Madonna (Not The Madonna) Endorses “Black Muslim” in the White House

Tuesday, September 25, AD 2012

Nuclear bomb content warning for the above video.  Madonna, the bad actress not the Mother of God, endorses the “black muslim” in the White House.  With friends like Madonna, surely Obama does not need enemies!

Update:  Madonna is now claiming that her incoherent stream of consciousness endorsement was meant to be “ironic” when she referred to Obama as being a “black Muslim”.  Sure.  I doubt if Madonna would recognize irony if irony tossed caution to the wind and decided to announce his presence by biting her on her aging rump.

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13 Responses to Madonna (Not The Madonna) Endorses “Black Muslim” in the White House

  • As if time/timelessness wasn’t hard enough. How do you conceive of a negative zero?

  • I must be honest – I thought that she was against Obama when I read her statements. She said she would strip naked and my first thought was – is there any other reason why not to vote for him….! Was I way off base – sheesh…

  • “Intellectual Left.” You betcha . . .

  • Another leftist diginitary, Ralph Nader, calls the President a “war criminal.”

    Who’d-a-thunk!

    It doesn’t help, either, that median household income declined another 1.1% in August adding up to an 8.2% crash-dive in family well-being since January 2009.

    So, that’s what they mean when they jabber on about “The Preferential Option for the Poor.” Or, is it the benefit of “taking from you for the common good?”

  • The handwriting must have appeared on the wall for these folks on the Left. Michael Moore said a few weeks ago that Leftists must learn to say “President Romney”. Now Madonna says that her 54 year old body will be on display to the world but only if President Obama is re-elected. How about we see her eating grass instead of smoking it if Obama loses??

  • “Killed all the prophets, as they do” ? If Madonna is such an expert on Muslims–or at least the one she claims is in the White House–she should know that Mohammad was not killed but vaulted into heaven on horseback. (The 7th Century Church should have sued his followers for trying to plagiarize the Ascension. But anyway.)

  • “Now Madonna says that her 54 year old body will be on display to the world but only if President Obama is re-elected.”

    That is a great incentive Rozin to vote for Romney; the material girl has definitely become the material hag!

  • Madonna wants “Freedom”. Freedom is from God.

  • Pray for her….please.
    Her deceased mother is pleading for you and I to pray for her conversion. It’s too easy to comment on how distasteful she is…..so please say one Hail Mary for this troubled 54 yr.old going on 14.

  • … and all the 14 yr. olds following her lead through the years of our loss of dignity and religion

  • I think Madonna is promoting nothing but her income in every statement or skin exposure she makes. Jean Paul Sartre said that “bad faith believes what it does not believe and does not believe what it believes.” That’s Madonna. Everything is ultimately about ticket sales. She believes in whatever will seem rebellious at the moment because her ticket buyers feel like rebels but sans her millions in assets. She’s no rebel in the jungles of Columbia….or activist in Malaysia. She’s a fake rebel ordering Coq au Vin in a New York restaurant…every year of her life. Pray for her. The visible will desert her year after year. Martin Heiddeger said we are all “hurled toward death”….probably why he wasn’t invited to many birthday parties. But he is correct and Madonna can’t solve that with ticket sales. Hence Philip is correct…pray for her.

  • “Madonna says that her 54 year old body will be on display to the world but only if President Obama is re-elected.”

    Years ago, I recall a David Letterman Top Ten List devoted to “Headlines that Would Cause National Panic.” They included “Nell Carter Agrees To Pose in Playboy” and “Casey Kasem Builds Own Nuclear Device.” This should have been on that list also — “Madonna To Bare All If Obama Reelected!”

  • Compare and contrast Madonna (Not The Madonna)’s attitude with that of the crooner Andy Williams (of “Moon River” fame), who passed away earlier this week. In 2009 Williams gave an interview to a British publication in which he criticized Obama for “following Marxist theory”. Then in a later TV interview, he appeared to back off those comments, stressing that that was merely his personal opinion and adding “What do I know, I’m just a singer.”

    Now one might think Williams was simply trying to deflect criticism for his “Marxist” remark, and that may be, but I think he did the right thing in recognizing that the ability to sing, act, dance, etc. doesn’t make one an expert on politics, economics or philosophy, nor does it carry with it a mandate to convert the unenlightened masses to your point of view. A lot of current celebrities forget that.

11 Responses to Squirrel on a Rampage Open Thread

7 Responses to CS Lewis on Prayer and Evolution

  • Then the song! Your song comes forth. Its a peace and joy that springs up and can not be contained. Its true that you can not give what you dont have, so the song that is inside you suddenly is realized and bursts out. When my conversion experience took place in 2000, I couldnt believe the talents that I have and then used to help share the message. Prison ministry, Elder care, and religious Ed all waiting for the song to sing.
    Prayer is communication with God. Thank you Jesus.

  • I am a huge fan of C. S Lewis and reference him often, including this soliloquy, lecture, sermonette, whatever you call it. I reference it because when bible discourse becomes bible discord, the the problem is often, I think, with time, as humans conceive it, and reconciling it with bible verse. My image is of a picture which represents an event, such as my life from beginning to end. We as humans can see only the point where we are, the point currently being painted. We can only remember, and that very imperfectly, the points of the picture already painted, and our future is the unpainted canvas. The end of our life represents the completion of the painting. Yet to God each point of color is available anytime he cares to see it. I don’t claim to be C. S. Lewis’ intellectual equal, but I like my analogy better than his.

    I really intended to make a technical point, which I can’t verify at the moment as my copy of MC momentarily available. In the paragraph where he returned to his main subject, you quoted:

    “I was pointing out last time that the Christian life is simply a process of having your natural self changed into a Christ self, and that this process goes on very far in time.”

    I believe that should be “very far inside.” Miner correction, but important to understanding. Within the context of the talk, that makes more sense, as he is switching from time/timelessness to human abdication of self to God, which happens very deep inside. My hearing is not good, but if you listen carefully I think you will agree.

    Pax

  • Thank you so much for the post. I’d really love to sit and read through the whole thing in one sitting and have my son read it too, but the red font–please take pity on our eyes.

    Thank you!

  • I agree. Red is bad. Can’t you do purple or something?

  • I will consider it, although I have been putting quoted materials in red for a very long time, probably because I find red on white easier to read than black on white. I might experiment with some shade of blue on white.

  • The blue works quite well. I would recommend it from now on.

Third Party Love & Hate

Tuesday, September 25, AD 2012

A couple of posts at Breitbart’s “Big Government” site have resulted in thousands of comments  and intense debate between libertarians and conservatives, and between libertarians themselves over the merits of supporting a third-party/independent alternative to Mitt Romney. Having been involved in third-party politics myself at one point in my life, I am sympathetic to the cause. But given the stakes this November, I’ve decided to hold my nose and vote for Romney, as I’ve already posted here at TAC.

I must say, however, in response Kurt Schlichter (the author of the aforelinked pieces) that I regard this as a highly personal choice, and not one that I am willing to guilt others into making. On many of the issues that matter to me and other Ron Paul supporters, Romney is absolutely abysmal and nearly indistinguishable from Obama, whether we are talking about civil liberties, constitutional protection of the lives of American citizens (even the bad ones), foreign policy, monetary policy, and a host of related issues. Those who prioritize such issues cannot be expected to give Romney their vote. There was also the disgraceful treatment of Ron Paul and his delegates by the GOP at the RNC this year. Schlichter would have us basically forget all about it.

With that said, however, when Ron Paul stopped actively campaigning for the GOP nomination, his candidacy in effect came to an end. There certainly is something bizarre about a pledge to vote for a man who by the looks of things would like to settle into a well-deserved, hard-earned retirement from public life. I always suspected that Paul didn’t really want to be president. Some see this as a positive trait, and it can be in certain contexts, but men also need leaders. If that makes me sound fascistic, so be it. Human nature is what it is.

So people who accept the reality that Paul is unable or unwilling to capture the nomination and the Presidency are then faced with other options. I’ve explained my choice, but many others are considering Gary Johnson, and Schlichter is addressing them as well (as well as Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party candidate’s supporters). Aside from the fact that Johnson is pro-choice and therefore unsupportable for Catholics, I don’t begrudge anyone the right to support either of these men as an alternative to Romney.

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18 Responses to Third Party Love & Hate

  • “. . . but men need [sic] also need leaders. If that makes me sound fascistic, so be it.”

    Not at all. Leaders take many forms. The biggest difference between what the Obammunist/Peoples’ Democratic Party and Libertarians would call “a leader” is that the O/PDC believes Leaders should be iconic, centralized power-structure figures, a` la Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Mussolini, Chavez, Castro, Kim, Kim, Kim. . .

    Libertarians, both “large-L” and “small-l,” believe leaders are those who lead their families, communities and nation best by serving them, in the example of the ultimate Servant Leader, Jesus Christ. Those who provide the skill, foresight and initiative to risk and grow business, to plan and execute charitable causes and to provide models of involvement and direction not from a lofty Ivory Tower but from the trenches where they serve are who we call “leaders” because they lead by example and not by dictate.

    Nothing fascistic about that.

  • To me, it comes down to winning battles, or winning the war. Winning the war is changing our culture of death to one of life. The coming election is just one battle in that war. Despite what some insist, I don’t believe the election of Romney will stop our sprint to Gomorrah. If we sell our vote to the Republican party to win this battle, we will have gained indefensible ground. Romney, despite his prolife platitudes, is pro-abortion at heart. His only difference with Obama on foreign policy would probably be Israel. Economically, he will at best only slow the ticking of our debt bomb. “Independent” voters will see the lack of change in 2016 and give us another lost battle.

  • I get where you’re coming from, but it is hard to win a war without winning any battles. I don’t really disagree with you that Romney is not going to do much (probably slow our sprint to a light jog, perhaps). But, as Bonchamps correctly points out, Romney is at least marginally better/less bad than the O.

  • WK,

    Thanks for highlighting my egregious late-night typo, lol. I think libertarians/constitutionalists/paleocons (the “alt-right”, as it were) need a leader who isn’t afraid to lead and who doesn’t approach politics as if it were a smelly diaper. We need a leader who is willing to, to continue the metaphor, get his hands dirty. Not too dirty, not “hop into bed with Wall Street” dirty, but at least more aggressive and organized than what we have seen from Ron Paul or before him Pat Buchanan.

    Tony H,

    I agree with you, more or less, though I believe Romney has no choice but to govern in a pro-life manner. I’m not convinced Romney will even slow the debt bomb, but I am convinced he won’t lift a finger to stop the implosion of the dollar. I believe he will continue the vast majority of Obama’s policies, which are themselves continuations of Bush’s policies. One thing I think he won’t do, though, is press Obama’s war against the Church and religious freedom in general. And that is important to me, and significant enough to warrant my vote.

  • We need a leader who is willing to, to continue the metaphor, get his hands dirty. Not too dirty, not “hop into bed with Wall Street” dirty, but at least more aggressive and organized than what we have seen from Ron Paul or before him Pat Buchanan.

    Dirty, not enjoying filth. Difference between dirt under the nails and someone who just never washes his hands.

  • I think libertarians/constitutionalists/paleocons (the “alt-right”, as it were) need a leader who isn’t afraid to lead and who doesn’t approach politics as if it were a smelly diaper.

    It might help if libertarians could ever acknowledge there were social problems other than ‘government failure’, constitutionalists could figure out that positive law should reflect conceptions of justice and notions of prudence and does not form the essence of them, and the rest of them to stop pushing projects of dubious utility and validity (Austrian economics, ‘race-realism’, and the various and sundry personal complaints, conceits, and emotional disorders of palaeo spokesmen).

  • I realize that a second Obama term is the worst thing that could happen.

  • Well, up until now, it’s been a tiny movement. It hasn’t been producing great leaders for the same reason that China gets more Olympic medals than Liechtenstein.

    The biggest thing to hit the libertarian cause hasn’t been a political party, but a movement. The tea partiers have given the libertarians a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The relative health of the Tea Party movement is going to be pretty easy to measure come Election Day; if it is still healthy, the libertarians would be smart to cement their bonds with it.

  • This is a good piece. Rhetorically caning those who are going to, or are likely to, vote 3d party does nothing on behalf of a major party candidate.

    I think libertarians/constitutionalists/paleocons (the “alt-right”, as it were) need a leader who isn’t afraid to lead and who doesn’t approach politics as if it were a smelly diaper.

    What Art said, and let me elaborate slightly:

    Libertarians need to acknowledge that individual liberty grew in America as part of an ecosystem with an indispensible buttress: a socially conservative/religious ethic which mandated delayed gratification, duties to others apart from the self, and an understanding of “rendering unto Caesar” that put Caesar firmly in his place. Reading contributors to “Reason” and viewing Libertarian candidacies in general, there isn’t the beginnings of a glimmer of a clue on this point. Somehow, Caesar marches on despite their atomistic arguments and defenses of license. Oddly enough.

    “Constitutionalism” does have a worrisome tendency to engage in debates that Talmud scholars or students of the Scholastics would find too impractical, abstract and technical. Reciting the Constitutional provision is the beginning of wisdom. But only the beginning.

    Paleos need to stop gnashing their teeth over Appomattox and busing.

  • Pinky,

    I hate to say it, but the “Tea Party” movement was co-opted a long time ago and is virtually indistinguishable from the mainstream GOP. When a committed foreign policy hawk like Allen West is the model “Tea Party” candidate, there will only be ruptures between that movement and the libertarian movement. There are many areas I think conservatives and libertarians can overlap, but on the question of liberty vs. safety, there is an unbridgeable chasm. I have a bit to say about this.

    We (the paleo side of ) will not sacrifice liberty for “safety”, and we do not view “Islamo-fascism”/threats to Israel as anywhere near what ought to be America’s priorities. We are a new generation that did not grow up during the post-war period, does not view America as a global actor as if it had a halo, wings, and the rosy red cheeks of the cherubim, firing little Cupid-arrows of freedom at mean old dictatorships, and do not wish to commit trillions more dollars to overseas adventurism.

