April 25, 1976: Saving the Flag

Monday, April 25, AD 2016

I am not much of a baseball fan, but I have always remembered Cubs centerfielder Rick Monday saving the flag from two loons who sought to burn it on the field during a game on April 25, 1976 between the Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Field.   When Monday came to bat the next time in the game he received a standing ovation from the crowd.   The Dodgers went on to win the game 5-4 in ten innings, but Rick Monday, nonetheless, went home a winner.

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4 Responses to April 25, 1976: Saving the Flag

  • “If that’s all your known for its not a bad thing.”
    -Rick Monday.

    I’m a softy. This was a pleasurable tear that visited my cheek this morning. GREAT job Don. Thanks for the lift.

    While we were praying in front of PP Saturday a very small group of “Students for Planned Parenthood,” came out with their pink signs and went to the ends of our line of protesters.
    Bookends if you will. I was moved to reach beyond them, and I did, then the Holy Spirit spoke through me to them. We talked about the Holocaust. The WWII holocaust and our on going holocaust, and the similarities. Never did the pitch of our voices raise into fury, but they did not light the flag Saturday either. They did not have a win. They couldn’t even pick up their heads as we spoke about the killings of children going on and how they themselves had survived the Holocaust of abortion.

    This morning clip reminded me that, if all I’m known for is trying my best to save a child from death…than that’s not a bad thing to be known for. God bless Rick Monday.

  • Comment of the week Philip! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • Rick Monday should be in Cooperstown.

Jihad, U. S. Branch

Tuesday, September 2, AD 2014

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, suggests that if you are not nervous about Jihad, you probably should be:

You might want to look into the idea:

Columbus [Indiana] Police said they’ve never had anything like it – three churches vandalized in the same night.

Someone spray painted them on the outside. It’s the words used, though, that have some people asking if this was more than a prank.

“It was just one word. It said ‘Infidels!’” Father Doug Marcotte said of what was spray painted on Saint Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Columbus overnight Saturday.

Parishioners saw that, along with the word “Qur’an 3:151″ on their way into mass Sunday morning.

“It’s certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire,” explained Father Marcotte.

Specifically, that passage of the Qur’an reads: “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”

Saint Bartholomew’s wasn’t the only Columbus church vandalized.

“It’s really bizarre and the fact that they hit two other Christian Churches. It’s not like we’re all in a line. So why did they pick the three of us?” asked Father Marcotte.

Outside East Columbus Christian Church and Lakeview Church of Christ, members there found the same kind of graffiti Sunday morning.

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48 Responses to Jihad, U. S. Branch

  • Good to see the response of the Islamic Society of Columbus. It wouldn’t shock me at all to learn that the perpetrators were not Muslim, but simply agitators looking to stir up controversy and trouble. And with no more care, than a delinquent pulling a fire alarm.

  • “but simply agitators looking to stir up controversy and trouble.”

    Yes, no doubt simply the fault of outside agitators rather than the adherents of a faith that view Christians and Jews as enemies and infidels.

  • – Or maybe it was a unruly group of cloistered nuns out of their cells for a bit of mischief.

    Wake up and smell the Koran.

    Please thank your President for the warm welcome of this ideology into a once God fearing Nation. Remember…”we are not a Christian Nation.”

  • I’m in Peoria, Il., and there’s a mosque only 3.5 miles from where I live. I didn’t even know it was there until an old friend of my family told me about it. Heck, they even had the street it’s on renamed Salaam Dr.! I wonder how soon will I see Quran verses sprayed on the walls of local churches?

  • “Our community condemns such actions and believes that Columbus is not a place for such a behavior.” Does that imply there is a place for such behavior? Mosul? Damascus? London? New York? St. Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for us.

  • “Specifically, that passage of the Qur’an reads: “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.” “Qur’an 3:151″
    .
    Allah will not be pleased to be used by those inflicting their own will as the will of Allah. The passage applies directly and correctly to those individuals who use Allah as an excuse to do what they will outside the law. How do these people know what is in the heart and mind of any other person? Calling another person “infidel” means that one knows what is in the heart and mind of that person. This is only possible for God.

  • If your members of Catholic Daughters and Knights of Columbus aren’t packing heat in the parish’s parking lot during masses and have a phone to call 911 ready-to-hand…

  • I’ll be impressed when The Islamic Society of Columbus, Indiana pays to clean away the vandalism. Until then, meh.

  • Everyone is so amazed that I express skepticism that Muslims were behind this. Don et. al. did you read the article linked to in the column and in particular the words of Fr. Marcotte? Remember him? The one whose parish was defaced? He wasn’t quite as sure as all of you, or evidently “Defender of the Faith” Johnson. From Fr. Marcotte: “…is this someone that’s trying to incite people against Muslims? I mean I DON’T KNOW.” (emphasis mine). No he doesn’t. And until an arrest is made neither do you. Until then I’ll suspend my outrage. Like Fr. Marcotte.

  • Of course until the culprits are apprehended no one does know who they are. However, to immediately assume that muslims are not behind this and that instead mysterious outside agitators are, strikes me as ludicrous, no matter who makes that particular leap in illogic. If someone vandalizes a Church and cites the Koran, I will assume that muslims are behind it, unless other evidence arises to prove the contrary.

    Such vandalism of churches is an every day occurrence in lands where muslims are in a majority. It helps remind Christians luckless enough to live there of their dhimmi status. This is not unusual conduct at all for radical muslims to engage in.

  • It is certainly possible that this was a “false flag” sort of thing to raise resentment (not that much help is needed with co-religionists like ISIS around). But a reflexive “no true Muslim could this” approach isn’t all that plausible either.

  • I do agree with c matt that a reflexive “no true Muslim could do this” approach isn’t called for, but the whole point is that the police are investigating and the parish priest is withholding judgment. Would it kill us to do likewise until an arrest is made? And Don is certainly right about the plight of Christians in Muslim nations, but I want to be careful not to fit an incident in a mid-size Indiana city having what is likely a small Islamic population, into that horrific broader narrative without more facts. I have learned over the years not to react viscerally just because a story or column in the media suggests that I should. There will be a time and manner to deal with the perpetrators if and when they are caught. In the meantime justice demands that we not rush to judgment. I think our Faith demands no less of us.

  • Outside agitators like who? Reminds me of that term “plausible deniability”.. a kind of semantic and false game sometimes played.
    Yes the evidence is so far just circumstantial. Some are hesitant to call a spade a spade even when their common sense tells them the truth.
    That lofty position of non -judgment is not always good! Realize that even if and when arrests are made and people are officially accused, it will still be technically possible to be in willful denial about blaming jihadist muslims.

  • Who could our hypothetical agitator be? Got me. Do an internet search of “graffiti hoaxes” and see what you come up with. Maybe it’ll be one of them. Or better yet don’t bother. Wait until the crime is solved and then we won’t have to guess. Nor will we have to be in denial, willful or otherwise, about the identity of the perpetrator and what their likely motivation was.

  • I share your concern w/our inane immigration policy; however, the presence of a Muslim center is not so much an indictment of our suicidal immigration policy as it is an indictment of our prison policy. Consider that a large number of Muslims in this country are a product of prison conversions, and in fact these new members are often blessed w/the zeal of the new convert, so i i’m laying odds, that’s who i’m laying odds on.

  • Yes, it could certainly have been done by actual jihadist Muslims, but I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that ordinary non-Muslim troublemakers are “not literate enough” to quote the Quran. Copies of the Quran aren’t that hard to find. And if conversions to Islam among prison inmates are as common as indicated above, who’s to say that a friend or relative of an ex-con, who is still hanging around with unsavory companions, didn’t get the idea from reading said friend/relatives copy of the Quran?

    All I’m saying is that we can’t rule out any possibility, including the possibility that it was done simply by some jerk who wanted to see people freak out and NOT necessarily by a serious jihadist bent on warning the people of Indiana that it was time to convert or die.

  • Occam’s Razor doesn’t always arrive at the right answer Elaine, but it usually does. If some vandal cites the Koran I am going to assume he was a Muslim until evidence to the contrary is discovered. Prison conversions to Islam are rare, unless one is talking about the Nation of Islam which is to actual Islam as Roscicrucianism is to Catholicism.

  • We in the U.S. have had the airline jihad on 9/11/2001, the IED jihad at Times Square and the Boston Marathon, multiple examples of parking lot and college campus SUV jihad, the Washington DC Beltway sniper jihad, and many examples of stillborn jihad thanks to the FBI. There will be more. Does anyone really think that it matters if this graffiti was put there by some smart-aleck kids, or not?

  • What matters most?

    TomD points to recent incidents here in the land of the free. It’s a war that’s been waged on Christianity for centuries and it’s now in our backyard.

    Q: Do we become desensitized to any form of hatred toward Christianity?

    Q: Do we prepare by steadfast faith in the possibility of red martyrdom to come?

    Will the most popular newborn male name be Mohamed in these United States? If so, is it because it invokes a message of peace, or rather a message of world conquest and domination.

    Only time will tell.

  • While the certainty of facts and the identity of the culprits are being developed in this matter, Chris C’s mock-shock at the likelihood of a Catholic Church being vandalized by Muslim youth, esp. given the facts so far, is hard to sustain.

    For what it is worth, in Belgium (particularly around Genk and the urban areas of Brussels) where one of my daughters lives, it is so common for Muslim youth to spray paint the Catholic Churches with Quran citations and threats that most of the churches now have locked cyclone fences surrounding them during the week or after morning services (in particular you can see this at the main parish church in Genk). So many youth that are Muslims have been apprehended that to believe otherwise as to whom is behind the matter is a practiced blindness that must take a lot of energy to maintain.
    So now it has come to America—as has been promised by the imams. So now open your eyes.

  • Steve, do you think you know more about the situation than the folks in Columbus, Indiana? Fr. Marcotte of St. Bartholomew, and a minister at one of the other of the vandalized churches probably know their community, including their Islamic neighbors a lot better than you do. They are withholding judgment and giving their neighbors the benefit of the doubt. Why can’t you?
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/indiana-churches-hit-vandals-quoting-koran-article-1.1924890

  • chris c., haven’t you learned anything about Islam since 9/11/2001?

  • Stephen, I guess I have learned about as much as Fr. Marcotte. Enough to continue to act like a Christian, by the grace of God, “in season and out.” In this case it means withholding judgment and being careful not to condemn until all the facts are known. Perhaps you and others have been busy learning something else.

  • Mr Dalton, you don’t understand: it isnt sufficient for one to choose to be blind, but you too must share his blindness.

    “To believe otherwise as to whom is behind the matter is a practiced blindness that must take a lot of energy to maintain.
    As in Genk, as in Brussels, as in Paris, So now it has come to America—as has been promised by the imams. So now open your eyes.”

  • chris c.

    Cool heads in this case is good advice.

    Losing your head from the sword of a coward is a reality. No question about it. This early determination on the culprit (s) is speculative and if your false flag idea proves true then shame on me.

    Beheadings are evil. The emotions are running high. No excuse to rush though.

  • chris c., Christians are told to be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents. Please stop dropping the wisdom part from your homiletics. Christians cannot, must not, turn a blind eye to the evils perpetrated for Islam, and so cannot turn a blind eye to the potential for Islamic violence in many Muslims who until now have never committed such acts. I refuse to prejudge any Muslim as a potential jihadist, but I refuse to prejudge a Muslim to not be a jihadist either. All the evidence in the world shows that there are many shades of gray in Islam.

  • Tom, as it pertains to this case, I’ll do my best to maintain the same level of Christ-informed wisdom as exhibited by Fr. Marcotte in his comments. No more and no less. My interest in this discussion is about the specific matter in Columbus Indiana. A broader discussion about Jihad or Islam is for another day as far as I am concerned. My comments relate to 3 churches in Columbus Indiana, and the distinct possibility, as noted by Fr. Marcotte and the pastor of another defaced church, that indeed this MAY not be as it appears. Or maybe it is. Who knows until an arrest is made. But it sounds as if you and a few others maybe the ones who are too innocent. Graffiti+Defaced Church+Koran verse = Jihad. Maybe. Maybe a “false flag” provocation. There have been enough hoaxes, some involving graffiti, some not; to make it wise to withhold judgment.

  • TomD, Gnostics have wisdom that you and I do not. Also, a lack of curiosity as to the fact that 3 Christian churches were vandalized but no mosques. However, Columbus, IN, unlike most rural Indiana towns, does have a putative mosque, the Islamic Society, right in downtown, at 23rd & Chestnut. Oh, by the way, it is about 8 blocks from St. Bartholomew’s Church (.6 mi). Oh, by the way the other two churches are about 5-8 min. short drive, all within about 3 mi. of the Islamic Society site. Just a coincidence.)
    .
    Oh, by the way,since I am familiar with this part of Indiana,it should be noted that there are no synagogues in Columbus, IN (nearest ones are in Bloomington and Indianapolis), so please note, that is why they werent nailed. In case you non-Gnostics were wondering.

  • chris c., jihad is the central tenant of Islam. All other requirements of Islam, including the Five Pillars, may be excused if excusing them brings victory in jihad. Fatwa after fatwa makes this clear, and any fatwa to the contrary can be viewed as an expression of shirk, which is the greatest sin a Muslim can make (and the reason so many are killed by their co-religious). The deck is simply stacked against decent Muslims who want to live their lives out in any other way. I have no problem seeing a Muslim teen spraying Quranic references on Christian churches in Indiana as fulfilling a minor and relatively harmless jihad. Who knows, he may go to college and make a fortune on Wall Street or do kidney transplants, and never do another act of jihad, but deep down he would know exactly why he did what he did.
    As to the local Indiana clergy, I just have to assume they are like nearly everyone else and prefer not to face unpleasant realities.

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  • How does anyone know that it was not done by non Muslim warmongers? Could this have been done by those who want war in the M. East but those who are not anything to do with ISLAM. Could this have been done by JEWS?
    I ask all Catholics to remember how our bible and our faith is viewed differently by others who call themselves Christians and how it can be twisted into something unpleasant by those with twisted minds and evil hearts.

  • “How does anyone know that it was not done by non Muslim warmongers?”

    Yes, I can see why you suspect others considering the pacifism rampant among followers of the prophet. Who could possibly think that the adherents of such a peace loving faith could possibly do this? (The obligatory blame the Joos portion of your comment was a nice touch.)

  • UR:

    My money is on teenaged mutant ninja sasquatches with nothing more productive in their minds.

  • Ursula, how many Jews are going around loping off heads, let alone spray painting Quran verses on churches? Until you or someone else can actually prove such alleged claims, sthu!

  • I have to laugh at Ursula R’s comment about the vandalism likely being done by “THE JOOS”, er, “JEWS, as she puts it”: I have a little familiarity with this part of Indiana and I believe she would be hard-pressed to find a resident Jewish person in much of the heartland here/there. But then again, to satisfy her, perhaps those devilishly clever children of Abraham are at it again, and maybe the Mossad has covered well their tracks— yet again.

  • Amazing that there always has to be someone who must blame the Jews, but the Muslims whose Koran commands them to lie to Jews and Christians, whose Koran tells them to subject Jews and Christians to dhimmitude, whose Koran tells them to slay Jews and Christians by the sword are blameless.
    .
    Yeah. Right.

  • STHU yourself you rude arrogant LP Stephen. Steve, you have to laugh, really intellectual comment or arrogant put down?
    If Jews hate Muslims, as they clearly do with great intensity, leading to loss of life and liberty and loss of land for the Muslims, then surely it would be a really hateful thing to dress up as a Muslim and do something nasty to others so that others hate them too? Now if I were a Muslim and I really hated Jews which really one could hardly wonder at, then it would make sense for me to dress up like one and paint stars with six points onto churches in order to make everyone else hate them too. If someone who had upset me had a big falling out with someone else, if I was evil, I would target that person in order to stitch up the person I was getting revenge on. If I was a black American and I wanted action taken against the Klu klux klan, I could put KKK graffitti everywhere to get them into trouble, If I put on a white gown with hood and I was seen but not caught, they would get into trouble. Evildoing is sneaky and is sneakily done, it is not straightforward and getting others into trouble is more evil than targeting them in an outright way.
    I heard about a Jewish person putting up swastikas near her student living quarters, she was caught on camera.
    Some verses of the Koran were put onto churches, this is more likely to have been done by those who hate Muslims than by Muslims themselves.
    Who is Elliott Shimon?

  • Now if I were a Muslim and I really hated Jews which really one could hardly wonder at, then it would make sense for me to dress up like one and paint stars with six points onto churches in order to make everyone else hate them too.
    Yep, hate of Jews is soooo understandable.

  • Goodbye Ursula. I have zero tolerance for anti-semites. You are banned from this blog.

  • A million surplus Mussies are willing to bear the yoke;
    And, a man is only a man, but a good Mussie is a joke.

    With apologies to Kipling.

  • Don, deleting UR’s posts would be like photoshopping the Quran quotes off of the church photo. Please leave the evidence for all to see.

  • Jesus was a Jew.
    .
    Er, I mean Jesus IS a Jew. After all, He rose from the dead and will never die again and His Mother is certainly Jewish and She is in Heaven with Him.

  • Re. TomD’s cogent comment on “shirk” —i.e.,”… shirk, which is the greatest sin a Muslim can make (and the reason so many are killed by their co-religious).” as a violation to true faith in the oneness of Islam—

    I didnt connect the Qu’ran/Islamic definition to the Merriam-Webster defined definition/origin of the word til reading his post., and our common usage (i.e., “to shirk one’s responsibilities..”)

    Merriam-Webster :
    “In Islam, idolatry and polytheism, both of which are regarded as heretical. The Qu’ran stresses that God does not share his powers with any partner (sharik) and warns that those who believe in idols will be harshly dealt with on the Day of Judgment.

    The concept of shirk has broadened considerably throughout the dogmatic development of Islam, and it has come to be used as the opposite of tawhid (the oneness of God). Different grades of shirk have been distinguished by Islamic law; they include the belief in superstition, belief in the power of created things (e.g., reverencing saints), and belief in those who profess to know the future—all of which pale beside polytheism in seriousness.”

  • Steve: “The concept of shirk has broadened considerably throughout the dogmatic development of Islam”. Exactly right.

    Shirk can now include anything that would constitute what we would term ecumenical outreach. A Muslim who in any way gives any small credence to any other faith can be accused of it. For example, Islam has a version of the Golden Rule, but it is carefully worded to apply only to Muslims. A Muslim who states that the Islamic Golden Rule applies to all of humanity is open to a charge of shirk – unless he proves to his inquisitors that he is engaged in deceit for the sake of jihad. If you are a decent fellow it’s just better to keep quiet and not run the risk.

  • “…all of which pale beside polytheism in seriousness”
    And let us not forget that in Islamic theology the Trinity is a form of polytheism.

  • By the way, TomD, “The concept of shirk has broadened considerably throughout the dogmatic development of Islam”—that is Merriam-Webster “speaking”—note it fast before they are forced to change it!

  • Steve, I think that sentence is already PC. The fact is it “broadened considerably” in the first years of Islam. The broadening was not a linear progression.

