the long-form anymore, to ANYONE, and it hasn’t since 2001.

    http://archives.starbulletin.com/content/20090606

    Re your speculation: “because there are things in it that he believes to be politically damaging. ”

    The way to find out if this is true or not is to search online for a copy of someone else’s long form Hawaii birth certificate, and check on it whether or not there are places on the form to enter anything that COULD be politically damaging, such as religion (No) or whether or not his parents were married (No). It does include spaces for the hospital name, name of the doctor, etc–but these are not likely to be politically damaging.

    So, birthers claim that there must be a difference between the words actually entered on the original and the ones on the published birth certificate. They claim, for example, that Obama’s real father was Frank Davis, or Malcolm X, or that his race is listed as “white” or “negro”–and the clerk changed the words to Obama and African. But that is not the way that it works. The clerk simply copies the data from the original. The name of the father is the same, and the race listing of “African” is what is on the original too. (Some people say that that is not a race, but the officials in Hawaii have repeatedly said that folks are allowed to describe their race anyway that they want.)

    Re: “For a guy who wrote two autobiographies before he had accomplished much of note Obama is really, really cagey about actual, detailed personal data.”

    So? Most politicians are. Clinton said that he didn’t inhale. Obama said that he did.

    Re: “Obama is clearly hiding something or somethings…”

    If you feel that Obama has hidden more of his background than the Republican candidate in the next election, vote for the Republican. Or, vice versa. Has Pawlenty shown a birth certificate? Romney? Were their parents married? Can they prove it? Did they inhale?

  • Obama wants the birther meme going 24/7.

    It’s distraction and misdirection from his 24/7 failures. Failures that even his imebecilic worshippers cannot cover up.

    Did anyone listen to todays deficit LIE-ARAMA?

    Let’s go to the video tape. In February 2009, your “demagogic manchild” told a crowd of useless dolts that he was going cut in half the federal deficit. He tripled the federal deficit in his first year. Math is not his (or any idiot liberal’s: I repeat myself again) strength. Probably a reason he won’t release his university transcripts.

    I know he was born. I don’t care about whatever embarrassing facts are in the real birth certificate.

    And I don’t want to see the embarrassing stuff in his university transcripts and his medical records that he has spent millions to keep under wraps.

    I want to see him vacate the White House in early 2013.

    Else, prepare ye for the zombie apocalypse.

  • The Birther rubbish is idiocy on steroids. Obama gets his American citizenship from his mother. It doesn’t matter where he was born. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone and that did not make him a non-citizen. Knaves are making money on this non-issue by getting fools to contribute money to them on the basis of this complete folderol.

  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 13489 I’m not a lawyer but I think it makes it illegal to uncover Obama’s past!

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/obama/presidential.html

  • Title 8 section 1401 of the US Code sets forth who is a natural citizen:

    The relevant provision for Obama, even if he had been born in Kenya:

    “(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001401—-000-.html

    I do wish loons would leave the law to people who know something about it.

  • Granite:

    yes he did seal ALL his records…. note the above commit…

    we do not even know what classes he took or if he even passed all his classes … if you are going on his word then i have some beach front property in AZ i would love to sell you… 😉

  • Don, perhaps it’s a sideshow and irrelevant but it provides much entertainment in a political scene laden with dullness. Can anyone imagine anyone duller than Mitt Romney?

    And this “debate” over the budget and debt is tiresome. What matters how much money the U.S. owes? I’d say the creditors have a bigger problem than the debtors. There was a time when America was owed all the money and few paid back. Now we owe all the money and are worried about default?

    Let the Chinese sue if we skip a payment. Who cares? We can always print more money.

    We’re a long way before U.S. dollars become Weimar reichmarks.

    But if you want to balance the budget, here’s a way:
    1. Close half the U.S. military bases abroad. They’re not needed.
    2. End the wars, close Gitmo and cancel all military orders for new fighter jets, carriers and other weaponry, which are superfluous.
    3. Abolish the Dept. of Energy, Homeland Security, the Dept. of Education and dump 500,000 deadweight government employees from the payroll. Pension em out at one-quarter pay.
    4. Stop all Medicare fraud, end the food stamp program, funding for Planned Parenthood, NPR, National Endowment for the Arts and every other wasteful nanny state outlays that previously were none of the government’s business.
    5. Turn the unspent TARP money back into the U.S. Treasury.
    6. Dump the income tax totally. Make everyone pay 20 percent flat tax, and 1 percent national sales tax. Abolish the IRS and just deduct it from paychecks.

    There, I just balanced the budget.

    I’d run for President, but I wouldn’t want to live in the White House. I’d rather just be a king with a sharp axe. :: )

  • “What matters how much money the U.S. owes? I’d say the creditors have a bigger problem than the debtors” — Joe Green

    You’d be wrong then. See Argentina, Post-WWI & -WWII Germany, Russia, and Yugoslavia for starters. America will have a problem if we don’t pay off the debts we owe to foreign nations.

    On Topic, the Birther Conspiracy is a farce. Even if it were true that he wasn’t born in the US, his mother is American therefore he is American. My personal thought is that Birthers are just idiots who want to keep the complaining about Obama in the news so that people will vote him out.

  • I disagree on the issue of debtor vs creditor for..

    Tell China too bad and if they do not want to play, good! we do not need China or anyone else for that matter. The truth is we cannot pay this off and we are going to do some suffering for it sooner or latter so lets make it sooner and get it over with. We have the technology, materials and all the resources to make everything we need and then some. We have been borrowing money from China to buy their junk. Who has benefited, not the USA. Jobs have been bleeding from here for years thereby reducing the actual middle class.. actual yes for government has grown and secured wages that surpassed the private sectors for years buy guess what… to work government must be a fraction of the private sector… Now we are waking up and realizing our middle class is all but gone and that boys and girls is what defines an economic power…. if we continue on the road we are on the UDS will not be around in 4 years ….

  • There is a question on whether Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, renounced her citizenship. If that is true then there is a constructional issue on Obama being a legitimate president and whether anything he signed acting as president is valid. There is also then a question of who else knew about this and therefore crimes perpetrated against the Unites States of America. This could in fact be treason which is punishable by hanging.

    Now for the questions…..
    When Obama went to school in Indonesian he HAD to be a Indonesian citizen to attend school there.

    Soetoro is the name on Obama’s Birth Certificate (BC) because a new BC was issued when he was adopted by Lolo Soetoro, his step-father. His original BC, which assumed was issued for Barack Hussein Obama at birth, would have been sealed at the time of the adoption. At the time of adoption his mother would have renounced her citizenship.

    His mother was not found of this country and it is not far fetch to believe she renounce her citizenship. Barry Soetoro probably acquired Indonesian citizenship in approximately 1965-1966, and may still hold it.

    Also, Prior to 2007, Indonesian law did not permit dual citizenship. Thus, if Obama actively kept his Indonesian citizenship, his US citizenship could be challenged.

    Why the refusal to open his college transcripts…. Foreign aid….. they had a ball smack-talking about Bush and Pailn’s records and even Gore who was a flunk out in college made his public yet BO keeps his sealed…… why one runs for public office how much privacies does one expect… not much..

  • Complete rubbish. After his birth it matters not one whit if Obama’s mother renounced her citizenship.

    “F. RENUNCIATION FOR MINOR CHILDREN

    Parents cannot renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of their minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered under Section 349(a)(5) of the INA, a person under the age of eighteen must convince a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation, is not subject to duress or undue influence, and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his/her U.S. citizenship.”

    http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html

  • Angie said: “EXECUTIVE ORDER 13489 I’m not a lawyer but I think it makes it illegal to uncover Obama’s past!”

    You are wrong. It actually makes it harder than a similar executive order issued by Bush for presidents and former presidents to seal their records. And, it does not apply to state records or college records or private records or corporate records, or any records except to the federal presidential records of presidents and former presidents.

  • Angie said:

    “When Obama went to school in Indonesian he HAD to be a Indonesian citizen to attend school there.

    Soetoro is the name on Obama’s Birth Certificate (BC) because a new BC was issued when he was adopted by Lolo Soetoro, his step-father…”

    None of this is true. The allegation that you had to be an Indonesian citizen to attend school there comes only from a birther site. You can check on whether or not it is true by calling the Indonesian Embassy. It’s not true, and while you are there you can ask whether Obama was adopted while in Indonesia (he wasn’t) had his name officially changed to Soetoro (no, but he did use the name, but that is not illegal) or whether he became a citizen of Indonesia (he didn’t) or had an Indonesian passport (no on that too).

  • Angie said: “we do not even know what classes he took or if he even passed all his classes …”

    Answer: There is no law that says that a president or a presidential candidate must show his school or college records. Unless and until there is such a law, they have the same privacy rights as everyone else. However, it is your right not to vote for someone who has not show sufficient background information. The result of this will be that IF in the next election the Republican candidate shows school and college classes and the grades, etc–then Obama is likely to do so too.

  • The birther subplot does not alter the fact that Obama is the worst president in the history of the United States of America.

  • “When” and “if” his mother her citizenship is important and the question of Obama renouncing his citizenship is also important. Those of you here accepting these lairs at their word are beyond ignorant. To not even question all the inconsistency shows that you are easy marks. Does anyone here even care about the US Constitution or the fact that this county is so divided? No wonder you do not get much traffic here. Mark my words the sh__ is going to hit the fan soon… first Spain will pull down Europe and then the US will fall…. but you will have your minions of ostriches … good luck to you …..

  • Angie, with you we see the “birther” mindset in all its ignorant glory. You know nothing about the law or the facts and yet you pontificate on the subject. This is only a distraction from the myriad of substantive reasons to oppose Obama and his worthless administration. Obama is clearly a natural born citizen, through his mother, wherever he was born. He never took the steps necessary under law to renounce his citizenship. Those who waste their time on this dryhole of a non-issue help Obama and his supporters by allowing them to attempt to tar all opponents with the type of nutball accusation that is truthfully applicable to the rabid “birthers”.

  • Don, it would seem to me that Angie raises some interesting legal points to which you, as a lawyer, appear to dismiss as sheer “ignorance” or a mere “distraction.” While I agree that it is a horse that has been well beaten, it also is a fact that the horse is not quite dead yet — and for good reason.

    If, indeed, it were ever to be proven that Obama was not a naturalized U.S. citizen and hence had been unqualified to be President that would be the biggest political story in U.S. history and its most shameful.

    Now, in a land in which you are presumed innocent and the burden of proof lies with the accuser (except in the case of airport security and the IRS and a few other things in which guilt is presumed), then it seems to me that trying to uncover “evidence” in the birther matter is virtually impossible since the only exculpatory evidence would be the genuine document attesting to his birth in U.S. You can’t prove a negative, so only the actual birth certificate will end all discussion. As for school records, it’s clear Obama might have scored as high as C- (giving him considerable benefit of the doubt).

    One other point, as shown in the fictional case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce in Dickens’ Bleak House dragged on for generations in England’s Chancery Court without resolution, which fueled reform in that nation’s cumbersome and often unworkable legal system.

    As a lawyer, for no other reason than guaranteed continuous remuneration and having an pecuniary interest in seeing matters unresolved to your benefit, it would seem that further legal inquiry in the birther issue would afford some barrister a nice living (present company excluded, of course), for I believe, Don, you are a man of integrity who believes in the true meaning of justice. Still, time has been billed for more trivial legal pursuits no doubt with little harm to clients except for lightening their pockets. : )

  • Joe, it is legally impossible for Obama to be a non natural born citizen unless he took the steps subsequent to his birth necessary to renounce his American citizenship. There is zilch evidence that he ever did that. To be quite blunt, Angie has raised no interesting legal points, but mere conspiracy mongering garbage. There is far too much of that on the internet, and The American Catholic will have no part in that. If Angie persists in doing that, she will be banned by me from this blog, since TAC will not provide a forum for that type of pernicious nonsense.

  • “Angie, with you we see the “birther” mindset in all its ignorant glory.”

    Donald, have you seen Obama’s birth certificate? Has he showed it to anybody? Isn’t one of the requirements for president is to be a Natural born citizen?

  • Considering that Angie has already proven incapable of debating people without insulting them, I’ve already gone and banned her, Don.

  • This distraction/misdirection/waste of energy and time does nothing to assuage the American people’s miseries: high food and fuel costs, high unemployment, and despair.