    Like I said in a previous post, our message to the rest of the world is the same as one of the last Roman emperors to the far-flung imperial posts in places like Britain: look to your own defenses. American decline is real and inevitable, and it can be graceful with a chance for recovery and maintenance of great-power status like the United Kingdom, or it can be catastrophic like the Roman or Soviet collapse. But the view, common in the “Tea Party” I think, that America has a divine right to permanent superpower status is in our view a pathetic delusion. And this is what primarily divides, in my opinion, the “Tea Party” from the libertarian/constitutional/paleocon movement, the true “Alternative Right.” It is not, contrary to what some believe, “social issues.” Which brings me to…

    Dale Price,

    “Libertarians need to acknowledge…”

    Yes, and I think many of them do acknowledge those things. I think that was the significance of the Ron Paul campaign. Ron Paul is adamantly pro-life. Even if some social conservatives don’t agree with his emphasis on state’s rights, there is no doubt that he not only morally opposes abortion (with libertarian arguments, no less), but believes that the role of the state (at some level) is to protect innocent human life. He has also emphasized the role that churches played in providing medical care long before there was government involvement in these areas. A Ron Paul “alternative right” coalition has many seats at the table for principled pro-lifers and social conservatives in general, provided, I think, that we retain a local/state level emphasis instead of insisting that only the federal government can restore the social fabric.

    What libertarians REALLY need to understand is what Charles Murray brilliantly analyzed earlier this year – the role of the family in establishing economic and social security. The disintegration of the family only increases the justification for statist intervention. The stronger the family, the weaker the rationale for government involvement in our lives. So it is in the vital best interest of the libertarian to support conservative social values at least on SOME level.

  • Austrian economics a ‘project?’ Is gravity a ‘notion?’

  • Bon, I’m not sure that you can conflate libertarians and paleos. At least, not in a border state. For many of the people who would self-identify as either group, the whole lump of national issues (language, immigration, trade) are really important, but they hold exactly opposite views.

    Also, you may be too quick to write off the Tea Party, or more accurately the set of emotions which lie behind the many organizations that arose under that broad title.

  • Pinky,

    I don’t mean to conflate libertarians and paleocons. But if Murray Rothbard could support Pat Buchanan, I think there is some hope for a coalition. Ron Paul has pointed out, as well, that unrestricted immigration is a fiscal nightmare as long as the welfare state exists. A libertarian who supports unrestricted immigration in the current political climate is simply irrational and working against his own presumable goal of eliminating the welfare state.

    Of course, there will always be the dispute between economic nationalists and free traders, between a vocal and virulent anti-capitalist minority on the right and the Austrians, and so on.

    But I really think that there is more agreement than disagreement. Both want the state out of their lives. Both are opposed to foreign military adventurism. Both are opposed to the bailouts, to Fed’s unlimited money-printing scheme, to the toxic revolving door between corporate America and the regulatory bureaucracy. Because of Ron Paul, social conservatism can get a fair hearing from a growing number of libertarians. The importance of the family is not just moral or theological but also economic and social.

    I think what Ron Paul has started can grow into something more. I think he provides the first key link between the libertarians, the constitutionalists, and the paleocons. What is needed is clear thinking on the issues that divide these groups. Some of the differences are legitimate, and others are based upon sheer ignorance, on knee-jerk assumptions, and a horrid lack of imagination. I think these problems can be fixed.

  • Austrian economics a ‘project?’ Is gravity a ‘notion?’.

    1. Yes
    2. No

  • Sure, there’s a subset of pro-family libertarians, and they all attend church on Sunday.

    The problem is, I just might be familiar with all of them.

    And none of them are at the controls of the Johnson campaign, Reason, Cato, etc. Sure, Cato has had some nods to pro-family thinking, but mostly in the context of welfare reform.

    I grant that Paul was pro-life, and admirably so, but that was considered a non-disqualifying eccentricity by the non-religious Paul supporters I’ve interacted with. And he–and Rand–aren’t systematic thinkers or advocates for the family in the context of libertarianism. Despite being admirable family men, they are first and foremost economic and legal/constitutional libertarians. Libertarianism has a long ways to go in developing a workable understanding of subsidiarity, with the indispensible family at the center.

  • Libertarians need to acknowledge that individual liberty grew in America as part of an ecosystem with an indispensible buttress: a socially conservative/religious ethic which mandated delayed gratification, duties to others apart from the self, and an understanding of “rendering unto Caesar” that put Caesar firmly in his place. Reading contributors to “Reason” and viewing Libertarian candidacies in general, there isn’t the beginnings of a glimmer of a clue on this point. Somehow, Caesar marches on despite their atomistic arguments and defenses of license. Oddly enough.

    Yep.

    And that “Reason” sort of libertarian screwed up when they supported GOProud trying to for the TEA party— did not win any friends with that “TEA partiers don’t care about social issues” BS, or similar attempts to lay claim on the entire movement. (Anybody else tired of the sort of Libertarian who tries to tell everyone that they’re “really” a Libertarian? Or claim random historical figures?)

  • (Anybody else tired of the sort of Libertarian who tries to tell everyone that they’re “really” a Libertarian? Or claim random historical figures?)

    Never encountered such. Have encountered folk who chuffer endlessley about who is a ‘real’ conservative or are in the habit of dismissing anyone not on the payroll or subscriber list of the von Mises Institute, Chronicles, or The American Conservative as a dolt.

  • Lucky you, Art.

    And there is a massive difference between going “you are not a conservative” and saying “See? See? You really agree with ME!” (Possibly one of the most annoying college liberal debate tactics. I’d gladly harm the guy who taught it to my cousin.)

2012 is not 2008

Monday, September 24, AD 2012

 

Susquehanna Polling released a poll showing Obama with a two point lead over Romney in Pennsylvania.  Today on their blog they have a fascinating post explaining their methodology and why the makeup of the electorate is likely to be quite different from 2008:

Recently two polls conducted by our firm showing President Obama narrowly leading Mitt Romney by 1 point (48% to 47%, sponsored by the Republican State Committee of Penna.), and a second released by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on Sunday, September 23 showing Obama leading Romney by 2 points (47%-45%).  Both margins conflict with other surveys conducted recently including one by the Philadelphia Inquirer (Obama +11) and Muhlenberg College (Obama +9).  Following are answers to questions about our survey methodology as well as our basis for predicting a close election.

Our vote model for gauging the number of interviews conducted with voters of different demographic groups (things like party affiliation, racial background and age range, etc.) is a blend of turnout models from both the 2008 and 2004 presidential elections, but leans more towards 2004 VTO and is predicated on the belief that turnout this November will not be anywhere near ’08 levels when 5.9 million votes were cast.

First, our ratio of interviews conducted with Republicans and Democrats in our recent polls (49D – 43R) gives Democrats a 6-point advantage based on the fact that Democrats outnumber Republicans in actual registration.  However, this ratio is slightly more Republican based on both national and state polling showing that Republicans are more likely to vote than Democrats this year given high intensity among Republicans who strongly disapprove of the President’s job performance.  Nonetheless, this +6 Democratic advantage is only one point less Democrat than the 7-point advantage these same exit polls gave Democrats in the 2008 presidential election.  Besides, simply conducting more surveys with Democratic voters (as some have suggested) doesn’t necessarily translate into more votes for President Obama when you consider that Mitt Romney is winning Democratic-leaning counties in Western Pennsylvania by ten or more percentage points.  Nonetheless, it is entirely appropriate to sample Republicans one or two points higher than in 2008 if you believe as we do that voter turnout this November will have little resemblance to the last presidential election.

Second, our ratio of younger to older voters reflects turnout that is likely to be slightly higher with older voters given the lack of enthusiasm from younger voters.  In our surveys, 18-44 yr. olds make up 30% of all interviews and voters 45 years of age and older represent the remaining seventy percent.  For instance, according to 2008 exit polls voter turnout among 18-29 year olds peaked at 18%, but national and state polling proves interest among younger voters down sharply this year due to higher unemployment with younger voters and college graduates in particular.  So conducting approximately ten percent of surveys with 18-29 year olds is a reflection of this lower anticipated turnout among these less-enthusiastic voters.  Besides, the fact that Obama backers have suggested that over sampling older voters skews results in favor of Mitt Romney is a striking revelation in a state like Pennsylvania known for having the 5th largest population of senior citizens in the country.

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18 Responses to 2012 is not 2008

  • Please, Lord Jesus, may Romney – Ryan win! Thy will be done!

  • If they could just clean up Philadephia, PA would go to Romney. It’s the cities that throw the states to the Demoncrats. Every election is a sea of red from coast to coast except for the urban areas. Frustrating.

  • Good information to have! but is ok with me if they think they are ahead– maybe they’ll be less concerned about getting to the voting booth.
    I’d like to know how soon early voting results will be reported? they could certainly skew things.. and is early voting a better outcome for liberals or for conservatives?

  • Disillusionment with politicians in the wake of the financial crisis seems to be producing low turnouts.

    In the recent French presidential election, nearly one-fifth of the electorate did not bother to vote. At just over 80%, it was well down on the 88% turnout in 2007.

  • It does seem opinion polling is getting less and less reliable as time goes on. Then again, 35 years ago you might see published results from no more than four companies (Gallup, Harris, Roper, and Yankelovich – and only Gallup and Harris most of the time) and they conducted fewer surveys. Maybe it is just the sheer number of surveys manifesting problems that have always been present in market research.

    Rasmussen has a precis of their methodology on their site. I think its premise is that it is not possible (or no longer possible) to produce a random sample with the means pollsters have to contact respondants, or that the sample you produce will differ systematically from the pool of people who actually vote. Therefore, their respondants are sorted into various demographic categories and then synthetic results are produced from weighting the subsamples according to census data, the results of other surveys, &c. Evidently, they are not able to contact cell phone users with random-digit dialing so they amend the results of their landline collections with those from online surveys. Heck knows if all of this kneading actually works.

    Then again, one agency (Pew, I believe) produced a survey in which self-identified Democrats outnumbered Republican by 19 percentage points. There have been times in our history when that was true, but not since about 1977.

  • It is trite Art but true that polling is more an art than a science. In our very partisan age, where the parties are close to parity, I think party id is probably the most important factor in a poll, and if that is fouled up the poll is junk. The interesting thing is that even in polls where the partisan id is way out of whack, there are some where Romney does quite well. Linked below is an Ohio poll with a D-10 sample where Obama and Romney are neck and neck. If I were a strategist for Team Obama these type of polls would scare the devil out of me.

    http://nicedeb.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/obama-and-romney-neck-in-neck-in-oh-poll-with-d10-sample/

  • PA unfortunately always seems to be one of those states where we have the potential to win over working-class Dems who are not cultural leftists (the “bitter clingers” as Bammer calls them) but we lose. dunno what this poll’s sampling was but there was another showing Obama with a double-digit lead so i’m not optimistic. it’d be great though.

    it’s incredibly frustrating that Romney seems to have to play a mostly defensive game at this point, winning back states like Virginia without being able to make inroads into lean-blue states. i hate being the Concern guy cuz part of my dread is that in the event of a Romney loss the GOP will be pressured to become squishy-soft to appeal to [insert liberal voting bloc] in the future, so i hope they pull it off.

  • as far as partisan edge i think there’s somewhat of a Dem advantage. wasn’t 2008 D+8 or something? so less than that. Rasmussen uses D+2 i believe, dunno if that’s too low

  • nationally anyway, obviously states vary

  • “as far as partisan edge i think there’s somewhat of a Dem advantage. wasn’t 2008 D+8 or something?”

    2008 was D-7; 2010 was parity. My guess is that the outcome this year will be parity to D-2. Republicans and conservatives are willing to crawl over broken glass to vote out Obama and that level of intensity matters in regard to turnout. The Democrats had the intensity in 2008 and they don’t have it in 2012.

  • I f you all follow the link, which takes you to a television interview broadcast about seven weeks ago, you see that they were interviewing Patrick Caddell (a pollster formerly in the employ of Jimmy Carter and Gary Hart) and one other pollster. Caddell said some of these surveys had samples so biased that publishing them was unprofessional. One has to be taken aback by that in the political atmosphere in which we live.

  • True Art. I do not contend that there is any grand conspiracy going on here, but most pollsters seem to be looking at 2008 turnout and blindly assuming the electorate will be the same this year. Leaving aside the repudiation of Obama at the polls in 2010 in the mid-terms, the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats and a bad economy, the pollsters are not taking into account the fact that registration for Dems is down in several key states:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/328401/democrats-advantage-voter-registration-slipping-key-states#

    Most of the polls simply do not make sense, especially those positing that Obama is doing better in many states than he did in 2008.

  • I think Caddell worked for George McGovern as well, and at least one other candidate (Paul Tsongas, perhaps).

    I am not sure what these news organizations are doing. I have participated in face-to-face small sample polls, which have the advantage of a high response rate (“robust”) and had good sampling frames, so you actually did not need to knead the data at all. The blogger “Dad29”, whom you see occasionally in precincts like this, says he works in marketing research and biased samples are a chronic problem.

    One participant in these discussions at a Republican blog I look in on occasionally offered a hypothesis based on his own interaction with telephone pollsters: the people who make the calls have quotas to fulfill but are bedeviled by non-cooperation by the people called at random, so they have (on the QT) a set of people with a track-record of being patient and co-operative and call them to fill their quotas. That subset is non-representative.

  • Rommey is up 48-46 in the Rasmussen tracker today, and Rasmussen is using a D-2 projection. In 2008 Rasmussen saw the wave coming for Obama. He polls 15000 people every month on the question of party id. If Rasmussen isn’t seeing the electorate like 2008 it is because the Democrat wave just isn’t there this year.

  • There was a survey published on Monday for Ohio, showing a dead heat.

    With a D +10 sample.

    But for my money, the most egregious was the PPP poll for Missouri, right after the Akin magic uterus gaffe. It showed him in the lead against McCaskill. With R +9. A clearer case of attempting to influence a result (keeping Akin from dropping out) you will not see. Of course, it worked, Akin not being a particularly sharp Congressperson.

