Media as Propaganda Arm of the Democrat Party

Sunday, August 7, AD 2016

 

 

 

 

Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal helps point out that most members of the media this year are nothing but Democrat shills.  In that respect this year is like all years since 1964 although this year they are not bothering to make any attempt to disguise the fact:

 

 

“American “journalists.”  Pretty much the same thing.  CNN’s Carol Costello desperately tries to get a parent of one of Lady Macbeth’s victims to focus on what’s truly important:

Charles Woods, father of U.S. Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was killed during the Benghazi attack, appeared on CNN Tuesday. CNN Newsroom host Carol Costello repeatedly badgered him about Donald Trump’s feud with Khizr Khan, and whether Trump should apologize. Transcript below, via CNN.

“I know who should apologize, and that would be Hillary Clinton, for lying to the American families who lost their loved ones as well as to the American public,” Woods said.And I’m sure when the election comes out next year, they’re going to have to make the decision, who should they vote for, based upon who will do the best job of defending this country.

COSTELLO: Right.

WOODS: And I think the whole reason …

COSTELLO: Do you, do you think, Sir …

WOODS: … Clinton proved at Benghazi that she was incapable of protecting 35 of her own employees. So how could she possibly protect 330 million Americans at home?

COSTELLO: Do you think that Mr. Trump should apologize to Mr. Khan?

WOODS: You know, I really don’t know what’s been said. I haven’t seen a T.V. set since last Monday or Tuesday … 

COSTELLO: So Eric Trump is saying that his father sort of apologized by calling Khan’s son a hero. And that Donald Trump has also sacrificed for this country.

WOODS: Well I would agree with what Mr. Trump said, definitely Khan was an American hero. He was a patriotic American, and he was also a moderate Muslim.

COSTELLO: But should Mr. Trump apologize?

WOODS: You know, like I say, I don’t know what he originally said, and I don’t know what he’s said since then. I — I know who should apologize, and that would be Hillary Clinton, for lying to the American families who lost their loved ones, as well as to the American public. You know, she’s …

COSTELLO: Do you …

WOODS: … in fact, she’s even doubled down and called us liars. Which is not appropriate at all. Because like I said, either she’s lying …

COSTELLO: Who are you endorsing this election?

WOODS: Well my son would still be alive if Mrs. Clinton was performing her job properly, as Secretary of State. So in good conscience I cannot vote for the person who was directly responsible for the death of my son. There is only two choices, and obviously I support Donald Trump.

And the main reason is because national security, as well as the economy, are the two most important issues that voters are going to have to decide upon next November.

COSTELLO: And just the last question I’ll ask you, do you wish that Mr. Trump would stop talking about the Khans now?

WOODS: You know, when Hillary Clinton on several occasions, has called the Benghazi victims’ families liars, would that be — should she apologize for that?

That exchange, ladies and gentlemen, is why so many of us have to depend on foreign news sources to find out what’s really going on in our own country.

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12 Responses to Media as Propaganda Arm of the Democrat Party

  • I have said it before. Carol Costello is a no talent former infobabe. She dropped out of Kent State’s journalism school in the 1980s when she landed a job at WAKR TV in Akron. She parlayed that into news anchor jobs in Columbus and Baltimore before going to CNN. Now she is a middle aged left wing crank.

    The media will NEVER go after the Clintons. There is enough dirt on them to lock them up forever but it will NEVER happen. The Democrats are organized crime. The ABA is their legal team. The media is their public relations arm. Hollywood produces their propaganda. Big business, long believed by many to be in the thrall of the GOP (insert laughter) has never hesitated to pay tribute to the Democrats and many wealthy business executives, and it seeems every Hollywood half-wit, are quasi-Socialists.

    Yeah, I know what people here think of Trump. Had the feckless GOP put forth better candidates we might have had a better presidential candidate.

  • “Yeah, I know what people here think of Trump.”

    I think he is going to smash Hillary in the Fall and be a terrible President. However, I also think that Clinton would be worse. As I predicted, Democrats are doing their worst to push me in Trump’s direction. They haven’t succeeded-yet. However, the sheer hypocrisy surrounding this campaign when it comes to judging the two candidates is nauseating to behold.

  • I, like many others, will probably vote for Trump in large part because of the totally biased press and the hollywood twits. I just want to laugh at them after the election – hope I can.

  • That exchange, ladies and gentlemen, is why so many of us have to depend on foreign news sources to find out what’s really going on in our own country.
    Just don’t forget to watch THEM just as closely as you watch the ones here; Russia isn’t funding a bunch of news sites because they’re nice people, and even innocent bias can cause issues.

  • I’m guessing ms costello is a pretty nice person, loved by her family etc. but her unrelenting attempts to force the conversation with Mr. Woods was a harassment, a way of bullying that can lead weaker persons to give in and whimper “yeah … but” and give the sound bite the CNN organization is looking for.

  • I’m not so sure Trump will win. Right now, I doubt it.

    Costello is just plain nasty and has hit middle age without a husband or kids. She will die an old maid. No doubt this irks her.