    Gallup: “Obama’s Approval Drops Below 50 Percent Among Poorest Americans; No Longer Enjoys Majority Approval In Any Income Class.”

    The natural born requirement was emplaced in the Constitution so that no foreign idea or cults of personality could come here and ruin the country. If it had been enforced the “demagogue manchild”; his unlawful czars; and his 40,000,000-strong horde of abortionists, guv employees, traitors, union thugs, etc. would not be destroying the country and our way of life.

    Obama must go.

  • Jasper asked: “Donald, have you seen Obama’s birth certificate? Has he showed it to anybody? Isn’t one of the requirements for president is to be a Natural born citizen?”

    A question for you first. Did you see Bush’s birth certificate or Clinton’s? How about Bush41. Reagan’s is in his library, but it was not published before or while he was president. Same for Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, Etc.

    So there is no requirement that a president or a presidential candidate show her or his birth certificate. However, you can do it voluntarily, as Obama and Trump have.

    The birth certificate that Obama has shown, known as the Certification of Live Birth, is the official birth certificate of Hawaii, and has been since 2001. It is the only birth certificate that Hawaii sends out, even to people born before 2001. Thousands of people use it to get their US passports every year.

    The Wall Street Journal said:

    “The birthers have also misrepresented the law in the claims they have made about Obama’s birth certificate. In truth, Obama has proved that he is a native of Hawaii, and this proof would hold up in any legal or administrative proceeding.

    In order to explain the birthers’ deception on this point, it is necessary to delve into the arcana of Hawaiian vital records. The document that Obama has released, which carries the title “certification of live birth,” confirms that the president was born in Honolulu. It is a legal birth certificate, and, as the Honolulu Star-Bulletin notes, it is the only kind of birth certificate the state of Hawaii issues….

    Further, if Congress were to pass the so-called birther bill, Obama would be able to comply easily. The bill would require presidential campaigns to submit “a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate” to the Federal Election Commission. The certificate Obama has released publicly would meet this requirement.”

  • Considering that Angie has already proven incapable of debating people without insulting them…

    It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

  • It does include spaces for the hospital name, name of the doctor, etc–but these are not likely to be politically damaging.

    That is as much mere speculation – that revealing those details would not lead to any politically damaging inquiry – as is “birther” speculation, or my own speculation that Obama is in fact a natural born citizen. The reason why it is mere speculation is because of Obama himself: because he has blocked access to those details.

    I mean, folks may be right that the birther issue is a “distraction” — as if that observation were somehow different from ‘”shut up”, he explained’ — and they may be right that the birther issue politically damages elephants more than asses, etc etc. I couldn’t care less about those contentions, which is why I didn’t comment on them.

    The fact remains that Obama is hiding the details of his birth, and it is not unreasonable, it doesn’t turn one into a raving lunatic, to ask why he is doing that or even to further contend that he ought to reveal those details.

    If the anti-birther crowd (I am neither pro- nor anti-birther, any more than I am pro- or anti- “Battlestar Galactica fan”) were willing to openly concede that Obama is deliberately hiding the details of his birth, and it his deliberate witholding of information that is the cause of controversy, but… well that would be an honest discussion. As it is, all the contempt heaped upon “birthers” just signals, to me if to nobody else, a fundamental dishonesty on the part of anti-birthers: an attempt to paint those who disagree as raving loons. (Granting, of course, that given any position X there are virtually always raving loons who agree with X).

    As I said, I fully expect that Obama was born in Hawaii — and even if not, that he is a natural born citizen, fully and unambiguously eligible for the presidency. That is my speculation — which is as supported/unsupported, given the deliberate withholding of detailed facts by Obama, as any other speculation.

  • Granite1,

    Ok, I take your word for it. Thanks

  • So there is no requirement that a president or a presidential candidate show her or his birth certificate.

    If I take (say) Lawrence Auster as an example of the “birther subplot” – that is, those who expect that Obama is in fact eligible for the presidency, but wont just shut up and go away the way the author of this post would like them to shut up and go away – then this is a straw man. Auster for one has never (that I have seen) contended that Obama is legally required to reveal the details of his birth, nor that presidential candidates in general have done so.

    One problem with trying to paint those who disagree with you about something as raving loons is that you almost inevitably end up attacking all sorts of straw men.

  • Speaking of strawmen:

    those who expect that Obama is in fact eligible for the presidency, but wont just shut up and go away the way the author of this post would like them to shut up and go away

    One problem with trying to paint those who disagree with you about something as raving loons

    I don’t believe that Trump and his ilk are themselves loons, nor do I say that they should shut up and go away (well, maybe Trump, but not for this). I simply think it’s a waste of time and that nothing meaningful can be revealed by pursuing this. I think that pressing the issue will allow them to be portrayed as loons, but I’m not suggesting that they are.

    Now Angie and those of her stripe who out and out suggest that Obama is not a natural born citizen – yeah, I think that’s loony.

  • I simply think it’s a waste of time and that nothing meaningful can be revealed by pursuing this.

    Fair enough. That is your mere speculation, though, resting on the same quicksand of absent facts – caused by Obama’s choice to hide the details, again despite being the sort of personal exhibitionist who twice authors supposedly intimate autobiographies before he had done much of anything – as the speculations of those with whom you disagree.

    Your anti-speculation is no better founded than the speculations of those against whom you argue. And the reason why everyone’s speculations are equally useless is because of Obama-the-exhibitionist’s deliberate choice to hide the detailed facts.

  • The problem isn’t where Obama was whelped. It’s he is ruining the country.

    Jobless rates “surprisingly” increased in today’s report; inflation raises prices on necessities.

    Only 45.4% of Americans held jobs in 2010, the lowest since 1983 and down from 49.3% in 2000.

    A redux of Carter’s ruinous regime is the best case scenario, a miracle.

    “Manchild Demagogue” spends three times as much as Dubya: blames Dubya.

    “Eat the Rich” Department:

    Americans prefer spending decreases to tax increases by 50% margin: three to two.

    Gallup: Obama’s Approval Drops Below 50 Percent Among Poorest Americans; No Longer Enjoys Majority Approval In Any Income Class.

    “So there is no requirement that a president or a presidential candidate show her or his birth certificate.”

    The AZ legisalture is about to make proof of Constitutional eligibility to be President a requirement to be included on the ballot in AZ.

    Obama must go.

  • Bob said: “because he has blocked access to those details.”

    Answer: No he didn’t. Hawaii does not send out the original birth certificate anymore. That was Hawaii’s decision, back in 2001, when it decided not to send out the long-form birth certificate anymore, and since then it hasn’t, not even to people who were born before 2001.

    Re: “The fact remains that Obama is hiding the details of his birth..”

    Answer. Once again, no he hasn’t. It is Hawaii that does not send out the original birth certificate anymore.

    Re: “If the anti-birther crowd…were willing to openly concede that Obama is deliberately hiding the details of his birth.”

    We do not and cannot because it is Hawaii that does not send out the original birth certificate to anyone. ANYONE.

    Re: “As I said, I fully expect that Obama was born in Hawaii…’

    Answer. So do I, based on the birth certificate, the confirmation of the officials in Hawaii (Three officials, three times, all Republicans), the notices in the Hawaii newspapers, which were not ads by the way, this witness who recalls being told of Obama’s birth in Hawaii, in Kapiolani Hospital, in 1961:

    http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article137495.ece

    And the absence of any US travel document indicating that Obama traveled in 1961. (If a child were in fact born in a foreign country, she or he would need a US visa or to be entered on the mother’s US passport to get to the USA)–which has not been found for Obama.

    I expect that you need proof that Hawaii does not send out copies of the long form birth certificate to ANYONE:

    http://archives.starbulletin.com/content/20090606

    And:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42519951/ns/politics-

  • TShaw said: “So there is no requirement that a president or a presidential candidate show her or his birth certificate.”

    The AZ legisalture is about to make proof of Constitutional eligibility to be President a requirement to be included on the ballot in AZ. ”

    Answer: Yes that may pass. My point was that there was none so far, so Bush and Clinton did not break any laws by not showing their birth certificates.

    IF Arizona does indeed pass that law, then the most that it can do is require Obama to show the official birth certificate of Hawaii, which is the one that he has already shown. Yes, I know that the bill still says “long-form,” but that is unconstitutional under the US Constitution’s full faith and credit clause. Under that clause every state must accept the official documents of all other states.

    So, it may have to go to court. If it does, there is no question that the courts will rule that Arizona must accept Hawaii’s official birth certificate, which is the Certification of Live Birth.

  • “Considering that Angie has already proven incapable of debating people without insulting them, I’ve already gone and banned her, Don.”

    Bravo Paul!

    “Donald, have you seen Obama’s birth certificate? Has he showed it to anybody? Isn’t one of the requirements for president is to be a Natural born citizen?”

    Well Jasper I’ve already cited the law that makes Obama a natural born citizen and I will cite it again:

    “Title 8 section 1401 of the US Code sets forth who is a natural citizen:

    The relevant provision for Obama, even if he had been born in Kenya:

    “(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/8/usc_sec_08_00001401—-000-.html

    I am quite familiar with this law, and not only because I am an attorney. My brother was born in Saint John’s Newfoundland to my American Father and my then Canandian (She later became a naturalized American citizen) Mother. Out of curiosity I looked up the law on the subject years before I became an attorney and I know this aspect of the law by heart.

  • Ironically, Romney’s father who ran for the Republican nomination in 1968 was born in Mexico but it didn’t matter because his parents were US citizens, making him a natural born citizen.

    Obama’s father was not a US citizen so if he wasn’t born in the US he wouldn’t be a natural born citizen.

    My cousin went to school in Indonesia without being an Indonesian citizen.

  • “Obama’s father was not a US citizen so if he wasn’t born in the US he wouldn’t be a natural born citizen.”

    Untrue RR. See the statute I cited prior to your comment.

  • Donald,

    Ok, I believe you.

  • Obama’s mother was a citizen, so I believe that would make him a NBC regardless (hence the wacky theory that his mother renounced her citizenship prior to Obama’s birth).

  • Bear in mind also, there is, so far as I know, absolutely no evidence that Obama’s mother ever went to Kenya, and given that Obama Sr. had another wife back in Kenya that Ms. Dunham didn’t know about, that seems unlikely.

  • Bob said: “because he has blocked access to those details.”

    Answer: No he didn’t.

    Are you suggesting that Obama does not know and is not capable of finding out the details of his own birth?

    I suppose that is another possibility; though how believable a possibility is another matter.

  • So, Obama, Sr. had two wives at the same????

    He was married to Stanley and another woman in Kenya????

    Kenyan citizens are legally permitted to retain two wives???

    Now, I understand. It is all perfectly clear.

  • All of this is just a PR boon for Obama. First, it makes his opponents look like nuts, but it also brings to the forefront Obama’s most sympathetic qualities. Any embarrassing information on Obama’s birth certificate would be no fault of his own, but a product of his rather unconventional and tragic childhood. One of the few things I can say I admire about Obama is the fact that he overcame a difficult past and is, as far as I can tell, a devoted family man. That’s truly a wonderful thing. You can’t say that about Bill Clinton. I think all Americans are naturally sympathetic to someone with humble beginnings who then succeeds. As opponents of Obama, we need to concentrate on his numerous policy shortcomings, and not farfetched accidents of his birth.

  • Paul, it could very well be argued that good breeding matters a great deal. Objectively examining Obama’s parentage and extended family tree, one is hard-pressed to locate sturdy limbs upon which to hang the utmost confidence. That’s putting it as delicately as I can.

  • but a product of his rather unconventional and tragic childhood. One of the few things I can say I admire about Obama is the fact that he overcame a difficult past and is, as far as I can tell, a devoted family man. That’s truly a wonderful thing. You can’t say that about Bill Clinton.

    Calling his upbringing ‘tragic’ is de trop. By what accounts have appeared in the papers, Ann Dunham could be described as an odd, erratic and self-centered creature and the effects of this certainly tainted the lives of the people around her (both children, her parents, and her 2d husband). By the age of 35, she had taken two trips through the divorce courts and subcontracted the rearing of her son to her parents. That having been said, the life BO lead in Honolulu was (in material terms) agreeably bourgeois and there is little indication that any of the adults in his domestic milieux were given to the sort of cruelty that Roger Clinton visited on his sons or Hugh Rodham on his.

  • Don, you’re right. I misread the end of the statute about military service as a conditional.

