The Very Quiddity of Civility

Sunday, January 15, AD 2012

 

Hattip to Creative Minority Report.  No, the above video is not a Daily Show spoof.  There really and truly is a Froma Harrop.  She is an editorial writer for the Providence Journal and President of the National Conference of Editorial Writers.  (I know that sounds like a spoof, but it isn’t.)  The NCEW has a project to restore civility in American life, and you may read all about it here.

On August 2, 2011, Ms. Harrop delivered herself of this glittering gem of civility:

 

Make no mistake: The tea party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the United States — threatening to blow up the economy if they don’t get what they want. And like the al-Qaida bombers, what they want is delusional: the dream of restoring some fantasy caliphate in which no one pays taxes, while the country is magically protected from foreign attack and the elderly get government-paid hip replacements.

Americans are not supposed to negotiate with terrorists, but that’s what Obama has been doing. Obama should have grabbed the bully pulpit early on, bellowing that everything can be discussed but America’s honor, which requires making good on its debt obligations. Lines about “we’re all at fault” and “Republicans should compromise” are beyond pathetic on a subject that should be beyond discussion.

That the Republican leadership couldn’t control a small group of ignoramuses in its ranks has brought disgrace on their party. But oddly, Obama’s passivity made it hard for responsible Republicans to control their destructive children.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to The Very Quiddity of Civility

  • Obama has reacted by illegally, unconstitutionally depriving all citizens, but especially those with whom he (Obama) disagrees through the National Defense Authorization Act, enacted by Obama’s signature on New Year’s Eve, while he (Obama) was in Hawaii, giving Obama the power to detain any citizen indefinitely without charges, undoing the Magna Carta, eight hundred years of civil rights and Habeas Corpus. This, I believe, is because the nation refused to try enemy combatants as non enemies to give the enemies the civil rights of citizens, and as citizens under the Constitution

  • I always hate it when I have to defend Obama Mary, but that simply is not true, although it is claimed all over the internet.

    This section of the Authorization ensures that American citizens suspected of terrorism can not be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism:

    “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

    I would note that I do not want this thread to become a debate on that act. This thread is about “civility police” lacking civility, not tin foil hat hysteria spread on the internet. (My contribution to civility today!)

  • I never knew there was such a word as “quiddity.” I left school 40 years ago. When was it invented?

    Anyhow, Whatz-her-name seems yer typical idiot ideologue liberal: infallible ignorance.

    I observe that she lacks the intellectual capacity for dishonesty.

    I think the main item on display here is (I think the shrinks call it) “projection.”

    Obama must go.

  • “Terrorism is not confined to physical attacks. ”

    Example of a verbal one.
    Quid pro quo -ness, too.

  • “quiddity” comes from the latin “quidditas” a term used as a synonym for nature or essence.

  • @Donald R. McCleary: The only reason I responded to this post is because I like the word “Quiddity”. I hattip my aluminun hat to you. Thank you for your kind response.

  • I like the word too Mary since I became familiar with the works of the Angelic Doctor. It tickled me tan, if not pink, that I could use it in a title for a blog post!

  • Wrecking crew. Wreckers. Whatever. She’d clearly prefer all Tea Parties to “disappear.”

  • I think this is another example of civility quiddity from John Hinderacker at PowerLine (they post a pic of something that has “Newsweek”??? above and a whole-page picture of someone who doesn’t look happy):

    “We who are unhappy that unemployment has increased on Obama’s watch, that over-regulation has stymied economic growth, that our children now owe a $15 trillion debt that we can’t pay–hey, we’re just dumb! We obviously aren’t smart enough to understand how devastating our economy, unemploying millions of Americans and burdening our children with trillions of dollars in debt is really a great idea.”

    I think it’s the obama-worshiping idiots’ stupidity quiddity (or projection thereof), not faux civility.

    As Bart Simpson famously exclaimed 20 years ago, “I’m insulted!”

The Way Freedom of Speech Dies

Thursday, November 3, AD 2011

 

Time magazine, anyone still reading it?, has a truly despicable piece by Bruce Crumley in which he basically says that “they had it coming” after a French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was firebombed:

 

Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive  efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with  petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can  and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic  antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent  responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of  common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and  by tempting belligerent reaction?

