Bear Growls: Voris to Bloggers: Drop Dead

Thursday, October 29, AD 2015

 

 

Our bruin friend over at Saint Corbinian’s Bear has been on a roll lately:

 

Michael Voris is once again under the Bear’s scrutiny, because once again he has done something noteworthy. Since the Bear is not a Professional Broadcaster, he will go with an easy-to-understand, lawyerly chronological outline at the risk of burying the lede.

Voris’ Premise

Voris’ premise is that the bad guys are playing a game of pointing fingers of blame at conservatives when conservatives criticize Pope Francis. This is a welcome clarification of his recent “Failed Papacy?” Vortex, which the Bear found impossible to understand. Voris’ premise depends upon the idea that ordinary folks follow ecclesiastical politics and care. Voris gave three examples of how this has been tried.

First: “The Letter.” The letter circulated by some prelates was spun into an attack on the Pope. Some of them who had supposedly signed it, denied signing it. Voris apparently supposes this had traction with the man on the street.

Second: “The Tumor.” There was some speculation that the story released by an Italian newspaper was planted by evil conservatives to undermine Pope Francis’ papacy, although there were never any names suggested to the Bear’s knowledge. Again, Voris imagines that people follow this sort of “inside baseball.”

Third: “The Pope’s Enemies.” Cardinal Wuerl speculates about the Pope’s enemies. Once again, people are supposed to hear this, know who Cardinal Wuerl is, and agree with him. Thus we, the good guys, take heavy damage, according to Voris.

Liberals and Modernists use these tactics because they know they work, Voris says. In secular politics, criticize President Obama and liberals will call you a racist. Similarly, criticize the Pope and Modernists will say you, well, criticized the Pope. (A quibble: America has a built-in race factor bubbling under the surface that liberals can tap into in a way Cardinal Wuerl can’t in ecclesiastical politics.)

Now the reason we should not attack the Pope is because it is a bad tactic. For this reason, according to Voris, we should attack the evil men around the Pope.

Voris’ Solution: Ditch Blogs and Rely on the Professionals

This is where it gets interesting. It reminds the Bear of the scene in Ghostbusters where Venkman tells the guy at the library, “Back off, man. I’m a scientist.” Except now it’s “Back off, man. I’m a Professional Journalist.”

First, you have to have a real theological education to detect “subtleties and nuances.”

Second, you have to have professional, secular media experience.

Why, what do you know! We’re in luck! Michael Voris has both of these qualifications. In case you have failed to connect the dots, Voris actually states Church Militant TV has these ingredients. And they’re no fly-by-night blogs sensationalizing things for a few extra clicks.

And then he immediately asks for money: to buy a Premium Membership.

So do you get this? Don’t bother with a bunch of amateurs who will hose it all up. Stick with professionals, like, why, me! It’s like the famous 1975 Daily News headline, “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” Except this time it’s “VORIS TO BLOGGERS: DROP DEAD.”

The Bear’s Reaction
The Bear can’t help but observe that if you allow the other side to control the debate, you’ve already lost. When the Bear practiced trial defense, he would always pick the prosecution’s most shocking piece of real evidence, maybe the murder weapon, to pick up and use before the jury. It showed everyone that the Bear was not afraid of anything the prosecution could present. It also desensitized them, thus eliminating the shock value.
The other side is going to do their thing, period. There are givens. You can’t let that dictate your strategy.
So the Bear is not sure he even agrees with Voris’ premise. This just sounds like the same old lyrics of “don’t criticize the Pope,” set to a different tune. The Bear is not convinced that most people are attuned to ecclesiastical politics as are we visitors, friends and woodland creatures, or Michael Voris’ Premium Members.
But that’s not even the main thing that moved the Bear to put paws to keyboard.
VORIS TO BLOGGERS: DROP DEAD
 
In case you missed it, unless you’re Michael Voris, you bloggers should take your cheap quest for clicks somewhere far from Catholic news. You don’t have a degree in theology? You don’t have extensive secular broadcast experience? Then you don’t have what it takes to be in the big boy’s game. You’ll miss the subtleties and won’t know how to present the story. And you don’t even have a rich backer to send you to Rome where you can look like a journalist, “live from Rome,” even though you have said you don’t act as one. (Which makes one wonder what the use of that formidable professional experience is, since Voris apologized for acting like a journalist in the “Harming the Pope” incident with Cardinal Burke on October 22 of last year.) 

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3 Responses to Bear Growls: Voris to Bloggers: Drop Dead

  • Voris has put himself into a “Never speak any unkind truth about this pope” box, so he has first, he blamed the Kasperites only, then when the synod final report failed, he tried to blame previous popes, then he tried to blame his bloggers and catholic parents for the failures, and even uttered this gem; never fail to tell the truth.
    He would provide a great service to truth if he didn’t ignore his own advice, and play the game Adam played. “Lord, it was that woman You made…”

  • Michael Voris never seems to tire of shooting himself in the foot – or even a little further up. The first place I go to for Catholic News: TAC, Father Z, Toronto Catholic Witness, One Peter Five – NOT the Vortex. I like Father Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment too now that I have stumbled on it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t watch the occasional Vortex or like some of the things that Michael Voris says. But save us, Lord Jesus, from ourselves, I do wish he would stop shooting himself in the genitals! Arrrggghhh!

  • PWP: I only read TAC for Catholic news. Without YAC, I may read the NYT or “America” (not our Country). If I did that, I may wind up blind. Luckily I own only one ice pick . . .

Crux with John L. Allen Jr., A New Catholic Website Published by The Boston Globe

Tuesday, September 2, AD 2014

John L Allen Associate Editor of Crux MagazineJohn L. Allen Jr.’s name came up during an introductory meeting between the new owner of The Boston Globe, John W. Henry, and the editor of the same daily, Brian McGrory.  It was an auspicious meeting because it was taking place one day after the Boston Red Sox winning the 2013 World Series, which Henry also owns.

Taking note of the popularity of the new Pope and wanting to capitalize on it, Allen’s name was floated to anchor this new online Catholic magazine named Crux.  Crux would be an addition to the online publishing niches that the Globe operates.  Considering the large Catholic population of the Boston area and the appeal of Pope Francis, it was a natural fit.

Henry was a self made man in financial trading and also successful in breaking the ‘Curse of the Bambino‘ by winning the 2004 World Series.  Looking back at Henry’s track record, it can be said that he took bold ventures in unfamiliar territory and did well.

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8 Responses to Crux with John L. Allen Jr., A New Catholic Website Published by The Boston Globe

Are You Kidding Me John Allen?

Wednesday, November 24, AD 2010

John L. Allen Jr., otherwise referred to in most circles as John Allen, is the prolific writer for the dissident Catholic newspaper National Catholic Reporter has come out defending L’Osservatore Romano in the recent Pope Condom Comments controversy.

John Allen laid the blame clearly on orthodox/conservative Catholic bloggers for “jealousy, politics, and dated expectations of how the Vatican paper ought to behave.” referring to critics of L’Osservatore Romano and its editor Gian Maria Vian, of which I am one of those critics.

Mr. Allen, by “dated expectations of how the Vatican paper ought to behave”, do you mean as in defending Church teaching and not embarrassing the pope at all costs?

Are you kidding me?

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14 Responses to Are You Kidding Me John Allen?

  • I would call this post outrageous, but it is so over-the-top that it seems just plain silly instead. John Allen is generally respected by Catholic commentators of all stripes, and his comments about “Taliban Catholicism” did not refer to “practicing Catholics” but to Catholics who direct inflammatory nonsense like this at their fellow Christians.

  • Ron,

    Just par for the course of your nonsensical comments.

  • Why heterodoxy failed . . .

    By even-handed, do you mean Mr. John listed a positive for every detraction of Opus Taliban?

    I wouldn’t waste my eyesight or time . . .

  • Use of the phrase “Taliban Catholics”, a common enough phrase on the Catholic Left, indicates that Mr. Allen knows little about the Taliban, and that his prejudices are what one might expect from someone who writes for the birdcage liner called the National Catholic Reporter. Of course what truly upsets him I think is that Catholic bloggers are eclipsing the readership of rags like the National Catholic Reporter that used to have a virtual monopoly in attempting to shape Catholic opinion in this country. No matter how many unread copies of the National Catholic Reporter are ordered by leftists priests, and the chancery staffs of leftist bishops, they simply cannot compete in aggregate readership with the Catholic blogs, most of which are orthodox. Allen’s comment is the lament of the buggy whip manufacturer as more of those horseless carriages are clogging the roads.

  • For the record, I consider myself orthodox and do not think I would fall under Mr. Allen’s “Taliban Catholicism.” Now, there may be a few on the distant right who think I’m a heretic, but they’re pretty rare birds. It seems he’s referring to more than just orthodoxy here.

    Whether using a loaded term like “Taliban” to make his point was a good move is, however, another debate.

  • Allen is usually good when writing about the Vatican, but when it comes to writing about the American scene in Catholicism he has a tendency to get all tribal in defense of his fellow National Catholic Reporter writers. How one gets off seeing the Mark Sheas and Fr Zs of the world as “Taliban” while having not beef with his fellow columnists like Chittister, McBrian and Winters (who are prone to far more frequent accusations that their fellow Catholics aren’t real Catholics and do so from a dissident psotion to boot) escapes me.

    In this case, that’s compounded with Allen being of the brand of Catholic which while not dissident would clearly like to see Church teaching on birth control be more “open” — and some such seem to have deceived themselves that this particular blunder by LOS indicates this is coming.

    Honestly, though, that site is just hard to read. I’d read Allen’s first piece on the issue, which was good, and the comment boxes were 90% 60s bitter Enders lashing out at the pope, with many of them accusing him of being “clearly obsessed” with male prostitutes. I think beyond a certain point, one’s readership is indicative. If you’re mostly read by people who hate the Church, there’s something wrong with what you’re doing.

  • Brett,

    I wouldn’t sweat it about where you fall in this category.

    The bottom line is that Mr. Allen should have never even uttered the world “Taliban Catholicism” for whatever reason.

    The AP picked it up and clearly planted in the camp of Catholics that love Jesus and His Bride.

  • The term “Taliban” may not be the most fortuitous, but I’d sure like a word other than “conservative” to tell the difference between Michael Voris and Robert Barron, between Steve Kellmeyer and Matthew Kelly. Any suggestions?

  • Donald,
    I also find the comboxes under Allen a little frustrating, but I think he’s managed to pull off something important; namely, not always preaching to the choir. Sometimes insisting on only writing for audiences that already agree with us is a little like putting the lamp under the bushel basket.
    A lot of the time high ratings for a blog indicate its tribal nature, not its evangelical possibilities.

  • “The term “Taliban” may not be the most fortuitous”

    That will do as the understatement of the day on this blog until something better comes along.

    As to what to call one’s adversaries, I always prefer something that actually fits them. “Taliban Catholics” is purely insulting, since no Catholics on the blogosphere that I am aware of have embraced suicide bombing or any of the other charming manifestations of that Afghanistani political/religious movement. School yard insults against one’s opponents are good for venting purposes, but for little else.

  • I’ll take understatement over overstatement when I can help it. 😉

    I’m not sure it’s much to do with adversaries. The thing about Catholics like Barron and Kelly is that they don’t frame their Catholicism in terms of how wrong everyone else is. They’re precisely non-adversarial and they’re perfectly orthodox, I daresay moreso than Voris or Kellmeyer. Not that Voris or Kellmeyer consciously dissent, but it is very easy to say something out of step with the tradition when you are more intent on pursuing your enemy than seeking understanding.

    Hmm, maybe the word for such Catholics should be “adversarial.” I’m really quite sick of letting them steal “orthodox” out from under the rest of us.

  • If Allen simply wanted to complain about the approach of folks like Voris (which I would consider legit) a term like Gonzo Catholicism would suffice and be far more accurate it seems to me. What makes “Taliban Catholicism” particularly offensive is that it manages to neatly package a whole set of prejudices (that people are irrational, ignorant, fundamentalist, prone to violence, hate women, likely to commit stonings and beheadings, etc.) in one neat package which gains instant support from an anti-religious stereotype which the New Atheists have been at pains to create about religion in general and traditional religion in particular. That Allen chose to use the term in a secular outlet where he could better harness those anti-religious prejudices strikes me as particularly bad.

    On can hardly blame people for feeling that this represented a nasty case of playing for the other side.

    And, of course, there’s a rather nasty irony to attacking people who you ink are too quick to try to discredit the orthodoxy of others as “Taliban”, since this is, effectively, attacking their own orthodoxy and taking things to a higher level as well.

    On the diversity of opinion point — I certainly don’t think one should try to foster a readership of only those who already agree with you. But at the same time, it strikes me that if a Catholic periodical’s readership is made up almost entirely of those who disagree with at least some of the Church’s teachings to the point of scorn and really hate the pope (so much that the first thing that jumped into many of these commenter’s heads was to imply that the pope frequented male prostitutes) this might suggest that people with these feelings find something about your periodical rather congenial. And if you care about the Church, you might want to consider what those elements might be and change them.

    By analogy: if for some reason my writing seemed to have drawn a huge number of white supremacist readers, I would consider it a moral requirement that I examine my writing and see if I was somehow doing something that appealed to these people’s errors. If I failed to do so, I would be implicitly supporting them.

  • Gonzo Catholicism? I like that.

  • Also, I don’t think Allen is the one drawing the crazies to read his publication. On the other hand, I know many like me who read his column online each week and don’t have much to do with the rest of the Reporter.

The Vast JournoList Conspiracy

Tuesday, July 27, AD 2010

UPDATED BELOW

The vast JournoList conspiracy can be called over-heated rhetoric.

But then again, facts get in the way.

The liberal staff writer for the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz, agrees with me on the left-leaning JournoList:

To conservatives, it is a pulling back of the curtain to expose the media’s mendacity.

To liberals, it is a selective sliming based on e-mails that were supposed to remain private.

But there is no getting around the fact that some of these messages, culled from the members-only discussion group Journolist, are embarrassing. They show liberal commentators appearing to cooperate in an effort to hammer out the shrewdest talking points against the Republicans — including, in one case, a suggestion for accusing random conservatives of being racist.

Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller site, which has been dribbling out the e-mails, drew fresh reaction Thursday with a piece about Journolist members savaging Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor responded with a slam at the media’s “sick puppies,” saying she was confronted during the 2008 campaign by “hordes of Obama’s opposition researchers-slash-‘reporters.’ ” But the people making the most stridently partisan comments in the invitation-only group weren’t reporters at all — they were out-of-the-closet liberals acting like, well, liberals.

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12 Responses to The Vast JournoList Conspiracy

  • William Tecumseh Sherman:
    “I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.”

  • “To liberals, it is a selective sliming based on e-mails that were supposed to remain private.”

