Clint Eastwood: Don’t Kiss Up to Politicians

Saturday, September 15, AD 2012

 

One of the more dispiriting features of the ongoing national disaster that is the Obama Presidency, is the way some of his more crazed acolytes have given him the type of adulation that should be reserved for God.  Go here to read an early example of this bilge.  And who could possibly forget the Obama kids, tools in the hands of parents who were worshipers of the South Side Messiah:

Obama is merely the latest manifestation of the disturbing trend on the Left in this country for politics to serve as a substitute religion.

Clint Eastwood’s empty chair takedown of Obama was a healthy reaction to this horse manure.  Eastwood reminded us that politicians are hired hands, our servants, and not little tin gods to bow down to.  Eastwood got to the heart of what he wanted to accomplish in a speech yesterday:

“People don’t have to kiss it up with politicians, no matter what party they’re in,” he added. “You should evaluate their work and make your judgments accordingly. That’s the way you do in life in every other subject. But sometimes in America we get gaga, you know, we look at the wrong values.”

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4 Responses to Clint Eastwood: Don’t Kiss Up to Politicians

  • “Obama is merely the latest manifestation of the disturbing trend on the Left in this country for politics to serve as a substitute religion.”

    … and for politicians to serve as substitutes for God, almighty.

    How can Obama use the innocence of children he has vowed to destroy through abortion? The Infant Butcher voted four times for the death and medical neglect of survivors of abortion. (This sentence has been censored by the author.)

    The grown-ups present, who evidently survived abortion, are unconsciously praising the fact that they were allowed, by the Culture of Death, to live. The survivors of abortion are groveling before The One who wants them aborted. The innocent child does not know what she is saying, nor do the children being indoctrinated by the indoctrinated. The joy is caused by the children’s existence, not by Obama. The joy is caused by God’s gift of LIFE, not by Obama. Can any human being exist without “their Creator”, without God?

  • This is my response to this purveyor of death and darkness. The language used by Mark Morfor is that of a high priest of the god obama. “This is what I find myself offering up…” Morfor’s morning offering?

    Obama’s aura is the souls of all the aborted children. Obama has denied the existence of the rational, immortal soul, so, Obama may find it difficult to address the human being’s soul. The sovereign citizens of our nation have been denied the acknowledgment and reverence due to the Supreme Sovereign Being for more than a generation, fifty years to be exact. The people have lost their image of almighty God in their mortal being.

    Obama is not so hot. The people have lost their sense of truth. Obama denies the rational, immortal soul of the human being and the inherent sovereign personhood and free will endowed as unalienable to all men created equal (Obama is more equal than the rest of his constituents) by “their Creator”. These are America’s founding principles, found in the Declaration of Independence. If you do not like it or denigrate our founding principles, you have forfeit your citizenship and probably your sovereign personhood endowed by the Supreme Sovereign Being. There can be only one Supreme Sovereign Being, as two preempt one another, and Obama loses.

  • The DNC and its oath breaking abomination of an administration must be throwing meaty bones of advertising money to the vicious, boring media to get away with so many atrocities and such atrocious behavior.

    I’d like to think that some of the ‘journalists’ can’t live with themselves for giving up their First Amendment Right for the allurements of salary and perks, that they reconsider objectivity, realism, and the 101 course.

    There was a huge splash on the subject of Bullying not so long ago. Much was reported and written. That they are the Bullies now, the media and executive branch enabling one another in the pursuit of constant bullying in ways and effects far worse than schoolchildren (who are watching them), is ridiculously apparent to the world.

    If the profit is the motive for all this imbalance with truth and lies, then media big wigs are selling themselves short by cutting off at least 50% of their business.

    This goes to the post about an unfit president and his administrators of the US as well.

    They’ll probably party on ’til they can no longer function as human beings – already there’s more sneering and sleaze than smiling and respect. No sense of humor, no fun.

  • There has been a merger of news and entertainment and the people in charge of it all are dangerous.

    I fear for the Republic. Obumber could well be reelected.

Obamanomics: Trillions for Nothing

Saturday, September 15, AD 2012

 

 

Another fine, and timely, econ 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.  When future historians write the history of the Obama administration, and what a sad farce that tale will consist of, I think they will stand aghast at all the borrowed money poured out by the Federal government with virtually zero positive impact on the economy.  In regard to Keynsian economics, the Obama administration is proof that one of Karl Marx’s maxims has proven to be a largely accurate observation on human affairs:  Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.

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6 Responses to Obamanomics: Trillions for Nothing

  • Keynes v Hayek – What a brilliant piece of parody.
    Couldn’t help smiling about the Security guard at the door doubling as a proctocologist 🙂

    Listening to what Friedman said, its a pity Keynes didn’t live a little longer. In any event, people take what they want from those who propound theories and become famous, and use those pieces of the theory to suit their own ends, whether or not they fully understand them.
    Greetings, Mr. Obama.

  • Don the Kiwi:

    Greetings from occupied America.

    Re: proctology. I did my post-doctoral field work reading “vox nova” blog. Thank Heaven I don’t need to do it any longer.

    I read that late in his career, Keynes attended a conference of economics egg-heads. He said that he was the only one present that wasn’t a “Keynesian.”

    Keynes would have had Obama and progressives pegged: “How anybody, or any system, so dull and illogical could have exercised such influence over so many . . . ” will be a subject for future historians, or space aliens exploring the ruins of mankind.

  • There is one way federal spending can have stimulative effect on the economy and that is increasing defense spending. Before I go any further. I must issue the big fat disclaimer that I work for the DoD (Navy exactly) as a civlian employee.

    But the defense department is the only federal agency that creates meaningful private sector jobs. I mean the military doesn’t build its own tanks, planes or ships. Or even guns bullets, vests, or even uniforms. And we need a much bigger military, especially a bigger blue water Navy. Our enemies are on the move militarily, China is growing its blue water Navy while we are cutting ours to the bone. Russia is on the move and of course Iran is nuking up. Serving this need would provide a much needed boost to our economy, especially in areas where there is a concentration of military bases and where there are manufactuers of military equipment. There is actually some historical precedent for this: it was the WWII ramp up of military production that brought us out of the Depression, not FDR’s New Deal, which actually prolonged the Depression.

    Now, there would be some side effects to this. One, would be waste. After 28 years in the DoD employ, if you include my eight years of active duty in the Navy, I know a thing or two about waste in the defense department. After all, it is part of the Federal Government. The other is an increase of federal employees in the DoD. But the net benefit will be well worth it.

    Unfortunately. this is something even Paul Ryan doesn’t seem to understand. For him to talk about the need to cut defense spending in the same breath as entitlement reform during last year’s debt ceiling debate demonstrates this. The prospective 500 billion cut viz sequestration (thank you John Boehner and Barack Obama) in addition to the already draconian Obama cuts will not only have a chilling effect on security as well as our economy.

  • My father, who was a veteran of WWII and wisely frugal, often tried to explain ‘that is increasing defense spending’ because the ‘defense department is the only federal agency that creates meaningful private sector jobs.’ Honest work for honest pay. He was adamant that the business of government was to both improve the country’s travel ways for private economic pursuits and protect the country from waste and danger – and not its business to interfere in private lives. Everyone would have a chance to work and live because ‘money can’t grow on trees’.

    It is insane to give and lend bundles of nothing or borrow what can’t be repaid. Someone someday will not get what is coming to him and grow angry. The financial industry has jobs that are based on nothing real because there is no accounting for a government of broken or no budgets, insider personal gain/stealing, dishonesty, and so on. No concrete evidence or no policing. Look at some of the career politicians and their lifestyles – do they also need that paycheck ? If so much of our leaders’ time is spent campaigning for donations, then it proves they know the value of a dollar when it’s for personal gain.

    I agree that defense and interior are a place for job growth with substance.
    A minor example learned while working as auditor (bean counter) for an aerospace contractor:
    a widow wanted to stay home to raise her children so she fed and educated them by sewing plain bags for machined parts as an independent contractor. That enterprise amazed me.

    Old sound buildings are being closed just because the location and cost of rewiring and updating the facilities costs money. Instead, places with no character are built that cannot withstand time. Mall open and then close, while shops disappear.
    Trees planted along highways are being strangled and killed by vines that could easily be managed by workers. Schools – unspeakable waste. On it goes everywhere that has a skyrocketing cost.

    I can almost hear him as to the 2012 wreckage. His generation had kids who rebelled, took a left turn, are making laws and demanding to be tolerated – but can’t manage to do the same.

  • “Eat when you’re hungry.
    Drink when you’re dry.
    If the sky don’t fall in,
    You’ll live ’til you die.”

    From Zerohedge (warning: pervasive bearish sentiment) blog:

    “Marc Faber, . . . , remains very bullish on gold. In another excellent Bloomberg interview, Faber said that ‘the trend for gold prices will be steady but the trend for the dollar and other currencies will be down. So in other words gold in dollar terms will trend higher.’ ‘How high it will go, you will have to call Mr Bernanke and at the Fed there are other people who actually make Mr Bernanke look like a hawk and so they are going to print money.’ Faber is on record as to the importance of owning physical gold and he again warned about the importance of owning gold but not storing it in the U.S. ‘You ought to own some gold but don’t store it in the U.S., the Fed will take it away from you one day,’ Faber astutely noted. He said that Bernanke is a money printer and this could lead to massive inflation and the Dow Jones at 20,000, 50,000 or 10 million. Faber cheerily predicted that the ‘the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy will destroy the world’ and ‘eventually we will have a systemic crisis and everything will collapse.’”

    N.B. the prophesied confiscations. It would not be limited to gold. Your IRA and 401k are in their sights.

    Pray for the best. Prepare for the worst.

    Cheers!

Obama, Can You Spare a Dime?

Saturday, September 15, AD 2012

Something for a weekend.  A variant on the song of the First Great Depression, Buddy Can You Spare a Dime.  It seemed timely in regard to the terrible economic news that came out this week:

1.  AA- -Credit rating firm reduced the United States Credit Rating to AA-.  Here is why

Egan-Jones said it believes the Fed’s third round of quantitative easing,  which sent stock prices surging on Thursday, “will hurt the U.S. economy and, by  extension, credit quality.”

The firm said that while the program should boost equity markets, issuing  additional currency and depressing interest rates through purchasing  mortgage-backed securities will hurt the value of the U.S. dollar and cause a  painful increase in commodity prices.

“In our opinion, QE3 will be detrimental to credit quality for the U.S.,” Egan-Jones said.

At the same time, Egan-Jones warned that the cost to finance U.S. debt will “slowly rise” as the global economy rebounds and the Fed scales back on its  purchases of Treasury securities.

The ratio of U.S. debt to gross domestic product soared to 104% in recent  months from 66% in 2006 and will likely increase to 110% in a year, the firm  said. By comparison, Spain’s debt-to-GDP stands at 68.5%.