  • Thank you for providing the following, Mr. McClarey:

    Title 8 section 1401 of the US Code sets forth who is a natural citizen:
    The relevant provision for Obama, even if he had been born in Kenya:
    “(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:”

    Do you have any legal considerations to offer us regarding Obama’s Connecticut Social Security number?

  • First, it makes his opponents look like nuts, but it also brings to the forefront Obama’s most sympathetic qualities. Any embarrassing information on Obama’s birth certificate would be no fault of his own, but a product of his rather unconventional and tragic childhood.

    If that were true, though, it seems it would motivate Obama to release the information rather than hide it, as he has done. So it seems likely that the qualities in question aren’t sympathetic – at least in the sense of inspiring support for him rather than undermining him politically, for whatever reason.

    Perhaps the argument is that whatever the facts turned out to be, no matter what they are, those facts ought to inspire sympathy and thus political support, given an ideally virtuous electorate. But an ideally virtuous electorate would never have elected Obama in the first place, so I’m not sure what that is supposed to prove; and in any event it is far from clear that it is wise, let alone virtuous, to willfully ignore a president’s formation and upbringing.

  • President Obama’s mother was a US citizen.

    She was permanently resident in the United States before his birth.

    She was permanently resident in the United States after his birth.

    Thus

    The President is a natural born United States Citizen if he was born in Hawaii, Kenya, Antarctica, the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the far side of the moon, or Alpha Centauri.

    Since the Courts would hold that for any Tom Dick or Harry in the same situation, I have no doubt that they would hold it for President Obama.

  • I’m not suggesting that someone’s upbringing is irrelevant to one’s character, but by continually bringing it up it makes Obama’s opponents look like jerks. He should be judged on his actions and stated beliefs, not his mother’s erratic behavior. Also simply growing up without material want doesn’t mean that he did not have a tragic childhood. As the child of multiple divorces, I’ve felt this personally.

    I vehemently oppose Obama politically, but I would hope that I would never fall into the trap of some of Bush’s detractors who seem to find everything about the man objectionable, sinister, or evil. It’s bad strategy and spiritually unhealthy.

    Bob, I honestly don’t think there is anything to be revealed, embarrassing or sympathy inducing. By delaying, Obama keeps the focus away from his actual record, and on this kookie issue.

  • I honestly don’t think there is anything to be revealed, embarrassing or sympathy inducing.

    And again, this is no better or worse a speculation than birther speculations, because we don’t have the facts; and the reason we don’t have the facts is that Barack “two autobiographies in his forties even though he did nothing of note” Obama, the exhibitionist, who has continually made a political symbol of his personal childhood and upbringing, is deliberately hiding those facts.

    What birthers and anti-birthers have in common is that they both assume that they know the implications of the deliberately-hidden facts about Obama’s childhood. Birthers think those unknown facts make Obama unqualified to be president under the Constitution; anti-birthers think those unknown facts are irrelevant. The “birther subplot” which is being criticized in this post seems to me to be frankly the only reasonable position: that is, we don’t know the facts, and we don’t know them precisely because Obama, who has deliberately made a political symbol out of his childhood, refuses to reveal the facts about his politically symbolic childhood.

    I suppose we might say that there is an “anti-birther subplot” at work too. An unspoken premise of the anti-birther subplot is that it is an unreasonable and embarrassing waste of time to press any issue which is presumed (without factual basis) to be unimportant.

    Under the anti-birther subplot, pressing the issue – the fact – that Obama-who-made-his-childhood-a-political-symbol-and-wrote-two-autobiographies-by-the-time-he-was-in-his-forties-and-won-the-presidency-on-that-narrative, refuses to reveal the details of his own childhood – is unreasonable and embarrassing.

    I don’t think either birtherism or anti-birtherism (as defined in this thread) are at all reasonable, because both presume to know facts which we do not in fact know, and we don’t know them because Obama is deliberately hiding them. And I don’t find the “shut up, he explained” or “pressing any issue which is not the most important issue is a foolish waste of time” narrative of the anti-birther-subplot, as typified by this blog post, to be particularly reasonable either.

    The more I think about it, the most defensible position seems to be the “birther subplot” position: we don’t know the facts because Obama, who deliberately made a political symbol of his own childhood, is deliberately preventing us from knowing them. Furthermore, as human beings we are perfectly capable of talking about and pressing more than one issue. Pressing some particular issue doesn’t mean it is the most important issue, so the contention that pressing this issue from the standpoint of the “birther subplot” is a waste of time, is pish-posh.

  • PHOENIX — The Arizona Legislature gave final approval late Thursday night to a proposal that would require President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove they are U.S. citizens before their names can appear on the state’s ballot.

  • Also simply growing up without material want doesn’t mean that he did not have a tragic childhood. As the child of multiple divorces, I’ve felt this personally.

    There is a distinction between ‘disagreeable in some aspects’ and ‘tragic’.

  • Bob,

    There are literally dozens of reasons that Obama is unfit for office. Harping on a stupid non-issue like this is a waste of everyone’s time and energy. In fact I now regret even bringing up the issue because it’s an even bigger waste of time and energy discussing what a complete waste of time and energy it is. Who cares if his mother was unmarried or his father was a louse or anything that might be on the long-form certificate? It is irrelevant to the fact that the man is: a demagogue unserious about tackling the financial issues facing this nation, is the biggest enemy of the unborn ever to occupy the White House, has absolutely no idea how to conduct foreign policy, lies with practically every breath he takes, and seeks to socialize the economy to an extent heretofore unseen. Oh, but there maybe kinda possibly be sort of something that is not good on his birth certificate. Who. Freaking. Cares.

  • Thanks Don. I will grant that the Birthers have absolutely nothing on the Trig Truthers. Now that is some unhinged crazy.

  • Z: Thanks for bumping that comment.

  • Rah!, rah!, facts are a waste of time! woo-hoo!

    I’ll have what you guys are drinking.

  • What “facts” have you presented, Bob? Do you think that ranting and raving is somehow proof of your argument?

    Unreal.

  • Every time you use the term “waste”, “ranting”, “raving”, “crazy”, “who cares”, or “unhinged”, you have to drink.

  • Right Bob, using strong adjectives is the same thing as making unsupportable claims and stating them as fact.

    I’m done with this.

  • I think it was Rochefoucauld who said that arguments would not last long if the fault were on only one side.

  • I rather think Rochefoucauld did not have deranged conspiracy nuts in mind when he made that statement Joe. 🙂

  • Don’t forget that “birther” itself is a play on “truther”, the term for the (generally left leaning) people who insist that 9/11 was an “inside job” plotted, or at the very least allowed to happen, by the Bush Administration. I guess “-ther” has become the suffix of choice to designate crackpot conspiracy theories just as “-gate” is for political scandals.

    Another one of Trump’s supremely idiotic statements on the birther issue was his assertion that the birth announcements which appeared in the Honolulu newspapers were paid advertisements placed by his grandparents in an attempt to make little Barry appear to be a U.S. citizen and thereby gain the benefits of citizenship.

    It may be true TODAY that people have to pay to publish birth announcements (or wedding announcements, or obituaries). However, routine publication of birth announcements in newspapers (along with hospital admissions and discharges) was a common practice in small towns and small- to medium-size cities prior to the advent of medical privacy laws and concerns about child abduction and identity theft.

    My own birth and that of my older brother (nearly the same age as Obama) was announced in the local newspaper in precisely the same format as was Obama’s — “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe (Jane Smith), 123 Elm Street, Anytown, girl, Saturday, St. Mary’s.” In the 1960s hospitals automatically provided this information to local newspapers unless the parents specifically requested that it NOT be published.

  • “However, routine publication of birth announcements in newspapers (along with hospital admissions and discharges) was a common practice in small towns and small- to medium-size cities prior to the advent of medical privacy laws and concerns about child abduction and identity theft.”

    Quite right Elaine. In my own small town newspaper this is still the case. I almost think Trump, bad hair piece+big ego, is a mole attempting to get Obama re-elected.

  • As with many arguments, this one (referring to “anti-birther-subplot” as opposed to “anti-birther”) seems to suffer from an utter incapacity to accurately paraphrase what you are arguing against.

  • Actually Bob I think it’s quite simple. Birthers are either fools or knaves who either have no knowledge of the relevant law and facts or deliberately choose to ignore the relevant law and facts. Nothing complicated about it.

  • Actually Bob I think it’s quite simple. Birthers are either fools or knaves who either have no knowledge of the relevant law and facts or deliberately choose to ignore the relevant law and facts. Nothing complicated about it.

    Don: you prove my point just about perfectly with that post.

    All of my own discussion in this post has been about the “birther subplot,” not “birtherism” proper. I explicitly rejected the “birther” position above, which you would know if you were putting even the slightest effort into making an accurate paraphrase.

    I get it, though. This post wasn’t about substantive discussion; it was just a rant. And hey, everyone needs a little rant now and then.

    Enjoy the hothouse, boys!

  • “I get it, though. This post wasn’t about substantive discussion; it was just a rant. And hey, everyone needs a little rant now and then.”

    No Bob, this post was to indicate that Birtherism is a complete dead end. Your meandering contribution did help substantiate that point, so very good show Bob!

  • I believe we have reached the end of the useful life of this thread.

Shocking

Wednesday, April 13, AD 2011

Sit down, folks, because I’m going to share a piece of news that will completely flabbergast you.  Bart Stupak – the ever courageous pro-life Democrat who so valiantly fought against abortion funding in Obamacare until the administration offered him an easily breakable and meaningless compromise – yeah, that dude.  Well now he’s a lobbyist for a law firm.  And among the firm’s clients . . . Planned Parenthood of Maryland.

I know, I know, this is a blow.  We all admired the brave soul who was a voice crying out in the wilderness, until the wilderness got a little creepy and he decided bigger, better paydays were more his speed.

Have no fear.  I have been assured that none of the money that Planned Parenthood is billed by the firm goes to pay for Bart Stupak’s salary.

Continue reading...

11 Responses to Shocking

  • Hey, as long as Stupak’s office is at the complete opposite end of the hall from the dude who handles PP, then I don’t see a problem with this whatsoever.

    But just to be sure, there needs to be five or six spaces separating their parking spots as well.

    /sarc

  • I am sure that Morning’s Minion at Vox Nova will write an excellent post explaining how Stupak joining a firm that shills for Planned Parenthood demonstrates his deep committment to the pro-life cause and that we who point this out are truly in league with the real anti-life forces.

  • What’s also sad is that years ago, before Stupak sold out the unborn, he was featured on a Knights of Columbus video about building a Culture of Life. Really sad.

  • Don,

    Correct. MM would only complain about Stupak if he joined National Right to Life.

  • Venable is a HUGE firm. Number 83 in the world based on revenue:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_100_largest_law_firms

    They seem to represent just about everybody:
    http://www.venable.com/nonprofits/clients/

    I don’t think we read much into Stupak’s character from this.

  • That’s true Matt. Interestingly, a lot of the organizations represented by Venable are health care related.

  • Matt is right. I am not aware of my Firm (#55 on that list) representing PP, but I would have little practical ability to prevent it even as a rather senior partner — just as no partner could stop me from representing either the Catholic Church or a pro-life organization. I have no brief for Stupak, but I don’t think it is particularly fair to read much into this except for some odd variant of karmic irony, I suppose.

  • Matt and Mike:

    Fair enough. Of course a person in Stupak’s shoes should have a wider range of options to pick and choose the firms he works for, but your points are well taken.

  • The problems are far broader than saying y’er pro-life and 24/7 acting pro-abortion.

    Michael Walsh (from Instapundit) “SO OBAMA’S PEOPLE ARE TALKING TAX INCREASES AGAIN. Here’s my proposal: A 50% surtax on anything earned within five years after leaving the federal government, above whatever the federal salary was. Leave a $150K job at the White House, take a $1M job with Goldman, Sachs, pay a $425K surtax. Some House Republican should add this to a bill and watch the Dems react.

    “UPDATE: Should we also provide that salaries paid to former government officials aren’t deductible for corporations? Or is that going too far? I say: Put it in as a negotiating point!”

  • Why not just make lobbying legal after all it is only a synonym for bribe. Look, most of these jobs are payback for votes legislation while in office. They get rich while in office and if they leave. Also, make it illegal for them to reside on a company board in which they introduced legislation that directly effected a particular industry.