    Well, all the participants need to do is to release the archive, something they have been unwilling to do. Of course to conservatives none of this comes as a surprise: the mainstream media, by and large, is made up of men and women who tilt left and despise conservatives. None of this of course affects their coverage of news. 🙂

  • No, not at all. Their views never affect how they report it.

    Thank beelzebub for MSNBC and CNN!

  • Iowahawk has his own special take on the controversy:

    “Welcome to the Journolist Top Secret Progressive He-Man Wingnut Haters Club and L33t H4xoR Chat Room. Disclaimer: this is a private discussion forum intended solely for the benefit of JournoList members. Reproduction, transmission, redistribution, or description, in whole or in part, of any content (including, but not limited to, private insults, insider innuendo, political manifestos, hair styling tips and/or gossip) without the expressed written consent of the commissioner is strictly prohibited. Please read and agree to the User Consent Form. And, as always, remember the first rule of JournoList: there is no JournoList.”

    http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2010/06/ill-take-a-cashiers-check-mr-breitbart.html

  • Mickey Kaus:

    “”Shut up” seems to be a favorite talking point of Journolist defenders. But I don’t think non-members need to accept their message discipline.

    Journolist was a terrible idea from the start, not so much because it enabled the promotion of “lock-steppedness” and a progressive party line across media organizations (though Salam more or less concedes that it did), or because it fostered an “us vs. them” mentality (which it also obviously did). It was a bad idea, mainly because it took a process that could have been public, democratic and transparent and gratuitously made it private, stratified and opaque. This was an odd move for “progressives” to make when confronted with the revolutionary openness of the Web. It’s as if they’d looked at our great national parks and said hey, what we really need is to carve out a private walled enclave for the well connected. Invited to a terrific party, they immediately set up a VIP room.”

    http://kaus.sitebuilder.completecampaigns.com/sbcc/blog_permalink.php?seq=1&id=732

  • Invited to a terrific party, they immediately set up a VIP room.”

    That seems to define many, if not most, liberals, including his Liberalness Obama, peace be upon him.

  • I wouldn’t have problems with these sorts of revelations if they were just honest in their work.

    I make no secrets about my biases and points of view, why should they? Oh yeah, to be “objective.” Well, that was their first mistake. There’s no such thing as objective journalism.

  • One feature of modern journalists is a shameless tendency to overestimate themselves. Some of them truly believe that they can reshape people’s minds, many more pretend to believe it. Or they start barking when the Vatican issues a statement in a way they wouldn’t have done, because PR is oohhh soooo important, don’t you know……
    This is simply not the case.

    I am Italian and I can tell you that even after 17 years of shameless linkage between media, politics and business the impressive media apparatus of the most famous thief in the land could never move more than a couple of percentage points of the electorate; and this not without an immense effort and expense and losing two elections in the process.

    In the UK where I now live the amazingly leftist BBC is omnipresent and utterly ignored by the electorate in its voting decisions.
    In May the “Guardian” (and old-style socialist newspaper) tried to separate themselves from the sure loser, the Labour party and supported the Liberal Democrates; the LibDems promptly went on to lose votes and seats.

    Another big newspaper, the Sun, only support the probable winner in order to be able to say that they are the kingmaker; they are rather the king’s jester, methinks

    There are notable exceptions of course, but you get my drift.

  • Has anyone really taken the MSM seriously for the past two decades? I mean, besides themselves and fellow travelers, of course.

  • Thanks to a diversity of media options and the rise of new media, liberals have lost their choke-hold on the “message” and are now complaining like a flopping fish on the beach.

  • And they’re asking for govt. money to keep them going.

  • Well, why not? everyone else is asking.

Three Cheers for a Partisan Media

Sunday, July 25, AD 2010

Americans often complain about how dirty and mudslinging politics have become.  This complaint demonstrates the lack of knowledge of their own history that many Americans today display.  As the imaginary attack ad by Adams at the beginning of this post illustrates, politics tended to be much less restrained in political attacks in the early days of our Republic.  During the campaign of 1800, Jefferson and Adams, two of the primary Founding Fathers, were called every name imaginable.   Jefferson was called, among many other things, an atheist, a weakling, a coward, a libertine, mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, and the son of a half-breed Indian squaw sired by a Virginia mulatto.    A few of the insults hurled at  Adams included  fool, hypocrite, criminal, tyrant, and that he was possessed of a hermaphroditical character which had neither the force or firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of  a woman.  The passions that were roused in that campaign are shown by gentle Martha Washington, the widow of George, telling a clergyman that Jefferson was one of the most detestable of mankind.  The press were at the forefront of this battle, with the papers of the day wearing their political affiliations emblazoned in their headlines.

And so it remained in America until after World War ii.  Up until that time, most  papers adhered to a set of political beliefs determined by the owners of the papers, and they were very upfront about it.  It was only in the postwar era, with the attempt to instill professionalism into the always somewhat disreputable ink-stained wretches, that the concept of objective journalism came to be prized as a goal and embraced by most organs of the media.  Papers that wore their ideological hearts on their sleeves, the prime example being the New Hampshire Union Leader, were viewed as survivors of an earlier stage of journalism that the press had outgrown.

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5 Responses to Three Cheers for a Partisan Media

  • One area not discussed though is the Associate Press’ impact.

    Applying the Marketplace of Ideas theory at the core of Free Speech jurisprudence, so long as there is a robust dispute between ideas and the freedom to express them, liberty is preserved. While the Framers of the Constitution knew a thing or two about partisan politics and, while President Washington warned about the dangers, he appears to have accepted and used his party to affect policy.

    As noted above, the great variety of traditional media outlets that were aligned with particular socio-political movements balanced one another. As importantly though, most media outlets understood that “getting the scoop” was an important part of their business model. While a particular paper may have been aligned with the GOP, for example, it understood that having been “scooped” on story by a Democratic rival was bad for business. There was an intense contest for stories with reporters traveling all over the place to get or follow-up on stories.

    What we no longer seem to have is this sort of “investigative journalism.” We have the AP to thank for that.

    It is cheeper and more efficient to pick stories from the hourly AP list. Find a story on-line that you think is important? Click on any other story on the same subject and you will see that it is the same story. Thus, the readers now HAVE to rely upon the objectivity and competence of the original writer since there will be no other reporter out there writing about that particular subject or taking other photographs of the particular event.

    Case in Point:

    Last year, there was an immigration story that ran internationally about a couple, the husband of which had obtained his immigration status as the “Unmarried Son of an United States Citizen.” That classification requires that the Beneficiary be “unmarried” at the time that they obtained their Lawful Permanent Residence. (Let us set aside whether this statute is the best rule or not. It is the law, whether or not it is the best law imaginable.)

    When the US Consulate interviewed the Beneficiary, he testified under oath that he was unmarried and had never been married. He obtained his visa and the couple came to the US. Six years later, he applied for citizenship and an Examiner with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services discovered that he had obtained his status in the US through fraud. Apparently, the Examiner did not accept the claim that the Beneficiary had not understood what “unmarried and never married” meant and, whether or not intentional, the fact remained that the Beneficiary had never been eligible for the visa that he came to the US on. His citizenship application was denied. He appealed and that was denied. He was placed into immigration removal proceedings to be deported from the United States and an immigration judge found him removable. He appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals and the BIA found him removable. He appealed that decision to the District Court what found him removable and obtained an en banc review by the Circuit Court of Appeals which also found him removable. The US Supreme Court denied him certiori.

    Now, those are the undisputed facts. (I know both their attorney and several of the immigration officers that worked the case.) However, the reporter who picked up the story for the AP stated that the Beneficiary was only asking for his “day in court” – that he had not had a chance to present his case before a judge. Further, he repeated his claim that he had not understood what the Consular Officer he was originally interviewed by meant by “unmarried” or “never before married.” The immigration matters and law were utterly muttered, at one point, the reporter stated that the Beneficiary had gotten his citizenship when he came to the US and the government was now taking it away – a patently false statement and wrong as a matter of law.

    I did some digging and figured out that the “reporter” was a college Journalism major who had been published in his school paper and had had two articles about his college football team published in a local newspaper. Stated differently, the “reporter” was not a professional at all, had no experience in writing legitimate news stories of this type, and had not interviewed anyone other than the Beneficiary himself. Even the facts obtained from the Beneficiary were muddled and the legal issues could have been determined with a few very simple internet searches. And yet, the Associated Press purchased this guy’s article and then sold it to media outlets such as the Philadelphia Inquirer (where I read it). On-Line searches showed that it was picked up by overseas outlets as well.

    My point is just this… At an earlier time, there were lots of legitimate reporters out there trying to beat one another to stories and make the other outlets look foolish. This competition forced the outlets to be “professional” and to make at least a reasonable effort to get stories right or correct them later. This is no longer the case and the AP is to blame.

  • “At an earlier time, there were lots of legitimate reporters out there trying to beat one another to stories and make the other outlets look foolish… This is no longer the case and the AP is to blame.”

    Actually, I think the decline of family-owned and locally-owned newspapers in favor of corporate chains that believe the fastest way to making a profit is to drive their papers into debt and then cut (and cut and cut) staff in order to pay that debt off is far more to blame. The AP has been around in some form since the 19th Century and was around long before the age of competitive and “objective” journalism.

    The main reason you see newspapers and TV stations relying more on AP these days is because they’ve cut their staffs to the point where no one has either the time, skill, or experience to do serious investigative reporting — they can barely keep up with fires, accidents, crime reports, city council meetings, etc. Many major newspapers have also dumped their Washington D.C. bureaus and their state capital bureaus, again, forcing them to rely on AP.

  • You know, our presidents used to kill people in duels.

    http://www.isidore-of-seville.com/dueling/12.html

    Not that I’m defending dueling morally of course. I just think we were made out of tougher stuff in generations past.

  • Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, a true larger than life character, became a fast friend of Andrew Jackson after their duel. Late in his life he was asked by a young man if he had known President Jackson. “Knew him sir? I shot him sir!”

  • Pingback: The Vast Journolist Conspiracy « The American Catholic

I am Shocked, Shocked!

Friday, June 25, AD 2010

Hattip to Ed Morrissy at Hot Air.  The Washington Post hired David Weigel, who has previously come to the attention of this blog here,  to report to their readership on that strange group called American conservatives.  This small and obscure group, only 42% of the adult population of the US according to the latest Gallup poll released today and twice the number of self-identified liberals, was the focus of the reporting of David Weigel.  To my non-surprise, Weigel is now revealed in his own words to be a bitter Democrat partisan and uber-liberal:

Weigel was hired this spring by the Post to cover the conservative movement. Almost from the beginning there have been complaints that his coverage betrays a personal animus toward conservatives.  Emails obtained by the Daily Caller suggest those complaints have merit.

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10 Responses to I am Shocked, Shocked!

  • I am certain that the Washington Post will now find someone to cover conservatives who does not despise conservatives.

    Hey, Donald, as you know I am originally from New York. I have a hot tip on a bridge that might be for sale. 🙂

  • I had a client once Paul who claimed to have purchased the Brooklyn Bridge, so I know it can’t be that one! 🙂

  • Must dissent. What has happened would be unsurprising at the Boston Globe or the post-Rosenthal New York Times, but the Washington Post once made a point of developing an engaging editorial page which published commentary from a variety of perspectives. They could also breed their own talent, which the Times never could. George Will, Henry Mitchell, Richard Cohen, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Kinsley, Edwin Yoder, Joseph Kraft, and Emmett Tyrell all had space at the Post when the Times was trafficking in the likes of Anthony Lewis. The Post seems to have fallen on hard times if they are hiring utter cretins.

  • Art Deco,

    Good point.

    In addition, they remove their faux conservatives to.

  • “The Post seems to have fallen on hard times if they are hiring utter cretins.”

    A dog walking on its hind legs Art always deserves applause for attempting the feat, but inevitably the dog will be walking on four legs again soon enough.

  • I did not sign up for an avatar, so what’s that doing there? That appears by my handle at Front Porch Republic as well. Hmmm….

    —-

    In all seriousness, this man’s employment is very odd. There are all manner of things about the kultursmog around the chatterati one might criticize, and I suspect it is true that there has been a general decay in the quality of thought and argument from the political opposition. (Robert Bork, who was a public figure before and after, has said there was a large and discrete change in the quality of public discourse around about 1981; 2001 also seems a year of consequence). That having been said, they have on their staff a man who is apparently not minimally curious about the terms of political conflict; also, his sensiblities are so peculiar he thought it ‘despicable’ for Gov. Palin to tweak the nose of an ‘investigative reporer’ who rented a house next door to her. This guy is not normal. Why did he apply for the position? If not, why was he assigned to it? Do his editors not know what his views are? That he resigned toute-de-suite suggests someone in the Post‘s apparat understands this as inappropriate.

  • Art Deco,

    In my near fruitless crusade to encourage our readers to sign up for gravatar, I changed the default setting for users without a custom avatar of their own, to display a generated logo from “Identicon” to “MonsterID”.

    Identicon generates those abstract random patterns you normally saw.

    MonsterID generates ‘monster’ pics.

    Since I’m no fan of abstract/pattern art, I went with MonsterID in hopes of encouraging those to sign up for (free) gravatar.

    😉

    Like Identicon, MonsterID assigns a random monster pic particular to each individuals email address.

    Hence why you recognize your MonsterID.

  • “That having been said, they have on their staff a man who is apparently not minimally curious about the terms of political conflict; also, his sensiblities are so peculiar he thought it ‘despicable’ for Gov. Palin to tweak the nose of an ‘investigative reporer’ who rented a house next door to her. This guy is not normal.”

    Quite right Art. What struck me was the jejune nature of his comments which basically amounted to grunts of “Conservatives very bad!!!”. Political movements can sometimes benefit from insightful critiques from adversaries. I have admired some of the articles by John Judis on conservatives. This fellow however had nothing to offer except a deep dislike of the movement he was supposed to cover.

    As for your avatar, God only knows what WordPress is doing. Time for you to get a more appropriate avatar:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.deviantart.com/download/78393004/Steampunk_Penguin_Professor_by_einen.png&imgrefurl=http://einen.deviantart.com/art/Steampunk-Penguin-Professor-78393004&usg=__s8CyX86l8arPU6-TtBVgkfaksrM=&h=810&w=720&sz=839&hl=en&start=1&itbs=1&tbnid=beT-YJ4j4Fvs_M:&tbnh=144&tbnw=128&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dprofessor%2Bpenguin%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1

  • Thank you for your article.I agree with Alehouses and Dan Riehl over the Dave Weigel resignation from the Washington Post. It is no surprise to me that Ben Smith is on Journolist too. Hope you will continuo your informative post.

  • Pingback: Last Weeks Top-Ten Catholic Posts « The American Catholic

Hearst Stands Behind Anti-Semite Helen Thomas

Sunday, June 6, AD 2010

Breaking News: The USA Today is reporting that Helen Thomas has retired following her anti-Semitic comments from last week (Biretta tip to TAC reader Phillip)

The Hearst Corporation, which owns Hearst Newspapers, continues to stand behind their ‘news reporter’ the anti-Semite Helen Thomas despite video evidence of her anti-Semitic remarks.