  • At this point in an election cycle, polls are pretty meaningless, at least that is the position of President Dukakis:

    United States presidential election, 1988

    1988

    Month

    George H. W. Bush (R) %

    Michael Dukakis (D) %

    March 52% 40%
    April 45% 43%
    May 38% 54%
    June 38% 52%
    41% 46%
    July 41% 47%
    37% 54%
    August 42% 49%
    September 49% 41%
    47% 42%
    October 50% 40%
    November 56% 44%
    Actual result 53% 46%

  • It isn’t all about the polls. The Democrat public relations machine is running at optimum efficiency. Trump is no skilled politician and the Clintons have an attack machine that destroys everyone (except Obumbler) going back to Arkansas and the late 1970s.

  • I cannot say this from experience, simply because I avoid watching much mainstream media. Nonetheless I find that people who “get” their news from such sources are quite uninformed. C. Costello certainly seems agenda driven in this interview. Mr. Woods handled the situation in an admirable manner. I don’t think I would have kept my composure as well as he did.

  • Having been a democrat and a democrat for life and an editor i’ve been around that mulberry bush and recall a quote from a famous journalist.
    I just looked it up:
    “I think being a liberal, in the true sense, is being nondoctrinaire, nondogmatic, non-committed to a cause – but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it’s a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they’re not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen. If they’re preordained dogmatists for a cause, then they can’t be very good journalists; that is, if they carry it into their journalism.” (Ron Powers)
    .
    In the self reassurance that goes on among liberal journalists — they don’t admit that are not non-doctrinaire, but are in fact committed leftists.
    As I re-read mr. Powers quote today I see that part of the reason liberalism is a sin is that it believes nothing and is detached from reality.

  • “Trump is no skilled politician”

    Correct, and that is one of several reasons why I think Trump is likely to prevail. As for the Clinton smear machine, Trump raised 82 million dollars last month, just a smidge behind Hillary. His average donation was $61.00 over the internet. His attacks against Hillary are soon going to be matching hers against him. Additionally Trump thrives on bad publicity. This is a unique year and Trump is a unique candidate.

  • I agree with Donald. Trump should be smart enough to stop shooting himself and Hillary is just dumb enough to become over confident. Plus maybe she will go all epileptic on TV. Anyway, it’s way too early to write Donald off. And another thing, the media might just give him a boost so the race stays interesting and ratings high.

Freedom of the Press is for All of Us

Friday, February 14, AD 2014

Freedom of the Press Under Obama

“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”

Thomas Jefferson

Hattip to Instapundit. Josh Stearns at Huffington Post reports on the fact that the media in the US isn’t quite as free as it used to be.

 

According to a new report from Reporters Without Borders, there was a profound erosion of press freedom in the United States in 2013.

After a year of attacks on whistleblowers and digital journalists and revelations about mass surveillance, the United States plunged 13 spots in the group’s global press freedom rankings to number 46.

Reporters Without Borders writes that the U.S. faced “one of the most significant declines” in the world last year. Even the United Kingdom, whose sustained campaign to criminalize the Guardian’s reporters and intimidate journalists has made headlines around the world, dropped only three spots, to number 33. The U.S. fell as many spots as Paraguay, where “the pressure on journalists to censor themselves keeps on mounting.”

Citing the Justice Department’s aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers, including its secret seizure of Associated Press phone records, the authors write that “freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. Investigative journalism often suffers as a result.”

The threats facing newsgathering in the U.S. are felt by both longstanding journalists like New York Times national security reporter James Risen, who may serve jail time for refusing to reveal a source, and non-traditional digital journalists like Barrett Brown.

Brown is a freelance journalist who has reported extensively on private intelligence firms and government contractors. He now faces more than 100 years in jail for linking to stolen documents as part of his reporting, even though he had no involvement in the actual theft.

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5 Responses to Freedom of the Press is for All of Us

  • Only truth has freedom of speech and press, so help me God.

  • An open society is still usually a very good thing. Sometimes error just needs a little light to show it for what it really is. To be honest. The freedom of speech is likely the last weapon we have to defend ourselves against progressivism. On an equal playing field virtue, truth, and beauty should defeat permissiveness, propaganda, and crassness every time.

  • Mary de Voe wrote, “Only truth has freedom of speech and press, so help me God.”

    Certainly not for those Robespierre called, “the mercenary libellers subsidised to dishonour the people’s cause, to kill public virtue, to stir up the fires of civil discord, and to prepare political counter-revolution by means of moral counter-revolution—are
    these men less culpable or less dangerous than the tyrants whom they serve?”