    Rasmussen seems pretty sober, if with a slight inclination toward the Republicans. But he still gets it wrong, sometimes horribly–Sharron Angle in Nevada in 2010 being the most recent case in point.

  • “But for my money, the most egregious was the PPP poll for Missouri, right after the Akin magic uterus gaffe. It showed him in the lead against McCaskill. With R +9. A clearer case of attempting to influence a result (keeping Akin from dropping out) you will not see. Of course, it worked, Akin not being a particularly sharp Congressperson.”

    PPP is completely in the tank for the Democrats. I agree with you Dale that this is the worst example of a phony poll this cycle.

  • PPP is completely in the tank for the Democrats.

    Yes, but with an important caveat: they start taking serious, realistic polls within a month or so of an election. Every time.

    They shake the pom-pons for Democrats for most of the cycle, then take the clown nose off and put real-world glasses on. Compare a PPP poll from three months out with their last survey taken before the vote: you’d swear body snatchers had radically transformed the electorate, if you looked only at the merry pranksters at Public Policy Polling.

  • “They shake the pom-pons for Democrats for most of the cycle, then take the clown nose off and put real-world glasses on. ”

    Correct. I would like to say that I only see it with PPP but I have observed changes in numbers by other pollsters at the last minute, although not as radical as PPP.

Debate Advice

Monday, September 24, AD 2012

 

 

 

The first Presidential Debate is coming up on October 3.  It will focus on domestic policy.  Currently the race is tied up, contrary to many media polls dreaming of a 2008 Democrat D-7 turnout, with both candidates at the mid-Forties.  That is bad news for any incumbent.  What does Romney have to do in the debate to begin to take the lead?

1.  Showing up without horns and a tail.  The media currently is so laughably biased that you should gain at least a point by simply demonstrating that you are a fairly intelligent, articulate candidate.  One advantage to running against a stacked media is that when voters can see the candidate unfiltered it begins to penetrate through to a few undecided voters that they have been lied to by the media about the candidate not favored by the media.

2.  More of the same.  One of your main arguments should be that if you liked the last four years you should vote for Obama, because you are bound to get precisely the same policies from him in the next four years.

3.  Gas and food.  Gas prices and food prices have sky-rocketed under Obama.  Hit that hard, and then hit it hard again.

4.  Ignore the questions.  Rest assured that the questions will range from the asinine to the gotcha.  Ignore them.  Talk about what you want to talk about while paying mere lip service to answering the question.

5.  Jobs, Jobs and Jobs.  By the time you are finished make certain that the voters believe that your middle name is “Jobs”.  Promise to put America back to work.  Tie it in with stopping Obama’s job killing restrictions on energy production.  Don’t be shy about saying that Obama has virtually no private sector experience and that it shows, and that if Obama were the CEO of a company, that company would be in bankruptcy court.

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38 Responses to Debate Advice

  • First question: “Mr. Romney, When did you stop beating your wife?”

  • “Mr. Romney, When did you stop beating your wife?”

    I am glad that you asked me about Jobs instead of some ridiculous question. The polices of this administration have turned a typical recession into an unending one, as the unemployed 23 million of our fellow Americans can attest. They have no chance of finding employment until Mr. Obama loses his job. Good question!

  • Public relations is not my book.

    Just to point out (in regard to point #3) that in a well operating market economy you will have price flux and you should not make too much of what goes on in particular markets unless they are demonstrably a function of some public policy. That sort of thing could get hung around Romney’s neck like a rubber chicken should he win and be a candidate for re-election.

    With regard to point #5, I think if we researched it we would find that the healing of labor markets takes time. Even with a program of economic liberalization, it took British labor markets more than 15 years to recover from the recessions of 1979-83. The thing is, a therapeutic program for labor markets (essential in France and beneficial here) steps all over a mess of vested interests and cultural norms and would be the subject of the most dreadful demagogy by the odious Reid & Co. Romney would really need brass balls and a generous majority in Congress to pull it off.

    With regard to point #8, what do you imagine the bullet points would be? Fiscal consolidation is a necessity, but unless I am misunderstanding terribly, the Ryan plan takes that real slow.

  • “Just to point out (in regard to point #3) that in a well operating market economy you will have price flux and you should not make too much of what goes on in particular markets unless they are demonstrably a function of some public policy.”

    Much of the food and gas price increases Art are a direct function of the Obama administration’s refusal to develop domestic energy sources. This is a policy followed by the Democrat party for decades. He should hang it around Obama’s neck.

    “With regard to point #5, I think if we researched it we would find that the healing of labor markets takes time.”

    No, the stubbornly high unemployment rate is sui generis for all post World War II recoveries.

    “With regard to point #8, what do you imagine the bullet points would be?”
    1. Slash corporate tax rates to the lowest in the world.
    2. Abolish the capital gains tax.
    3. Give business a three year window to completely depreciate all new equipment purchased in each fiscal year.
    4. Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley.
    5. Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax.

  • Your advice recalls the old adage, “Oppositions don’t win elections; governments lose elections.”

  • No, the stubbornly high unemployment rate is sui generis for all post World War II recoveries.

    Britain had an unemployment rate of 13% three years after production levels began to improve in 1983. The last time the United States had an economic contraction induced by a financial crisis, we also had a labor market which responded only weakly to vigorous improvements in production levels. With regard to our more recent past, we had the mildest of recessions in 2001 (four quarters of alternating growth and contraction), but the condition of the labor market deteriorated for an additional two years. It was not until the summer of 2003 that conditions in that realm began to improve. Public policies followed by the Democratic Congress (assented to by Obama and, in a few measures, Bush) have made things worse than they otherwise would be. It should not surprise us, however, if the behavior of employers were to respond haltingly and slowly to a reversal of course.

    Much of the food and gas price increases Art are a direct function of the Obama administration’s refusal to develop domestic energy sources.

    Whether the specific decisions in this realm are good public policy or bad, I tend to doubt an econometric analysis would really show that long term decisions about investment in a country that produces a modest fraction of the world’s petroleum are really driving more than a small quantum of the short term price flux you see in oil markets (much less other commodities). You will recall that the spot price of oil reached $150 a barrel in 2008 and then fell (IIRC) to about $50 a barrel a couple of years later. B.O. is not responsible for that. I also do not think we should much care where the oil we consume is produced so long as we can minimize the risk of political blackmail and of physical inaccessibility of supplies in the event of a general war. A great power should be keeping some accessible supplies in reserve for certain contingencies.

    I cannot figure what your five bullet points are meant to accomplish. Sarbanes-Oxley concerns accounting practices and corporate governance, no? How is that a priority now, bar that mark-to-market accounting tends to conflate liquidity and solvency, but was it mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley?)? As for the rest, they are all recommendations for tax reduction, which is a strange thing to do when federal public sector borrowing stands at 9% of domestic product per annum.

  • “Britain had an unemployment rate of 13% three years after production levels began to improve in 1983.”

    Apples and rock salt Art. Last time I looked we were living in the US. Show me a post war recovery in the US where unemployment has stayed as high as in this recovery for such a lengthy period of time.

    “Whether the specific decisions in this realm are good public policy or bad, I tend to doubt an econometric analysis would really show that long term decisions about investment in a country that produces a modest fraction of the world’s petroleum are really driving more than a small quantum of the short term price flux you see in oil markets”

    Rubbish. Domestic production of our own oil would be much cheaper than foreign imports and would not be subject to periodic price shocks from Middle East crises.

    “I cannot figure what your five bullet points are meant to accomplish. Sarbanes-Oxley concerns accounting practices and corporate governance, no?”

    To get business off its back Art. My recommendations would lead to business entering a rapid period of exapansion. As for Sarbanes-Oxley, the cost of compliance has proven crippling to business. You can’t address the budget deficit Art unless you have a robust and growing private sector and unless you slash the public sector to the bone. It astonishes me that so many people are in denial of this simple reality.

  • Apples and rock salt Art. Last time I looked we were living in the US.

    Economics is not anthropology. The human particular is not all that influential in the course of economic phenomena.

    Rubbish. Domestic production of our own oil would be much cheaper than foreign imports and would not be subject to periodic price shocks from Middle East crises.

    Oil geology is not my business, but I have been told that drilling cost increases exponentially as you dig deeper. Obviously, transportation costs and insurance costs derived from using foreign sources are higher, but I would submit to you we began to import escalating quantities of oil from foreign sources because it was….less expensive.

    As for price shocks from political factors in the Near East, oil is fungible and there is a global market in it. As long as there oil being produced in the Near East and sold elsewhere, the effects of supply shocks and uncertainty will be transmitted throughout that global market.

    You can’t address the budget deficit Art unless you have a robust and growing private sector and unless you slash the public sector to the bone. It astonishes me that so many people are in denial of this simple reality.

    It is not a simple reality.

  • “The human particular is not all that influential in the course of economic phenomena.”

    The economy of the United States is not the economy of Great Britain. Obama has presided over the worst recovery in US post war history in regard to unemployment.

    “but I would submit to you we began to import escalating quantities of oil from foreign sources because it was….less expensive.”

    I think EPA regulations had just as much to do with it Art. In any case the days of cheap foreign oil from the Middle East are over. Once the Israel-Iran war starts I think everyone will understand that.

    “It is not a simple reality.”

    I think it is Art, absent debt repudiation or Weimar style inflation which amounts to the same thing.

  • Months ago, Greg Gutfeld predicted that an Obama/Romney debate would be like swimming in vaseline.

  • He also has to define his opponent for who he really is. Obama is not just a nice guy who happens to be an incompetent president. But that he is a lying mean-spirited, divisive left wing hack and that giving him another four years is seriously detrimental to this country.

    If Romney trots out the “He’s a nice guy, but…” line, he’s done.

  • Point #3, What is also adding to higher fuel costs are initiatives like ethanol. A bad crop here and there and food and fuel prices go up. I don’t like ethanol or its subsidies. But, Romney isn’t going to change that unfortunately.

    Point #4, That’s what I liked about Perry and Newt. Perry would ignore the question. Newt would ignore the question but only after giving the media a dressing down.

    Great list of points. And I agree with Greg, don’t come to a fight with that “Obama is a nice guy” or “Obama is a patriot”, etc. stuff. It’s go time!

  • Agreed as to the pap that Obama is a nice guy. He isn’t and there is no milage in pretending he is. Good call as to Ethanol Kyle, truly one of the more insidious boondoggles that our country has gotten involved in.

  • Point #3 (more), Another reason prices are going up… http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary/article/Bernanke-keeps-pushing-failed-policy-3884095.php

    Recognize the author? 🙂 The dollar gets devalued. Guess what oil markets trade with? The U.S. dollar. It becomes worth less, so it takes more dollars to buy the same amount of oil. Fuel goes up, production goes up, consumer pays more. Thanks for the irresponsible spending Mr. President.

    Of course, the Obama hacks will say “Obama has no control of QE.”

  • The U.S. dollar. It becomes worth less, so it takes more dollars to buy the same amount of oil.

    The annual increases in various price indices have (the last four years) been at the pace which has prevailed for a generation. Inflation is simply not a problem at this time.

    The economy of the United States is not the economy of Great Britain.

    Both are modern industrial economies and their labor markets are given to the same phenomena a pattern of responses. A notable difference in particulars was that Britain in 1979 had higher rates of union membership, highly confrontational industrial relations, and rules attending unemployment compensation which allowed people to stay on longer than was the case in the states. These factors influence the labor market, but you can have terribly sclerotic labor markets without them (as did the United States during the Depression). Keep in mind, that an aspect of the Thatcher government’s program was liberalization of labor markets. It still took a long time for them to recover.

    I think EPA regulations had just as much to do with it Art.

    We can examine the academic literature on the point. IIRC, peak oil production in the United States occurred in 1972, when the EPA was a novelty and mostly concerned with water and air pollution.

    I think it is Art, absent debt repudiation or Weimar style inflation which amounts to the same thing.

    Come again?

  • “I think it is Art, absent debt repudiation or Weimar style inflation which amounts to the same thing.

    Come again?”

    I would have thought I was clear. Absent debt repudiation or hyperinflation I see no way for the country to get out of its public debt situation absent a rapidly growing private sector and a public sector that is slashed to the bone.

  • “We can examine the academic literature on the point. IIRC, peak oil production in the United States occurred in 1972, when the EPA was a novelty and mostly concerned with water and air pollution.”

    And when most of our new technologies to extract huge amounts of oil were still decades in the future. The technology has moved on Art and the Democrats are fighting it every step of the way, and environmental concerns are their weapon of choice. The latest is the absurd claim that fracking causes earthquakes.

  • “Both are modern industrial economies and their labor markets are given to the same phenomena a pattern of responses.”

    I disagree Art. I think that the US labor market has to be judged by its own post war record in assessing the current unemployment situation and the duration of high unemployment since 2009.

  • Here’s an interesting statistic I found on Free Republic. Since 1872, no Republican has lost an election when the date fell on Nov 6th – there was no GOPer running in 1844:
    1872 – Grant
    1900 – Mckinley
    1928 – Hoover
    1956 – Ike
    1984 – Reagan

    Only 1900 was a single digit margin:

    1872- Grant 56%, Greeley 44%
    1900- McKinnley 52%, Bryan 46%
    1928- Hoover 58%, Smith 41%
    1956- Eisenhower 57%, Stevenson 42%
    1984- Reagan 59%, Mondale 41%

    I hope this is a good sign.

  • Fortunately for Dems their election day falls on Wednesday November 7th! Spread the word! 🙂

  • CORRECTION: The election of 1872 fell on the 5th. The elections of 1860 (Lincoln) and 1888 (Harrison) fell on the 6th. This election day will be the 7th election since Lincoln falling on the 6th all won by Republicans. Sorry for the error, but nevertheless, still a good omen.