In her anti-Semitic remarks she called on Jews in the Middle-East to ‘get the hell out of Palestine’ and go back home to ‘Germany’ and ‘Poland’.  Apparently forgetting that they have been inhabiting the Holy Land for several thousands of years.

The Hearst Corporation, Helen Thomas’ employer, continues to stand behind her, but are saying her comments do not represent the values of the Hearst Corporation.

Continue reading...

49 Responses to Hearst Stands Behind Anti-Semite Helen Thomas

  • Fire the bigot. She has shamed herself, her profession and any organization she represents. Her apology rings hollow. She has revealed her true face and no mealymouthed apology can take that away.

  • The bigot should be fired. I am so sick of there being a double standard in our society. Liberals can get away with pretty much anything, while conservatives have to walk around treating every situation, every person, and everything with kid gloves for fear of being taken out of context or being falsely accused of something. She has violated journalistic integrity, ethics, and needs to go.

  • A bigot is a bigot, whether liberal or conservative! While I am personally left of center on political and social issues, I have no tolerance for racism. With respect to this issue, Hearst Corporation needs to fire Helen Thomas for her ignorant and inflammatory words and quickly distance themselves from this pitiful person.

  • GaryS,

    I tweaked my post just a bit to be more balanced.

    Bigots come from all parts of the political spectrum.

    It’s our duty as New Media journalists to call for fairness in reporting and even our columns.

    Helen Thomas may be a liberal, but that’s not the reason why she’s a bigot.

    She’s a bigot because she’s ignorant.

  • ISRAEL HAS DIRESPECTED AMERICA AND THE CATHOLIC RELIGION LONG ENOUGH WE HAVE SEEN ENOUGH KILLING ITS TIME TO STOP AND BY NOT STANDING UP TO THEM MAKES THE PROBLEM LAST. OBAMA IS AMERICAS #3 BEST IN HISTORY GET IT RIGHT

  • What Helen said is true,then why that much hullabaloo..
    It seems even “The American Catholic” is sleeping over the hubris of total silence which prevails here,so much so that speaking about zionist barbarism and holocaust is taboo.Lets break this shield and make this country free from the grip of zionist menace.

  • The Jew haters are crawling out from beneath their rocks Tito, which is completely unsurprising. Anti-Semitism is an interesting example of how fools project their own failings in life upon some “devil” group. Similar headcases can be seen among the ranks of Catholic haters and among those who today fear that the Masons are behind all things evil. For these type of loons, evil is personified in the group they hate and fear and reasoned debate with such idiots is as futile as attempting to debate a forest fire.

  • Liberalism is a pathology.

    God bless freedom loving-people everywhere. God bless the gallant Israel people courageously building their nation under constant rocket attacks from Gaza and south Lebanon.

    ATG: Who were the other two great POTUSes? Carter and Clinton?

    If nothing else (and there are other reasons to support Israel, including it’s our ally in the global terror war on us), Isreal is the only democracy in the entire Mid East. Seems you rats hate Jooooos more than you love freedom.

    Get out of the way. There is a war on, morons.

  • I agree, Donald. How about like debating a robot or a brick wall?

  • It’s amazing that people would come out defending such bigotry Don.

    I agree on projecting. If they would only turn to God and pray they will find relief from the grip of hate they are in.

  • Not to defend Helen Thomas in ANY way (she’s always been an overrated gasbag in my opinion), but perhaps Hearst Corp. fears that they will get MORE flak from the MSM if they throw the almost 90-year-old “dean of the White House press corps” under the bus. Perhaps a bit of reverse sexism is at work here also… they can’t bring themselves to treat a woman, especially an elderly woman, with the same harshness that would certainly be meted out to a young or middle-aged man who said the same thing?

  • Elaine,

    Playing devil’s advocate is tough.

    But in that case, then it would be reverse ageism.

  • For what its worth,

    The recent ‘go back to Poland’ remarks of Helen Thomas did not come out of the blue. She has made literally hundreds of remarks over the past 30 years that come from the same mind set.

    Anybody who considers themselves shocked at her latest remarks hasn’t been paying attention.

  • I apologize in advance.

    Jim Treacher, “Remember: You’re a Nazi for saying we should enforce our own immigration laws… But not for telling the Jews to beat it.”

  • Beat you to the punch by seconds Phillip!

    That’s an interesting crowd.

  • I support Helen Thomas.

    Helen, keep speaking your mind. You are an inspiration.

  • Though Mike gives needed perspective. Like pro-abort nuns show that some Catholics voted for Obama because he is pro-abortion, Mike shows that some who oppose any and all Israeli actions do so because they want Jews to abandon Israel.

  • WOW, I see Hamas has their media commenting here on politico, how about let’s try this. I say, “All Muslims should leave America and go back home to the middle east, I guess Mecca” put on your burkes, take off your socks, put on your crocks, and start doing some pushups to the black stone” let’s try something else, Muhammad was a evil devil, and the Muslim religion runs on blood, like a car runs on gas, Muslims survive on blood, you kill, you slaughter, even your own children if they dear take off the burke, you choke them with your own hands, and then you go to mecca, take these big iron chains and you bang yourself up until you see yourself standing in a blood bath. My point is, get out of America and do some more of that iron chain bloody banging thing.

  • Thanks Phillip for that update.

    Need/want a job that doesn’t pay anything?

  • Always looking for non-paying jobs.

  • My message is of support for Helen Thomas. Helen Thomas spoke a truth and she should be thank for her frankness. She is right – Israel should get out of Palestine. After WW II, Germany should have been required to provide the land for the Jewish home state – not the Palestinians.

    The pressure of a few Zionists changed the course of Middle East history. According to President Truman, “The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been seen there before, but that the White House, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders — actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats — disturbed and annoyed me.”

    AIPAC continues that pressure and propaganda today and the White House continues to do their bidding. It’s irrational and unbalanced.

  • Germany should have been required to provide the land for the Jewish home state

    Germany, home of the Jews. Not like, say, Judea or any place near there.

  • She had de facto tenure like Strom Thurmond in the Senate and the old man who changes the toner at work. They shouldn’t be there anymore but nobody has the heart to throw them out.

    Question: When was the last time you read her column? I honestly never have.

  • RR,

    I don’t disagree, but I’d point out that the old man changing the toner is not mean and even Strom mellowed a lot with age, but HT was famous for her wicked tongue, acid pen, and unabashed anti-Semitic views. Most companies would not tolerate a toner-changer who lapses into chronic bigoted commentary.

    Also agree that no one read her though.

  • RR,

    Thurmond is elected.

    Helen Thomas is employed.

    Big difference.

  • Helen is right to tell the right-wing killer state of Isreal to get out of Palenstine!

  • “Isreal to get out of Palenstine”

    Isreal and Palenstine? If you are going to spew hate at least adjust the tin foil hat to spell check mode.

  • “The archeological record indicates that the Jewish people evolved out of native Cana’anite peoples and invading tribes. Some time between about 1800 and 1500 B.C., it is thought that a Semitic people called Hebrews (hapiru) left Mesopotamia and settled in Canaan.”

    So, why should the Jews be forced to leave Israel?

  • I don’t really care what the reason is, I’m glad she isn’t propagandizing, er, ah, I mean reporting from the White House.

    As for her being a bigot – It is an odd thing since she is of Lebanese descent that makes her as Semitic as Sephardic Jews. Of course, Karl Marx hated Jews too and he was born Jewish – go figure. She isn’t necessarily wrong that Ashkanazi Jews are of European stock (for the most part). Nevertheless, lefties tend to take a small kernel of truth and arrive at a severely erroneous conclusion. Perhaps she forgot what happened to Jews in Germany and Poland.

    She’s anti-Jewish for the same reasons most people who hate Jews are – Jews represent the spoken Word of God. Jesus was a Jew. Usually when it is unfashionable to attack Christians because they represent a political majority then it is better to attack Jews. Hitler attacked Jews because most Germans were Christian (nominally in most cases in the decadent Wiemar Republic – huh – seems familiar). He didn’t want the Christians to feel threatened – yet. Of course, Hitler, like all lefties was a pagan and wanted a racist-nationalistic-pagan (probably homosexual) ethos to rule. Christ had to be evicted without upsetting the Christians. So evict his origins – Salvation comes from the Jews. Once the Jews were demonized and paganism unleashed – Catholic priests were next in line and then more and more Christians of all stripes.

    I don’t know who is surprised by her statements – they are nothing new, nor are they unique. Most ‘Arabs’ feel that way. Sadly, I have to state that I share a common heritage with Thomas – I am of Levantine descent born in Lebanon with roots from Jerusalem, Palestine. Incidentally, Palestine has never been a country so I am not sure how Israel can occupy it. Palestine is an ancient Roman province and has been occupied as such by various regimes most notably the Ottomans and the British. Most other Arabs, Muslims and liberal opportunists use the Palestinians (many of whom are truly suffering) as tool to beat Israel with. They don’t care about the people who live in Gaza and the West Bank anymore than liberal opportunists (racists) cared about the plight of American Negros in the 60s – blacks were just a convenient tool with which they beat the Man, the establishment. Liberals have done nothing to help blacks – in fact, liberals are responsible for the holocaust of 15 million blacks in this country. As usual when your scheme is based on a victim class – you cannot allow that class to ever stop being victims.

    If the Palestinians had welcomed the Holocaust survivors things may be very different today. Nevertheless, Israel played a hand in the animosity – many atrocities were committed (then again I love America and we slaughtered Indians and enslaved Africans so we can’t all be proud of everything our nation does/did). Additionally as inhospitable as Muslims are to Christians, Israel hasn’t been much of a friend either. The true victims of this Palestinian/Israeli conflict are the minority of Christians whose roots go back to the time of Christ in His land and most notably in the city He conquered with His own Blood. Don’t confuse Jews with Israel and don’t confuse the modern-nation state with ancient Israel and certainly not with the inheritors of the promise as most of our Protestant brothers do.

    Nothing good ever comes from anti-Jewish expressions because once the demon of bigotry is unleashed he attacks the source and we all know the source is God.

    Since liberals (lefties) are godless, it goes to follow that they will hate Jews and by extension the Church. Nothing new under the sun.

  • Many Americans feel the same way! She was an easy target to push away! I remember when I attended a lecture at USC by President George H W Bush with my ex girlfriend who was a USC Student and Jewish. She was upset by the comments by the former president when he said that “one of the problems in America is that that Jews have too much power and influence in Washington”. I could not believe my ears, all the board of trustees were there, the university president, and the notable members of the Jewish community of Los Angeles, President Bush knew that they were present because we had attended a diner and got photographed. Yet he did not care to upset them and the event when without further incident. The tapes released about president Nixon and many other presidents show that they all have issues with Israel and Jewish people.

  • I suspect Mr. Paterson that you are lying not only about what former President Bush said, but also about ever having a girlfriend who was Jewish. As to the comments by Bush, link to a news account of them.

  • In reply to Tito – Ignorance is a lack of education not understanding. Thomas is a bigot not out of ignorance, for she is certainly what society would call an educated person; she is an anti-semetic loon whose bigotry and hatred of President Bush finally emerged. There are few things worse than closet bigotry. I can’t agree with Obama’s racism but at least he is out in the open about it. (Read his book.)
    Thomas on the other hand hid hers and probably effected many aspiring Jewish writers before she fortunately lost her control and spouted forth her true feelings.
    Remember this absolute truth about the Middle East: When the Arabs lay down their arms there will be peace; when the Israelis lay down their arms there will be a slaughter that will make the Holocaust pale in comparison.

  • Well stated American Knight ! I was thinking of composing the same message until I read your post 🙂

  • Donald & Erik,

    I doubt that even Mr. George “NWO” Bush (41) would have been stupid enough to make comments like that, even if he believed them. Of course, his anti-Jewish feelings could have been inherited from his Nazi-supporting father – but I don’t know of any evidence that indicts George H. W. of this directly.

    As for Jews having too much power and influence in the U.S. I totally agree that they do. Of course that can only be true if by Jews we mean liberals of Jewish origin that hardly practice a tenet of the Hebrew faith and are represented in larger percentages than the Jewish population at large in Hollywierd, the press (so-called), and academe. Of course, if one were to really ask these ‘Jews’ about their Jewishness – it would be a cultural identity and not a religious conviction. I’d suspect a properly catechized Catholic knows more about the Hebrew religion than the average, secular, lefty-loony ‘Jew”. These people can hardly be Jewish – even just culturally – after surviving the extermination of as much as 85% (Germany and Poland – Ms. Thomas) of your population, how can you abort babies at such high percentages – something is very, very wrong and sadly most Hebrews are making sacrifices to Moloch and not following Moses and the Prophets.

  • “from his Nazi-supporting father”

    Prescott Bush was not a support of the Nazis AK. That is simply another meme of the tinfoil hat brigade. He served in WWI as an artillery officer and participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

    The Anti-Defamation League years ago addressed the vile conspiracy allegations against Prescott Bush:

    “Rumors about the alleged Nazi ‘ties’ of the late Prescott Bush … have circulated widely through the internet in recent years. These charges are untenable and politically motivated. Despite some early financial dealings between Prescott Bush and a Nazi industrialist named Fritz Thyssen (who was arrested by the Nazi regime in 1938 and imprisoned during the war), Prescott Bush was neither a Nazi nor a Nazi sympathizer.”

    Prescott Bush did have close ties with Planned Parenthood which of course makes him persona non grata for me. However, fair is fair, and conspiracy nuttiness is conspiracy nuttiness.

  • Perhaps ‘Nazi-sympathizer’ is a bit extreme; however, he was indifferent to the evils of Nazism. He made a fortune and continued to work with the Nazi financiers after the war started and after the nature of Nazism and the atrocities committed by them was known.

    Perhaps Nazism isn’t what Sen. Bush wanted, but it is pretty clear that he desired some form of totalitarianish society and he most certainly was a Eugenicist. Fellow-travelers are just as guilty as those they travel with.

    This is not conspiracy nuttiness (although there is much of that out there). This is conspiracy fact, although it would be foolish not to admit that since conspiracies are secret it is often difficult, but not impossible, to discern the proper context.

    Republicans are not infallible and the party has been controlled by those not loyal to orthodox conservatism far more often than it has not. Not every attack on a ‘Republican’ is from the left and many of the attackers are legitimate conservatives. Perhaps if more Republicans were orthodox conservatives, America would not be in the state she’s in and people like Helen Thomas would not have voices to spread propaganda and maybe even BHO would not be the chief executive – of course, neither would John McCain.

    Ignore conspiracies at your own peril Mr. McClarey – King Louis certainly did and so did the residents of the Wiemar Republic.

  • “He made a fortune and continued to work with the Nazi financiers after the war started and after the nature of Nazism and the atrocities committed by them was known.”