Too American

Monday, July 29, AD 2013

20 Responses to Too American

  • What was that line about being lukewarm?

  • http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/29/creative-director-of-911-memorial-museum-not-such-a-big-fan-of-america/

    __

    One of the main problems in the country today is that too many people in positions of authority really do not have an ounce of patriotism and simply do not like America.

    The curator in question is an issue of Harvard University (class of 1970 or thereabouts).

  • As a Canadian I have always LOVED the way Americans have expressed their love and patriotism,for and of their country.

    Something awful has happened to your country. Your politicians and Administrators consider themselves Patricians-so far above the plerbians or the hoi polli.

    Patriotism is outre because it is TOO COMMON and these effete Liberals want to dictate the conversation and the agenda.As Catholics and Americans it is time to take your country back from the dark diabolically influenced coven or cabal and return it to it’s former exceptional status.

    Canadians by nature are quiet about our Patriotism BUT not our current Conservative Government.The leftist institutional poo-bahs like the CBC elite-Communist Broadcasting Commission or the publishers of the Toronto “Red” Star are keeping a much lower profile because while Canadians are slow to anger once angry,stand back-just ask the SS survivors from WWII.

    Please take your country back and save it from the effete “elite”,the pornifiers,the vulgarizers and DOMESTIC ENEMIES that are like a viper at America’s heart.

    Best wishes and prayers from your Canadian Brother in Christ.

  • I love my country. I was born here, even though my grandparents were immigrants, it has never ever run through my mind to bad mouth this USA. Disagree with, yes, protest about policies, yes, but to dislike or hate where I live would be like some of the animals who foul their nests and then build new ones somewhere else. One of Author Taylor Caldwell once put some words in the mouth of her character: ” If we think this country is going down the wrong way, we had better roll up our sleeves and get it back!” Not a precise citation, but we have a job in this America, we, the ones who live here, to get America back to what it was made to be. A bastion of freedom, not license, somewhere that people, ordinary people, can live without fear of being arrested for being your religion. God please help us to live the life that you want us to , and to do the one job that You have put us here to do, show the world Your life.

  • They need to write history to advance their agenda.

    I bet he displays not one picture of the scores (if not hundreds) that jumped rather than be incinerated.

    Shulan and all self-hating, elitist spucatum, with their deep-rooted disgust with the uses most Americans make of our freedoms, can go to hell.

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  • “As a Canadian”
    Thank you Gordon! A song I learned growing up courtesy of my “Newfie” Mom:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxOhk4Lk9aE

  • @Gordon Campbell: St. Joseph, patron of Canada, pray for us!

  • I recall a monument in front of a Catholic school in New Jersey that said simply,
    “God – Family – Country”. Patriotism is a virtue and a manifestation of the love of our neighbor.

  • Reading this I kept hearing the Marseillaise (with cannon booming). That song brings a full feeling in my chest and behind my eyes because it calls to the true hearted people of the countryside, who knew their patrimony; and I apply it to us. Gordon’s note also seems to be calling those of us who are like the people referenced in the opening lines of that anthem.
    I pity the poor ones among us who have not recognized how they have been blessed by being Americans. It seems they are distracted by a kind of false worldliness, with savoir faire to beat the band– but sans the simple knowledge that everything of any value is at home.

  • “America is unique, but we should not make too much of its uniqueness. In the long run we love our country for the same reasons any man loves his country–not for things that can be bragged about, but for things that can hardly be communicated, and are understood by outsiders mostly by analogy with their own patriotic affections. You communicate your love for your mother not by expatiating on your mother’s singular virtues, still less by calling her the Great Mother, but simply by using the word ‘mother.’ Every man born of woman will understand. Well, almost every man. There is always the occasional misfit who is alienated from his mother, or who thinks that motherhood is outmoded. But it is wisest to direct the conversation to the others.”

    -Joseph Sobran

  • Educate me, J. Christian. What does Sobran’s commentary have to do with a museum curator who cannot abide a photograph of firefighters raising a flag?

  • The curator is the misfit, using Sobran’s formulation.

  • Gordon, you are not the first Gordon to offer Americans an encouraging word. This journalist did so around the time our misguided curator was completing his indoctrination at Harvard:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ_okAgAUGE

  • Eh- Mike Petrik! Wonderful link I will pass it on to our family

  • The curator is the misfit, using Sobran’s formulation.

    Unfortunately, the misfit is in a gatekeeper position which distorts and disfigures public memorial.

  • My best memory of 9-11 wasn’t the day it occurred (I didn’t watch TV at the time; still don’t), but a couple of days later, when all the planes, etc were still grounded. That week-end was the “balloon fest” in our town. Dozens of balloons from all over the country come one week-end in September to go ballooning and engage in some kind of balloon completion. (The balloonists also visit various schools, have a food drive, etc. And because of the attacks, they too were grounded.

    Nevertheless, the pilots were allowed to inflate their balloons at dusk to float them up just a few feet while tethered to the ground. They would turn the burners up on “high” and the balloons would really illuminate. Beautiful sight. They do that every year, but that year it just seemed very impressive. And I remember thinking how great the US was and how we would never be defeated. If you could have put that feeling down on paper, I’m pretty sure the museum director would have labelled it “kitschy” and “rah-rah American.”

  • @Donald R. McClarey-Newfies ROCK !

    Ask your Mom what the pun is.

    Thanks for the song Bro.We are ALL in this together.

  • @WK Aiken-AMEN.Patron Saint of the Church and my 18 year old son.Thanks for your blessing.

    Mary,Immaculate Conception,patroness of the United States of America,pray for us.

    Our Lady of Guadeloupe,patroness of the Americas,pray for us.

    St.Katerina(she belongs to BOTH of us) pray for us.

    Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us.

  • @Mike Petrik.Mike I’m old enough to remember when Gordon Sinclair made the original broadcast on CFRB and even though I was a kid,I knew he had said something quite important.I was very proud of him and the solace it provided to our brothers and sisters who were under siege,within and without-not unlike today.

    America will NEVER be down for long-the Free World NEEDS you back in the saddle-CANADA needs you. You’ve survived tougher times than this-you’ll survive this horrific Administration and the dying corrupt Vichy Main Stream Media.

    God Bless President Reagan and God Bless America.

The Catholic Left and America the Evil

Tuesday, February 8, AD 2011

Thomas Peters took  the usual suspects, including Vox Nova, on the Catholic Left to task for ignoring Lila Rose’s new expose last week about Planned Parenthood a\k\a Worse Than Murder, Inc.  Mark Shea joined in.  In response Morning’s Minion at Vox Nova went on the offensive and blasted everyone to the right of Joseph Stalin after a pro forma condemnation of Planned Parenthood.  Nate Wildermuth made a more interesting contribution:

 

Thomas Peters and Mark Shea and those of like-mind rightfully point out that abortion and contraception are not understood correctly by many ‘progressive’ Catholics. When I lived in the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington D.C., I participated in the vigils at Planned Parenthood, and asked a fellow Worker if she’d like to come. “Can’t do everything,” she said. “Not my thing.” And that’s the sort of answer that makes us think, “Wow, they just don’t get it.” The ongoing slaughter of children in the womb is one of the most frightening signs of the disintegration of Western Civilization.

And yet, standing so near the truth, Thomas Peters and Mark Shea and many of like-mind totally lose their minds. Example: they have likely Marched for Life in Washington D.C., but not before attending the idol-worshiping ceremonies that precede it, where the multitudes pledge their allegiance to a flag soaked in blood, to a Republic prostituted for Mammon, to a nation kneeling under a god called Constitution. “That’s just proper patriotism for the good parts of America,” they might say. But anyone who pledges allegiance to the American flag or gets goosebumps at the National Anthem just doesn’t get it: America is the greatest force for evil in the world in the history of mankind.

To get it means to be shell-shocked by the utter depravity of every aspect of the United States, to see that the game is up, that doom is allotted, and that abortion, war, poverty, and every kind of violence will continue unabated until the wrath and judgment of God is poured out upon this proud and blind people.

Like the blind men grasping at different parts of an elephant, we should waste less time denying what the other sees, and more time putting together the pieces, no matter how horrifying the conclusion.”

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55 Responses to The Catholic Left and America the Evil

  • “…Vox Nova went on the offensive…”

    Vox Nasty.

  • The left’s motive is psychological. They are solipsists, adopting the narcissistic illusion that –since everything depends upon us– all we need do is change our own behavior for everything to turn out right. It is akin to the co-dependent strategy of the child of an alcoholic, who strives to achieve perfect behavior in order to motivate the parent to change. To think otherwise is to concede that the world is a chaotic place that we cannot control, and demands of us difficult choices, responses of limited effect, and –above all– the uncertainty of faith.

  • Pro forma? Does that mean that MM’s condemnation of PP was insincere? Is he lying about his views on PP? Why would someone like MM, who has no compunction about sharing his views, feel the need to fudge here?

    Is it possible to be pro-life without making abortion the pre-eminent topic of one’s writing? (I write on the Eucharist far more than on abortion.) Is it even possible that one could be against abortion and disagree with the right about health care? Or must we assert that anyone who disagrees with the right about anything disagrees about abortion, even if they aren’t willing to say as much? MM doesn’t get to decide his own opinion on abortion, you will do it for him.

    It is one thing to disagree with MM (or any other fellow Catholic) on which public policy best serves the common good. It is another to imply his insincerity.

    If we at VN say nothing about abortion, we are pro-abortion. If we say something about abortion, it is not satisfactory if it does not toe the GOP line. Every post, and there are a lot of them, is just one more exception that proves the rule. There is a self-fulfilling prophecy going on here.

  • Also, I’m quite a bit right of Stalin and got no impression that I was in MM’s sites. A long list is not the same as a broad list.

  • Brett, MM voted for the most pro-abort President in our nation’s history. He is an unfailing shill for the Democrat party. Abortion obviously ranks very, very, very low on his order of priority.

  • Brett,

    Take a look at Morning’s Minions work at Vox-Nova. On the rare occasion that he bothers to even offer a mild rebuke of the abortion industry, he insists on following it up with a much harsher upbraiding of Republicans. Abortion to him is nothing more than a distraction from the bigger issues of government mandated health care and whatever pet leftist project he has in his cross-hairs.

    Nate’s comment is simply deranged. Can we put to bed the notion that we should take any of these fools seriously?

  • Wildermuth’s comments are warped and bizarre and I think reflect his own idiosyncratic pathologies. I would tend to suspect that the ill motives of the the general run of the Catholic left are far more commonplace.

  • I suppose there is a small grain of truth to the claim that the US is the greatest source of evil among nations. At present, it is the most powerful, and projects that power world-wide. No other country, except for China, perhaps, can project such power and China does not seem to be interested in doing so at this time, at least not in the same way as the US. But by the same token, the US is also arguably the greatest source of good among nations – no other country rushes to provide aid as much as the US. I don’t think it is necessarily inconsistent to be both – when you wield a lot of power, how you use it impacts for good or ill. It is manifestly unfair to only note the good or the bad. Just my own observation, but those on the right seem to overplay the good; those on the left overplay the bad.

  • MM voted for the most pro-abort President in our nation’s history.

    Have you mention this to the Justice Department? Given that MM is an Irish citizen and not entitled to vote, it seems you have accused him of a felony.

  • The basic error is in thinking that the “Catholic left” is Catholic at all.

  • Be careful. Disagreeing with Vox Nova’s America-hatred is condemned in Veritatis Splendour 80.

  • I was aware Katherine that MM is an Irish import. Considering that he endorsed Obama in a has-to-be-read-to-be-believed post on VN, I assumed that he had become a naturalized American citizen.

    http://vox-nova.com/2008/08/19/barack-obama-for-president/

  • And once again we see the validity of Paul’s Second Law: “Life is too short to read Vox Nova.”

  • I think any honest reader can see that MM believes the Democrats give us a better chance at reducing abortion in the US.

    A fair-minded person can disagree with his assessment.

    But I don’t think it is fair-minded to imply that he is faking a concern for the unborn.

    And we can work with those with whom we disagree much more easily than with those we don’t trust. Sowing distrust of pro-life democrats imperils the pro-life cause. It ensures that whenever the Dems take power, as they will every couple elections, the house and/or senate will be largely pro-choice because, no matter where abortion is on MM’s list of priorities, it is pretty low for most Americans.

    One can be wrong without being dishonest. I do it all the time. 😉

  • Brett,

    At best you’re being incredibly naive if you think that the Democratic party has become more indebted to the abortion industry because of pro-lifers sowing “distrust” of pro-life Democrats. The Democratic party has done this of its own accord, and so-called pro-life Democrats have aided and abetted the Democrats by their continued blind allegiance towards the party.

    One can be wrong without being dishonest

    And some can be both.

  • The main problem is that, unless you are a news portal or something like it, blogging is entirely idiosyncratic. You blog about what you blog about. Making an argument from silence is especially risky under those circumstances.

    I think it’s a lot more telling when the news media doesn’t cover a particular story (e.g., the serial killing spree of Kermit Gosnell) that otherwise pushes all the buttons which usually mandate close coverage.

  • “I think any honest reader can see that MM believes the Democrats give us a better chance at reducing abortion in the US.

    A fair-minded person can disagree with his assessment.”

    Actually, any truly honest person should. There is little in the Democratic Party that is intrinsically “pro-life.” One may argue that increasing “investments” in different social programs will result in decreased abortion rates. However, there is little evidence that such is the case as there is little evidence that increasing “investments” in most areas actually results in positive change (see education.) So one may hold that position but it is very weak and does not make one necessarily “pro-life.”

    But the Democratic Party is almost entirely in the hold of abortion on demand, at any stage of pregnancy and for some, including Obama, even after birth. This wholesale surrender to an intrinsic evil, which cannot be rationalized by “investments” of dubious value in other so-called “pro-life” issues, renders MM’s vociferous support of the Democratic Party offensive.

  • Brett,

    It’s not that I think MM was lying about opposing Planned Parenthood. I think he is sincerely against Planned Parenthood and against abortion. But I don’t think he cares about it very much. It clearly doesn’t get him exercised the way that, say, a post by Thomas Peters criticizing Vox Nova does.

  • Thanks for the re-post, Donald, and in its entirety no less. And perhaps you and your readers are correct — perhaps it is I who have lost my mind, rather than those who see abortion as a holocaust yet continue to believe in a holocausting nation. Time will tell.

  • No, I do not think you have lost your mind Nate. Frankly, I was quite surprised by the post. You and I have often differed over the years, but I have always respected the sincerity of your pacifism. The depth of your feeling against America shocked me. America is much more today than the evil of abortion, just as America was much more in the days of Lincoln than slavery.

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  • Brett,

    I made an honest go of being a Pro-Life Democrat. It cannot be done.

    I am a Pennsylvanian and I remember fondly Governor Casey. I was proud of his stand and furious as the Democrat Party’s retribution. I hung in there until 2006. I read every bio and supported pro-life dems at every turn. Then Governor Casey’s son, now Senator Casey, proved to me that there is no place for Catholic beliefs in the Democrat Party.

    It was with a heavy heart too that I switched my affiliation for I honestly believed that the calls to justice that theoretically underpin the Dem platform well articulated the Church’s preference for the poor. After more than a decade of blindness, I acknowledged that the entire platform was a fraud.

    What you believe about the Democrat Party is of no concern to me. I have heard every false argument imaginable about how one SHOULD be a Dem if one believes the Church’s teachings. Believe what you will but you shouldn’t be surprised to be called on it when the party that our fellow Catholics on the Left support runs utterly rampant over truth and right.

    For my part, the Republicans have my support as long as they are the better alternative to the Dems. I don’t believe that the GOP represents the only or even the right answer to many social questions… but the organization is certainly less wrong than the Democrat Party.

  • Brett,

    Maniac MM needs to be judged by what he does, not what he writes. Talk is cheap.

    Nate seems a nice guy and I bet he means well. He seemingly thinks his country is “holocaust nation” and anyone that pledges allegiance is evil, too. I doubt he means that. He possibly couldn’t dream up any other defense for catholic abortion sympathizers.

    I would draw to lefty caths’ attentions the parable of the pharisee and the publican in the temple. It was the humble sinner’s prayer that was counted.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  • My post is updated to reflect the ongoing critiques. God bless.

  • rather than those who see abortion as a holocaust yet continue to believe in a holocausting nation

    Nate, that policy was imposed on our elected officials by our frigging judges. It is an indicator of the decay the bar in particular and the professional-managerial bourgeoisie in general. “The Nation” has not had much to do with it.

    Calling attention to the United States in this regard is peculiar. Abortion is regrettably lawful throughout the Occident and in the Far East as well. Malta has held out.

  • Dude, yeah, I know she was crazy. I’m glad you broke up with her. But it’s been months, man. You’ve got to stop talking about her. It doesn’t matter what kind of crazy stuff she’s into these days. It’s over. Move on.

  • I really think it is outrageous and obscene to identify America as the (or as the updated post says “one of the”) greatest source of evil in the history of mankind.

    What western nation even has a pro-life movement with the numbers and influence of America?

    If one wanted to speak of the evil of the last few administrations, that would be a different matter. But that isn’t what is taking place here: the flag, the Constitution, the essence of America is what is being identified as “evil” here.

    One of the posters on the comment thread for Nate’s post made the following point as well:

    “Who is “we”? The country doesn’t have abortions. Pregnant women do, and each one is making an individual decision. I don’t see how those individual decisions can all be consolidated into one action and collective responsibility assigned”

    Precisely right. The evil of abortion was ultimately given to us by radical leftist and feminist SUBVERSIVES – adherents of an alien, foreign, anti-American ideology called Marxism and its variants – who burrowed their way into our academic and political institutions. The American people did not choose legalized abortion, they had it foisted upon them by the Supreme Court, which was in turn provoked to rule by a cabal of radical feminists who manipulated and use, and then discarded Norma McCorvey or “Roe” from the infamous decision – and who is now a famous pro-life activist, by the way!

    I agree that glory and honor must be given first to God, and obedience first to the Magisterium of the Church – having satisfied those requirements there is nothing wrong with recognizing the relative goodness of the United States.

    Speaking about the relatively GOOD conditions of the Church in America as opposed to Europe, Pope Leo XIII wrote:

    “The main factor, no doubt, in bringing things into this happy state were the ordinances and decrees of your synods, especially of those which in more recent times were convened and confirmed by the authority of the Apostolic See. But, moreover (a fact which it gives pleasure to acknowledge), thanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in America and to the customs of the well-ordered Republic. For the Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance.” — Pope Leo XIII, Longinqua

    Leo went on to warn, however, that America’s condition of separation of Church and State was not ideal or preferred, and that the success of the Church would be even greater and more secure if she were rightly constituted. Being a majority Protestant nation, this couldn’t have happened then or now, but in principle it is true.

    Leo also said:

    “All intelligent men are agreed, and We Ourselves have with pleasure intimated it above, that America seems destined for greater things. Now, it is Our wish that the Catholic Church should not only share in, but help to bring about, this prospective greatness.”

    In a better era, when leaders were not consumed by envy and resentment, as well as false idealism and utopianism, this was an easily expressed thought by “all intelligent men.” And this when Catholics in America were still officially discriminated against in many places, and had to fight for respect in the public arena!