The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to  have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it  published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam. The  Wednesday morning arson attack destroyed the Paris editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo after the paper published an issue certain to enrage  hard-core Islamists (and offend average Muslims) with articles and “funny” cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed—depictions forbidden in Islam to boot.  Predictably, the strike unleashed a torrent of unqualified condemnation from  French politicians, many of whom called the burning of the notoriously  impertinent paper as “an attack on democracy by its enemies.”

We, by contrast, have another reaction to the firebombing: Sorry for your  loss, Charlie, and there’s no justification of such an illegitimate  response to your current edition. But do you still think the price you  paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humor-deficient parody  on the logic of “because we can” was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those  charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring.

Continue reading...

12 Responses to The Way Freedom of Speech Dies

  • About 95% of the responses to the article were negative, some ferociously so. (And the one’s with explatives appear to have been deleted). Most of the remainder were from a social-work type who fancies that Charlie Hebdo is engaging in a form of school ‘bullying’. That is how much rapport a twenty-year employee of Time has with the magazine’s own readership. It is a wonder that these publications have remained commercially viable for as long as they have.

  • Didn’t read the article (refuse to give TIme hits) but let me get this straight – you mock some group for being so thin skinned that they blow you up simply for mocking them, and when they DO blow you up, thus proving your point, you are somehow wrong or to blame?

  • No, c matt, that’s not what he means. What he means is that if you mock Muslims for being so thin skinned that they firebomb you for mocking them, you’re the one to blame when Muslims firebomb you.

    There’s no other group in his rolodex who gets this infantilizing treatment.

    Sure, he’s a weasel here, but he’s simply making explicit what elite opinionmakers (most recently, pop-biblical scholar Bart Ehrman) have long tacitly conceded.

  • Sure, he’s a weasel here,

    He is not a weasel. He is being an obnoxious scold. If he fancied he would persuade anyone, he is seriously inept at the art of rhetoric. The interesting question is:

    1. Is his social circle so monochromatic that he had no conception he was insulting his readers?; or

    2. Did he fancy his readers needed a tongue-lashing from the principal? (And would sit there and take it?).

    You notice something else? He is the Paris bureau chief. Time used to run one piece of explicit commentary. It ran the full length of the very last page and was commonly penned by a contractor (Barbara Ehrenreich, Charles Krauthammer) rather than someone on the masthead.

  • “Is his social circle so monochromatic that he had no conception he was insulting his readers?”

    “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.” The late Pauline Kael, long time movie review for the New Yorker, after Nixon smashed McGovern 60-40 in 1972. Never underestimate the thickness of the ideological bubble some of these people live in.

  • Well, the weasely aspect for me is two-fold: one, a brief boilerplate condemnation (“no justification”) in what is clearly a justification for a firebombing. The second is implicit in the faux-broad plea for civility–there’s no way he’d write the same piece if, say, the SSPX had vandalized the magazine’s offices.

    That’s a very interesting catch on the backpage column, moving in-house. I invariably scanned it when I read the magazine, especially for Krauthammer. Maybe it’s part of a workplace PIP now…

  • You’re right. Weasel he is.

  • Woe to those who call evil good.

    Time what?

    Crumley: how appropriate is that?

    Those who trade liberty for safety will lose both.

  • I’m with C Matt. I’m not going to click on that article. Controversy = hits = the appearance of interest.

  • More justice for those so unenlightened as to not cave in to the Religion of Paroxysm: “Muslim terrorists in northeastern Nigeria murdered 63 Christians in bomb and gun attacks at police stations and six Christian different churches.”