    Complete baloney AK.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,100474,00.html

  • Fox News isn’t exactly the source I would go to for this. The declassified (with some redaction) papers indicate that many American capitalist/industrialists were involved with the Nazis and also the Bolsheviks – including Sen. Bush. Profiting from war is not a new activity and it hasn’t gone away. The Soviets, the Nazis, the Chi-Comms and many others would not have ever been able to come to the level of power they achieved without the financial help of trans-national financiers – many of them ‘Americans’. For that matter Saddam and the opium warlords couldn’t survive for long either and when they get taken down who profits again?

    Some of these men were perhaps just interested in making money, some may have been misled, but at some point they knew what they were involved in and either didn’t care, chose to ignore or were complicit in the atrocities committed by the regimes they were supporting and profiting from.

    Just to be clear – I don’t transfer Prescott’s guilt to his son, although I suspect that G.H.W. had a sinister agenda and was placed in the Reagan camp to undermine orthodox conservatism – I don’t ascribe Nazi sympathies to him – and certainly not to W. But, I also don’t accuse J.F.K of the guilt of his father either.

    Believe what you want, but I would strongly suggest a little more skepticism toward the duo-opoly propaganda that is designed to manage the way we think. By creating an us vs. them, we are right they are wrong paradigm – there are powers that seek to manage outcomes while giving us the false impression of choice. We are fools if we confuse the GOP with authentic conservatism. If one is a Republican party member with a my party right or wrong attitude, one is hard-pressed to call themselves a conservative.

    John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Nelson Rockefeller are all Republicans – non of them are conservatives – at least one of them is an honorable man who loves his country – but that doesn’t change the fact that he isn’t conservative. Wake up – the time to play party games has passed. Blindly defending everything Republican is almost, but not quite, as foolish as Thomas blaming Israel and Jews for all the world’s evils. This is not a personal attack – it is a fraternal correction. I believe that all orthodox Catholics are conservative by nature – but we shouldn’t be Republicans and we can’t be Democrats.

  • ATG insists that Israel disrespects America and the Catholic “Religion”. This borders on paranoid delusion. It is true that many actions and policies taken by the modern state of Israel were not enacted in order to better adhere to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The same could be said about many of the actions and policies of our own bishops- particularly here in the good ol’ US of A.

    As for Israel and the Catholic religion, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Catholic shrines and orders in the Holy Land have taken a bit of abeating recently at the hands of the Israeli government in matters relating to immigration and visas. Given the absolute trash spewed out by some who were authorized (or at least allowed) to speak from Peter’s See, had I been in charge of Israeli INS operations and policy, I would have zeroed out visa requests from the Vatican not tied to diplomatic necessity.

    I would have to say that a fair measure of the maltreatment of Church officials and interests in Israel was richly earned; not by Church teaching, but often by those expected to teach it.

    There are many seemingly even handed statements that can have no other political effect than to morally equate attempted mass murder (burka bombers, rocket attacks) with any reasonably effective steps available to prevent it. When church mouthpieces have uttered these statements, they have done willful violence to the truth and have brought shame on the Body of Christ.

  • Fox News isn’t exactly the source I would go to for this. T

    AK, though your intentions are honorable, you have this nasty habit of simply dismissing any piece of evidence that contradicts your worldview. Donald has now provided a couple of links to discredit your position, and yet you just charge ahead based on nothing more than supposition. Do you have any evidence to back up your claims that Prescott Bush was a Nazi sympathizer.

    If one is a Republican party member with a my party right or wrong attitude, one is hard-pressed to call themselves a conservative.

    Talk about a non sequiter, the only person making a partisan point is you. I don’t think Donald or anyone else here is defending Prescott Bush because he was a Republican – indeed Donald indicated disliking him because of his associations with Planned Parenthood. I couldn’t care less about salvaging the reputation of anyone with the last name Bush. But what’s fair is fair, and accusing someone – even a person long dead – of being a Nazi sympathizer is a pretty serious charge that should be backed up with something resembling real evidence.

  • What Paul said.

  • Paul I accept the criticism fairly – I will admit that I take the com boxes to be more a casual conversation than a master’s thesis and my inflection, etc. doesn’t translate into writing – I don’t think I am particularly good writer. I am also aware that I tend to be a velvet hammer in debating – please accept my apologies for the nasty habit – I meant no harm – I like y’all. Please also accept my apologies for not listing all the source documents. I can list one or two – only due to lack of time; however, my technological capability isn’t any better than my writing so the link probably won’t work.

    As for my world view, I try to make sure it is a Catholic world view – I am sure I fail often. I will admit that I am extremely skeptical of government power and see numerous conspiracies in history – I assume that there are numerous conspiracies now – although, I am sure I don’t know about them all and may have some incorrect information about some of them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t occurring. I am not referring to aliens, Area 51, and other nutty ideas; rather, things like Jacobins, Masons, Nazis, Bolsheviks, etc.

    Here is a facsimile of the Federal Register listing Prescott Bush as one of seven owners of Union Banking Corp, which handled financial interests for Fritz Thyssen – an early supporter of the Nazis. Assets seized by the US government for supporting enemies of the USA.

    http://www.mbpolitics.com/bush2000/Vesting.htm

    Also, see an article by John Buchanan in the New Hampshire Gazette – I think it was October 2003.

    There is no question that there are some in power who wish to manage the whole globe and the lives of every human – although not every human currently living because they want to reduce our numbers – they are eugenicists after all. It is also clear that they are using psychological warfare to manipulate our thinking because they prefer to set up totalitarianism on the Brave New World – happy slavery model; rather than the 1984 forced slavery models used in the past. It seems that Sen. Bush was one of those men, or at least willing to go along with their designs even if he didn’t agree or couldn’t see the whole conspiracy.

    This is not a reflection on both presidents Bush – although H.W. was certainly leaning in the new world order direction.

  • Here is an unbiased article on the accusation that Senator Prescott Bush was a Nazi sympathizer.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

  • Here is a good overview of why the accusations against Prescott Bush are firmly in the realm of the deranged:

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2434/was-president-bushs-great-grandfather-a-nazi

  • Deranged?

    “So, did Bush and his firm finance the Nazis and enable Germany to rearm? Indirectly, yes.”

    That last word is YES – indirect? So what – it was still done. If he is such a good banker how could he not have seen it?

    “But they had a lot of company. Some of the most distinguished names in American business had investments or subsidiaries in prewar Germany, including Standard Oil and General Motors. Critics have argued for years that without U.S. money, the Nazis could never have waged war. But American business has always invested in totalitarian regimes–witness our dealings with mainland China.”

    So that makes it OK, because most of the other American big wigs have been and continue to invest in totalitarian regimes. This sounds more like a support for my ‘theory’ than a refutation.

    “Loftus tells me there’s more to it than that. He says that the value of German industrial assets in which Bush and friends invested increased during World War II, in part due to slave labor, and that Bush benefited from this increase when the assets were returned–supposedly he got $1.5 million when UBC was liquidated in 1951. I’ll buy the claim that Bush got his share of UBC back–it was an American bank, after all–but the idea that his German holdings increased in value despite being obliterated by Allied bombs is ridiculous.”

    Actually most ‘American’ assets in Germany, especially Rockefeller/IG Farben structures were specifically not bombed. Much like all the targets that our Naval aviators were not allowed to bomb during Vietnam. Does anyone think that we couldn’t have won in Vietnam and for that matter Iraq in less than a decade – how about a couple of months? That is unless our military is specifically not allowed to bomb certain things because certain politicos backers have interests in prolonged wars.

    Read Ephesians 6 and tell me that St. Paul is a conspiracy theorist.

28 Responses to Video of New Jersey Governor Christie Puting the Media in Their Place

  • Good, its about time someone didn’t give the impression that their spinal column had been replaced with gelatin.

  • That was pretty awesome!

  • He’s a Republican who’s actually serious about cutting spending, not just paying lip service.

    “By far the biggest category of spending we will need to cut, however, is that for programs which actually have merit, and in most cases make sense, but which we simply cannot afford at this time.”

    And with that he made huge cuts to education.

    You may like his personality but Christie’s positions are typical Northeast Republican. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal, tough on crime and foreign policy, weak on illegal immigration. You sure that’s what you want?

  • No, its not what I want politically – just rhetorically.

  • It is interesting that the question was asked ” you sure this is want you want? ” Evidently the majority of New Jersey voters did and elected him. Having worked in that State and watched the type of politicians he described was very factual. They used the old “2 step” on each and very issue. Years ago several insurance copnaies left that State for the same reason. If you want an earful go sit in on one of thier legislatiive sessions and listen to their rhetoric. It would be nice to have every social program under the sun, however, if the money is not available ( ie Greece )or you can move to the many US cities and now possibly some States where Chapter 9 Bankrupties are about to take place or they still have not been able to enact a State budget or have to pay people with IOU script.

  • Actually restrained radical, Chris Christie has taken the ax to Planned Parenthood funding in New Jersey and his views on abortion strike me as heading in the right direction:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Governor/Chris_Christie_Abortion.htm

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Let’s not get duped by this. He says he wants to reduce abortions–even Obama says as much. He’s also said he’s not going to “shove that down our throats.” He also chose a pro-abort Lieutenant Governor.

    He’s another Republican that claims to be pro-life, just enough to not get Rudy’d. Seriously, to call for a ban on partial-birth abortion (which is already banned and only restricts one particular procedure while allowing for late-term abortions of any other method) and 24 hour waiting periods is pretty nominal.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love what this guy does fiscally, but to support him doesn’t seem that different from supporting “personally opposed” politicians on the Dem side.

  • No Steve, he does far more than that he merely says he wants to reduce abortion. His support of a partial birth abortion ban and parental notification places him in a category far different than Obama. Most importantly to me is his effort to defund Planned Parenthood, something that should be a model for other pro-life politicians.

    I might also add that if Congressman Chris Smith vouches for him, that is good enough for me.

    http://www.lifenews.com/state4084.html

  • If we insist on waiting for a perfectly pro-life candidate to come along before voting for anyone, we’ll be waiting an awfully long time, and in the meantime pro-abort RINOs and Dems will keep on getting elected. Is THAT what we want?

    Also, before fellow Illinoisans and others start getting our hopes up about electing someone like this, or about running Christie for president, bear in mind that the office of governor in NJ is extremely powerful constitutionally — more so than the POTUS or any other state governor. What Christie is doing can’t necessarily be repeated in other states or at a national level.

  • A good article today in The Hill on Christie:

    http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/ab-stoddard/97603-nj-gov-sets-tone-for-us

    Christie is leading a true grass roots revolt in New Jersey and those of us who live outside of the Garden State are beginning to pay attention.

  • Did I wake up in a dream? Did a man get elected in modern day America and proceed to actually do everything he promised he do with little to no regard for his poll numbers?

  • The commie-caths are nothing if not consistent. They find fault with all GOP’ers and give praise to Obama.

    I bet above Christie detractors (look up detraction) voted for Obama.

    You know: a President Christie would not nominate to SCOTUS anyone like a Dean Kagan, but the commie-cath-elected Dems would filibuster all his judicial nominees, anyhow.

    But, keep voting with satan, socialist saints! Because 47,000,000 exterminated unborn babies is a small price to pay for the destruction of the unjust, racist capitalist system.

  • T.Shaw I can guarantee you that neither restrainedradical nor Steve are commie-caths. In regard to Steve, I suspect that I would be closer to being a commie-cath than he would be. 🙂

  • Did I wake up in a dream? Did a man get elected in modern day America and proceed to actually do everything he promised he do with little to no regard for his poll numbers?

    It’s even stranger. He is doing a much better job than his bland and substance-less campaign would have suggested. He’s the anti-Crist.

  • That’s one heck of a piece of extemporaneous speaking. And he pulled it off with good humor and no bitterness. Impressive.

  • I was thinking the same thing, Dale. Either that question and answer was planned out ahead of time (and I don’t think it was), or Chris Christie is one fine public speaker.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Because I have a great deal of respect for you I will stand down. Christie’s action on PP is certainly commendable.

    My reluctance to support him is rooted in a history of being burned by so-called pro-lifers like Bush who ushered in federally funded stem cell research (the fact that it was just a little bit does not justify it) and little else make me even more suspicious of Republicans who make the “I’m not going to shove it down people’s throats” type of remarks. If it’s murder–and it is–it should absolutely be shoved down people’s throats.

    Elaine, I couldn’t disagree more. Had McCain been elected, the country’s descent into socialism wouldn’t have been reversed; it would have merely been slowed. While sitting out the last couple elections may have unfortunately given the Dems power now, it also was a necessary condition for the revival we’re about to see in November. And I’m not just talking about the hit the Dems will take but also the lousy sort of Republicans you seem inclined to support (Bennett, Crist, etc.)

    T. Shaw, you couldn’t be more mistaken. I’ve got a toddler who starts booing when he sees Obama on TV. I think that your remark lacked basic Christian charity.

  • I back Donald as well.

    I don’t know Steve well enough, but Restrained Radical is the real deal when it comes to his faith (I could be wrong, but I haven’t read anything to say otherwise).

  • I like Christie and would vote for his reelection if I lived in NJ. I don’t know if I would vote for him for president though. It has nothing to do with spending. His fiscal conservatism I love. But there’s a real possibility he’s not that far from Rudy.

  • RR,

    I am an ardently pro-life NJ resident who would not hesitate to vote for him for president. Christie is nothing like Rudy (except in his fiscal policies). I have little doubt that he would absolutely come down on the pro-life side of ANY legislation that came before him. The “not pushing it down people’s throats” comment was, I think, more about what his focus was going to be – the economy. He’s not focusing on abortion, but he’s certainly not promoting it or even tolerating it. Even in his budget battles, he’s already taken the pro-life step of cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. That’s a pretty bold move if you’re secretly looking to avoid the abortion fight or if your “personally opposed, but…” and I don’t think it should be overlooked as evidence of who he really is. Keep your eye on him and I think all your fears will be put to rest.

  • Sorry to all.

    I have a visceral, uncharitable “problem” with (was it 52% or 62% of) majority of Catholics that wittingly/unwittingly voted for Obama, abortion, Kennedys, economic deconstruction, Kerry, subversion of morality, Pelosi, etc.

    I fear nitpicking/sniping at basically “good guys” like Christie will help keep abortionists in power.

  • T. Shaw,

    I understand where you’re coming from.

    A difficult lesson I learned is that don’t use name calling, but do describe what they are doing.

  • Pro-life is such a minor issue these days to the majority of Americans. You guys need to make it a sub-issue and focus on the issues that really matter in evey day America – primarily the economy, which this Governor is actually willing to do something about. He’s actually going to be fiscally conservative. Thank God! Who cares about whether he supports or is against abortion. Move on people!

  • “Who cares about whether he supports or is against abortion. Move on people!”