    So any argument that treats our fallen nature as if it doesn’t exist, or could one day be abolished, is simply asinine and ignorant to the good that actually does exist and can be preserved. And any argument that says we cannot appreciate – not worship but appreciate and even safeguard – our Constitution and our traditions as if it were a form of idolatry isn’t speaking like a Catholic, but rather a Jehova’s Witness.

  • And for all that, I STILL have moral qualms about the methods of Lila Rose. There is something about the use of deception on that scale that bothers me, even if it is for a good cause. I cannot shake the “feeling” that it is immoral, even though I as much as anyone on our side would like to see Planned Parenthood destroyed.

    In fact I have to be honest – I would have less of a problem with the actual destruction of a Planned Parenthood, say by a fire (in which no one was killed of course), than I do with the use of deception and entrapment.

  • Art, you really think that abortion is only happening in our country because of some accident of bad judges? As opposed to the ‘sexual revolution’ and countless other lies that infect the American Way of Life? Moreover, overturning Roe vs. Wade won’t stop the ‘elected officials’ in New York and California from letting the murder of babies continue.

    This is precisely what my post was about — missing the big picture, and thinking that except for a few bad people (usually over there), everything in America is basically fine. Everything isn’t basically fine. Secular humanism has the world by the throat, and the hand that squeezes has U.S.A. tattooed on it.

  • Donald, I appreciate your thoughts. But I wouldn’t say that I hate America, any more than I would hate the Titanic. I just don’t think its going anywhere good, and would like to help people get off before the thing sinks.

  • “and would like to help people get off before the thing sinks.”

    And go where Nate? I can’t think of a place on this planet where I would rather live. Judging from the immigration rates to this country, both legal and illegal, I think a great many non-Americans around the globe feel precisely the same way as I do.

  • I have a good many Christian friends and associates who are leaving the city to live in the country, try their hand at small-town agrarian life. Wendell Berry stuff. I think that’s the right start — not moving away from America, but moving into the places where America is at its best.

  • Art, you really think that abortion is only happening in our country because of some accident of bad judges?

    The policy was imposed by the appellate judiciary and has been maintained by the appellate judiciary against the wishes of all but about nine state legislatures. Two thirds of the female population who have been in their child bearing years since 1970 have not participated in this practice and (as Fr. Neuhaus put it), 70% of the population disapproves of abortion in 95% of the circumstances in which it takes place.

    The elected officials could have used the tools at their command to discipline the judiciary. They did not. There should have been a popular mobilization to do that and restore the status quo ante 1967. There has been to some extent, but it has been stymied by the fact that the culture of the bar is simply very different from that of the general public, and the appellate judiciary has retained a prestige it certainly does not merit.

    The legal regime in question is permissive. A great deal of crime has been committed as a consequence, but it makes little sense to refer to ‘the United States’ as a ‘force’ for ‘evil’ ‘in the world’. The evil occurs in social life generally. The political dimension of social life is implicated only because of the misfeasance of the judiciary. For all that, the United States Government has not promoted abortion abroad in the world except perhaps through intermittent funding of United Nations agencies up to no good. And, again, it makes little sense to complain of public policy in the United States (much less the United States as a polity or society) when the evil in question is a feature of social life in the entire Occident and much of the Far East as well.

  • I have a good many Christian friends and associates who are leaving the city to live in the country, try their hand at small-town agrarian life.

    Get real.

    In my part of the world, small towns and rural areas suffer very few violent crimes. One county I lived in had a population shy of 70,000 and a mean of about five robberies in a year. There has not been a homicide hearabouts since 1996. That is the advantage you have over the city. Otherwise, the degenerate aspects of the age are to be found here as anywhere.

    They do not publish birth notices in my local paper anymore. They did so as recently as a decade ago. There were certain conventions observed (e.g. placing the mother’s maiden name in parentheses) in these notices which told you bits of information about the families in question. You could tell from these conventions what share of births at the local hospitals were out of wedlock. In the catchments of our two small-town hospitals, the share was about 40%.

    As for agrarian life, forget it. One of the staff of Co-operative Extension at Cornell told me (again, over a decade ago) that there were fewer than 700 farmers in that county with 70,000 people in it. The displaced dairy farmer working in my office was pretty plain about it: the economics of agriculture have rendered it impossible for any but the most skilled and meticulous to make a living at it. It tore him up to sell his cows, but the milk business has very slim profit margins.

  • The Titanic metaphor is actually reasonably compelling, and a far better argument than the “one of the greatest forces for evil.” Hubris and blindness are indeed driving us to a precipice, as surely as J. Bruce Ismay made sure the jewel of the White Star Line was going at top speed.

    But that makes Ismay (and Smith, and Murdoch, et al) tragic figures, not inherently malevolent. We should look at the potential ruin of America the same way Augustine faced the ruin of Western Rome–as a tragedy, and an evil in itself.

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  • Joe interesting remark about Lila Rose. I have not heard that anywhere else and I think it deserves some further exploration. Kudos

  • Zach, I actually wrote a post about it a long time ago here. But now might be a good time to write a new one. Perhaps this evening.

  • “I have a good many Christian friends and associates who are leaving the city to live in the country…”

    My husband and I did that once, for about 3 years. It was very nice in some ways — we had fruit trees and I taught myself how to can fruit and vegetables.

    However, several things made it eventually unsustainable — namely, the fact that in order to pay the mortgage and property taxes and keep food on the table, at least one of us had to have a full time job that required a lengthy commute each day. This meant spending lots and lots of money on gas and car maintenance, not to mention on home maintenance and repair.

    As Art pointed out, very few people can make a living at farming anymore. Unless you are successfully self-employed and able to work from home, rural living these days can be more expensive in many ways than city living.

    Today I’d rather live in the city if for no other reason than I don’t have to be totally dependent on owning a car — I can walk or use public transportation if necessary. As for growing one’s own food — a valuable skill in a time of rising food prices — many cities now offer community gardens in which one can participate.

    It is true that rural areas tend to suffer less violent crime, but that doesn’t mean they are totally immune. For example, the worst recent mass murder in Central Illinois — in which a married couple and three of their children were killed and a fourth child seriously maimed — happened not in a major city but in a tiny rural village of less than 500 residents. Plus, when violent crime or other disasters (fires, car accidents, medical emergencies, etc.) do occur, it takes longer for first responders to arrive and longer to get to a hospital or other place of safety.

  • As for the main premise/question posed by this post: of course America is and has been a force for BOTH evil and good, just like any other country made up of fallen and sinful human beings.

    And where else are you going to go that’s better? The only truly pro-life and Catholic country I can think of is Malta, but since it’s a tiny island in the Mediterranean, good luck trying to emigrate there or find a place to live (unless you can somehow wheedle an appointment as ambassador, of course).

    As for political parties, I think there is a middle ground between insisting that Catholics should ALWAYS vote Democrat and insisting that they can NEVER vote Democrat under pain of mortal sin. I end up voting Republican about 95 percent of the time anyway due to the fact that most (not all) Democrats tend to be pro-abort. However, I don’t think this is an ideal situation and I hate to see the Church or the pro-life movement become totally beholden to one political party.

    I think we should love our country (and our state and community) the same way we love our families and friends: not because they are perfect, incorruptible, sinless or always right, but just because they are ours.

  • I do not agree with the sickening leftism and liberalism of Vox Nova or any of its comrades in the false gospel of social justice and peace at any price. I do believe that the United States was founded as a Christian Constitutional Republic and was once a good nation. But as long as we murder unborn babies as the right to choose, sanctify the filth of sodomy as equal rights, create and distribute pornography as freedom of speech, and commit general outright idolatry, then we can expect God’s wrath. In a way, the terror and horror of the Civil War was God’s wrath against the sin of slavery, and I predict that the liberals will never let go of abortion until that horrible event of five years in the 19th century repeats itself in the 21st. I do not want that to happen. I do not advocate that. But the satanic liberalism that Vox Nova ingratiates itself with leaves no other alternative except that the Lord Himself returns to Earth first. Jews in concentration camps in WWII were not freed till Germany had been devastated by the Allies. Unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs will not be protected till liberalism is likewise defeated in these United States. Let us hope and pray that happens WITHOUT the bloodshed of either liberals or conservatives. But history says otherwise, especially as long as godless liberals continue their demonic murderous spree against the unborn.

  • “As for political parties, I think there is a middle ground between insisting that Catholics should ALWAYS vote Democrat and insisting that they can NEVER vote Democrat under pain of mortal sin. I end up voting Republican about 95 percent of the time anyway due to the fact that most (not all) Democrats tend to be pro-abort. However, I don’t think this is an ideal situation and I hate to see the Church or the pro-life movement become totally beholden to one political party.

    I think we should love our country (and our state and community) the same way we love our families and friends: not because they are perfect, incorruptible, sinless or always right, but just because they are ours.”

    Perfect!

  • Nate, that policy [abortion] was imposed on our elected officials by our frigging judges.

    True, but it could not have been sustained for nearly 40 years without the acquiessence of a siginificant segment of the culture at large.

  • I was aware Katherine that MM is an Irish import. Considering that he endorsed Obama in a has-to-be-read-to-be-believed post on VN, I assumed that he had become a naturalized American citizen.

    So in a public forum, you falsely accused someone of election fraud (a felony) based on a wrong assumption* on your part. I missed the retraction and apology, but based on your inaccurate comments, I’m probably done reading what you write.

    * When you ‘assume’ you make an ..

  • Katherine I will miss your readership in much the same way I miss my most recent kidney stone. Go elsewhere in your attempt to create mountains out of molehills and avoid discussing the actual topics of the posts. Don’t get weary dragging those red herrings.

  • Its those red herrings which may one wonder about whether Vox Nova and their like are truly against abortion. When you spend so much effort to avoid denouncing their favorite political party, one is likely to think so.

    An example:

    http://vox-nova.com/2011/02/08/why-i-love-obama-abortion-and-hate-the-catholic-church%e2%80%94and-you-should-too/#comment-100027

  • It looks like my last post didn’t make it. Anyway, any thoughts on the Protect Life Act Donald? May make a post of it. Then we can see if VN will actually condemn some dems.

  • Retrieved your comment from the spam file Philip. If a comment has a link in it, Akismet usually thrusts it there. In the post you linked to Sam Rocha was being satirical, although much of what he wrote has been said seriously by various other Vox Nova contributors over the years. Vox Nova, with certain honorable examples, tends to be the home of individuals who would sooner eat ground glass than give aid or comfort to the conservatives or the Gop. If that means they have to studiously ignore abortion, they will. This does not apply to all Vox Nova contributors past or present, but that is the general tone of the blog.

    The Protect Life Act is a wonderful move by the GOP, as can be seen by the hysteria of leftist and pro-abort blogs in regard to it. Sam Rocha’s snide attitude when you asked him in the comment thread about the Act is typical of VN. If a Republican proposed it, best to go on the offense. Well done Philip! Rocha writes a satircal thread and you get him to go into protect the left mode, thereby undermining what he was attempting to establish by his post.

  • Thanks. I understand that Sam was being satirical though I was hoping he would be honest enough to admit that the Democrats are supporting evil in opposing the Protect Life Act. I guess I was misguided.

    As I said earlier, I think this is why some hold that VN is not “sufficiently” pro-life. I suspect for some there, one can cut out “sufficiently.”

  • I knew you realized it Philip and I salute the skill by which you undermined the satire. Really, someone should instruct Mr. Rocha that posts are wasted effort if the author disproves them in subsequent combox debate.

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  • So, Joe H., do you also oppose the use of undercover police?

  • Okay, so the questioning of Lila Rose, I get it, I guess. She didn’t break any laws, but was it ethical for her to go undercover (since that is what investigative journalists do?)
    Was it ethical for undercover journalists to expose widespread corruption in Chicago? Like in this story…http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,919328,00.html. So I guess the bigger question is “Is undercover investigative journalism ethical?” There is the ethical conundrum of whether the ends justify the means. If a journalist uncovers information that needs to be brought to the attention of the public, does that therefore justify the clandestine methods used to obtain that information? The concern is that the deceit on the part of the journalist sullies the critical information that is uncovered. Does a journalist dampen his credibility through the use of lies and chicanery?
    Journalism that relies on active deception and, more typically,passive’ misrepresentation to acquire information must satisfy at least the following three professional ethical requirements. First, the information pursued must be directly and strongly linked to a larger social purpose. Secondly, the public value of such information must clearly outweigh the injury caused by the deception and the privacy violation. Thirdly, undercover methods must not be resorted to where the information can be gathered by straightforward means. I would say Lila Rose met all of these requirements. The EVIL of Planned Parenthood far outweighs the deceit of her investigators.

How Europe Sees America

Monday, October 4, AD 2010

Click on the above map to be able to read it.  The original of the map is here.  Tito had a post yesterday here with a map depicting how America views Europe.  Ambrose “Bitter” Bierce in the 19th Century said that war was God’s way of teaching Americans geography.  Unfortunately, the lessons do not appear to stick.  However, the Europeans are often not that better informed about us.

For example, I have always enjoyed reading the English historian Paul Johnson, and have read almost every book he has written.  Therefore, I was dismayed when reading his history of the US to encounter quite a few factual errors, including his inability to distinguish between Albert Sydney Johnston and Joseph Johnston in the Civil War, and his apparent belief that it was the Texas Rangers and not Army Rangers who landed at Utah Beach on Normandy.

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10 Responses to How Europe Sees America

  • That map has way too much detail in it.

  • Agree with Mr. Blackadder.

    Either they are red states or they’re in various states of ruin.

    I’m emigrating to America when I retire. My new motto: “Red state or bust!”

  • I have to jump on the band wagon about there being much to much detail for a European. That’s more a Map of how American’s see our own country, allowing for everyone to have more knowledge of their own state of course.

  • Some of these are a bit puzzling: “Same last names” in Illinois? Ohio is all bars and drugs (I would think “Burning Rivers” is more evocative)? 2012 starts in Montana?

    My freshman dorm roommate came from Maryland to northern California for college. I still remember the hand-drawn “bon voyage” poster someone had drawn him, with the outline of California filled with endless palm trees. Oh boy, I thought, Someone’s never been to San Francisco before.

  • The “Same last names” tag is applied to SOUTHERN Illinois, which is culturally far more “Southern” than the rest of the state — physically it’s closer to Kentucky or Tennessee than Chicago. Of course this map might also lead one to believe that pizza was invented in the Peoria area 🙂

  • Also, try telling the residents of Nashville that everyone in Tennessee “plays jazz and is black.”

  • Pizza was not invented in Chicago, Illinois…just perfected there.

    Wow, I can’t wait to leave Afghanistan and return to the USA!

  • I believe the Salem witch trials were in Salem, Massachusetts, not Salem, Oregon

  • Apparently Nashville was confused with New Orleans… just kidding… sort of.

  • When I was in the UK in the early ’80’s, I found that just about every person I met thought of the Midwest as a massive corn field with Chicago plopped down in the middle of it. (And more than a few people mimicked the “rat-tat-tat” of a tommy gun when they said Chicago.) The few exceptions I met said “Harley-Davidson!” when I mentioned my hometown. Certainly not beer or cheese – given the excellence of native Brit brews and cheeses, they do not automatically think of America when they think of those products.

    Bawer is right. Euros flatter themselves that they “know” America, but what they know are Hollywood stereotypes. Most Euros visit NYC, LA and Disney World if they visit the States and ignore “flyover country” entirely. A trip spent in Manhattan and Magic Kingdom really doesn’t make you an authority on the States, anymore than a few days spent visiting the Louvre and Notre Dame gives you any great insight into modern-day French folk.

9 Responses to A Map Of How Americans View Europe

German Economist: America Is Becoming Too European

Friday, September 3, AD 2010

I found this piece from the English-language edition of Der Spiegel by University of Hamburg economics professor Thomas Straughaar very interest, in part because it reads very much as written by someone who is looking at American history and culture from the outside, yet trying to understand it for what it is. A key passage from the second page:

This raises a crucial question: Is the US economy perhaps suffering less from an economic downturn and more from a serious structural problem? It seems plausible that the American economy has lost its belief in American principles. People no longer have confidence in the self-healing forces of the private sector, and the reliance on self-help and self-regulation to solve problems no longer exists.

The opposite strategy, one that seeks to treat the American patient with more government, is risky — because it does not fit in with America’s image of itself.

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4 Responses to German Economist: America Is Becoming Too European

  • I’d say the author has a better understanding of this country than many Americans do.

    The author fears that if America adopts European ways, “the American age will have really come to an end.”

    But the good professor fears this because he, unlike large numbers of leftists both here and in Europe, actually likes America. He sees the “The American Age” as a positive. The end of the American Age is precisely the result the left is after and when you look at it from that perspective, Obama’s not doing a bad job.

    America is evil in leftist eyes because – oh, heck, all you have to do is read Vox Nova and you’ll have the reasons. The secular left would add a few other reasons to loathe the US – far too many “Christianist” yokels who have silly qualms about abortion and gay marriage. These people never seem to ask themselves if the American Era might be preferable to a Chinese Era, or an era in which there is no superpower at all, just an ineffectual UN in thrall to states like North Korea and Iran and state-funded terrorist groups.

    Unless we get a grip on ourselves and steer back from the cliff’s edge, we may indeed find ourselves living out one of those 2 scenarios. And my bet is that many lives – not just American lives by any means – would once again become nasty, brutish and short, and the world would find itself yearning for the good old days of the American era.

    Another thing: I have noticed that Euro-admiring lefties are pretty good at ignoring aspects of Europe they disagree with. They’ll tout Europe’s smaller cars (it would be pretty difficult to maneuver a Explorer through narrow medieval streets) and railway system, but not, say, France’s nuclear energy program. Or they’ll praise more relaxed attitudes about adulterous politicians or public nudity, but when you mention that no European country allows partial birth abortions – well, that’s one example of American “exceptionalism” they don’t mind at all.

  • B…b…b….but Paul Krugman says …

  • I’m always weary of these cultural arguments. How’s homogeneous state-friendly Greece doing?

Mosque Opponents: Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Get It

Saturday, August 28, AD 2010

The debate over the so-called Ground Zero mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center in New York has raised public interest in, and opposition to, other proposed or recently built mosques and Islamic centers throughout the country.

In areas where Muslim migration or immigration has been significant, some citizens have attempted to discourage construction of new mosques. Few come right out and cite the threat of terrorism; more often they seem to resort to time-honored NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) tactics such as creative interpretation of zoning ordinances, claims of decreased property values, or claims of real or potential problems with traffic, noise, etc.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I understand the need to be vigilant regarding the potential for violent subversion, as well as the dangers of taking such a politically correct approach to militant Islam that people hesitate to report obvious suspicious activity for fear of being labeled bigots (as seems to have happened in the Fort Hood massacre case).

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45 Responses to Mosque Opponents: Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Get It

  • Outstanding article — thank you!!

    Question (and please forgive this social-networking-backward-participant!):

    Why doesn’t American Catholic enable readers to SHARE this via Facebook? (Maybe I’m flunking the IQ test and missed the link??? I just did a “copy & paste” on the link above on my FB page . . . Sad to say, I am still trying to figure out this RSS stuff!!!)