  • It must be close to impossible to not be tied to Planned Parenthood. They have their claws into every aspect of society now. Just look at the way the USCCB through CHHD and most Catholic Universities give them credence, even supplying links on their websites to Planned Barrenhood.

    Stupak is just another one of their minions playing their game. He probably thinks he is 5 degrees from their evil, or he just doesn’t care as long as the paycheck keeps on coming in.

Governor Quinn of Illinois Appoints Anti-Catholic Bigot to Human Rights Commission

Wednesday, April 13, AD 2011

The Governor of Illinois is Pat Quinn, a Roman Catholic and 100% pro-abort. He got elected last year by a razor thin margin  largely by under the radar last minute internet ads posted by Personal PAC, a pro-abort lobbying group, headed by a Terry Cosgrove. As payback Quinn appointed Cosgrove to a $46,000 a year job on the Human Rights Commission.  Lake County Right to Life has good coverage on this story which may be read here.  Regular Guy Paul has been on top of the story at his blog here.

Now I happen to know Cosgrove from the days back in the Seventies when we were both attending the U of I. He is a lapsed Catholic, now a militant atheist, homosexual activist and fanatical pro-abort. He was head of the local campus pro-aborts and I was one of the founders of L.I.F.E. (Life Is For Everyone), the campus pro-life group. One time I saw Cosgrove at Mass circa 1980 at the Newman Chapel, at Saint John’s. Puzzled why he was there, after Mass I found out why. At the pamphlet rack in the back I saw that he had stuffed pro-abort anti-Catholic pamphlets. I disposed of them. He also said in one memorable public forum that he carried a gun to defend himself against “militant anti-choicers”, as he phrased pro-lifers. That a bigot like Cosgrove now has a seat on the Human Rights Commission in Illinois has a nice Orwellian touch.  Challenged on the nomination, Quinn made the following truly hilarious statement:

Quinn said politics had nothing to do with the appointment, adding that Cosgrove is “a passionate advocate for everyone’s rights, everyone’s civil rights, everyone’s human rights.”

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13 Responses to Governor Quinn of Illinois Appoints Anti-Catholic Bigot to Human Rights Commission

  • One more example of the societal blessings/consequences of “useful saints” votes for pro-abortion catholics because they somehow “advance social justice.”

    Your tax dollars are not only paying for baby murders. They fund tens of thousands of evils, e.g., the damnation of youth being brainwashed in pubic schools.

    For whatever it’s worth – here is my Spiritual Work of Mercy (instruct the ignorant) for today: fornication and perfidy are not human rights. They are sins.

  • Let’s pray for Terry Cosgrove and Gov. Quinn and their conversions, and for the bishops, that they may have the courage to speak the truth in love, in season & out of season.

  • I agree with Chris.
    I also will pray that St. Michael can lead some serious a**-kickin’.

  • I wrote this in the combox of yesterday’s post on the Civil War:

    “Why does not the Church publicly excommunicate all publicly professed pro-abortion politicians? Those are rhetorical questions and yes, I realize a person excommunicates himself by such vile acts, yet the public scandal must be confronted with a public response. Look at how St. Peter confronted Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11, or what St. Paul did to Hymenaus and Alexander in 1st Timothy 1:19-20, or what St. John said about Jezebel at the Church in Thyatira in Revelation 2:20-23. Precedence has been established for dealing with Nancy Pelosi, Patrick Kennedy, Joe Biden, John Kerry and the rest.”

    If our clergy will not thus discharge their sacred duty, then let them beware the warning of Ezekiel 34:1-11. If God were willing to deal thusly with the hypocritical priests left in Jerusalem after the first deportation to Babylon, then what makes us think that we are exempt when what we do is equal to or great in perversion, perfidy and idolatry than what the people of Judah did and their priests either condoned or worse, sanctified?

    People are going to say that I am being uncharitable and unkind and (the worst sin of all) not nice. Well, the wages of sin are still death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Governor Quinn and his fellow Democrats (as well as the neo-cons and RINOs) may sadly find out the truth of that statement when it is far too late. I really like what T. Shaw wrote: fornication and perfidy are NOT human rights.

  • “Let’s pray for Terry Cosgrove and Gov. Quinn and their conversions, and for the bishops, that they may have the courage to speak the truth in love, in season & out of season.”

    As to Cosgrove and Quinn, Chris, that would take some high magnitude prayer. As for a good many bishops, I think they would need an episcopal spine transplant.

  • Then we better get to it, Don. 🙂

    It’s not like we can do much else anyway, is it? Perhaps with the bishops one might correspond with them, but in my experience, prayer really is our best course of action.

  • Can someone be pro abortion and a Catholic? NO!

    No surprise here….

  • “prayer really is our best course of action.”

    In my experience Chris prayer and a punch in the nose often makes a salutary combination. Come to think of it, I have benefited from that combination in my own life. (Thanks, Mom!) 🙂 I will be happy to pray for Cosgrove and Quinn to be converted and saved from the eternal loss of Hell and I will also pray, and work, for the day when they exercise zero power in the Land of Lincoln. As for the bishops, well I guess prayer is better than correspondence since letters seem to mean bupkis to most of them in my experience.

  • ” I will also pray, and work, for the day when they exercise zero power in the Land of Lincoln.”

    Lest others think I’m espousing a form of quietism, let me say that I wholeheartedly agree with your efforts to minimize their impact in IL.

    For someone like me — a few states to your west — my options are more limited in this specific instance, but prayer is something I can always do. And will do. 🙂

  • I agree with every word in the comments here by Don.
    Our prayers are needed for the most part to show our concern and to indicate our sorrow for offences against the Body of Christ. But as the Church Militant we must at least “request” and pray also that our leadership join us and go before us in battle expressing boldly and broadly the TRUTH contained in our efforts to (in the words of Christ himself) bring fulfillment to “thy Will be done on earth…”.
    And for sure understanding that….. “He who is not with me is against me”

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  • As usual, however, some conservatives and Republicans tried to make a mountain out of a molehill on this issue (whether this appointment was a case of “pay to play”) when they already had a mountain of Himalayan proportions staring them in the face (Cosgrove’s militant support for a practice millions of Illinois residents consider morally abhorrent and his bigotry toward a religious faith practiced by many citizens).

    Some GOP legislators seemed to believe they had to justify their vote against him by raising the specter of whether or not he “bought” his position by raising campaign money for Quinn.

    The mere fact that a person who ardently supported a gubernatorial candidate and worked hard to get him elected later received an appointment from said governor is not inherently evil or corrupt, provided the person is qualified for the job to which they are appointed. What governor, president, etc. hasn’t placed the people who supported him from the beginning and stuck with him through thick and thin in positions of influence?

    If by “qualified” one means “possessing relevant experience in a given field and basic knowledge of what the job requires,” then Cosgrove would be qualified in that sense, having served in similar positions elsewhere. However, competency and experience in a public position are not ends in themselves — they should be means to the ultimate end of insuring justice for all citizens. And in that sense, Cosgrove is appallingly unqualified, since he aggressively promotes gross injustice to the most vulnerable citizens of all. Who needs any other reason but that to vote against him?

    The notion that Cosgrove’s appointment was some kind of Blago-style “pay to play” is, in my opinion, a distraction from the real issues similar to the Obama “birther” or “secret Muslim” allegations — there are enough REAL reasons to oppose these people without having to make stuff up.

Bumper Sticker Police

Wednesday, April 13, AD 2011

 

Bravo Klavan on the culture!  I have never understood the burning desire of people to share their political philosophies with some driver behind them who might find their politics distasteful in the exteme, and has a gas pedal with which to express his disagreement.  As to your comments about the bumper sticker regarding war, here is a dissenting viewpoint:

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10 Responses to Bumper Sticker Police

  • Do you remeber what you were doing at 0846 hours (NY time) on 11 September 2001?

    One of them “war-never-solved-anyhthing” geniuses had this on his car: “9/11 Was An Inside Job.” My kid was deployed in Afghanistan at the time.

    I never see (Nassau/Queens, NY) any Obama stickers, any more.

    “Obama Never Solved Anything!”

  • I was in my office T.Shaw when the first reports came in on 9-11. I didn’t get much work done that day. I have never been more filled with rage in any 24 hour period before or since.

  • I was at a customer’s, back in the warehouse, when one of the employees said “a plane just hit one of the Twin Towers!” I thought he meant a commuter plane or one of those Piper Cubs. I popped into their conference room where they always had Headline News playing, and couldn’t believe my eyes. I was watching when the second plane struck.

    I didn’t get anymore work done that day either.

    Life in America was forever changed.

  • T. Shaw-
    I was in Navy bootcamp.
    Thus, we have military bumper stickers all over the back end of our minivan… and a “BEEF” one because it is for dinner!

    My first car has a “get in, set down, shut up and hold on” and a W sticker (but also had dragon decals all over), and our next minivan (when we finally save up for one) will have the military stickers, the beef one, and a “some days, the dragon wins” sticker.

    It’s hard to find anything worth saying that will fit on a bumper sticker…. that said, I’m still impressed at the pickup I saw once where the entire thing was a rolling memorial and celebration of the USMC.

  • How about this one from RealCatholicTV:

    “Barak Obama: Soft on terrorists, Hard on Fetuses”

  • I don’t like stickers, I also don’t like war. The former damages my car and cars, even used ones (especially after cash-for-clunkers) are too expensive. The latter is disliked by any civilized person, but it is and shall remain often necessary. When it is, it should be executed with extreme prejudice so that it ends quickly.

    I do like magnets. I place our country’s flag and the Gadsden flag on my car and it is always a good idea to place a pro-life one too. I doubt it will change anyone’s mind, but I take pleasure in the frustrated look of those crunchy granola wheat grass drinking types with that stupid purple ‘coexist’ sticker made up of syncretist and indifferent religious symbols, when they see my pro-life sign.

    Of course, I also often display an “END THE FED” magnet too.

    Happy 150th emancipation day Virginia!

  • I have only one bumper sticker and it has been on the car since early 1998. Once in California someone flipped me off when passing on a mountain road. My wife said it was probably the bumper sticker. It cost me a dollar. I bought it from the GOP. It is red with white lettering that says IT’S A CHILD, NOT A CHOICE.

  • T. Shaw: I was at a meeting with Family Medicine physicians and one came in toward the end of the meeting and said “Just to let you know, there are reports that 2 planes hit the WTC. One might be an accident, but I don’t know about 2.” I was still thinking along the lines of small commuter planes – until I walked back to my office and caught sight of the TV in the doctor’s lounge. I remember watching the second tower fall and wondering how many thousands of people had just died. Then I went back to my desk, in a daze, and a physician who was angry about something utterly trivial called and chewed me out for a while and I sat there and said, uh huh, uh huh, and then I finally broke in and said “Doctor, do you know what just happened in NY?” He hadn’t heard.

  • BTW, one bumper sticker I always found irritating was one I spotted quite a bit on the East Coast: “Einstein was a vegetarian.” It was the smug assumption of not only moral, but intellectual superiority that so annoyed me. “I am also a vegetarian, therefore I am like Einstein.” I was sorely tempted to write my own P.S. with magic marker: “Guess what? So was Hitler.”

    In my neighborhood, emblazoning my rear bumper with a sticker proclaiming a cause near to my heart would almost certainly result in my car getting keyed.

  • Donna the habit of saying that a famous figure also had some belief that had nothing to do with why they were famous has always struck me as very odd. That Einstein was a vegetarian has no more to do with his theories in physics than the fact that he was a philanderer.

    In regard to vegetarians, I have always like Sarah Palin’s quip. “There is room for all God’s creatures—right next to the gravy and mashed potatoes!”

Compare and Contrast

Tuesday, April 12, AD 2011

Behind Door Number One we have Mark Shea firing up his catchphrase and strawman machine as he hyperventilates about the “Evil Stupid, Stupid Evil,  Evil is Stupid, Am I Evil?  Yes I Am, Stupid is as Stupid Does” Party.  Behind Door Number Two we have Bill McGurn’s account of what happened on Friday night as President Obama dug in his heels and refused to budge on the issue of Planned Parenthood.  Tough call, but let’s go with door number two, Monty.

In the end, President Barack Obama was the one who refused to blink on Planned Parenthood. Another way of saying it is this: The president was willing to shut down the entire federal government rather than see Planned Parenthood’s federal funding cut.