  • My only comment/question is how foolish (to use a mild term) can Repubs be to allow the Left wing Debate Commission to choose Obama campaign operatives as the questioners? Lest this seem harsh let’s remember Stephanopoulus acting as a campaign operative with his seemingly bizarre off the wall banning contraceptives question. Soon after, the war on women ad campaign began saying that Repubs wanted to take away contraceptives. Where did he get that question if not from Axelrod or the DNC?? So here is what will happen: the moderators will “share” their questions with the Obama campaign (or have the DNC deliver the questions to them). Obama will memorize answers for his questions. Then he will memorize soundbites as zingers to comment on Romney’s response to questions. Romney evading the question will not prevent the soundbite zinger nor will the content of Romney’s reply. Non sequiturs don’t matter since the Media will endlessly replay the prepared soundbites by themselves. If someone finds this too off putting, please provide an explanation for Stephanopoulus.

  • If the Republican were the incumbant and way ahead in the polls I would not tolerate it. However, Romney as the challenger needs the exposure of the debates. My guess is that Obama would be happy to forego the debates right now if he could. I doubt if Obama gets the questions in advance, certainly judging from his lacklustre performance in the debates with McCain he had no advance notice of the questions. He had two advantages then however that he doesn’t have now:

    1. After the economic meltdown McCain, or any other Republican for that matter, was doomed in that Presidential contest.

    2. McCain had given up by the time of the debates as demonstrated by his listless poor performances.

  • My advice would be to remember Rocky II, where Rocky fought as a right-hander. Own Romneycare in the first 15 minutes of the first debate – a leader has to work with the other party, and I made the best legislation that I could. My opponent can’t even work with his own party. He hasn’t passed a budget in three years. He’s done nothing about the economy. He let the special interests write the health care bill. He’s a failed leader because he refuses to lead, refuses to do anything more than attack his opponents.

    Then slam him on Obamacare and the tone in Washington.

    He won’t see it coming. It doesn’t even matter who the “special interests” are. People have the sense that things aren’t working, and if you lay it all at his feet, AND take away the above-all-the-politics image, you give the undecided voter a reason to permit himself to vote against the President.

    It’s all about the independent voter and the Reagan Democrat. They’re open to hearing why Obama might not be the best president. They need Romney to justify the hunch that Obama is actually the problem. If Romney owns Romneycare, he makes himself look like the moderate that he actually is. The genius of this strategy is that it conforms to reality. And you set him up for the left hand like Rocky did: other than Obamacare, what has this president actually accomplished?

  • Normally debates don’t affect the outcome unless there is some really bad performance such as Ford freeing Poland or Dukakis’ off putting answer concerning his wife ( or Rick Perry freezing). For this reason alone, Obama has a tremendous motivation to get the questions. His performances off-teleprompter lately have been really bad. If his campaign could get sealed court records I’m sure they can get at least a draft of the questions (it’s remotely possible the moderators wouldn’t know about it.). Given these circumstances the pressure is more on Romney to survive in a hostile environment and not flub it. I don’t really think he and his team are capable (or perhaps even interested) to take the fight to Obama.

    And sadly I don’t think the Repubs would object to the moderators even under the scenario you outlined.

  • Is religious freedom considered “just” a social issue and thus not included in the list to be addressed?
    The social issue of abortion and all issues that affect the family are in fact economic issues. The most basic ingredient of the economy is people.

  • “Normally debates don’t affect the outcome unless there is some really bad performance such as Ford freeing Poland or Dukakis’ off putting answer concerning his wife ( or Rick Perry freezing).”

    Depends. I believe that Reagan went ahead of Carter after his late one and only debate with Carter. Carter made no major gaffes, but Reagan was quite good, and bore no relationship to how much of the media had portrayed him in the campaign.

    “Obama has a tremendous motivation to get the questions.”
    Any candidate would, but I can tell from his performace in 2008 that he did not. Certainly idiot Biden had no advance access to questions before his stumbling performance against Palin.
    “If his campaign could get sealed court records”
    Which they had to go to court to get against both his Democrat primary opponent and against Jack Ryan. Slimy politics? Most certainly, but not a black bag operation.
    “I’m sure they can get at least a draft of the questions (it’s remotely possible the moderators wouldn’t know about it.)”
    If they are able to that would be a first. It would be pretty easy to detect a candidate who is giving a canned response to a question. Additionally there would still be the problem of responding to what the other candidate says.

    “Given these circumstances the pressure is more on Romney to survive in a hostile environment and not flub it. I don’t really think he and his team are capable (or perhaps even interested) to take the fight to Obama.”

    I think that is a little paranoid. Romney has spent a huge amount of money and time to be elected president. I have no doubt that he wants to beat Obama. In his earlier debate performances he improved over time. He will never be a Reagan, but then neither is Obama, the most over-rated orator of our time.

  • “Is religious freedom considered “just” a social issue and thus not included in the list to be addressed?”

    There is going to be a section on the role of government and Romney should hit the religious freedom issue hard in that section. However, I have no doubt that the major issue on the minds of most undecided voters will be the economy.

    http://www.debates.org/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=41&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01detailtemplate=newspage&cntnt01returnid=80

  • If I recall correctly Morton Kondracke’s account of how the debate panel he was a member of proceeded in 1984, the panelists worked out their questions in informal discussions with each other with very little advance planning (I think their last discussion was just before the broadcast). If that continues to be the case, Obama will not get the questions unless one of the panelists is a total shill.

    Does anyone know the process by which creatures such as Scott Pelley end up on these panels?

  • I would have thought I was clear. Absent debt repudiation or hyperinflation I see no way for the country to get out of its public debt situation absent a rapidly growing private sector and a public sector that is slashed to the bone.

    I am just not understanding your intermediate steps here. Growth rates are a function of rates of technological innovation and organizational efficiencies. Sclerosis induced by poor public policies can inhibit that and certainly cause static deadweight losses. The thing is, the level and timing of static and dynamic improvements are hard to predict. I suspect you would also discover that the largest source of inefficiencies are cross-subsidies incorporated into the tax code. The policy response would be to clear out the cross-subsidies. Doing so does not dictate a particular marginal rate schedule.

    And, yes, the size of the public sector is inversely related to measures of economic dynamism. However, this can only be true above a certain threshhold and there is the question of the effect of short term disruptions to be caused by abrupt changes in pubic spending as against long-term improvements in the trajectory of growth. In the matter of fiscal consolidation, you are looking perhaps one business cycle ahead, no more.

    Right now the task is to discontinue high levels of public sector borrowing before the bond market cuts us off at the bar. There is quite a mix of ways to do this. I still cannot figure why our current situation determines that public spending be ‘cut to the bone’. We have had this conversation several times and I am still waiting for you to specify what you want to cut, how much, and why.

  • thank you Donald for the info and the link. God bless Romney and Ryan and all their associates in their planning and prep for the debates. I thank God for all He will do. God bless Pelley and others to turn their hearts to Truth,

  • Much of the food and gas price increases Art are a direct function of the Obama administration’s refusal to develop domestic energy sources.

    At least with respect to energy, I have heard from many energy industry sources that lack of updated refining capacity is big factor – due to the prohibitve cost of compliance with regs for refurbishing/building, for a lot of them it is not cost effective. At least that is what they say. That is something Romney could press without even getting into the issue of drilling in “sensitive” lands.

  • As a practical matter, I think that hitting on gas and food prices are a bad idea, because they have very easy common-sense replies. Gas – the prices are going to decline in the next months because summer is over. Food – there’s a drought; you can’t blame that on me.

  • “Gas – the prices are going to decline in the next months because summer is over. Food – there’s a drought; you can’t blame that on me.”

    Then Romney cites the price hikes from 2009 to today which have very little to do with short term phenomena.

  • “There is going to be a section on the role of government and Romney should hit the religious freedom issue hard in that section. However, I have no doubt that the major issue on the minds of most undecided voters will be the economy.”

    Another issue Romney can expose Obama as a bald faced liar on. Even a recent Obama campaign ad has Obama claiming to defend religious liberty. To assert this claim after the HHS Mandate takes some serious naddies on Obama’s part. Thing is, he doesn’t expect Romney to call him on it. But Mitt damned well better.

  • For a man who promised to control the sea levels, bringing rain to drought stricken areas should be trivial. (“Bringing rain” should probably read “create rain” in Obama’s case. He’s that god.(sic))

  • Romney hit Obama hard in the ad below on religious freedom so I imagine he will do so in the debate

Cold Iron

Sunday, September 23, AD 2012

The thirteenth in my ongoing series examining the poetry of Rudyard Kipling. The other posts in the series may be read here, here , here , herehere , here, here, here, here , here, here and here.     I have noted several times in this series that Kipling was not conventionally religious, yet many of his poems dealt with religious themes.  One of his lesser known poems, Cold Iron, written in 1910, I have always found personally very moving.

Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —

 Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.”

 “Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

 “But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.”

 

So he made rebellion ‘gainst the King his liege,

 Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.

 “Nay!” said the cannoneer on the castle wall,

 “But Iron — Cold Iron — shall be master of you all!”

 

Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong,

 When the cruel cannon-balls laid ’em all along;

 He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,

 And Iron — Cold Iron — was master of it all!

 

Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!)

 “What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword?”

 “Nay!” said the Baron, “mock not at my fall,

 For Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all.”

 

“Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown —

 Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.”

 “As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,

 For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

 

Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!)

 “Here is Bread and here is Wine — sit and sup with me.

 Eat and drink in Mary’s Name, the whiles I do recall

 How Iron — Cold Iron — can be master of men all!”

 

He took the Wine and blessed it. He blessed and brake the Bread.

 With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said:

 “See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall,

 Show Iron — Cold Iron — to be master of men all.”

 

“Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.

 Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.

 I forgive thy treason — I redeem thy fall —

 For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

 

“Crowns are for the valiant — sceptres for the bold!

 Thrones and powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold!”

 “Nay!” said the Baron, kneeling in his hall,

 “But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all!

 Iron out of Calvary is master of men all!”

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6 Responses to Cold Iron

  • Thanks Don. The beauty in truth.
    The 12th Chpt. of Revelation, near the end of the chapter comes to my mind as I read his poem.
    Yes the iron rod, but also the final battle scene; the off spring of the woman who do battle with the dragon are “those who live by the commandments and give testimony of Jesus the Christ.”
    Please excuse me for the quote might not be perfect but its very close….going from memory.
    The child taken to the Father to rule all Nations with the iron rod. The woman, our Lady to lead us in the final battle. It’s a very interesting time.

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  • Don, your commentaries on Kipling (and I have gone back and read them all) are truly enlightening. Concerning the ‘Barrack Room Ballads’, Evelyn Waugh (whom I admire) once scoffed: “When ‘Omer smote ‘is bloomin’ lyre – what barrack-room balladeer ever heard of Homer or lyres?”. Yet I knew them by heart and my party piece thirty years ago in the Officers’ Mess of the South Notts. Hussars was to stand on the table (in my cups) and by popular request declaim them. The favourites were Gunga Din, Snarleyow and Fuzzy-Wuzzy; and as we were an artillery unit Ubique, The Captain’s Jacket and The Screw-Guns were also in demand. “Smokin’ me pipe on the mountings, sniffin’ the morning cool …” Happy days!

  • Thank you John. Kipling had an immense impact in his day. English officers noted at the time that their men began to sound like the privates in Kipling’s poems after exposure to his poetry. An odd case of life imitating art! I have loved Kipling since the first time I encountered him as a schoolboy in The Ballad of East and West. His understanding of the human condition I think ranks with Shakespeare. Kipling, the most underestimated writer in the English language. My favorite passage in Kipling:

    The tumult and the shouting dies;
    The Captains and the Kings Depart;
    Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.

    I often think of it in tandem with this:

    ”Cities and Thrones and Powers
    Stand in Time’s eye,
    Almost as long as flowers,
    Which daily die:”

  • GK Chesterton parodied Kipling’s ‘Recessional’:

    Cut back, our navies melt away,
    From ode and war-song fades the fire;
    We are a jolly sight today
    Too close to Sidon and to Tyre
    To make it sound so very nice
    To talk of ancient sacrifice.

  • Mother o’ Mine

    DEDICATION TO “THE LIGHT THAT FAILED”

    If I were hanged on the highest hill,
    Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
    I know whose love would follow me still,
    Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

    If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
    Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
    I know whose tears would come down to me,
    Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

    If I were damned of body and soul,
    I know whose prayers would make me whole,
    Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

Distrust in Media Hits Record High

Saturday, September 22, AD 2012

I am shocked, shocked, to report that Gallup finds a steep decrease in faith in unpaid Obama press agents the media.

The record distrust in the media, based on a survey conducted Sept. 6-9, 2012, also means that negativity toward the media is at an all-time high for a presidential election year. This reflects the continuation of a pattern in which negativity increases every election year compared with the year prior. The current gap between negative and positive views — 20 percentage points — is by far the highest Gallup has recorded since it began regularly asking the question in the 1990s. Trust in the media was much higher, and more positive than negative, in the years prior to 2004 — as high as 72% when Gallup asked this question three times in the 1970s.

This year’s decline in media trust is driven by independents and Republicans. The 31% and 26%, respectively, who express a great deal or fair amount of trust are record lows and are down significantly from last year. Republicans’ level of trust this year is similar to what they expressed in the fall of 2008, implying that they are especially critical of election coverage.

Independents are sharply more negative compared with 2008, suggesting the group that is most closely divided between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney is quite dissatisfied with its ability to get fair and accurate news coverage of this election.

More broadly, Republicans continue to express the least trust in the media, while Democrats express the most. Independents’ trust fell below the majority level in 2004 and has continued to steadily decline.

What could possibly explain such a lack of confidence in the ink-stained wretches?

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9 Responses to Distrust in Media Hits Record High

  • The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia (no relation) posted this classic from the Onion on her blog today: http://www.theonion.com/articles/media-having-trouble-finding-right-angle-on-obamas,2703/

    Likewise the current issue of On the Media podcast is wrestling wioth the question “Does PR Have a Liberal Bias?”
    http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/sep/14/

    One of their replies is “We’re no more liberal than TIME or Newsweek.”

    Don, is this a defence you would try in a court if liberalism were a crime?

  • The Onion story is a true classic Thomas. The only thing funnier than media bias is the denial of it.

