Ditto

Saturday, August 31, AD 2013

 

 

 

 

Some of the best analysis of political issues on the net is contained at the site Baseball Crank.  The site owner loves baseball and has many posts about it.  I, to put it mildly, do not share this passion.  However, I do read each of his non-sports post with keen interest.  In regard to his perspective on the situation in Syria I found myself nodding repeatedly as I read it:

 

There are many good reasons to wish to be rid of the brutal Assad regime, long an Iranian proxy, sponsor of Hezbollah, supporter of the insurgency against the U.S. in Iraq, shelterer (and maybe backer) of culprits in the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that killed 241 U.S. Marines, oppressor of Lebanon and assassin of its prime minister, enemy of Israel and perpetrator of serial massacres against its own people.  But it seems increasingly likely that the alternatives to Assad would be even worse, ranging from domination of Syria by Al Qaeda and its Sunni extremist allies to splintering into an anarchic failed state.  As it stands, the Syrian civil war is a proxy battle between Assad’s backers (Iran and Russia) and the backers of the rebel resistance (Saudi Arabia and Turkey).  It doesn’t need more combatants who intend to show up, lob in a bunch of missiles and leave without resolving anything, and for the U.S. to control the post-Assad situation to our advantage would require a huge and for many reasons infeasible commitment of ground troops.  We did that in Iraq in part so we would not have to do it again every time there was an opportunity to topple a dictator in the Greater Middle East – we can leave the locals to resolve these things themselves.  Recent experiences in Egypt and Libya show that the public in the region hungers for change and a greater voice in how their countries are governed, but hardly inspire confidence that the results will be less anti-American or more respectful of individual liberty.  The fact that Syria affects the interests of the U.S. and its allies does not mean that we currently have any options on the table that would advance those interests.

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18 Responses to Ditto

  • It is coherency that is most lacking and the lack of it is deeply troubling. I hear from many quarters that we “have a moral obligation” to deal Assad a blow because of his use of chemical weapons. There has been no attempt to articulate a national interest beyond a moral argument. If we HAVE such an obligation, it must be one that would commit us to stepping in every single time such atrocities occur. This would be new. We have let a great number of utterly diabolical acts go unrevenged. We did not intervene in a meaningful way in Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, South Africa (Apartheid), Tibet, or Georgia (former Soviet State, not the one with the kickass college football team) – to name a few. If we have a moral obligation, a duty to prevent such crimes against humanity, it must be a duty applicable to all like situations. If we don’t have a general duty then we don’t have this particular duty either. Coherency… If it is a duty now, it is a duty always. If it isn’t a duty always, it isn’t a duty now.

  • …who use the world’s most heinous weapons (scissors) against the world’s most vulnerable people (babies in the womb)…

    Well said Lurch.

    I suppose I’ll see you and President Obortion at the next pro-life rally.

  • Brutally accurate reminder Daledog.

  • David Spaulding overlooks the fact that all positive obligations are qualified, by time, place, circumstances, means and opportunity

  • No, Mr. Paterson-Seymour, with respect, I have not.

    “Coherency” provides underlying principles on which decision-making is based, not specific answers. Different problems require different solutions but leadership absolutely requires thinking about the similarities of problems and articulating principles that underpin decisions.

    In the instant case, the President is saying that we have a “moral obligation” to act. Curiously, he is also saying that 1) we know we won’t be unseating Assad in the process and 2) the missile strikes we contemplate likely will not eliminate the chemical weapons at the center of the dispute. If we aren’t taking out a tyrant for his tyranny and aren’t eliminating weapons he is alleged to have used against his people in order to prevent him from doing it again, what are we doing?

    The only underlying principle articulated by the Administration is that “Assad has it coming and we it is a moral imperative to do something.” That sounds an awful lot like vengeance but let us leave that aside and say that it is merely a “show of force.” If the only underlying reason for acting is because our moral code demands a show of force then that show of force is demanded by all like problems – all situations in which a tyrannical regime murders innocent people in a brutal way. If that is what the President is saying and that is his policy then he should say so. I suspect it is not and that we won’t do anything for a like event in, say, North Korea or Uganda, or Central Asia.

    I am calling for coherent policy, not a one-size-fits-all strategy. If you see it differently, please explain. I am willing to be convinced that there is a coherent foreign policy at work and I have stated my view. I cannot guess at what you see so you will have to state it if I am to understand and potentially change my view.

  • Even for very articulate people, some things are just very hard to articulate.
    In the think-through process, carrying things to their iron clad logical extreme of “what ifs” and “if thens” is not helpful –Example: ” if…only underlying reason for acting is because our moral code demands a show of force then that show of force is demanded by all like problems ” I agree with MPS that there are modifiers- “time, place, circumstances, means and opportunity”
    I also wonder about the vaunted principle of “What Is In It For Us”- not to demean the importance of national interest, but in some circumstances might there not be altruism ?

  • I don’t think it is an extreme to ask whether a principle as ambiguous as “moral duty” should apply broadly to outrageous conduct. If national interest is a proper modifier to a moral duty then the duty isn’t based on objective duties, it is just a way of describing that which makes this particular administration angry.

    Would I have intervened in Uganda, Somalia, or the Darfur? probably not. National interest may be a floating concept and it surely isn’t grounded in anything approaching a science but it does require that one state that if A happens it will effect us. We can say, for example, that if Syria acquires nuclear weapons our options for influencing Syria’s activities are more limited and that our national interests in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Israel will be adversely affected. I don’t think I would have intervened in Uganda, Somalia, or the Darfur because I can’t think of how the evils done there affected our national interest.

    The problem with “moral duty” as an organizing principle is that moral duties have a degree of absolutism to them that do not attend national interest. I have a moral duty, for example, to report a corrupt government official. Failing to do so is wrong. I have a self interest to report drug dealing on my block. Doing so is likely good for me. However, if I can’t move and there is drug dealing everywhere on my block and the drug dealers are known to retaliate against such reports and the police are not known to provide security for those who dime out drug dealers, my self interest may well suggest I should keep my mouth shut and spend my time figuring out how to move.

    Moral duties are more absolute – not entirely… I am outraged by the situation in Tibet and there is something reprehensible about the situation in North Korea but I am not suggesting that attacking China is a good idea. If we follow the President’s articulation we do have such a duty.

    It is well and good to describe things in moral terms but, if our nation isn’t going to use a consistent ethical construct to decide when and where to intervene in other nations’ affairs, it is a farce.

  • Effective foreign policy depends on effective communication of your nation’s interests and the seriousness with which they will be pursued. This happens at multiple levels.
    For example, it has been related that President George H. W. Bush’s ambassador to Iraq told Saddam Hussein that the dispute between Iraq and Kuwait should be settled among themselves. She neglected to stress that any settlement must be peaceful. This missed communication may have led Saddam to believe that the US would not react forcefully to his planned attack on Kuwait.
    Coherency (based on consistent principles) makes these communications less risky. There is less chance to miss the overall direction and less chance that someone will incorrectly read between the lines. This applies to those who are carrying out our policy, as well as foreign governments trying to understand it.
    Unfortunately, our ‘Smart Diplomacy’ ™ crowd does not have any understandable principles or coherency. Even the initial principles of ‘do the opposite of Bush’ have not held up. The impression is that they are making it up as they go along, as time permits, between rounds of golf and fundraising events.
    This does not encourage foreign governments to carefully consider ‘what will the US do if we take this action?’ There is so little predictability that they might as well just go ahead and see what happens next.

  • That is an extremely helpful analysis and important point Mr. Tefft. It does, indeed, appear to me that the Administration is “making it up as [it] goes along;” hence my lack of faith that an appeal to moral duty is other than an after-the-fact justification.

    It was a little easier during the Soviet era I think. The overarching concern was to contain Communism and, while there were lots of missed signals and armchair quarterbacking gives us many instances where the US’ interest would have been served better by a different choice, the overarching concern provided a framework for decision-making that lent considerable coherence to US policy. US policy across broad fronts: economics, foreign, military, etc. was able to coordinate to the overarching containment goals.

    In fairness to administrations that have the misfortune of living a much more complex, multi-polar world in which US power and influence is both greatly diminished and diminishing farther, daily, there is no similarly overarching concern to swing US policy around. That reality makes it all the more important though for administrations to think abstractly about the principles that they use to determine US policy and to seek coherence.

    “Moral obligation” is a poor choice to underpin policy choices because there are many evil things that we cannot do anything serious about and our unwillingness to address the evils done by powers that can hurt us makes our policy choices look like mere bullying. In the instant case, Assad did something really bad and so we are going to fire missiles at him and take no risks to vindicate that moral duty. However, we don’t dare do that in North Korea so those crimes will not be vindicated. What determines our action looks like an assessment of strength, not an assessment of moral duty.

  • David Spaulding

    Two of the conditions of just war are:-

    3. there must be serious prospects of success;

    4. the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition” [CCC 2309].

    These would obviously impose grave restrictions on the duty of humanitarian intervention, supposing it to exist.

  • Thank you for the Just War reminders. They are important to determining the scope of engagement. However, any duty we have to militarily engage in Syria must stem from our duty of Christian charity since no articulation of threat to the US or her interests has been proffered. I think the Just War teachings of the Church will become a significant issue if the Administration moves forward but I’d like to hear how they effect the decision of whether to vindicate our moral indignation at the chemical deaths of civilians in Syria.

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if all the posturing would morph into plain, concrete comfort aid and help for the victims and populations targeted for oppression (Christians and those in the wrong place at the wrong time)? I do not understand imposing more deaths in Syria.

  • David Spaulding writes “any duty we have to militarily engage in Syria must stem from our duty of Christian charity since no articulation of threat to the US or her interests has been proffered…”

    I believe a case can be made that, in international law, intervention on humanitarian grounds may, and I stress may, constitute an exception to the general rule prohibiting interference in the internal affairs of another state. Now, the value of the general rule is obvious and, I believe any exception should be strictly construed. Respect for Public International Law, for the benefits it confers on people everywhere is no small part of Christian charity.

    Again, the use of chemical and biological weapons are a special case, given the Geneva Protocol of 1925, of which Syria is a state party, although it has never ratified the UN Convention of 13 January 1993. However, most publicists believe that that convention left existing conventions intact.

    I believe a case for intervention by any co-signatory of the 1925 protocol could be made; I might not find it particularly convincing myself, but that is by the by. Then again, I am a civilian, not a publicist

    Now, that still leaves open the question of what intervention is justified; an embargo on precursors and delivery systems of chemical weapons, ratified by the Security Council, would not, I suggest, be controversial.

  • Pat raises a wider point. I would suggest that minorities often do better under despotic government, The history of the Jews under the Ottoman power demonstrate that despots can be cajoled or bribed and are also vulnerable to pressure from foreign powers, in a way that the mob is not.