According to press accounts leaked by Democratic aides, House Speaker John Boehner argued for the funding cut late into the evening. The president answered, “Nope, zero.” He then said, “John, this is it.” Mr. Boehner accepted the budget deal without that cut.

A Republican aide confirmed more or less the same account to me. He said it was “chilling” to see how inflexible Mr. Obama was. You might call it ideological.

Certainly there’s a political logic here. To begin with, many of the women’s groups that supported him are still smarting over the executive order (banning federal dollars for abortions) he issued to secure passage of his health-care bill. That’s still a sore spot, even though—as his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, recently told the Chicago Tribune editorial board—that language is not in the law. The presumption ­being, of course, that eventually the order will be overridden.

The hard line on Planned Parenthood funding also makes sense if the president was calculating that Mr. Boehner would get the blame for a shutdown no matter what. That’s a reasonable assumption, judging from the way the press has swallowed the White House line on who the extremists here are. Never mind that this is the same president who, as an Illinois state senator, famously opposed limiting even partial-birth abortion.

For his part, Mr. Boehner now finds himself criticized for accepting too little in spending cuts and giving up the ship on defunding Planned Parenthood to get a budget deal. Leaving aside his victory in restoring the previous status quo prohibiting taxpayer funding for abortions in the District of Columbia, Mr. Boehner came away with two strong accomplishments.

First, in just three months as speaker, he has managed to change the national debate from “stimulus” and “investment” to “how much spending do we need to cut”—which is why Mr. Obama will be pressing the reset button in a planned speech on spending tomorrow. Second, on Planned Parenthood funding, he has secured something that those concerned about restoring these contentious issues to the people should appreciate: an agreement that the Senate will vote on a separate measure to defund Planned Parenthood.

Surely it tells you something about who the real extremists are that an up or down vote is deemed a concession. In an appearance at a rally before the deal, Mr. Schumer vowed that any bill taking taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood would “never, never, never” pass the Senate. In the normal way of doing things, it wouldn’t even have come up for a vote.

McGurn’s whole column is behind a pay wall, and I can violate fair use only so much (K-Lo did it first).  There is one other line in the column I do have to take issue with.  McGurn notes that Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions in 2009, and adds, “Planned Parenthood counters that no federal dollars go to abortion, but Americans are not stupid.  They know money is fungible.”  Sadly, based on some of the Facebook and blog posts I read last week, I’d have to disagree with McGurn’s assessment about the public’s stupidity.

I can partially understand the sentiment of those who think Boehner should have drawn a line in the sand as well.  The problem is we have an ideological extremist in the White House – and one would think by now people would finally get this – who is beholden to the abortion lobby.  Oh, he might change his mind when it comes to things like military commissions and waging war in the Middle East, but when it comes to abortion there ain’t no stopping him now.  There can be negotiating with the likes of Obama when it comes to abortion – only removal from office.

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9 Responses to Compare and Contrast

  • The problems confronting Boehner were a practical one and a political one:

    1. The practical one is that the GOP simply lack the votes in the Senate to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, with the Democrats still having a slender majority.

    2. The political one is that shutting down the Federal government solely over Planned Parenthood funding would have given the Democrats a gift which would keep on giving for 2012. Such a stand simply could not be sold to the American people, especially as distorted by the mainstream media. (Planned Parenthood does not use federal funds for abortion! Those crazy Republicans are taking the nation over the cliff in order to mollify pro-life zealots!)

    Under the circumstances Boehner came out well: a ban on funding abortions by the DC government; and an up or down vote on funding Planned Parenthood on Thursday in the Senate, something that Reid wanted to prevent, as Democrats running in Red States for re-election to the Senate in 2012 hate being put on the spot to support Planned Parenthood. Oh, they’ll do it, because abortion is the Holy of Holies in the Democrat Party and Planned Parenthood is the chief minister to that Sacred Mystery of the Party of the Jackass, but they hate doing it since it reminds voters in Red States just how alien they are to the sense of morality of most voters in those States.

    Boehner also got more spending cuts than the Democrats were initially willing to agree to.

    Not bad for a new Speaker facing a Democrat Senate and a Democrat President.

  • Have you been following the Pence Amendment though? The House has already approved the Pence Amendment to remove all Title X funds from PP. It’s a brilliant move on Boehner’s part because now there’s no budget argument for the Dems to hide behind and it’s only a vote to defund PP. Those who vote to continue funding PP will have to answer for it at election time. PP could still be defunded. It’s time to call Senators! My husband’s been letting Scott Brown have it!

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  • I guess that’s one of the excuse people used to vote for Obama in 2008 and will again employ in 2012.

    At least the (D) is for despicables have the cowardice of their convictions, i.e., they are truly fearful of voting against their baby-murdering base.

    I wince at the moral contortions through which good people put themselves to justify voting for the 100% abortion candidate. The pro-life party couldn’t do anything! NOW GET THIS: pro-life couldn’t prevail because the pro-death candidates keep being elected by good people.

    Did I make it sufficiently clear? No. If you are pro-life, do not vote for abortion candidates, i.e., any democrat. I am an accountant, not an MA in moral theology, etc.

  • My prediction: 47 senators will vote to defund. 45 Republicans (47 minus Olympia Snow and Susan Collins) plus Ben Nelson and Joe Manchin.

  • Close RR. My tally is 45 voting to defund. Scott Brown, who the best I can say for him right now is that he is not Ted Kennedy, has come out against defunding Worse Than Murder, inc, and Princess Lisa from Alaska, ever the pro-abort, wants to continue to fill the coffers of PP. Having said that, I can imagine a surprise vote or two more on the Democrat side that might make it razor thin, especially if Reid decides to release some Dems who are in tough races next year. (Not though Bob Casey, Jr, the disgraceful offspring of a great man. He has announced that PP can depend on him. Can we dispense with the pretense now that Casey the Lesser is in any sense pro-life?) Ironic if our first Catholic Vice-President would have to break a tie vote in favor of Planned Parenthood, although I expect the Dems will probably have at least a 4 vote margin of victory.

  • The bottom line is Boehner does not have a backbone but that only means he is average among his colleagues. The Republicans should have called their bluff and allowed the federal government to shut down. It is not as if the federal government is doing their job anyway just look at our boarders. The fed sucks the life blood out of taxpayers and wastes it on abortions, foreign aid (which only really makes the elite richer), give aways to non-citizens at citizens expenses, financial aid to foreign business, etc.

    I say let the fed shut down and then the states can start doing more without the huge pile of red tape to attend with.

  • Forgot about Brown and Mukowski. You’re right, Don. 45. Even if the GOP won all the competitive Senate races last year, they wouldn’t have a pro-life majority.

April 12, 1861: And The War Came

Tuesday, April 12, AD 2011

 Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

                                                                            Abraham Lincoln

One hundred and fifty years ago, at 4:30 AM on April 12, 1861, the Civil War began with the commencement of the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.  This was the end of months of attempted negotiation regarding the removal of Federal troops from Fort Sumter.  The bombardment was fierce, but casualty free.  The 85 men under Major Robert Anderson defended the fort until April 13, 1861 at 1:00 PM when he agreed to surrender due to his men being hungry and exhausted, fires raging uncontrolled throughout the Fort and the military situation being completely hopeless.  The surrender ceremonies were held the next day, with two Union soldiers being killed when a pile of cartridges exploded during the 100 gun salute to the Stars and Stripes that Major Anderson had insisted upon.  Anderson and his men sailed to the North with Anderson carrying the Fort Sumter flag with him.  Four years later to the day, Major General Robert Anderson raised the same flag over Union controlled Fort Sumter.

The firing on Fort Sumter sent both the North and the South into a war frenzy, leading to the secession of Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina.  The battle lines were now drawn  for the Civil War, a war which would kill some 620,000 Union and Confederate troops, and wound, often maimed for life, approximately an equal number.

How had it come to this?  Why did the conflict over slavery end in war?

1.  Talked out-For over forty years the North and the South had argued about slavery.  I think there was zero appetite on both sides to continue a discussion that was obviously going nowhere.

2.  Failure of compromise-In 1820 and 1850 grand compromises had been reached to resolve the slavery issue.  They failed.  People on both sides had reached the conclusion by the election of 1860 that no satisfactory compromise on the question of slavery was possible.

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26 Responses to April 12, 1861: And The War Came

  • Other than geographical distribution, I see little difference between slavery and abortion. Perhaps this is because of my pessimism. Yet with just a few word changes to the last quote from Lincoln above we could easily make this applicable to pro-life vs abortion. We face a great and terrible crisis today just as our nation faced a similar one 150 years ago. Yes, I agree that there were many other factors in the war between the states than slavery, and yes, I agree in the principle of “states’ rights” said to have been the main driving thrust of the Confederacy – today our Federal government is far, far too big and too powerful. But slavery was an evil to be removed only with the sword. I truly hope thhe same isn’t the case with abortion, yet no liberal I have ever met is ever willing to abandon abortion. May the Lord have mercy on us.

  • If for no other reason than to deny the Church and the pro-life cause such a major victory, the left will NEVER yield on abortion.

  • Agreed on all counts, Don. Reading US history, it sometimes amazes me that we didn’t break out into war earlier.

  • Good as usual, though Virginia did not secede because of Sumpter (in fact, as late as April 4 Virginia voted against secession and in fact had sent a “peace delegation” to Washington to try to avert war.

    Even after Sumter Virginia did not secede. Only when Lincoln plainly declared his intention to invade the south and made demands on Virginia to contribute troops to this effort, did Virginia secede.

    While slavery was the most important bone of contention, sectional differences had sharply increased in the 50 years leading up to the war.

    Certainly, slavery being a practice entirely constitutionally permissible, the North could in no wise invade and conquer a state or combination of states to eliminate it. Lincoln himself realized this of course, and famously wrote to Horace Greely that “If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.”

    Only much later did Lincoln seize on emancipation as a war aim, when he rightly calculated it would avert European intervention on behalf of the Confederacy, and satisfy the fire-eating wing of the Republican party.

    Alas, if South Carolina had been more patient, and Lincoln had not clumsily tried to raise troops from the border states and Virginia, war could have been averted, and our system of federalism remain strong. In the event, Lee’s prediction was very close to the mark:
    “I consider it [state sovereignty] as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”

    We are living it out.

  • “Reading US history, it sometimes amazes me that we didn’t break out into war earlier.”

    Indeed. And if it had, it would have likely ended in a southern victory. I’ve read that if it had started any time before 1850, the South wins. The reason: the Northern rail net that gave so much strategic mobility and logistical superiority to the Union forces was nowhere near as developed.

  • This is what we call in the news business “the anniversary story.” As if there is something special about the number 150, as opposed to 149, which passed last year without notice, and next year when it will be a non-news story.

    Sorry, Don, to be the skunk at the garden party, but other than a round number, what is there to celebrate, commemorate or otherwise observe, other than to dredge up a terrible time in our nation’s history that saw 600,000 Americans killed in a needless, yes, needless conflict that might have been avoided with a peaceful solution?

    Were the South to have had its way and seceded, perhaps two separate nations would have carved out different and better destinies because in the end what we have now is a nation just as divided politically on any number of issues and a civil war of a different kind. No shooting — yet, but where is the unity that Mr. Lincoln said was vital to standing rather than falling?

    As a veteran, it’s more than sufficient that there are special holidays a year to remember those who sacrificed for the cause of freedom. Further reminders of our bloody history are superfluous, IMHO, but I realize I am in the vast minority because, guaranteed, it will be on every TV news show tonight.

  • “Sorry, Don, to be the skunk at the garden party, but other than a round number, what is there to celebrate, commemorate or otherwise observe, other than to dredge up a terrible time in our nation’s history that saw 600,000 Americans killed in a needless, yes, needless conflict that might have been avoided with a peaceful solution?”

    All conflicts can be avoided Joe, the question always is on what terms. The division of the Union and the preservation of slavery I think were not good terms. If the Union had not been preserved, I think not only two Republics would have stood for long in the aftermath. Allow secession to succeed once, and I think it is a remedy that would have been called upon frequently in times of national stress. Then a group of squabbling American republics would have been ill-prepared to meet the challenges from fascism and communism in the Twentieth Century. No, better that the war have been fought then than that the Union would have ended and slavery not end.

    In looking back at the Civil War I honor the courage of the men in the ranks on both sides, the endurance of the people, the brilliance of some of the generals and the travails of the statesmen, Abraham Lincoln and Jeffferson Davis, who found themselves leading fractions of the American people. I celebrate the ending of slavery and the preservation of the United States of American.