2.  Median IncomeUnder Obama Median income per household has fallen to $50,054.00.   When adjusted for inflation this is the lowest median income per household since 1995.

3.  Industrial Production-Down-US industrial production fell 1.2% in August pointing to a slowing economy.

4.  Unemployment-Fed analysts estimate that unemployment will not reach 7% until 2014.

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11 Responses to Obama, Can You Spare a Dime?

  • We are in BIG trouble. When half of the country would even consider voting for this guy (Obama) after all that he has done to wreck this country…just blows my mind.

    God help us.

  • Note to self: “Send resume to Egan-Jones.”

    A voice of reason is James Grant of “Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.”

    Steve, Agree!

    This crowd will destroy everything.

    Worse yet, the regime has driven millions into desperation and destitution; and these dependents likely will vote for more of it.

  • “Worse yet, the regime has driven millions into desperation and destitution; and these dependents likely will vote for more of it.”

    I doubt it T.Shaw. The elites in our society are in for the greatest shock on election day that they have experienced since election day 1980.

  • It’s 16-4 for Romney according to a school poll that has been very accurate since FDR. The only time they got it wrong was JFK (ha ha). It’s what the kids are hearing in their homes and what is being said on the ground.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2930215/posts

  • Mac,

    I sincerely hope you are correct.

    Pray and work for the best. Prepare for the worst.

    President Reagan was also behind (in lying, liberal media polls) the Carter wrecking machine in 1980.

    Does anyone besides me see the parallel with Carter in the current ME cacophonies?

  • About the painful rise in commodity prices, open a brokerage account and buy the following etf’s:
    silver… buy SLV
    gold…buy GLD and
    gold miners…buy GDX. (best in past week because miners were undervalued)
    basic materials…buy IYM
    gas & oil….buy DIG (2x leveraged)
    if oil goes down for permanent reasons….buy DUG (shorts oil)
    Do a chart of these at bigcharts dot com. Hate the down days? Put a 1 or 2 or 5% stop loss on each position. Computer will sell them automatically but most do not do it unless the downward motivator is new and permanent. Better to just keep track of the macro trends and not watch the daily nonsense.

  • T. Shaw. The supporters of Obama will still be wearing their rose colored glasses as they stand in endless lines to purchase a rationed 5 gallons of gasoline at $12.00 per.
    They will rejoice, saying; It is good to be dependent upon the State.

  • This is what we get for letting the unions control education in this country.

    It may be too late to fix it. But thankfully, our real hope does not lie in this world.

  • “This is what we get for letting the unions control education in this country.

    It may be too late to fix it. But thankfully, our real hope does not lie in this world.”

    Our greatest asset is our consitutional posterity. WE have to fix it. Take control of our schools by being there. Government cannot forbid any parent from being in the classroom with their child. State kidnapping.

  • I like hearing the ‘snake charmer’ keep telling is his plan is working (affraid it is as many did not understand what his plan was) and that we have nothing to worry about. When government tells us we have nothing to worry about, that is the time to start worrying.
    shard this post on my FB line with note to listen to the song.

  • Richard E.,

    The plan is working.

    Two August statistics: 173,000 new American food stamp enrollments; and 96,000 new American jobs.

    The plan is income redistribution and centralized control/collectivism, not job creation and prosperity.

    And, the plan’s working fine. You got to break eggs to make an omelet.

Waging War Against the Catholic Church While Appeasing Islam

Friday, September 14, AD 2012

 

Newt Gingrich in a great article sums up the surreal world we now inhabit thanks to the Obama Administration:

The policies of Obama have made our intellectual incoherence and strategic  incompetence even worse.

It is no accident that the embassy in Cairo issued a groveling statement,  apologizing to the haters for having inconvenienced them with American freedom  of speech.

The embassy was simply following Clinton’s lead, set months earlier in her  meetings with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The OIC has a long- term campaign to manipulate the U.S. government into  defining any criticism or improper reference to Islam as unacceptable.

No one should be confused by this. As Andy McCarthy wrote yesterday, the Islamist definition of heresy would  destroy American free speech.

The Obama administration is waging war on the Catholic Church while appeasing  the most extreme elements of Islam.

This is the bizarre situation we now find ourselves in.

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18 Responses to Waging War Against the Catholic Church While Appeasing Islam

  • Don, it seems as though the administration thinks that Christians are the jihadists as to the HHS mandate.

    Newt Gingrich has the word – bizarre. Would that he reaches the sober many who aren’t partying with the partiers.

  • Cardinal Dolan CNSEWS.com “Worried that protecting freedom of religion was becoming caricatured as some narrow, hyper-defensive, far right, self serving cause. That many noble causes in American history including the progressivism of Woodrow Wilson, and FDR’s New Deal and the peace movement that the cardinal said extended from the 1960’s to the 1980’s.” Jesus Mary and Joseph, Help Us!

  • KUDOS TO NEWT GINGRICH FOR TELLING IT LIKE IT IS…

  • Call to arms….Holy Rosary in one hand, voters registeration card in the other. God help us.

  • Praise the Lord. How blessed are we when the World hates us?

  • Watching this whole “interview” with Gingrich it really struck me with how over the top the CNN staff were in defending Obama and his adminstration while going after Romney. They were not even subtle about it.

  • Meanwhile plenty of Catholic and other Christians in Egypt, Syria, Pakistan etc are killed — without any movies or cartoons to blame it on.
    I hope Gingrich and ALL the former candidates for the Republican nomination link arms and storm the barricades of the media

  • Waging war indeed.
    And I fear that this war will go on for a long while, until the terror and murder is met head on – as we have ben attempting to do, but giving us only brief respite. The jihadist aim is to restore the caliphate. This may mean increasing confrontation, and going further on the offensive militarily than we have done thus far, unless the politicians of the Western democracies stop pandering to these people, stop Islamic infiltration of democratic countries, and most of all, return to Christian principles – stop killing and preventing our babies,stop distorting our true culture and return to a firm belief in God and all that He has revealed to us.
    Its happened several times before, and it will happen again.

  • Pingback: Catholic Colleges Franciscan University of Steubenville | Big Pulpit
  • It has been war since Mohammed first set across the sands of Arabia from Media to Mecca in AD 630. Consider the Battle of Tours, France in AD 732, the Muslim attacks against Christians in the Holy Lands which led to the Crusades at the turn the first millennium, the Battle of LePanto in 1571, the Battle for Vienna, Austria in 1683, our own Marines in the Battle of Tripoli, Libya in 1802, and everything that the Muslim world has done to try to defeat Israel in the 20th century and today. Islam itself will not stop its violence till the Lord Jesus Christ returns in the Parousia. We win battles here and there due to God-fearing men like Charles Martel at Tours or John Sobieski at Vienna. But Islam – the spawn of Satan – will not stop till “the moon is under Her feet” as Revelation chapter 12 states (remember what religion uses the crescent moon as its image).

    Disclaimer: I oppose mal-treatment of any Muslims in our American communities – work, school, stores, etc. – because they are Muslim. I am speaking about the fanatics who dominate this satanic religion and seek a second Caliphate. As Christians we have absolutely got to treat our Muslim neighbors in all Christain love and American mutual respect. If we don’t, then we are not Christian and we become the same kind of animals that the Islamic fanatics are.

  • Paul W, Primavera, I agree wholeheartedly with your post. My question is how to separate the two types of Muslim for our response? There are those who require killing, in all Christian love, and there are those who require charity in its other forms. So often the fanatics are hiding within the moderate population. Your thoughts?

  • I don’t think that Islam Paul is the “spawn of Satan”. Like all religions that I view as false I regard it simply as the product of human error. Islam has produced a unique culture throughout the world, with good and bad elements. Those who choose to adhere to it and live peacefully with others I have no problem with. However, when adherents of Islam attack others and seek to win by force what they cannot win by argument, then a very great problem arises. Current turmoil in the Islamic world is largely the result of Islamic inability to produce modern states that have muslims living in peace and equality internally and externally with non-muslims. Whether such states are possible, the Turkish example coming apart before our eyes, is perhaps the great geo-political question of this century.

  • It appears gangsters (similar to community organizers and liberal handlers of the occupy “movement”) that run ME hell holes use Islam (insults to the profit, Israeli control of their land, the great satan, . . . ) to divert the serfs’ attentions from their tyranny, and the attendant, ubiquitous misery and squalor.

    The Community-organizer-in-chief, his Fed (Thursday Bernank went “all-in” for Obama re-election), and his corrupt main stream media will bring to the USA similar tyranny, misery and squalor.

    The issues needing distraction for poor Arabs likely will be stark food shortages. In America, it will be even fewer people with jobs, unaffordable food prices, $10 a gallon gasoline/home heating oil, and a symptom: $5,000 an ounce for gold.

  • BTW: “Innocence of Islam” filmmaker was “taken in for questioning” this morning.

  • Maybe you’re right, Donald. I am neither historian nor theologian. But it does seem to me that the systems of thought which lead to the most death and destruction are not Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism, or Hinduism, but Islam and Atheism. Yet truth be told, without God’s grace, it seems that all men are capable of devolving into murderous, animalistic thugs. 🙁 Our pre-sentient ancestory is just one small step removed from this thin veneer of civilization. 🙁

  • The American Republic is in decline and free fall.

    Can you blame lo the noble Muslim.

    Yesterday: “As the caskets containing the bodies of four slain Americans were being unloaded from the plane, Barack Obama was tweeting about campaign sweatshirts.

    “We also learned today that the same Hillary Clinton who early on banned military uniforms from the Clinton White House signed the rules of engagement that left the US Ambassador in Benghazi without Marine protection and defended by local guards without ammunition.

    “It was the policy of the Obama administration to have a low profile in Libya. That’s why the rules of engagement were approved by the Secretary of State to have no Marines at Benghazi, and to have an American contractor hire Libyan nationals to provide security there. The rules were they couldn’t have ammunition.”

    The Republic is in the hands of its enemies.

  • Very powerful T Shaw.

    as I understand the timeline of Cairo > death of ambassador:
    Cairo flag burning anti- American mob action
    US Embassy responded to that action as an ENABLER might react– justifying, taking part of the blame of the shoulder, excusing, sympathising..
    The enabled empowered terrorists go on to the next step as planned
    The already planted turmoil about the (released months ago) movie is already going to cause Americans to self-inflict wounds –
    Romney is a side note as far as the terrorists are concerned- the actions of the US and the US military are what they have their eyes on. Romney has no power yet, but the distraction and cover provided by the the US media is just –more enabling–

William Saletan, Meet Christopher Johnson!

Friday, September 14, AD 2012

 

William Saletan is a Leftist who writes a political column for Slate.  His prescience at predicting the future was amply demonstrated on September 14, 2000 when, based on then current polls, he stated that the election was over and Gore was a sure winner.  Go here to read that masterpiece of prognostication.  Now he has a piece attacking Romney for standing up for American freedom of speech as opposed to the craven apology for our freedom issued by the Cairo embassy.  Christopher Johnson, a Protestant who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, gives Saletan a fisking to remember at Midwest Conservative Journal:

to Slate’s William Saletan, freely expressing your opinion can be an abuse of your right to freely express your opinion:

Mitt Romney says the U.S. Embassy in Cairo has betrayed “American values.” He’s wrong. The embassy is standing for American values. It’s Romney who’s betraying them.