    I couldn’t think of a worse venue to preach that particular message than The American Catholic. We care deeply about the pro-life cause here and we will never “move on” from that struggle until the innocent unborn enjoy the same right to life that you and I enjoy.

  • The lousy economy is a symptom of the culture of death, rather than a separate issue. Addressing fiscal issues without turning our hearts back to God is just a band aid.

  • Move on people!

    JG, there’s already a website for that. But as Don said, you don’t seem to know much about who this blog community consists of.

  • “Pro-life is such a minor issue these days to the majority of Americans. You guys need to make it a sub-issue”

    It depends on how you interpret that. Pro-life is NOT a “sub issue” in the sense that it is dispensable or of lower priority than how a candidate stands on the economy. If you don’t have the right to live, all other rights are meaningless. Anyone who is aggressively pro-abortion or who fails to make even the slightest effort to protect the unborn is NOT going to get my vote even if they have the most brilliant economic ideas on earth.

    However, that does not mean that every pro-lifer must constantly flog the abortion issue or make it the primary focus of their campaign or of their administration if elected. Nor are they obligated to make unrealistic promises of action that likely will not pass their legislatures or that will be struck down by the courts (e.g. promising to enact a complete abortion ban). They must, however, make clear where they stand and promise to take advantage of any opportunity they have to protect unborn life. I think Christie’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood is a good example of that. It can be justified on fiscal grounds (the state can’t afford it, and has no business asking taxpayers to pay for it) as well as on moral grounds.

    Here we need to keep in mind Christ’s saying about how those who prove themselves faithful in small things will be faithful in greater things. I believe pro-lifers who show themselves to be honest, trustworthy, and wise on “lesser” issues like the economy, taxes, etc. will have more credibility with both the “unconverted” as well as the “choir” when they address life issues. Likewise someone who constantly beats the drum for pro-life but proves to be a complete incompetent or idiot when it comes to other aspects of governing doesn’t do the movement or the unborn any favors.

  • Steve’s right about this: The lousy economy is a symptom of the culture of death. If the one-in-every-three kids who have been killed in this country for the last 35 yrs were young adults today, we wouldn’t be worried about Mcare, SS funding etc…just for starters. Of course that doesn’t even count the people who aren’t here thanks to contraception.
    Thanks, boomers.

USA Today Reports on Catholic Blogosphere

Tuesday, November 3, AD 2009

Last Friday on October 30 the mainstream media here in America reported inaccurately that the Vatican was warning parents that Halloween is ‘anti-Christian’.  Of course no such thing occurred.  The Vatican did not say that Halloween is ‘anti-Christian’, in fact they didn’t say anything at all.

On that same day, Jack Smith of The Catholic Key Blog debunked the story with yeoman’s work finding the source of the “alleged” Vatican Halloween Warning to a priest of the Spanish Bishop’s Conference by the name of Fr. Joan Maria Canals, CMF, a liturgy expert.  I followed up with a posting on this website early the next day supplementing Jack Smith’s findings with common mistakes made in reporting what is and isn’t official.

I then submitted my article to several news organizations, including the Drudge Report and the USA Today.  Additionally I left comments and sent emails explaining why their reporting was inaccurate.  To their credit, both the Drudge Report and the USA Today, rectified the situation some extent.

Drudge Report Catholic Church Halloween Evil 2

The Drudge Report removed the link to the Daily Mail late Saturday morning.  Then early Monday afternoon on November 2, Doug Stanglin, who wrote the piece that inaccurately attributed the Vatican warning parents of the anti-Christian nature of Halloween, followed up with our side of the story.

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10 Responses to USA Today Reports on Catholic Blogosphere

4 Responses to Obama Funemployment-Take 2

  • Reminds me of the crisis during the Reagan years, you know, the homeless. Every night on the news, all the news specials, stories about how unconscionable that there were homeless people living on the street. Apparently all those homeless people got homes when Clinton came in office. Well, all except for those who were still homeless and had to be rounded up and put in abandoned and condemned buildings whenever the Democratic Convention or major sporting events came to town. Now I suppose we’ll hear about how liberating it is to be free from a mortgage, cuz the Obama years are all about hope, change, and freedom.

  • Rick, when a Democrat is in the White House, for most members of the media it is always “morning in America”.

  • In my town, NPR ran a stories about how the stimulus was working three days in a row. The bad news was that it was about the same road project. Just told it three different ways. Also didn’t mention that the project was slated to last 90 days and the people employed would be out of work again at the end of that time.

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Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality

Tuesday, September 8, AD 2009

GOP overreaction to Obama speechLiberals and Democrats have accused many Americans of overreacting to the speech that President Obama will be delivering to school children today (at 11:00 am Central Daylight Time).

On the surface this would seem a fair evaluation but if you dig a little deeper, those on the Left may well be making another crucial misdiagnosis of the source and cause of this reaction.

First lets examine the prism that those on the Left have viewed this reaction.

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33 Responses to Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality

  • You, and so many others, are conflating legitimate opposition to policy with lunacy. Just because you’re on the same side of the aisle doesn’t mean you have to defend all of them. The Birthers and now the Uneducators cannot be reasoned with and trying will only be politically counterproductive. Obama and the Democrats gain by keeping alive this perception that Republicans are crazy.

  • Well I am opposed to Obama’s nationwide speech to school kids and I am not an “Uneducator”. I have a teacher’s BA in social studies which I obtained before I ran off to Law School. My wife has an MA in Library Science and an MA in Spanish, and has taught Spanish in a public high school, and she opposes this use of the students of America as a political prop for this floundering administration. All three of our kids attend our local public high school. The superintendant of our school system has decided to burn the speech onto some DVDs and make them available to kids who want to watch it, but not to turn over instruction time to this Presidential nationwide photo-op.

  • I don’t oppose the president’s speech at all, but I do think the teacher’s lesson plan put out by the White House smacked of the cult of personality.

  • The text of the speech is here. On a quick perusal, it appears to be an “eat your vegetables” speech, no different from those given by prior presidents. Not sure what the fuss is about.

  • Blackadder-
    Given that it doesn’t match up with the topics listed even in the re-done study guide, it would be reasonable to assume the speech was significantly re-written. This guess is bolstered by the fact that they didn’t release the speech days ago, instead of the morning prior to the scheduled talk.

  • Lesson plans asking students to write about “Is he challenging you to do anything?” Easily can be lead down the partisan route by a partisan teacher (and plenty of those in public schools.) Doesn’t help that is was written in part by the White House with the Dept. of Education. The faux pas was clear even to the White House and DOE resulting in changes to the lesson plans. Should have also released the content of the speech prior to today. Who’s to say the opposition didn’t change the wording of the speech.

    Some potential problems with the lesson plans:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2009/09/03/politicizing-the-department-of-education/

  • Foxfier anticipated part of what I am saying.

  • Foxfire,

    I’m not sure what study materials you are referring to. The study materials I’ve seen (and that would include the materials referenced in the article Phillip cites to) seems to match up pretty well with what’s actually in the speech.

    My understanding is that the study materials for the Obama speech track pretty closely the materials for Bush’s speech to school children back in the early 1990s. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever Dept of Ed underlying was assigned to prepare the materials just ripped off the prior version.

  • Actually no. The Dept. of Ed admits the lesson plans were written in collaboration with the White House – and not the Bush White House.

  • The topics mentioned were “citizenship, personal responsibility, and civic duty”– only two of those three can sort of be found in the speech.

    Do you have a link to said materials? I’ve heard that statement morphing from “maybe Bush the Elder did it” to “these are exactly what Bush the Elder had” over the course of the weekend.

    Also, we do know who wrote the lesson plans– they were in large part provided by the White House.

  • Folks like MM love to make the hypocrisy point, claiming that everyone was fine when Reagan and Bush made similar speeches. Not so fast: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/When-Bush-spoke-to-students-Democrats-investigated-held-hearings-57694347.html

  • I’m sure this point will be brought up on NPR this afternoon. Waiting…Waiting…Waiting.

  • SB, you simply don’t understand. The problem is the difference between devils (R) and gods (D).

    Either way though, it’s just one more reason to homeschool.

  • Here’s the lesson plans. Also the Dept of Ed site notes that the plans were written in collaboration with the White House:

    http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html

  • Folks like MM love to make the hypocrisy point, claiming that everyone was fine when Reagan and Bush made similar speeches.

    Okay, so liberals are hypocrites for objecting then and not now, and conservatives are hypocrites for objecting now but not then. The question is whether there’s anything objectionable about what the President said. If there is, I’m not seeing it.

  • Is there anything objectionable about the lesson plans as originally formulated – Yes. Is there anything objectionable about what he was going to say before the fuss began – maybe. The protest may have done its job in more ways then one.

  • What was objectionable about the lesson plans as originally written?

  • What *isn’t* creepy about telling kids to write letters on how they can help the president, to be collected and passed out later to see how they’re living up to the goal?

    What if you’re not inspired by Obama, for that matter?

    (For that matter, the idea of a speech being interesting and challenging for pre-schoolers through seniors is kinda bloody weird, too, especially for someone that has kids.)

  • If I want my kids to listen to a politician I’ll take them to see said politician, without the assistance of the school or the White House, thank you very much. (In regard to my kids, however, if Obama wanted to address a classroom in person I would love for the class to contain my three kids. Two of them would ask follow-up questions that would leave a mark! My autistic son would probably be wondering how one of Dad’s boring political shows followed him to school!)
    A factor overlooked in all of this of course is that the National Education Association, the teacher’s union, has been a dominant power in the Democrat party for decades. The idea that a fair share of their membership will not be attempting to make partisan hay out of this is risible.

    The link below is to their story on the Obama address at the NEA website. As the first comment notes the NEA protested Bush addressing four classrooms in 1991.

    http://www.nea.org/home/35721.htm

  • One of the suggested activities in the original was to write about “how to help the president.” It was changed to “how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.” IMO the criticism was fair and it was rectified. Still doesn’t explain why so many are opposed to children even hearing the speech.

  • Restrained Radical,

    I noted your points in my posting. And I explained why there was an overreaction.

    The reaction is to President Obama’s policies itself that manifested since the mainstream media refused to air any of the legitimate news concerning this growing grassroots movement. Add to this that President Obama and his proxies continue to slur and belittle any news that percolates to the surface and you have what happened with President Obama’s video to kids.

    It’s all in my posting.

  • Another problem is that the lesson plans ask older students to look at past Obama speeches on education and post quotes around the classroom. Of course past education speeches of Obama are riddled with errors. This from teh Washington Post:

    “Studies show that children in early childhood education programs are more likely to score higher in reading and math, more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, more likely to hold a job and more likely to earn more in that job. For every dollar we invest in these programs, we get nearly $10 back in reduced welfare rolls, fewer health-care costs and less crime. That’s why [the stimulus law] invests $5 billion in growing Early Head Start and Head Start.”

    Early education is a contentious issue, with many types of programs serving various goals.

    There is research to show lasting benefits for some kids who later move into good schools. There is research to show that such benefits fade if they do not move into strong schools. There is research to show that some programs help kids from low-income families become academically prepared for school. And there is research to show some programs don’t do more than babysit.

    Head Start, the country’s largest publicly funded preschool program, is praised by supporters for providing comprehensive education, health care and other support to low-income families. Critics say some programs are uneven and have little or no impact on academic performance. Finally, there are many estimates about how much money preschool saves in the long run. Obama’s is not the final word.

    DROPOUTS

    “Our high school dropout rate has tripled in the past 30 years.”

    For this statistic, the Education Department says that the president drew on a report from the National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy at Boston College that was cited by the College Board in December. It said: “The rate at which students disappear from schools between grades 9 and 12 has tripled in the last 30 years.”

    How such rates are calculated is highly controversial. Dropouts are hard to track in part because kids move around. Graduation rates are often cited, but analysts say they have been fudged in some places. According to University of Chicago professor Melissa Roderick, it all depends on how and whom you count. One way is to calculate the people who wind up getting some kind of high school diploma or equivalency degree by their mid-20s. About 87 percent of people ages 25 to 29 are getting such degrees.

    If you look at kids who are getting diplomas on time, after four years of high school, that overall rate is about 75 percent, she said, although it is much lower for black and Hispanic students. States, pushed by the federal government, are moving to standardize the use of this on-time graduation rate.

  • What *isn’t* creepy about telling kids to write letters on how they can help the president, to be collected and passed out later to see how they’re living up to the goal?

    One of my co-workers told me the other day that he remembers watching Ronald Reagan speak when he was a kid in school and was assigned to write about how he could help the President (the co-worker is a conservative Republican, btw, and no fan of Obama).

    It’s only creepy if you want it to be.

  • On graduation rates– don’t forget private or homeschooling might “look” like a kid dropped out, or those folks who join the military early and get their GED in bootcamp.

  • True. My point is that included in the lesson plans was quoting past Obama speeches on education. Even one’s that are quite flawed in their data. So a student might decide to write his legislator about increasing funding for Headstart. Even though there’s no evidence that that works. Except from a partisan perspective. And there’s the problem.

  • Blackadder-
    Was that from the nation-wide, White House provided lesson plan, or did his teacher do it on his own?
    Was this after he directly contacted principals to get them to show his speech?
    Come to think of it, how old was your co-worker? How well does he remember this? (I’ve seen false memories show up for stuff that’s less than a year old, let alonenearly twenty-one years old.)

    November 14th of 88, Reagan did a Q&A for school kids that was carried on C-SPAN. He was nearing the end of his term, had no big irons in the fire, wasn’t hugely controversial, didn’t try to subvert usual channels, hadn’t just chosen a ton of highly controversial advisors and wasn’t accusing the opposition of manufacturing (violent) protests while doing so himself.
    With just one or two of these, the Obama thing might not be a big deal. With all of these things, it’s a big deal.

  • Yes. It would be good to see the lesson plans developed by the DOE and the White House for both the Reagan and Bush speechs. I just can find them on Google.

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  • So after all of this fuss and fuming and hyperbole, and after the speech has been described as good, topical and non-partisan by a great number of independent and moderate Republican leaders nation-wide, the anti-Obama posters here still think there was a great conspiracy to indoctrinate kids – wow, what a shock. I guess it is better to accuse the president of an unproven, unlikely theoretical malfeasance based upon one’s political orientation than to judge what actually happened.

    That

    First, yes the Dept. of Education wrote a series of suggested activities and topics – that is what the Dept. of Education does.

    Second, yes White House staff – not a giant uber-being called the White House, but some White House staffers helped. Why? Because they being in the White House, actually might have known some of the topics of the speech. If the WH had sent no staff to the Dept. of Ed., that would have been really stupid and the Dept. of Ed. would have not known what to activities to suggest. Is this logic difficult to follow?