  • MPS, you raise a point I hadn’t considered: that there is a legitimate international law ground on which to base an attack. Who determines the scope of obligation though for a treaty that pre-dates the UN? Is it up to each member state to determine for themselves what they wish to do? The Geneva Convention made chemical weapon use actionable but most member states, including the US and Russia, continued to develop and produce the weapons and delivery systems. It seems a bit two-faced to make weapons and yet say they should never be deployed. I’m not arguing for chemical weapons and I apologize if pointing that out deviates from the subject at hand but I wonder if a pre-NATO and pre-UN treaty is actionable when the underlying principles of it are so easily dispensed with by the parties that are expected to enforce it.

  • David Spaulding

    The Geneva Protocol (Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare) of 1925, to which Syria is a party, bans the use of chemical weapons. It does not deal with research and development. Many if the early chemical weapons were by-products of the artificial dying industry. The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 (to which Syria is not a party) prohibits the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons.

    The Geneva Protocol was established under the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and it was registered with the League of Nations on 7 September 1929. Presumably, state signatories retain the same rights of enforcement that they had under the Hague Conventions.

    Some publicists contend that the Hague Conventions and the Geneva Protocol, along with the Lieber Code are declaratory of customary international law and are binding, even on states that have not ratified them. I wonder if this applies to my personal favourite, Declaration (XIV) Prohibiting the Discharge of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons “or by similar means.” The Hague, 18 October 1907. Based on the Russian circular note of 1898, it was ratified only by China, the US and the UK and was to be in force until the Third Peace Conference, which was never held.

  • The balloon problem may have resolved itself with the development of the V2 🙂

    As applied to the present situation, how does this help us determine whether we have a “moral obligation” to “send a message” to Assad about the use of chemical weapons? I think we agree that the Just War teachings are binding once the decision to attack has been made. How do we determine though whether the only justification offered by the Administration – our “moral obligation” – is, in fact, an “obligation?”

    If such an obligation exists, it must stem from our Christian duty of charity, not treaty since the Administration isn’t using any treaty obligations as their justification. How do we get from the duty to care for refugees and the hungry to the duty to pointlessly bomb a State to “send a message?”

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The Song of the Seabees

Saturday, August 31, AD 2013

Construimus, Batuimus (We Build, We Fight)

Something for the weekend.  Judy Garland singing The Song of the Seabees seems appropriate for a Labor Day weekend.

At the outset of World War II, the Navy faced a task of unbelievable difficulty.  Around the globe, and especially in the Pacific, the Navy would be fighting in regions practically untouched by the modern world.  Everything to support military operations would have to be built from scratch:  bases, ports, airstrips, and an endless parade of other facilities.  The task was daunting, perhaps impossible.  However, the Navy had a secret weapon:  the American worker.

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One Response to The Song of the Seabees

Various & Sundry, 8/30/13

Friday, August 30, AD 2013

Kevin William’s Modest Proposal

Kevin Williamson thinks Allison Benedikt is right – rich liberals have a moral obligation to send their kids to public school. And he has a way to make it fair.

People hold capital in the form that brings them the best returns, and for the modestly affluent professional class, your lawyers and high-school principals and such, holding capital in the form of a nice house in a neighborhood with good schools provides the maximum return. Ms. Benedikt, savvy social observer that she is, concedes that “rich people might cluster.” (Might?) That the main trend in socioeconomic migration over the last few centuries or so seems to have escaped her here is not my particular concern, but it should be pointed out that the enemies of private education generally fail to consider the extent to which that rich-guy clustering provides advantages beyond high-quality schools. The development of social and professional networks, prestige, learning high-status habits and manners, etc., all are enormously important perks associated with living among the well-to-do. (I believe it was WFB who observed that a sufficiently motivated student could get a Yale-quality education practically anywhere, but that’s not what Yale is for.) The difference between a summer job answering phones at your neighbor’s law firm and a summer job mowing grass (or, more common, no summer job at all) is considerable. Redistributing funds is not sufficient; we have to redistribute people.

What we obviously must do, therefore, is turn rich white liberals out of their homes.

Ideally, they would relocate to the very worst neighborhoods, where, applying the Benedikt principle, they would do the most good. But I do not really care where they go, so long as they go.

Why a medieval peasant got more vacation time than you

They didn’t transfer feasts to Sunday, that’s why.

That said, I wouldn’t volunteer to change places.

Good to see fascism is still alive in Germany

At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were taken to unknown locations. Officials ominously promised the parents that they would not be seeing their children “anytime soon.”

Just Timberlake as the Riddler?

Couldn’t be any worse than the choice for the next Batman.

Ya Think?

A House panel says that Obama needs Congressional approval before attacking Syria. What, do they think this is a constitutional republic with clearly delineated lines of  authority?

Hot Summer Snark

Larry D announced the winner of the summer’s hottest contest.

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22 Responses to Various & Sundry, 8/30/13

  • “The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.”

    I guess they still view kids as property of the Reich.

  • “What we obviously must do, therefore, is turn rich white liberals out of their homes. Ideally, they would relocate to the very worst neighborhoods, where, applying the Benedikt principle, they would do the most good. But I do not really care where they go, so long as they go.”

    We can also have them surrender their jobs to people of color in the interests of affirmative action. Although in regard to the person of color who took the place of Allison Benedikt, it would doubtless be a merit action replacement.

  • Germany’s ban on homeschooling is the silencing of dissent against the inept school system, the propagandizing of the captive audience of minor children without parental consent and the unauthorized usurping of the parents’ role as first educators of their offspring. The state, as an artificial sovereign person constituted by real sovereign persons, the citizens, cannot own or otherwise evict parents of minor children or their rights to dissent from public school for as long as the children remain minors without informed consent to attend, or not, such public school. Such informed consent remains the sole property of the mother and father, offices of vocation of which the newly begotten individual sovereign person makes of a man and a woman when they conceived the new human being.

  • “What we obviously must do, therefore, is turn rich white liberals out of their homes. Ideally, they would relocate to the very worst neighborhoods, where, applying the Benedikt principle, they would do the most good. But I do not really care where they go, so long as they go.”

    Good news.

    In the last two decades, there has been a growth of urban, interracial neighborhoods, of course solidly liberal in their politics. All white neighborhoods have in their voting behavior moved to the Right, indicating that white conservatives are getting their desire to see their liberal neighbors move away.

  • “In the last two decades, there has been a growth of urban, interracial neighborhoods, of course solidly liberal in their politics.”

    It is called gentrification Kurt, meaning poor blacks get out. Your average limousine liberal would sooner eat ground glass than live where poor blacks reside. The largest demographic trend for blacks is blacks moving to the suburban and rural south over the past ten years.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/us/25south.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • Don,

    Yes. White college educated liberals have followed your advice with too much enthusiasm. Though the first to arrive are the first to complain about the neighborhood losing its vibe when more follow your advice.

    And yes, Blacks are moving to certain areas in the South where they and their white neighbors are turning those locales liberal. Seven counties around suburban Atlanta voted for Obama last time around. We used to be lucky to win the city of Atlanta.

    My point remains. Find me a neighborhood that is diverse in race and class and that is where you have the most liberal voting whites. Look at the most conservative voting precincts and there you have the lion’s share of all white housing.

    If it is a singularly liberal principle that we would be a better society if rich and poor; Black and white, were more likely to live side by side, we liberals (though not in my case) have some hypocrisy.

    If that is a universal principle, then we liberals do a better job than our conservative fellow Americans in living that way. Not that we are all are not just a pilgrim people trying to make our way in this fallen world the best we can.

  • “And yes, Blacks are moving to certain areas in the South where they and their white neighbors are turning those locales liberal. Seven counties around suburban Atlanta voted for Obama last time around. We used to be lucky to win the city of Atlanta.”

    Dream on Kurt. The Republican party has never been stronger in the South in regard to Congressional representation and control of state legislatures. In 2012 the Republicans completed the process by taking control of the Arkansas legislature, a legislature controlled by your party since 1874, the end of Reconstruction. Long term if I were a Democrat strategist I would be alarmed rather than heartened by the fact that the South is now home for 57% of the nation’s blacks. I think that their adherence to the Democrat party will weaken over time, as fewer of them remain in urban centers of the North. Additionally their migration makes northern states, look at Michigan, much more competitive for the GOP. We shall see how all this plays out in the years to come.

    “My point remains. Find me a neighborhood that is diverse in race and class and that is where you have the most liberal voting whites.”
    Not really. Racial diversity has long existed in the South in communities where whites vote almost entirely Republican.

    As for liberals and living arrangements, the bluest enclaves in the country, outside of black inner city districts, tend to be rich white urban areas, where almost all racial minorities are effectively kept out due to cost. As the Marxists were wont to say, this is no accident.

  • The Republican party has never been stronger in the South in regard to Congressional representation and control of state legislatures. In 2012 the Republicans completed the process by taking control of the Arkansas legislature, a legislature controlled by your party since 1874, the end of Reconstruction. Long term if I were a Democrat strategist I would be alarmed rather than heartened by the fact that the South is now home for 57% of the nation’s blacks.

    That is true. The Democratic Party is pretty much done for with native southern whites. Our residual support among white rural southerners is kaput. Minorities, native and transplant, as well as transplanted whites will be the only Democratic base in the South and they are growing but along way off from becoming a majority. We’ve seen no data of movement of southern Blacks away from the Democratic Party.

    Additionally their migration makes northern states, look at Michigan, much more competitive for the GOP. We shall see how all this plays out in the years to come.

    Yes, that is an open question. Michigan has an open Senate seat in 2014 which the GOP seems to already have given up on. Not a good sign for them. Minority population growth through birth rates and immigration has been enough that even with Black migration to the South, it has not meant a decline in the minority population in northern states.

    As for liberals and living arrangements, the bluest enclaves in the country, outside of black inner city districts, tend to be rich white urban areas

    I’m looking at my Election Data Services breakdown, as that is what my Republican friends most often use. It shows the predominately white Democratic voting areas to be: 1) Along the Quebec border (ME, NH, VT, NY); 2) Scranton-Wilkes-Barre area; 3) the Upper Midwest dairy region (WI, MN, IA); 4) the Minnesota Iron Range; 5) Eugene, OR; 6) Everything in coastal California.

    I’m looking at the five wealthiest counties that are 70% or more white non-hispanic. Hunterdon (NJ), Douglas (CO), Somerset (NJ) and Morris (NJ) are all deep red. Los Alamos (NM) voted strongly for Obama but has a Republican county government.

    Are you still using Romney’s data guy?

  • “1) Along the Quebec border (ME, NH, VT, NY); 2) Scranton-Wilkes-Barre area; 3) the Upper Midwest dairy region (WI, MN, IA); 4) the Minnesota Iron Range; 5) Eugene, OR; 6) Everything in coastal California.”

    Too broad a focus Kurt. There are plenty of Republicans in all those areas. My focus is on the wealthiest regions of the country, also tending to be the whitest. Obama won eight of ten of the wealthiest counties in the country:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obama-wins-8-10-wealthiest-154837437.html

  • Too broad a focus Kurt. There are plenty of Republicans in all those areas. My focus is on the wealthiest regions of the country, also tending to be the whitest. Obama won eight of ten of the wealthiest counties in the country

    OK. My wonderful colored coded map gives three shades of blue and three shades of red and those areas all show deep blue. But one could delve deeper.