  • Pingback: FRIDAY EXTRA: PERSECUTION | ThePulp.it

Archbishop Chaput and the Media

Friday, August 26, AD 2011

One of the most irritating aspects of life for faithful American Catholics over the past several decades has been how quiet most of our bishops have been in the face of outrageous attacks on the Church.  Too many of our bishops have acted as if they had their spines surgically removed upon consecration.  Fortunately there have always been a handful who have been willing to speak out and suffer the media attacks that then ensue, along with the ambushes of heterodox Catholics frequently eager to lend a hand to anti-Catholics in their ceaseless war against the Church.  One of the more outspoken bishops is Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has never been afraid to proclaim the truth, and to do so eloquently.  He is at it again over at First Things.

Continue reading...

32 Responses to Archbishop Chaput and the Media

  • “Some of the usual suspects on the Catholic Left are upset at the Archbishop for naming some of their cherished propaganda organs…”

    I think that’s true for some. I also think that for some on the Catholic Left the NY Times reflects their view of the Church or, perhaps more accurately, what they want the Church to become.

  • Well Phillip, over the years certainly some members of the Catholic Left have been far more faithful to the magisterium of the New York Times than they ever have to the magisterium of the Church!

  • “Some of the usual suspects on the Catholic Left are upset at the Archbishop for naming some of their cherished propaganda organs…”

    They’re also upset that the Archbishop didn’t call out their own fave Catholic publications – Commonweal, America, National Catholic Distorter – as good sources for Catholic commentary. Thing is, they’re not good sources for Catholic commentary, and the Archbishop knows this. The Distorter especially – a vanguard for all that is opposed to Catholic teaching.

  • Pingback: FRIDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | ThePulp.it
  • An excellent resource on this subject is the Get Religion blog, which examines coverage of all religions and religious traditions in the media and points out gaps or inaccuracies. In many stories, Get Religion says religion is present only as a “ghost” — an unnamed reference to people doing works of charity or attending rallies or “vigils” without mention of the fact that a religious motivation was behind it.

    From reading the mainstream media, you would think that thousands of people feed the hungry, travel to disaster zones, spend long hours at a sick or injured person’s bedside (doing what? PRAYING, maybe?), devote themselves to improving their communities, etc. for no apparent reason, other than, perhaps, some vague reference to their “values.”

  • “We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC for reliable news about religion. These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith”

    and CBS, ABC, NBC, NPR, Wash. Post, Boston Globe, etc, etc, etc

  • We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC, NPR, Washington Post, Boston Globe, for reliable news about ANYTHING.

  • I would include as unreliable the Catholic News Service, which if I mistake me not, is a service of the USCCB. It gave a favorable review to the homosexual movie Heartbreak Mountain. Another disservice of the bureaucracy of the USCCB.

  • “It gave a favorable review to the homosexual movie Heartbreak Mountain”

    I take it you are referring to BROKEBACK Mountain?

    Aside from the movie reviews, whose suitability can and often will be disputed, whether or not Catholic News Service is a “reliable” source of Church news depends on how you define “reliable.”

    In the Catholic press, there is always going to be a tension between the need to promote and adhere to Church teaching and the need to realistically report what is going on in the Catholic world whether or not it is agreeable to Church teaching. I have to admit that I am somewhat biased in favor of CNS due to the fact that I once worked for a diocesan newspaper that relied heavily on CNS news, and some of whose personnel personally knew people from CNS.

    If you rely solely on traditional/conservative leaning publications, you may get the impression that conservative/orthodox/traditional Catholicism is a lot more popular and widespread than it actually is. On the other hand, if you rely on left-leaning sites like National Catholic Reporter, you get the impression that the “spirit of Vatican II” crowd still reigns supreme, which is also not the case. There still needs to be a reasonably middle of the road source of Catholic news which doesn’t actively promote dissent but doesn’t ignore its real-world impact, or ignore the fact that the Church still has a long way to go in getting most of its members fully on board with its teachings.

    While I understand the disillusionment many people have with the mainstream media, and yes they do often get things wrong, still, I think it is VERY dangerous to dismiss them completely and insist on getting ALL your news only from sources that agree 100% with your political or religious leanings. Balance is the key here.

  • Wow Elaine,
    It almost sounds like you should be writing for Vox Nova. 😉
    Well put.