    Thank you!

  • Elaine,

    You raise some very valid points. But, did Catholicism, or the perversion therof, and Catholics or any Christians for that matter murder 3000 innocents on September 11? Or have Catholics or Christians committed bombings in recent years or pose threats of bombings around the world?

    I think the problem here is that the Muslims who have proposed this mosque have displayed absolutely NO sensitivity to the families of victims of 9/11 while demanding all the tolerance in the world from those 9/11 families,as well as other citizens. These “moderate” Muslims claim that they want to build bridges but all they are doing by forcing the building of this mosque at this partiular ultra-sensitive location is burning bridges. Why is this location so important when there are over 100 mosques located in NYC already? How is this mosque being funded? By terrorist organizations or not? I believe in order for the community as a whole to benefit from this mosque our government and our citizens must be as certain as possible that this mosque is not funded by terrorist organizations and will not be used as a terrorist training center under the guise of religious freedom. If the mayor and others would be willing to look into the mosque’s financial funding I believe that this would allay many peoples’ fears.

    I do understand that the people behind the building of the mosque has a right to be built according to civil law. But, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out, if zoning laws and aesthetics can trump one’s right to build why could the sensitivity to those families who had loved ones killed by a single act of war trump one’s right to build?

    As to the issue of this mosque being two blocks away from the primary ground zero site: Would you agree that wherever the planes hit or any of its part on 9/11 should be considered Ground Zero? If so, then so should the Burlington building since a part of the plane hit that building.

    I think this whole controversy could have been avoided if the NYC commission had shown some prudential judgment and declared the Burlingtion building as a historical landmark.

  • I agree that it wasn’t a good idea for the mosque/Islamic center to be built so close to Ground Zero. I see nothing wrong with encouraging them to build elsewhere. The $64,000 question, however, is whether or not the local government has a right to explicitly FORBID them to build at the site. That’s where the danger of setting a bad precedent comes in.

  • Elaine a ban on construction of new places of worship would be clearly unconstitutional and would not stand up in court longer than the time it takes a Chicago alderman to pocket a bribe. No one has been disputing the right of the Flim Flam Imam and his Cordoba Initiative (Dhimmis Always Welcome!) to build this Mosque, but whether it is right for them to do so. I am keenly aware of the frequent divergence of a legal right and a moral right. My opposition might well not exist if a local group of Muslims had wished to put up a Mosque for local worship. I think the Flim Flam Imam clearly has an agenda that has little to do with worshiping Allah, and quite a bit to do with furthering his Cordoba Initiative which has one message for gullible Western elites and another message for his backers in the Middle East.

  • I thought this post by Bob Murphy about the Glenn Beck rally today was a propos:

    Of course Mr. Beck and his fans have every legal right to hold a rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech.

    Nonetheless, we are asking that they hold their rally a few blocks away, and on a different date. There are 364 other days in the year; what’s wrong with them?
    Now look, we know full well that Mr. Beck and his supporters claim that they are trying to heal racial division. Intellectually, we black Americans know that just because we have been brutalized by angry white conservative males for as long as we can remember, that doesn’t mean that all angry white conservative males pose a threat to our physical safety.

    But this isn’t about logic or rationality. This is about sensitivity to our feelings. Surely Mr. Beck can understand why a majority of American blacks wouldn’t appreciate him holding a rally on the anniversary of Dr. King’s famous speech. If he goes ahead with his plans, he won’t promote racial unity. So we ask him to hold the rally in a different place, on a different date.

  • Teresa – Did you seriously just say that Christians have not bombed or killed significant numbers of people? Check the stats on our current wars sometime.

  • As usual, Blackadder mistakes cuteness for substance. By now Blackadder is aware that the objections to the Mosque are not grounded in a general objection to anything at all being built near Ground Zero.

  • “Teresa – Did you seriously just say that Christians have not bombed or killed significant numbers of people? Check the stats on our current wars sometime.”

    Our wars being the equivalent of Bin Laden’s murder of 3,000 innocent men, women and children? Moral equivalency: the opiate of the politically correct.

  • While I agree with Donald that the proposed ban shouldn’t pass constitutional muster (there’s a case that states you can’t ban all forms of religious speech-I think it’s Rosenberger v. Rectors & Vistors of UVA), you are absolutely right in stating that the opposition to the mosque establishes a precedent that is far more dangerous to Catholics than to Muslims insofar as some are advocating legal means to interfere with the building of the mosque.

  • “I think the Flim Flam Imam clearly has an agenda that has little to do with worshiping Allah, and quite a bit to do with furthering his Cordoba Initiative which has one message for gullible Western elites and another message for his backers in the Middle East.”

    Donald, I agree.

    Blackadder,
    If Alveda King has no problem with the rally I don’t see why any other person, of any color black, white, red, brown etc., should have a problem with Beck and others honoring Martin Luther King Jr’s message of equality for all. Yeah, and if he didn’t do anything honoring Martin Luther King the Left would make accusations about no person caring about blacks and spreading King’s message, so Your “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” according to liberalism.

    Martin,
    First, is that an admission that our nation is rooted in Christian values?

    Second, Did we really go to war as “Christians” or as a nation fighting against terrorism and for our nation’s national defense?

    Third, I didn’t know that a group of Christians not associated with the U.S. government went off on their own and specifically targeted a building or another location just to murder Iraqi inocents? I think your the person who is a little confused with reality, Martin.

    Fourth, Please name me one war in history that has had no civilian casualties?

  • I’m with Gen’l. (Vinegar) Joe Stillwell, “Don’t let the bastards wear you down.”

  • It isn’t even a matter of where the mosque is being built – replace the entire WTC site with the biggest mosque in the world, no problem – PROVIDED Islam changes its ways.

    I realize all the 1st Amendment issues involved here – but until I am no longer considered such subhuman filth that I cannot enter the precincts of Mecca, then I’m going to hold that Moslems must be curbed in what they do in the United States. Not stopped – not expelled; just carefully curtailed to ensure that everyone, especially in the Moslem world, knows that we have not lost our back bone.

    Tolerance does not mean going along happily with whatever someone wants to do – it is a two way street and it requires some compromise. We can easily tolerate a mosque in Manhattan – but we can’t tolerate it hard by Ground Zero…not now, and not until Islam changes its tune.

    Mark Noonan

  • Blackadder,

    I wonder if the author of that piece can find even a single black man brutalized by a conservative white man in the past 40 years.

  • We might just consider the possibility that these local pols want to limit the quantum of non-taxable property in that particular locality. Piggy, but unsurprising.

    It is not a novelty for houses of worship to face zoning tangles. Given the size of the metropolitan New York area, you will have to excuse me if I suggest that prohibiting the placement of a 13 story building of a particular character at a historic site of modest dimensions is a measure different in kind than prohibiting all construction of houses of worship in a given municipality.

    Martin:

    As far as I am aware, the Marine Corps does not have an icon of St. Michael on their weaponry and al-Qaeda does not do civil affairs projects.

  • Here’s my $64,000,000.03 question.

    If religious freedom/tolerance requires a $100 million mosque over the WTC site. How is religious liberty/tolerance served by denying the rebuild of THE Orthodox Church that THE muslim terrorists destroyed on 11 Sep 2001?

    AD:

    No! It’s much worse than that! USMC heroes wear (gasp) US flags on their uniforms.

    Re AQ civil affairs projects: They’re helping make Americans good. They believe the only good American is a dead American.

  • Lot of assumptions in this post; the assumption that the REAL motive folks have is fear of terrorism, and that they can’t possibly object for the reasons they give:

    zoning ordinances, claims of decreased property values, or claims of real or potential problems with traffic, noise, etc.

    Evidence for this claim? I know that the blog Beers with Demo did the research to show a pattern of harassment against a church in his area, but a blanket claim that 1) Mosques are being unusually opposed and 2) it is because of fears of terrorism is a claim that requires more than just a claim to be taken seriously.

    There’s also the issue of using charged terms inaccurately. NIMBY, while meaning “not in my back yard,” also implies that something is not opposed in general. (Example, opposing wind power generators in your area while promoting wind energy in general.)
    People who are worried about Islamic terror risings from Mosques are going to be bright enough to remember the home mosques of the 9/11 terrorists were far, far away, and would appose them in general, not just specific.

    Your notion of equivalence between “there shall be no non-profit organizational buildings in our district” and “no, you may not build a triumphalist religious center on the ruins created by said religion” is mind bending.

  • Martin-
    Go troll someplace else.

  • Wow. Far-ranging discussion.

    First, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The religion piece really has no bearing on the discussion over the Cordoba Mosque proposed for Ground Zero.

    How many mosques are there in Manhattan? About a hundred? Sounds like pretty free exercise of religion to me.

    Second: I challenge any black person who reads this blogs, or any black person who’s a friend of someone who reads this blog, to tell me the date of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. I had to memorize parts of it as a child (stand down, racialists: I’m Black). Never knew what day it was given; barely knew it was in August. Glenn Beck planned this rally (which I wish I had had time to attend)for the last Saturday in August. An lo and behold, what date did that happen to fall on? Why, August 28! August the 28th, which happened to be an anniversary of Dr. King’s speech!

    Why should a mosque be built at the site of a murder committed by people motivated by Islam? Why should a church of any type be built at the site of the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jewish people (and others, including Catholic Saints)? Why should the Japanese in Hawaii build a temple at the site of the sunken USS Arizona?

    Answer? None of them should. Because it’s disrespectful. Why is this so hard to grasp? And what does it tell those who truly hate us about whether we will truly resist them?

    It is not un-Christian to stand up for common politeness.

  • Gee, RR, why didn’t you link to this much more recent article on those idiots?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/nyregion/08hate.html

    Those morons were accused of racial hate crimes and seem to be gang related. Notably, not “conservative white men”– just idiot gang members. (is that redundant?)

  • What are you trying to prove by arguing that white people no longer attack black people? For one, it’s a sad, callous, and absurd battle to fight. Do you, like, remember this one time, in, like, 1992 in LA where, like, some white cops beat up this black guy named Rodney King? White on black violence occurs a lot, as does black on white, white on white, black on black, brown on black, brown on white, brown on brown, white on brown, black on brown, etc, etc, etc.

    Also, please STOP calling it a mosque. A mosque is specifically a Muslim holy place where only prayer can be conducted. This is a Muslim community center, similar to a YMCA. It will have a culinary school, basketball courts, etc. With a prayer room on one or two of the fifteen or so floors.

    I can think of Catholic terrorism pretty easily: the IRA. And that was specifically religio-nationalist.

    It is utterly absurd to demand that “Islam” renounce its terroristic ways before the community center is built, as Mr. Noonan said. A religion cannot change its ways. People can change their ways, but abstract nouns cannot. And the people behind this community center have no terroristic tendencies to modify. Furthermore, there is no central authority for Islam as there is for Catholicism. In fact, some radical sects of Muslims hate opposing Islamic sects more than they hate America. Like al-Qaeda. Bin Laden hates America not “for our freedoms” but because we prop up the (in his mind) heretical Saud monarchy in Arabia.

    Quite frankly, it’s astounding that a debate over a Muslim community center is occurring in 21st century America. As someone who would never have voted for George Bush, I will say that I am so grateful that he modeled Christ’s love to American Muslims by not targeting them after 9/11, as seems to be occurring now.

  • Pingback: Opponents of mosque may soon see tables turned | Holy Post | National Post
  • I would like to ask everyone – Do you think that Islam can be a “moderate” religion? I am not saying Muslims cannot be moderates, but can the religion itself really ever be considered moderate since it follows Sharia law?

    If Sharia law is one of the precepts of Islam then why wouldn’t Sharia law fall under the guise of religious freedom and challenge the constitution in several capacities and force all of us citizens to respect and follow Sharia as well? Is Sharia law and the Constitution really compatible?

    If those who believe in the “letter of the Constitution” instead of the “spirit of the Constitution” with regards to religious freedom truly believe that religious freedom is absolute without taking into account our national security interests (as it seems to me) how could one deny Muslims the “right” to follow their “moderate” religion that includes Sharia Law which would also impose Sharia Laws on the non-Muslim citizens when that clearly clashes with our Constitution?

    You might want to look at a some things that Sharia law demands:

    1 – Jihad defined as “to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.

    2 – A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.

    3 – A Caliph is exempt from being charged with serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.

    4 – A percentage of Zakat (alms) must go towards jihad.

    5 – It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if he is unjust.

    6 – A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.

    7 – The Muslim public must remove the Caliph in one case, if he rejects Islam.

    8 – A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.

    9 – A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of: 1) an apostasy 2) an adulterer 3) a highway robber. Making vigilante street justice and honor killing acceptable.

    10 – A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim.

    11- Sharia never abolished slavery and sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave.

    12 – Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for crimes of sin such as adultery.

    13 – Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims and must comply to Sharia if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their scriptures or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he commits adultery with a Muslim woman or if he leads a Muslim away from Islam.

    14 – It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims. However, the opposite is not true for Muslims.

    15 – A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.

    16 – Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.

    17 – No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or a bathhouse attendant. Women in such low-level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.

    18 – A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslims minority.

    19 – H***sexuality is punishable by death.

    20 – There is no age limit for marriage of girls under Sharia. The marriage contract can take place any time after birth and consummated at age 8 or 9.

    21 – Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.

    22 – Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.

    23 – There is no community property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.

    24 – A woman inherits half what a man inherits.

    25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and she has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.

    26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.

    27 – A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and women captured in battle, and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.

    28 – The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man.

    29- A woman loses custody if she remarries.

    30- To prove rape, a woman must have 4 male witnesses.

    31 – A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.

    32 – A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Some schools of Sharia allow the face and some don’t.

    33 – A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”

    The above are clear-cut laws in Islam decided by great Imams after years of examination and interpretation of the Quran, Hadith and Mohammed’s life. Now let the learned Imam Rauf tell us what part of the above is compliant with the US constitution?

  • Ryan-
    who are you talking to?
    NO ONE was talking about “whites never attack blacks”. Blackadder posted a quote of someone claiming that “angry white conservative males” have been brutalizing blacks for “as long as they can remember,” and someone else challenged him to find a single case of a white conservative assaulting a black person. RR then posted an article that implied but did not claim anti-Dem motives, and which five minutes of research showed to just be gang idiots.

    Secondly, go yell at the Cordoba House proponents, and even the initiative itself; half the time, they call it a mosque. (Generally when they want to drum up the religion side of it; when it’s more flattering to emphasize the “community center” side, it becomes a building that includes a mosque.)

    If the reading comprehension and careful consideration of the argument you’ve shown in this post is standard for you, no wonder you can’t see how this is a topic for valid debate. Straw men with only a nodding acquaintance to the topic aren’t very good aids to understanding.

    A wise lady once told me that if you can’t argue the other side of something, you have no business arguing your own side because you clearly don’t know enough about the topic. I try to keep it in mind, maybe you should try it?

  • In response to jihad etc…

    I am not sure where you are getting your information on what jihad and sharia is….but you have incorrect information. Jihad and sharia is much more complex then what you have stated. As I have reserached this extensively I will just point out very plainly and in layman terms what jihad is. Jihad means “struggle”.
    More commonly known in the Muslim world as an internal spiritual struggle to be better and serve God. It can also mean warfare where one needs to defend themselves when attacked- so it has two meanings to it. There are a lot of inaccuracies in your e-mail and I do not have time to go over them now…but one just to correct one is that bride money is not given for sexual organs. Bride money is called “mehr” and it is an obligatory gift that the groom must give his wife so that she is not left with nothing if he decides to leave her. It is the right of a woman and not a man. Actually in researching Muslims I found that there are a lot of similaries to Catholicism…and then there were differences as well. An interesting bit of information I came across was “Marriage helps men and women to develop along natural lines and head towards development and success through mutual co-operation. Marriage prevents immorality licentiousness and irresponsibility. The spouses in marriage agree to share rights and responsibilities to develop a happy family”….doesn’t that sound like something Catholics believe in as well? What happened on 9/11 was plain WRONG. I have friends who are Muslims and they beleive it is wrong…they say that the people who did this are crazy. So I have to think before I judge anyone and encourage you to do the same.

  • Sandy-
    please do not misrepresent your study, which seems to have been of the more modern and mild forms of Islam, as representative of Islam in general.

    Also, your definition of “mehr” is incorrect, (In Canada, it often functions like a pre-nup– often enough that a basic google will bring up a LOT of legal help boards.) as is your characterization of Jihaad.
    (links to understanding-Islam.com, which is affiliated with Al-Mawrid Islamic Research foundation out of Pakistan.)

  • Foxfier, white conservatives can’t be in gangs?

  • RR,

    Gangs are color neutral, but I’m having a hard time picturing how a conservative could be in a gang since gang life and activities run counter to conservative values. My guess is that you’re perhaps angling toward skinheads because the media like to call them conservatives. However, conservatives have about as much appreciation for neo-nazis as they do racist gangs/parties typically associated with the left, which is to say none.

  • “Gang life and activities run counter to conservative values”

    Well, it goes without saying that violence, vandalism, drug use, other criminal activity, and intimidation of non-members go against conservative values (and probably even the values of most moderates and liberals I know).

    But, isn’t it true that gang membership, especially among urban teens, basically takes the place of the families they don’t have — giving them a structure, culture and sense of belonging that they don’t get from absent or incarcerated or unknown fathers, mothers who change boyfriends as often as they change clothes, being shuffled from one relative to another, etc.?

    So in that sense, gang membership does express (albeit in a perverted or distorted fashion) one very important “conservative” value: the absolute primacy of the family as the basic unit of society, and the consequences that result when it is undermined or destroyed.

  • I can think of Catholic terrorism pretty easily: the IRA. And that was specifically religio-nationalist.

    True to some extent. But it wasn’t expansionist.

  • Actually I think in a number of areas there are limits on, if not the building of churches, at least the size of churches. Where I once lived this limit made it impractical to build a Catholic Church as the size limit was too small for what was required to meet the needs of the Catholic population without building multiple small churches. Those restrictions were placed in the 90’s as I recall. No big First Ammendment concerns have been raised. Perhaps they should.

  • Mary Margaret Cannon,

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Until recently, WordPress.com did not allow this function (WordPress.org does I believe).

    But today I noticed this option was now available and I have just finished adding this particular function.

    Enjoy!

  • Hey, why not make a page, too? You can set it up to autopublish your blog with the “notes” feed, or us
    e http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/newuser1.php

  • Foxfier,

    We have ‘something’ on Facebook, not sure what.

    I’m going to investigate and get this set-up/streamlined for greater social-networking-optimization (SNO).

  • Scott Gentries might want to take a look at this:

  • …Might strike home if the primary arguments weren’t specifically related to the history and culture of Islam, Ryan.

    Fail.

  • RL, if conservatives can’t be in gangs by definition then sure there are no white conservatives in gangs. There are no Catholics in gangs either then.

  • i would like to point out that the proposal only bars new buildings, and not changing the use to of already constructed ones. the mosque near to us was once a church, a church was previously a synagogue, and the nigerian christian group uses a clothing warehouse.