  • Thank you Michael Paterson-Seymour: ““the mercenary libellers subsidised to dishonour the people’s cause, to kill public virtue, to stir up the fires of civil discord, and to prepare political counter-revolution by means of moral counter-revolution—are
    these men less culpable or less dangerous than the tyrants whom they serve?””
    .
    “…the mercenary libellers” call vice virtue to kill public virtue by means of moral-counter revolution.
    The right to choose, the right to privacy, equality, social Justice are words that beget human sacrifice, sodomy, redistribution of personal wealth without consent and taxation without representation all denying the human person and the soul and our God as Supreme Sovereign. The “useful idiots”, Lenin’s description of his own henchmen are quick to take credit for establishing a new order with man as a beast of burden. Jesus said to test everything. Two witnesses establish a judicial fact. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God is the only justification for the freedom of the press and speech and peaceable assembly, for invoking Divine Providence drives evil away. The First Amendment must be taken as a whole. Freedom of religion is a relationship with our Creator acknowledged by the state. Speaking, writing and assembly to exercise our relationship with our Creator, “Wherever there are two or more people gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.” is from God, not from the state. From an infinite God come unalienable human rights.

  • And the 1st Amendment is protected by the 2nd (which Obama and his demonic minions of darkness are trying to erode and nullify):

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The Pefectly Partisan Media

Tuesday, October 8, AD 2013

 

 

 

If there is anyone who doubts that almost all the media functions today as unpaid press agents for the Democrat party, today’s presidential press conference should erase all doubts.  Allahpundit of Hot Air explains why:

It ran for one hour and six minutes, with 12 different reporters being called on — although, notably, not Ed Henry of Fox News — and between them they couldn’t muster one question about the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov or the spectacle of National Park Rangers locking senior-citizen tourists out of war memorials and/or inside their hotels. I admit that, near the end of it, when Twitter was already starting to buzz about the oh-fer on this week’s two unhappy topics, I started rooting for the press corps to ignore them, not unlike how you might root for an opposing pitcher when he’s throwing a perfect game against your team in the ninth. On the one hand, it’s a disaster for your interests; on the other hand, you’re seeing something historic in process. Today, we all witnessed a perfecto — no runs, no hits, not the barest insinuation in front of a national television audience that the federal government’s behavior towards the public this week has alternated between almost literally unbelievable incompetence and vindictiveness. Amazing.

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7 Responses to The Pefectly Partisan Media

  • Given that they each posted a reporter to this Boorsteinian pseudo-event, they cannot complain that company budget cuts have deprived them of the manpower to cover the story. The good news for the Republic is that the media is imploding and no longer viable as a commercial endeavour. Our sympathies should go out to the large corps of wage earners who work in these enterprises, as well as to the salaried employees on the business side of things (and perhaps also the sports and features staff). As for the people who produce the editorial matter, stick a fork in ’em.

  • I suppose the historians will have to come up with an alternative term for “yellow journalism”…since that generally meant the practice of sensationalizing stories to drive circulation…if not a progressive agenda.

    Maybe the latter applies still today where the former really doesn’t (given current readership/viewership trends), but the repeated and intentional spiking of important “news of the day” is deserving of its own designation for the history books.

  • When future historians write about the shambles that is the Obama administration, and the long term harm it inflicted on the country, they will note that the mainstream media was an essential ally of Obama, and that the administration benefited from the most one-sided press coverage in the history of the United States.

    Not if they’re writing in Chinese or Russian or Newspeak they won’t.

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  • “I suppose the historians will have to come up with an alternative term for ‘yellow journalism’ . . . ”

    “Red” works for me.

  • I suppose the historians will have to come up with an alternative term for “yellow journalism

    “Knee-pad journalism” might do.

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If the Modern Media Had Covered Christ

Wednesday, September 25, AD 2013

25 Responses to If the Modern Media Had Covered Christ

  • In the interests of consistency Donald, you would have to say something like this:

    “t would help if the [Lord] would first stop engaging in self-inflicted wounds.It is tough being the [Son of God] currently, I understand that. He accepted the job, and he needs to remember that every single word he says is going to echo around the globe. It helps the [Lord] not at all to attempt to put a smiley face on this and not to understand that he is causing confusion to his friends and celebration to his foes.
    The [Lord’s] heart is in the right place. Now he needs to get his lips to the same place.”

  • I normally do not confuse Christ with the Pope Greg. I found this to be an amusing post, hence I ran it, but the parallel it seeks to draw with Pope Francis’ woes are fairly strained. What truly scandalized the Jews was the claim of Christ to be God, the ultimate blasphemy, except that He was God. In matters of morality, as opposed to ritual purity, there was almost no division between Christ and the Pharisees, and where there was a division, divorce, Christ tended to be more severe. As far as the Romans were concerned the divisions between the Jews and Christians were quite incomprehensible as demonstrated by the reaction of Pilate.

  • I don’t confuse the two either. But if the Pope’s comments “confuse his friends” , his friends are just as if not more ignorant than his foes. I think every time a pope says things like this (remember B16’s comments at Regensburg that stoked a violent backlash that caused at least one death as well as how they twisted his condom remark that he was saying having sex with a condom was morally licit as a means of disease prevention when the context of his remarks make clear that he is speaking positively about the intention not the use of the condom itself) our side responds in a predictably Pavlovian way. We give the MSM the reaction they want. We come off as defensive and are too damned arrogant to realize it. We need to step bak and not take the bait when they do this.