    Of the ten wealthiest counties in the country, Romney won handsomely in 91% white Huntington (NJ), 93% white Douglas (CO), 70% white Somerset (NJ) and 82% white Morris (NJ). Obama won widely in Los Alamos (NM), Fairfax (VA), Howard (MD), and Arlington (VA). He won narrowly in Loudon (VA). All of these counties have large minority populations, as high as 38% minority in Howard, Arlington, and Fairfax.

    So it seems rich + white votes Romeny. Rich + diverse votes Obama.

  • Actually Kurt, the richest county in the country is Nantucket County in Massachusetts. It is 89% white and went for Obama with 63% of the vote. White and rich is Obama country.

  • While Montgomery, Howard, Arlington, Loudon and Fairfax counties may be considered diverse in the sense that within the sprawling landmasses between the county lines reside pockets of non-whites living in ghettoized communities amongst themselves and middle class whites, the rich (and white and generally liberal) live in quiet seclusion in fortified mansions. So while the public schools of Silver Spring in Montgomery are somewhat diversified, Thurston Abercrombie Smith III of Bethesda will not likely be going to school with anyone named Jorge Valencia.

  • “Thurston Abercrombie Smith III of Bethesda will not likely be going to school with anyone named Jorge Valencia.”

    But of course. Jorge Valencia’s father might be, “shudder”, a Yale man! I am sure Jorge’s mom would be welcome however into Thurston’s home: good maids and nannies are so hard to find for the uber rich.

  • Paul & Don,

    Bethesda Chevy Chase HS is 42% minority. By comparision, North Hunterdon HS in Romney country is 10% minority.

    Again, are you still using Romney’s data guy?

  • Bethesda Chevy Chase HS is 42% minority

    I assure you Thurston Abercrombie Smith III is not attending Bethesda Chevy Chase High School. But keep googling, Kurt. I’m sure eventually you’ll happen upon a tidbit that actually makes it sound like you’re familiar with the subject area.

  • Paul —

    Whatever shortcomings it has, I’m the only one here citing data rather than gut feelings.

    My understanding is that Thurston Abercrombie Smith III lives in Republican Potomac rather than Bethesda and attends the Tridentine Latin Mass in Mongomery County when his driver can’t get him to the Anglican Use service in Baltimore. The only African American he knows is the waiter at the Metropolitan Club.

  • My understanding is that Thurston Abercrombie Smith III lives in Republican Potomac

    Emphasis mine. Yep, you’ve sure got your finger on the pulse of Maryland.

    attends the Tridentine Latin Mass in Mongomery County

    You see Kurt, if you knew anything about the area instead you could have said that he and his driver went to the EF at St. Johns’s, in Virginia because a) it’s actually closer to Potomac, and b) located in a much tonier neighborhood than where the lone regular EF Mass is Montgomery County is celebrated over in Silver Spring.

    I’m the only one here citing data rather than gut feelings

    No Kurt, you’re trying to google your way into being informed about an area of the country I actually live in.

  • Paul —

    We need to get together for drinks as it seems we are neighbors. The Metropoltian Club is near my workplace but they don’t even like me looking at their doors as I walk by. I’m sure you’re a member. Invite me anytime.

  • Kurt – You live in the DC area and call Potomac “Republican”?

  • Apologies Kurt, I thought you lived in the Midwest.

    That said, ditto Pinky.

  • Paul,

    Native of Wisconsin now living in exile. Therefore if you want to buy me that drink it would only need to be a beer.

  • Kurt,

    As long as it’s Leinenkugel and not Miller, that’s cool with me.

Iowa Democrats Praying to Moloch for Abortion

Friday, August 30, AD 2013

 

First MOLOCH, horrid King besmear’d with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents tears,
Though, for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud,
Their children’s cries unheard that passed through fire
To his grim Idol. Him the AMMONITE
Worshipt in RABBA and her watry Plain,
In ARGOB and in BASAN, to the stream
Of utmost ARNON. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
Of SOLOMON he led by fraud to build
His Temple right against the Temple of God
On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove
The pleasant Vally of HINNOM, TOPHET thence
And black GEHENNA call’d, the Type of Hell.”

John Milton, Paradise Lost

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  As I have frequently said, the one non-negotiable right for most modern day Democrats is the right to kill their kids:

Iowa Democrat gubernatorial candidates Jack Hatch and Tyler Olson joined 50 pro-abortion activists in an extended prayer for abortion rights during a rally at the State Capitol on Wednesday. The noon event was meant to fire-up liberals prior to an afternoon hearing across the street conducted by the Iowa Board of Medicine regarding tele-med abortions.

They made the unusual decision, for Democrats, to begin the event with a prayer. This was likely in response to a prayer vigil being conducted by pro-life activists at the same time nearby.

Des Moines activist Midge Slater took the podium and spent five and a half minutes thanking God for abortion rights, abortion doctors and taxpayer funding for abortions. She also referred to the decision to have an abortion as “a blessing”.

During the entire prayer, State Senator Jack Hatch and Rep. Tyler Olson, both of whom are running for governor, kept their heads bowed and eyes closed, joining in the group prayer.

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28 Responses to Iowa Democrats Praying to Moloch for Abortion

  • The Sacrilege! The Truth is not in them. Mocking God. The arrogance of the Father of Lies.
    Obama also prayed for Planned Parenthood.
    California Planned Parenthood had a 40 days of prayer.
    Many churches are now asking God to bless homosexual “marriage”.
    The devil is real and these people in the Democratic party and on the Left around the world don’t know who they are messing with.
    Just like all the people who are happily cheering on the young people snared up in the homosexual lifestyle as they move gaily on to Hell. The devil is hate with silk gloves on, but those gloves will come off.

  • The cheerers and leftist apologists, along with the fickle feckless world are going to turn on my son and all the others who have believed that the left loves them.
    Most of the left don’t know they are forwarding the Lies of the Devil, not much interest really in spiritual warfare, mostly interested in what feels or seems good here and now. They are useful fools for Lucifer.
    They will continue the bravado of “praying” trying to justify their choices. The results of sin are death. God is Love and He will triumph, Judgment will be personal and individual in the next life, but here on earth we are all on the winnowing floor together. We have to endure the repercussions and righteous judgment together.

  • This is why I detest, abhor, despise, loathe, and hold in utter contempt and disdain godless liberal progressivism. The Democrats have not changed one iota from the time when they supported the enslavement of the black man except to become more perverse, perverted, and pernicious. The depth of depravity these people embrace knows no bounds.

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  • They will knock to gain entrance into Gods Kingdom….but they will not be allowed in. The Lord God Almighty will say that He does not recognize them.
    They will wonder at it all ….
    In the end they will find home in the blood stained rooms that they helped to create…. And they will suffer forever. Forever!

  • “In the end they will find home in the blood stained rooms that they helped to create…. And they will suffer forever. Forever!”

    Lord Jesus, have mercy on them, and on the babies whom they have murdered, and on all of us who have pierced thy hands and thy feet, and have wounded thy side.

  • Amen.
    We all fall far short.
    Thank you for the correction.

  • I apologize for all of my anger lately.

  • No sweat Anzlyne. If one doesn’t get angry at this, one has a heart of stone.

  • Moloch was a fertility god, and they threw their children into the fire to ensure their “prosperity”. Much like how the Dems continue to worship Moloch in this day and age.

  • It is true!
    The current culture is worse than the days of Noah.
    Rainbow promise will be kept, however a cleansing by fire might be coming.
    All we can do is pray, fast and live our faith in the fury of a disobedient culture.

  • Last night I was doing research for one of my MBA classes on two different health care companies, one Catholic and the other not. The Catholic system, on its web page about its Catholic identity, explained that they don’t offer RU-486, but they will offer the morning after pill and contraception. And they’ll do an abortion if it’s “to save the life of the mother.” The FDA label on the morning after pill notes that it might work by preventing implantation, and that up to 10% of pregnancies will be ectopic (to be expected if uterine implantation is prevented).

    http://www.peacehealth.org/about-peacehealth/Pages/catholic-identity.aspx

    They just made some “little” compromises with Moloch. For “compassionate reasons”. But there are no small compromises with Moloch. When they’ve thrown the baby into the fire, they’ve bought into Moloch’s lies and the baby is not coming back no matter how compassionate they think they were being to the parents whose baby they helped kill while everyone held their eyes shut so they could pretend they weren’t really doing it. Then they wait expectantly, not for the birth of a baby, but for some measure of prosperity to come now that they have compassionately eliminated the little burden inside and all of the expenses and inconveniences that come with the baby, just like their own parents bore so that they might have life but don’t want to return to another little life.

  • I believe Nancy Pelosi started the idea when she referred to Planned Parenthood Clinics as sacred ground. Who is the patron saint of these evil people? That abortionist butcher in Philadelphia, Dr. Gosnell? I hope that the Iowa bishop(s) will direct his priests to denounce this travesty from every pulpit in the state at Sunday Mass.
    There is such a thing as righteous anger and it is an appropriate response to this blasphemy. Even better is more prayer, more rosaries. To paraphrase a powerful prayer: St. Michael the Archangel, defend the unborn in this battle, be their protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil……

  • Liberalism is selfishness and narcissism wrapped in self-righteousness. And narcissism is the root to all evil, it is the primary personality trait of those who follow Satan. Without empathy, the narcissist chooses only to satisfy their own base needs, to indulge in self-gratification no matter the pain and suffering that inflicts on others. Listening to Midge Slater, you can literally feel the evil emanating from this woman.

  • I am so sad that a baby is thought as a throw away object by the Democratic Party. to actually thank God for abortion is like mocking God. Maybe pray should be left out if their conferences. I would hate to stand before God and tell him I celebrated the murdering of the weakest person on earth. This is SAD!!

  • It took 400 yrs of slavery for the Middle Passage to claim 2 million african souls.
    It took african/american souls 40 yrs to ABORT 4 times as many of their own children.
    Molech indeed.

  • My heart breaks every time I think of the thousands of children being torn from their wombs. I saw an video ultrasound of a child, still in the womb, backing away from the forceps just before it ripped his legs from it’s tiny body.

  • “Moloch was a fertility god, and they threw their children into the fire to insure their ‘prosperity'”

    These people, of course, worship the IN-fertility god to insure their “prosperity,” not realizing that ultimately it will destroy their prosperity… as Russia and even China are beginning to realize.

  • When St. Michael asked the question; “Who is like unto God?” a third of the heavenly angels sunk into the pit…lead by Lucifer. How is it that the Left doesn’t see themselves as the ” I choose life or death for my baby…I choose my sexual identity….playing God is Very risky business.
    Who is like unto God???