    Besides Joe, I find the Civil War endless fascinating and I will seize any opportunity to write about it! 🙂

  • Yes, Don, reams have been written and more will be for the reasons you cite. I once bought an 11-hour documentary, Victory at Sea, and wound up watching about an hour. The rest was redundant.

    I am sorry to have intruded with my minority opinion. I remember reading Andersonville when I was a boy and it left a lasting impression of tragedy.

  • I think that even if the North had allowed the South to secede, war would have still occurred. America was expanding westward. The issue of slavery kept cropping up, and conflict occurred between those who wished for the expansion of slavery into new territories, and those who opposed it. Secession would not have resolved that issue, and in fact would have complicated and increased the likelihood of conflict during western expansion. Eventually it would have come to blows anyway.

  • Don, from what I can recall, Robert E. Lee comes across well in most history books. What do you say?

  • In regard to Andersonville Joe, you might find my post on it of interest:

    “I normally take great pride in being an American, but there are passages in our history which all Americans should be ashamed of. During our Civil War in many prison camps, both North and South, POWs were treated wretchedly with inadequate shelter, clothing and food. The worst by far was Andersonville.”

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/04/21/priest-of-andersonville/

    In regard to Robert E. Lee, I think this post indicates the high esteem I have for Marse Robert as he was called by his troops.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/02/13/marse-robert/

  • Joe,

    Nothing to be sorry about. I share your “minority opinion” of the Civil War. We can stink up the garden party together.

  • “Reading US history, it sometimes amazes me that we didn’t break out into war earlier.”

    Wars are fought over economics and are manipulated by those who have something to gain financially. Abortion sucks up funds and lines the pockets of the unscrupulous. The greater the flow of cash the easier it is to skim off the top. Politicians get theirs in the form of bribes a.k.a. contributions, doctors in the form of revenues, and administrators in the forms of bonuses and perks. If you want to end abortion then take away the funding, public funding that is. You cannot have this LBJ type of society with all of these give always and expect government to do what is right and moral.

  • Other than geographical distribution, I see little difference between slavery and abortion.

    I certainly think it is the moral issue of our time, as slavery was in ante-bellum America. An OB/GYN I know who is very active in the pro-life movement has told me he does not expect to see Roe overturned in his lifetime (he is in his late 50’s). But then, nobody imagined back in the 70’s that we would see the end of the USSR in our lifetimes. I do wonder if the social and sexual revolution of the ’60’s is not heading toward collapse, just as the social welfare state certainly is. Anyone interested in history is aware of how the pendulum swings, and it’s hard to imagine how we can get any more decadent before a correction sets in.

    The geographical aspect is worrisome and far more complicated than the Civil War breakdown into the Confederacy vs. the Union. Yes, I’m aware of the Northern Copperheads, pockets of Union sympathizers in the South, and the tricky situation of the border states, but, still, the geographic boundaries, by and large reflected the makeup of the country.

    As messy as it was, there was a far cleaner divide in 1861 then there would be today. How on earth could one split the country today? California, thought of as very blue, gets redder and redder as one moves inland from the coast. Illinois gets redder as one moves away from Chicagoland. In my own state, my liberal neighborhood is only 15 miles away from conservative Waukesha County and Brookfield (bless you, Waukesha County!) . And Brookfield is an hour and a half away from ultra-leftist Madison – but politically, the 2 places are in universes as different as the ones occupied by, say, Charleston and Boston in the 1860’s.

  • I agree with you Donna that the sexual revolution has about run its course. Libertine periods as we have lived through are not that unusual in human history, and they tend to be followed by stricter periods, as the kids raised in such an environment eventually revolt against it.

    In regard to the overlap of blue and red areas I also agree. Most of the country consists of blue urban enclaves surrounded by red seas. Pre-Civil War, slavery had become the distinguishing characteristic of the South, and we have nothing like that which divides us on a purely regional basis. We are much more like the Patriots and Tories in the Revolution where regions within the states tended to go one way or another, although the Tories never were able to get their acts together unless they were supported by the Redcoats.

  • C;mon, guys. You REALLY don’t have to look too hard to note that there is indeed a regional divide in this country. Yes there are pockets of red even in deep blue states, as there are pockets of blue in the reddest of red states. Nevertheless, this nation is divided along cultural lines that are discernable on a regional basis. Are the dividing issues as clear-cut as slavery? No. But they are there, they are distinctive, and one of the clearest indicators of one’s views on those issues is what region of the country one hails from.

  • Well, Jay, what about Austin, Texas, Durham, NC, Charlottesville, VA – or New Orleans for that matter? The big divider is the urban areas and university towns vs. the ‘burbs and rural areas.

    Things look a bit more complicated to those of us who live in purple states – and that now includes states like Colorado and New Hampshire, which were once firmly conservative, but have trended more liberal since transplants from neighboring blue states have moved there.

    And please, someone explain the mindset of someone who flees Mass. or California because of the taxes – and then moves to NH or Colorado and proceeds to vote for the same ruinous policies?

  • Donald: One striking contrast I’ve noticed is that that blasted Cook county tends to pull all the other northern Illinois counties with it, with the exception of Ogle and Lee counties. The 2008 election results in IL:

    http://www.uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?f=0&fips=17&year=2008

    Milwaukee, being a considerably smaller city, simply doesn’t have the pull Chicago does. Take a gander at our 2010 gubernatorial map and you’ll see that Milwaukee County floats alone in a sea of GOP voters:

    http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=2010&fips=55&f=0&off=5&elect=0

    The big divide here (clearer when you check the results of last week’s election for SC judge) appears to be between the eastern and western parts of the state.

  • A prime example of what I am taking about in regard to the urban-rural divide is in my home state of Illinois. Linked below is a map of the election results. Pro-abort Patrick Quinn eked out a narrow win against pro-life Bill Brady:

    http://elections.nytimes.com/2010/results/illinois

    Illinois has 102 counties. Quinn won 3 counties, two of those narrowly. Unfortunately, his third county was Cook which he won by 36 points. Wthout Chicago there would be few states more conservative than Illinois.

  • Here are the races for the federal house in Illinois in 2010. Here the Republicans made gains even in Cook. The blue spotch in the southwest of Illinois is held by pro-life Democrat Jerry Costello with a 100% national right to life rating:

    http://elections.nytimes.com/2010/results/illinois

  • Jay does raise a valid caveat to my thesis in regard to two regions: New England and the South. However, even here I think my thesis largely holds up when factoring in interstate immigration. New England, especially Vermont, has become a mecca for liberals, due to the high number of college towns and Vermont being portrayed, bizarrely in my view, as a hippie bucolic paradise, while the South has received many former rust belt Republicans over the past three decades.

  • Donald said, “A prime example of what I am taking about between the urban-rural divide is in my home state of Illinois. Linked below is a map of the election results. Pro-abort Patrick Quinn eked out a narrow win against pro-life Bill Brady…”

    Wikipedia indicates that Governor Quinn, a Democrat, is Roman Catholic. How can he possibly be Roman Catholic and pro-abortion? Why does not the Church publicly excommunicate all publicly professed pro-abortion politicians? Those are rhetorical questions and yes, I realize a person excommunicates himself by such vile acts, yet the public scandal must be confronted with a public response. Look at how St. Peter confronted Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11, or what St. Paul did to Hymenaus and Alexander in 1st Timothy 1:19-20, or what St. John said about Jezebel at the Church in Thyatira in Revelation 2:20-23. Precedence has been established for dealing with Nancy Pelosi, Patrick Kennedy, Joe Biden, John Kerry and the rest.

    I have to wonder if the majority of pro-abortion politicians aren’t such self-professed Roman Catholics, in which case this whole mess is our fault in the Roman Catholic Church. Satan wins when the members of the Body of Christ don’t do their job. We the laity need to pray, and the clergy needs to get some back-bone and stop replacing the Gospel of Conversion and Repentance with this false sense of social justice (that is really Marxism at heart and not truly social justice). In fact, there can be NO social justice till abortion is stopped just as in the Civil War there could be NO peace till slavery was stopped (though that wasn’t the only issue of the war).

  • “Wikipedia indicates that Governor Quinn, a Democrat, is Roman Catholic.”

    Yep, Paul and as you noted a 100% pro-abort. He got re-elected largely by under the radar last minute internet ads posted by Personal Pac, a pro-abort lobbying group, headed by Terry Cosgrove. As payback Quinn appointed Cosgrove to a $46,000 a year job on the Human Rights Commission:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/08/terry-cosgrove-ceo-of-pro_n_846722.html

    Now I happen to know Cosgrove from the days back in the Seventies when we were both attending the U of I. He is a lapsed Catholic, now a militant atheist, homosexual activist and fantical pro-abort. He was head of the local campus pro-aborts and I was one of the founders of L.I.F.E. (Life Is For Everyone), the campus pro-life group. One time I saw Cosgrove at Mass circa 1980 at the Newman Chapel, at Saint John’s. Puzzled why he was there, after Mass I found out why. At the pamphlet rack in the back I saw that he had stuffed pro-abort anti-Catholic pamphlets. I disposed of them. He also said in one memorable public forum that he carried a gun to defend himself against “militant anti-choicers”, as he phrased pro-lifers. That a bigot like Cosgrove now has a seat on the Human Rights Commission in Illinois has a nice Orwellian touch.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the bishops to say anything about this. They are too busy patting Quinn on the back for signing a bill abolishing the death penalty:

    http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2011/11-048.shtml

  • “Well, Jay, what about Austin, Texas, Durham, NC, Charlottesville, VA – or New Orleans for that matter? The big divider is the urban areas and university towns vs. the ‘burbs and rural areas.”

    Having lived in one of those places (C’ville) and spent a fair amount of time in another (Austin), I’m well aware that those cities are more liberal than the states in which they are located. But make no mistake, Austin and C’ville are NOT Cambridge, MA, New Haven, CT, Berkley, CA, or Madison, WI. They’re just not THAT liberal (politically or culturally) in comparison.

    There’s a whole lot more than just urban vs. rural going on. My home state has 3 of the top-10 largest metropolitan areas in the country – Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio. And then, yes, throw in Austin. You’d think that the presence of these large urban areas would have some significant impact on the state’s political and cultural map. Yet Texas is one of the reddest of the red states politically (and only getting redder, even accounting for immigration from Mexico, which you’d think would make it bluer) and one of the most culturally conservative states in the union.

    My unscientific assessment is that he urban and university centers in the South, mountain West, and lower Midwest, while more liberal than the states in which they are located, are nevertheless more conservative than their urban and university counterparts in the Northeast, far West, and upper Midwest.

  • “And please, someone explain the mindset of someone who flees Mass. or California because of the taxes – and then moves to NH or Colorado and proceeds to vote for the same ruinous policies?”

    Because they still are possessed of the same “Govt. provide us” mentality. That also includes the “Business is bad and has all the money mentality” and “Govt. can solve this” mentality.

    Thus they start to vote for the same things, especially since their “taxes are so low.” Then they feel good.

    Besides, it will take at least twenty years to get to where their previous state was and by then they will be collecting the benefits of all those policies they voted for.

  • One casus belli that is not mentioned too often – Lincoln won the 1860 election without carrying a single Southern state.

The Two Trees of Eden

Monday, April 11, AD 2011

As those who have read John Paul II’s Theology of the Body will attest, the Creation story of Genesis is the foundation of everything that follows in the Pope’s catechesis.  Following that model, Anderson and Granados devote a considerable amount of time to the first pages of Scripture in their book Called to Love.  In their discussion of the original sin, we find what is either a little-known detail of the account of the fall or, at the very least, an aspect of the story that often goes overlooked.

 

Everyone knows of the tree from which the original couple was forbidden to eat.  What is often forgotten is the care that the Book of Genesis takes to highlight not one, but two trees in the garden.

 

“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed.  And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:8-9)

 

With two trees on the scene, let us see which of the two that the Lord places off limits to the original couple.

 

“And the Lord God commanded the man saying, ‘You may freely eat of every tree in the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Genesis, 2:16-17)

 

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil stands for the proper order of things: God as the author of reality and man as the recipient of his love.  It a the sign of distinction between Creator and creation (sign here understood as more than a symbol, but as containing something of the reality of which it signifies).  Grasping the fruit from the tree is an attempt to invert reality; it is an attempt to make the creature the author of reality.  “It stands for a false independence based on the attempt to determine the meaning of existence without God, to be a self-sufficient spring with no need to draw the water of life from the original Source” (Called to Love, 105).