  • Here’s another interesting site showing how the media is lying about the polls. Now, are they covering for planned fraud or if Romney/Ryan win, will the media and the demoncrats claim they “stole” the election?

    http://polls2012.blogspot.com/

  • It’s been so my entire life.

    They simply are democrats with bylines. It’s all liberal propaganda and presenting progressive fictions as facts.

    It’s all distortions, distractions, exaggerations, fabrications, misdirections, omissions and outright lies repeated constantly.

    “If you don’t read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you read the papers you are misinformed.” Either Twain or Will Rogers, I’m unsure.

  • Worrying about the state of the economy and the future of the country is keeping me up at night. If it were only me I would not be so concerned but I have a wife, two small children and a mortgage, among other obligations.

    Bernard Goldberg wrote two books about media bias and they were huge sellers. The alphabet networks parrot whatever the New York Times prints, and we all know that rag has always been biased. The Washington (Com)Post started out as a Democrat party organ, or so I was told by a former Washington, DC coworker.

    I dropped the Pittsburgh Tribune Review last year for its’ publisher’s view that Planned Parenthood funding must be continued. I can’t read the Post Gazette. I don’t buy a newspaper and rarely watch news on TV except for the local traffic and weather on the weekday mornings.

  • “If you don’t read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you (do) read the papers you are misinformed.” Either Twain or Will Rogers, I’m unsure.

    I would have guessed H.L. Mencken. But after some searching of the web, I find this is most often attributed to Mark Twain but the origin appears to be unknown.

    And now for some vintage Mencken that is particularly appropriate as we reflect on the current holder of the office of President and the current election season:

    As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    –H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

  • The media could collectively receive the Walter Duranty Prize for this election cycle’s reporting.

  • Things would be different if a Republican was president.

    They’d be all over this like stink on poop.

    Here’s the story the Obama worshiping stooges with by-lines will never write.

    From The London Mail (UK):

    “More Americans now commit suicide than are killed in car crashes as miserable economy takes its toll

    “Deaths from suicide up 15pc with fears more deaths go unaccounted

    “$56m suicide prevention plan being rolled out after shocking statistics”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2207089/56-million-suicide-prevention-programme-launched-study-reveals-Americans-lives-die-car-crashes.html#ixzz27KdqSGqt

  • Here’s the story the Obama worshiping stooges with by-lines will never write.

    Obama’s war on coal and electricity generation (quoted at Instapundit):

    “Look, folks, I am in this field. I have been for more than 30 years. Losing 36,000 MWs of the most cost-efficient generation capacity in the US is a disaster. You have no idea how bad the increases are going to be. They will be disastrous to the individual energy consumers and apocalyptic to large users – those who create jobs.

    “I shudder to think of what this is going to do to grid reliability as well. A lot of those coal plants help support the grid during disruptions. They regularly provide both energy and MVARs (Mega Volt-Ampere Reactive) that keep the grid from collapsing when large loads are added or lost. (That’s about as simple as I can make it and still be understood.) Losing these stabilizers will make it very hard to hold the grid. I pity the load dispatchers.”

    If things go the wrong way in NOvember you will need to buy a generator.

September 22, 1862: Lincoln Issues Notice of Emancipation Proclamation

Saturday, September 22, AD 2012

Something for the weekend.  Give us a Flag, the unofficial anthem of the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War, written by a private serving in the 54th Massachusetts.

Today is the 150th anniversary of the issuance of the notice by Lincoln of the Emancipation Proclamation, to take effect on January 1, 1863, Lincoln doing so after the Union victory at Antietam on September 17, 1862.  Reaction was, to say the least, mixed.  In the North the abolitionists were enraptured.  Most Northern opinion was favorable, although there was a substantial minority, embodied almost entirely in the Democrat party, that completely opposed this move.  Opinion in the Border States was resoundingly negative.  In the Confederacy the Confederate government denounced the proposed Emancipation Proclamation as a call for a race war.  Today, almost all Americans view the Emancipation Proclamation as a long overdue ending of slavery.  At the time it was very much a step into the unknown, and the consequences impossible to determine.  Lincoln had converted the War for the Union into a War for the Union and against Slavery.  It remained to be seen as to whether the War, whatever its objectives, could be won.  Here is the text of Lincoln’s announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation:

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7 Responses to September 22, 1862: Lincoln Issues Notice of Emancipation Proclamation

  • Replace “slave” with “Catholic taxpayer”, “religious believer” and “Catholic Church” and teach respect for freedom.

  • Reaction to the proclamation remains mixed even today, because from a practical, on the ground standpoint, it didn’t free ANY slaves, at least not immediately. It didn’t apply to border slave states still loyal to the Union, nor (in its final form) to Union-occupied areas of the Confederate states. The only areas that it applied to were areas where it wasn’t going to be enforced immediately. Some abolitionists were disappointed in it for that reason. It was a carefully crafted political move — but still a brilliant one. Also, what happened to the part about compensating slave owners who remained loyal to the Union?

  • Lincoln tried for compensated emancipation throughout the War in loyal slave states like Delaware and Kentucky and in offers to the Confederates in exchange for peace and Union. The slaveholders were never interested. By the end of the War slavery was dead, and after all the blood and treasure expended to accomplish that feat, Congress was in no mood to give to slaveowners what they had rejected during the war.

    Lincoln limited the Emancipation Proclamation to areas under Confederate control for several reasons. First, he believed he had no authority to abolish slavery except as a war measure. That is why he successfully pushed for the thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery. Second, he did not wish to alienate the loyal slave states.

    In regard to the Emancipation Proclamation it gave Union military commanders in Confederate areas the authority to abolish slavery, something a few of them had already attempted. Wherever the Union armies established control slavery ended. The Confederates understood this, which is why they reacted with such outrage to the Proclamation,

  • It was another in a string of unconstitutional acts by Lincoln. Just because we might like the object of the abuse of power does not make the abuse of power legitimate.

    And yes of course it was an entirely cynical ploy by Lincoln to buttress up flagging support for the war by throwing a moral patina on the business that “preserving the glorious union” did not have.

    Lincoln’s person view was expressed early on when he verified that the war was not about slavery and that he would use that issue only insofar as it would aid in his effort forcibly to unite the country, but that he had no interest in slavery per se as a war aim. After Antietam, to buck up failing domestic support and to ensure non-intervention by European powers, he made the calculated decision that he could indeed use the issue of slavery to advance what he considered the only aim of the war–reunion.

  • Wrong on all points Tom:
    “It was another in a string of unconstitutional acts by Lincoln”

    1. There is nothing unconstitutional about confiscating property in war time that is being used to support the enemy war effort. Slave labor was crucial for the Confederacy. The Confederates contended that slaves were property. Lincoln took them at their word and freed their “property”.

    “to buttress up flagging support for the war by throwing a moral patina on the business that “preserving the glorious union” did not have.”
    2. Incorrect Tom. Support for war for the Union was almost universal in the North except among Copperheads. In the border states it commanded at least 50% support. In the Confederacy support for war for the Union was quite popular in certain regions, especially West Virginia and East Tennessee. Lincoln was taking a big gamble in adding the war aim of the abolition of slavery.

    “Lincoln’s person view was expressed early on when he verified that the war was not about slavery and that he would use that issue only insofar as it would aid in his effort forcibly to unite the country, but that he had no interest in slavery per se as a war aim.”

    Lincoln’s personal view was always that slavery must be abolished. He separated that from his prime duty as President which was to uphold the Union. He expressed this well in his letter to Horace Greeley:

    “Washington, August 22, 1862.

    Hon. Horace Greeley:
    Dear Sir.

    I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.

    As to the policy I “seem to be pursuing” as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

    I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

    I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.

    Yours,
    A. Lincoln.”

    Of course at the time that he wrote this Lincoln knew that he was going to Emancipate the slaves and was using this letter skillfully to help butress his argument that the abolition of slavery was necessary for the preservation of the Union

  • Oh, and this is also the 150th anniversary of that *other* unconstitutional act, suspension of habeas corpus, which Lincoln also perpetrated.

    Don, I know you love your fellow Illinois-an, but really. The Constitution is a document which gives the president only limited, *expressed* authority. Declaring the property of every owner in many states to be confiscated, whether or not that property is involved in war, is not a power granted to the president.

    Really, it’s very simple: if the constitution does not *expressly* grant the president a power, he does not have it. No constitutional provision permits the president to declare the property of people forfeited, particularly without any kind of due process.

  • “Oh, and this is also the 150th anniversary of that *other* unconstitutional act, suspension of habeas corpus, which Lincoln also perpetrated.”

    And the suspension of habeus corpus was reaffirmed by Congress when it met in December of 1862. The Constitution clearly allows for the suspension of habeas corpus in the event of invasion or rebellion. I would note that Jefferson Davis also suspended habeas corpus and declared martial law.

    Confiscation of property used against the United States in war time has been upheld time and again by the US Supreme Court. Congress ratified the action of the President by legislation and the country ratified the action of the President by approving the Thirteenth Amendment.

Keep Your Day Job

Friday, September 21, AD 2012

As support for my belief that modern life is increasingly resembling a poorly written Monty Python skit, I point to the pro-abort members of the Michigan state legislature:

Pro-abortion legislators are protesting pro-life bills in the Michigan state legislature in an odd, eye-rolling fashion.

They gathered on the steps of the Michigan Capitol to perform a flash mob-style dance to a bastardized version of Carly Rae Jeppson’s “Call Me Maybe” with their own version, “It’s My Vagina, So Hands Off Baby.”

The ACLU of Michigan, in partnership with Planned Parenthood, staged the flash mob and rally on the Capitol lawn. The two pro-abortion groups emailed out an instructional video of the “Hands Off Dance” along with two others, “Can’t Say It” and the “Pelvic Exam.”

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14 Responses to Keep Your Day Job

  • Oh, my. Are they saying that it is great to go into a filthy abortion mill with an uninsured doctor, while the rapist holds a gun to their head, after which the abortionists puts the baby in the industrial garbage disposal? Try putting those facts into lyrics and see how popular the ditty is.

  • I believe these people are singing to the wrong people. Taxes belong to the tax payer even while being administered by the administration. Hey! Baby, get you hand out of my wallet. The ACLU was paid by tax dollars to set this “impromptu” up . If the taxpayers wanted to fund this hulabaloo and what they are agitating for, they would not have to agitate. So, kindly remove your vagina from my wallet. I don’t know where its been.

  • Washington DC:
    Some guy with a day job in a Senate offices bldg. on the left side of the March for Life route was doing the dance on a balcony. The Capitol Bldg. across the street (as well as the other bldgs.) were starkly devoid of people hurrying to and fro on their what mustn’t be too busy work day.
    He’s the only person I saw. Someone inside should have had a hook.

  • Well. If you kill off all those offspring that might be taught in your ways, I guess you had better recruit more with catchy song and dance routines. Seems like it is a good idea. Well, better than describing the horrific act of aborting a baby. Or the health consequences of contraception and abortion. Heck, they live in a consequence free world, where they eat whole grain granola, holistic healing, and of course cancer causing steroid hormone based contraception. I don’t see the inconsistencies….

  • Oh my. How embarrassing.

  • oh my is right!! if a negative can be enormous, the enormity of the lack of understanding is stunning – and pitiable if it were not so consequential

    and Yay Mary De Voe:
    “So, kindly remove your vagina from my wallet. I don’t know where its been.”

  • “My vagina”???? As if that qualifies the death of the innocent. Given that reasoning then the “his finger” of the street gangster whos does pulls the trigger is legit. How stupid.

  • Dave W. Why would anybody’s “vagina” qualify the death of the innocent? That is not “reasoning”, that is the dead end of reasoning. ” So, kindly remove your vagina from my wallet. I don’t know where its been.” addresses the denial of the human beings’ rational, immortal soul with its conscience, to act in free will, and spontaneously witness to truth. The new human being, existing at the will of God and man, conceived in Justice and innocence has a conscience that is, too, being denied by vagina abusers, and the like.

    You just heard Obama say that Washington must be fixed from the outside. “So, kindly remove your vagina from my wallet. I don’t know where its been.” The MSM just reported that an Obama sign has been vandalized…and would like to blame conservatives…by Whom???. The Obama sign can be fixed…our consciences cannot be fixed, nor can our consciences be replaced or denied.

    Dave W. It is called black humor (no inference to Obama’s race). Black humor developed in the concentrations camps in WWII. It was how many persons survived the subhuman treatment imposed. Black humor truly evolved from the concentration camps because the prisoners were able to identify and commiserate with each other. The guards were their target. Why should the guards be spared? Stalag (sp) 13 was one of the most popular tv series because it depicted how the prisoners were able to maintain their dignity.

  • Remember, too, that our founding Fathers, George Washingotn, Abraham Lincoln, U. S. Grant, who is buried in Grant’s tomb, grace our money. Their visages see what is going on in abortion clinics around the country, every abortion, every day. Our Founding Fathers see and hear every closed door conference Obama has. Look and see, the EYE of GOD on every dollar bill. This legal tender was not uttered to buy vice.

    Anzlyne. Yay one Hail Mary for you too.

  • Mary DV, huh?? Best reread my post … it sounds like you think I’m for this video. My crude point is the utter fullishness in positioning a right to do what you wish to your body no matter who is hurts.

  • Dave W. Me thinks that you’re a thinking that my comment spurned the most hideous crime of murdering the innocent, the standard of Justice to our states, our begotten in perfect innocence, the immortal human being’s soul created in original innocence, our constitutional posterity.
    News posts that the Obama sign had been vandalized four times…by a deer. The animal left standing every Romney-Ryan sign and destroyed the only Obama sign in the neighborhood. The owners videoed the deer doing damage. Me thinks that God is not on Obama’s side. I am right.

  • Oh, deranged America. Once again, I say, if any Country ever needed Divine Mercy it is America. But each and every day you are telling God. “Get our of my way…..it is my life….it is my choice….You have no room in my abode and body”……Oh dear and He is waiting for you when the evening clouds gather on the Western sky and your soul leave your bodies to face His Wrath…..at your own choice…..all He will tell you is…..”your Will be done”….Pray, pray, America, pray. Thank you, Mary D….continue with those Hail Marys and the Divine Mercy Chaplet…..who knows…..God can break the most hard and granite stones, melt them, mold them and then fill them….. hopefully.