  • In Abraham, all generations are blessed. With the human sacrifice of Isaac, God denounced all human sacrifice as a choice an individual makes in free will for himself alone, justified only be the saving of another human being. Abraham offered up Isaac, whom God accepted. And with Isaac, all of Abraham’s descendants, as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sands of the beach, were offered up to God. God accepted Abraham’s offering in LIFE, that is, God does not accept offerings of death imposed by another.
    Moloch, another word for infanticide, the murder of an infant, is the abuse of fire and metal. All idolatry is the abuse of the free will of the endowed sovereign human being.
    “Many churches are now asking God to bless homosexual “marriage”.” God does not bless fraud, perjury or any half truth. Marriage is defined as the consummation of the marital act. Everything else is heresy, half truth. The virtue of chastity being violated is hardly a petition to God. Homosexual behavior is not adultery, nor fornication, nor sexual. Homosexual behavior is assault and battery of another individual, a crime. Crime may not be consented to, or witnessed without violation of the human being’s immortal, rational soul.

  • A lesson for the Democrats – indeed, for all of us – from Jeremiah chapter 7 (BTW, God always does the same thing in the same way because God always does the right thing in the right way; time to buckle up!):

    Jeremiah Proclaims God’s Judgment on the Nation

    7 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship the Lord. 3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place. 4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.”

    5 For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, 6 if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, 7 then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever.

    8 Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are safe!”—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the Lord. 12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently, you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your ancestors, just what I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, just as I cast out all your kinsfolk, all the offspring of Ephraim.

    The People’s Disobedience

    16 As for you, do not pray for this people, do not raise a cry or prayer on their behalf, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19 Is it I whom they provoke? says the Lord. Is it not themselves, to their own hurt? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: My anger and my wrath shall be poured out on this place, on human beings and animals, on the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched.

    21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh. 22 For in the day that I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to them or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But this command I gave them, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk only in the way that I command you, so that it may be well with you.” 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but, in the stubbornness of their evil will, they walked in their own counsels, and looked backward rather than forward. 25 From the day that your ancestors came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day; 26 yet they did not listen to me, or pay attention, but they stiffened their necks. They did worse than their ancestors did.

    27 So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 You shall say to them: This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

    29 Cut off your hair and throw it away;
    raise a lamentation on the bare heights,
    for the Lord has rejected and forsaken
    the generation that provoked his wrath.

    30 For the people of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations in the house that is called by my name, defiling it. 31 And they go on building the high place[d] of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter: for they will bury in Topheth until there is no more room. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the animals of the earth; and no one will frighten them away. 34 And I will bring to an end the sound of mirth and gladness, the voice of the bride and bridegroom in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for the land shall become a waste.

  • My cousin Jenny Condon is the director of “Inner Visions” prolife clinic in Des Moines. She has been at the forefront of fighting for the unborn and in her little clinic alone, I think they have saved over a hundred babies in the Des Moines area in the last year and a half. It is very dangerous being at the forefront of the crazed opposition. She has been harassed, tormented, threatened, the building has been damaged. All to save the life of the unborn. Don’t they have anything better to do?

  • Jenny C’s heroic witness to Truth reminds me of this promise; “Whatsoever you do for the least of my people that I do unto you….”

    For the Left that promise doesn’t have the same assurances, rather a grim future at best.

  • “….that you do unto me!”

    It has been some time since we sang that hymn. My apology.

  • Abortion Prayer
    Dear Father or Mother or Genderless Creative Force that made all the universe and all life. Please wrap your mind around this prayer as I unpack it.
    Please bless all who perform abortions: the doctors and authorized nurses and midwives and maintenance and mailroom personal. Please guide their hands and eyes as they follow the YouTube demonstrations.
    Please free our young, and almost young, women from the tyranny of their paternalistic religions that would dictate to them that they must be damned and punished with babies. Lord please free them to date and skate, and text and tweet and chill. And Lord please grant them quality chill time from all the dating and texting.
    Could somebody silence that screaming baby back there? Somebody? Is there no Day Care for that brat? See girls, this is what I mean. Do you want one of those?
    And now back to our very reverent prayer. And Lord please free our young men, and young at heart, men from the dictates of their paternalistic religions that would dictate to them that they must be knights in shining armor who are only created to protect and provide for fair maidens and children. Free them so that they too can be fair maidens and pamper themselves and worry about their hair and weight and shape and get facials and manicures too. And of course to date and skate and text and tweet. And please, O Lord, grant them quality chill time too.
    And I leave you with this: And let them all always remember that “She came so that YOU may have life and have it more abundantly.”
    And so be it. In the name of the Father and the Mother and the Son and the Daughter and the Wholly Genderless Spirit. Amen. A-women.

  • Prophecies being revealed, especially since the 20th century; the devil residing in holy places. Maybe the Catholic population should never have fallen for the fashion of not kneeling to our God, and taking shortcuts instead of loving to worship. The vacancy of the churches will be filled with the demons…..

  • It doesn’t take much to kill life.
    A little money, poor sense of humor and a selfish attitude.

    Pray for conversions.

    The opposition to Life, innocent life is blatant exaltation of self. The liar has his commandments:

    I Thou shall have many Gods
    II Thou shall honor thyself above all
    others.

    III Thou shall kill

    IV Thou shall give false witness

    V Thou shall do what is pleasing to
    thyself regardless of whom it effects.

    VI Thou shall steal

    VII Thou shall covet neighbors goods
    and spouses.

    VIII Thou shall call good evil and
    evil good.

    IX Thou shall disrespect their elders,
    their parents and themselves.

    X. Thou shall dwell in filth and
    embrace the darkness.

    We faithful Christians will pray for the conversions of those who abide in the liars commandments.
    Peace for All….born and unborn!

  • Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, pro-nature or pro-prophylactic, sometimes the choice can come down to whether or not you would work in a place.
    10 Reasons, Well Actually 14, Why I Could Never Work in an Abortion Clinic:

    1.Nowadays a workplace without hand sanitizers is a real negative.
    2.Call me squeamish but jars of pickled baby’s feet in the refrigerator is a real turnoff.
    3.I’m allergic to cats.
    4.I’m not one of those tech-savvy geeks but I think getting operating instructions from YouTube is kind of weird.
    5.A strep and staph-rich environment would play havoc with my sinuses.
    6.I’m a very tolerant person but I think a frozen baby next to the ice cube tray would just push my buttons.
    7.In my humble opinion recliners with bloody blankets on them in post op just sounds unprofessional.
    8.I’m terrified of rats.
    9.I’m not one of those “neat freaks” but blood on the walls is just too much.
    10. I hear that in California when they are busy, busy they make the mail room guy or anybody else do the abortions, and I hate vacuuming.
    11. I’m no medical expert but once the baby starts crying it’s too late to abort it, isn’t it?
    12. I don’t want to be one of those dummies who sits in church every Sunday and doesn’t go up for Communion.
    13. I really like people, even teeny tiny people.
    14. I’m pretty sure they don’t have a chapel.

To Intervene or Not to Intervene, that is the Question

Friday, August 30, AD 2013

 

 

 

President Obama is deciding whether to intervene in Syria against the Assad regime.  I think any hesitation is for show, and the decision to intervene has been made.  Intervening in the Syrian Civil War is not popular, so I guess I should give Obama some credit for having a conviction he is willing to defy public opinion on.  What that conviction is, I am not quite certain.  The Assad regime is a revoltingly bloody tyranny even by Arab standards.  However, the main rebel factions are closely allied with groups like Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, with the Muslim Brotherhood backed factions being dominant.  In Egypt there are constant accusations by Egyptians, largely correct, that the administration has tilted in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, so perhaps that is the explanation for the desire of the administration to get involved in Syria.

My own opinion is that uttered by Henry Kissinger in regard to the Iraq-Iran war of the eighties:  a pity they both can’t lose.  I see no interest of the United States furthered by intervention, other than a mild setback to Iran which has become the main backer of the Assad regime, and I see no humanitarian benefit.  It is very troubling that Obama is not even making a pretense of gaining the approval of Congress.  It is richly ironic to see some of the harshest critics of President Bush and the war in Iraq, now rallying behind Obama’s Syrian adventure.

Neo-neocon at Legal Insurrection has a first rate parody of the to be or not to be soliloquy from Hamlet for Obama:

To strike, or not to strike: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous Assad,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To attack: to dither
No more; and by attack to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That Syria is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To act, to attack;
To attack: perchance to depose: ay, there’s the rub;
For in its wake what next may come
Whether or not Assad shuffles off this worldwide stage,
Should give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of intervention;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of chemical war, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his mark make
With a bare missile? who would tyrants bear,
To defy the red lines that he drew?
But that the dread of something afterward,
The unknown consequences in whose grip
A legacy might founder, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

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8 Responses to To Intervene or Not to Intervene, that is the Question

  • “… and I see no humanitarian benefit.”

    Me neither, sadly. I’d likely be strongly in favor if there were. More than two years this war has raged and there was no groundswell of support for intervention all that time, so today seems no different. Two and half million Syrians have fled their homes with roughly a million that have crossed into neighboring countries and live in camps. Christian churches are periodically targeted for attack by either side for no military benefit, just to terrorize the worshippers.

    It’s been said that Assad is “winning” this war, and if the U.S. strike against him is not definitive in the sense that it is sufficient to give his opponents the upper hand, it may have the effect of prolonging the conflict and the humanitarian crisis.

    “Ah, I imagine those Norwegian leftists are now regretting that Nobel Peace Prize they bestowed upon Obama for the glorious achievement of not being George Bush.”

    We’ll see. Obama may yet yield to public indifference and decide not to strike Syria. If the Nobel Prize committee hasn’t regretted its decision after all these drone strikes, I doubt a few more cruise missile launches will move them any.

  • Er, he’s working on his second nobel peace prize . . .

    One aspect: it’s a distraction same as the fabricated bruhahaha over the rodeo clown.

    Aristotle wrote, a tyrant “is also fond of making war in order that his subjects may have something to do and be always in want of a leader.”

    You give Obama, and his moronc cheerleaders, way too much credit.

    They are ideologues: data, facts, truth have no purpose unless they advance the devolution.

    In Obama’s (pea-brained) world view the so-called muslim brotherhood and al qaeda are the good guys; and any (e.g., handing over to them North Africa) thing will be done to help them and any and all enemies of evil, unjust America.

    What evidence can you produce to prove that this worst prez in US history is an iota smarter than the Obama-worshiping imbeciles that gave him four more years to complete the wreck of our country?

    PS: Don’t even try to say he’s smarter than morons like McCain and Boehner: that’s like comparing head lice to dog ticks.

  • Wars – whether civil or international – are, often enough, the product of irreconcilable conflicts and, if allowed to run their course, end in decisive victory or mutual exhaustion. They can lead to a durable peace, when all those willing to die for the cause have been given every opportunity to do so. The Wars of Religion in France and the Thirty Year’s War in Central Europe were of this kind.

    Humanitarian interventions, however well intentioned, may simply allow both parties to regroup and rearm and may shelter the weaker side from the consequences of refusing to submit for the sake of peace. In the long run, they may lead to more suffering than they prevent.