    Now, I am not saying the pope’s comments are above criticism. We are not bound to agree with the way he says things like this. In fact, I think soon-to-St. John Paul II’s anti-death penalty stance caused far more confusion than anything Francis has said to date.

  • P.S/ In stead of wringing our hands over what Pope Francis said in that interview, we should seize upon the opportunity and not let the MSM drive the conversation.

  • “But if the Pope’s comments “confuse his friends” , his friends are just as if not more ignorant than his foes.”

    Total rubbish Greg. Most Catholics are like most people: they do not follow events with the magnifying glass that blog denizens do. A Pope who speaks carelessly and gives ammo for the media to twist his words is just asking for confusion among normal Catholics who get most of their information still from the mainstream media. The Catholic Church is not a Church for the elect few but rather a means of salvation for the great mass of believers. All popes speak carelessly at times, but Pope Francis seems to make a habit of it, and I hope he stops it very soon, or this will be a very long papacy indeed.

  • “P.S/ In stead of wringing our hands over what Pope Francis said in that interview, we should seize upon the opportunity and not let the MSM drive the conversation.”

    That might be a sound strategy if anyone, including the Pope, had the foggiest idea of what he was driving at often times. I confess that his meaning often seems obscure to me and subject to widely varying interpretations.

  • “Total rubbish Greg. Most Catholics are like most people: they do not follow events with the magnifying glass that blog denizens do.”

    Horse hockey Donald. Even the most ignorant who don’t follow event know no pope would say what the media portrays him as saying. That much should be obvious. The response of many on our side is what gives the media ammo. They bait and we swallow it. As dumb as they are they make us look even dumber.

    When Pope Francis starts slandering the damned few elected officials who make legitimate attempts to protect citizens entrusted to their jurisdiction, you might have something to wring your hands about. But until then….

  • “Even the most ignorant who don’t follow event know no pope would say what the media portrays him as saying.”

    Indeed? I doubt it, if all they read are stories like this:

    “But his vision of what the church should be stands out, primarily because it contrasts so sharply with many of the priorities of his immediate predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. They were both intellectuals for whom doctrine was paramount, an orientation that guided the selection of a generation of bishops and cardinals around the globe.

    Francis said the dogmatic and the moral teachings of the church were not all equivalent.

    “The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently,” Francis said. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

    Rather, he said, the Catholic Church must be like a “field hospital after battle,” healing the wounds of its faithful and going out to find those who have been hurt, excluded or have fallen away.

    “It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars!” Francis said. “You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.”

    “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,” he lamented. “The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/pope-warns-church-must-balance-fail-145841304.html

    After the results of last year’s election I would not underestimate the ability of the mainstream media to sway public opinion, especially since there is a not insignificant segment of Catholic clergy and laity in this country who would very much like the Church to go the Episcopalian route, and who have joined eagerly in touting Pope Francis as their liberal Pope.

  • Yes and you can finds quotes from his two immediate predecessors who say exactly the same thing. And many of that “generation of bishops and cardinals around the globe.” are the ones who are actually doing a great deal to distort Church teaching when it serves their ideological agenda. And I cannot see how they are not doing it knowingly, but I don’t hear much about that from the orthodox Catholic commentariat when it is their heroes in the episcopate who are doing it.

  • No one Greg ever accused Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI of soft pedaling Church doctrine on abortion or homosexuality. The criticism in the mainstream media was all the other way. Pope Francis is being touted as a liberal Pope because there is enough ambiguity in what he says that the mainstream media is able to make a plausible argument. Additionally some of what he says is simply bizarre:

    “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

    Most clergy I have encountered almost never talk about these issues and seem to wish they would go away. It has been a few of the Catholic laity, God love them, who chiefly have been carrying on this fight. Pope Francis is misinterpreted because it is so easy to do based on what he has said.

  • If I may interject…(I, myself, have been both confused by some of Pope Francis’ messaging and comforted by more in-depth analysis of his Holiness’ comments here and elsewhere)…I submit that DarwinCatholic’s post may put some more clarity to what he means (http://the-american-catholic.com/2013/09/25/pope-francis-excommunicates-and-laicizes-dissident-australian-priest/). While this situation calls for prayer and not celebration, I think rumors of a “pro-gay” Pope were greatly exaggerated (as seen on Fox News, no less), insofar as any change in doctrine is concerned.

    I also found this helpful…

    The Church’s teaching could not be more clear: but if every one of Pope Francis’s public speeches were like this, the Church’s teaching might well lose all of its force. As Frank Weathers notes, Pope Benedict, in an address to the bishops of Switzerland on November 9, 2006, explained why:

    I remember, when I used go to Germany in the 1980s and ’90s, that I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems.

    If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith—a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us.

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/pope-francis-and-his-critics

    To be sure, the article doesn’t whitewash the “There That Is Not There”:

    Pope Francis, it is said (with more than a little justification), does not speak with the precision and clarity of his predecessor. And in the face of distortions by the New York Times and confusion among the faithful, precision and clarity are greatly to be desired.