  • Nah, Brett, if Elaine were writing for Vox Nova she would have to say something truly absurd like mentioning Chaput in mouth disease, and I doubt if Elaine would ever say anything like that. Finally, I doubt if Elaine could make it past the Vox Nova entrance interview:

    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6987327/welcome-to-vox-nova

  • You’re right Don, I would not get past Rule #2. I certainly would flunk out by Rule #5 (“Paul Krugman is the living embodiment of Catholic social teaching.”)

  • Don’t worry Elaine. They let me write whatever I want and I don’t even know who Paul Krugman is!

    Also Don, no one at VN has ever forced me to say anything “truly absurd.” Elaine wouldn’t HAVE to say anything of the sort.
    😉

    All peace and good,
    B

  • “Also Don, no one at VN has ever forced me to say anything “truly absurd.” ”

    That is good to know Brett. Judging from Minion’s posts I assumed there was some sort of requirement.

  • I’ve got to agree with Elaine — the Catholic News Service (and even the movie reviews, though I certainly don’t always agree with them) serves a useful purpose, and I’ve never found it to be an organ used for questioning or undercutting the faith.

    Brett,

    To not even know who Paul Krugman is, you’d have to be skimming MM’s posts pretty thinly. After all, in the very post linked to here MM chides Archbishop Chaput for not listening to Krugman more:

    Why does Chaput not mention any of this? Is he so insecure that he cannot handle criticism of the Church in the New York Times, and must instead run to those who use the Church for their political aims? Does he see no nuance and complexity? Is he not aware that he can learn far more about the economic mess from Paul Krugman in the New York Times than anybody on any alternative media source?

    I mean, I agree with those who knock people like Voris for bishop-bashing at the drop of a hat, but this is, if anything, worse.

    I will say, though, that I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts, which are both fair and intellectually curious. (I just wish that you’d keep a separate blog like Kyle does, so that it isn’t necessary for those of us bullies who might be divisive pamphleteers of the verge of kicking off a new Reformation to wade through the main site to read your stuff.)

  • “Judging from Minion’s posts I assumed there was some sort of requirement.”

    “…I don’t even know who Paul Krugman is!”

    Brett is clearly not reading Minion’s paeans to Krugman.

  • The quoted bit from MM on Krugman hardly tells me anything beyond the fact that he writes about economics for the New York Times and that MM thinks he has some insight. Surely that is not enough for me to know whether he is “the living embodiment of Catholic social teaching,” or even if MM considers him to be such.

    Perhaps the very favorable recent posts linking to the Distributist Review should give certain people pause before they announce exactly whom the Vox Novans think accurately represents CST (or is Krugman a Distributist?) or that all Vox Novans must be of the same opinion on such matters.

  • Brett,

    VN is well known for being disobedient to the Magisterium and for attacking orthodox Catholics.

  • Tito,

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of the current frequent posters on Vox Nova dissent from Catholic doctrine.

    That many of them do specialize in “friendly fire” towards other orthodox Catholics is arguably true, though.

    Brett,

    Well, unless the Distributist Review is not an alternative news source, it would seem that MM does believe Chaput could derive more benefit from reading Krugman than from reading the Distributist Review. (Actually, this is probably not surprising, as MM is probably too educated in regards to economics to be terribly impressed with the Distributists.)

    But to be fair, that hilarious parody dates back to when Henry, MM, MZ and Iafrate were the mainlines of Vox Nova. The place has, somewhat diluted its craziness since then.

  • Tito,

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of the current frequent posters on Vox Nova dissent from Catholic doctrine.

    That many of them do specialize in “friendly fire” towards other orthodox Catholics is arguably true, though.

    Brett,

    Well, unless the Distributist Review is not an alternative news source, it would seem that MM does believe Chaput could derive more benefit from reading Krugman than from reading the Distributist Review. (Actually, this is probably not surprising, as MM is probably too educated in regards to economics to be terribly impressed with the Distributism, at least where economics is involved. Chesterton and Belloc were admirable in lots of ways, but their economic analysis was not necessarily great. MM is probably right to rely more on Keynes and Krugman than on Chesterton and Belloc when it comes to actual economic theory.)