  • What if Russia decides that she really doesn’t like our intervention at all, and acts on that?

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  • “What if Russia decides that she really doesn’t like our intervention at all, and acts on that?”

    Perhaps the admin thinks they’ve already made a secret deal with Russia.

    Clinton was slick enough. Reagan was smart enough. These guys will just be Wiley Coyote enough.

  • For info, the pope asked for prayer and fasting for peace in Syria on September 7th.

    “May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and be let themselves be led by the desire for peace.
    To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.”

    A number of bishops in that part of the middle east have spoken on the matter of military intervention in Syria recently (available on the internet).

  • The wolf call that screams weapons of mass destruction echoes in my mind!
    In our speed to right the wrong we must first identify the culprit involved.It
    appears that there may be other factors non-disclosed.
    Unfortunately with media posturing its difficult to receive good and correct
    information.
    As a Viet-nam veteran I would urge cautiousness.Our government must learn
    we cant buy friends with foreign aid and we cant police the world!

Various & Sundry, 8/29/13

Thursday, August 29, AD 2013

The Misery of Being Merely Upper Middle Class

Allison Lynn has written a book called The Exiles that just has to be satire. Sadly, it is not.

As it happens, the book is entirely serious about the dire fate of the merely wealthy, the most pressing social issue of our time. The Exiles is littered with references to how impoverished Emily and Nate are—“who cared if Nate was financially undesirable, as economically impaired as she was?” (Emily is an advertising executive before taking maternity leave and deciding not to go back, because she realizes that she has turned into “a potato chip marketer, pregnant by the only pauper on Wall Street.”)

When their Jeep Grand Cherokee—a six-year-old car they have to park in a discount lot in Manhattan, can you imagine!—is stolen with, tragically, Emily’s new pair of TOD’s loafers inside on their first day in Newport, the family’s lives spiral out of control. Without credit cards, they’re forced to live on room service and the mini-fridge of their three-star hotel. Now they are “officially the have-nots”—a status that Emily is terrified of, having grown up as the child of a professor and been forced to eat sandwiches made with generic peanut butter.

Throughout the book, the pair bemoans their minor misfortunes, like the fact that they had to purchase a used Bugaboo from their friends and “the shame they’d shared after the transaction.” Nate and Emily nickname the stroller Ollie, “for Oliver Twist, the haggard little orphan boy. Since then, whenever Emily saw an industrial Stokke on the street—a Norwegian import far more technical than even a new Bugaboo—she’d glance pleadingly at Nate and joke, in her best cockney accent, ‘Please, sir, may I have some more.’ ”

I’m A Bad, Bad Boy

Speaking of satire that isn’t but sure sounds like it, Donald has already written about the ridiculous Slate article implying that all of us who send our kids to private school are eeeeeeevil. Ken at Popehat has a great takedown of her idiocy. Jeff Goldstein has more.

Ten Reasons to Get Thee to a Confessional

Simcha Fisher lays out the reasons why you need to get to Confession.

I Resemble that Remark

Fr. Z on the same theme. The Holy Spirit has said the same thing to me as his reader.

North Korea Still Being Run by an Evil Tyrant

Isn’t it precious to see a son follow in his father’s footsteps.

Hyon Song-wol, a singer, rumoured to be a former lover of the North Korean leader, is said to have been arrested on Aug 17 with 11 others for violating laws against pornography.

The reports in South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper indicate that Hyon, a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, was among those arrested on August 17 for violating domestic laws on pornography.

All 12 were machine-gunned three days later, with other members of North Korea’s most famous pop groups and their immediate families forced to watch. The onlookers were then sent to prison camps, victims of the regime’s assumption of guilt by association, the reports stated.

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4 Responses to Various & Sundry, 8/29/13

  • “The Exiles is littered with references to how impoverished Emily and Nate are—“who cared if Nate was financially undesirable, as economically impaired as she was?” (Emily is an advertising executive before taking maternity leave and deciding not to go back, because she realizes that she has turned into “a potato chip marketer, pregnant by the only pauper on Wall Street.”)

    When their Jeep Grand Cherokee—a six-year-old car they have to park in a discount lot in Manhattan, can you imagine!—is stolen with, tragically, Emily’s new pair of TOD’s loafers inside on their first day in Newport, the family’s lives spiral out of control. Without credit cards, they’re forced to live on room service and the mini-fridge of their three-star hotel.”

    I recall the sage words of my father, “A lot of rich people are nuts.”

  • “Hyon Song-wol, a singer, rumoured to be a former lover of the North Korean leader, is said to have been arrested on Aug 17 with 11 others for violating laws against pornography.”

    Wow. How lucky is Dennis Rodman he wasn’t still over there?

  • I can sympathize with the characters in The Exiles. My grandfather came to this country in the 1920’s with little more than the clothes on his back, a house in New England, a Jeep, and a job. And like the fictional characters in the story, he had to survive the first three days without the Jeep.

  • volokh.com ran a headline “It’s a Been a Hard Day for Distinguishing the Satirical Pieces from the Real Ones” listing the Slate piece and this:
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/08/obama-promises-syria-strike-will-have-no-objective.html

Ill-educated and Proud of it!

Thursday, August 29, AD 2013

The-Stupid-It-Burns_27523-l

 

 

 

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Allison Benedikt is an editor at Slate.  Judging from the piece of tripe below I would say that whatever other factors are involved in the choice of editors by the powers that be at Slate, intelligence is obviously not an important one.

Ms. Benedikt thinks that parents have a moral duty to send kids to public schools, even if they are crummy.

 

 

You want the best for your child, but your child doesn’t need it. If you can afford private school (even if affording means scrimping and saving, or taking out loans), chances are that your spawn will be perfectly fine at a crappy public school. She will have support at home (that’s you!) and all the advantages that go along with being a person whose family can pay for and cares about superior education—the exact kind of family that can help your crappy public school become less crappy. She may not learn as much or be as challenged, but take a deep breath and live with that. Oh, but she’s gifted? Well, then, she’ll really be fine.

I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine. I’m not saying it’s a good thing that I got a lame education. I’m saying that I survived it, and so will your child, who must endure having no AP calculus so that in 25 years there will be AP calculus for all.

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21 Responses to Ill-educated and Proud of it!

  • Judging by that article, Ms. Benedikt is a walking advertisement for Private/Homeshooling.

  • Um, goodness. I’m not sure what can be said about this article.

    Funny thing, though, Salon, which I think has a similar readership, just published an article calling schools “prison.” It’s an interesting article.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/26/school_is_a_prison_and_damaging_our_kids/

  • Proving once again, that the patient is often the last one to know of the disease.

    So by extension, since we should all have some skin in the game, does that mean liberals need to actually produce children where they otherwise contracept or abort them?

  • – I’m willing to bet that her birth name is Alison Benedict, and she never learned to spell.

    – There wasn’t even soccer! Try to imagine a greater shock to a Slate reader.

    – Among her bad reasons for sending a kid to private school: religion.

    – Another one: because parents want their children to grow up and write at Slate. I don’t think parents that read this article will want their kids to grow up to work at Slate, and they definitely won’t think their kids will need to be smart to achieve that goal.

  • http://www.theawl.com/2011/06/life-after-zionist-summer-camp

    The broad seems like one of the characters invented by Jonathan Franzen, more a simulacrum of a person than the real thing.

  • Thusly, the Borg/Hive expands.

  • This way the Dems can get them to believe that Jefferson Davis was a Republican and Lincoln a Democrat. (Instapoundit)

  • While it is difficult to imagine there is much but random static between her ears, that article in The Awl would indicate her husband has been an influence on her thinking. Her husband is the chap that wrote this article.

    http://gawker.com/5969771/robert-bork-was-a-terrible-human-being-and-no-one-should-grieve-his-passing

    Wunnerful wunnerful,

  • Sheesh, she is a dope and her hubbie is deranged. From the piece dancing on Bork’s grave:

    “anti-Semitic madman Richard Nixon down the rabbit hole of criminality.”

    That would be the Nixon who initiated Operation Nickel Grass to re-supply the Israeli military during the 1973 Yom Kippur War:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Nickel_Grass

    What makes this doubly amusing is that Cook is a hard line Israel hater:

    http://joshuapundit.blogspot.com/2011/07/john-cook-where-anti-american-and-anti.html

  • Hold on to your hats, folks… I think she actually has a few (very few) good points to make in this essay.

    I think she is right to point out that parental involvement and enrichment can make up for some, perhaps many, of the deficiencies in a less than perfect public school. By “less than perfect” I mean a public school that doesn’t have state-of-the-art sports facilities or computer labs, that doesn’t have winning sports teams with scholarship prospects, or that doesn’t have quite the smorgasbord of course offerings that a wealthier school district might offer. I’m NOT talking about a school that is riddled with out of control violence, gangs or drug problems; the only solution to that problem is to get the heck out if possible (which for poor families isn’t always possible).

    That was true in my case. I attended K-8 in a small town school district that had far fewer resources than neighboring districts — and which I could walk just half a block to – but it doesn’t seem to have hurt me any, largely because most of what I learned I got from my parents anyway. IMO every parent is a homeschooler just as every parent is a working parent; the difference is simply in how much of the education/work takes place outside the home or is delegated to others (teachers).

    But I believe some families place way too much emphasis on getting into the “right” (i.e. wealthy suburban) school districts; in the belief that this will guarantee their child’s future success — in the meantime placing themselves deeply in debt to buy homes they can’t afford and enduring long hours and lengthy commutes that keep them away from their kids at exactly the time they most need to be present (after school). One does NOT have to be “ill educated” merely because one happened to attend a less than perfect public school, when there are lots of other resources one can learn from — libraries, museums, bookstores, historic sites, colleges and universities in the area, etc.

    And yes, she might be correct in saying that public schools MIGHT change if enough middle and upper class families stuck around and demanded change instead of fleeing to the suburbs.

    That said… where she goes totally off the rails is in her condescending, dismissive and judgmental attitude toward parents who choose alternatives to failing public schools and calls them “bad parents”. News flash: one’s primary duty as a parent is to one’s children and spouse, NOT to your neighbors, your school district, your community or your state. I’m not saying your neighbors, community, etc. should be totally ignored, but they cannot come before your own children.

    By her logic, a family living in a deteriorating urban neighborhood is duty bound to stay and “make things better” rather than move out due to such petty and selfish concerns as keeping their kids from getting shot, beaten up, raped, etc. God forbid that you should place the welfare of your family above making an Important Social and Political Statement! Is she going to be moving to, say, Detroit or Newark or East St. Louis to make things better for them any time soon? I didn’t think so.

  • “I think she is right to point out that parental involvement and enrichment can make up for some, perhaps many, of the deficiencies in a less than perfect public school.”

    Especially if the parents do not send their kids to a crummy public school, which is completely opposite to her argument.

    “but it doesn’t seem to have hurt me any, largely because most of what I learned I got from my parents anyway.”