  • “No one Greg ever accused Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI of soft pedaling Church doctrine on abortion or homosexuality. The criticism in the mainstream media was all the other way. Pope Francis is being touted as a liberal Pope because there is enough ambiguity in what he says that the mainstream media is able to make a plausible argument. ”

    No, they just said Benedict XVI changed a major plank of Church teaching with his condom comment which not only wasn’t anything close to what they say he said, the comment was made in an interview that was not an official statement anyway. And it was Francis, not JPII or B16, that just excommed and laicized an Aussie priesr who advocating women;s ordination. And this very same priest was also a staunch advocate of same sex marriage.

    As far as the statement you quote above, as a lawyer Donald you ought to instinctively given to reading things which much greater care than you seem to be reading this quote. For one, the pope is saying these issues are not the only issues we should insist upon. And yes, we should speak of them in context. And those who speak of these issue in the right way do in fact speak of them in context. Is not the constant refrain from the very same MSM that the Church is only about opposing abortion, contraception, and homosexuality? Secondly, he says the teaching of the Church is “clear” on these points? Who doesn’t know where the Church stands on these things? He is not saying that we should talk these at all, but not place exclusive focus on them.

    What is “bizarre” about the statement you quote is more your interpretation of it as bizarre than what he actually said. Could he have said things in a better way? Sure. Bear in mind, not only was this interview not conducted in English and there are not always exact parallels between any two languages, but Francis himself does not speak English and that also has an effect on what words he might choose when speaking a different language. The fact that the conclave elected Bergoglio despite the fact he doesn’t speak English was a bit of a surprise. I think he is gonna have to overcome his tone deafness learn to speak English.

    I think it is dangerous for the Church when we excessively allow worrying about how the MSM is going to spin what we say to control what we and how we say things.

    But as far as public statements and high profile Catholics, there is a far more serious problem. And I think you know what I am referring to. And until we address that problem, we have absolutely no moral right whatsoever to criticize anything, much less what the pope said in that interview.

  • Thanks for the heads-up about checking the comments at the original post
    Mr. McClarey. They did not disappoint. The actual comments to the
    post were also amusing– especially the faux spam from “sheephearder55″…

  • The Lord Jesus Himself and Paul his dynamic if often acerbic apostle caused uproars, confusion etc to those not taking the time to really “hear” them. It is not for nothing that the Lord “had to say” “do not think that I have come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, I have come not to destroy but to fulfill”. (Matthew 5.17). Pau’s emphasis on Christ, His Cross and grace and the obedience of faith over observance of the Law was at one point in Church history the cause of such.confusion that a large portion of the Catholic Church followed an Augustinian monk away from communion with the Church and took a major Council of the Church to contextualize Paul’s teaching within Tradition-yet we still hear Paul almost every Lord’s Day in Holy Mass.

    Taking the time to really listen to Pope Francis yields not confusion but great peace ( see Ignatius’ discernment of spirits)

    Having said this Pope Francis’ contextualizing such issues as abortion, gay marriage and contraception within the Gospel is timely and necessary-just as necessary as emphasizing the truth of the teachings concerning these issues. After all, the Church recognizes and teaches that Her teaching on abortion, gay marriage and contraception are based on Natural Law, not Divine Revelation. The truth concerning all three issues is available to reason, faith is not ‘needed’.

    The Pope is rightly concerned that without the proper (read ‘ortodox’) contextual reading of such issues and emphases within the Church we could inadvertently reduce the whole of the Catholic Faith to ‘morality’. It is in this light that Francis’ comments on “rules” needs the read. By way of an objective witness to the same concern read George Weigel’s excellent Evangelical Catholicism in which he clearly states that a characteristic of the “dying” post Tridentine Catholicism is a focus on rules. He notes that both ” progressive” and “traditionalist” Catholics are still stuck in this dying era of Church history-one focusing on them to rid us of them while the other believing we need them at all costs

  • The words of a Pope and the Word of God are different. To equate the two is to make an idol of the Papacy. Something that flies in the face of that relationship with Christ.

    Here again I believe is how the Pope poorly words things. From the homily of his Mass today:

    “You cannot know Jesus without having problems. And I dare say, ‘But if you want to have a problem, go to the street to know Jesus – you’ll end up having not one, but many!’ But that is the way to get to know Jesus! You cannot know Jesus in first class! One gets to know Jesus in going out [into] every day [life]. You cannot get to know Jesus in peace and quiet, nor even in the library: Know Jesus.”

    Really. One cannot know Christ in first class. Its unclear his exact meaning but is he saying the rich don’t have problems. Is he saying they don’t know Christ in their lives.