How’s that, Sally?

The fight began brewing Tuesday morning as Egyptian protesters gathered outside the embassy. They were furious at a sophomoric American-made movie that ridiculed the prophet Mohammed. In response, the embassy issued a statement saying that it “condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” The statement added: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Quick observation.  If the universal right of free speech can be “abused,” then the universal right of free speech is not universal at all but has definite limits.  Saletan most emphatically agrees.

When you read the tweets alongside the initial statement, the message is clear. Free speech is a universal right. The Muslim-baiting movie is an abuse of that right. The embassy rejects the movie but defends free speech and condemns the invasion of its compound.

You keep using the word “universal,” Sally.  I do not think that word means what you think it means.

At his press conference, Romney accused Obama of “having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech.” Romney claimed that the embassy had said, in his paraphrase, “We stand by our comments that suggest that there’s something wrong with the right of free speech.” This, too, was a Romney lie. The embassy had declared five times in writing that free speech was a universal right.

In other words, everyone has, or should have, the right to free speech.  But there are some things that you shouldn’t be allowed to say.

What made Romney’s statement and press conference disturbing, however, was his repeated use of the words sympathize and apology to conflate three issues the Cairo embassy had carefully separated: bigotry, free speech, and violence. The embassy had stipulated that expressions of bigotry, while wrong, were protected by freedom of speech and didn’t warrant retaliatory violence.

Then why did the embassy grovelingly apologize for them?

Romney, by accusing the embassy of “sympathizing with those who had breached” the compound, equated moral criticism of the Mohammed movie with support for violence. In so doing, Romney embraced the illiberal Islamist mindset that led to the embassy invasion: To declare a movie offensive is to authorize its suppression.

Um..what?!!  Project much, Sally?  It was the embassy that declared that movie “offensive,” idiot.  Why else would they have apologized for it and prattled on about some alleged hurt feelings Muslims may or may not have actually had?

“The Embassy of the United States issued what appeared to be an apology for American principles,” Romney asserted at the press conference. “It’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values. … An apology for America’s values is never the right course.” Lest anyone miss his buzzwords, Romney called the embassy’s comments “a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for American values.”

One of the foremost of which is basically unrestricted freedom of speech.

What, exactly, does Romney mean by “American values”? The embassy never apologized for free speech or diplomatic sovereignty. The only American offense it criticized was the movie’s “bigotry” and “efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Does Romney regard this criticism as an “apology for American values”? Is bigotry an American value? Is it weak or un-American to repudiate slurs against Muslims?

National Review will have none of “yes, but” attitudes like Sally’s.

Nobody in the U.S. government, least of all the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff acting in his official capacity, should be calling Terry Jones or any other American citizen about the Mohammed spoof. Not only does that elevate Jones to some sort of semi-official status, but spoofs of deities are entirely within our rights and absolutely no business of the government’s. The U.S. government should not be taking an official position on the Mohammed spoof.  It is entirely outside the official competence of United States military to be calling private citizens asking them be quiet, especially when they are exercising a constitutional right. Offending people is not an incitement to violence. Otherwise I could get everyone who wears a Che Guevara t-shirt brought up on charges of incitement.

Do I enjoy it when some work of “art,” some movie or some television show blasphemes Jesus Christ or insults and belittles Christians?  Of course not.  But unlike adherents of the Islamic religion, I’ve figured out a civilized way to deal with it.  I simply don’t patronize or stop patronizing those businesses who produce or support such works.

Conversely, if a work of art exalts Christ or displays Christians as they truly are, that work of art, whatever it is, will receive whatever support I can give it.  So what William Saletan is essentially saying here is that speech should be suppressed if someone anywhere is angry enough about that speech to kill people and burn things.

Saletan’s mindset basiclly gives the savages editorial control over all forms of expression everywhere which means that my opinions must perfectly accord with theirs or my expression of my opinion is an “abuse” of free speech.  I don’t know if Saletan realizes this or not but that is precisely why so many of us made a point of patronizing Chick-fil-A’s during that recent controversy.

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3 Responses to William Saletan, Meet Christopher Johnson!

  • What can you expect when the chief legal adviser to the State Dept is Harold Koh? See his article on American Exceptionalism (he’s against it) and how international law should be used to ease the 1st Amendment out of our Constitution:
    http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2737&context=fss_papers

  • The brohaha over what Romney said was never about Islamists. It’s about LibProgs in the US being able to dictate political correctness. They don’t have the right…or the power…to do that.

  • I don’t think that Saletan or Johnson hit the nail on the head. (Actually, I know that Saletan missed completely.) To say that a right can be abused doesn’t mean that the right isn’t universal. Now, I’m not 100% keen about calling free speech a universal right (slander is one example of illegal speech) but for argument’s sake let’s say that it is. We have the capacity to tell lies and discuss plot points of Michael Bay movies – complete abuses of the freedom of speech. Those actions don’t negate the freedom.

    The issue should be whether the government has the authority to endorse particular free acts.

Libyan Questions

Thursday, September 13, AD 2012

13 Responses to Libyan Questions

  • Another questions:

    1) Have the extremists in Libya access to US weapons ou Kadafi weapons? They used against US embassy?
    2) Why Obama is refusing to listen Israel?
    2) Does Obama administration think that Egypt is ally or not? How so?

  • Why did Obama miss the daily intelligence briefing for the week before the attacks?

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/obama-intelligence-briefings-embassy/2012/09/12/id/451610

  • Is a majority of the voting population of the US aware of these issues (in spite of the disinformation from the main steam news media) so that it can finallly see through the smoke and mirrors of this President and his supporters?

  • This fits into the Demoralization category.

    There are answers, but these would cost tickets to partying at the parties of infamy and, probably their press agent jobs.

    No one will give answers to a journalist because our violence conductors are covered by power now and want to expand that power.
    And security forces protect them from the people who are the instruments of violence.
    And there is no ‘court’ on temporal earth to sort it out.
    Accountability and transparency not this time either.

    It is another attempt for wrong to defeat right into oblivion with unanswered questions.
    And, also, to obliterate that line between both good and evil, and truth from lies.
    And, to tire and defeat the questioners.

    They can try, meanwhile the press agents and people who are tools should check out the holder of the qualities of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence for a better perspective.

    Just who is waging war on peace with hate, lies, and violence? It’s a big story to write for both the uninformed and for vindication.

  • The president missed his daily intel briefing because he’s too busy doing what he does best- campaigning. This guy has done NOTHING but campaign since he entered the U.S Senate. Unfortunately, the American people are too focused on the likes of Jersey Shore and Keeping up with the Kardashians and the politics of envy to care what happens to this country.

    Our Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves.

  • For #4– It’s 9/11 and you’re in the middle east. Seriously, how much of a “credible warning” do you NEED?!

  • “For #4– It’s 9/11 and you’re in the middle east. Seriously, how much of a “credible warning” do you NEED?!”
    Bravo, Foxfier!

  • Turner Classic Movies is airing “55 Day at Peking.” How appropriate!

  • One of my favorite films T. Shaw! Note the prayer and artillery sequence at the beginning of this clip:

  • Phillip asks “Why did the President miss his daily intelligence briefing the day after the attacks?”

    Because the attack had already happened. Nothing to worry about at that point. And Axelrod and the media had the scoop on the culprits who caused it all – the filmmaker and Romney.

  • Thanks, Mac.

    I missed much of the movie, but saw that scene. Mr. Heston taking the orphan on his horse was (to me) a fitting end.

    What struck me was that the make-shift mortar was about a million times more dangerous to Heston and the padre than to the Boxers.

    Of interest, Sgt. Maj. (then Pvt.) Daniel Daly, USMC won his first (he had two, the other 1915 for Haiti) MoH for extraordinary action in that campaign.

    “for service as set forth in the following

    “CITATION:

    “For extraordinary heroism while serving with the Captain Newt Hall’s Marine Detachment, 1st Regiment (Marines), in action in the presence of the enemy during the battle of Peking, China, 14 August 1900, Daly distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.”

    re: “meritorious conduct”: From “Unto the Breach” blog:

    “During the 56-day seige of the international compound, Capt. Hall went to bring reinforcements to reestablish their defensive line when the German outpost was pushed back. Pvt. Daly remained behind, singlehandedly defending a bastion on the Tartar Wall against hundreds of Chinese forces – armed only with a bolt-action rifle and bayonet. Daly held his position overnight, and Marine Corps legend states that the bodies of 200 dead Boxers littered the ground when reinforcements arrived.”

    “Born: 11 Nov. 1873, Glen Cove, N.Y…. One of only 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice… Of the 19 double recipients, is one of only two men to receive the Medal for two separate engagements… Offered a commission on several occasions but refused… Also saw action at Hayti and fought during World War I… Also awarded the Navy Cross and Distinguished Service Cross… Retired as Sergeant Major in 1929… Namesake of USS Daly (DD-519)… Departed: 27 Apr. 1939.”

    Legend has it that at Chateau Thierry (I think) he motivated his troops, who were held up by machine gun fire, by shouting, “Get up, you s.o.b.’s! Do you want to live forever?” I imagine Achilles and Hector used similar motivational oratory.

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Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee

Thursday, September 13, AD 2012

For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.

George Washington

 

One of the interesting fall outs of the rampages in Cairo and Benghazi is the calls by some on the Left for jailing people for exercising freedom of speech.  Eugene Volokh of The Volokh Conspiracy blog pointed this out yesterday:

That’s what MSBNC contributors Mike Barnicle and Donny Deutsch, the University of Pennsylvania’s Prof. Anthea Butler (Religious Studies), and of course the Egyptian government argue with regard to the movie that mocks Mohammed:

Prof. Butler: “Good Morning. How soon is Sam Bacile going to be in jail folks? I need him to go now.When Americans die because you are stupid…” “And yes, I know we have First Amendment rights,but if you don’t understand the Religion you hate, STFU about it. Yes, I am ticked off.” “And people do go to jail for speech. First Amendment doesn’t cover EVERYTHING a PERSON says.” “[T]he murder of the Ambassador and the employees is wrong, wrong. But Bacile will have to face his actions which he had freedom[.]”

Mike Barnicle: “Given this supposed minister’s role in last year’s riots in Afghanistan, where people died, and given his apparent or his alleged role in this film, where, not yet nailed down, but at least one American, perhaps the American ambassador is dead, it might be time for the Department of Justice to start viewing his role as an accessory before or after the fact.”

Donny Deutsch: “I was thinking the same thing, yeah.”