 

The death that eating from this tree brings is not merely a punishment, but is also a metaphysical necessity.  If the tree is a sign of the proper order of Creator and creation, then it is also a sign of the meaning of existence for man.  Man can only exist in and through God’s Love and Law.  In violating the command of God, man actually cuts himself off from the Source of his existence.  Instead, he attempts to find (or define) the source of his life somewhere other than God, namely man attempts to find this source in himself.  In doing so, he brings about his own destruction.  The only thing that will eventually save man from himself is the redemption won by the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of the same God that gave man his existence “in the beginning.”

 

The whole story of the fall obtains more clarity when we examine the serpent’s temptation of man.

 

“[The serpent] said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat of any tree of the garden”?’  And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die” ’ ” (Genesis, 3:1-4).

 

It is interesting that the serpent accuses God of forbidding Adam and Even to eat of any tree in the garden.  This is a deliberate attempt to set up God as a tyrant that seeks to cut the couple off from all of creation (including the tree of life), the same creation that God had given as a gift.  At first, the woman repudiates this lie, clarifying that God’s command “not to eat” was restricted to but one tree in the garden.  The serpent’s next move is the most cunning.

 

“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis, 3:4-5).

 

In his deception, the serpent tells the woman, “You will not die,” and implies that in eating of this tree the woman will find life and fulfillment.  After all, what is it to “be like God” if not complete fulfillment/beatitude?  “The serpent’s temptation, however, consists precisely in blurring the distinction in Adam’s and Eve’s minds between the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life” (Called to Love, 105).  The serpent’s lie is twofold: (1) he claims that true life is found not from the tree of life, but instead from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and (2) he claims that God, by withholding them from this tree is preventing them from attaining life.

 

“The purpose of this maneuver, of course, is to make the first couple doubt God’s goodness.  After all, if the two trees really were identical, then the Creator’s commandment to avoid the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would be a blatant tactic designed to hold man back from attaining the fulness of life” (Called to Love, 105).

 

This is the exact opposite of God’s reality and purpose for man.  Instead of withholding life, he explicitly gave them life (and continues to hold them in existence), of which the tree of life is a sign.  The specific mention of the tree of life in the Book of Genesis indicates that God’s intention is for man to eat and drink of the gift of life.  God is not a tyrant, but a gift-giver, a giver of life.  He is prepared to give to man everything that man needs in order to be fully human, even his very own Son.  What he is not prepared to give to man is what he cannot in fact give, not because of a lack of desire or a lack of power, but out of metaphysical necessity.  God cannot give to man the ability to be something he is not.  Just as he cannot give man the ability to be a horse, God also cannot give man divinity properly speaking (though in the Paschal Mystery, man is divinized in a certain sense), simply because the creature can never be the Creator.  This does not contradict God’s omnipotence or omnibenevolence; on the contrary the Paschal Mystery only serves to exhibit the perfect power and goodness of God.

 

In the end, “the truth, of course, is that the two trees are not at all identical, and that the Creator has planned all along to let man eat from the tree of life.  God is not envious but generous, and he wishes man to live forever in the joy that comes from the acceptance of the divine gift” (Called to Love, 105).

 

God’s gift for us is the same as his gift to all of creation, to ability to perfect itself.  His gift to us is the ability to be fully human, and this gift begins with the act of creation.  One way of defining sin is the rejection of this gift, or the attempt to be something other than what we are.  In some cases, the sin of man is the attempt to be less than what he is, to be merely an animal (for instance, sins of sexual excess), whereas in other cases, man’s sin is the attempt to be more than what he is (for instance, the sin of cloning wherein man attempts to be the author of life).  Holiness, seen here as the opposite of sin, is the humble acceptance of God’s grace so man can be fully human and enjoy the vision of God face to face.  Comprehending this is parallel to comprehending the difference between the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

 

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One Response to The Two Trees of Eden

Motherhood Was The Road Out

Monday, April 11, AD 2011

There’s a smug view out there that anti-abortion opinions are the purview of the safely bourgeois, and have little to do with the lives of real people with real problems. Calah of “Barefoot and Pregnant” refutes this handily with a powerful post about her experience of being a “woman in crisis”:

Amidst the debates swirling around about defunding Planned Parenthood, some oft-repeated catch phrases are being tossed around like word grenades. One of these are “women in crisis.” I’m sick and tired of hearing about “women in crisis” and how they need access to emergency contraception and abortions. That is a huge, steaming pile of lies, propagated by people who like to murder babies. Women in crisis do not need access to abortions. What they need is love, support, a safe place to live, and people (even strangers!) who will tell them the truth: that they are more than capable of being a mother. That they can do this. That their crisis, no matter how terrible, will be healed in the long, sometimes painful, always joyful process of becoming a mother.

Think this makes me heartless, speaking from my comfortable suburban home, having never known trials in my cushy little life?

Think again.

When I got that positive pregnancy test, the one that changed my life, I was addicted to crystal meth.

And do you know what the people around me did? They didn’t take the secular line and say, “this baby’s life would be horrible. You’re unfit to be a mother. Better for it to not be born at all.”

But neither did they take the typical pro-life line in that situation and say, “you are clearly unfit to be a mother, but all you have to do is carry the baby to term and give a stable couple a wonderful gift.”

The Ogre said, “you’re a mother now, and I’m a father, and together we’ll raise our child.”

My parents said, “marry that man, and raise that baby. You’ve made the choices, you have to live with them.”

My friends said, “you screwed up, big time. But we love you. We’ll throw you a baby shower, buy you maternity clothes, and babysit while you finish your semester.”

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, being a newly-pregnant drug addict. But it gave me something to live for. Someone to live for….

Read the rest.

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2 Responses to Motherhood Was The Road Out

  • Read the book “Promises I Can Keep,” which documents — among other things — that young, low-income, urban women frequently find that motherhood is what straightens them out. Unfortunately, the same is not true for young men — fatherhood, per se, does not straighten them out. (Sociologists generally find that it is MARRIAGE and fatherhood, not fatherhood alone, that matures young men.) So what we have in many urban areas is women who have children when they are young to give themselves direction in life, who struggle to raise them alone and generally in poverty, and who marry in their 40s (when unmarried men generally “grow up”) when the children are grown up and gone. Whole generations do not have stable families.

  • I sort of remember the joke Bishop Sheen used to tell. Adam and one of his sons are in the field and Eve walks by munching on an apple. Adam says to his son: “There goes your mother. She ate us out of house and home.”

    Something like that.

The Budget Deal, or Why Elections Have Consequences

Monday, April 11, AD 2011

Unsurprisingly the last minute budget deal was the talk of much of the blogosphere over the weekend.  Some think it’s a big Republican victory.  Others are less inclined to see this as something to celebrate, to say the least.  Ed Morrissey strikes a more middle-ground approach, but says something that I think we should all keep in mind.

We’ll see who won in September, but Republicans have achieved one major accomplishment.  Not only did they force the first actual reductions in government spending in ages, but they have changed the political paradigm from whether to cut to how much and where to cut.  That’s a pretty impressive victory for a party that only controls one chamber of Congress.

To me we’re in round two of a twelve round heavyweight fight.  The real battles will be over the FY 2012 budget and the 2012 elections.  This was but a skirmish.

As for me, I agree with Gabriel Malor at Ace (linked above) that this is a good first step.  I completely understand the frustration some have expressed, especially over the inability to de-fund Murder Inc, aka Planned Parenthood.  But the fact remains that the Republicans control only one of the three democratic elements of the budget battle.*

* Slight tangential note, but I do think the talking point that Republicans only control one-half of one chamber to be a bit overdone.  First of all it’s more than half, and if we’re going to be consistent then we should say the Republicans have almost half of another chamberthe Senate.  After all, Republicans have a greater share of votes in the House than Democrats do in the Senate.  Moreover, because it lacks a filibuster rule, majority control in the House – even a small majority – is more significant than majority control in the Senate.  The minority is all but powerless in the House, less so in the Senate, especially if it has at least 41 votes.

The Republicans won big in the 2010 elections, but the Democrats won just as big as 2006 and 2008.  Therefore we are at a stalemate.  It was unreasonable to think that with control of just the House that Republicans could have completely reversed the tide of the previous two years.  At best it seemed that the Republicans could at least put a halt to further advances for Obama’s agenda, and so the relatively puny amount of real spending cuts is not an insignificant victory.

The Planned Parenthood de-funding is another matter.  Could Republican leadership have done more than merely secure an up-or-down vote on it?  Perhaps, but I just don’t see it.  It would have satisfied our sense of outrage if they had huffed and puffed and threatened to go the mattresses on it, but they would likely have been as successful in achieving their ultimate aim as we are in blowing hot air on a blog.

And again, elections have consequences.  Rick Santorum was defeated in his re-election bid in 2006, and many pro-lifers seemed to be gleeful at his defeat.  Santorum had the temerity to endorse Arlen Specter in the 2004 Republican primary in Pennsylvania, and so many suggested that one act over-rode anything else he may have done as a Senator.  He was replaced by Bob Casey, Jr., a “pro-life” Democrat who has proven that the apple falls very far from the tree.  While his dad was the defendant in the Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey (my selection for the worst Supreme Court decision of all-time) and was a true defender of the unborn, the son has been a bit of a weasel where life issues are concerned, and has not indicated one way or the other whether he would vote to de-fund Planned Parenthood.  I predict he won’t, and yet the purists who celebrated Santorum’s defeat will bemoan the Republican Party’s unwillingness to do anything with regards to this matter.

We have a very long way to go, and it was unlikely that anything of consequence would be settled in the recent budget battle.  I just can’t wait for September.

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11 Responses to The Budget Deal, or Why Elections Have Consequences

  • Other than thinking that it’s important to emphasize that the Republicans only control one chamber of Congress, and Dems control the other, that’s more because so many people think Republicans control “all of congress.” (it’s been pushed by the folks who don’t want blame for congress’ screw ups)

    It’s sad, but it seems to be very true: pro-life democratic pols don’t exist when the going gets though. Pro-life republicans are a bit more likely, and get more likely the more conservative they are; RINOs aren’t any better than dems, and they weaken the republican side.

    I think that the mourning about not cutting PP is a little early, since the budget hasn’t been submitted yet– we’ll see.

  • As a liberal, I don’t have a big problem with any of the cuts that have been announced so far or in the earlier CRs. I think it shows that savings can be found when both sides get serious.

    Of course, the PP amendment was as phony from day one as it was unconstitutional.

  • Of course, the PP amendment was as phony from day one as it was unconstitutional.

    How on Earth was it unconstitutional?

  • How on Earth was it unconstitutional?

    Once again, the GOP has taken the pro-life rank and file for a ride. Congress can’t ban a particular organization by name from bidding on federal contracts. (Article I, sec. 9).

    The GOP knew this and wrote the amendment to be rhetorical, not legislative. They could have at least tried something that might legally stand up like the proposed Maryland Big Box Retailer Medicaid Recovery bill. — written to apply to Wal-Mart without actually naming it.

    But why take the trouble when you are not serious?

  • Okay, there was a very profound and insightful conservative commentary on the President atfter Paul Zummo’s 11:24 post. I had copied it and sent it to some friends as an example of conservative thought and opinion. Now that the Moderator have deleted it, I need to recall it from my friends and let them know thinking conservatives really don’t share these views.

    This is cutting into my time for setting up the union hall for tonight’s kielbasa and kraut social.

  • Once again, the GOP has taken the pro-life rank and file for a ride. Congress can’t ban a particular organization by name from bidding on federal contracts. (Article I, sec. 9).

    Umm, there is nothing remotely in Article 1, Section 9 that touches upon this issue. Next time you want to blow smoke, try running it by someone else.

  • The bill of attainder argument is total rubbish Kurt. The same worthless argument was raised in the cutting off of funding for Acorn and rejected by the Second Circuit last year.

    http://www.law.com/jsp/law/LawArticleFriendly.jsp?id=1202469732573

    The idea that Congress cannot decide not to fund a particular organization because such a funding decision is a bill of attainder is simply ludicrous.