    From the Navarre Bible Commentary on the Beatitudes in Luke about understanding what poverty truly is:

    “24. In the same kind of way as in verse 20, which refers to the poor in the sense of those who love poverty, seeking to please God better, so in this verse the “rich” are to be understood as those who strive to accumulate possessions heedless of whether or not they are doing so lawfully, and who seek their happiness in those possessions, as if they were their ultimate goal. But people who inherit wealth or acquire it through honest work can be really poor provided they are detached from these things and are led by that detachment to use them to help others, as God inspires them. We can find in Sacred Scriptures a number of people to whom the beatitude of the poor can be applied although they possessed considerable wealth–Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Job, for example.

    As early as St. Augustine’s time there were people who failed to understand poverty and riches properly: they reasoned as follows: The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the poor, the Lazaruses of this world, the hungry; all the rich are bad, like this rich man here. This sort of thinking led St. Augustine to explain the deep meaning of wealth and poverty according to the spirit of the Gospel: “Listen, poor man, to my comments on your words. When you refer to yourself as Lazarus, that holy man covered with wounds, I am afraid your pride makes you describe yourself incorrectly. Do not despise rich men who are merciful, who are humble: or, to put it briefly, do not despise poor rich men. Oh, poor man, be poor yourself; poor, that is, humble […].

    Listen to me, then. Be truly poor, be devout, be humble; if you glory in your rag- ged and ulcerous poverty, if you glory in likening yourself to that beggar lying outside the rich man’s house, then you are only noticing his poverty, and nothing else. What should I notice you ask? Read the Scriptures and you will understand what I mean. Lazarus was poor, but he to whose bosom he was brought was rich. ‘It came to pass, it is written, that the poor man died and he was brought by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.’ To where? To Abraham’s bosom, or let us say, to that mysterious place where Abraham was resting. Read […] and remember that Abraham was a very wealthy man when he was on earth: he had abundance of money, a large family, flocks, land; yet that rich man was poor, because he was humble. ‘Abraham believed God and he was reckoned righteous.’ […] He was faithful, he did good, received the commandment to offer his son in sacrifice, and he did not refuse to offer what he had received to Him from whom he had received it. He was approved in God’s sight and set before us as an example of faith” (Sermon, 14).

    To sum up: poverty does not consist in something purely external, in having or not having material goods, but in something that goes far deeper, affecting a person’s heart and soul; it consists in having a humble attitude to God, in being devout, in having total faith. If a Christian has these virtues and also has an abundance of material possessions, he should be detached from his wealth and act charitably towards others and thus be pleasing to God. On the other hand, if someone is not well-off he is not justified in God’s sight on that account, if he fails to strive to acquire those virtues in which true poverty consists.”

    In this case a small failure on the part of the words of the Pope to communicate the real truth of the Word of God. But a failure nonetheless.

  • Phillip, I sense that almost nothing this Pope could say would ‘please’ you. Perhaps the last pope who did was Pius V?

  • Keeping in your tenor, your idolatry of the Papacy would move one to be a Protestant.

    Now continuing in a truly Christian fashion. What I have been saying all along is that Francis communicates in a poor (I would even say clumsy) fashion.

    My faith is not based on the Pope or anything he says. It is not based on any of his words. It is based on the Word of God – Christ. That in fact is what the Pope is (poorly) saying in his homily and in that (as Hadely Arkes said “bizarre”) interview.

    As my faith is in the Word of God and not in the faulty words of man, I do believe when this Word of God grants infallibility to the Pope in Faith and Morals (not style or specific words). That is a truly Catholic understanding.

  • Hmmm your dialectic forcing a split between the Word of God and the words of man (here I am not speaking of Pope Francis) is a very familiar one-an Augustinian friar 496 years ago claimed pretty much the same position

  • Nope. They are the words of Francis himself. And JP II and Benedict. It is a relationship with Jesus the Christ that is the source and summit of the Christian life. From this, all else flows including the truths about faith and morals that the Pope speaks.

    You are confused (and without great peace) if you think Francis is saying otherwise.

  • Enough back and forth on who is a real Catholic, gentlemen. I do not allow that on my comment threads.

  • Donald,

    I do not doubt Botolph’s Catholicism. I am merely defending mine.

  • Horse hockey Donald. Even the most ignorant who don’t follow event know no pope would say what the media portrays him as saying

    Then why has NOT A SINGLE CATHOLIC I KNOW WHO IS NOT A BLOGGER “know” this? Bloggers generally know the MSN is rubbish on religion; other orthodox religious groups even know this, and I’ve seen them (Molly Hemmingway!) leap to defend Catholics from the mangled portrayals… but most folks are blinking, and going “what on earth is up with the Pope?”

    Perhaps they’re just more aware that being Pope doesn’t automatically mean you’re all that good, although stuff is much better defended now….

  • Then why has NOT A SINGLE CATHOLIC I KNOW WHO IS NOT A BLOGGER “know” this? Bloggers generally know the MSN is rubbish on religion; other orthodox religious groups even know this, and I’ve seen them (Molly Hemmingway!) leap to defend Catholics from the mangled portrayals… but most folks are blinking, and going “what on earth is up with the Pope?”