In a way this is an unsurprising development.  The Left in this country, with honorable exceptions, has not been overly fond of the concept of free speech for some time.  Speech codes seeking to hamper the free speech rights of conservatives and Christians have been a staple at many colleges and universities for the past twenty years.  Conservative speakers are routinely shouted down when they speak on campuses.  The recent attack on Chik-Fil-A by the Mayors of Boston and Chicago was merely the latest manifestation of the willingness of many on the Left to use government power to suppress views they hate.

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26 Responses to Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee

  • It is ironic and oxymoronic that the liberal left defends the very thing – radical Islam – whose adherents would slay them on sight. They prune themselves, whether by sterile sexual relationships or by inviting their own execution. Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison.

  • Add to this that it was not about the movie but a well planned retaliation:

    http://frontpagemag.com/2012/caroline-glick/attacks-on-u-s-embassies-were-not-about-a-movie/

    The Devil lies in many ways. The MSM is his mouthpiece.

  • Of course if the MSM is truly upset about offending religious sensibilities they will oppose this:

    http://www.catholicleague.org/crucifix-masturbation-film-wins/

    Waiting…

  • “it might be time for the Department of Justice to start viewing his role as an accessory before or after the fact.”

    Justice is predicated on intent. If Bacile intended to incite the murder of the ambassador, then he is guilty of complicity. The prosecutor would have to prove conspiracy or intent to commit murder or an act of war. Again, there is the matter of the thought police. How could the prosecutor determine what any person has thought or is thinking unless the prosecutor owned the other person’s soul? Slavery starts with the denial of the other person, made in the image of God, and his freedom to not incriminate himself, especially if he is innocent of the charges, as inscribed in our Fifth Amendment. Citizens have become too indifferent to their own freedom, so that they will lose freedom by not recognizing it in others.

    No one can own my soul because God created my soul for me. Those who would take my life to own my soul, must realize that when a person takes my life to own my soul, he forfeits his own immortal soul.

  • It’s the same as always– free speech, unless someone is offended. Measured in terms of damage, not outrage. (see also: “protests” that involve burning things, flipping cars) I’ve seen people compare this to incitement to riot, or yelling fire in a theater.

    Sorry, no, saying that Mohammad slept with a bunch of women (since I’m not going to watch the youtube video, and that’s the only specific complaint I’ve seen offered) isn’t either of those things.

  • The video is so startling to me, I can’t believe it is happening. Can we all say lemmings!!
    Poor education and religious formation have sown a blight on our country. Bon Appetite!!

  • I will bet everyone of those individuals who signed the petition to silence the speech of Beck and other conservatives will begin to remember what, in fact, they did. The whole purpose of the video was to get people to think and it worked.

    America is the only sovereign nation on the globe whose founding principles guarantee the individual sovereign person FREEDOM.

  • Re: Mary De Voe

    That is why the HHS mandate has been changed—-RIGHT??? They have had adequate time to realize their mistake but haven’t offered to correct it. Your hope that these folks will see their mistakes is laudable. I’m from Missouri and they have to show me. Freedom of religion and speech are being attacked and one only need smell the coffee to realize it!!

  • “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire

    So I guess the left will defend the Catholic Church if we are so offended by Obama care that we start rioting in the streets and killing people?

  • Don, the interesting thing is that this actually seems to be “free speech for thee, but not for me”. I can’t think of a historical parellel.

  • There were Japanese and Germans placed in concentration camps by the U. S. government. Do we really think that this bunch of thugs cares about a few limits on free speech for Catholics. I doubt it.

  • Ray wrote, “There were Japanese and Germans placed in concentration camps by the U. S. government. Do we really think that this bunch of thugs cares about a few limits on free speech for Catholics. I doubt it.”

    If we carried this over as an exact analogy, then it wouldn’t be Catholics or other orthodox Christians who would be jailed, but Muslims. We have been at war with Islam sine 630 AD. Yesterday was the celebration of the Holy Name of Mary when in 1683 King John III Sobieski of Poland invoked her name to defend Vienna, Austria against the Muslim hordes of the Ottoman Empire. Remeber that at the time Japanese and Germans in the US were placed in camps, we were at war against Japan and Germany. While internment in hindsight was wrong, if the analogy were to be carried forward, it would be Muslims who should be interred, and history shows what happens when otherwise is the case.

    Disclaimer: I am not advocating for internment of Muslims. What I am saying is that today’s society is so topsy-turvy that the government recognies the enemies of Christendom as friends and condemns the adherents of Christianity as enemies. Where is good King John Sobieski of Poland when we need him!

  • The name of the good king for us is Benedict, our current Pontiff. What rights have our brother Americans of the Muslim persuasion have been taken away. The Catholics rights are presently being poached( if only bit by small bit). During that time during the 1600’s the Europeans had begun losing their Catholic faith. The Good King from Poland was a stalwart Catholic and it was his faith that allowed for his success.

  • There is no question that the First Amendment is under attack today. But while it is indeed appalling that so many Americans would so readily sign a petition to take away rights guaranteed by the Constitution, I do have to wonder how many people the video team approached who held firm and refused to sign for that very reason. We only see about 4-1/2 minutes of how long a tape? It is obvious by the way they jump around between petitioners that the tape has been edited. Did none of those approached refuse to sign? Or did 99% refuse? It’s easy to “prove” your point when you only include the data supporting it, but it’s not necessarily honest. We should always be careful lest we find ourselves guilty of the same tactics we abhor in others.

  • I think the point of the tape Mike was not how many people signed the petition but that those who signed, while they were seeking to take freedom of speech from others, blithely affirmed their support for free speech. Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living and that was the tragic element in this humorous video.

  • “Yesterday, was the celebration of the Holy Name of Mary when in 1683 King John III Sobieski of Poland invoked her name to defend Vienna, Austria against the Muslim hordes of the Ottoman Empire.”

    Thank you for remembering, Paul, and I do hope you regain your health and strength. King John Sobieski mustered the fighting men to save Vienna. The Encyclopedia Britannica tells that King John Sobieski’s baker invented the bagel, trying to make the bread look like the stirrups on John Sobieski’s saddle. A new and wonderful way to eat bagels.

    Where is King John Sobieski today? King John cavorts with Lech Walesa and Gov. Mitt Romney.

    Tomorrow is the Exaltation of the Cross.

  • Some people will sign anything.
    Reminds me of the people at a greenie gathering, who were raising a petition to ban Di-hydrogen Oxide, because it kills people if you immerse yourself in it, it can kill if you ingest too much of it, babies drown in it etc. etc.
    Almost everyone approached, signed to ban it.

    Di-hydrogen Oxide = H 2 O = water.

    What a bunch of chumps.

  • Just had some of your islander folks visit for 18 days. They are from Timaru. We love you folks down under but you only have thousands of whackos. When we have an equivalent percentage here in the states it is millions. It is easy to disavow a few but here the numbers are much larger. Stay with us brother and keep up the good fight with your cousins in the states. Thanks for being interested in our wayward form of democracy.

  • Mike-
    it doesn’t matter that some folks hopefully didn’t sign, other than in a it-could-be-worse, everyone-could-be-lining-up-to-sign way.

    It’s a bit like going “Hey, Libya isn’t so bad– over 99% of them were NOT involved in beating our ambassador to death!”

  • Slight thread drift…I named my first son John, in part, because of King John Sobieski. You didn’t want to mess with the Polish Husaria. There is supposed to be a movie coming out in October that is about the events of the Siege of Vienna (Victoria). Don’t hold me to that, as it was something I read on the Internet (YouTube). It has been planned for a long time.

    The Left is hypocritical and obnoxious. Mike Barnicle was suspended from his job at the Boston Globe (or fired from it) because of plagarism. The rest of that bunch is beneath contempt.

    Should Obumbler abscond with the election, I will look into moving my family to Poland.
    No Democrat Party, no radical Muslims, they are not destroying their currency and Catholics are the majority.

  • “How soon is Sam Bacile going to be in jail folks? … I know we have First Amendment
    rights, but if you don’t understand the religion you hate, STFU about it. Yes, I am ticked
    off.”

    Why do I get the feeling that Professor Butler is a lot more complacent when the object
    of some ‘artist’s’ ridicule is not Islam, but rather Christianity? Was she this upset when
    Andres Serrano was publicizing his photo “Piss Christ”, which shows a crucifix submerged
    in urine? Where was her outrage when Chris Ofili received federal dollars to exhibit his
    work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art? One of his works depicted the Virgin Mary using
    elephant dung and cutouts from pornographic magazines. The New York art world and
    academia in general both praised the works, snickered at the objections of Christians,
    and reminded everyone of the primacy of the First Amendment.

    If Ms. Butler doesn’t have similar outrage for Messrs. Serrano and Ofili, perhaps she
    should take some deep breaths, review her copy of the Constitution, and then ‘STFU’.

  • Ray.
    6.54 pm.
    Thanks for your kind remarks. Pleased to be with you.

    “.Just had some of your islander folks visit for 18 days. They are from Timaru”

    Islanders? we call the people from Fiji, Samoa, Cook Islands, Vanuatu etc. Islanders.-)
    Still, NZ in relation to the US is small in land mass, so fair enough.
    Timaru is a port town on the east coast of the South Island, and I’m sure your friends said they were Mainlanders. I’m from the North Island, and we do have a North/South rivalry, particularly in the game of rugby at this time of year. 🙂

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  • 54 days until the election. There is a 54-day Rosary Novena starting (some people started yesterday). Please join https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/499344486760072/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

  • Cardinal Dolan CNSNEWS.com Go check out what The good Cardinal is worried about. I guess I am not really a Catholic after all. Muslim? Islam? WHATEVER!

  • Lefties are enamoured of political correctness; hence, the assault on free speech…

Democrat Nostalgia?

Wednesday, September 12, AD 2012

Further evidence as to how detached most Democrat elites are from the United States military was given at the Democrat Convention last week:

On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans. Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message.

But there was a big mistake in the stirring backdrop: those are Russian warships.

While retired Adm. John Nathman, a former commander of Fleet Forces Command, honored vets as America’s best, the ships from the Russian Federation Navy were arrayed like sentinels on the big screen above.

These were the very Soviet-era combatants that Nathman and Cold Warriors like him had once squared off against.

“The ships are definitely Russian,” said noted naval author Norman Polmar after reviewing hi-resolution photos from the event. “There’s no question of that in my mind.”

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6 Responses to Democrat Nostalgia?

Can the Private Sector Support What the Public Sector Claims To? (Part III)

Wednesday, September 12, AD 2012

This is the third part in a three-part series.  Part I can be found here, and Part II can be found here.

The Philosophy

Once the numbers are put to rest, the rest of the argument in favor of private giving over compulsory giving via a system of taxation is easy.  The philosophical argument can be broken down into two parts: one based on human teleology and the second based on a phenomenology of gift.