  • Teresa, half of what you said is inaccurate / disinformation. if the USA followed the other half, maybe they wont have millions of inmates that the taxpayer has to support.

  • I would just like to point out a couple of things that are on point:

    1. It’s not a mosque. It’s a community center, and you can read here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/opinion/08mosque.html?_r=1&src=tptw the words of the chairman of the project, stating that one of the many goals of it is to include prayer centers for those of Christian and Jewish faiths in hopes that this will strengthen interfaith relations.

    2. I’m not usually a fan of Charlie Brooker, but he hit one point straight on the head when he said that being a 2 minute walk and around the corner is not at all the same thing as being AT the same location. He said something like, he’s used a bathroom 2 minutes away from Buckingham Palace, and has yet to be arrested for defecating on the Queen’s pillow. We’re talking about Manhattan, and if you’ve ever been there, it’s a crowded place. How close is too close, exactly?

    3. To the person who said Catholic/Christian extremists haven’t bombed or killed significant numbers of people in recent years, I ask: Have you ever heard of the Irish Republican Army? Visit Belfast or Glasgow sometime and ask around – just… be careful in which neighborhood you ask and what colors you’re wearing when you do.

  • 4. On the topic of how Muslim women are clothed, ask yourself if you’ve ever questioned the chaste garb (and lifestyle, for that matter) of nuns and priests. I bet you just take it as a matter of course, because it’s what you’re used to. Of course, there is spousal abuse and other unsavory activity that goes on among members of the Islamic faith, but again, look closer to home. Surely you cannot insist that no Catholic or Christian has ever abused another human being.

  • Brian,

    Strawman.

    The IRA is a nationalist organization. To be more accurate, they are a violent Marxist nationalist organization looking to impose communism under the guise of being “Irish” and “Catholic”.

    Being Catholic has nothing to do with it.

    They don’t espouse anything Christian AT ALL.

    You’ve never heard them saying they are dying in the name of Jesus. Only in the name of Ireland.

    You need to do better than that to espouse your anti-Christian bigotry around here.

  • Brian,

    Again your bias is grossly revealing itself.

    Religious wear their clericals as a choice, not in being imposed.

    Whilst on the other hand Muslims force women to wear burkas, regardless of their religiosity.

  • Brian, you’re exposing your ignorance or willful blindness– the folks building it called it a mosque until their PR guys realized that was not so good. They also called it the Cordoba House, until word got around what that indicated, especially with the 9/11/11 opening date.

    Also, you’re pointing to an opinion piece in the NY Times. Not exactly hard, unbiased facts– I notice you didn’t bother to do the research Powerline did about another time that “chairman” spoke in the NYTimes.

    As Teresa pointed out above, a building destroyed by chunks of the plane on 9/11 is part of ground zero.

Sharia Law and the U.S. Constitution

Friday, June 25, AD 2010

[Update I:  I have streamlined the following post to be easily readable to the average layman, but informative enough for a lawyer or law professor to learn a bit more on the similarities and differences between Sharia and U.S. Law]

Is Sharia compatible with the U.S. Constitution?

The simple answer is of course “no”.

But lets take a look at some aspects of Sharia Law and where it may or may not conflict with the U.S. Constitution.  (For disclosure I am not a lawyer nor a legal expert in Sharia or U.S. Law.)

First, what is Sharia?

Wikipedia states Sharia refers to the sacred law of Islam.  All Muslims believe Sharia is God’s law, but they have differences between themselves as to exactly what it entails.  Which will be difficult to discern what to apply when, but we’ll labor along for the sake of discussion.

In Western countries, where Muslim immigration is more recent, Muslim minorities have introduced Sharia family law, for use in their own disputes. Attempts to impose Sharia have been accompanied by controversy, violence, and even warfare (Second Sudanese Civil War).

The recent incidents at the Arab International Festival have reinforced the poor image of Sharia inside the United States and its incompatibility with American culture and law.

The following is a truncated version with a couple of modifications (eliminating repetitious ibids and links) of multiple Wikipedia entries [with my comments]:

Legal and Court Proceedings:

Wikipedia states that Sharia judicial proceedings have significant differences with other legal traditions, including those in both common law and civil law.

1. Sharia courts do not generally employ lawyers; plaintiffs and defendants represent themselves.

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14 Responses to Sharia Law and the U.S. Constitution

  • “Is Sharia compatible with the U.S. Constitution?”

    “The simple answer is of course “no”.”

    I agree 100%.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this most informative article on the differences between Sharia law and the Constitution or/and Civil Law within the U.S.

    Freedom which is one of America’s core principles is not compatible with Sharia Law.

  • This is “one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

    The motto is “e pluribus unum” not “e pluribus pluribus.”

    There is no liberty or justice under sharia, nor is there either under the yoke of Muhammedanism: the summation of evil and all heresies.

    The filthy pagans cannot charge or pay interest; so they have a sort of subterfuge that makes the loan/interest like a lease or installmant sale plan at a profit (not interest) over tte monthly to the seller. I had to try to twist that mare’s nest to fit US accounting and taxes. It was frustrating dealing with the morons.

  • Religion is never to be instituted in government. Not just Islam.

  • Juri,

    The U.S. Constitution is loaded with Christian idioms and language.

    Are you exhibiting some form of Christophobia?

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  • The article ‘Sharia Law and the U.S. Constitution’ misses three (3) very important points for Catholics:

    1. Islam is misclassified as a religion for a reason – Islam is a governmental system of ‘conquest and control’ that is both ‘expansionist and intolerant’.

    2. There is nothing missing in the Laws of the United States of America that needs to be fixed by so-called Sharia Law.

    3. The U.S. Constitution is a divinely-inspired work that speaks of a Republic (i.e. no monarchy) with God-given (i.e. no church) inalienable rights of the individual.

    In point one, Catholics should know the difference between a religion and a cult: A true religion revolves around a spiritual ‘deity’ (i.e. a one and only God); whereas a cult revolves around a human being or multiple pagan gods. To understand this better, one needs only compare the life and teachings of Jesus to the life and teachings of the founders (i.e. human beings) of other cults or religions. The Crusades were a reaction to Islamic aggression and expansion into the Holy Land.

    To point two, Catholics will be the first to remind others that in America, it is religion that is protected from government and not the other way around. It is ‘freedom of religion’ and not ‘freedom from religion’ that we are privileged to enjoy here. In Saudi Arabia, no Christian churches are allowed. All over the world, intolerance towards Christians often results in mass murder and destruction of churches. Christianity is the only true religion of peace.

    As for point three, Catholics need to take a stand between ‘one world governance’ (i.e. economic, religious and military globalism) and ‘American Sovereignty’. (i.e. as guaranteed to them in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.) Catholics also need to be aware of the difference between a collective and mandated ‘social justice’, administered by a socialist government and the spiritually-correct ‘morality and generosity’ exemplified by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Last but not least, Catholics really need to educate themselves about the reason why the Constitution requires Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the United States to be ‘Natural Born Citizens’. (i.e born in the U.S. to parents that are both citizens, etc.) The reason for this is to avoid ‘divided loyalty’. John F. Kennedy, the first and only Catholic President was quite eloquent and clear about his loyalty to the people of the U.S. vs. the Pope. The current president has demonstrated his loyalties are divided between International Globalist Banking and Expansionist Global Islam. Somehow, he seems to have left the American people out of the equation.

    We need to pray for America as we’ve never prayed for her before. And may God bless and protect our Holy Catholic Church.

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  • This is a great short summary, thanks! These are details that most people don’t know.

    Numbers 7 & 8 could be greatly expounded upon. What I’ve heard/read somewhere is that the reason why many women never report rape is that if they cannot prove they were raped and yet in the course of the trial they “admit” to having sex they may be stoned for adultery under Sharia law.

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The World Cup & American Idealism

Thursday, June 17, AD 2010

If you read the comments here at TAC, no doubt you’ve seen the accusation that America suffers from a Calvinist dualism that sinisterly causes all of American conservativism’s woes like it was the Catholic Church in a Dan Brown novel. While these claims are exaggerated, there’s a bit of truth in the idea that when compared to Europe, we’re a little more dualistic.

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41 Responses to The World Cup & American Idealism

  • Heh, I’ve never thought about the American approach to sports through the lens of dualism, but you might be on to something there!

    But honestly, I can’t get terribly excited over these “soccer wars”. It’s mainly because I don’t really like sports. Of course, what kind of multilateralist would I be if I didn’t support the World Cup (!), and I do, but I just can’t get too excited about it. I certainly appreciate the game of soccer, and think it is incredibly skilful. I think the low scoring adds to the tension and excitement. I’ve always thought that the American distaste came from its culture of instant gratification, and the fact that soccer stubbornly refuses to adapt to the whims of American TV advertizers.

    But it’s not really a big deal. I can also appreciate why some people like baseball, even though it bores me to tears. I have a far less appreciation for American football and basketball, which I see as simply too “noisy” and chaotic.

  • “Scarred by the horrors of the two world wars, Europe has lost any kind of ideal and so do not push themselves towards. Instead they accept themselves and their countries as flawed and do not see anything that can be done about it. There is no hope.”

    I’m not sure I agree with this, but it sounds like a very “conservative” position to me – a rejection of modernity’s constant drive for betterment alongside a pessimism about human potential.

  • [SNORE]

    Is it over yet? Must not be, because I can still hear all that buzzing and droning in the background, interrupted by the occasional cheer whenever someone manages to kick the ball wide of the net.

    [ROLLS BACK OVER]

    😉

    Now we need to get back to some REAL sports news like how much money LeBron James is going to make by testing the free agent market and how much money the Texas Longhorns will make now that they’ve tested the free agent market.

  • I’m not sure I agree with this, but it sounds like a very “conservative” position to me – a rejection of modernity’s constant drive for betterment alongside a pessimism about human potential.

    I’m not sure that necessarily a conservative position. For example, the Founding Fathers set up the system of checks & balances so “ambition can check ambition,” the idea being that men were not going to become virtuous and so we could attempt to build institutions to use men’s vices against each other in the hope that something resembling virtue would come out. I think both conservatives & liberals have a problem with the idea of men pursuing virtue, though they differ one where should turn then (conservatives turn to traditions, small communities at least in theory while liberals turn to larger institutions like the UN).

    I’ve always thought that the American distaste came from its culture of instant gratification, and the fact that soccer stubbornly refuses to adapt to the whims of American TV advertizers.

    Yeah, but I’m not sure soccer is that much less of an instant gratifier than say baseball (especially small ball) or hockey. It’s an interesting question though.

    The advertising idea is interesting, as I think that largely accounts for why motor racing is relegated to a regional sport.

    Anyway, I like sports as a prism to view the culture b/c whereas in politics we have our guard up, in sports our guards are down.

  • I think you need to adjust your schema to explain the wonderfully cryptic scoring of Cricket.

  • Darwin, I leave that wonderful task up to you 😉

  • I’ve always thought that the American distaste came from its culture of instant gratification, and the fact that soccer stubbornly refuses to adapt to the whims of American TV advertizers.

    Not denying that modern America (or even much of the West) is hooked on the crack of instant gratification, but I’m not so sure the distaste for soccer follows from it.

    The money from TV advertising is as corrupting as the good it brings. However, I don’t think that’s a uniquely American problem either. This story has been big for a few days.

    http://g.sports.yahoo.com/soccer/world-cup/blog/dirty-tackle/post/Two-Dutch-mini-dress-models-arrested-after-defyi?urn=sow,248867

  • Ties in the World Cup only happen in the first round.

    Part is the TV ad money, but I agree with MM that instant gratification has something to do with it. It also has to do with not understanding the game (understanding the rules is not the same as understanding the game).

    It has more to do with American exceptionalism – if we can’t be the world champions at something, then the sport sucks. Best example – when was the last time you heard of the world cup of baseball? Yeah, when we actually compete as a national in our own sport, we lose, hence very little hoopla about it. Makes us feel like the English.

    Add to the list of “paint drying” sports baseball, bowling, and even American football (run for two yards, drop a pass, run for three more, punt…repeat – about 7 seconds of actual movement interrupted by 40 seconds of standing around in a circle). Baseball has to be the worst – if you don’t understand the game. Three up, three down…repeat for 9 innings…and you have what is known as the most excting thing – a no-hitter (how a no hitter can be “exciting” but a nil-nil draw is not because of low scoring, I can’t figure out). And basketball – they should just shorten the game to one period of about 7 minutes, since the last 7 is all that matters.

  • The notion that Calvinism is “dualist” is bizarrely ahistorical and inaccurate.

  • Best example – when was the last time you heard of the world cup of baseball? Yeah, when we actually compete as a national in our own sport, we lose, hence very little hoopla about it.

    We don’t hear about it b/c none of the MLB teams are interested in letting the best players risk injury for it. They don’t care, the best players aren’t there for America, so if they don’t care why should we?

  • It has more to do with American exceptionalism – if we can’t be the world champions at something, then the sport sucks.

    You contradicted yourself with your next statement. We lose in the World Cup of Baseball (which is moderately popular), and yet I don’t see baseball losing its popularity because of it. Then again, as Michael says, we’re not necessarily sending all of our best players anyway. Also, could we “suck” (we actually don’t, at least not as much as we used to) at soccer because we’re not that interested in it, and not the other way around. After all, how can you develop a good national team when the fifth best athletes from your country are participating in it – the others all going to the other big four?

  • For me, soccer’s fine, and I admit I am following the World Cup again this time around. Then again, I find curling fascinating, so YMMV. 😉

    My one complaint with soccer is the consistent, exaggerated “flopping” to try to draw fouls (is that the right term?). Some of these guys get tapped and they go down like they took a shotgun blast to the torso. It happens in hockey, too, but you can get penalized for it there. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  • I like soccer because you can leave the game on, accomplish many household chores, and exist firmly in the confidence you did not miss anything at all noteworthy.

  • c matt,

    We’re putting a lot of weight on the idea that the low score/tie scenario is truly a reason why Americans don’t like the game. While some may remark about it, I don’t think that’s necessarily it and find the instant gratification angle connection weak at best (again, not denying that as a culture we have a problem there).

    I think the largest part is tradition. Baseball, basketball, and football are essentially American (US) and their populatrity pre-existed our population. Hockey is North American, but not from the US, yet it caught on fairly well in the northern states early on and has a significant tradition to grow from. There’s just a huge hurdle for soccer to overcome to become popular here. It just doesn’t help that it’s rather boring to watch.

    I’m with Dale on curling. Everything about it screams BORING, but somehow it’s very interesting to watch.

  • Certain Americans don’t like the game for many reasons, I venture most who don’t like it have never played it consistently or at a decent level. Surprisingly, there are many who do. De gustibus, I suppose.

    We can argue until the end of the world which is more boring, but it is unfortunately too typical that many Americans for some reason have to pick on soccer as uniquely boring when, frankly, many sports are extremely boring if you did not grow up with it and don’t fully appreciate the various nuances. (C’mon, basketball and baseball have to constantly remind us that “every game matters” because they know in a 60+ game season every game really doesn’t). You can hardly stay awake during a full regular season game, when the regular season is nothing but a seeding for the playoffs (particularly basketball, where it seems half the teams go on to post-season).

    At least in soccer (in most countries) every game does count, as it is the team with the most points (3 for win, 1 for tie, 0 for loss) at the end of the season who is the winner. Kind of like NASCAR.

    Yes, it is very much a cultural thing, and as we know, Americans are rather notorious for not being very interested in other cultures. Perhaps that is the main reason.

    BTW, many of the best players in the Major league are not, in fact, US citizens. There was a hilarious commercial not too long ago that made just that point.

  • Pretty funny MM. Looks more like Brasilian training though.

  • Anyway, getting back to the main point, I don’t even see how allowing for a tie somehow shows a lack of dualism because there is no winner. There is clearly a winner at the end of the season, as there is at the end of the cup. Europeans separate winners and losers just as much as we do, they just do it differently. In fact, you might have less dualism here because playoffs are essentially a second chance. If you make it to the playoffs, you have just as much opportunity to win it all as the top seeded team, so you really haven’t lost. Even more so in basketball and baseball, where you are playing best of whatever series, so you can lose the first game or two and still eventually move on.

    In the Euro system, the 3 points you didn’t gain at the beginning of the season b/c you tied or lost rather than won can never be made up (ask Real Madrid).

    I just don’t understand where you are getting the idea that allowing for ties to factor in somehow does not show dualism whereas the American system does.

  • After all, how can you develop a good national team when the fifth best athletes from your country are participating in it – the others all going to the other big four?

    Fair and accurate point. Others go to the big four for good reason – that’s where the money is. College scholarships and pro contracts. Can’t blame them for doing that.

  • Although I think there is a lot of skill in soccer, I do find it a little boring.

    That’s why I played a REAL game, and continue to follow it enthusiastically.

    R U G B Y 😆

  • A rather fascinating topic. Just for the record my favorite sport is college football, but I enjoy all sports, especially nationalistic affairs. I think it is a healthy release and not grounds for over the top triumphalism like some claim. I will watch World Cup Soccer and Olympic hockey far more than I will watch MLS (or any Euro soccer) and NHL for that matter. It seems like there is more passion when the nation state is involved. A rather interesting concept that when one plays for their nation (instead of money) one sees this kind of passion. This is probably why I like college football far more than I do the NFL.

    I think these team events are far more healthy than the indiviudalistic Roman specatacle that evolved from the coliseum. As far as sports being boring, it seems our modern remote control society has told us that soccer and baseball (two of the world’s more ancient sports) are somehow boring.

    However centuries ago, during the infancy of the games that became to be known baseball and soccer, they were embraced because of their excitement. Keep in mind a cricket match can go on for hours and days. Just some of my thoughts on this interesting topic.

  • Don the Kiwi:

    Two of my sons play Rugby. Both won their college club league titles – different years. The elder is a prop. The younger is fullback or wing and co-captain.

    A ruffian’s game played by gentlemen.

    Excellent game! Enjoy to watch it. Took some time to get the rules.

    I never played. My face looks like it, tho.

    You have the All Blacks. We Yanks have a ways to go.

  • Hi T.Shaw.

    ” A ruffians game played by gentlemen

    That’s maybe how it was 100 years ago in England, but most of the guys I played with and against could hardly claim that title ( gentlemen, that is – mostly ruffians). 45 years on I still carry a few scars – but with pride, of course. 😉

    Actually, the US is getting better all the time. I’ve watched them over the past few world cups, and they improve with every showing. The Rugby World Cup is being held in NZ next year, around July 2011. It’ll be quite a spectacle I expect.

    Mmmm….propping in the front row is no place for shrinking violets. I used to play open side flanker in my school days, then moved to first five-eight in late teens and early 20’s.

    Them were the days 🙂

  • Yessir Don the Kiwi,

    “Youth is wasted on the young.” Yogi Berra said that.

    Last game this Spring the old maroon (grads), my prop son, played the students, my full back son.

    Mother’s big worry was one would bust the other’s nose or any other moving part.