    Third, all speeches go through a series of revisions (as do ALL lesson plans) up until they are published. Now, maybe Obama originally had the words, “Look into my eyes and join the Democratic party,” or “Hey kids lets all chant, ‘public option, public option, yea public option,” or maybe even “When I was your age, I enjoyed reading such books as Mein Kampf and histories of the Bolshevik revolutionaries,” until right-wingers complained and then he removed them … or maybe he actually wanted kids to stay in school and be responsible for their own education … and then maybe someone said, “Make sure you add something about being careful about coming down with the flu,” and so things like that were added? As Tito demonstrated in the article, it is easy to overlook the simple answer when you are passionately looking for a more sinister one.

    Phillip: So you say that statistics can be difficult to interpret and the methodology of creating them differs from organization to organization and state to state. Yeah, I think we probably already know that. That may be one of the bad effects of local control. When you want to compare things across the nation, it is often useful to use national standards … oops, that darn federal government getting in our business again! There is actually a valid way, though of looking at data that comes from different sources and that is to study it longitudinally. That is, as long as the different statistics consistently use the same techniques from year to year (this is the reason we have state statisticians) then you can look for trends. If these trend show increases and there are what are called “internal or external threats to validity,” then those statistics can give you some insight. It is limited and it is conditional, but I’m sure you as a teacher and a lawyer, you must use some statistics in your work.

    Foxfier, they already know which students are homeschooled and even private schools have to give their data for these studies. The most difficult thing that I came across when I worked for a few years in an urban school, was with the students who changed schools mid-year if their family moved. This is a surprisingly large number of kids (5-10%) and a real problem with their education.

    Foxfier, I think you are a bit disingenuous when you say that Reagan’s talk to students (carried on a network that was broadcast to many schools) was somehow so innocent and apolitical and as if you was just a kindly old man talking to some kids. Well, yes democrats largely kept it apolitical because liberals realized that it was a great thing for the most powerful man in the world to take time out of his day to talk to kids and I guess that was a time of greater respect for the office. However, Reagan was NOT uncontroversial – he had the Iran-Contra scandal that still is reverberating, he had the most advisors of any president ever (until Bush 2) under indictment, he had . He WAS accusing his opposition of a great many things, it was just that his opponents were mostly protesting issues, like moving nuclear waste and clear-cutting redwoods, they weren’t attacking him or arriving to his speeches holding semi-automatic weapons.

    Aside: After the attempted assassination on Reagan, how restrained do you think Reagan’s secret service would have been compared to the way restraint that Obama’s secret service detail has been even as people have waved signs describing how blood should be spilled and that he is the moral equivalent to Hitler? Given that the last few years have shown that it is mostly radical white conservatives how have killed the most people for cultural and political reasons, the authorities have shown remarkable skill and restraint.

    So Obama is really no more controversial than Reagan was, they both inherited problems, though Obama inherited worse ones according to Bush, and they both took principled stands that have made them targets for dissent, but there is a difference. Just like Tito and Foxfier some conservatives are already so convinced of a pattern of behavior, so prejudiced to a perception about Obama that ANYTHING he does is colored. And of course to my mind, the problem is that this perception is false.

    Obama has not belittled his opponents, has never dismissed the tea partiers as unAmerican (find the video!!) or even lashed out at those who whine about his citizenship. He is actually almost to “no drama Obama” about almost everything, except when he jumped the gun on the Gates arrest. If you can’t see that he is the most restrained president in a long, long time than you are mightily biased and you’ve forgotten when Reagan said this:

    I realize that for some, as long as an older, moderately conservative white president tells someone to shut up, that it is a “manly, American” moment, yet if a younger, moderately liberal black president would say the same thing, it would be the act of an arrogant elitist cult figure. I’m not accusing anyone here of this, but I can’t help think of what the “birthers” would say. It is prejudice, it is about culture war politics and it is a symptom of people who have lost or never had a way to be self-reflective and intellectually honest.

    The liberal hecklers who shouted at President Reagan and the two Presidents Bush, were generally young and though vocal were not a large segment of the population – those who actually formed the loyal, liberal opposition were usually respectful. Those who over-reacted to Obama’s speech and attended some of the town halls and tea parties are parents and people who should either know better or be better role models. Not to stop voicing their opinions or to stop articulating their opposition – for that is the messy reality of democracy – but they should at least act like adults.

    To me the thesis of this entire thread seems to be false as I read it.

    1. President Obama was not elected because people were merely protesting a bad economy. That is flat out unsupportable. Both McCain and Obama were BOTH running against the Bush economy and the people actually had a choice of philosophies and a choice of candidates and Obama fit what the people wanted.

    2. The voters did not vote for a greatly expanded bureaucracy, yes, but they did vote for a candidate who was refreshing in several ways, first he actually didn’t blame the federal government for everything. He talked about government in an adult manner, not trying to call it evil while at the same time trying to get the job to run it, and not pretending to cut the expanse of government while actually increasing it. Case in point, the federal government expanded under every president and the single biggest increase in federal jobs occurred under George W. Bush with Homeland Security.

    3. The voters voted for someone who would stop lying to them about Iraq, not break international treatise, end torture of prisoners (which he has done mostly), end intrusion into people’s live by wiretaps and other means as implemented by the “small government” of GW Bush (which he really hasn’t done), improve the diplomatic corps that was decimated by Bush, opened dialogue with our allies without bribing them into helping us … etc., too many things. I hope you get it. He was voted in on a broad agenda of changes that now have been conveniently forgotten about.

    4. The original post is also wrong in stating that he failed “to recognize genuine American concern to deficit spending…” Actually he didn’t. He unlike Bush put the Iraq War back into the budget so people could actually see and congress could be more responsible for its affects on the budget, which Bush liked to hide. He also staunchly would veto any health care reform that would create deficit spending and is the first president in a while to advocate for “pay as you go.” Some here may not know what that means, but it means “don’t add to the deficit.” So that means cut programs or raise taxes. You may agree with his tax plans, but you can not call him unconcerned for deficit spending – two different things.

    5. The article says that Obama failed to recognize how much Americans don’t want “the nationalization of the motor industry.” No one wants the nationalization of the motor industry, Obama has said repeatedly that he doesn’t want to run GM or have the government nationalize any corporation. You may not agree with the tactics but bailing out GM just means having a 60% non-voting investment in it. It is one company, not an industry. It is temporary and GM is already planning to pay it back because they don’t want the government strings that are attached. And why are they attached, because the government (the Fed Reserve and Treasury) by law CAN NOT just give money away without protecting the taxpayer. It is too much to get into hear, but even the financial news pundits who hate government intrusion have come to realize that GM still went out under bankruptcy, but that it did so in a far quicker time frame and it saved all of the thousands of smaller companies and many dealerships (which of course IS the majority of the motor industry) from having to go bankrupt and thus not become nationalized. This was not perfect and I think the unions got a better deal than they deserved and some of it was political (wow, McCain would never have been political!?), but to call that nationalization of the motor industry is so far from reality that it is laughable. Ford is doing just fine and if Chrysler fails or GM has any more problems, it will be gone. The bailout was only deemed necessary because it happened to coincide with the failure of Wall Street and even though I believe in the principle of moral hazard in capitalism, I also feel that once a century the rules of the game need to be bent to prevent needless pain as long as it is temporary – and that is from Thomas Jefferson’s (a great small government guy) views.

    6. The article says, “Then came the town hall meetings where Americans began to voice their displeasure. Again, President Obama and his proxies dismissed them as “astro-turf”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi derided them as Nazi’s.” This is a particularly biased statement in my opinion. First Obama, again, did not dismiss the town hall protesters … ever!!! Some did of course, because some protesters were way over the top, but there is no cabal of Obama proxies soing anything. There are some pundits and some politicians who think that many of the tea parties and town halls had some outside influences – and they did, but no one said that all or even most of the people there genuinely expressing opinions were that way. As a matter of fact the administration has mostly said that it was only the most vocal that got on TV, but that most town halls went well with plenty of genuine and passionate viewpoints.

    Also I find it interesting that Pelosi (of whom I am not a fan) says the term “Nazi” once in relation to, not protesters, but to the people who yell to the point that no one can speak, she gets blamed for that hyperbole even as hundreds of right-wingers and dozens of conservative talk show hosts actually call Obama a Nazi on a daily basis. Just think use some perspective hear, the Speaker of the House can use it once about one particular instance and every extreme conservative makes a huge deal out, yet when conservatives say the same thing on a daily basis, they are somehow patriotic Americans. I guess some people just don’t get irony.

    There is more that I could write, but this is way too long already. I just think that the premise of the thread is so much ado about nothing. The Obama admin. hasn’t over-reacted or demonized conservatives. It was dealt a bad hand in the way that President Bush 43 was dealt a bad hand with 9/11 and both administrations had political operatives whose job it is to look for ways of dealing with emergencies and even using them as opportunities for change. Bush and Cheney used 9/11 as a reason to invade Iraq and to greatly increase the power of the presidency. It is unclear how Raum E. expects to use the current crises, but Obama has chosen to look at how Reagan era deregulation substantially led to the Wall Street credit problem and the recession is a good time to reform the system. That is actually a responsible position to take. We’ll see if it works. Health care will bankrupt the country if it is left to grow at the existing rate, and in an economic down turn, this may also be the time to reform it as well. Finally, wars and security issues are good drivers for reforming the countries energy policy.

    My point is that you can disagree with Obama’s philosophies and argue his policies and even dislike his personality, but to say he is that much different from most other administrations, both Republican and Democrat, is quite the overstatement. And yes, if he does over-react (which he hasn’t yet) or he takes on too many issues to change (which he probably did), then elections will be his report card. Let’s just keep the hyperbole and biases to the pros, like Beck.

    BTW, his approval rating has fallen from 70% to 50%. A big drop, but 50% is pretty high for any president during a once in a century economic crisis and in the midst of two wars and as a target of plenty of prejudice even as he has maintained by and large his dignity and not simply fallen into the tactics of most other presidents of wrapping himself in the flag and causing people to be scared.

    BTW, the whole point of the cartoon at the top has obviously been missed.

  • You have a lot of time on your hands. Your ignore the bottom line. The lesson plans were changed. The White House itself by its actions admitted they were wrong by doing so. They may very well have changed the speech due to the democratic efforts of Republicans. Can’t deny the truth of this.

  • Would you like a match for your strawman? Maybe a thresher?

    I haven’t seen such a load of hooey since my little sister tried to use “nothing happened” to prove “nothing will ever happen” when she stayed out too late in high school.

  • I do think that the fuss about the school address has been excessive — at the same time, however, I think MacGregor’s extensive comment above falls into the basic pattern (all too easy to fall into) of looking at things through a tribal lens and thinking, “Sure there are some crazies on my side, but there aren’t many and they’re harmless. Now the other guys! They’re bad!”

    Yes, there have certainly been over-the-top reactions to Clinton and Obama, but there were incredibly extreme amounts of hate directed at Reagan and Bush2, and both of them dealt with it in a calm and statesmanlike fashion. Attempts to portray Obama’s critiques as more deranged or dangerous than the sufferers from Bush Derangement Syndrome over the last eight years suggest a certain lack of perspective.

    This is not to say that people are right to behave irresponsibly in response to Obama, but perspective is always necessary.

Obama Green Czar Van Jones Resigns Under Pressure

Sunday, September 6, AD 2009

Obama Adviser Resigns

Van Jones resigned under pressure from conservatives and Republicans as more information leaked out concerning the character of his person.

After insulting Republicans and being found out as a “Truther”, someone who believes President Bush allowed 9/11 to occur, his past transgressions and militant associations became to much for the Obama administration to bear.

Being a self-avowed Communist and a black nationalist also contributed to his downfall despite the mainstream medias blackout of reporting any news that may harm President Obama.  In the end the American people were able to relay their displeasure at another Obama mishap without ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post doing their best at doing a horrible job of journalism.

This says a lot about President Obama’s character and vetting process.  Especially after spending 20 years attending the racist Jeremiah Wright’s church and his ties to the Weatherman Underground terrorists, it is becoming troubling that our own president even associates with people of such poor character.

A bitter and disturbed Van Jones wrote in his resignation letter that ordinary Americans are “… using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”jimmy-carter

It not only looks like our president shows signs of incompetence, but he also makes some pretty poor choices when it comes to choosing members of his administration.  His vetting process is a lark and the rest of America is finally realizing the nightmare we have on our hands.

Jimmy Carters second term.

_._

To read more on Van Jone’s resignation go to the Washington Times article by Christina Bellantoni by clicking here.

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21 Responses to Obama Green Czar Van Jones Resigns Under Pressure

  • Van Jones definitely did not have the background or the socio-political character for a job in the administration, but as far as I know …

    1. All presidents have problems vetting especially below cabinet level staffers.
    2. CNN actually described some aspects of this guy two days ago, but I agree they have been slow to investigate farther. I saw Glenn Beck’s piece on him and though I don’t respect his opinions or his sophomoric style, he did show some video that we would not have seen on other networks.
    3. Obama will have to go a long way to equal the two presidents who had the worst appointee records (resignations plus indictments) – Reagan and Bush 43.
    4. Obama is finding that his policy of not hiring former lobbyists (except for 2 notable exceptions) has made filling job vacancies more difficult than he expected.
    5. It seems over the top to call this incompetence. Incompetence was installing the Shah of Iran, the Iran-Contra scandal, not being honest with the American public before invading Iraq and then doing so with half the needed number of troops. Those are examples of real incompetence and those examples have far more dire moral consequences than not adequately vetting Van Jones.

    Regarding Beck’s expose, even given the fact that his more militant background was a terrible choice for someone in the WH (and I haven’t really seen the proof yet), the video of Van Jones discussing the changes that have occurred in the environmental movement are actually quite well described. Beck did his smart-alleckey-6th-grader-who-knows-everything best at rolling his eyes in his little picture-in-picture box when Van Jones explained to some audience somewhere that the environmental movement has gone through three phases so far. The preservation phase, which was the initial Teddy Roosevelt / John Muir phase of sectioning off large areas of land to preserve landscapes and specific species. Then in the 1960’s was the war against toxics – with the clean air and water acts ( signed by Nixon of course), that was initiated by Rachel Carson (not “Carlson” like Beck kept mispronouncing).

    Both of these have ended up being pretty important and very popular phases, unless of course you just don’t believe the government has any role to play in anything other than the courts and the military. But at least 70% of the American public perennially supports these kinds of environmental laws and regulations because most people either feel a moral obligation to being responsible to the land or to people down wind, or they see the personal economic and health advantages in having a cleaner environment. Yet Beck twisted his face and rolled his eyes as if they were the dumbest things he had ever heard.

    The last phase that Van Jones mentioned was I’m sure the one that Beck and many objectivists probably thought was the most objectionable, that the big thing now is “environmental justice.” It certainly sounds forbiddingly academic and liberal, and that is probably how Beck interprets it, but it actually just means that people are just as important if not more so than the environment and that environmental degradation tends to most severely affect the poor and least powerful in society. This is far more interesting and important than it may seem at first.