First, all being is in the process of becoming.  That is, all being has a certain perfection, a telos, towards which it tends.  A chair has the natural tendency to tend towards being that perfect chair after which it was designed.  Aristotle called this the final cause, and noted its place of prominence among the four causes of being, the other three being the material, the formal, and the efficient.  Humans, however, are unique in the material universe in that we can actively choose whether or not to tend towards that perfection of being fully human.  This is the gift of freedom that we are endowed with.  Of course, this freedom is not to be seen as merely the ability to choose between contraries, but rather as a freedom for excellence, as the ability to choose the good.  One might say that the ability to choose the good is part and parcel of what it means to be human.

When a human person acts charitably he is acting in a way fully consistent with that call to freedom.  It is the virtues that perfect the human person, and charity is among the most important of the virtues.  The curious thing about the virtues is that the only way to acquire them is to practice them.  They are habits.  The only way to become courageous is to act courageously, and the only way to become charitable is to perform acts of charity.  Thus, when a person acts freely in performing an act of charity, he is not only helping out his fellow members of the human race, but he is also serving to become a better person himself.  Further, the free act of giving has an impact on the recipient that extends past the offered resources.  The recipient recognizes the act of charity for what it is, and that act in turn becomes a model of charity in his own life.

In contrast to this, compulsory giving has nothing of the benefits shared by a voluntary act.  The agent, being forced to offer the money or service, is not acting in freedom, and thus it has no impact on his life of virtue.  Similarly, beyond the actual dollars and cents, the recipient of the tax dollars comes to see the funding as an entitlement rather than a freely offered act of charity.  Obligation replaces virtue, and the obligatory acts freezes both parties at the level of obligation, not allowing them to advance in virtue.  It should come as no surprise that modernity find these ideas difficult to understand.  Ever since William Ockham and his fellow Nominalists, even general morality has focussed exclusively on obligation rather than virtue.

Yet the perfection towards which a human person must strive is experienced in the human heart as a call to gift.  The deepest desire of the human condition is to give one’s self away and to receive another who is called to do the same.  In a paradoxical manner, we find our fulfillment by emptying ourselves to one another.  This call to become gift explains a myriad of human experiences like falling in love, risking one’s life for a person in danger, and acts of selflessness that seem to come naturally.  It explains the natural institution of marriage, the begetting of children, and dying for a cause.  We seek forever to give ourself away.

This is precisely why crowd our rates are not dollar for dollar.  Economists may refer to this as the “warm glow” effect, suggesting that people give because they receive some psychological benefit, an injection of happiness if you will, from the act of giving.  While there is a grain of truth to this, it is not the whole picture.  People give because they were made to give.  They become fully human in the very act of giving.  Private charitable giving is completely consistent with this call to be gift to one another, both for the giver and the recipient.  It is also why compulsory giving in the form of taxation never settles well with the one being taxed.  Deep down, people want to give – they don’t want to forced into virtue.

 

The Theology

The call to charitable acts is prevalent throughout the Gospels, and indeed the entire collection of Scriptures.  As a member of the Universal Church, one cannot dispense with the obligation to assist those less fortunate among us.  Yet the call to charity can never be disassociated from the call to spread the Gospel to the four corners of the earth.  Pope Benedict XVI tells us in Deus caritas est:

“The increase in diversified organizations engaged in meeting various human needs is ultimately due to the fact that the command of love of neighbour is inscribed by the Creator in man’s very nature. It is also a result of the presence of Christianity in the world, since Christianity constantly revives and acts out this imperative, so often profoundly obscured in the course of time … For this reason, it is very important that the Church’s charitable activity maintains all of its splendour and does not become just another form of social assistance …

“We are dealing with human beings, and human beings always need something more than technically proper care. They need humanity. They need heartfelt concern. Those who work for the Church’s charitable organizations must be distinguished by the fact that they do not merely meet the needs of the moment, but they dedicate themselves to others with heartfelt concern, enabling them to experience the richness of their humanity …

“[C]haritable activity must [not] leave God and Christ aside. For it is always concerned with the whole man. Often the deepest cause of suffering is the very absence of God. Those who practise charity in the Church’s name will never seek to impose the Church’s faith upon others. They realize that a pure and generous love is the best witness to the God in whom we believe and by whom we are driven to love. A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak. He knows that God is love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8) and that God’s presence is felt at the very time when the only thing we do is to love. He knows—to return to the questions raised earlier—that disdain for love is disdain for God and man alike; it is an attempt to do without God” (paragraph 31).

Private giving is free to be an act rooted in the call to follow Christ and preach His word.  This also raises the practical problem of government funds applied to social causes.  When giving becomes compulsory, there enters the possibility, and perhaps even the inevitability, of the funds being used in a manner contradictory to the consciences of individual taxpayers.  Herein lies the debate about tax dollars being used to fund abortion and contraception.  Yet these two issues are not the only ones on the table.  Nearly everyone has a list of causes that would be objectionable to their conscience, and natural outrage would be expressed if they were to be forced to donate to these causes through the tax system.  This reality is often used as an argument for taxation: if we left it to the individual giver, would there not be causes that would go unsupported?  It is an illusion to think that taxes ensure a baseline of morality.  Instead, they merely reflect the opinions of those in power, those elected officials tasked with budgeting the tax dollars.

Yet it remains true that the purpose of politics is justice as well as charity.  Is not the function of government to maintain some level of fairness and equality?  True, but it would be a mistake to think that this comes in a manner contradictory to charity.  The virtues are never in conflict, but rather support and strengthen one another.  Blind redistribution of wealth through compulsory giving, i.e. taxes, fails to incorporate man’s call to charity.  Even if it would lead to a more just economic reality, the picture would be incomplete at best, for as St. Paul reminds us, without charity, we are nothing.  Yet this takes us full circle to the mathematical argument in the first section that suggests that the monies available to a social cause are not increased by government subsidies, but all things considered, they are actually decreased.  It is really a loose-loose situation.  On the other hand, if we keep charity first and allow private giving to do its thing, justice follows as well.  This flip side is a win-win situation.

Finally, to echo the philosophical argument of person-as-gift, Pope Benedict offers the following:

“Saint Paul, in his hymn to charity (cf. 1 Cor 13), teaches us that it is always more than activity alone: ‘If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing’ (v. 3). This hymn must be the Magna Carta of all ecclesial service … Practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ. My deep personal sharing in the needs and sufferings of others becomes a sharing of my very self with them: if my gift is not to prove a source of humiliation, I must give to others not only something that is my own, but my very self; I must be personally present in my gift” (34).

Conclusion

The philosophical and theological arguments are clear: the world and mankind are better off if social causes such as poverty are funded through voluntary private giving.  Man is made to be gift, and he fulfills his destiny insofar as he gives of himself freely.  The only argument that could stand up against this is the practical argument that private giving would be unable to fund social causes: mankind, poisoned as he is by original sin, would fail to selflessly give what is necessary to solve the problem.  Whether or not a cause can be completely funded is not the issue.  There are many social causes that will never be solved this side of heaven.  The issue is whether or not government taxation has an actual positive effect on the particular social cause – this is where the mathematical arguments from part one become so important.  It seems that compulsory giving through taxation actually serves to decrease the amount of funds actually available to a cause.  Once the economic argument falls, it seems that there is nothing left to justify government involvement in social programs.

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9 Responses to Can the Private Sector Support What the Public Sector Claims To? (Part III)

  • [C]ompulsory giving has nothing of the benefits shared by a voluntary act. … Similarly, beyond the actual dollars and cents, the recipient of the charity Bzzzt! Wrong, wrong, wrong – if it’s compelled, it ain’t “charity”. That sort of misuse of the language leads many astray via the Fallacy of Equivocation.

    Words are tools of thought. Misuse the tools and risk marring the work. Otherwise, a thought-provoking article.

    P.S. I look forward to your follow-on series, Can the Public Sector Support What the Public Sector Claims To?

  • Micha,

    Whoa, whoa, whoa … (such is the only proper response to a comment the employs the phrase “Bzzzt! Wrong, wrong, wrong.”)

    I spend hours of research, hours of computation, and hours of writing to bring a three-part piece that tries to make the case for private giving over public funding … and actual rational and thorough argument … and you choose to pick on a single word? I try so very hard to be charitable in these forums. Those who have been around conversations in which I take part will, I hope, attest to the patience I usually have with people who disagree. The irony here is (1) I am quickly losing my patience with this comment, and (2) you don’t actually seem to to disagree with the post. Rather, you pick on the use of a single word. I feel confident that in the three parts, when all is said and done, I made it clear that I see private charitable giving as something very different from the funding that comes from taxes. The entire thesis, after all, is that the two are quite different and that the former is much preferred. Anyone who reads the piece for what it is will see this. The only misunderstanding will come from taking that one sentence out of context.

    I never claimed to be perfect – all of us write with imperfection. However, to claim that this single word “risking marring the work” is a bit of an overstatement. Honestly, it is times like these that make me wonder when internet writing and blog commenting is even worth the time that it takes.

    Defensive though I may be at the moment, I am also humble enough to correct the mistake. I have reworded the sentence, as I am sure you will see. In the future, however, while we are on the topic of charity, might I gently suggest that you proceed with more of it in the future when you choose to add a comment, especially with those writes that are on your side.

    Blessings,

    Jake

  • Great post. Pope Benedict’s writing on what charity is supposed to be was an angle I have not seen before.
    Besides the crowding out of private charity dollars, I think you need to add the fact that government social programs crowd out the private programs and organizations themselves. They do this in several ways. Besides taking discretionary income as taxes, those who push for government social programs instill in our society the idea that only government can do these type of things. Our country had a great history of non-governmental organizations that did things like taking care of the poor, caring for unwed mothers, even insuring against sickness and old age through mutual benefit associations. Most Americans have no idea that such things once existed. They have fully embraced the Democrat mantra that government isn’t just one of many institutions that make up society; government is society.
    Another way government has killed off private charity work is by regulation. Think of Mother Teresa’s problems getting a building in NYC because it needed an elevator, or the recent cases of individuals who were stopped from feeding the homeless.
    I have a personal example from a previous company I worked for. Up till a few years ago it actually had an employee mutual benefit association, probably one of the few left in the country. It operated as a sort of co-op bank and insurance company. It had to disband because it couldn’t economically comply with new regulations.
    Marvin Olasky has some good stuff on the history of private charity organizations in the U.S.

  • First, to Jake — I got a lot out of the series. Good job.

    In the interest of advancing charity, consider that Micha functions as an unpaid editor. He catches you on a word, you got angry (partly at yourself), then you fixed it. The paper improved.

    That’s the process. It happens to me all the time.

    And, Micha, don’t get too picky. You are an UNPAID editor, so don’t work too hard at it.

    Best to one and all. Now boys, shake hands (don’t kiss and make up, it opens another kind of problem).

  • But laws are an expression of the general will; they are made by those who obey them, not by government. Government is the appointee and agent of the people themselves, operating under a temporary and revocable mandate. Its actions are the consummated result of the people’s organized wishes. That is where the supposed antithesis between voluntary and obligatory giving breaks down.