    Last Fall, the young guy had his nose reworked. Had it fixed, good as new. Years ago, the older guy had his nose laid out on the side of his face, and just pushed in back – blood all over the place, tho. At one tourney a doc was on the side line with a beach chair doing free sewing up work. One of the lads can’t play any longer – fluid on the brain. His cousin is still in there. One tourney – about 30 college and club teams – at Fort Drum had the ambulances running every 15 minutes.

    Once they get it in the blood . . .

    Keep the faith! And, God bless the Kiwis.

  • As little attention as soccer gets in the US, Rugby has to get even less. Heck, I spent half of “Invictus” trying to figure out how rugby was played. Soccer to me has always been known by Americans, even if we didn’t care about it. Rugby is almost nonexistent, though I do know that at the high school and collegiate level it is starting to get attention as informal inter-school competitions pop up.

    Then again, I’ve also seen inter-collegiate competitions in Quidditch, so take what you will from that.

  • What I’ve come to love about European football is that if your a fan of a team there’s almost always some competition your team or at least some of its players is involved in. You’ve got the competition for the league championship if your team is really good. If your team is really bad you have to worry about your team staying out of the bottom three spots or it gets sent down to next lower level for the next season. Also during the season each country holds a competition for all the teams in the different leagues for their national cup. So big clubs end up playing against small town teams and every year there is at least one small club that goes a long way in the tournament. If your team finishes in the top four in its league then you compete in the European Champions League against the best four teams of other nations. If your team finishes in the top seven, then there is the competition for the Europa League Championship. And then maybe some of your star players make the national team and you’ve got international competition.

    So there is lots to live for and enjoy. As opposed to growing up in or around Cleveland.

  • “When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name – He marks – not that you won or lost – but how you played the game.”

    Grantland Rice

  • As an avid soccer fan, I have some quibbles with some statements made thus far. 🙂

    Athletes and the big 4 sports… many of these so-called “best” athletes have certain attributes that are beneficial for certain sports (height, 300 lbs., or massive upper body strength) that sort of preclude them from playing the game of soccer at the highest levels. You ever see high school soccer players answer the charge from high school football players that their game is wimpy? It wasn’t pretty, if you were one of the football players. I contend that the athletes in the big 4 sports are really no better athletes than soccer players. The game requires different skills, and thus is like comparing apples, Volvos and paper.

    Re: popularity
    It’s low popularity as compared to other sports is due to many different factors. Low scores, frequent draws, not to mention that the game is relatively new to Americans. Where were we 25 years ago? It’s making more inroads with each new generation, albeit slowly.

    John Cleese adds further commentary (however, he SHOULD know the origins of the word soccer seeing that he’s English):

  • Another point… “flopping” is not unique to soccer. Basketball does it too.

  • MM: You’re right–that’s a good one! Thanks!

  • Oh, the flopping in basketball drives me crazy, and is one of the many reasons it is my least favorite of the big four sports. But even basketballers don’t act like they’ve been shot in the groin every time another player so much as breathes on them. That to me is one of the more annoying aspects of soccer,

  • As for the Cleese rant, that was actually pretty funny. But I would like to see a soccer player, oh, excuse me, footballer lineup behind the line of scrimmage just once and see how “unthinking” an NFL quarterback is. I’m sure Peyton Manning would be amused by the results.

  • Big Tex,
    Soccer? Really? And you call yourself a Texan?

    Dude, first you refer to that university down on the Colorado as “UT”, then not giving REK and Lyle the love they deserve, and now … soccer???

    I’m going to have to reassess my, up to now, very high opinion of you.

    😉

  • Oh, by the way, Gaelic Football rules!!!

    😉

  • Jay, I am very much a Texan. My cleats are right next to my boots. Moreover, soccer is very much a part of the youth athletics landscape in Dallas. Moreover, the Dallas Cup is one of the premier tournaments in the US, featuring teams from across the nation and the world.

    Sorry about bustin’ your impression of me. I hardly conform to the typical Texan stereotype. Would it shock you even more that I love jazz music? One thing I’ve learned over the years about the interwebs, is that the old adage about books and covers applies even more. 😛

    The US was robbed out of two points today.

  • “Would it shock you even more that I love jazz music?”

    Not at all. Texans have always been eclectic about their musical tastes. Bob Wills, himself, loved jazz.

    As for soccer, I’m just giving all my soccer-loving friends a bit of a hard time (especially now that soccer has officially come out of the closet).

    😉

    Besides, my kids all play it, and my 6-year-old son is (dare I brag?) a superstar at soccer. I’m just not really all that into the sport, though (not that there’s anything wrong with it).

  • One of my buddies from college always calls it a communist sport.

  • T. Shaw.

    You may be interested to know that one of our well known All Blacks from the 80’s, 1980 – 86 in fact, was a Mark Shaw, his nickname ‘Cowboy’ Shaw. He was a tall rangy hard hitting loose forward who worked in the Freezing Works (Meat Industry). You being from Texas, I thought the info was appropriate 😉

    Michael Denton.

    I believe that rugby has a fairly good following up in the US North West – also the Canadians around Vancouver have a fairly respectable team. I have a Welsh born cousin in law( the Welsh are Rugby mad, probably more so than the kiwis) who live in Vanc. and he has had many world trips as assist.manager of the Canadian team. Also, I believe that rugby has a reasonable following in Texas and a couple of the other southern states.

    Jay Anderson.

    Oh, by the way, Gaelic Football rules

    You would be a fan then of AFL – Australian Football , commonly called Aussie Rules. It is a game based on Gaelic Football, but with an oval ball, and is quite a spectacular game. It is very strong in Australia, particularly Victoria, South Australia and Western Austrslia, tho’ the other 3 states have teams in the national comp. There may even be a Kiwi Aussie rules team in the comp in a few years.

    And I think the US were robbed of a couple of points last night too. Bloody refs. 😉

  • No winners or losers in football? cough…penalty…cough…golden goal…cough…really, it is well known that in football there is always ultimately a loser and a winner..one of the most merciless sport at reminding people of that.

  • LOL, Big Tex. Way back when, I used to tease a college friend of mine who was a soccer fan by saying that soccer was a sport for “chicks and communists”.

    Don,
    I remember the early days of ESPN, when they used to show Australian rules football all the time during the late-night hours. It was fun to watch.

  • Those judges at the world cup are clearly BLIND!… firstly with the germany-england game.. not to count all the other stupid decisions.

Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

Tuesday, June 8, AD 2010

The Vatican  released a working paper during Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to Cyprus to prepare the way for a crisis summit of Middle East bishops in Rome. What I take away from this- along with the Holy See’s call for lifting the blockade of Gaza- is something of a vindication for my more raw views urging for a sea change in American Catholic opinion and action regarding the overall situation in the Middle East, and in Israel-Palestine in particular.

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14 Responses to Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

  • We really need to get even-handed if we even want to have credibility in the larger Arab world- something the polls indicate we are sorely lacking- to be it mildly.-Tim Shipe

    “Even-handed” in relation to the Arab world of progrom-states and their target is… what, exactly?

    Hamas and extremist Jewish settler movements…

    Conjoining those two categories leads one into a muddle. Let’s have a look at how many missiles, homicide bombers, etc. the two groups, normal Hamas supporters and ‘extremist’ Jewish settlers, have used to terrorize their neighbors.

  • Bravo. There won’t be peace in the Middle East until Americans, including Catholics, stop spoiling Israel and start treating it like we treat every other nation.

    I think this is the one area of Obama’s presidency where I think Obama has been more positive than negative-though he still does too little.

    Conjoining those two categories leads one into a muddle. Let’s have a look at how many missiles, homicide bombers, etc. the two groups, normal Hamas supporters and ‘extremist’ Jewish settlers, have used to terrorize their neighbors.

    The settlers have no need of such tactics since they’re supported by the Israeli military. If they need force, they don’t strap on a bomb; they have the planes drop a bomb instead. It is unquestionable that settlers, at the behest of the government, have continued to expand and continued to take Palestinian land. This is clearly not a motive of peace but one of a desire to usurp and it ought to be opposed.

  • “The settlers have no need of such tactics since they’re supported by the Israeli military.”

    The body count would seem to indicate that the Israeli military then is doing a poor job. From 2000-2008 I believe 45 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Settlers while 238 Settlers have been killed at the hands of Palestinians. In regard to umbrage at the Settlers, I am a bit puzzled. I have heard some people here at AC condemn Arizona’s law against Mexican illegal aliens as Nazi-like. Perhaps any moral difficulty with the Israeli Settlers could be cured if we simply consider them to be illegal aliens on the West Bank?

    Of course I believe the preferred term would be undocumented immigrants. Someone else on the net has already taken the Israeli Settlers as undocumented immigrants concept and ran with it:

    http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=12393

  • Tim, the political leadership in the West Bank, Gaza, and the camps want no settlement that is not constructed on the ruins of the Jewish state. Deal with it, please.

  • The body count would seem to indicate that the Israeli military then is doing a poor job. From 2000-2008 I believe 45 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Settlers while 238 Settlers have been killed at the hands of Palestinians.

    Don:

    Here is an opposing view which objects to the stats you and your favorite paper, the NYT, toss about.

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/nyt-report.html

    Statistics are like “you know whats”. Everybody has one.

  • Art Deco – I agree with your post whole-heartedly.

    The Pope is wrong here. Israel can give up its blockade after he sends the Swiss Guard home. Before this flotilla stunt, did anyone know that Gaza was being blockaded? A response like this from the Holy See indicates that the stunt has worked.

    The Jews have built a beautiful, thriving country in the desert within the span a 50 years. A feat the Arabs have not managed to do in their own countries for centuries. This whole thing is about envy.

    Arab Christians are being routed by whom exactly? This is not a difficult question to answer.

  • Fuji, your calling the New York Times my favorite newspaper is almost as humorous as your citing If Americans Knew, an organization which is bitterly hostile to Israel. Paul Findley is on its board. Findley was the pro-abort and pro-PlO Republican Congressman from Springfield in my state of Illinois. Thanks to my efforts, along with the efforts of many others, he became an ex-Congressman in 1982.

    I would as soon accept a press release from Hamas as a credible source, as I would anything put out by If Americans Knew.

  • The ADL has some interesting information linked below on Alison Weir who runs If Americans Knew.

    http://www.adl.org/Israel/anti_israel/alison_weir/anti-Semitism.asp?m_flipmode=3

  • Fuji,

    You’ve completely misunderstood the purpose of the If Americans Knew “study” — it doesn’t deal at all with whether the statistics which the NY Times publishes about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are accurate, it deals with how often deaths on each side are mentioned in the headline or the first paragraph of an article. Its claim is not that the NY Times presents false information, but that it talks more about the deaths of some people than those of others.

    An example of this would be, if one news story said, “A Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up in a shopping center, killing three Israeli adults and two children.” and then the next day another story began, “The Israeli defense minister promised to take ‘strong action’ in retaliation for the attack Monday which killed five Israelis, including two children, at a crowded shopping center,” this ‘study’ would consider that to be reporting 200% of the number of Israeli dead, since they were mentioned in two separate stories.

    Nor is the statistic that Palestinians kill more Settlers than Settlers kill Palestinians inconsistent with the fact that overall far more Palestinians have died in the conflict than Israelis, since obviously not all Israelis are settlers and not all Palestinians killed (indeed, very few) are killed by settlers.

  • You can take your rose-colored spectacles off when viewing Israel and still conclude that Hamas and other Islamofascist groups are evil. Not blindly supporting Israel is not a tacit approval of all things Arab and/or Muslim.

    In regards to this so-called peace flotilla – it is obvious that it was a false flag operation designed to denigrate Israel and it is working. In regards to Israel – they are a far better friend than Arab/Muslim states – but they are not a very good friend.

    Israel has a right to exist and to defend herself and I would argue to occupy territories the UN and the British gave to Egypt and Jordan for her defense. Who constantly gets screwed as Muslims and Arabs use the Palestinian Arabs as a tool to beat the West with? Not Israel – the Palestinian Arabs do. The people, especially the children and most especially the Christians suffer at the hands of so-called Palestinian leadership, a secular Jewish state that engages in horrible behavior and the UN and other Arab states.

    Now that we have allowed the Isalmofascists to indoctrinate generations it is practically impossible to work for peace and no one wants it anyway – no one save for possibly the Pope and the poor Christians who live in the Holy Land.

    Can peace be brokered – we can hope – but it is doubtful until the King returns. Muslims specifically never enter a permanent peace with anyone in Dar Al Harb (the House of War). They certainly won’t enter a permanent peace with Jews – Mohammad practically built his religiology on capture of booty, imperialism and slaughter of Jews. Not to mention copious copies of the Torah and Nestorian heresies.

    Strategically speaking, the USA would be fools to turn our backs on Israel – but having blind support for her is just as foolish. I don’t necessarily fault Israelis for their bad behavior, historically speaking – they were coming from a very frightening place and fear makes you do stupid things – they are nevertheless, still responsible but that does not absolve the British for solving their Jewish-problem with better PR than the Nazis. Instead of killing the Jews, the British shipped them out of England to their own homeland – neglecting to tell them they promised the same land to the Arabs that had lived there since the 7th century.

    What did they think was going to happen? Had a different and more balanced solution been developed between 1917 and 1947 – the current mess could have been avoided. I doubt that is what those who want a weak and unstable mid-East wanted. Lebanon and Palestine had the best chance for Christianizing the rest of the Arab and Muslim lands – however, just like the Crusader Kingdoms – the West dropped the ball on supporting them and the price is war and the shrinking of the Christian population and the ascendancy of Islam. Make no mistake – Islam is an imperial totalitarian ideology and will align with the subversive Left in the West to gain entry and then turn on their tolerant, peace-loving, pot-smoking friends.

    If anyone can broker an honest peace in the Middle-East it would be the Pope, but he may need American guns.

  • How would the gallant Turkish (NATO member) army/navy respond to the following? A bunch of Armenian-Americans (two Israeli humanitarian groups already are planning such) get up a couple tons of humanitarian aid and stage a huge guerrilla theater propaganda extravaganza of bringing it to the six Armenians not yet murdered in Turkey. Or better analogy, do it for the Kurds fighting for their independence.

    Hamas, Hizbollah, etc. will end the terror war against Israeli civilians, women and children (and the Arab women and children they use as human shields) when the last Israeli is either murdered or driven into the sea.

    The Pope ought to denounce the Holy See bureaucRAT that came up with this hateful paper.

  • I don’t think you can figure out the justice of a conflict simply by counting up bodies. However, it is a fact that far more Palestinians than Israelis have died in the conflict.

  • I’ll take the Vatican seriously on matters concerning the Middle East, if they would express themselves in the same forthright manner on other wars and conflicts that plague the globe, in particular those that concern Catholics and Christians. The Catholic Church’s hollowness in these matters could be seen most clearly at work in early 2009. In December of 2008 the Israelis invaded Gaza to put an end to the constant rocket barrage, and my how the Catholic press and heirarchy waxed eloquent, counterpoising each other with elavated talk about ‘just war’, ‘human rights’ and the rest of it, not stinting to blame the Israelis by name for all manner of wrongs real and imagined. The bishop here in Singapore (where I live) got on the bandwagon and launched an appeal for Gaza.

    Three months later, in March the Sri Lankans launched their final push into Jaffna, when the dust settled more than 20,000 civilians were dead. Given the proportion of Catholics in Jaffna, it is reasonable to surmise that the number of Catholic dead alone exceeded the total death toll in Gaza. Yet where was the Vatican in all this? Why was no appeal launched for them? Does the criteria of ‘just war’ not apply to the darker nations? Apart from generalised handwringing, nothing much was heard from our Vatican friends. No one tagged the Sri Lankan army with brutality. Their reticence doubtless owed much to the restraining hand of Msgr Malcolm Ranjith, himself a Ceylonese and thus in a position to know that the government would take out any displeasure on the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka.

    This in essence is the well established pattern of Vatican hypocrisy; when it comes to Israel, break out the tomes on jus ad bellum and set them terms that no nation in history has been able to follow, and thereby not incidentally burnish the Vatican’s own street cred with the Muslims at the expense of Jews. On the other hand, when it comes to countless attacks against Christians, from Nigeria to Pakistan to Indonesia, put out a pro forma declaration hoping that the problem goes away.

  • An aside. But perhaps an example of how diplomacy doesn’t work, or at least works poorly:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/08/AR2010060805406.html

Devon, England, Laying Claim to Americas Lost Colony

Saturday, May 8, AD 2010

I found this article by Andrew Hough of London’s Daily Telegraph quite interesting since it touches on the Lost Colony which is sometimes called the Roanoke Colony in present day North Carolina.

The Lost Colony is the first English attempt of setting up a settlement in the new world, ie, present day America.

The following is the article on the residents of Devon, England, laying claim that they were the original colonists of this Lost Colony:

Andy Powell, mayor of Bideford, north Devon, wants to use DNA testing to prove residents from the port town settled in the US three decades before the Pilgrim Fathers sailed there.

Mr Powell is trying to raise money for the research, which he hopes will prove his town’s “pivotal” role in the history of modern America.

He hopes advances in the science will enable scientists to link people from Bideford with descendants of a lost colonist.

His attempts centre on the story of the “lost colony”, where in 1587 Sir Walter Raleigh organised a colonial expedition of settlers including John White, a governor.

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3 Responses to Devon, England, Laying Claim to Americas Lost Colony

  • That’s so awsome. He sounds like the most fun mayor in England.

  • My Lumbee ancestors have said for hundreds of years (oral history even today) that we are descendants of Manteos Tribe and the colonists. It would be so amazing if the DNA backs up our oral histories. If so, we will finally have the ‘written proof and scientific proof’ to validate the oral histories of our forefathers. 🙂

  • I’m living half the time in Edenton, NC, and have visited Roanoke Island several times, read a dozen good recent histories on this subject, and would like anyone who has a similar interest to contact me..My own belief, shared by several recent studies/books, is that the 126 Lost Colonists did not head northward to the Chesapeake Bay area; but westward, on the Albemarle Sound and could have settled in what is the Dare County Peninsula (Beechtown and Sandy Ridge areas in what is not the Alligator National Wildlife Refuge) immediately to the west of Roanoke Island; also, some may have gone to what is today, Buxton, on the Outer Banks; others may have easily made their way further west about 65+ miles, to the western (inland) end of the Albemarle Sound, near Cashie, Chowan, and Roanoke rivers–all which empty into the Sound in that location. Very likely too that some of them became part of the Lumbee Indian tribe–as well as other tribes existing at that time, near the coastal plains near the Sound.

35 Responses to Catholic Worker View of NAFTA/Immigration

  • Thank you for posting this. God help us.

  • EXCELLENT post! When NAFTA was passed, there were Americans who warned against this very possibility–but they were denounced as alarmists. Supposedly industry migrating to Mexico would provide jobs for all the displaced agricultural laborers. As it turned out, the only opportunities available in adequate numbers were across the border, and Americans at the time were definitely hiring. (Quite a different picture from the one the nativists paint: the one that features hordes of swarthy drug-dealer types bent on satisfying their greed by infiltrating our cities.)

  • NAFTA and Bush destroyed the rural economy in Mexico and points south.

    We daily read and see horrific reports of famine, mass starvation, and pestilence. It’s the Irish Potato Famine being re-played (in HD) in front of our eyes!