    The idea is that environmentalists have spent so much time trying to protect mountains and regulate acid rain and save the whales, that people have been ignored. This is a pretty sophisticated and realistic blend of conservative and liberal values that is quite powerful. Van Jones’ background meant that he often (I guess, I only saw one clip, but that is obviously enough to condemn him in the minds of most people) saw this as rich white people putting chemical plants and mine tailings in communities of people of color. That is a dramatic overstatement, but it also happens to coincide with facts. It is of course more of a matter of poor communities of every race or ethnic group that ends up accepting the wastes of the affluent communities. And it is mostly the rural who have to have the coal plants or the wind turbines or the vast solid waste dumps that service the urban centers.

    Just think of THIS juxtaposition. It is often the more conservative rural communities that absorb the problems of the perhaps more liberal urban populace and the largely mixed suburban communities. This environmental ethic pushes back on the affluent Greenpeace model of environmentalism – the cadillac environmentalists – the kind that some feel Gore represents. This should be something that someone like Beck should learn about, rather than smirk at.

    This new phase in environmentalism is a far more compelling and based upon a more sophisticated morality than the early forms of environmentalism and I think would be a great thing for Catholics to investigate. There are the Native Americans, loggers and ranchers who sometimes get kicked off land rather than allowed to be stewards of the land. We see the poor in LA breathe the toxic fumes of chemical plants while the rich of LA preserve their beach front views. The list becomes incredibly long when we see both corporations and governments force indigenous peoples out of lands so that they can be clear cut and then ruined or turned into vast national parks, both of which are not sustainable without people living in them.

    As bad as Van Jones was, he did at least articulate this phase and it means there is at least a more sophisticated discussion of environmental policies in the White House than has been there before. I just hope that conservatives can learn about this and see the ethics and basic decency of it before merely seeing it as just another liberal means of government intrusion.

    Too bad that whole message gets lost in the political gotcha-ism that makes for more compelling TV.

  • Tomorrow’s news:

    Van Jones was pushed out because he’s black.

  • Not since Joe McCarthy shuffled off this mortal coil in 1957 has anyone made a career by accusing people of being communists. Glenn Beck has resurrected the practice. Not only has he found a cabal of secret communists, he has uncovered an entire communist corporation chock full of commies. The name of this company, you may ask?

    THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY!

    You heard me right, boys and girls. The network that gave us Uncle Miltie and Ma Perkins has apparently been secretly sending subliminal messages endorsing Marxist doctrine since it was formed in 1926. This would make perfect sense to me. Every time I watched the Rockford Files I had an unexplainable desire to read Das Kapital. But seriously, folks. Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, red baiting not only seems silly, it’s also kind of nuts. It’s not-at-all surprising that an organization would give this idiot a forum (after all, he’s on FOX Noise). What’s really stunning is the fact that his ratings are relatively high and that so many Americans take his word as gospel.

    All kidding aside, half-witted ideologues are a dime a dozen. What separates Glenn Beck from his peers is the fact that he is doing some serious damage to the country he professes to love so much. For all of the comparisons to the Nazis he likes to make with regard to Liberals, Beck’s program has much in common with Adolf Hitler’s 1923 screed, Mein Kampf. Eighty-six years ago, Hitler attempted to arouse the anger of his fellow Germans by spouting half truths and utter nonsense – exactly what Glenn Beck is doing in 2009. So much of the insane dialogue that has been spewed forth at these Town Hall meetings across the country in recent weeks might have been lifted straight from a transcript of any of Beck’s programs.

    Beck and his twisted ilk have done the seemingly impossible. They have deflected the blame for America’s current economic distress toward Barack Obama. An incredible feat when you take into consideration the fact that the President is one of the few people in government today whose guilt in the matter is almost nil. They have also let loose with a vengeance the very worst angels of the American nature. Opening this Pandora’s box was relatively easy. Closing it might prove to be a bit of a problem.

    Deep in their hearts
    They do believe
    That they shall undermine someday….

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  • So it’s Glenn Beck’s fault that Obama hired a 9/11 truther? Wow, the left really is a wreck today.

  • Methinks Mr. Degan is googling “Van Jones” and spamming this Beck Derangement Syndrome essay far and wide today. Appears very generically ranty and Kos talking-pointish.

    A bigger question is by what lights can the President can assign $30bn from the public fisc to someone who doesn’t have to be confirmed? The czar proliferation could use a legislative rollback or at the very least a court challenge.

  • Apparently “personal responsibility” is not in the vocabulary of liberal extremists.

    It’s always someone elses fault and not their own.

  • Tito — I suppose I’m infamous for pointing out intellectual double standards but that works both ways in the game of politics. You always blame the other side…

  • ‘You always blame the other side’ is a general statement, not an accusatory one.

  • I agree that the proliferation of “czars” is a problem and that this administration has obviously created more than any other. However I also think that there are real and obvious reasons behind it. The size and complexity of American society has grown at an alarming and almost unnatural rate. The government has grown in size, as seen in the budget, at a similar rate, but has not grown in terms of sophistication. This of course gives adequate fuel for some conservatives to say that the government is far bigger than in 1776 … well, yeah, but so has Wall Street and so has multi-national companies and so has the military and so has the media, etc. Everything is bigger and more complicated.

    Just think of this – even as the population has doubled over the last few decades, and the economy (GNP) has increased several fold, the number of senators, supreme court justices, presidents and cabinet officials have either not changed or changed relatively slowly. Thus when President Nixon saw energy issues as being of such importance and complexity that he did not think the bureaucracy was sufficient he appointed William Simon to be the first “czar” (Time magazine’s term) for a Federal Energy Administration. President Bush assigned William Bennet, the nations first “drug czar” for similar reasons – someone who could push an agenda, but was not stuck in the bureaucracy and thus more independent of the supervisory, management and budgetary responsibilities of the cabinet members.

    Thus liberal and conservative presidents have found “czars” to be useful tools for getting things done and circumventing the traditional territoriality of the more formal departments in government. It is the way presidents can fight bureaucratic gridlock and seem to be more effective, but unfortunately this means they also go without much oversight. Cheney was sort of his own personal national security “czar” when he felt that the State Dept., the CIA and the FBI were not doing the job – with obvious questionable results.

    So as a liberal who tries to be honest and consistent, I think Obama is trying to do too much and is using quicker means to get things done. This has the Van Jones effect of having people in some role of government without legislative oversight and without thorough vetting. I think he should stop creating any more czars, but I also believe that traditional government systems have not adequately evolved to properly keep up with the problems of our hugely diverse economy.

    Tito, “personal responsibility” is absent in the vocabulary of all extremists, that’s why they are called extremists. I’m not sure if you were targeting anyone in particular, but it is not unreasonable to view Glen Beck as an extremist.

    paul, I don’t see anyone as saying it was “Glenn Beck’s fault that Obama hired a 9/11 truther.” So I’m not sure what you mean. It is Glen Beck’s is personally responsible for the accuracy of his claims and the legitimacy of his arguments. My quarrel with Beck is that he is intellectually dishonest, blindly sees only his side of an argument as being moral and uses the tactics of a snarky 6th grader to mock people that he disagrees with.

  • Once again though politics gets in the way of the bigger issues. We need a reasonable, non-partisan way to make decisions on environmental issues and both Van Jones and Glen Beck’s radical politics and character have hurt the cause of honest debate.

  • BTW Andy, no one that I have heard or seen in any media outlet has said that Van Jones was ousted or targeted because of race. I hope we and you are now beyond those easy prejudices and one-liners.

  • MacGregor,

    I don’t believe Glenn Beck would fall under extremist.

    Unless of course he believes Obama isn’t a US citizen and referred to Democrats in a profane manner.

  • My quarrel with Beck is that he is intellectually dishonest, blindly sees only his side of an argument as being moral and uses the tactics of a snarky 6th grader to mock people that he disagrees with.

    Ummm, you just described yourself Mac. I’m not sure what your quarrel with Beck is then.

  • tomdegan’s first line made me laugh.

    Van Jones: I am a Communist.

    Glenn Beck: Van Jones is a Communist.

    The Left: Smears! Wingnut lies! McCarthyism!

  • Paul,

    Could you clarify where you think MacGregor was being ‘intellectually dishonest’? I wasn’t in agreement with all of his points, but they seemed honest enough to me.

  • I can only wonder how many others like Jones are quietly scattered throughout this administration.

    Odd, how President Obama once again finds himself linked to a radical leftist. I’m starting to think it may not be a coincidence.

    Mr. H
    http://www.allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/

  • I’m sorry paul, but I have spent way too much time typing arguments and links to ideas that i feel have been honest and largely ignored by you already and so describing Beck’s inaccurate propositions/claims, slanted views, logically invalid arguments and juvenile debate techniques would take far too long.

    If you don’t see it for yourself, then I guess one of us is completely blind and I doubt you would question yourself, so thanks for the debate such as it was.

    Donna: There have been plenty of smears on both sides. Van Jones was/is? a communist. Communists can be decent people (they even can be Catholic) and are not a threat to the American way, but they are not good choices for office in the US govt. and so he is gone. Yay, maybe we can get oil company executives to run our energy policy again! ; )

    BTW T. Boone Pickens had a very good talk on energy on C-Span yesterday for anyone interested in a mega-capitalist who works well with Obama and Reid and found the Republicans of the last 8 years to be pretty useless. Other extremely wealthy and pro-business folks like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison and many others actually agree with Obama’s view of the economy and taxes, while the high priest of Reaganomics at the Fed for years, Alan Greenspan (student of Ayn Rand) admitted to the mistakes of his trickle-down, laissez faire, supply-side economic philosophy during his comments to congress last October.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27335454/

    Sorry that these are msnbc and nbc links, but couldn’t find any FOX video.

    Just a few examples of people who know far more about the economy and capitalism than Glenn Beck. Beck is really just a comic who has gotten a shtick.

    As for Beck’s extemism too many YouTube videos and so little time.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI_0Kt_e3Go

    Here is Beck’s juvenile snarkiness …

  • Sorry, somehow the last YouTube is not the one I thought I had put in for “snarkiness” because he wasn’t snarky there. Wow, I didn’t know these actually got imbedded in posts like that.

  • but I have spent way too much time typing arguments

    No kidding.

  • MacGregor: You’re much more charitable to the movement that murdered 100 million people in the last century than you are to Beck. Jones certainly doesn’t give Republicans (“***holes”) the benefit of the doubt.

    “Communists can be decent people.” Sorry, I take issue with that. If someone truly knows the history of Communism and the crimes committed by the followers of Marx and still calls him or herself a Communist, then no, that person is not decent. You might as well talk of decent Nazis.

    May I suggest reading “The Black Book of Communism?”

    Slurs on both sides, my foot. I am unfamiliar with Beck (I don’t have cable), but the “right wing slurs” in this case consisted of accurately quoting Jones.

Bob Novak, May the Perpetual Light Shine Upon You

Tuesday, August 18, AD 2009

Robert Novak

Catholic convert Robert Novak died today.  He was many things:  a fellow University of Illinois alum, a devoted family man married to his beloved wife for 47 years, and a hard bitten journalist with a nose for news unrivaled in the business.  Novak was a conservative, but he never let his politics get in the way of a story.  Always staunchly pro-life, and respectful of Catholicism, his embrace of the Faith a decade ago came as little surprise to me.  I never met him, but I will sorely miss his presence in the public square.  May he  now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.

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5 Responses to Bob Novak, May the Perpetual Light Shine Upon You

Sleeping Giant Awakes and Democrats Blink

Thursday, August 13, AD 2009

Today Senator Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said that senators are excluding a provision on end-of-life care from the House bill.  This is a major victory for ordinary Americans.

As senior citizens voice their displeasure with “death-panels” and other provisions in the House bill, the Democrat leaders are grudgingly realizing that maybe, just maybe, some provisions in their House bill will not pass with the American public.

The most recent polls show that the demonizing tactics of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have failed to cover the growing grassroots activism that is rising among ordinary Americans.

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28 Responses to Sleeping Giant Awakes and Democrats Blink

  • Taco Man,

    Kindly correct “Nazi’s” as “Nazis”.

    I’m not entirely sure why you happen to have employed the possessive in this context.

  • Ill see your 2010 and raise ya a 2012.
    Nice echo in here. Im Catholic, Im an Obama supporter.
    Again, tell me why the vocal majority here wants to penalize the sick?

  • Master C,

    What penalty?

    You mean why are Americans tired of being over taxed and regulated? Why having to pay for such great government-run success stories like “Cash for Clunkers” and “FEMA” have inspired lack of confidence?

    Geeee, I don’t know what you mean?

  • I guess you have never been sick.denied coverage, or been out of a job and had to pay like crazy for COBRA.
    This country, the richest in the world, cant seem
    to help the least of us [THAT penalty]

  • I have been deathly ill, been denied coverage, and I am out of a job as I type this. And I refuse to pay COBRA (kind of helps when you have no money to pay for it).

    So I guess I will be demonized as well since I’m not being payed nor have I been contacted by any Vast Right Wing Conspiracy™ machine.

  • Demonized?
    I asked why the vocal majority here wants to penalize the sick.
    ….and I still havent heard the reason.

  • I asked why the vocal majority here wants to penalize the sick.

    See, this is what’s known as a strawman argument. The reason no one has answered your question is because your premise is logistically flawed. Please prove you’re not some 17-year old troll and actually attempt to argue in good faith, otherwise the rest of us will continue to ignore your moronic assertions.

    Hope that clears that up.

  • Since you have a taste for demagoguery, mc, why do you support government-funded abortion?

    http://asia.news.yahoo.com/ap/20090805/twl-us-health-care-overhaul-abortion-ef375f8.html

    [For the record, I support universal health coverage. But not this monstrosity.]

  • Nobody here wants to “penalize the sick.” However, we would like to find a way of helping the sick that DOESN’T involve running up vast amounts of debt for future generations to pay with crushing taxation, or the government paying to kill unborn children, or a gigantic bureaucracy deciding what kind of treatment we can and cannot have.

    .

  • So interesting,
    I am asking why we would penalize the sick, and if that is moronic, so be it. I have had 12 years of Catholic school education and have attended church all my life and consider myself well versed in what Jesus chose to spend his time talking about. The status quo protects INSURANCE companies not people. I am asking why you all would want to keep that in place. I know change is scary, but I believe that taking care of our people is important.

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  • master c has decided to don troll garb. Do not feed the energy creature.

  • psst.. The ‘evil’ insurance companies are made up of people. Like me. And my Mom. Evil healthcare companies are made up of people, too. Like my Dad and many of my cousins.

    Personally, I always viewed insurance as a sort of capitalist socialism..

  • master c:

    I find it curious that even with a seemingly extensive education, you still suffer from what apparently are cognitive deficiencies you are unable to remedy in spite of your professed years at academia.