  • Tony,

    I agree with nearly everything, and perhaps everything, you say. However, the fact that government crowds out actual programs, I believe, is considered in the dollar amounts presented in the literature, at least most of them. Herein lies the real problem in tackling this investigation. The professional economics papers were shockingly imprecise with their definition of crowd out. I can tell you that the theoretical, Nash-type papers presented the situation in whole, that is, the “cause” itself was grouped together, as was government involvement in the cause. In this case, “crowding out funds” is the same (or includes rather) “crowding out organizations.” However, in at least one paper that looked at historical situations and actual organizations, they presented the problem as it related to a particular organization’s funds, which to me suggests that your point would not have been considered in that perspective.

    Either way, there is another important economic reality when looking at your point (and perhaps this is what you are getting at). If an organization itself is crowded out, then there are good paying private-sector jobs that go with it. True, the government presumedly will hire more in order to perform the social service, but an economy that has private sector employment rather than public sector is generally a more healthy economy.

  • Tony,

    Regarding the mutual benefit societies of which you speak, I wholeheartedly agree. The social situation in the early part of the last century would astound people if they could see what types of social services were being provided for by the private sector. This, indeed, is the strongest historical argument for my case. A great book on this is Beito’s “From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services”:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0807848417?ie=UTF8&tag=romlocest-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0807848417

    Regarding education specifically, see E.G. West’s “Education and the State.” In this book, West looks at the education system in England and makes the claim that the private sector was taking care of educating the people long before the government stepped in via public schools. Largely, people who wanted education were getting it. But as more people started wanting/getting it, the government senses the trend and comes up with the bright idea of taking over education. In reality, the government solution did not educate more people, they were already being educated, they simply started educating more poorly. The book is here:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0865971358/ref=as_li_tf_til?tag=romlocest-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0865971358&adid=1MXB6FP7W31YQ1QTV0DG

  • Michael,
    I repectfully disagree with some of your points.
    Laws really are made by governments and not their citizens. If you don’t believe me, ask the Californians how Prop 8 turned out.
    In regards to government being temporary and revocable, the most powerful government body in this country, the Supreme Court, is neither.
    Governments have varying amonts of responsiveness to their citizens, but I don’t believe this is the point. Granted that it is the peoples’ choice as to whether social services are performed publicly or privately, the point remains that government does it inefficiently and lacks a very important incredient: love.
    At the end of things, when we stand before Christ as He seperates the goats from the sheep, and He asks what we did for the least of these, I don’t think He is going to be impressed when we tell Him that we voted for all the right social programs and pro-life causes.

  • Sometimes, I think that the lack of the joy of giving is what is ailing society.

Spitting in the Face of Uncle Sam: Part II

Wednesday, September 12, AD 2012

 

Yesterday I wrote a post, which may be read here, detailing how an Egyptian mob, inflamed by allegations about a movie attacking Mohammed, stormed our embassy.  The embassy issued a truly craven statement apologizing for the fact that Americans in this country still enjoy freedom of speech:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

When it became obvious that many Americans found this cowardly in the extreme, the embassy initially stood behind its statement with these tweets:

This morning’s condemnation (issued before protest began) still stands. As does our condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy.

We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims— US Embassy Cairo (@USEmbassyCairo) September 11, 2012

The embassy has since deleted these tweets, not realizing what a futile action this is in the age of the internet.

Mitt Romney has responded:

 “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi.  It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

After remaining silent throughout the day, the Obama administration finally responded….to Mitt Romney:

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26 Responses to Spitting in the Face of Uncle Sam: Part II

  • Obama is doing a marvelous job of projecting an aura of American weakness. The history of the last 60 years shows that things don’t go well in the world when America is perceived as weak.

  • It’s much worse than 79′. Instead of a few hostages the entire country, U.S., is held hostage by this UN-American administration. This is Carter on Steroids.

  • Just read that the American ambassador in Libya was gunned down by rocket fire while trying to flee the embassy by Muslim extremists.

    No response from our glorious comrade President.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/12/us-libya-usa-attack-idUSBRE88B0EI20120912

  • May these tragedies, however deplorable, be a reminder to the American people of what it means to have demanded a leader like that of European nations. 1st Samuel chapter 8 – we want a king like the other nations! November 6th – defeat the godless man of sin and depravity!

  • More objectivity needed. We must be fair even if to evil doers like Obama. Yes…the responses in this incident are perverted and sycophantic but do we blame the Pope for everything a distant Bishop or a nearby Cardinal Sodano might say. Obama has given full support to the criticized drone program which has taken out key Al Qaeda leaders and he has made tough decisions in terms of Pakistan relations in the Bin Laden case. His military committment to Afghanistan has probably lost him votes on the left. Attack him all day…but with standards you would use for the Pope or a good US leader. Don’t alter your criteria based on a general revulsion.

  • Does anyone think that an Embassy under George Bush would have issued this feckless a statement? No, Barack Obama did not directly issue these statements. But wake up and recognize that he sets the tone, and those under him surely reflect his general attitude.

  • Paul,
    I think Democrats have a wider spectrum of ideologues within their regimes…ranging from militarists like Panetta to outright anti war people….all democrats. Republicans have a much narrower and focused population in their regimes. Were Obama similar to some of his spokesmen in this incident, there would be no drone program. The dems tent is very wide.

  • Bill, it is his administration and his people. The idea that this statement is divorced completely from Obama is farcical.

    BTW, here’s a line from the official Obama statement:

    While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

    Not as mushy as what the embassy put out, it’s still needlessly apologetic.

  • Not as mushy as what the embassy put out, it’s still needlessly apologetic.

    What the administration is saying is yes, that violence is bad, but you know what? The US has done some violent stuff too. It’s all bad.

    Maybe what Obama should do is vow to work tirelessly and never sleep until US drones seek out and bring that filmmaker to justice for making such a terrible film. Maybe then the Islamists will be appeased…

  • I just checked MSNBC and they are criticizing Romney for “jumping the gun” and praising Obama for his patience in responding.

    It’s Bizarro World.

  • The Muslims in Libya are now parading the corpse of the U.S. Ambassador on the streets of Bengazi.

  • Has anyone noticed that President Obama condemned Romney first before ever condemning the attacks in Egypt and Libya?

  • Paul,
    I could one day lose real estate on the NY harbor if Al Qaeda contaminates the area with a dirty bomb. I like that Obama and a contingent of his people kills them…unrelentingly. I didn’t and won’t vote for him. But I like that he kills terrorists…and in one case delivered one to the bottom of the ocean much like Jehu trampling Jezebel before dogs ate her. Painting him as purely weak would be like painting John Paul II based on some of his appointees like the sexually defective Cardinal Groer in Austria or the tricky Cardinal Law in Boston. I will never vote for Obama. But I love that he kills terrorists. To forget the good and only remember the bad is not appropriate.

  • At least the Secretary of State isn’t playing any verbal games:

    “Let me be clear: There is no justification for this. None.”

    Clinton also said, “As long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace.”

    Guess we know who wears the pants in that administration.

  • The most stupid thing anyone’s ever said in 2012: This campaign is about jobs, jobs, and jobs.

    The most stupid thing anyone ever said in 2008 (up until the crash): This campaign is about Iraq, Iraq, and Iraq.

    (OK, maybe any sentence with the word “Kenya” in it was stupider, but you get my point. The world is going to do what it does, and a campaign has to be ready to address everything. And that’s fitting, because an administration has to be ready to address everything.)

  • “Has anyone noticed that President Obama condemned Romney first before ever condemning the attacks in Egypt and Libya?”

    Obama is clear Tito on who his real enemy is!

  • I think Democrats have a wider spectrum of ideologues within their regimes…ranging from militarists like Panetta to outright anti war people….all democrats. Republicans have a much narrower and focused population in their regimes.

    Um….not really. There are a good number of Ron Paul and Paleo types that are anti-militarist.

    Far more, I would say, than there are pro-life Democrats.

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, the film depicts the Muslim prophet Muhammed as a “womanizer, pedophile and fraud”. — a depiction bound to offend many Muslims.

    Of course, the Israeli-American producer is right. One can criticise him for his blindness to unforeseen circumstances, but the truth is the truth. That doesn’t justify the whimpering response from the Obama administration.

    Tony H. @ 6.27 am. is dead right. I think there are many Americans who don’t understand that point, probably sequestered away in their cosy beureuacratic, out-of-touch lives. Its too late when the front line is in your own back yard.

  • For your enjoyment here is audio of an open mic that captures the press coordinating questions for Romney regarding Libya and Egypt

    “no matter who he calls on we’re covered”

    http://www.therightscoop.com/exclusive-open-mic-captures-press-coordinating-questions-for-romney-no-matter-who-he-calls-on-were-covered/

    And for your further enjoyment, here is footage of the over the top hostile questioning at Romney’s press conference. Never seen anything close to this done to Obama, or even his press secretary Jay Carney

    FULL PRESS CONFERENCE: Mitt Romney’s statement on Libya and Egypt and Q&A

    http://www.therightscoop.com/full-press-conference-mitt-romneys-statement-on-libya-and-egypt/

    Romney would have gotten better questions if he was talking to a pile of rocks

  • The sovereignty of the United States is violated. Diplomatic immunity has been breeched. The president’s personal representatives are murdered and dragged through the streets because they represent the president. The heads of Libya and Egypt are not apologizing, nor are any other nations sending sympathy. They burnt the American Flag. Those dead ambassadors represent Obama. Obama is the one they want, not because he is Obama, but because he is head of the U.S. Demand an appropriate apology and send them no money. Oh, that’s right they own us.

  • Um….not really. There are a good number of Ron Paul and Paleo types that are anti-militarist.

    Paul voters amount to about 11% of the Republican electorate.

  • Mary de Voe wrote, “The heads of Libya and Egypt are not apologizing…”

    Mr Mohammed el-Megarif, the interim president of Libya has done just that. He “described the attack as “cowardly” and offered his condolences on the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans. Speaking to reporters, he vowed to bring the culprits to justice and maintain his country’s close relations with the United States.”

  • Since Libya is in chaos a fat lot of good his apology does. A better question to ask is to wonder why the consulate security in Benghazi was left to Libyan mercenaries rather than to US Marines, since Libya has largely been chaotic since the revolution against Khaddaffi. An elite anti-terrorist force of 50 Marines is now being sent in after the fact. If we had a true news media in this country instead of unpaid Obama press agents, that is precisely the type of question they would be yelling at Obama at every venue, a charming habit they have only when the President is a Republican.

  • Thank you Michael Paterson-Seymour.

    I was looking for more from the world community, but I guess it is dangerous to get to close to America.