    I’ll bet these same Catholics thought Benedict XVI changed Church teaching with his condom comment:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/pope-benedict-xvi-condom-circumstances-fight-aids-article-1.454535

    And even if you read what Benedict actually said in context (which doesn’t approve of condom use in any way) it is far far more vulnerable to being twisted in damaging way than anything Francis said in that interview. People need to get a grip. Those who are wringing their hands about this are waving the white flag of surrender to the media. Any Catholic who thinks Pope Francis said what the media said he did is an ignoramus who have problems that are beyond any the reach of rational explanation.

  • As Donald said, all popes use less than optimal words when expressing a thought. Their words will be taken out of context by the MSM. But with Pope Francis, it’s a habit, a recurring event.

    When even the most ardent papal defenders are perplexed when Pope Francis speaks, something is amiss. It seems almost weekly we see links to articles which seek to explain what Pope Francis really means, and it’s not because his thoughts highly academic or theological. Not a good sign.

    I understand and mostly agree with Pope Francis says, but I don’t agree with the way he says it. I hope no one construes from this that I am a member of SSPX. 😉

  • I’ll bet these same Catholics thought Benedict XVI changed Church teaching with his condom comment:

    Irrelevant.

    You made a claim about “all Catholics” who aren’t bloggers. Pointing to another example of media malpractice does nothing to support the claim, anymore than finding a non-blogging Catholic who agreed with you would do so.

Castro: the Mainstream Media’s Favorite Dictator

Thursday, August 22, AD 2013

 

“When the world had given us up for dead, the interview with Matthews put the lie to our disappearance.”

Che Guevara, January 1958

Alas, if the mainstream media had only been half as questioning of Castro as the late Stuart Novins was when Castro appeared on Face the Nation on January 11, 1959.  Novins published several stories detailing Castro’s embracing of Communism and the blood stained methods he used to sustain his rule.  In short, Novins was a serious journalist interested in reporting the facts and alerting the American people to developments in Cuba.

Most of his colleagues had a different story to tell about Castro as detailed in Humberto Fontova’s book, The Longest Romance:  The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro.  In writing this book Fontova certainly has rich examples to choose from.  Go here to view a sample of pro-Castro reporting over the decades in the US media.

It could be argued that Castro became dictator in Cuba largely due to the favorable coverage he received in The New York Times, courtesy of Herbert Matthews:

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8 Responses to Castro: the Mainstream Media’s Favorite Dictator

  • What’s interesting about that is there has been little of it-bleeds-it-leads going on in the Caribbean other than the annual hurricane season. There have not been any wars there since 1965 and the only discrete spikes in civil strife were in Grenada in 1983, an attempted coup in Trinidad in 1990, and serial troubles in Haiti from 1986 to 2004. There was the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and there was the Jim Jones horror in Guyana in 1978. You cannot say there was much of what they habitually term ‘news’ in Cuba during the period running from 1988 to 2002.

    Do you think that network news broadcast that many special reports from Guatemala or Ecuador during that period? They are more populous countries than Cuba and likely have a larger economic base to boot. Ah, but their May Day celebrations do not have near the panache.

  • It was all in El Salvador (FMLN,) Nicaragua (Sandinistas) and Panama (Noriega.)

  • The Castro/MSM thing is the longest (outstripping the Kennedys, Stalin, and Ho Chi Minh) love affair in history. It’s symptomatic of the left’s (useful idiots) knee-jerk infatuation with dystopian mass-murderers.

  • It was all in El Salvador (FMLN,) Nicaragua (Sandinistas) and Panama (Noriega.)

    That’s blood. I would not endorse the habitual priorities of reporters and editors. I merely note what they are. However, if you are going to broadcast profiles or travelogues of countries south of the border, what would you find distinctive about Cuba.

    1. The world’s only attempt to set up a command economy in the context of export crop monoculture.

    2. In civic and political matters, the most retrograde country in the hemisphere. Without a doubt. Since 1990 if not earlier.

    3. The most enduring example in history of the bureaucratic authoritarian party- state conjoined to a caudillo’s cult of personality. If Castro had retired or died 25 years ago, he still would have graced the scene longer than any other such creature bar Marshal Tito, Enver Hoxha, and Kim Il Sung. (The milestone of ‘most enduring Latin American autocrat in history’ was passed in 1994).

    Of course, pointing that out kind of kills the theme.

  • Seriously? You guys make Castro out to be a bad guy. Here’s why conservatives should accept Castro as their lord and savior… oops, I mean a model leader worthy of emulation. Conservatives usually are in favor of the death penalty. So is Castro. Conservatives want controls on immigration. No one migrates to Cuba, and they have a negative net immigration rate. Conservatives believe the government should leave the economy alone. After the Cuban economy was destroyed, government economic meddling was significantly reduced. Conservatives generally believe that we should worship God and seek Heaven. Castro has proclaimed Cuba to be Heaven (http://izquotes.com/quote/217278). Conservatives believe the U.S. to be the land of opportunity. Castro has instilled that belief in millions of Cubans.