    To be fair, though, that hilarious parody dates back to when Henry, MM, MZ and Iafrate were the mainlines of Vox Nova. The place has, somewhat diluted its craziness since then — in regards to contributors at least. (Oddly, the comboxes seem to have gone even further off the deep end — though perhaps that’s just a matter of the “other side” not bothering to show up much anymore. I suppose in some ways we’ve had an equal and opposite history here. Given the natural affinities of belief, it may be that political sites natural sort themselves into either right or left with few dissenting voices bothering to show up.)

  • Darwin,

    I wasn’t aware that killing children in the womb was part of Catholic teaching.

  • I’m not either, but I was giving them credit for the fact that Gerald L. Campbell hasn’t posted there in a very long time. (Though I agree it was disgraceful that everyone at the time defended his claim that being pro-choice was a legitimate exercise of subsidiarity.)

    People like MM and MZ do everything possible to support pro-abortion candidates, because those candidates happen to also be leftists, but they insist that they are not in fact pro-abortion themselves (and would vote for anti-abortion leftists if they existed) so I figure it’s fair to categorize them as unwise rather than dissenting.

    Ditto on the tendency to attack pro-lifers far more often than pro-aborts while at the same time claiming to be pro-life.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have no desire to defend them. I just want to be precise in my attacks. 🙂

  • OK, I’ll back track.

    Certain bloggers are disobedient.

    The rest of the bunch are essentially good guys and it would be nice to share a beer with them because it would make for interesting conversation(s)!

    😀

  • Precision is always appreciated. As is beer.

  • As for a personal blog, here you go:
    http://vox-nova.com/category/brett-salkeld/

    I’m only tempted to set up something a little more formal because I think “Ein Brett Vorm Kopf” would be a great name.

  • Can’t let a name like that go to waste!

    I guess I should just bookmark the category link. For some reason, it’s not possible to put the category links into an RSS reader.

  • It would be helpful though if those bloggers on Vox Nova who are not in dissent do correct those who post comments who are. That would make it appear less likely that they are dissenting.

  • “MM is probably too educated in regards to economics to be terribly impressed with the Distributism, at least where economics is involved. Chesterton and Belloc were admirable in lots of ways, but their economic analysis was not necessarily great. MM is probably right to rely more on Keynes and Krugman than on Chesterton and Belloc when it comes to actual economic theory.)”.

    Yes, as regards “economic theory”. But economics in practice? A good antidote to Keynes [Krugman is not worth the effort] is J.K. Galbraith’s ALMOST EVERYONE’S GUIDE TO ECONOMICS. He makes the point that economics is not that difficult to understand. Thus, in the controversy about raising the debt limit, it is not difficult to understand that you cannot keep writing checks on an account without money. Belloc understood this; GKC understood this. Even B. Obama as a senator understood this.

    In May 1939, shortly after learning that unemployment stood at 20.7%, Henry Morgenthau, the secretary of the Treasury, exploded: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.” Morgenthau concluded, “I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot!”

  • From the other side of the pond, I rate the orthodoxy of your bishops according to extent that they are excoriated by the liberal media – Burke, Olmsted, Chaput et al. The fact that none of ours has yet to be targeted by the Tablet, the English equivalent of the National Catholic Reporter, is cause for concern.

Newsweek and the Demonization of Michele Bachmann

Tuesday, August 9, AD 2011

Newsweek, the newsmagazine worth every cent of the dollar it was recently sold for, is running a hit piece against Congresswoman Michele Bachmann this week.  They aren’t especially subtle about what they are doing as the cover indicates:

 

 

Here is a photograph of Michele Bachmann by a photographer not employed by Newsweek:

Continue reading...

22 Responses to Newsweek and the Demonization of Michele Bachmann

Infomercial as News

Wednesday, April 21, AD 2010

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  This is truly back to the future for the Onion.  As this Mike Wallace commercial from 1957 indicates, it used to be common for reporters to shill for advertisers.

Of course modern members of the lamestream press would be indignant to stoop to doing commercials!   It would take too much time away from the political agendas and politicians they are shilling for!

Continue reading...