  • Mary DV: “what we have here is a failure to communiate ” …. I dispise abortion, I dispise Obama. That is as clear as I can make it.

  • Dave W. ” …. I dispise abortion, I dispise Obama. That is as clear as I can make it.” I appreciate your clarity and your position as it is a grace from God that is only given the good willed. I apologize for the “friendly fire.”

By His Own Admission

Friday, September 21, AD 2012

Well that was quick.  The Republicans didn’t waste any time in putting together this ad in response to Obama’s claim that you can’t change Washington from the inside.  Certainly he will not even try.  If the last four years have been your cup of tea, then I think that you should vote for Obama.  The next four years if he is re-elected will be more of the same, as the nation careens toward bankruptcy, the economy goes from bad to worse, the welfare state continues to swell, regulations oppress those who disagree with the policies of Obama and a feckless foreign policy leads into a general war in the Middle East bigger than any seen since World War II.  Reagan liked to say when he ran for re-election in 1984:  “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” From Reagan it was a promise.  From Obama it would be a threat.

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8 Responses to By His Own Admission

  • Sadly, Obama did change the way some things are done – countless czars, corruption, EO’s that circumvent the Constitution…

    4 more years he may end up changing America so much, it will be unrecognizable when he’s finished.

  • “You can’t change Washington from the inside, it can only be changed from the outside. Obama is shirking the blame for the crash and burn of the United States. Obama has never shirked spelling out in detail the misery and tragedy inflicted of the American people. Obama’s gift is to identify the grotesque and bash the victim for the crime. And you people on the outside, you know who you are. You people on the outside, you know who you are, you let me trample on the U.S. Constitution, you let me obliterate our founding principles, you let me give all your tax money to my friends, you let me use your tax money to kill babies, you let me redefine the human being as having no immortal soul, you let me redefine marriage as the abuse of two human bodies, you let me take your inviolable freedom and you let me ridicule you. You know who you are on the outside and you owe me another four years on the inside. The consummate abuser always abuses his victim and he has his choice of victims because the abuser’s innocence is so obvious to all of us on the outside. We, the people, are so guilty of not being Obama.

  • Bummer. thelarryd. I wanted to be the first to nail Obama. Love your Acts of Apostasy.

  • ” … to fundamentally change how Washington works…
    … to end the division …”

    Troublemaking in the world at large, then executing orders to cover what gets stirred up at the expense of his Americans.

    Division? a two party system with elections by the people

    Division? accusing Americans of racism, bringing the insult out of moth balls and rushing to judgment for victims based on his own racism that he wants everyone to experience as he is the leader of the people

    Division? using the formerly dignified office of President to entertain those who showed respect for America by being photographed obscenely gesturing at portraits of past Presidents in the White House, having security servants who use cardboard cut outs of Hillary Clinton and others to take obscene pictures – sick stoned jokers running rampant

    Division? calling out Christians for clinging to religion, then lying to them, and legislating against them with ever more unnatural laws defying the Constitution which he refuses to uphold for the people he leads to the point of no return

    reducing Americans to 99% and 1% to charge the occupiers with something to rabble rouse over, while bailing out his 1% with $$$,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$ trillions, then inviting them to campaign dinners for $$,$$$ per plate, as the occupiers got box lunches and raided small businesses for rest rooms when they bothered to do so.

    Treating his Americans like fools, including his media support hasn’t helped.
    Washington works from the inside when there are checks and balances between the branches of government, not when the executive branch purposely ignores the fact like a spoiled child or sociopath.

  • That’s the first truly powerful ad I’ve seen so far that could change the minds of a (few) remaining undecideds.

  • Dear Mary @ 8:29,
    Shouldn’t have pressed post because my impatience with the incumbent’s lies (and those of his blind attack dogs) doesn’t add wisdom or humor to consideration of the direction society and the democrats have followed. My awareness of these dangerous trends of mindlessness and base behavior frightens me, in the way that evil can overcome good, that my words are reaction rather than more aloof observation. Don’t want to be caught in that roiling current and want more to apologize; then, ask why you thank me – because my saying you’re welcome for an – er – incomplete list of abominable divisiveness going on four epic years and allowing my impatience to rule my soul seems like the wrong response.
    I’ll just say vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to stem the tide from the deadly serious current.

  • Thank you all. How I pray all Americans would be wide awake as you are on this Website and realize this is your chance to save your Country from total ruin…Hey, PM, who is the Author of all Confusion, Destruction, Hatred, Murder and every evil abomination that torments mankind????? Lucifer?? O.K.?? Right???? RIGHT….then, my people of God, you have His High Priest as your President. Get rid of him and have peace. So shall the rest of the World begin to heal, especially where America holds us in vice-like evil grip.

Will Money Make Everyone Virtuous?

Friday, September 21, AD 2012

One of the many divides among modern Catholics is between what we might call the “moralizers” and the “justice seekers”. “Moralizers” are those who emphasize the importance of teaching people moral laws and urging them to abide by them. “Justice seekers” seek to mitigate various social evils (poverty, lack of access to health care, joblessness, etc.) and believe that if only these social evils are reduced, this will encourage people to behave better.

Moralizers tend to criticize the justice seekers by pointing out that following moral laws is apt to alleviate a lot of the social evils that worry the justice seekers, arguing, for example, that if one finishes high school, holds a job and gets married before having children, one is far less likely to be poor than if one violates these norms.

Justice seekers reply that the moralizers are not taking into account all the pressures there work upon the poor and disadvantaged, and argue that it’s much more effective to better people’s condition than to moralize at them (or try to pass laws to restrict their actions) because if only social forces weren’t forcing people to make bad choices, they of course wouldn’t do so.

(I’m more of a moralizer myself, but I think that we moralizers still need to take the justice seeker critique into account in understanding where people are coming from and what they’re capable of.)

One area in which the justice seeker approach seems to come into particular prominence is the discussion of abortion. We often hear politically progressive Catholics argue that the best way to reduce abortions is not to attempt to ban or restrict them, but rather to reduce poverty and make sure that everyone has access to health care. There’s an oft quoted sound bite from Cardinal Basil Hume (Archbishop of Westminster) to this effect:

“If that frightened, unemployed 19-year-old knows that she and her child will have access to medical care whenever it’s needed, she’s more likely to carry the baby to term. Isn’t it obvious?”

You’d think that it was obvious, but I’m suspicious of the idea that having more money or resources makes us better or less selfish people (an idea which strikes me as smacking of a certain spiritual Rousseauian quality that doesn’t take fallen human nature into account) so I thought it would be interesting to see if there’s any data on this.

I was not able to find data on the relationship of abortion to health insurance, but I was able to find data on the relation of abortion to poverty, and it turns out that the Cardinal, and conventional wisdom, are wrong.

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39 Responses to Will Money Make Everyone Virtuous?

  • “Having more money and resources does not make us better people. Those who are better off are just as capable of doing wrong than those who are less well off. Indeed, in this case, it appears that people who are better off are more likely to do wrong than those who are less well off.”

    The poor usually have not had the “advantage” of a politicized college education where abortion is viewed as a sacred rite. It usually takes much such “education” for a woman to convince herself that the child within her womb has no more moral worth than a piece of disposable garbage. Most faculties, including at many Catholic institutions, might as well have a sign outside the faculty lounge saying Sophists-R-Us!

  • In addition to being wrong on the facts, there is also an either/or attitude that always irks me. There is no reason we can’t push for illegality of abortion and support for pregnant women.

    As for more money and resources making people morally better, when has that ever been apparent? Many “elites” are the most vile people in the world.

  • To Don & the A.C.

    Two Weeks ago I found your site via Spirit Daily.
    I wish to thank you and your research talents.
    This post is most interesting and is being bookmarked for further education purposes.
    God bless you and the members of A.C.
    Sincerely,
    Philip Nachazel.
    M.I. (Militia Immaculata)

  • I think the relevant statistics are comparators of abortion rates as a function of household income. As such, it is pretty evident that abortion rates for poor pregnant women and their babies is multiples of women making more money.

    The intended vs.unintended pregnancy doesn’t start the relevant question, but simpler questions do: does income level impact the decision to abort? For this one has to evaluate all pregnancies vs. income level. There seems to be a relationship.

    In fact considering the high rate of abortion at or below the poverty line, that it is multiples of the rate of abortion above the poverty line, and that these may be intended pregancies often (by the above statistics), one has even more concern as to the perceived compulsions to abort intended pregancies.

    Household income factors seems to factor into these choices, or at least be very closely related, as it has for millenia.

  • Dan C,

    The reason why “abortion rate” data that is discussed is deceptive is that the “abortion rate” is the number of abortions per 1000 women per year. By that measure, yes, poor women do have a higher abortion rate than other women.

    The thing is: In order to make a decision whether to abort or note, a woman has to actually be pregnant first. This is called the abortion ratio, the percentage of pregnancies that end in abortion.

    Poor women (under the poverty line) abort 42% of their pregnancies (that’s ignoring the intended vs. unintended question.)

    Women living at more than 2x the poverty line abort 59% [corrected] of their pregnancies.

    In other words, a woman making more than 2x the poverty line is more than 40% more likely to abort if she gets pregnant than a woman living below the poverty line.

    Now, it’s true that when asked why the abort, women often cite financial concerns. But the numbers are stark. Poor women are less likely to choose abortion when they are pregnant than better off women.

  • Darwin,
    You should add in another very big variable: those just above 200% of poverty can be insurance less as to hospital bills ( making $30,270 plus but working for a small business that doesn’t cover them) ergo they must pay for prenatal, delivery, and post partum care out of small funds.
    Those exactly at 200% above FPL and lower are covered in New York by medicaid that covers pre natal, delivery, and post partum.
    In other words, medicaid is helping the poorer opt against abortion while those just above 200% of FPL have an additional sinful temptation of increased bills compared to a $400 abortion at 10
    weeks…and compared to poorer women who are covered by medicaid.
    Here is NY’s chart:
    http://www.health.ny.gov/community/pregnancy/health_care/prenatal/income.htm

    Therefore Ryan’s desire to greatly reduce Federal medicaid can have abortion increasing results.
    That is not his fault before God IF he sees national bankruptcy as probable and as a greater evil if medicaid is not reduced. It’s the fault of those below 200% if they choose less expensive abortion if faced with medicaid cuts. But the Eisenhower Research Institute just tallied the full long term cost of the Iraq war as 4 trillion dollars and no candidate seems to be seeing that as a waste even if
    well intentioned at the time by Bush. Knowing what we know now, would we have spent lives and 4 trillion on Iraq as critical to US defense?

  • Is the 42% vs. 49% a statistcally significant difference? And by how much?

    Also, the poverty line is about $10,000? So at the massively enormously different income of $20,000, we are ok with these folks as being described as financially secure? The 200% number is an interesting number, however, the individual at this income level will only be insured through state-sponsored programs, since most jobs providing this level of income are without benefits. The point: this is not a secure position economically despite the apparent astronomically increased income (200%!) over what counts as really and truly poor.

    Finally, comparing 42 vs 49 percent, I do not get the 40% more likely to abort. The increased likelihood would be the 49 – 42 divided by 42? I get 17%.

  • Just looked it up: poverty level for 2012 for single woman is $11000.

  • So…the better terminology: financially insecure vs. desperately poor. The financially insecure person likely works, likely works without benefits in what would politely be termed, unenlightened work environments. This group will likely be in and out of employment- laid off, fired, etc. The person at the poverty line or lower is likely 100% surviving on government support.

    Does this offer any further insight into the dynamic of those desperately poor vs. very financially insecure?

  • Bill,

    I would really love to see data by insurance situation, I just wasn’t able to find a detailed breakdown, though Guttmacher clearly has some data on it. All they provide is a general statement that women with private insurance have a lower abortion rate than women with no insurance or with public insurance.

  • Dan C,

    First off all, I mis-typed when copying from Excel: Women who make more than 2x the poverty rate abort 59% of their pregnancies. (Thus they’re 42.6% more likely to abort when pregnant than women below the poverty line.)

    I agree that making 22k is not much, though since this is individual income we could be talking about a woman making 22k with a boyfriend who’s making and additional 22k. But more importantly, keep in mind that Guttmacher is splitting all women in the US into three groups: Those making less than the poverty line, those making 100-200% of the poverty line, and those making more than 200% of the poverty line.

    Thus, when we talk about women (between 20 and 29) making more than 200% of the poverty line abortion 59% of the their pregnancies, we’re talking about women making 22k but also women making 50k or 100k or $1mil. The whole range.

  • Darwin – There’s a lot of merit to your analysis. But the abortion ratio is higher for unmarried women, and a higher percentage of lower-income women are unmarried. What you’d need to do is control for marital status. I note that the report you linked to doesn’t have the necessary split. If I get a chance, I’ll see if the numbers are available on the site.

  • What this argues, for me, is that we need to attack both ends. Women need to be paid to be mothers and the best way to do that is to tax abortions to the point they are no longer afordible to even the rich. If an abortion cost 4x as much as a pregnancy, you would see those numbers change drastically and we could fully fund WIC.

  • I suspect one reason women at the higher income levels have abortions more often than lower income women is that they feel they have more to lose from an unplanned pregnancy. A poor teenager living in an environment where unwed motherhood is pervasive and few women attain higher education or professional jobs may not see an unplanned pregnancy as “the end of the world” in the same way that, say, a middle-class woman working toward a degree or professional career might. It is for this very reason that Mary Cunningham Agee (google her name to find out more) founded The Nurturing Network to assist college/professional women in choosing life.

    As for Ted’s idea that abortions should be taxed heavily (at least as much as tobacco and liquor), I’d suggest, only partly in jest, a reverse Hyde Amendment requiring ALL abortions to be paid for by Medicaid — because there would probably be no better way to drive abortionists out of business, given the months-long payment delays Medicaid providers (at least in Illinois) endure.