    To make the remarkably bold, outright assertion that anybody opposed to the Obamacare death squads as actually the ones penalizing the sick; I take it when such a hideous plan as in its original conception were actually implemented, you would have been amongst the first to dance for joy when the lives of your loved ones are truncated simply to promote system efficiency and cost savings.

    So, if anybody is doing any sort of penalizing, it is your much favored fiercely Pro-Abort administration seeking to extend the tentacles of its Culture of Death principles upon the general populace.

    Extra credit points, though, for your (albeit futile) attempts at making the proponents of evil as actually the advocates of good.

  • Master C: Read chapters 2 and 3 of B16’s Jesus of Nazareth and then come back for some big boy discussion of social justice issues.

  • How about reading the Caritas in Veritate encyclical?
    Does that qualify as big boy enough for you?

    I’m Catholic, Im American, yet Im a troll.
    Nice.

  • “I’m Catholic, I’m American, yet Im a troll.”

    So, you mean to argue that since you’re Catholic, you’re American; therefore, you cannot be a troll?

    Don’t get it. at all.

    “How about reading the Caritas in Veritate encyclical? Does that qualify as big boy enough for you?”

    It only qualifies as “big boy” enough if you read it thoroughly and with sufficient comprehension so as to discern exactly that what the fiercely Pro-Abort administration seeks to advance in such policies stands completely opposite to the very Christian principles essentially enshrined in such encyclicals.

  • what about the fiercely pro social justice part?

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/essays-theology/popes-social-encyclical

    a little something for all us!

  • So since it contains a pro-social justice part; therefore, adopting and, even further, implementing policies that would most certainly advance the Culture of Death must somehow be alright then.

    After all your comments, I seem to have gleaned an insight into just what you’re master of.

  • OK gentlemen,

    Enough with the “troll” comments.

    Just argue the substance, not the person.

  • Can we argue the source of master c’s understanding of the Church’s teaching:

    The pope’s social encyclical
    by Richard McBrien on Aug. 10, 2009

  • A guy who repeatedly asks “why the vocal majority here wants to penalize the sick” and dodges questions about his support for abortion doesn’t offer much substance to address.

    But, OK:

    mc–Caritas in Veritate condemns abortion three times. How does the Obama “health care” plan that pays for abortions [see the link to the Associated Press analysis I provided above] square with Catholic social teaching as set forth in the encyclical?

    I await your next change of subject.

  • Respectfully, here is the link from the lead post:

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservative#US_Voters

    That list of what conservatives seek or support doesnt entirely square with my Catholic beliefs, that’s all. That’s what Im here to say, not dodge, demagogue or demonize. I know your one issue that trumps all is abortion. I know lots of Catholics who let that determine how they vote.

    Dont know if it matters, but I am a woman.

  • “I know your one issue that trumps all is abortion.”

    I’m sorry–have we met? I have no idea who you are, so I doubt I’ve informed you as to my political beliefs. If it’s one thing people here will gladly testify to, it’s that I resent to high Heaven people who label me and assign opinions to me that I do not hold.

    So, speaking of demonizing, you’ve done it and not apologized for it, stating authoritatively that I (and others) want “to penalize the sick.” That was uncalled for, and still unapologized for, and now you make more assumptions. For the record, I have voted for pro-choice candidates in the past (regretfully, but there was no other options). Thus, your second assumption about me is false. I respectfully request that you cease and desist.

    And, yes, you’re dodging and changing the subject again, pointing to the Wikipedia link this time.

    Back to the question: how can a Catholic square support health care that funds elective (i.e., not for medical reasons) with authentic (as opposed to purely secular) social justice principles?

    The basic problem is this: we don’t help the hungry by knowingly giving them loaves of spoiled bread that won’t kill most of them outright (even though we know some will die from food poisoning). “But they’re hungry and we have a duty to feed the hungry” doesn’t cut it. Likewise, we don’t help the sick by giving them “health” care we know–KNOW–will result in the deliberate killing of human life. It is really as simple as that.

  • The link was from the original post [see the top], and prompted me to reply in the first place. Im not sure if you actually read it, it is not from wikipedia. It was provided as support that this is a conservatively plural nation. As it was a set forth as a basis for this discussion, Im not sure how it is “dodging and changing the discussion” I apologize for all the demonizing. I respectfully cease and desist.
    Not sure what qualifies as on topic around here.

  • Since “conservipedia,” like Wikipedia, can be freely edited by anybody who logs in, it’s a Wikipedia for conservatives, mc. It even rips off the template. Nice try.

    At least it was better than your canned apology for slandering everyone here as a “penalizer of the sick.” And much, much better than your third evasion of the abortion/health care question.

    I have no interest in talking with you further.

  • Dude, the link came from THIS post by the author of THIS BLOG!
    get a clue.
    I am glad ypu wont be talking to me anymore

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Archbishop Chaput on the News Media

Sunday, July 12, AD 2009

Here is Archbishop Chaput with a worthwhile reflection on how Catholics should think about the media. A few excerpts:

Most of what we know about the world comes from people we’ll never meet and don’t really understand.  We don’t even think of them as individuals.  Instead we usually talk about them in the collective – as “the media” or “the press.”  Yet behind every Los Angeles Times editorial or Fox News broadcast are human beings with personal opinions and prejudices.  These people select and frame the news.  And when we read their newspaper articles or tune in their TV shows, we engage them in a kind of intellectual intimacy in the same way you’re listening to me right now….

…The media’s power to shape public thought is why it’s so vital for the rest of us to understand their human element.  When we don’t recognize the personal chemistry of the men and women who bring us our news – their cultural and political views, their economic pressures, their social ambitions – then we fail the media by holding them to too low a standard.  We also – and much more importantly — fail ourselves by neglecting to think and act as intelligent citizens…

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3 Responses to Archbishop Chaput on the News Media

  • Excellent letter! Thanks for posting it.

  • I couldn’t have said it better myself, and I used to be a “media person” 🙂

  • Yet again Grace Archbishop Chaput hits the nail on the head here -he makes such good points here re the book/ print vs the internet age
    Now there are pluses and minuses in this high tech internet age as with the book / print/age too.
    BUT the human dimension should never ever be discounted
    it is such an intrinsic element!
    The discipline demanded in previos eras eg that of the book was a good thing it would be good if we could somehow revive some of these practices to get optimum results for the high tech age!

Diagnosing contemporary conservatism's ills.

Monday, June 22, AD 2009

Apropos of DarwinCatholic’s post on the meaning of conservatism, the following comment from Francis Beckwith (What’s Wrong With The World) struck a chord:

“Conservatism–as a philosophical, cultural, and political project–does in fact have boundaries, and those have been set by the cluster of ideas offered by such giants as Burke, Lincoln, Chesterton, Lewis, Hayek, Chambers, Friedman, Kirk, Weaver, Gilder, Buckley, and Reagan. There are, of course, disagreements among these thinkers and their followers, but there is an identifiable stream of thought. It informs our understanding of human nature, families, civil society, just government, and markets.

“What contemporary conservatism has lost–especially in its Hannitized and Coulterized manifestations of superficial ranting–is the connection to a paternity that is necessary so that its intellectual DNA may be passed on to its progeny.

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16 Responses to Diagnosing contemporary conservatism's ills.

  • DEAR GOD! YES! YES! YES!

    Christopher, this is one of those moments when someone puts fragmented thoughts into coherent words.

  • This also reminds me to write that letter to FOX as to why I think Sean Hannity should just be taken off the air.

  • I confess I don’t see much of a identifiable stream of thought among the figures mentioned. Some of them, no doubt, would have been horrified at being identified with others in the group, or explicitly disclaimed any conservativism.

    The intellectual foundations of conservativism have always been something of a post hoc affair (I’m not saying this is unique to conservativism). The way people talk, you’d think the average Goldwater voter could have quoted you chapter and verse from Russell Kirk. I doubt it.

  • Perhaps our writer would like all conservatives to be nice and polite and drink tea with pinkies upended. When the world of ideas is a moshpit where knees and elbows are needed. He forgets that William F. Buckley Jr. of blessed memory, an elite by birth, used very sharp elbows and knees in public debate. Firing Line was the model for many of the Fox News programs- Buckley would invite liberal guests, only to undress them clothing article by clothing article. In the Media World, conservatives operate at a disadvantage of numbers and resources. Hannity, Coulter, et al, even with the ratings dominance of Fox, must compensate with honking rhetoric at times. Meanwhile, El Rushbo gets bigger numbers than anybody anywhere. Mostly on the strength of his ideas.

  • Blackadder — true, it’s not that cut and dry. On that note, I had recommended this introductory essay on the other thread — on the disparate influences and intellectual threads of “American conservatism” and their points of agreement.

    I found George Nash’s The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 is also a good read.

    Regarding Beckwith’s criticism, while before my time, I’m disappointed that we don’t have a television show of the calibre of, say, Buckley’s Firing Line.

    The wasteland of Fox News’ “pseudo-conservative” television has to some degree been replaced by blogs and online interactions. Websites like “First Principles” and the various journals (First Things, Weekly Standard, etc.) which might encourage such a return to and examination of conservatism’s intellectual sources.

    Due credit to Ann Coulter, however — apparently she did recommend Chambers’ Witness in one of her books and prompted a number of them to take it up.

  • *laughs* Of course the TV guys aren’t known for their great philosophical arguments!

    They’re not dealing with highly philosophical folks who want to listen and reason– they’re dealing with folks who either already agree, or who are disposed *not* to agree and will only consider their words if they’re sufficiently startled.

    Sweet Mother, most of the folks watching will be results of the public school system– the same one that has more years of sex ed than history ed?

    Would we also be surprised at sidewalk preachers who appeal less with sweet reason than with ways to get your attention, then direct you to places you can get more information?

    Sure, they’re shallow– but they get the ideas out.

    I’d argue that right thought is less suited to this style of being spread, which is why left thought is so much more common in the area.

  • There has to be some kind of middle ground where we are able to firmly articulate our beliefs backed by a fairly in depth understanding of our historical roots. I’d agree with Frank and with Chris on the boorishness of Fox News and most of its talking heads, though I think he’s underestimating Laura Ingraham and, to a lesser extent, Coulter.

    What we’re seeing time and again in these blog debates are two groups kind of talking past one another. There are a group of conservatives that are tired of taking what seems to be the Marquess of Queensberry approach to political debate, and another concerned about the crassness of some of the political commentary. While I can understand the hesitation on the part of the latter group, it does seem that there’s a subtext to this debate as often the people who cry the loudest for a more temperate tone also want a more temperate kind of conservatism, one that abandons some of the core principles and policy positions of modern conservatism. This only angers the other side even more, and so the rhetoric becomes even more intemperate.

    And as much as it pains me to say this, perhaps we should stop being overly academic. There’s absolutely nothing wrong – and it’s in part necessary to understand the philosophic roots of conservatism. But we’re not going to make that many advances with master’s theses and doctoral dissertations (that was a very painful sentence to write). We should be able to convey the eternal principles of conservatism without boring the masses to sleep, but without the gutteral thoughtlessness of people like Hannity.

  • It strikes me that part of the thing here is that if one has a political movement which a larger percentage of its voters are actually interested in, it will have a fairly loud/populist tone to many of its spokespeople. One can only get away with having a calm, elite, academic tone to all debate if one’s actual voters are such absolute sheep that they don’t bother following any of the movement discussion.

    The solution is simply to have layered communication vehicles, some of which are okay with remaining small because of the limits of their appeal. Fox News and talk radio by their nature need to appeal to tens of millions of people. Magazines like National Review, American Spectator or First Things necessarily take a higher brow approach, and have a smaller appeal.

  • “Sure, they’re shallow– but they get the ideas out.”

    Well said Foxfier. People like Rush, Hannity, Levin, Ingraham and Coulter have to entertain in order to stay on the air. They also carry the conservative message to a mass audience, something that National Review and blogs simply can’t do. I would also note that when WFB started National Review it was attacked as sensationalist and boorish. I recall one initial review stating that the country needed an intelligent conservative journal but National Review clearly did not meet the bill!

    There is more than enough room in the conservative movement for both conservatives of the head and of the heart.

  • To the extent that Rush Limbaugh can communicate the core convictions and ideas of conservatives and/or the Republican Party in a popular medium, he has my wholehearted support.

    Where I get off the Limbaugh train is, say, his off-the-cuff loose cannon remarks — for example, on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib:

    “This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation, and we’re going to ruin people’s lives over it, and we’re going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I’m talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You [ever] heard of need to blow some steam off?”

    and taking a cavalier “it’s not torture if you can survive it” approach to waterboarding.

    To the extent that these kind of remarks become — given his popularity (and Hannity’s, and Coulter’s, et al.) — the public face of American conservatism for the masses and the media alike, I see that as an impediment.

    And I don’t think even William Buckley himself, despite his penchant for “sharp elbows and knees”, would have approved.

  • I believe it was William F. Buckley, he of the upended pinky and refined manners, who referred to Gore Vidal as a “fa___t.”

    So, as long as we’re talking about superficial ranting, which Buckley did plenty of times, I don’t really see the difference between him and Hannity, except that Beckwith uses him to make his alleged point.

    By the way, Beckwith compares favorably with Hannity, Coulter, et al., in his own ignorance of his tradition when he speaks of Catholicism.

  • Nemo,

    On Beckwith and his comprehension of Catholicism (as a convert to such): irrelevant and stick to the topic.

    Paul,

    Completely agree w/ your comments @ 11:03 am.

    I admit these days much of what I see — from the pundits at Fox News to the recent RNC resolution to call on the Democratic Party to rename itself “Democrat Socialist Party” to Michael Steele’s “the GOP needs a Hip Hop makeover!” and rationally-challenged articulation of pro-life principles — makes me wince.

  • I believe it was William F. Buckley, he of the upended pinky and refined manners, who referred to Gore Vidal as a “fa___t.”

    Buckley once called Vidal a queer during a heated exchange in which Vidal had referred to him as a crypto-Nazi. I doubt it was an exchange he wished others to emulate.

  • In regard to Michael Steele Christopher, we are in complete agreement. The man can’t seem to make up his own mind as to what he believes, let alone lead the RNC!

  • It’s on youtube if you’d like to see it in context, too.

    Frankly, I can’t say an accurate sexual slur rises to the level of offense of “you are a wanna-be mass murdering, eugenically-minded quasi-pagan trying to take over the world.” Not very productive, but I’d have offered to clobber the tootaloo too.

  • “I believe it was William F. Buckley, he of the upended pinky and refined manners, who referred to Gore Vidal as a “fa___t.” ”

    Buckley said it on nation-wide television, although he used the term “queer”.

    Here is a link to the video and the transcript:

    http://concordlive.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/william-f-buckley-jr-vs-gore-vidal-1968/

    As far as I know Buckley never expressed any regret for what he said, and considering it was said to Gore Vidal, good novelist but rancid human being, leaving completely aside his sexual preference, I can understand why.