  • Bill of Attainder? That’s what Kurt was getting at? It’s so ridiculous that it didn’t even occur to me that he was referring to that provision. I know leftists like to stretch the meaning of the Constitution, but man that’s not even in the ballpark.

  • Okay, there was a very profound and insightful conservative commentary on the President atfter Paul Zummo’s 11:24 post. I had copied it and sent it to some friends as an example of conservative thought and opinion. Now that the Moderator have deleted it, I need to recall it from my friends and let them know thinking conservatives really don’t share these views.

    I hesitate to dictate how someone spends their non-kielbasa and kraut time, but one solution would be not to send out “Oh my gosh, would you believe how crazy these guys are?!?!” emails… 😉

  • For those who don’t have one of those cool pocket constitutions. (Mine, sadly, cannot co-exist with a toddler who knows how to climb chairs, and move them.)

    Allow me to agree that removing funding from an organization does not equal either issuing a legal statement that they are wrong without a trial, nor to imprisonment without trial, nor is Planned Parenthood a ship or port or business of a specific state. (Just to cover all grounds.)

    Darwin- my goodness! What kind of crazy suggestion is that? Next thing you know, you’ll suggest that Wikipedia isn’t a better reference than original texts!

  • “Once again, the GOP has taken the pro-life rank and file for a ride. ”

    The old tired lie straight from the devils mouth. Meanwhile his fellow Democraps vote 0-100 against pro-life legislation..

Augustine’s Confessions: At a Distance from God

Sunday, April 10, AD 2011

In Book 3 we saw Augustine’s fall away from the Church, in Book 5 we will see the beginning of his return. Book 4, however, is focused primarily on his years as a Manichean.

This is where we get the fairly brief description which is nearly all we have on Augustine’s longest romantic relationship:

In those days I lived with a woman, not my lawful wedded wife but a mistress whom I had chosen for no special reason but that my restless passions had alighted on her. But she was the only one and I was faithful to her. Living with her I found out by my own experience the difference between the restraint of the marriage alliance, contracted for the purpose of having children, and a bargain struck for lust, in which the birth of children is begrudged, though, if they come, we cannot help but love them.

We also hear a bit about Augustine’s life as a hot shot young rhetorician. In addition to his Manichean beliefs, he falls into consulting astrologers frequently, in part to learn the auspices when he’s entering major academic competitions. At one point, a magician of some sort offers to assure that he will win a competition, but although Augustine finds the idea that that stars and planets can influence worldly events appealing (and has no qualms about consulting astrologers and books of astrology) he recoils at the idea of the magician sacrificing animals to dark powers in an attempt to secure a victory for him.

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2 Responses to Augustine’s Confessions: At a Distance from God

  • It seems to me that St Augustine left his concubine when he was ready to go on another road. There was nothing in his situation – if one excludes class or tribal considerations – that would have prevented him from regularising his relationship into a proper marriage. There are quite a few men like that, who having decided that they cannot handle both whole- hearted service to their destiny and an ordinary family life, choose to give up on the latter.

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Saint Peter Canisius and Us

Sunday, April 10, AD 2011


 

 

 

 

Those churchmen err who imagine that it is by brilliant preaching, rather than by holiness and all-embracing love, they fulfil their office.
                                          Saint Peter Canisius
Each year during Lent, I attempt to do some special Lenten reading.  This year I am reading a scholarly, lively and well written biography of Saint Peter Canisius, one of the first members of the Jesuit order and acclaimed as the Second Apostle of Germany, a tribute to his decades of hard labor in Germany and Austria  in the Sixteenth Century, fighting an uphill battle to reverse the tide of the Reformation.  The book was written by Father James Brodrick, SJ, and published in 1935.  Father Brodrick lived from 1891-1973 and during his lifetime wrote numerous histories, most of them concerning the Jesuits.  His works shine with wit, intelligence and a very deep faith.

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One Response to Saint Peter Canisius and Us

Lilliburlero

Saturday, April 9, AD 2011

Something for the weekend.   The lilting strains of Lilliburlero from the classic movie Barry Lyndon (1975). 

The song originated during the Not So Glorious Revolution of 1688, after the usurper William of Holland, with the help of English traitors, chased James II, the rightful King of England, from his throne due to James’ Catholicism.  Like most of the Stuart monarchs, the bad points of James tended to outweigh his good points, but the obloquy heaped upon his reign in most of the histories of this period is largely a function of partisan distortion and outright religious bigotry.  On the other hand, Jacobite views of this period of British history, which goes to 1746 and the smashing of the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the grandson of James II at Culloden, tend greatly to exaggerate the virtues of the “Kings across the waters” who, Old Pretender (James II), Young Pretender (James III) and Bonnie Prince Charlie, were basically selfish blockheads who probably would have been disasters as monarchs if they had succeeded in regaining the throne.  History, alas, often gives us unpalatable alternatives.

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16 Responses to Lilliburlero

  • Here are the first stanza and chorus for a Highland song regarding Bonnie Prince Charlie:

    Bonnie Charlie’s noo awa
    Safely o’er the friendly main
    Mony a heart will break in twa
    Should he ne’er come back again.

    Chorus
    Will ye no’ come back again?
    Will ye no’ come back again?
    Better lo’ed ye canna be
    Will ye no’ come back again?

    This is the song the Scots troops sing route marching up to save India from Thugee and Victory MacLaglen , et al in the Gunga Din movie.

  • Thanks for the link, Don. Kubrick’s best film and one of my all-time favorites. Perhaps Thackeray’s best novel, notwithstanding Vanity Fair, which did not have one likable character. Here’s the opening sentence of the novel:

    ‘Since the days of Adam, there has been hardly a mischief done in this
    world but a woman has been at the bottom of it.’

  • I agree Joe. A good companion novel to set the mood is Sterne’s Tristram Shandy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_and_Opinions_of_Tristram_Shandy,_Gentleman

    T. Shaw, how the English turned the Highlanders from perennial rebels into a mainstay of their Empire is one of the most successful feats of political alchemy that I can think of!

  • TS opener:

    “I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me…”

  • “History, alas, often gives us unpalatable alternatives.”

    As does the present day, and quite possibly the near future (e.g. an Obama vs. Trump or Obama vs. Gingrich presidential election)

  • Ms. K: Anyone will be more palatable compaared to four more years the liberal/progressive job destruction.

    Mac,

    The saxon already had subverted the lowlanders and several Highland clans fought with the saxon against their traditional enemies.

    Then, it was alchemy of which Hitler would have approved. It was the harrowing of the glens. They destrpyed the clan system and the economy. What else could the few that survived than be mercenaries and fight for the hated foe. “Scotland the Brave”: Gallant in the winning of the wars of others.

    After Culloden, the Brits killed the wounded and murdered any clansman they thought was Jacobite. It was called the harrowing of the glens. The US treated the Indian better. Many were transported to the Americas or West Indies.

  • “The US treated the Indian better. Many were transported to the Americas or West Indies.”

    Where, ironically, some kept the forced oath of allegiance and fought for the Brits during the Revolution. Others, General Mercer for example, joined the patriots.

    http://almostchosenpeople.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/culloden-to-princeton/

    Highlanders fighting as mercenaries T. Shaw was hardly a British innovation, as the Highlanders had been doing that since the time they entered recorded history. The English used a skillful mixture of force and reward with the Highlanders and it worked.

  • “As does the present day, and quite possibly the near future (e.g. an Obama vs. Trump or Obama vs. Gingrich presidential election)”

    My crystal ball for 2012 politics is a bit hazy Elaine, but I can guarantee that neither Trump nor Gingrich will be the Republican nominee: both have enough skeletons in their past to fill a small town cemetary, not to mention bitter ex-wives. Trump could pose a bit of a problem for the GOP if he runs third party, but probably only a serious problem if the GOP nominee is so weak that victory appears unlikely in any case.

  • Trump could pose a bit of a problem for the GOP if he runs third party, but probably only a serious problem if the GOP nominee is so weak that victory appears unlikely in any case.

    Dunno, Sir. Mr. Perot proved quite troublesome for an incumbent president who had some irritating aspects to him but generally left public business in better condition than when he found it. The Republican base is smaller than the Democratic base but the Republican Party generally does a great deal better at persuading voters without strong antecedent commitments. This makes a Republican candidate more vulnerable to the effects of 3d party challengers.

  • The crazed H. Ross Perot, whose true role in life was to be a Yoda impersonator, benefited from the fact that George Bush alienated a huge part of the Republican base by the betrayal of his “Read my lips, no new taxes pledge.” Bush was elected largely in 88 due to the awe inspiringly self destructive campaign of Michael Dukakis. Considering him to be a RINO, the GOP core voters were always suspicious of Bush, and when he broke his word on taxes, quite a few Republican voters never forgave him.

  • I do not think Mr. Perot is ‘crazed’. He is a very capable businessman, somewhat eccentric. He also assembled the most persuasive 3d party candidacy (bar one) in the last 150 years. Absent some serious opinion research, I would not attribute his balance of support to a discrete factor, much less to postures assumed in the previous presidential campaign. (For starters, Mr. Perot’s primary issue was public sector borrowing, about which the Laffer-bots in the GOP tend to be insouciant).

  • Nah, he was a nutjob Art. He got out of the race temporarily in 1992 because he said he had received “secret intelligence” that the Republicans were going to sabotage his daughter’s wedding. Of course there was not a scintilla of evidence to support this charge. It was merely one more example of Perot’s habit of making paranoid charges unsupported by any evidence:

    “Paranoia
    Perot’s paranoia is pretty well known, due to his announcement in 1992 that he was quitting the presidential race (in which he was a very strong contender) because Republican’s were planning to disrupt his daughters wedding (by forging photos of phony lesbian sex.) But it has long been typical of him.

    He thinks he lost his 1993 debate to Al Gore because Gore had a hidden earpiece, through which he was being fed answers, or possibly questions. (Posner, p330). While he was serving on a Texas anti-drug commission in the early 1980s, he became convinced that Charles Harrelson (the father of actor Woody Harrelson, from “Cheers”) had been hired to kill him by drug dealers. (The elder Harrelson is in fact a career criminal doing time for killing a federal judge.) The FBI dismissed his fears as baseless.

    In 1992, Perot claimed that the North Vietnamese government had hired the Black Panthers to assasinate him, back in 1970, because of his efforts on behalf of POWs. He even said that “one night they had five people coming across my front lawn with rifles”, and that a guard dog bit a big piece out of one attacker’s butt.

    However, Harold Birkhead, the man who ran security (including the dogs) at Perot’s house at the time, says he never saw or heard about anything like that. And Paul McCaghren, who headed Dallas police intelligence in 1970, also dismisses the notion. “… it did not happen. There were only about 8 people here [in Dallas] that belonged to the Black Panther party. Two of those people worked for us, and they told us every day what was happening.” (Posner, p66)

    Just before Perot’s 1993 debate with Gore, he announced that the FBI had alerted him that a six-member Cuban hit squad had been sent to murder him. “The organization is a Mafia-like group in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement”, Perot claimed. (Posner, p327-8) The FBI had told him about an anonymous tip that he would be assassinated, but public figures get weird threat calls all the time. What is striking is that Perot believed the claim, embellished it and announced it publicly.”

    Yeah, it would have been great allowing that man to have access to the nuclear strike order. As to 1992, his appeal was all about Bush betraying his pledge not to raise taxes.

  • “He (Perot) became convinced that Charles Harrelson… had been hired to kill him by drug dealers.”

    If I remember correctly, Charles Harrelson is also a favorite figure among JFK conspiracy theorists since he was allegedly on the “grassy knoll” in Dallas at the time, or something.

    Which makes Woody Harrelson’s role in “2012” as a crazed conspiracy theorist (who just happens to be right about the supervolcano lurking under Yellowstone National Park) rather ironic.

  • Random notes about the opening topic:

    1) “Lillibullero” (or ~burlero) did not originate in 1688. Most accounts I’ve run across say it was adapted from an earlier Irish tune, possibly in parody. The refrain is supposed to be cod-Gaelic.
    2) The song appears in a famously unproduced screenplay called ‘Harrow Alley’ (by Walter Newman), set in London during the plague and Great Fire years of 1665-1666. It is sung by a crowd of lowlifes.
    3) In modern times the melody is best known as the signature theme of the BBC World Service, which used it from the 1940s till the 1990s. In Wikipedia I find this nice link to an mp3 archive recording:
    http://www.ominous-valve.com/sounds/bbc0.mp3