    Their cultures, economies and nations are ruined. Let’s wreck the US and our way of life in expiation of our sins!

    Peace and justice! The common good!!!

  • If you want to see how agribusiness has driven them off their land with GM corn, see the last 10 minutes of “The World According to Monsanto”:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6262083407501596844#

    Move the player slider to 1:25:00

  • The proportion of the labor force engaged in agriculture declines as a matter of course in the process of economic development

  • This certainly does a good job of putting human faces on the process of modernization.

    A couple point, though, at the risk of seeming heartlessly capitalist:

    – Although the constitutional reform which allowed ejido privatization was put through around the same time as NAFTA, it wasn’t actually a part of NAFTA, so much at it was part of a broader effort at economic development on the part of Mexico of which NAFTA was also a part.

    – Perverse as it may seem, one of the points of the ejido reform was precisely what is described here: reducing the number of workers employed in agriculture in Mexico. (see this brief piece from 1992 about ejido reform, written by the San Francisco Federal Reserve) Prior to the reform, as the Catholic Worker article also states, 26% of Mexican workers were agricultural workers. However, as the SF Fed article points out, agriculture was responsible for less than 10% of the Mexican GDP. In other words, farmers were among Mexico’s poorer and less productive workers. The belief was that this was that the small plots on communal land of the ejidos caused low productivity and lack of capital investment in improving the land. Mexican authorities believed that allowing privatization and selling or leasing of ejido land would allow larger farms to be established, productivity to increase, and large numbers of former farm workers to go into more productive industries. Usually, having a small percentage of your population engaged in agriculture (while having a large agricultural output) is actually a good thing for your country. For instance, the US has seen steadily increasing agricultural output from 1945 to the present, but has seen the percentage of the population working an agriculture drop from 16% to 2%.

    – Although, as the Catholic Worker article points out, the percentage of Mexican workers employed in agriculture has dropped from 26% to 16% in 20 years, the total agricultural output of Mexico has actually increased steadily throughout that period. That actually means more food, less hunger, and overall improved conditions for Mexicans overall.

    – This kind of drastic societal change always comes at a significant personal cost for those affected. The US went through this same period of increasing agricultural output, but rapidly dropping rural population. We did the 26% to 16% change between 1925 and 1945 — a period which isn’t really remembered fondly. My dad’s mother and her family were directly effected by the US version of this dislocation. They lost their farm in Ryan, Iowa, piled everyone into the Ford, and drove out to California in search of work in the early 30s. Given that Ryan now has a population of only 400, and an average income well under the national average, that may have worked out well in the end. But it was far from fun for the first decade.

  • We did the 26% to 16% change between 1925 and 1945 — a period which isn’t really remembered fondly.

    The banking crises and associated contraction in output during the period running from the fall of 1929 through the spring of 1933 and the aftereffects thereof are why the period is not remembered fondly. These were not a necessary component of the shift from agricultural to non-agricultural employment. (One of the previous generation in my household quit farming in 1949; I cannot recall he ever said it was a wrenching experience).

  • Certainly, the rapid shift from agricultural to city labor wasn’t the only thing going on during the depression, but for a lot of families that “lost the farm” that dislocation was a major part of the story. We even got Grapes of Wrath out of it, for all that’s worth.

    It was also the motive behind some of FDR’s more idiotic policies — like destroying large quantities of food in order to keep prices up.

    After all, for rural banks, one of the main sources of bank failures was when heavily leveraged farmers got hit with falling prices and the dust bowl at the same time, and so starting defaulting on their mortgages and heading out for the coasts. (What made it a lot easier on them than Mexican peasants, however, is that they mostly had at least an 8th grade education, which amounts to rather more than a high school education these days. And they spoke the language.)

  • Darwin,

    You make excellent points. Part of the limits of human understanding is the consequences our actions will produce. Often the consequences are not what we expected and can frequently be for the worse (I think Health Care Reform will be an excellent example.) But one also has to look at what NAFTA has accomplished. There has been a human cost but also a human gain. The whole truth needs to be looked at so that it can be objectively assessed and good maintained and the bad corrected.
    I think such an approach is consistent with Catholic Social teaching. As Benedict XVI noted in Caritas in Veritate, charity must be in accord with the truth. Otherwise it becomes mere sentimentalism. So a detailed, economic analysis of NAFTA along with the personal stories is required by CST so that the truth can lead charity.

  • Yes, and if it wasn’t clear from what I wrote above: I am in favor of NAFTA (and the changes to the Mexican constitution allowing for the privitization of the ejidos) because I think that it will, in the end, be to the common good of Mexicans.

    A demand that people be allowed to remain subsistance farmers has a certain romance for moral tourists, but it’s notable that none of us choose to go be subsistance farmers. The intermediate stages may be misable, and the suffering of people who find themselves displaced against their will is real, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not in fact a road to a better situation. My grandmother’s family, for instance, was much better off as a result of losing the family farm and having to move to California. It took a good ten years or more for them to be better off, but in the end they were — and certainly their descendants are.

  • Three of my four grandparents came here from Mexico. It was very rough in the beginning. My maternal grandparents raised 13 children through the depression. All my aunts and uncles are doing exceptionally well in America. Much better than relatives who stayed in Mexico. Disruptions is sometimes painful, but in the long-term helpful.

  • “Usually, having a small percentage of your population engaged in agriculture (while having a large agricultural output) is actually a good thing for your country.”

    As Peter Maurin put so well, a child is an asset on the land, but a liability in the city. It would be far better if most of us lived on the land, farming and making crafts, engaged in a distributist economy that put people before profits.

  • A child is a gift anywhere.

  • Like most people I’m perfectly willing to go along with Nate’s vision as long as I’m not one of the “most” engaged in farming and craft-making.

  • Not so much into basket weaving, eh? 🙂

  • Well, yeah. I don’t mean to sound like a jerk by putting this so bluntly, but if Maurin was right, why is it that even the vast majority of those involved in the Catholic Worker movement do not in fact live on the land farming and making crafts? I would assume that if this was clearly preferable at a human level, more people would be doing it.

  • Darwin,
    It is, of course, because “other people” should be doing it. It always is. People with advanced degrees in social work, philosophy, etc have more refined vocations, such as organizing and leading a society that successfully requires “most people” to engage in land farming and craft-making, for their own good of course.

  • As Peter Maurin put so well, a child is an asset on the land, but a liability in the city. It would be far better if most of us lived on the land, farming and making crafts, engaged in a distributist economy that put people before profits.

    A child is an asset when there are no child labor laws or Social Security, and a liability when there is (which is not to say that we should do away with Social Security or laws against child labor; it’s just to note that it is those laws, rather than the geographical location in which a child grows up, that are responsible for children being an economic liability vs. an economic asset).

  • I reject what my fiancee and I affectionately call “Shire” Distributism – this reactionary view that we’re all going to go back to the land and till the soil for the good of our souls.

    I support anyone who wants to do that but realistically it is never going to become the dominant economy ever again.

    There’s a reason why the Papacy never advocated such a return to the land either. The Papal view of Distributism is much more realistic, it talks about how the idea can be applied in modern society, in modern businesses and modern economies.

  • @Mike,

    lol, yeah – I think Pol Pot was one of those people.

  • I reject what my fiancee and I affectionately call “Shire” Distributism – this reactionary view that we’re all going to go back to the land and till the soil for the good of our souls.

    Shire Distributism. I may have to steal that.

  • To be fair, Maurin did in fact live on the agricultural Catholic Worker communes, so at least he followed his own advice. But though I’m not deeply read in Catholic Worker history, it doesn’t seem to have been an overall good for many families. I recall reading an interview a while back where Dorothy Day’s daughter talked about how intense trying to live up to that rural ideal was, and said that it was one of the reasons why she’s no longer practicing her faith.

  • Well, friends, there are many Catholic Worker farms, and the Catholic Worker movement is still in its infancy – barely 75 years since its founding. Most Catholic Workers that I know do not have advanced degrees, and try to ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. Of course, there are elements of every movement that do not adhere to its founding vision, but those elements will not last.

    Shire Distributism! I will have to use that phrase. But Joe, have you considered that the dominant economy, that of capitalistic industrialism, will collapse one day? I am convinced that it will. And what then?

  • Peter Maurin used a great phrase too – Agronomic Universities – a place where scholars could be workers, and workers could be scholars. Like living in the Shire, but with a great many books and a great many vocations! Love it! Someone want to donate me some land in Missouri?

  • Actually, I think the brilliant thing about “Shire Distributism” is that both proponents and opponents would like the term.

    To me, I think the thing it points out is that Tolkien’s shire was knowingly an idealized place — one which Tolkien wasn’t trying to write about as a realistic society. Tolkien was evoking an image of the English countryside which even to him was just a distant childhood memory. And so he’s not worrying about topics like: If a farmer has four sons, and just the right amount of land to support the family well, which of his sons gets to marry and have a family and inherit the farm, and which three need to work as unmarried laborer or else go find non-family land somewhere else?

    And indeed, I think the disagreement over Shire Distributism is very much one between idealism and practicality.

  • “I reject what my fiancee and I affectionately call “Shire” Distributism – this reactionary view that we’re all going to go back to the land and till the soil for the good of our souls.”

    Having done a fair amount of agricultural labor in my pre-lawyer incarnation I can guarantee that most people would truly hate earning their living by “working the land”. Additionally there simply wouldn’t be enough land for “city-folk” to make a living doing it, even if they adopted an Amish life style.

    I am pretty familiar with the Amish here in Illinois.

    http://www.amishillinois.com/towns/arcola.htm

    I admire their way of life, but it is definitely only a way of life for a highly disciplined, extremely hardworking and tightly knit group.

  • “Someone what to donate me some land in Missouri?”

    Work hard for many years. Then buy it yourself. 😉

  • Peter Maurin used a great phrase too – Agronomic Universities – a place where scholars could be workers, and workers could be scholars. Like living in the Shire, but with a great many books and a great many vocations!

    Whenever I hear ideas like this I can’t help but be reminded of Mao’s line about how “knowledgable youth should go to the country, to be educated from living in rural poverty.” Of course Maurin was a fundamentally decent man, and never would have used the methods Mao used to bring his vision about (which may partly explain why Maurin’s views were never put into practice on a large scale).

  • I like the article linked below on shire economics:

    “Take the idea of the Shire as an ideal community. When I first read the book, I thought the Shire was the most realistic part, and that Minas Tirith, a sort of cross between Camelot and Rome on its seven hills, was artificial. But the Shire is a complete fantasy; no subsistence farming community (and as the hobbits don’t manufacture or trade much, they have to be classed as subsistence) have among their ranks people like Frodo or Bilbo. The Shire is a farming community without farmers. Frodo, Bilbo, Pippin, Merry and even the Sackville-Bagginses are all middle class, and middle classes don’t occur in close-knit farming communities. The middle class is a result of trade, surplus, commerce and an administration that needs well-educated people to run it. Middle classes are an urban phenomena.

    Even Sam is not a farmer, he is a gardener; there is a big difference, farmers grow crops, gardeners grow flowers.

    To cite the Shire, therefore, as a model community to counter the ills of modernism is very unwise. Even in the book, Frodo is regarded by the hobbits are eccentric. In a real Shire, he might be driven out as a witch for knowing Elvish. And without Frodo, would we really want to be like the Daddy Two-foots and Ted Sandymans? A community that is close-knit and anti-authoritarian can also be claustrophic and backward.

    The greatest casualty of modernity is the environment, and Tolkien and his writing appeal strongly to people who wish desperately to preserve the natural world. As Tony Shell says, Tolkien can ‘provide an extraordinarily sublime feeling of immanence and essential vitality to the natural world..’

    But would we all want to do without the trappings of modernity, even to save the natural world? I would do without a car, gladly. Even the washing machine, although beating out clothes on the river bank while exchanging gossip with the other village maidens is not really my thing.

    But doing without medicine, basic healthcare, street lighting, accessible education, juries, pcs, cinemas, freedom of speech, that is another. But these, as well as the destruction of the enviroment, are trappings of modernity. My own grandfather was a ploughman in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland. But he died within 24 hours of pneumonia from sleeping in a damp, if picturesque, cottage. People who advocate such a return to traditional communities and ways of life are often city folk who forget that such an existence was described as ‘nasty, brutish and short’. because it was.”

    http://lotrscrapbook.bookloaf.net/essay/varda/contents/varda_paradise.html

  • The Shire isn’t exactly a rural society — it’s more an idealized English country village. Think the Highbury of Jane Austen’s Emma. But even more so than in Emma, we only see the members of the essentially idle class. Bilbo (and Frodo later) never had a Baggins estate so far as we can tell, where actual tennant farmers raise crops to produce income. Nor does one get the impression that one can make all one’s money off investments in the Shire (as the Mr. Woodhouse in Emma apparently does) — it’s a country village, with a country village’s upper class, but not London to provide more complex investment for those not actively running an estate or business.

    I’d say that’s probably because Tolkien isn’t attempting to be realistic in his portrayal of the Shire. Minas Tirith and Rohan are portrayed (in the book — unlike in the movie where these cities sit in the middle of totally empty plains) as fairly realistic pre-industrial cities with outlying farmlands and villages. But the Shire (perhaps in part because it very much dates back to The Hobbit, which is more a children’s book in its atmospher; partly because it is an intentional evocation of Tolkien’s childhood memories) isn’t thought out in traditional social structures so much as it draws on traditional characters and institutions without giving much thought to how they’d fit together.

  • Wow look what I started!

    “I’d say that’s probably because Tolkien isn’t attempting to be realistic in his portrayal of the Shire.”

    And neither are some Distributists in their view of politics and economics.

    Nate,

    “But Joe, have you considered that the dominant economy, that of capitalistic industrialism, will collapse one day? I am convinced that it will. And what then?”

    Well, I’m not so sure industry itself will collapse.

    The civilization we have now may very well collapse, though.

    And so I fully support people who want to learn basic survival skills, basic farming skills. I think we should all have some knowledge of these things because we may need them in the future.

    But we should also try to preserve the civilization we have and not give in totally to fatalism. Of course everyone has to make calculations based on what they think the future will hold.

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The State of the Union Speech That Will Never Be Delivered

Wednesday, January 27, AD 2010

Here is the State of the Union Speech that will never be delivered:

“Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, Distinguished Guests, my fellow Americans.  Each year it is a duty of the President to report on the State of the Union to the Congress.  Often these speeches have been mere feel good exercises, frequently containing little of substance.  Tonight is going to be different.  Tonight it is time for blunt truth.

America is a great and strong nation, but in many ways the State of our Union is troubled.  We have the worst economy in the last three decades.  Signs of recovery are few.  I could attempt to assess some responsibility for this poor economy to my predecessor, but that would be pointless.  You, the American people, are not interested in blame.  What you are interested in is improving the economy, and so far, under my watch, that has not happened.  I, in good faith, attempted to stimulate the economy through a massive stimulus bill.  Thus far the results have been meager for the amount of money spent.  Time for a course correction.  Beginning tomorrow I am going to hold meetings with the Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress.  The economy is my number one priority, as it rightly is yours, and I am open to all ideas, from whatever source, to jumpstart the economy and return us to the path to prosperity.  If taxcuts and spending cuts are necessary to get the economy moving, so be it.  Whatever works is my watchword on this key issue.  To quote another President from Illinois, “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present.”  I am a Democrat, by the standards of many Americans a Liberal Democrat.  I’m proud of this, but I will not allow my adherence to certain beliefs to stand in the way of improving the economy.  Time for us all, past time, Republicans, Democrats and Independents, to work together to get out of this recession.    This is my chief concern and I will do whatever it takes to accomplish this task.

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23 Responses to The State of the Union Speech That Will Never Be Delivered

  • Yep Don.

    America will not hear your draft – unfortunately.

  • …still supporting the military industrial complex along with the foreign policy that contributed to the current conflicts, I see…

  • Still keeping us safe Anthony from the charming people that gave us 9-11 and who, unchecked, will give us a nuclear 9-11 one day.

  • Don,
    You fail to understsand. 9/11 was our fault. We had it coming. And when some nutjob detonates a nuke killing thousands of innocents, that will be our fault too. Just like AIDs, famines, and Anthony’s head cold. Well, that last one may be Bush’s fault.

  • That would be a pretty awesome speech.

  • Golly, Don, its not like our government ever did anything to them or their peoples… oh, wait…

    Your shallow paragraph of ‘foreign policy’ is essentially the neocon line. 9/11! 9/11! 9/11!

    The conflict, as you say, is not optional. But our strategies for victory and how we adjust our future diplomatic relations is very much so optional.

    Here, you just dig your heels in and ‘support the generals to the hilt’, whatever that is supposed to mean. Unfortunately it seems more and more often to ‘conservatives’ it means giving the military (and most importantly, their contractors!) whatever it wants.

    If there’s anything that bothers me most about this country’s path its her love affair with war. For some inane reason, war (the larger, the better) is the only way to defeat an enemy and if you do not agree, well then, you must be a wimp, a push-over, delusional, an America-hater or all of the above.

    I, in all sincere intellectual honesty, find my nation’s inclinations on the matter both self-destructive and— unchristian.

    What we blow up now, will inevitably blow up in our face some day down the road. And what will we do then? We will simply keep the violent circle going as we have for some time— wasting increasingly precious resources and irreplaceable lives.

  • Nope Anthony we’ve never done anything to the people in the Middle East other than pay them for their oil, most of which Americans discovered and built the infrastructure to remove, and made them the recipients of huge amounts of American aid, both public and private. We did stop certain Arab governments from exterminating Israel. If that bothers you, it does not bother me.

    The Jihadists that we fight are also the enemies of all muslims who wish to live in peace on this planet. The surge in Iraq was a sophisticated response to take advantage of this fact. I think such strategies can prove fruitful throughout this war.

  • Actually, the above economic interventions— excluding those that are genuinely of independent, private (and productive) origin— do bother me. Aid inevitably seeks to influence and potentially control, with less than sincere intentions. There are always strings.

    If, as you say, ‘the dogmas of the [hardly] quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present’, why not the same attitude in our foreign relations? Surely there are better ways to resolve differences than to only choose between bombs and bribes.

    Lord only knows how messy things are getting in places like Yemen and Pakistan of late…

  • Fellow Americans, I promised a lot of things when campaigning for president. Everything from closing Gitmo to getting us out of Iraq. I have thus far failed to deliver on just about everything except rescinding the Mexico City policy. I said that I would make the USA and the world a better place. I know, that is an apparent failure as well. However, I intend to make good on that promise tonight. Four hours ago I signed an executive order to have the body of President Reagan exhumed. In a few hours, he will be placed behind the desk of the Oval Office and a jar of jelly beans placed on the desk. I will sign an executive order making Ronald Wilson Reagan (Exp.) the President Pro Tempore. I will sign another executive order ordering having Speaker Pelosi’s face unstretched. Then I will resign the Office of the President of the Untied States. There, the world is a better place and it’s all because of me!

  • Zombie Reagan would get my vote!