    Parents are always the prime teachers of their kids for good and ill. The problem today is that good parents often find that the public schools are attempting to undermine a fair amount of what they are teaching their kids.

    “But I believe some families place way too much emphasis on getting into the “right” (i.e. wealthy suburban) school districts;”

    Agreed, but homeschooling is often a great alternative, even homeschooling done as a supplement.

    “One does NOT have to be “ill educated” merely because one happened to attend a less than perfect public school, when there are lots of other resources one can learn from — libraries, museums, bookstores, historic sites, colleges and universities in the area, etc.”

    Depends upon the kids. Some kids are self-starters while others are heavily influenced by the quality of the instruction they receive.

    “MIGHT change if enough middle and upper class families stuck around and demanded change instead of fleeing to the suburbs.”

    Around the margins, but the major problems of most public schools, tenure, burned out teachers, incompetent teachers, and a scattershot approach to education, would remain.

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  • I home taught my son through the Seton Home Schooling Program for 7 years….I did not teach my son about two mommies and two daddies or all the other rubbish that is taught in public schools…I believe the whole public school system should be abolished…home schooling is the way to go..

  • To borrow from Belloc, Benedikt’s thought is a celebration of ignorance on such a scale that it’s beginning to be difficult to deal with.

  • Now, I agree with this woman.

    The Obamas, Clintons, et al are worse.than.Hitler.

  • Your local school stinks but [your union and its party aren’t willing to give up your corrupt privileges and political power]? Then its badness is just something you deplore in the abstract. Your local school stinks and you do send your child there? I bet you are going to do everything within your power to make it better.

  • Elaine makes a valid point. But what’s particularly galling about the article is that the author clearly expresses her lack of concern about education. None of us read all the best books or learned all that we could have in college. But Benedikt doesn’t see the possibility of making up for it now. That notion that education is a lifelong thing just seems to be missing. It parallels the way that she doesn’t see the parental role or the role of the church in education (or at least gives no hint that she does). In a weird way, it doesn’t matter how good the school is that she sends her kids to, because they’re not being exposed to a thirst for learning. And the fact that she’s in the media class and lacks that thirst, it’s just amazing.

  • Don’t cry for Allison. She may not be smart. She may not be cultured. She may not have even had the chance to play soccer at her high school. But none of that matters. She’s a member of the Party, and as long as she serves them, she will receive her patronage.

  • An idea whose time has come: separation of School from State.

  • Micha, hear, hear!

    This has to be one of the greatest slogans to ever go untried.

  • If the author really wanted to make the point that attending a non-perfect or even mediocre to terrible public school does not HAVE to make your child stupid or ruin his/her life, she would have said something like this: “Yes, I know about poetry, I can appreciate great art, and I know when the Civil War and all the important events of history happened. I know all the things a culturally literate person is supposed to know, even though I didn’t learn them at school. How do I know these things? Because I (and my parents) cared enough to learn them on our own.” But that’s not what she said. Instead she undermines her own argument by boasting of her ignorance and saying that one of the important things she learned at school was how to get drunk with trailer park kids. Yeah, right.

    Then again, she does have one piece of advice that is valid: “Your child will probably do fine without ‘the best’, so don’t freak out too much.” If more parents understood and believed that, it might go a long way toward conquering the anti-life mentality that drives couples to contracept and even abort for fear of bringing a child into the world that might not get into Harvard, or might have to (shudder) eat groceries purchased at Costco or clothes bought from Wal-Mart.

Just Give Him a Gold Watch and Be Done With It

Thursday, August 29, AD 2013

6 Responses to Just Give Him a Gold Watch and Be Done With It

John the Baptist, Herod and Us

Thursday, August 29, AD 2013

Today is the feast day of the beheading of John the Baptist.  His message of repentance is extremely unpopular in our day.  We live in a time of cheap grace.  When men bother to think of God at all they often tend to view him as a pal, a good joe who will gather us into a Heavenly Kingdom that is like Disneyland on steroids where we will be happy forever, no matter what wretched evil we have committed in this life.  What could be more opposite to this view of “God loves us just the way we are” than the burning message of the Baptist?

[1] Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea, and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina; [2] Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. [3] And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins; [4] As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. [5] Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain;

[6] And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. [7] He said therefore to the multitudes that went forth to be baptized by him: Ye offspring of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come? [8] Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of penance; and do not begin to say, We have Abraham for our father. For I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. [9] For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down and cast into the fire. [10] And the people asked him, saying: What then shall we do?

[11] And he answering, said to them: He that hath two coats, let him give to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do in like manner. [12] And the publicans also came to be baptized, and said to him: Master, what shall we do? [13] But he said to them: Do nothing more than that which is appointed you. [14] And the soldiers also asked him, saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man; and be content with your pay. [15] And as the people were of opinion, and all were thinking in their hearts of John, that perhaps he might be the Christ;

[16] John answered, saying unto all: I indeed baptize you with water; but there shall come one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: [17] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. [18] And many other things exhorting, did he preach to the people. [19] But Herod the tetrarch, when he was reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’ s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done; [20] He added this also above all, and shut up John in prison.

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One Response to John the Baptist, Herod and Us

Various & Sundry, 8/28/13

Wednesday, August 28, AD 2013

Obama’s Half-Measures with Syria

I disagree with Abrams that we should intervene, but he’s right about Obama’s approach. Why are a hundred thousand killed by conventional means not a cause for action, but several hundred killed from chemical weapons means action NOW?

What I Meant to Say

Okay, we’re probably beating a dead horse, but this is a pretty funny satire of Jody Bottum.

Now, on to my non-arguments. I begin with a Bald Assertion: Although all of Western law, foundational decisions of the Supreme Court such as its original polygamy decision, and powerful dissents by Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, are all against court-imposed same-sex marriage—and although I am not a constitutional jurist myself, and haven’t even read those dissenting opinions, or any of the legal briefs—still, I say that THE EQUITIES ARE ALL ON THE SIDE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. NO ONE HAS EVER GIVEN A SINGLE COHERENT JURISPRUDENTIAL ARGUMENT AGAINST IT. NO PRINCIPLED LEGAL VIEW CAN RESIST IT.  And if you continue to doubt this, then, superb writer that I am, I will be able to find even other ways of stating the same un-nuanced point, until you finally acquiesce in it.

It’s very important for my purposes that you accept this point, because, you see, as a writer, my goal at the start is to play on the ignorance of my young readers especially and make them feel embarrassed for believing in marriage as solely between a man and a woman.  Ultimately I wish to undermine that conviction, or at least to lead them to accept the courts’ and my distinction between “marriage” and “civil marriage.”  And so, I want them to feel—maybe for the first time—that they are being grossly inequitable, unfair, unprincipled, fundamentally illegal, and basically un-American if they oppose same-sex marriage.

It’s a bold gambit, to be sure, yet it’s very likely to succeed, because after all a young Catholic without much experience of the world—or any poorly catechized layperson, for that matter—will feel that if a former editor of First Things can say these things so boldly, or if they are printed without correction in Commonweal, then they have to be true.  Why would a responsible writer say these things unless they were true?

Whither First Things?

A symposium on its future. Maybe it should hire Bottum back, you know, just for fun.

Today’s Adventure in Petty Attack Ads

I have no love lost for Chris Christie, but this is an especially petty beef. Christie stars in an ad saying that Jersey is recovering from Hurricane Sandy, so come on down, and his opponent runs an ad criticizing him for making it sound like the state is fully recovered. Christie is one hundred percent on the money with his response.

When a reporter asked about critics of the “Stronger Than The Storm” tourism ads, Christie shot back, “What would they have us do: go into the fetal position? I’ve never said everything’s all right.”

Christie should realize that carping about the fallout from a hurricane is much preferred nowadays to moving on and recovering.

Some of You Are Clearly Drinking Whiskey Wrong

$20 whiskey mixed with soda should be an offense punishable by death, or at least banishment.

Moving Past Errors and Pitcher Wins

Great stuff from Joe Posnanski on the silliness of relying on either state to measure player and pitcher performance. While you’re there, also check out his post on the Cleveland Browns.

The Tragedy of Derek Jeter’s Defense

Two baseball posts today as I couldn’t pass up this fantastic feature in Grantland.

If Michael Bay Directed Heartwarming Documentaries

It would definitely be something a lot like this.

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13 Responses to Various & Sundry, 8/28/13

  • We should intervene. We are also accountable for what we fail to do.
    “… everyone is is doing (or not doing)” and “yesterday we did (or didn’t)” .are not good arguments.
    Did Christ sigh, “they’ve been profiteering in my temple all my life— why now?”

    This killing in Syria deserves a swift targeted response. We might die trying. Our culture is dying right now, maybe it ought to be about something.

    Do people think that if we don’t intervene that will mean that there will be no war then? Oh yes there is going to be war.
    Is this sunni or shia? is this atheistic communism? Is it just one bad actor? is it the Hydra? let’s see is HItler far left or far right. We’d better have our semantics and discussion correct.

    If Christians don’t fight for Right, who will? If we should not be the policeman who should?

  • Stopped Clock Department:

    The former Rep. from Saturn nails it.

    “So what, we’re about to become Al-Qaeda’s air force now?” said Dennis Kucinich.

  • We should most certainly should not intervene: these people need Christ, not more bombs raining down on top of them. Pity we do not pray for the conversion of non-Catholics to the Catholic faith after every Mass/Divine Liturgy.

    And with a government as seriously, deeply in debt as our is, can we afford it? Bombing people costs money. Lots of it.

    Seriously, are the people (most especially the Christian community) in Iraq better off now than before we invaded many moons ago? How about in Afghanistan? Once we leave, can the government there hold it together in the long term? Or will the Taliban take over once again? And Egypt “post Arab spring” does not seem to have much to recommend for it.

  • AP and the former Congressman from Jeckyll Island weigh in (from Zero Hedge):

    AP reports that US intelligence officials are admitting that linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack is no “slam dunk,” as opposed to Obama (and Kerry) who are ‘unequivocal’ of the fact. This would appear to confirm Ron Paul’s comments this morning on Fox News that “We’re not positive who set off the gas,” and indeed – who is set to benefit most from any Assad-regime-smackdown? Al-Qaeda. “Assad is not an idiot,” Paul adds, “it’s unlikely he would do this on purpose… look how many lies were told to us about Saddam Hussein prior to that build-up.” “I think it’s a false flag…” Paul adds, there is a big risk that “we are getting sucked in” and the American people are against this war.

  • “AP reports that US intelligence officials are admitting that linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack is no “slam dunk,””

    Assad is a butcher just like his old man:

    http://middleeastvoices.voanews.com/2012/02/syrias-1982-hama-massacre-recalled-lesson-for-assad-today/

    I have little doubt that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, perhaps some spirited into the country by Saddam:

    http://blog.usni.org/2012/07/20/iraq-chemical-weapons-moved-to-syria-before-2003-invasion

    The basic problem with Syrian intervention is that I think there is zero possibility of replacing the current Syrian regime with one friendlier to the US. We are dealing with a situation where all the factions are profoundly hostile to the US.