  • Seems some people care more about social evils (poverty, lack of health, unemployment) than about moral evils (abortion, class hate, fornication, sodomy, violent crime, etc.).

    Can the BLS measure the amounts poverty and unemployment that are caused by sloth, gluttony, lust, wrath, etc.?

    Anyhow, money is the root of all evil. Vegas casinos and many liquor stores are awash with food stamps.

    Recently, a NYC deli clerk was knifed for refusing to accept food stamps in payment for beer.

  • I like your division of moralizers vs. justice seekers.

    For the moralizer, I note the following, and this delves into all aspects of education to promote behavior change, in engineering, or patient safety or catechism: very clearly, education is the weakest form of promoting change. Forcing functions is the best.

    I also think some judicious language will help.

    I would like to note that voluntary poverty has much merit. Involuntary poverty must never be seen as desirable or normative. Certainly, few would desire involuntary poverty for oneself.

    I do like your argument, although I clearly find it arguable. Itbis hard to make sense of pro-lifism’s discussion of the impact of poverty, because sometimes when one is talking about abortion, one hears the movement’s line: poverty has no impact on the decision. This has been a clear notion for years, repeated. But then everry new statistic like the rate of African American abortion in NYC or the rate of abortion in the ghetto and pro-lifism makes noise inconsistent with the previous argument.

    Just an observation.

  • “Poverty” isn’t always just economic.

  • Ted Seeber: Both Hitler and Musollini paid women to bear children to become taxpayers and soldiers. America needs to replace 54 million aborted people to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterty.

  • I should certainly like to see a law against abortion, as an expression of our social values. However, I doubt if such a law would have any great impact on the number of abortions.

    Anyone who remembers France in the 1950s and 1960s, before the Veil law will know that every village seemed to have its «faiseuse d’anges» [angel-maker]. Everyone knew it; nobody talked about it and the police regarded it as “women’s business,” and largely ignored it. Occasionally, a woman died and the Parquet, like Captain Renauld in “Casablanca,” would be “shocked, shocked to discover” that such things went on.

    Now this, remember, was before misoprostol or other abotifacient drugs became widely available. Banning them would probably be about as effective as the current laws banning marijuana.

    Catholic involvement in the quest for social justice may, as Blondel thought, lead persons of good will to respect Christianity and “to find only in the spirit of the gospel the supreme and decisive guarantee of justice and of the moral conditions of peace, stability, and social prosperity.”

  • Most of these studies (for practical reasons of data collection) are limited to correlational analyses rather than proving causal relationships. Also bear in mind that the imprecision of most such statistics makes only the largest differences worth analyzing (as Dan C alludes to). I prefer looking at the contingencies or results (sometimes referred to as decision theory) in following a course of action (or inaction). For example, Income would have a causal relationship with abortion frequency if abortions were very expensive And only performable in an accredited hospital And no one subsidized it. Since abortion is heavily subsidized and can be performed in a variety of settings, we would Not expect income as a Direct factor to play the major role. Without writing a term paper, it’s safe to say that in the US, abortion is more prevalent where there are (at least initial) economic and social benefits to the Individual making that decision. Since it is an individual making the decision here, there can be many idiosyncratic factors affecting that decision. All one could do is find those factors, if any, in common with large numbers of these individuals. Then those factors would have to be varied (through policies) to see if there were changes in abortion frequency. In practical terms, usually there have to be many different kinds of bad outcomes to the individual to prevent them from making decisions that would provide them some perceived benefit. (Recall how strictly the work requirement in welfare reform had to be written to get any effect).

  • Sacred Scripture is very clear about moralizers vs social justice types:

    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2nd Chronicles 7:14

    If we don’t behave morally, then we don’t deserve social justice. In fact, what we deserve (since we murder unborn babies just as King Manasseh made his children to walk through the fire in sacrifice to Molech) is exactly what God gave rebellious Israel and Judah: deportation and enslavement.

    It’s the Gospel of repentance and conversion – “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto thee as well.” Murder babies and expect the consequences – “The wage of sin are death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

  • See the UPDATE on the post above, I got to thinking about how these percentages added up and took a second look at the report, and realized that although it’s not super obvious, it must be the case that the table is showing abortion ratio by demographic breakdown for the sub-group of unmarried women only. The top of each table breaks down overall pregnancy rates for married and unmarried women. Then all the other groups discussed (breakdowns by age, race, income and education) are for unmarried women only.

    I’ve re-written the post to reflect this. I think in some ways it strengthens the case a bit (since we’re now clearly talking about women in the same situation: unmarried women below the poverty line vs. unmarried women making more than 2x the poverty line) but it does mean that we’re not seeing the effect of the current social trend towards the poor marrying far less than the better off. If we looked at all women making more than 2x the poverty line, we might see a lower or equal abortion ratio to that for women who are below the poverty line, because women who are married abort far less than women who are unmarried. Unfortunately, Guttmacher doesn’t provide that data, only the comparison of unmarried women to unmarried women.

    That said, I think that reinforces the point that for women in the same position (unmarried and in an unplanned pregnancy) are actually less likely to choose abortion if they are extremely poor (below the poverty line) than if they are better off (making more than 2x the poverty line) which is exactly the opposite of the common wisdom on the topic.

  • JACK is correct.

    The most massive, most widespread poverties confronting America are in Faith in Jesus and His Holy Church; Hope in eternal life (not in this World); and Love of God and Neighbor.

  • “I should certainly like to see a law against abortion, as an expression of our social values. However, I doubt if such a law would have any great impact on the number of abortions.”

    Well laws against abortion certainly had an immense impact on the number of abortions in this country MPS before abortion was judicially legalized by Roe.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3502503.html

    I think the Guttmacher numbers on pre-Roe abortions are inflated (based on the deaths from illegal abortions I suspect their estimate on pre-Roe abortions are at least 50% too high), but even using their figures the number of abortions post Roe doubled. Beyond that, there is a world of difference between living in a society where abortion is condemned as a heinous crime, and one in which it is celebrated as a constitutional right.

  • Mary De Voe @11:04am, too, is correct.

    It’s politically incpoerrect so agenda-driven ideologues, that call themselves economists, will never report that lack of popuation growth (replacement rate less than one) is a massive problem contributing to rump Europe’s economic, cultural and poltical problems.

  • Maybe I missed it in all of this but, is there any data on why the women had abortions?

    A poor woman may have an abortion but for reasons other than being poor.

  • I haven’t used my handy-dandy, HP-12 financial calculator yet today – hmmmm.

    Anyhow, I just did a quick calculation.

    Since late 2008, the FRB printed and gave away about $2,900,000 millions.

    Since late 2008, fedreal deficits added up to about $5,000,000 millions.

    The population of the USA over that near four-year period is, say, 310 millions.

    That comes to just under $255,000 for each man, woman and child since late 2008.

    Where’s the money?

    If someone can find our piece of the action and send it to me, my wife and our three sons, we’d be truly virtuous!

  • MPS, RU486 requires multiple visits to medical clinics. (And is it really your thesis that the drug laws have no effect on the prevalence or incidence of drug use?)

    A couple of points you do not make which Edward Banfield might have suggested:

    1. Impulsiveness and circumscribed time horizons tend to be associated with ill considered sexual encounters and with various sorts of behavior that diminish one’s earning power. Moral decision making and good work benefit from discipline and prudence (though it helps to have a good heart).

    2. Education, marriage, &c are all very well and good, but they may just be correlates of the sort of dispositions and behaviors which enhance one’s earning power. They are ‘answers’ to problems in the social economy only if so doing enhances one’s human capital (and thus one’s wages) in sum and/or vis-a-vis other social strata. As a rule, all strata of society in 1948 behaved quite well in certain spheres. We were, however, a materially poorer society (something which applies as well to the lower economic strata).

    —-

  • Art says “Moral decision making and good work benefit from discipline and prudence (though it helps to have a good heart).” This is a golden statement and memorable.

    However, risk taking behavior (which includes impulsiveness) is not that correlated with socioeconomic level. Bill Clinton was certainly prone to frequent ill considered sexual encounters but mainly because there were no serious consequences to it (outside of a thrown object by Hillary once in a while.) Lack of planning with money is certainly associated with lesser economic outcomes, if for obvious reasons. However people with good financial planning skills don’t necessarily have good planning skills with anything else.

  • I am perplexed that when this discussion arises there is no mention of adoption as a solution to the unintended pregnancy. There are millions of couples who want to adopt, yet there are few babies available for placement. My husband and I tried for 5 years to adopt and were unsuccessful. Adoptive couples cover expenses for the birthmother which certainly would help with the financial issues during and immediately following the pregnancy. Clearly there is another alternative.

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  • It is impossible, of course, to determine the number of abortions before legalisation, but some statistics are suggestive. In the century or so from the battle of Waterloo to the outbreak of WWI, the French population rose, in round figures, from 31 million to 41 million, or about a third. During this period, there was little or no access to mechanical or chemical means of contraception. Over the following 98 years, from 1914 to 2012 the population rose to 66 million, again about one-third. Now, during the first 50 odd years, up to 1971 of that period, the policy of “Republican Natalism” severely restricted access to contraception. These figures confirm anecdotal evidence that abortion was not uncommon throughout a period of nearly two centuries.

    In the very different ethos of Victorian England, between 1815 and 1914, the population trebled, from 11 m to 33 m; this in a country with much higher rates of emigration. Between 1914 and 2012, the population increased from 33m to 52 m. an increase if one half, a period during which contraception became much more common.

    There is nothing in the mortality rates of the two countries to account for this stark variation. It is the result of the birth rate alone.

    Hence my contention that social attitudes play a much more significant role that legislation.

  • Michael,
    You may have to adjust your concept though for coitus interruptus in France. John Noonan in his book, ” The Church That Can and Cannot Change” cites the fact that the French Jesuit Theologian, John Gury, writing in 1850 wrote:  “In our days, the horrid plague of onanism has flourished everywhere”.  

  • Bill

    Making every allowance, I doubt if a nine-fold difference in fertility rates can be accounted for by coitus interruptus.

    I cited the demographic figures as lending support to the widely-held perception and the wealth of anecdotal evidence to suggest that abortion was common throughout the period in question.

    As for social attitudes, the pro-natalist legislation of the 1920’s fixed the penalty for abortionists at 5 years; more would have given the accused a right to trial by jury and juries were notoriously unwilling to convict

  • I doubt if a nine-fold difference in fertility rates can be accounted for by coitus interruptus.

    MPS, the figures you quote make for a four-fold difference in the rate of increase. Since France’s population was increasing during that century, it is a reasonable inference that the total fertility rate exceeded replacement rates. Even in societies with exceedingly low infant and juvenile mortality, that is still 2.1 live births per mother per lifetime. Somehow I doubt British women were popping out 19 babies a piece.

  • Art Deco

    I apologize for the unfortunate slip of the pen.

    What I meant to say was that the French population increased by 33% from 1815 to 1914 and the English by 300%. That is the nine-fold difference I was referring to.

    Of course, in each case the increase is spread over three to four generations, taking 25 to 30 years for a generation.

  • The formula is as follows:

    ln(Rg)/ln(Rf); Rg=3, Rf=1.33.

Benjamin Franklin’s Speech on Signing the Constitution

Friday, September 21, AD 2012

A woman to Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

  Benjamin Franklin “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

September 17 of this week was the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution on  September 17, 1787 at the close of the Convention.  The speech of Benjamin Franklin on this occasion has always struck me as being chock full of wisdom.  Here is the text of his address:

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3 Responses to Benjamin Franklin’s Speech on Signing the Constitution

  • Thank you, Donald! Statesmen like that are sorely needed today.

  • It is worth recalling that several of the Founding Fathers expressed grave reservations about the Constitution.

    Washington that at one period of the deliberations the Constitution promised to satisfy his ideas, but that the great principles for which he contended had been changed in the last days of the convention. He meant the law, which required a majority of two-thirds in all those measures, which affected differently the interests of the several States. He said “that he did not like throwing too much into democratic hands.”

    “It is my own opinion,” said Hamilton, “that the present government is not that which will answer the ends of society, by giving stability and protection to its rights, and it will probably be found expedient to go into the British form.” “A dissolution of the Union, after all, seems to be the most likely result.” Like Washington, he was suspicious of democracy, “There are certain conjunctures when it may be necessary and proper to disregard the opinions which the majority of the people have formed. There ought to be a principle in government capable of resisting the popular current. The principle chiefly intended to be established is this, that there must be a permanent will.”

    Jefferson, by contrast, was a Jacobin, pure and simple – “Every people may establish what form of government they please; the will of the nation being the only thing essential. I subscribe to the principle that the will of the majority, honestly expressed, should give law. I suppose it to be self-evident that the earth belongs to the living; that the dead have neither powers nor rights in it. No society can make a perpetual Constitution or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation. Every Constitution then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of thirty-four years.”

    The wonder is that men of such different principles should have reached an agreement at all.

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We Apologize For Breathing

Friday, September 21, AD 2012

Hattip to AllahPundit at Hot Air.  Your tax dollars at work.  The State Department is paying for the above video to run in Pakistan.  I find it breathtaking in its complete incomprehension.  The foolish anti-Mohammed video is merely a pretext for the Jihadists to carry on their war with us.  Obama and Clinton could apologize from now until Doomsday and it would have no impact, except to convince watching muslims that the United States leadership is weak and confused which is a completely accurate assessment of the Obama administration abroad.

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15 Responses to We Apologize For Breathing

  • Liberals simply do not understand. We have one at work. He was complaining about a totally separate subject: that Romney wants to open up more fossil fuel supply that will pollute the atmosphere. I tried explaining that Obama’s appointment of an anti-nuclear power activist as head of the US NRC and his undermining of US commercial nuclear power (the only viable alternative to fossil fuel) are even worse. But the truth didn’t matter. His eyes are fixed on the Obamessiah, yet a better technical engineer or more dedicated one I have yet to meet.

    I am convinced that liberalism is a disease of the mind that blinds the self to the truth.