  • Golly, Don, its not like our government ever did anything to them or their peoples… oh, wait…

    Nope Anthony we’ve never done anything to the people in the Middle East other than pay them for their oil,

    Maclin Horton has had for some years a joint blog with a postman from Ohio with whom he published a small circulation magazine back about 20 years ago. This fellow adheres to “Anthony’s” views. After a number of exchanges with this fellow, I have discovered that ‘what our government did to them [and] their peoples’ means…the State of Israel continues to exist.

  • I fail to see how cutting government spending is an essential part of getting our economy going. It may be necessary, but it will not serve to create jobs. And cutting taxes isn’t going to address the budget issues.

  • Cutting government spending Zak would help the economy by easing fears of investors that our current policies are taking us over an economic cliff. One reason why there is no recovery currently is that no one wants to spend money on new hires in such a fiscally uncertain atmosphere. Cutting taxes is a proven mechanism for jump-starting an economy but it does work against the goal, at least short term, of controlling government deficits.

  • I am certainly no expert on ME affairs, but it seems we have done a little more than just pay for their oil. Wasn’t Saddam supported by us at one point, and I am sure there were other various gov’t leaders that we supported who were less than savory or popular.

    Do you really think that any enterprise of any size, American, French, German or otherwise, would leave their sizeable investments in infrastructure (as you acknowledge) completely up to the whims of “the people”? Sorry, but I ain’t buying “all we did was pay them for their oil”. Getting that oil requires greasing some skids, and that gets dirty.

  • Would that we followed George Washington’s counsel on foreign affairs a little more, and George Bush’s a little less.

  • Anthony, C Matt, et al.,

    If it wasn’t for those peace loving barbary pirates that continued to attack our shipping vessels off the coast of north Africa, we would have never created a Navy!

    Damn it if we didn’t have it coming to us.

    We invaded their lake, ie, the Mediterranean, refused to convert to Islam and then dared to deliver commercial goods in their lake to non-Muslim shipping ports!

    We sure deserved being boarded, our men enslaved, and our women raped.

    Boy the things we do to offend Muslims!

  • “Wasn’t Saddam supported by us at one point,”

    During the Iran-Iraq war we gave limited satellite intelligence to the Iraqis, and limited weapon purchases to Iraq when it looked like Iran was going to swamp Iraq in the war that Saddam started. It was a wise policy. We didn’t want Iran to have sole control over the Gulf oil fields anymore than we wanted Saddam to after he invaded Kuwait.

  • Wasn’t Saddam supported by us at one point, and I am sure there were other various gov’t leaders that we supported who were less than savory or popular.

    Can you define what you mean by ‘support’?

  • Let’s also not forget our support (of the weapons and money kind) to the Afghans against the Soviets, who afterwards repaid us in kind by morphing into organizations like al Qaeda and the Taliban. One good turn deserves another I suppose…

    Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen… when will the madness stop? Don’t get me wrong, I pray that the governments in these regions would just roll over and play dead, at least that would suck dry the blood lust and paranoia at home. But some how I think doing that might have severe domestic consequences for them…

    …of course I neglected to mention the aspect of this ongoing ‘war against a tactic’ that bugs me most of all— its undeclared! Which of course gives our political class (always a moral and trustworthy lot) the freedom to constantly shift what ‘victory’ means, to say nothing of their justifications. Just look at what’s happened to the ‘anti-war’ left… turns out they don’t mind war so much after all…

    No, this whole mess stinketh to high hell and there is no end in sight. Bankruptcy, not politics, is the only thing that can stop it.

    And Tito… why should my objection to our policy translate into support (or cowardice) towards Muslim fascists? I want NOTHING to do with their mess. If they can ever get their act together and trade peacefully with no strings great, we’re open for business. If they’re more interested in converts and murder then not so much.

    It’s that simple. Going on a nation-building adventure is completely ludicrous. Any fruit that comes of it (that is not bitter) is decades away at incalculable cost.

    I do not object to a ‘strong national defense’. Thats crucial to our independence. What I’m objecting to, and questioning is whether our response is (a.) properly measured to the act of war perpetrated, (b.) undermining us economically (c.) eroding liberties at home, thereby burdening Americans to the benefit of the state and (d.) failing to combat the motivations for what has been done to us.

  • “I want NOTHING to do with their mess.”

    Then I assume Anthony you will cease to use oil imported from the Middle East, cease to ride on public or private transport fueled by oil from the Middle East, or work for an entity that uses Middle East oil. Many Americans would love to have nothing to do with the Middle East, but leaving aside the impossibility of that wish in an ever shrinking world, economically it simply is not possible.

  • Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen… when will the madness stop?

    What madness?

    I want NOTHING to do with their mess.

    They are not giving you that choice.

  • Under these current conditions, no it is not possible with regards specifically to oil… but all we want to buy is the oil… why the nation building? Having nothing to do with their internal difficulties does not equal not desiring their products.

    Additionally, we find ourselves reliant on said source of oil for a variety of OTHER sorts of interventions: on the environmental front and economic front here at home. Taxes, regulations and subsidies have all served to warp the free market, entrenching our need for oil as opposed to allowing the market and entrepreneurs to adjust to realities.

    Its not the ‘shrinking world’ that forces the confrontation, its the pressure of mounting government interventions both domestically and internationally abroad that place us between a rock and hard place.

    It has been clear for some time now that Middle Eastern politics is violent and unpredictable. Yet what has our government done to alleviate the situation aside from military response and damaging sanctions?

  • Its not the ’shrinking world’ that forces the confrontation, its the pressure of mounting government interventions both domestically and internationally abroad that place us between a rock and hard place.

    It is not excessive state intervention into economic life that induced Saddam Hussein to occupy Kuwait or that induced the Taliban to harbor a criminal organization with an allergy to skyscrapers.

    why the nation building? Having nothing to do with their internal difficulties does not equal not desiring their products.

    Conflicts with the Taliban and with the Government of Iran are not rooted in the discretionary policies of those agents not in our efforts at nation-building.

"a sad infidelity to America's highest ideals"

Friday, January 22, AD 2010

[N]o one in the world who prizes liberty and human rights can feel anything but a strong kinship with America. Yours is the one great nation in all of history that was founded on the precept of equal rights and respect for all humankind, for the poorest and weakest of us as well as the richest and strongest.

As your Declaration of Independence put it, in words that have never lost their power to stir the heart: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” A nation founded on these principles holds a sacred trust: to stand as an example to the rest of the world, to climb ever higher in its practical realization of the ideals of human dignity, brotherhood, and mutual respect. Your constant efforts in fulfillment of that mission, far more that your size or your wealth or your military might, have made America an inspiration to all mankind.

It must be recognized that your model was never one of realized perfection, but of ceaseless aspiration. From the outset, for example, America denied the African slave his freedom and human dignity. But in time you righted that wrong, albeit at an incalculable cost in human suffering and loss of life.

Your impetus has almost always been toward a fuller, more all embracing conception and assurance of the rights that your founding fathers recognized as inherent and God-given.
Yours has ever been an inclusive, not an exclusive, society. And your steps, though they may have paused or faltered now and then, have been pointed in the right direction and have trod the right path. The task has not always been an easy one, and each new generation has faced its own challenges and temptations. But in a uniquely courageous and inspiring way, America has
kept faith.

Yet there has been one infinitely tragic and destructive departure from those American ideals in recent memory.

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We Are Americans, Not Europeans

Friday, August 14, AD 2009

Isn’t it obvious that most of our American ancestors came over from Europe because they wanted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  They fled totalitarian regimes, socialist governments, and anti-Christian repression for the freedom that is afforded all Americans.

We have the best health care in the world precisely because it is not operated by the government.  Private industry drives innovation, government regulation or government-run health care eliminates innovation, awards bureaucrats, and ultimately leads to marginal health care in the long run.

We are Americans, not Europeans.  Yet President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and well-meaning liberals and progressives want to emulate European health care programs.  What Europeans have is not necessarily right nor good.

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42 Responses to We Are Americans, Not Europeans

  • My ancestors from Norway came here because they wanted to farm, and the soil where they lived was rocky, and the seasons short. My ancestors from Germany came, we think, because they were younger sons who were cut out from owning the family farm in the Rhineland. My Quaker ancestors from England and Wales were indeed escaping religious persecution, although if they had landed in the wrong colony in America (anywhere but Pennsylvania or Rhode Island), they would have encountered it again.

    None were escaping government-run healthcare. Most were not escaping any form of statism. It could be argued they were pursuing prosperity in the freedom of America, but it should be noted that most immigrants to the U.S. supported the state-led reforms of the progressives and Democrats in the first half of the twentieth century (although that was less true of the Scandinavian and German farmers of the Great Plains, who tended not to care about urban issues like that, although they did support populist initiatives like North Dakota’s central bank). In other words, your narrative of American history is certainly uncomplicated, and not unrelatedly, quite inaccurate.

    Why does it matter whether public health spending increases as a percentage of GDP if overall spending as a percentage of GDP is decreased? Why consolidate vastly different government healthcare programs – what does Medicare have to do with NIH?

    When you win an election for economic reasons, generally it’s because people think your policies will help address the economic situation. When part of that economic situation is healthcare (concerns about its costs, and about losing your coverage), presumably it’s not absurd to think there’s a connection. For years a greater percentage of people have trusted Democrats more than Republicans on healthcare. That suggests that maybe the “We’re Americans, so don’t try to learn from other countries” argument doesn’t hold as much sway as you think.

  • Zak,

    Excellent points.

    But if I were to jump into the details for every European ethnic group that moved to the US it would have ended up being a novel.

  • Ha! In and out of moderation. Hope you are having fun, policeman!

  • Not *all* of us come from European stock. 😉

  • Tito – Interesting that you deleted all of my comments here EXCEPT for that one. What is the point of that?

  • Michael,

    Your less than charitable comments are being deleted. And not only by me.

    Unlike Vox Nova, where I have been banned due to my comment that I am an American first and Mexican second thus destroying the myth of the American left that minorities need to be self-empowered by adding a “hyphenated” prefix attached to “American”, we have charity at this website, so many of your comments do get approved.

  • You know you were not banned for that comment.

  • My comments were moderated before, but that was the first one that got deleted, while the others were in moderation and then approved.

    So apparently that was the final straw that destroyed the delicate liberal world view that all minorities need to be pampered and told how to talk, think, and vote.

  • We have the best health care in the world if you are at a certain income bracket…

  • Proud to be an A-mer-i-can…

  • Eric,

    When I ‘had’ health care insurance, I got the cheapest plan available and ended up having the best orthopedic surgeon in the country repair my damaged knee.

    And I made less than 6 figures.

    Mark D.,

    Me to brother.

  • “Nationalized” and “socialized” health care programs (they are the same thing, which anyone opposed to the “nation-state” should recognize) “work” much better in small, homogeneous places with high average healthy behaviors and human capital – like say, the Scandinavian places many (rightfully, often) praise.

    Will it work here? Not according to the CBO, and that is just on the estimations of financial side.

    Why don’t we do this instead?

    PROMOTE HEALTH. Cut carbs – go against the destructive status quo (which the government has done a lot of damage on – remember that food pyramid?) Do something like this
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-primal-blueprint/

    TORT REFORM. Add high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts. Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. PORTABILITY. Let people view plans across state lines. Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. Enact Medicare reform…NOW. And REVISE tax laws to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or SCHIP.

  • Tito – Believe what you want. Make things up if it turns you on.

  • “We are Americans, not Europeans. Yet President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and well-meaning liberals and progressives want to emulate European health care programs.”

    I’ve seen it suggested that “blue state” America, especially college campuses, looks so much like Europe because American academics helped rebuild the continent after the war and made themselves and the like-minded into the uncontested establishment. Is there anything to this?

  • Tito,

    Would you forego governmental assistance in the form of medical care and martyr yourself, if need be, for the principles of your America?

  • Nationalized” and “socialized” health care programs (they are the same thing, which anyone opposed to the “nation-state” should recognize) “work” much better in small, homogeneous places with high average healthy behaviors and human capital – like say, the Scandinavian places many (rightfully, often) praise.

    Will it work here? Not according to the CBO, and that is just on the estimations of financial side.

    Why don’t we do this instead?

    PROMOTE HEALTH. Cut carbs – go against the destructive status quo (which the government has done a lot of damage on – remember that food pyramid?) Do something like this
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-primal-blueprint/

    TORT REFORM. Add high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts. Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. PORTABILITY. Let people view plans across state lines. Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. Enact Medicare reform…NOW. And REVISE tax laws to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or SCHIP.

  • Pingback: COACHEP » Blog Archive » Posts about Obama Health Care Failure as of August 14, 2009
  • Kevin,

    It happens sadly in red states as well.

    Mark D.,

    There is the emergency clinic.

  • Touche

  • Nationalized” and “socialized” health care programs (they are the same thing, which anyone opposed to the “nation-state” should recognize)…

    They’re not the same thing if there are no nation-states. Socialized health care could also operate on the state (in the u.s.) or provincial level (as in Canada) as well.

    …“work” much better in small, homogeneous places with high average healthy behaviors and human capital – like say, the Scandinavian places many (rightfully, often) praise.

    There you go with your “homogeneous places” stuff again. “If only we could keep all the races separate, everything would work great!”

  • Mark D.,

    I just want to be clear that I want Health Care reform as well. Just not as drastic in some portions of the bills that are floating around in the House with possibly an addition to including tort reform.

    We need health care reform, but together as Americans, not as a strictly Democratic bill.

  • To all you people who care so much about the uninsured, I have two words for you: PROVE IT! Spend your own money, not someone else’s. Last time I checked, when the Good Samaritan helped the man on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, he did not spend another person’s money. He spent his own.

  • Just because an idea or system is not American, does not make it automatically bad (or good). After all, most of us on this blog really like the social and moral ideas promulgated in the last 100 years or so by certain Italian, Polish, and German guys who wear funny hats 😉

  • To all you people who care so much about the uninsured, I have two words for you: PROVE IT! Spend your own money, not someone else’s. Last time I checked, when the Good Samaritan helped the man on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, he did not spend another person’s money. He spent his own.

    Presumably those who are in favor of universal health care are willing to have their taxes raised in order to pay for it. So, um, they would be spending “their own money.”

    Your me, mine, all mine attitude is sub-Christian.

  • When does society begin to look at itself to curb the healthcare problems? Obesity, smoking, drinking, STD’s, unwanted pregnancy, abortions, elicit drug use all put demand on the system in overdrive. Seems easy to say let the government take care of it so all share in the cost, but we are not eager to curb our own appetite for vices. There can be no true social justice that is not rooted in virtue and our Government does not respect the dignity of life so it is really a farce to think they care about the quality of life. If we as a country do not respect God as our creator, no government program is going to save us.

  • Ray – Sadly, not all health problems are connected to “virtue.” Aside from the fact that accidents happen in real life, your comment is the same old blame the victim nonsense.

  • Michael,

    While forcing the rest of us to pay for something we already do through charity.

    Dufus.

  • While forcing the rest of us to pay for something we already do through charity.

    This doesn’t make any sense.

  • Tito, you had a good health insurance plan. That does not mean the entire system is not deeply flawed.

  • Mikael,

    Cost is a product of demand; the demand is greatly increased by health care administered to people who made a choice to engage in risky behavior. US Policy Makers have done nothing to slow the erosion of this immoral behavior, but now have a plan to reduce cost. All hollow without morals in the driver’s seat. You will not contain a fire by putting a fire hose in the front door and a gasoline hose in the back.

    And don’t take this to mean I am not compassionate. I am not in favor of a GOVERNMENT run plan. Private and faith based working together with the government will provide greater success. What is the purpose of keeping their body alive if you are not trying to save the soul?

  • Michael, a portion of health care costs are the result of affluenza, the indulgence of appetites in ways that previous generations could ill-afford. That is just a social fact.

  • Today’s reading and Gospel summed up my thoughts better then I did.

    “But when the judge died,
    they would relapse and do worse than their ancestors,
    following other gods in service and worship,
    relinquishing none of their evil practices or stubborn conduct.”

    We are quick as a nation to anoint blame and seek fixes for our problems and concerns, but we are slow to admit there is a divine plan at work here. This country does have a lot of Greed, Does have a lot of Lust, Does Kill it’s unborn, and we are trashing the Mother/Father family structure. Now as you listen to our elected policy makers we “must” do something about the broken health care system; Some what being sold as a moral obligation to the poor and a “must have” to prove we “love your neighbor”. Poppycock if we do not relinquish our evil and stubborn conduct.

    The way we are asked to help the poor is Charity given from the heart, not policy given by our babbling law makers.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Hey thanks for reminding the Sloth in our country has too.

  • Another difference with Europenas is their lifestyle – they tend to be healthier in diet and exercise (lots more walking). Of course that has an impact on health care costs. Not to mention their defense budgets are a heck of a lot less than ours.

    But we are Americans, dang it. If we want that custard filled donut with bacon and eggs for breakfast to help us sit at our cubicle for the next nine hours before we go home and plop down in front of the tube for 3 hours while we wait for the pizza delivery guy, then by golly, we’re gonna get it.

    On the other hand, why the rush to pass this particular bill? Why so hurried – if health care reform is worth doing, isn’t it worth doing right?

  • “Presumably those who are in favor of universal health care are willing to have their taxes raised in order to pay for it. So, um, they would be spending ‘their own money.'”

    Actually, the Administration proposes that very few people pay for it.

  • C Matt,

    It’s our choice to eat what we want.

    Granted it is excessive, but God gave us free will.

    (For the record, I agree with you that Americans don’t eat very well).

    As far as defense budgets are concerned, the US pretty much is NATO. If they were ever to be attacked by Russian or the Arab states, you can be well assured that the Americans will rush quickly to their defense.

    It’s how NATO works.

  • Michael,

    To your reference to “dufus”, I apologize about that.

    I should have been more careful.

    In my defense, I thought it was a silly word appropriate for you, but when I looked it up in the dictionary, it went to far where you didn’t deserve to be called that.

  • 1960 Flemming v. Nestor the Supreme Court ruled “The noncontractual interest of an employee covered by the Act cannot be soundly analogized to that of the holder of an annuity, whose right to benefits are based on his contractual premium payments”. The decision means that since no one has any legal right to Social Security benefits, Congress can cut or eliminate benefits at any time.

    Keep this in mind as Baby Boomers retire. Early on SS was a trust fund that was eventually raided in 1965 to offset the deficit. When the retirees payments exceeds the collections taxes will skyrocket, benefits will get cut, or they print money and inflation runs rampant.

    Flemming v. Nestor will have the same impact on a public option healthcare, it is not a contractual right and they can cut or eliminate benefits at any time. With a private option you have a contract and legal rights. Private payments that are deductible for the poor is a much better solution.

    As far as who is paying? It does not pass the squint test that this can be paid for with only a handful of wealthy people footing the bill. Hence the panic that the “end of life” counseling session will turn into nothing more then trying to talk the elderly into NOT accepting advanced and costly treatment. So why reinvent the Living Will? Promote everyone to write a Living Will; don’t replace it with another system which will open decades of new legal questions already established by Living Wills.

  • Michael,

    That’s between you and Donald.

    While we’re on the subject, look up the word charity and read the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 5, verse 39.