  • Would evangelizing be a better response?
    Remember when the Kurds were gassed?
    What does “strong man” mean?

    Ron Paul’s opinion means nothing to me.

  • “Would evangelizing be a better response?”

    Only if we wanted to end up with a bunch of dead evangelists. I can think of few things more futile than the efforts to evangelize the Muslims over the centuries in Islamic states.

  • Another question: What are Russia and China’s interest in this?

  • Russia has traditionally been an ally of the Syrian regime, from the days of the old Soviet Union. China depends upon the Middle East and is fearful of intervention being destabilizing.

  • Speaking of Jody Bottum Al Kresta had him on his radio show/ You can hear the interview here:

    http://www.avemariaradio.net/audio_archive/kresta-in-the-afternoon-august-26-2013-hour-1/

  • regarding intervention
    At one time in my life I was insulted by the terminology ” nattering nabobs of negativity ” — I’ve come on a journey since then to recognize my own natural conservativism, and see that both Democrats and Republicans take the nattering nabobs role by turns, even against the very position they were recently holding. apparently just because it is the other side saying it now.

  • Russia has traditionally been an ally of the Syrian regime, from the days of the old Soviet Union.

    The shady-character parliamentary governments which preceded the Ba’ath also had congenial and co-operative relations with Soviet Russia.

  • Greg, thanks for that link to that interview with Jody Bottum on Ave Maria radio.

    Bottum went on the show and clearly his interviewer, Al Kresta (whoever he is), thought that the defense of the article was brilliant and illuminating. What I still can’t fathom is how either of these gentleman reconcile his heretical position with that of the Church. There was a very concerted effort to make it appear as if his position was merely a prudential matter rather than one abutting Faith & Morals.

March on Washington 50 Years Later: Ironies

Wednesday, August 28, AD 2013

 

 

Officially titled the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the title underlines one of the ironies in this observation.  At the time of the March black unemployment was ten percent.  After untold trillions spent in the last half century to remedy this problem, black unemployment today is 13.4% and the unemployment rate for black teenagers is a stunning 41%.

Another irony is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ringing words about people being judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skins.  With the racial spoils system that has been implemented in this country since 1963, we are no closer to this goal.

Yet another irony is the religious language in which Martin Luther King, Jr., an ordained minister, arrayed his calls for justice.  Today such language would be reviled if spoken by anyone else by some of the same people who today will celebrate the “I Have a Dream Speech”.

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6 Responses to March on Washington 50 Years Later: Ironies

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  • Yet another irony is the religious language in which Martin Luther King, Jr., an ordained minister, arrayed his calls for justice. Today such language would be reviled if spoken by anyone else by some of the same people who today will celebrate the “I Have a Dream Speech”.

    Unless such language is used by a leftist.

  • My recollection is that in the contemporaneous reports of those events 50 years ago, the press referred to him as “the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.” or “the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.”

    Today, the Establishment Media insists on secularizing him.

  • King had an affinity for utopian thinking, see here:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/wusa.12022/pdf

    ===

    If you look around the civil rights leadership of 1963, I think Hosea Williams may have been the only one of consequence whose mundane trade incorporated operational measures of competence. Roy Wilkins was a lapsed newspaper reporter, Whitney Young was a social worker, King and his deputy Ralph Abernathy were clergymen sired of clergymen, and Bayard Rustin seems to have been immersed in extraparliamentary politics his whole life. Philip Randolph as a trade unionist had more of a foot in practical life, but the economic activity of trade unionists is extractive in character. The prominent businessmen (e.g. John Johnson) and economists (e.g. Andrew Brimmer) did not appear to have much influence over the vision of society maintained by the protest leadership.

    Something Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote about later was that disturbing social phenomena – the detachment of the census of the welfare rolls from unemployment rates – were already in evidence by around 1958.

    By 1978, advocates of non-racial social democracy were ignored (Rustin) or subject to vitriolic denunciation (Wm. Julius Wilson) by politicians and word merchants alike.

    It is is just difficult to imagine that a social system characterized by equal liberty and careers-open-to-talents could ever have emerged from the interaction between black protest, the academic/journalistic/philanthropic left, and the Democratic Party. Such a goal was incongruent with the basic tendencies of all three.

  • Unusually, I disagree with you, Donald– I think we are much closer to the “content of their character” setup, but are ironically fighting being driven into objective, overt racism by Dr. King’s former allies or followers.

    What was that line, about being careful in fighting demons that you don’t become one?

  • Dr. King was a deeply religious Christian man. This propelled what he did and his greatness. What he did is his profoundest sermon. Fifty years later, it has become almost taboo to acknowledge this truth. Dr. King would be appalled today at this country’s pagan assault on the family, marriage, traditional morality, religion, unborn children, common sense and the capacity to distinguish RIGHT from WRONG.

    Obama’s speech on the 50th anniversary of MLK’s Washington address was an opportunity to bring Americans together and unite the country in memory of a greatly revered American leader. Instead, this was a deeply partisan speech, filled with campaign-style themes of class warfare and anti-capitalist rhetoric, and a call for more unaffordable government programs.

    Black Americans have been given the equal opportunities they deserve of open doors to succeed with education, determination and hard work. Yet “The Dream” has been severely hindered by a host of socially degrading realities disproportionately affecting blacks (e.g., 72% out-of-wedlock birthrate, 67% of children living with one parent, and the resulting poverty this causes).

    Because such BAD BEHAVIOR is ignored and tolerated, it leads many millions of young people to enormous rage for what has been done to them in their innocent, formative years. Chances for success in life are often severely influenced. YES, DR. KING WOULD BE APPALLED, BUT NONE OF THESE UNMENTIONABLE FACTS WERE EVEN TOUCHED UPON ON AUG. 28, 2013.

Wilson Speaks

Wednesday, August 28, AD 2013

An audio recording of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 taking advantage of the division in Republican ranks that would lead Theodore Roosevelt to bolt the party and run as the standard bearer of the Bull Moose party that he created.  Wilson’s matter of fact, dry delivery, so in keeping with his profession of professor, reminds me of how in so many ways he was the anti-Roosevelt in style, although the similarities in domestic policy between him and Roosevelt were closer that either of them, both of whom cordially detested the other, were comfortable with.

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One Response to Wilson Speaks

  • Mr. Wilson softly intones a kind of Fascism that we have been unable to shake off a century later. Obama sings the same song. It’s time to stop the music.

Calibortion

Wednesday, August 28, AD 2013

 

 

 

While most other states are tightening their abortion laws, California is in the process of allowing non-physicians to perform abortions:

 

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air gives us the details:

Remember, of course, that this is all about women’s health.  California already allows non-physicians to administer drug-induced abortions, but the state legislature has now passed a new law that clears nurses, physician assistants, and midwives to perform suction abortions in the first trimester:

Nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants could perform a type of early abortion under a bill approved Monday by the state Senate, leaving the measure one step from the governor.

The measure by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, would let those medical professionals perform what are known as aspiration abortions during the first trimester. The method involves inserting a tube and using suction to terminate a pregnancy.

Opponents in the legislature wondered how lowering the standards of providers could be squared with the oft-invoked concern for womens’ health from pro-abortion activists and the backers of this bill:

“Abortion is a serious medical procedure with vast complications, and I would argue that only the best-trained should conduct such an operation,” said Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber. “It has direct and profound impact on lives: the mother and the baby — and there is a baby.”

Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, said legalized abortion was supposed to end the days when women’s lives were put at risk. Yet he said Atkins’ bill would allow the procedures by providers who have less training and in clinics without sufficient backup if there are complications.

The entire effort seems very odd, especially in California.  In some states, notably conservative Mississippi, so few abortion providers exist that abortion-rights activists might well demand some kind of similar relief, and probably already have been demanding it.  That hardly seems relevant in liberal California, however.  Planned Parenthood alone has 20 locations in the Golden State, from Alhambra to Yuba City.  Access is hardly an issue in one of the most liberal states in the nation.

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9 Responses to Calibortion

  • ‘ California is a state completely dominated by the Democrat Party, whose central principle today is the right of mothers to slay their offspring and this legislation is their equivalent of a religious sacrament. ‘

    Steamrollers Party with the poison glue of calling any opposition a war on their own particular supporter/victims is the way of the cohesive, organized left.

    Any opposition to the waste, overreaching, and degeneration is bullied or worse.

    The ‘right’ is too fragmented to bring balance to the rampant growth of blatant, extreme change to norms. Whatever party that isn’t among the steamrollers, could benefit by influence were there a stand on a common bond of independence. The democrat party profits by the fractures. I, simplemindedly, think people, who aren’t steamrollers, should form a party of Independents for the good of what remains of the republic. Without identifying as an independent, each alternative (republican, tea party, libertarian, green) lacks enough magnetism to do much.

  • Where, oh where, is Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) when we need him?

    In case you don’t recall, the former congressman, who fell hook, line and reputation for Obama’s written promise that abortions would not be funded in the obscene health care travesty, lost his reelection bid shortly thereafter and has not been heard of since.

    That’s no big loss. The real tragedy is that Stupak’s cadre of representatives was sufficient to defeat the ACA that most Americans detest.

  • back to the coat hangers in back parlors again.

  • FYI, since it was referenced by 3rdstringer above, I recently had to endure listening to the B.S., that is Bart Stupak, speak. He is now a D.C. lobbyist for a self-insurance association.

    How rich is that? The guy single handedly passes Obamacare and now he’s lobbying for a group which is the antithesis of Obamacare. Only in the rabbit hole that is our capital!

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  • it is quite apparent that people just don’t care about “doing unto others as you have them do unto you”….it is not a hard concept but some people are just so bloody hardheaded that they just don’t care…being pregnant is just a problem and needs to be dealt with soon so you can go ahead and open your legs to the next idiot…abortion needs to be abolished..forever…

  • Remember the old pro-abort mantra: safe, legal and rare? Rare was always a bad joke. Safe has always been a lie for the child being aborted and as the Gosnell slaughter house revealed, it is often a bad joke as well for the mothers.
    –Donald R. McClarey

    As for the legal part of the clintonian slogan, the abortion advocates are going back to the quack operated back-alley abortion mill but this time it will wear the mantle of legality. Didn’t the pro-abortion advocates once claim that if only doctor-performed abortions were made legal, there would be plenty of qualified doctors willing to do the deed?

  • In his Principles of the Criminal Law of Scotland (1832), Sir Archibald Alison remarks that “the life of one human being is by such practices seriously endangered, and an incipient existence stifled in another.”

  • Oh boy!! I’m about to have a bad spell. What next? Will the school nurse murder your grandchild, with you unawares? This is more than mere liberalism. It is diabolical. We wonder why California is in flames. No. We wonder why it still exists. To the remaining decent residents of California. Flee.