    Bloodguilt. The American ambassador was put to death because he was an American and not for any crime of his own or any crime of Americans, except that we as American citizens exist as our own sovereign nation. I was gratified that Gov. Romney used the terms “sovereign” and “principle”. An act of war plain and simple. While it may be a religious war to impose Islam, nonetheless, it is a religious war. If it is a religious war for God, then let God fight it. If it is a religious war against God, then, all men must resist and wage peace.

    Our president, Barack Obama has chosen to take the immoral high ground and offered the olive branch of peace by apologizing for our existence. Apologizing for America’s existence and excusing the militant Muslims is inviting terrorism. When the salt has lost it flavor, what is left, but to throw the salt that has lost it savor out and trample it underfoot.

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2 Responses to Klavan on Obamanomics

Spitting in the Face of Uncle Sam

Tuesday, September 11, AD 2012

 

Today on the eleventh anniversary of 9-11 an Egyptian mob stormed our embassy in Cairo and burned our flag.  The rioters were offended by a film that they allege is insulting to Mohammed.  The ringing response of our embassy to this insult to this country on today of all days?  An announcement perhaps that the US will no longer waste sending billions of dollars a year in foreign aid to a people who obviously despise us?   A recall of our ambassador?  A warning to the Egyptian government that repetitions of this type of behavior will lead to a severing of diplomatic relations?

No, after getting down on their hands and knees presumably, this is what the officials at our embassy said:

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39 Responses to Spitting in the Face of Uncle Sam

  • Well, let me start by hurting some religious feelings.

    Islam is a false religion and Allah is NOT God and Mohammed is a false prophet.

    Christianity is the only true religion, Yahweh is the only God and Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son.

  • Outside of the issue the Muslims attacking US embassies / consulates on this anniversary of 9/11, we have to recognize that Christendom Herself is in a two way struggle between militant Islam in the Middle East and atheist humanism in Western Europe and North America. We ain’t winning any battles, folks. Yes, we know the end of the story – Jesus does win. But I hope He returns soon in the Parousia because right now I don’t see much hope. Maybe I am too pessimistic.

  • That’s why I thank God for people like you, Donald, who see hope when I am blind.

  • You are not blind Paul, you merely hear the trumpet a little after I do! Life is a glorious adventure. Often hard, sometimes dangerous, but always an adventure. I try to live my life by these words of Theodore Roosevelt:

    Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

  • Interestng that you use that quote, Donald. Right after I made a decision to study for the diaconate, I had chest pains this July and was put in the hospital for installation of cardiac stents, and was diagnosed with diabetes. I started exercising and dieting after that, and two had a half weeks ago tore my left quadriceps off my knee cap. Now I am on crutches, but this too shall pass. Then I see all the crap with the DNC and this mess with how the Administration ingratiates itself with the enemies of liberty – those who attacked us on 9/11 – and I do and say what comes naturally. We have a good country. The doctors and nurses who worked on me are the best. My employer was fantastic. My priest came right away on both hospital occasions to hear my Confession. And all this that makes our nation great is denigrated by that demagogue Chicago gangster. People gave their lives on and after 9/11 for our freedom. The Administration’s response to how the Muslim fanatics treat their memory is abominable – or should I say Obominable? So maybe my reaction is an all mixed up – sorry.

  • My prayers for your swift recovery Paul!

  • Dr. Krauthammer has the appropriate response.

  • Instapundit suspects that our foreign policy is now being run according to this Klavan video:

  • I don’t know if any of you have seen the film by Dinesh D’Souza 2016 Obama’s America, I have not yet but plan to.

    However I saw him speak on TV (C-span I think) promoting the film and after listening to him I think it’s the first time I actually understand Obama. One insightful thing he said was it’s not that Obama is trying to get outcome “A” (restore the economy, increase jobs, etc.) but because he is inept he is getting outcome “B” instead (increased govt dependency, massive regulation, etc.) But he is actually trying to achieve outcome “B”. He is in fact wildly successful in terms of what he has set out to do.

    Obviously he was much more in-depth than that, but it was the main take home I got out of it.

    Another interesting thing he also said was as we can remember Regan for helping end communism; we will remember Obama as helping to establish a new Islamic caliphate.

  • Loss of words.

    Obama is behaving like a sniveling buffoon.

  • Don. Obama plans on visiting Cairo soon to make a formal apology.
    Ok. Cheap shot, however let’s remember: “We are not a Christian nation…”
    I did see 2016 movie. Please make an effort to view this work.
    The conclusions are sound im my opinion.

  • By the grace and mercy of God, Obama will be defeated this November. I can’t image having to endure another four years of this guy, but as always, God’s will be done.

    Don, if I may, there’s a web site called Locutions to the World which is very interesting. I give no opinion for or against – I’ll just leave it up to the individual. Monsignor John Esseff, a diocesan priest of Scranton, Pa., was ordained in 1953. In 1959, Padre Pio became his spiritual director. For many years, he was the spiritual director for Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He claims that for many years, he has been the spiritual director for a special soul who allegedly is receiving locutions from Our Lady. Of special interest is nos. 146, 166, 359 & 360. http://www.locutions.org/

  • “Islam is a false religion and Allah is NOT God and Mohammed is a false prophet.”

    I’ll concede on the Islam being a false religion and Mohammed being a false prophet. However, Allah is just the Arabic word for God. In Catholic bible translation in Arabic the word for God is Allah.

  • It’s pretty obvious that that statement couldn’t have been worse in tone and content. Isn’t it laughable though when read in context of the Obama administration at home? These people are so irony impaired I would say it’s funny, but it’s actually dangerous. Scoundrels.

  • I second what RL says.

  • “Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others”
    And has anyone done anything about the killing of hundreds of Christians by Boko Haram?
    The response is deafeningly silent!!

  • It is shameful that Obama hasn’t the cojones to get up and denounce this attack on American sovereignty. I just read an article where Sarah Palin has spoken out on this – she’s twice the man Obama is, and she’s a woman.
    It must be getting close to the point, with the attacks on Christains in Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Tunisia and Ethiopia, where Christians will rise up and defend this naked religious persecution, sponsored by the likes of Saudi Arabia, who are spending billions in developing and populating mosques in all areas of the christian/western world – even down her in Oz and NZ.
    Bring on the Crusade???

  • Thank you, Greg M., for the clarification on the literal meaning of the word “Allah.” I should have said that the caricature of God as presented in the Quran is NOT God.

    Thank you for prayers, Donald M. et al.

    And thank the Lord Jesus for our heroes and heroines – whether from the US or from Don the K’s Australia or from England or wherever who still believe in the Lord and who still believe that freedom is worth fighting for, regardless of the Obama Administration’s ingratiation of itself with Islamic militants of death and destruction.

  • Or is it New Zealand – sorry, just took my meds – brain damage!

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  • Although I doubt there is much distinction between the political appointees and the permanent government in their basic dispositions, the following should be noted.

    1. It is doubtful that press releases by embassies abroad are routed to the President’s desk for pre-approval.

    2. The ambassador in Egypt is a career foreign service officer and has held ambassadorial appointments under three administrations.

    The best construction you can put on this is that it was an inept and fairly undignified effort to defuse an anticipated attack. The worst construction you can put on this is that our diplomatic corps is chock-a-bloc with post-Americans and poltroons who did not experience the indignity at all. Your call.

  • “The worst construction you can put on this is that our diplomatic corps is chock-a-bloc with post-Americans and poltroons who did not experience the indignity at all. ”

    I believe that is the true construction to put on it Art. Considering the importance of our Cairo embassy, an attack on it on the anniversary of 9-11 I rather suspect went very far up the chain, to Clinton if not to Obama.

  • So what is this alleged defamatory movie about ol’ Mo that got these folks all in a tizzy?

    My guess is there is no such movie, and it was just an excuse to stage an attack on an anniversary of 9/11.

  • I stand corrected – there actually is a movie (a really cheesy bad one at that). Still no excuse, no matter how bad it portrays Mohammed.

  • The embassy statement is stupid, but it appears to have been written prior to the attacks.

  • True BA, and they defended it after the attack as a proper response throughout all of yesterday.

  • There appears to be some question about the movie being an excuse for a previously planned attack. After all, the movie in question appears to have been out for a while.

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/12/cnn-protests-against-film-a-diversion-attack-was-planned/

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  • Don,

    They didn’t defend the statement as a response to the attack (how could they, given that it was issued prior to the attack even happening?) They did say that they stood by the statement even after the attack.

  • Which works out to the same thing BA and is even more pusillanimous. The statement was clearly their response to the attack as their tweets were in the same cowardly vein and they stood behind the statement until they became aware of popular outrage building at home. In short, they ratified the statement as their response to the attack.

  • pusillanimous = timid or cowardly.

    Had to look the meaning up.
    What a cool word – will have to remember………. 🙂

  • It is a word Don that sounds like what it means!

  • Obama for several months now had been “spiking the ‘Killed Bin Laden’ football…” e.g., “He saved GM, he killed Osama!!” Can’t help but wonder if that might have had something to do with the 9/11 anniversary violence and murder in Cairo and the Libyan embassy — Just a thought….

  • I second Katy Malone.

    Of course we are at war, and Anything we do will be held against us. There is no way out of this war but to win it.
    I read some of the comments on the other thread about whether or not the Cristeros should’ve fought back. I say yes. Fight back.

  • Paul W Primavera.
    5.58 am.

    That’s OK Paul, I’ll forgive you this once for calling me an Australian 😉

    Actually, I spent 11 of my 70 years in Oz, so I suppose you can claim some accuracy.

    I have a lot of good friends, and several cousins in Oz, and in fact, some Aussies are just about good enough to be Kiwis, once they are de-Aussiefied. 🙂

Tribute in Light – A Picture From a Reader

Tuesday, September 11, AD 2012

A reader sent me this shot of a test run of the Tribute in Lights. As he and a friend finished dinner and walked out of the Fraunces Tavern at the corner of Broad Street and Pearl Street last night, they noticed the lights were on for a moment, jumped into the car, and drove over to West Street to get this shot. It is taken from the sun roof of the car, paused at a lightd right next to the Battery Garage where the lights are set up.

Courtesy of Mr. Steve Tirone, Senior Business Analyst at TIAA-CREF. Thank you Steve!

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Can the Private Sector Support What the Public Sector Claims To? (Part II)

Tuesday, September 11, AD 2012

This is the second part in a three-part series.  Part I can be found here.  Part III can be found here.

_________________________________________

Crowding out on its own can never make a case for the privatization of social services.  Even with government crowd out, the total amount of money raised for a particular cause is higher with government involvement (or equal in the case of total crowd out).  For instance, if a cause is funded entirely by the private sector, say at $100, and the government steps in with a $50 subsidy.  Supposing the crowd out rate is 60%, the private donations drop by $30 because of the $50 government “donation.”  However, the total gift to the charity is now $120 (the government’s $50 plus the private sector’s $70), which is higher than the purely private $100.