  • I’m being charitable here. The liberals running us into the mud are idiotic, unprincipled cowards. It’s why they lost the Middle East and North Africa (now regime-sponsored terrorist recruiting centers and training camps), Africa, and are losing the global terror war against us.

    Paul, the useless idiots are also at war with coal, electricity generation, oil (e.g., ban Keystone pipeline), and the (evil, unjust) private sector.

    The one campaign promise Obama has kept: skyrocketing energy prices.

  • What we can and cannot do in the Near East and adjacent areas is quite constrained by costs and (with regard to certain functions) a deficit of capable and loyal personnel. A great deal of this is just political tides you cannot manipulate readily, certainly not with the clandestine services we have (in which Aldrich Ames was promoted how many times?). That having been said, a security cordon for diplomats is certainly something we can afford and that is what they did not supply to the departed Mr. Stevens and others. Instead of owning up to that they give us this. As for the odious Mr. Morsi, a reminder that we have a long memory might do for the time being. With our fiscal house in better order we might just be able to graduate to ‘nice little canal you have there; pity if someone took it from you’.

    Please note with regard to your second video that murderous intent applies primarily to the Jews and is regarded indulgently by the twerps currently in the employ of Ron Unz and Taki Theodorogetdrunkfalldownchaseskirts and also by the soi-disant Catholic peace-and-justice types (see Jonathan Tobin’s recent brief critique of Margaret Steinfels commentary).

  • “Please note with regard to your second video that murderous intent applies primarily to the Jews”

    I can think of a lot of Copts and other Christian Arabs who have the misfortune to have been born in the Middle East Art who would beg to differ as to that sentiment.

  • You are wrong – the video would have worked if Madam Hillary had worn a Hijab and covered herself appropriately. What was she thinking!?!

    Actually, I am with the Muslims on covering Hillary from head to toe – finally, common ground we can work from!

  • In his statement, the pres said, forgive me if I get the words wrong as I’ve listened several times, the that he objects to the demograte??? of all faith beliefs.
    I wonder how he can say that when he and his administration are basicly at war with the Catholic Church and other Christian faiths with all these mandates that go against the moral values of the faith of others. Is he in fact saying he will not stand for anyone to make comments or other fourms of communication against the Muslim religion but will promote it against Christian religions.

  • “wonder how he can say that when he and his administration are basically at war with the Catholic Church and other Christian faiths ”

    We don’t form murderous mobs and hunt and kill American ambassadors. Additionally I think Obama views Islam through the usual liberal prism where colorful members of the Third World can do no wrong and America can do no right. It is as condescending to them in its way as any Brit colonel in the nineteenth century ranting about WOGS in India. On the other hand, Christians in general, and Catholics in particular, are viewed as enemy number one, always standing in the way of the building of a global secular utopia. (I realize the glaring contradictions that these beliefs contain, but I do think that is how Obama and many secular liberals rationalize in their own minds the disparate treatment they mete out to Muslims and Christians.)

  • WHY do we reject this video’s content and message? On what grounds does the US government take a stand on a particular religious message? The video, as I understand it, was a privately-funded piece of art with a religious commentary. The President can personally condemn it, and Congress can pass a resolution condemning it, but seriously, how in the world can the US government state a position on it?

  • I can think of a lot of Copts and other Christian Arabs who have the misfortune to have been born in the Middle East Art who would beg to differ as to that sentiment.

    Agreed they have been on the receiving end of more abuse the last 37 years. The aspirations the Arab world’s enrages have toward the Jews remain unfulfilled due to Israel’s military.

  • Yes this apologizing thing is out of control. Jesus would have NEVER apologized for anything especially for the sake of an attempt at peace.

  • Last time I looked Bob Obama wasn’t Jesus, although I think some of his more deluded followers may be confused on that point. Anyone who believes these apologies will do anything other than to encourage Jihadist attacks, needs to put down the crack pipe and take a cold shower, stat.

  • It is correct that Jesus would never ever apologize. He is God. God is without apology. So when he had a fit in the temple, overturning the tables of the money changers and whipping them out, he did so without apology. When he condemned Tyre and Sidon, he did do without apology. When he ripped up one side and down the other of that society’s self-righteous leaders (can you spell social justice Democrat?), he did so without apology. When he told the disciples to arm themselves with a sword just before Judas met him to betray him, he did so without apology. And when he told Pontius Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world, and Pilate would have no power except what God gave him (something Obama would do well to remember), he did so without apology.

    No apology for righteousness, holiness, virtue, integrity, honor ad true justice! None! Not then. Not now. Not ever. And Jesus Christ will one day return to Earth on that great white horse with that great sword coming out of his mouth exactly as Revelation 19 explains, and without apology there will be hell to pay. You get that, Bob?

  • The pres has different views as to what needs apoligies for and what not – we know he is sending out apology messages to the Muslin nations but now a word of apology to Christians over a pice of art of Christ Crucified covered with urine, that is acceptable to him and no apology to Christians needed or condemnation of the artist.
    I made a comment to others that after the Pres took office he went to Egypy on his ‘apology tour’ to the Muslim nations, maybe he needs to go back there right now, stand in the middle of all those Muslims yelling ‘Kill Americans’ while they burn Our Flag and apologize to them again, in person.

  • This is one of the most shameful moments in American history. When before have we cowered before our enemies like this?
    What Carter began in the Muslim world, Obama will finish. What started in Iran now infects the entire region.
    He has no idea what he is unleashing.
    Others have pointed out that what the United States has repeatedly shown to the Muslim world through its actions is that we fear only one thing: Allah.
    Oh, the things they have observed.

    Americans troops don’t dare chase Jihadi’s into our mosques.
    Americans will burn Bibles at their military bases so they can’t be used to corrupt the faithful.
    They treat the Koran with the respect it deserves, wearing gloves when they touch it and never putting it on the ground.
    When Mohammad (insert appropriate verbage here) is shown disrespect, the nation’s very own leader buys time on our televisions to apologize.

    Bush was so very wrong. We are at war with Islam. And we are losing.

  • Impeach, try and convict the Secretary of State.

    It’s the only way to be sure.

3 Responses to Obama Today: You Can’t Change Washington From the Inside

  • Romney hit it on the head the other day when he commented: ‘there are times when the president doesn’t tell the truth’ but today he told the truth – he cannot fix it from the inside but from the inside is the way to fix it. Everytime I see the pres laugh or smile he reminds me of The Joke from Batman movies.

  • For a guy who can’t push back on almost anything the Dems fling at him, Romney is getting pretty good at snappy one liners ( that 80% of the population came up with at the same moment). At least he speaks the one liners out loud.

  • Maybe Romney will win. If so, then I can’t wait to see the look on the Occupier’s face and hear the wailing of the only liberal we have at work! And yes, I will descend to my hands and knees in praise and thanksgiving to God Almighty. There is hope – can’t believe I just wrote that, and haven’t even taken morning meds yet! 😉

Timely Quotes

Thursday, September 20, AD 2012

In light of the 47% (oops, where did those one to two minutes of recording go?) non-controversy, I thought that a game of guess who said the quote would be fun.  Use of a search engine is verboten!

1.  A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

 

2.  The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled. The assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.

 

3.  I accuse the present Administration of being the greatest spending Administration in peacetime in all American history – one which piled bureau on bureau, commission on commission, and has failed to anticipate the dire needs or reduced earning power of the people. Bureaus and bureaucrats have been retained at the expense of the taxpayer. We are spending altogether too much money for government services which are neither practical nor necessary. In addition to this, we are attempting too many functions and we need a simplification of what the Federal government is giving the people.

 

4.  Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.

 

5.  It is an injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of the right order, for a larger and higher organisation, to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies.

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21 Responses to Timely Quotes

  • 1. I have heard it before, but forgot who said it. Franklin, Maritain, maybe even as far back as Socrates/Plato (kind of guessing here)?

    2. No idea, but I like it.

    3. Could have been almost anyone talking about any administration from WW I forward.

    4. no clue

    5 & 6 – no clue, but 5 sounds like something from a Pope or CCC on subsidiarity, and 6 sounds like subsidiarity as well

    7-10 – No clue, but they make sense.

    So let me tally that up here….. looks like I am 0 for 10. About the same as the likelihood of any of these ten points getting through to the thick skulls in D.C. and most state capitols.

  • Thanks for trying cmatt. I intended the quotes to be challenging, albeit not impossible. Number five was indeed said by a Pope.

  • Quote No 6 – I wonder if Lincoln had Robespierre in mind, when he wrote that. “Democracy is a state in which the sovereign people, guided by laws that are of their own making, do for themselves all that they can do well, and by their delegates do all that they cannot do for themselves.” (La démocratie est un état où le peuple souverain, guidé par des lois qui sont son ouvrage, fait par lui-même tout ce qu’il peut bien faire, et par des délégués tout ce qu’il ne peut faire lui-même) [Speech to the Convention, 17 pluviôse An II]

    Both the sentiment and the expression are remarkably similar and many editions of the proceedings of the Convention were widely published, both in French and in English. Perhaps Lincoln had read it and the aphorism stuck in his memory, when the source was forgotten.

  • A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

    I am reminded here of an incident from the 1972 campaign. George McGovern was speaking at a group of auto workers and mentioned his plan to fund more lavish government spending by raising the estate tax; the audience booed him. McGovern couldn’t understand it. Those auto workers were never going to pay the estate tax, so why should they be so opposed to it being raised on the rich?

    Conservatives should not make McGovern’s mistake.

  • “Quote No 6 – I wonder if Lincoln had Robespierre in mind,”

    Lincoln did write it MPS, although I doubt if he had Robespierre in mind. Outside of American history Lincoln didn’t read much history. During the 1860 campaign Lincoln learned that it was being claimed by his campaign that Lincoln had read Plutarch’s Lives. Lincoln hadn’t, but he immediately sat down and read it, to make the campaign claim true.

  • I recognized the Lincoln quote and also No 9 (C S Lewis Hideous Strength)

    I would guess No 1 is Franklin – He certainly said something similar, which Lord Acton quoted.

    Must pass on the rest!

    By the by, Charlotte Corday took Plutarch’s Lives to read on her coach journey to Paris to kill Marat.

  • Everyone in France at that time was reading way too much classical history!
    Correct as to number 9, incorrect as to number one. I will have a speech of Franklin in a post for tomorrow.

  • The 3d quotation is from Franklin Roosevelt.

  • I will guess that #5 is Leo xiii

  • #3 sounds like FDR’s stump speeches in the 1932 campaign against Hoover.

  • Correct Micha! FDR ran as a deficit hawk in 1932!

  • I’ll take a guess at a few of these
    1. Alex de Tocqueville
    2. Julius Ceasar
    8. Hayek
    9. G. K. Chesterton
    10. John Adams
    I’m guessing here, but there honest guesses.

  • Correct as to one and eight PD. No as to two and nine. Close as to ten.

  • mmm, close as to ten? Henry Adams, Adam Smith or Adam Sandler are my next best bets.

  • Would number 9 be C.S. Lewis? (Perhaps in the voice of Screwtape or one of the characters employed by N.I.C.E.?).

  • My guess would be that #2 was uttered in 1932, 1946, or 1952. Possible candidates would be Franklin Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Robert Taft, Douglas MacArthur, or Dwight Eisenhower.

  • As to number 9 Art you are correct. It is from That Hideous Strength and uttered by one of the villains. You are incorrect as to number 2, although the quotation was written in the last century.

  • Number 2 is Marcus Tullius Cicero, Republican to the end ! (though he did have some bouts with ingratiation – no one is perfect except Jesus and His Mother!)

  • Close Paul. That is actually a quote put into the mouth of Cicero by novelist Taylor Caldwell in her novel about Cicero, A Pillar of Iron (1965).

Who is Obama?

Thursday, September 20, AD 2012

When it comes to Obama and most of the Mainstream Media there are two salient facts:

1.  Most members of the Mainstream Media have a crush on Obama that would embarrass many a teen-age girl with its intensity and its studied indifference to facts.

2.  Most of the Mainstream Media have been reluctant\hostile to doing elementary investigative reporting into Obama’s past.

The Washington Examiner is now doing the job that other members of the Mainstream Media simply will not do.  Go here to read their series The Obama You Don’t Know.  The series is a tribute to what reporting, the gathering of facts, can be at its best.  I consider myself reasonably well-informed as to Obama’s biography, and I found out things I didn’t know.  This is a must read series.  It would have been nice to have this information before the election of 2008, but we at least have it now before the election of 2012.

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9 Responses to Who is Obama?

  • I’m not worried about whatever Soetoro did years ago, it’s what he’s doing to me now.

    Oh,

    3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . RACISTS!

  • Well, beloved Americans….. better late than never. Now you can see what you elected as your President. A shameless fraud. May the Holy Spirit speak to your hearts before the Voting Day so that you can save your country from total ruin.

  • Mary, we also need to remember America at the 3.00 O’Clock Hour of Great Mercy and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet specifically for your beloved country. If a country ever needed Divine Mercy it is America just now with the defining Elections around the corner.

  • [email protected]: “for the sake of His sorrowful passion have mercy on us, and on our country and on the whole world.” Yes. [email protected]

  • [email protected]: Truth: Four more years it will be “total ruin.”

    May God bless you and keep you.

  • Interesting information, but I fear it won’t sway true believers. Hopefully, it will convince enough fence sitters if not to vote for Romney, at least to not vote for Obama.

  • Thank you, Mary and T. Shaw. We, the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy, Kenyan Chapter are praying for your country daily. Obama mocked God and God is going to dethrone him through your Votes. Don’t let Him down. I just heard Obama saying “you cannot change Washington from the inside, you can only do it from the outside”. Well, if that is not an admission of defeat, then I am not Mary Moll of Nairobi Kenya!!!!! Anyone else you elect will definitely “Change Washington from Within”….that is the only way to save your country. If you believe the man Romney can do it – as I do from where I live thousands of miles away – get into that Voting Booth and vote him in, overwhelmingly. God bless you, God bless your beloved Country.