Various & Sundry, 8/27/13

Tuesday, August 27, AD 2013

Weariness and Current Events

Some chap named Paul Zummo has written about Jody Bottum’s white flag essay over at the Catholic Stand. You should all go read it.

But Hey, We Don’t Really Have to Worry About Same Sex Marriage

Speaking of the issue that will single-handedly destroy Catholicism, Erik Stanley provides more evidence that maybe, just maybe, First Amendment rights aren’t so secure in a same sex marriage tolerant regime.

Vice President Biden Threatens Impeachment if President Bombs Foreign Country Without Congressional Approval

Whoops. My bad. That was Senator Biden. Now that he’s Veep he’s totally cool with such actions.

Beware Common Core

Few people are talking about common core, but we should be, as it poses a serious threat to American education.

Common Core, now adopted by 45 states and DC, is a set of national standards and goals related on the surface to English and math that have far-reaching implications into who controls curriculum (teachers teaching to the national test), along with implementing data-mining for a jaw-dropping universe of facts provided to the federal government about your children and you. Can I implore you to watch this video of a Common Core creator celebrating the collaboration with Obama’s data team and how to use data to achieve political ends?

Common Core has dismal quality, puts us behind other countries, views teaching as job training and not the development of our children’s minds, and has backers that would make your head swim were you to conduct even a perfunctory search.

Tolerance, Health and Fascism

Dennis Prager uses the “f” word and so will be ignored, but he shouldn’t be.

Now this is a Professor I Wish I had in College

Mike Adams is a professor in the University of North Carolina system. One friendly reader labelled him the biggest embarrassment to higher education. Why? Because Mike actually believes marriage should be between one man and one woman. Mike wrote an open letter in response to Ed, and it’s truly worth your time to read.

Why the Left Needs Racism

James Taranto takes down a buffoonish article written by Margaret Carlson about the movie The Butler. I think the absolute kicker was this written by Carlson:

“I wish Chief Justice John Roberts and four of his Supreme Court colleagues would see [‘The Butler’], too,” she writes. “Maybe it will help them understand how wrong they got it when they recently decided that we are so far past Jim Crow that we can dispense with a central provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.”

Yes, if only Clarence Thomas had seen a movie about life in the Jim Crow south he’d have been more amenable to upholding Section 4 of the VRA.

Too Much Chant at an Extraordinary Form Mass?

Scott W. sounds incredulous that anyone could complain about too much Gregorian Chant at an EF Mass. I have to admit that at the last EF Mass I attended – one which lasted two and a half hours, and was not the Easter Vigil – at one point I was kind of hoping for the choir to shut up for a minute so that the Priest could continue. Of course that was a polyphonic choir, so perhaps it’s not quite the same thing.

Indian Satire of Breaking Bad

Extraordinarily funny if you’re a fan of the show. By the way, Sunday night’s episode may have been the greatest hour of television I’ve ever watched.

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5 Responses to Various & Sundry, 8/27/13

  • “one which lasted two and a half hours”

    You got me there. Even I’d say it’s too much of whatever is making Mass go that long.

    To clarify, what this particular complainer was getting at is that there was too much chant displacing the Greatest Catholic Hits of 1956. For him, there are basically about five or six hymns like Salve Regina and Schubert’s Ave Maria that are acceptable for Mass and we were supposed to just cycle through them. As I often say, getting rid of the cloying and mawkish schmalz of the 1970’s is not a solution if it is replaced by the cloying and mawkish schmalz of the 1870’s.

  • “I have to admit that at the last EF Mass I attended – one which lasted two and a half hours,”

    Wow. I must say that I like the old “hunter” low mass of 20 minutes. On special occasions I like elaborate masses, but usually a shorter mass suits my taste. I also tend to get irritated if a priest speaks for more than ten minutes after the Gospel. Some priests have the gift of eloquence but many do not. Many a good and holy priest I have encountered keep their sermons short because they understand this. I sometimes, and I know this is bad of me, feel like holding up a sign saying “Just Here for the Eucharist!”

  • For the record, it was a special Corpus Christi Mass at my parish. Even at the extended length, it was still beautiful.

    There was a rector at St. Mary’s in downtown DC who celebrated the Extraordinary Form Mass every Sunday, and his homilies were regularly about 5-7 minutes. Of course, there’s another priest who regularly celebrates there currently (Msgr. Pope) whose homilies run much north of that time, though he’s the rare exception of being the kind of gifted orator who can get away with it.

  • If only I had the luxury of complaining about too much Gregorian Chant at Mass. You stand a better chance of hearing Gregorian Chant as background music at a secular coffeehouse than at your local Catholic parish.

  • Years ago a priest from my diocese said he learned this homily tip from a priest friend: Put a Life Saver in your mouth when you start your homily. When it’s gone, stop. He used that rule of thumb even when he preached the funeral homily of the priest who gave him that advice.

Tears of a Clown

Tuesday, August 27, AD 2013

11 Responses to Tears of a Clown

  • #7 is particularly on point these days: “Squirrel- Since Obama and his following have zero ideas as to how to address the great problems that beset the nation. They govern- SQUIRREL!-through distraction, and the rodeo clown was a superb distraction for several days.”

    This administration is floundering from crisis to crisis like a water-logged, dismasted ship.

  • Plus, for racial racketeers (Jackson, Obama, Sharpton come to mind), of necessity, it is always and everywhere “Mississippi burning 1962.”

    Lies on top of lies on top of lie s . . .

  • sounds to me like a race issue…Obama lovers cant accept the fact that this has been going on for years and just because it is a black person everybody has to go nuts…what a bunch of idiots…its suppose to be funny and everybody takes it as a race issue…morons

  • I recall that during the 2009 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, “comedienne”
    Wanda Sykes did a particularly nasty bit about Rush Limbaugh. In it, she noted
    that Limbaugh had remarked that he hoped the president’s project to change
    America would fail. Sykes opined that his views made Mr. Limbaugh a traitor,
    and that she hoped his kidneys failed. She also stated that she’d like to see him
    waterboarded. She stated that he was every bit as much a traitor as the 9/11
    terrorists, wished him dead, and stated that she’d like to see him tortured.

    There is video of our president, in the audience during all of this, laughing
    uproariously at Sykes’ unhinged ‘comedy’.

    In the ensuing uproar, both Hillary Rosen and Donna Brazile over at CNN
    opined that Mr. Limbaugh, being a public figure, was ‘fair game’ for such
    so-called humor.

    Some people are just fairer game than others.

  • Clinton,

    Sum animuls is more equils then otthers.

  • I know the title of this post references a Smokey Robinson tune, but it doesn’t seem to me like the clown is shedding any tears. Also, I’m not so sure that the initial reaction against him is attributable to Obama being personally offended and ordering the guy canned (as if the leader of the free world would call up the director of the Missouri State Fair to complain about a rodeo clown, when he has far bigger things to worry about … but I could be wrong), as it is simply to the fair officials bending over backwards and sideways to prove they weren’t racist. Had it not been for their clownish hysteria and that of PMSNBC and similar outlets, it would have been nothing more than a minor local story.

  • Also, I’m not so sure that the initial reaction against him is attributable to Obama being personally offended and ordering the guy canned (as if the leader of the free world would call up the director of the Missouri State Fair to complain about a rodeo clown, when he has far bigger things to worry about … but I could be wrong), as it is simply to the fair officials bending over backwards and sideways to prove they weren’t racist.

    What is disconcerting is the alacrity with which the hive went into action. Also, the White House Press Secretary did remark on the matter, so you are just one step removed from the golfer-in-chief.

  • Art,

    Good stuff. The “hive” is an apt analogy. Also, I think the (Star Trek Next Generation) “Borg” is applicable.

    Elaine, Barry Soetero is the worst president in US history. He and his henchmen/women use such mendacious minutiae to distract their imbecilic worshipers and credentialed cretin cheerleaders from the economic and societal horrors the unaccountable and incompetent (brainless and lawless) regime is visiting upon the once happy United States of America.

  • Thinking along the line that my one and only vote is still worth anything or that there can be a clean election, there are kinds of hives for bees. We watch and suffer with dominant killer bees. Where is a hive for honey/ worker bees? It’s an overdue necessity to find it.

  • RE: Your vote: voter fraud a.k.a. the racist concoction by the GOP: Minnesota Somalis found to each illegally vote twice or more.

    Hey, they need your money!

    Data regarding the worst president in US history.

    The black unemployment rate at the time of the 1963 march was 10%. Under hope and change and after 50 years of trillions of dollars shot to hell on social programs and ferocious attacks on white workers to advance so-called affrimative action (race-based hiring/advancment diktats), the black unemployment rate is 13.4%, and among black youth: 41%.

    Thusly, the Hive/Borg expands.

  • “RE:” I cannot dismiss from thoughts the early news on election day in Nov. 2012 (which was not further journalized by media) reporting troubles up or down loading some programs to get the ballots counted.
    Of course, later that day were the reports of precincts with no numbers for non-democrats around the country, along with other pressures of intimidation and also use of the severely disabled. Then, the military overseas had issues early on. Yup, one lesson for people to learn is that bullying or intimidation with accusations usually fit the ‘it takes one to know one’ category. Bad behavior goes unpunished on this side of eternity, so it’s a contagious disease in the culture that promotes killing infants and the dying.

    Am aware of how social programs have affected gainful employment. Have done some paperwork for two places closing doors and one moving to the South.

Various & Sundry, 8/26/13

Monday, August 26, AD 2013

Bradley Manning Is Not a Woman

Kevin Williamson says what is obvious to most, but is sadly considered controversial considering the number of comments.

Judicial Activism – That Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

Justice Ginsburg – evidently with a straight face, claims that the Roberts court is the most activist in history. Frankly I think the term is misused, but any way you slice it – No.

Miley Cyrus Needs Help

It’s been kind of a fun day on social media seeing both the outrage and the  non-outrage over Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance. I think I saw more tweets and facebook posts from people saying that they’re not going to comment than from people actually commenting. As I said last night on twitter, I’ve basically become my father when it comes to VMAs. That said, it’s led to some hysterical (not in the ha ha sense) tweets. See the RS McCain link, but also check this out.

Lord (do not necessarily) Hear Our Prayer

As always, the USCCB really has its pulse on the issues that really merit out prayers and attention.

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5 Responses to Various & Sundry, 8/26/13

Randolph Scott vs. John Wayne

Monday, August 26, AD 2013

 

 

As long as we are discussing Randolph Scott, I recall that he co-starred with John Wayne in 1942 in two films:  The Spoilers and Pittsburg.  In each film Scott and Wayne had fist fights.  The no holds barred brawl in The Spoilers is one of the most memorable fight scenes of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  Wayne wins.  In Pittsburg they have a return match and Scott prevails.  (One of the very few fight scenes lost by Wayne in his career.)

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One Response to Randolph Scott vs. John Wayne

  • Love the Hollywood nostalgia. I’ve been raising my kids (mostly) on the sort of TV and movie fare that I started off with before cable. I’m not sure we’ve seen these two films yet, so I’ll have to look them up!