However, this doesn’t take into account the efficiency contrast between the private and public sector.  Here is where my model begins to take shape.  For starters, suppose that the government operates with a 30/70 split and the private sector operates with a 70/30 split and a modest crowd out rate of 60%.  Let’s follow that tax dollar collect by the government.  Suppose that the government collects and budgets $1 in taxes for a social cause.  The amount of money actually going to the cause, after the deduction for administrative expenses, is $0.30.  However, that tax dollar also causes a crowd out of 60%, or $0.60 in private giving.  No, in fairness, the private giving also has its administrative expenses, so the actual causes experiences only 70% of the $0.60 in decreased funding, which amounts to $0.42.  The end result is that the extra $0.30 injected by the government is more than counteracted by a drop in $0.42.  Thus, the government involvement actually causes a drop in funding for the actual cause.

One is free to play with the numbers, of course.  We were conservative in our estimates of private giving efficiencies and crowd out rate.  If we continue to hold the private efficiency rate at 70/30, it turns out that the crowd out rate can drop to around 43% before we hit the break even point.  This is a comfortably low number by all accounts in the literature.  Yet even this assumes a modest 70/30 private giving efficiency.  If we adjust this to the median, which is closer to 90/10 (10% administrative costs), we find that the crowd out rate can fall as low as 33% before we hit the break even point.  What this tells us is that for more than half the charities, there is a substantial decrease in actual available funds when the government raises taxes to subsidize the programs.  Were such a reality to be understood and made public, it would cause a fiscal scandal greater than any experience by the few immoral and manipulative bad apples in the world of private charitable organizations.

Now, we should admit that this is based on a definition of “crowd out” that can be unclear in the literature.  Many authors use the term without defining whether the crowd out percentage is a function of the taxed dollar ($1) or the final injection after administrative costs are factored out ($0.30).  We assumed the later because in the two mathematical models (Krause and Andreoni) we were able to follow actual variables, and it was the taxed dollar that resulted in the crowd out.  However, is a subsequent paper, Andreoni himself seems to be leaning towards the later definition.  If that is true, the situation changes*.  It turns out that total available post-administrative funds is increased by government involvement in all cases (and only breaks even if private giving is perfectly efficient and crowd out is 100%), but the increase is such a small percentage of the total taxes collected (between 10% and 13% using the same efficiency and crowd our assumptions), that the expenditures become difficult to defend from any reasonable moral perspective.  Such a reality, even in this case, would cause a public scandal if it were explained to the average voter.

If their are economists among us who can clarify this definition with a solid reference, I would be more than grateful to hear an answer.  I have at least ten papers from economics journals on my desk, none of which are specific enough on the definition of crowd out to decide this point.

______________________________________

 * In the case that crowd out is defined as a function of the money spent on the actual cause by the government rather than the taxed dollar, the mathematical exercise is a bit more complicated.Out of the dollar collected via taxation, only $0.30 of it is going to make it through the bureaucratic structures of the government.  When the $0.30 is injected into the cause, it results it a decrease of $0.18 (60% of of $0.30) of private giving due to crowd out.  Of course, this is a decrease in $0.18 of giving, not of actual money to the cause.  In fairness, even the private charity has its administrative costs.  Thus, the decrease is private funding is only 70% of the $0.18, or $0.126.  Nevertheless, the total difference made by the government $1 is the $0.30 decreased by the crowded out $0.126, which comes to $0.174.  Therefore, it is a mistake to think that he government gets even its 30% of the dollar for the social cause.  The net gain experienced by the cause is only 12.6%.  Think about this on a larger scale.  In order for the government to make a $1,000,000 difference in a cause, it must collect $5.75 million in tax money.

One is free to play with the numbers to see the impact of combining efficiency and crowd out rates.  Our experiment was based on a conservative 70% private giving efficiency and a modest 60% crowd out.  If we assume the median private giving efficiency of 90% and Andreoni’s 70% crowd out rate, the net government difference on the tax dollar falls to 11.1%.  So to raise that $1,000,000, the government would have to collect over $9 million in taxes.

Notice that the cause is still “technically” better off.  Even in the more extreme case, the cause still gets its additional $1,000,000 in funding.  In fact, this will always be the case.  While the combined rate falls as private efficiency and crowd out rise, even with a private efficiency of 100% and a crowd out of 100%, the government simply replaces every dollar in the social cause.  Yet the replacement come at quite a cost to the taxpayer.  If a private charitable organization were to operate on these dismal percentages, it would make the front page of the New York Times in the most scandalous of manners.

 Read Part III here.
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The White House and Sexualityism

Tuesday, September 11, AD 2012

While I understand the USCCB’s commitment to framing the HSS Mandate exclusively in terms of religious liberty, I have been, since the beginning, reminding people that it is in fact a contraception issue. Politically it may make sense to focus on religious liberty, but morally, the two are inseparable. Well-known law professor Helen Alvaré has a very well-written piece at the Witherspoon Institute:

It should be noted that sexualityism is no more than a theory about a claimed cause of women’s happiness—i.e., that its growth is directly proportional to women’s ability to express themselves sexually without commitment and without the possibility of children. The HHS mandate stands on this theory. In a world of easy availability of birth control and abortion, the only reason for a federal mandate for a “free” and universal supply is to try to send the sexualityism message. The White House has all but come out and said: “women of America, vote for the incumbent this presidential election year because he supports women’s equality and freedom, which he understands to include at the very least nonmarital and nonprocreative sexual expression.” Why else choose Sandra Fluke—an affluent, single, female law student, who demands a taxpayer-subsidized, 365-day supply of birth control as the price of female equality—as your spokeswoman? While every savvy media outlet understands the political theater going on here with the whole “war on women,” anti-Republicans message, still when the White House uses its powerful bully pulpit to send such a message, cultural damage is done.

Read the rest here.

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2 Responses to The White House and Sexualityism

  • There is little if any difference between the Democrats and the ancient Israelites who worshipped the goddess Ashteroth before fertility poles and made their children to walk in fire as sacrifice before the Canaanite god Molech. And God, since He does NOT change, will deal with this country in the same way that He dealt with Judah and Israel for these crimes against humanity and against Him.

  • Congress has no authentic authority to dispense with or waive the informed consent of their constituents. Tax money from all citizens pays for any edict Sebelius chooses to include in the Affordable Health Care Act at her will, after the fact. The next HHS mandate Sebelius is most likely to make with the blessing of Obama and Congress’ neglect of their constituents may well be, and it can be, that no man can say “NO” to any female who wants to have sexualityism expression with him. Sexualityism is another form of male subjugation, after emasculation and redefinition of the human male, by our culture.

Unforgettable Flight 93

Tuesday, September 11, AD 2012

When they got up that morning eleven years ago the very last thing that the 33 passengers and the seven crew of United Flight 93 expected was to be engaged in a life and death struggle to retake an airliner that was headed to Washington DC as a terrorist missile.    All they expected the day to bring was a hum drum flight from Newark to San Francisco.  Just ordinary people living their lives.  Their occupations included pilot, first officer, flight attendant, an environmental lawyer, the owner of a public relations firm,  university students, a senior vice president of a medical development company, a sales representative for Good Housekeeping magazine, a manager of a US Wildlife animal refuge, an arborist, an account manager for a corporation, an ironworker, retirees, a computer programmer, a computer engineer, a lobbyist for the disabled, a real estate agent,  an executive vice president of a corporation and a free lance medical writer.  They were wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, all with unique histories and lives, with little in common except that they happened to be on board Flight 93 when the world changed.

The plane took off at 8:42 AM Eastern Time.  Four terrorists had boarded amidst the other 33 passengers.  The terrorists began to hijack the plane at 9:28 AM, soon after both the hijacked airliners had struck the Twin Towers in New York City, and just brief minutes before a fourth airliner was hijacked in Washington and slammed into the Pentagon.  At 9:28:17 AM a member of the cockpit crew shouted “Mayday! Mayday!” over the radio, with sounds of violence in the background.  35 seconds later someone in the cockpit shouted over the radio, “Mayday!  Get out of here!  Get out of here!”

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10 Responses to Unforgettable Flight 93

  • I rarely cry during movies, but I balled through much of Flight 93. I was interning on Capitol Hill on 9/11, and it is quite possible I’m alive only because of the actions of these heroes. God grant them eternal rest.

  • When I think of 9-11 Paul my main emotions are still what they were on that terrible day: rage and sorrow. Like most Americans I suspect, who were alive at the time, that day will remain a raw wound for me for the remainder of my days.

  • Rage and sorrow: that sums up my feelings, then and now as well.

    Another eerie aspect is that today is almost an exact replica of that day. It was a Tuesday, and the weather was absolutely perfect – both here and in New York. I have to admit that there’s a small part of me that hates trudging into the city on this anniversary, though that may just be a bit of paranoia.

  • The terrorists got 40 of their promised virgins that day on flight 93, that day, 9/11. The virgins’ names are Freedom, Liberty, Truth and JUSTICE. when I stop weeping, when I stop crying, when I stop praying. God bless America, the United States, all 57 of them, the American flag hanging on my porch, our men in uniform. Freedom, Liberty, Truth and Justice. Liberty Walking, Freedom crying, Truth praying, Justice dying

  • “today is almost an exact replica of that day. It was a Tuesday and the weather was absolutely perfect”

    Same here in Central Illinois; the only difference being that when I got home from work there WERE multiple jet trails in the sky, instead of just one (from Air Force One). However, I just found out there is currently a huge smoke plume visible on the National Weather Service radar in Chicago — from a huge brush fire in La Salle County, Illinois, not far from where I grew up. The brush fire may have started from a cigarette thrown out a car window, so, be careful out there campers!

  • Re previous comment: thank goodness the smoke over my hometown is just from a brush fire and not from a downed plane as it was over Shanksville, Pa., that awful day. Flight 93 could have happened anywhere. God bless all the heroes of that day.

  • My countymen were with you, one on Flight 93, and others in the twin towers.
    We also feel your grief and your pain still, now years gone by, though we are far removed.
    These events are still very raw for those who recognise these attacks as an attack on our cultural and religious survival.

  • Thank you Don! In times of peril we recognize our true friends.

One Response to We Will Always Remember

  • The shots from 6:02 to 6:20 appear to be of the National 9/11 Flag, which has a very inspiring story behind it. The flag was recovered from a building near the Twin Towers and left in storage for 7 years. The restoration effort began in 2008 with residents of Greensburg, Kansas, a town destroyed by a massive tornado the previous year, using pieces of their tornado-damaged flags to patch the original. The flag then toured all 50 states with patches and stitches being added at sites of national significance (e.g. Mount Rushmore) or in communities affected by disasters of their own. A partial list of places that the flag has visited is at this link:

    http://national911flag.org/?page_id=150

    The flag is connected with a wonderful volunteer group called New York Says Thank You, which helps disaster victims all over the country in gratitude for their support of New Yorkers after 9/11. They came to my hometown of Utica, Illinois, after a deadly tornado in 2004 and their help was much appreciated.