    If Castro were such a bad guy, wouldn’t the MSM tell us that? But they didn’t. It’s not like he advocated an immediate nuclear strike on the United States or something (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/22/fidel-castro-suggested-nu_n_294365.html).

  • A/S:

    The smartest man on the planet, Obama, and his leftie stooges are pursuing all of it: death penalty = drone assassinations; hope and change – too soon illegals will be fleeing south as the US economy implodes; all attempts to institute Heaven on Earth result in Hell on earth; etc.

    “Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders, who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.” From The Mainspring of Human Progress by Henry Grady Weaver

    The MSM has been ignoring facts since Napoleon was a stable boy.

  • “Conservatives usually are in favor of the death penalty. So is Castro.”
    The death penalty is for capital one homicide and the bloodguilt for treason. Puttng patriots and statesmen to death is the greatest form of treason.
    “Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves,” “well-meaning people”?: Where there is a (good) will, there is a way. Hitler’s trains ran on time. Hitler killed millions of good people.

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George Zimmerman, the Media and the Search for the Great White Racist

Monday, July 29, AD 2013

Coverage of the George Zimmerman trial gives ample demonstration that most of our agenda driven media today makes the facts fit the story and not the other way around.  Cathy Young at Reason examines how the media has constantly attempted to falsely portray George Zimmerman as a white racist:

 

 

This narrative has transformed Zimmerman, a man of racially mixed heritage that included white, Hispanic and black roots (a grandmother who helped raise him had an Afro-Peruvian father), into an honorary white male steeped in white privilege. It has cast him as a virulent racist even though he once had a black business partner, mentored African-American kids, lived in a neighborhood about 20 percent black, and participated in complaints about a white police lieutenant’s son getting away with beating a homeless black man.

This narrative has perpetuated the lie that Zimmerman’s history of calls to the police indicates obsessive racial paranoia. Thus, discussing the verdict on the PBS NewsHour, University of Connecticut professor and New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb asserted that “Zimmerman had called the police 46 times in previous six years, only for African-Americans, only for African-American men.” Actually, prior to the call about Martin, only four of Zimmerman’s calls had to do with African-American men or teenage boys (and two of them were about individuals who Zimmerman thought matched the specific description of burglary suspects). Five involved complaints about whites, and one about two Hispanics and a white male; others were about such issues as a fire alarm going off, a reckless driver of unknown race, or an aggressive dog.

In this narrative, even Zimmerman’s concern for a black child—a 2011 call to report a young African-American boy walking unsupervised on a busy street, on which the police record notes, “compl[ainant] concerned for well-being”—has been twisted into crazed racism. Writing on the website of The New Republic, Stanford University law professor Richard Thompson Ford describes Zimmerman as “an edgy basket case” who called 911 about “the suspicious activities of a seven year old black boy.” This slander turns up in other left-of-center sources, such as ThinkProgress.org.

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6 Responses to George Zimmerman, the Media and the Search for the Great White Racist

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  • Recently, the NYT invented a new racist category: “White Hispanic.”

    The media (except, on occasion, FOXNEWS) are co-conspirators in one massive fraud after another.

    Lenin set up Pravda (Russian for truth). The commissar running Pravda was asked, “What is truth?’ His answer, “That which serves the revolution.” Same same with America’s contemporary, useless idiots.

  • To be fair, members of la gauche who have done criminal defense work (e.g. Alan Dershowitz and Jeralyn Merritt) have been steadfast defenders of due process and the grounding of evaluations in discrete facts. The case has also smoked out certain starboard opinion journalists. National opinion magazines are not obligated to make too much of local crime stories. The editors of the American Spectator published two articles on this case that were so stupid they should have been rejected for publication without a second thought. It emerged after Zimmerman was acquitted that among those who did not wish to be confused with the facts was Richard Lowry’s deputy at National Review (Harvard, ’03, natch). The regime class has its berths not only at the Republican National Committee and the House Appropriations Committee, but in and among putatively independent observers.

  • Mr. Zimmerman has been framed as a racist the same way the Tea Party has
    been, and by the same decadent media.

    It’s always baffled me that the meme “the Tea Party is racist” ever got traction
    when so many of stars of the party have been Black, Hispanic or other minorities.
    Mia Love, Allen West, Herman Cain, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez,
    Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, etc.. If the Tea Party is racist, they’re sure doing it wrong.
    Yet our so-called journalists of today repeat their libels, in spite of all evidence
    to the contrary. Like the charges of racism against Mr. Zimmerman, the
    attacks are manufactured from thin air, and in spite of evidence to the contrary.

    Whatever one chooses to call what’s being practiced by most major news outlets
    today, it’s not journalism.

  • Another example of the party line from the lapdog media follows.

    THE MEDIA CALLS THEM “TEENS”: Black Thugs Brutally Beat Another Man

    By Clash Daily / 29 July 2013 / 130 Comments

    * ClashDaily- If you were listening to this via satellite radio you’d have no idea that the attackers were black. The also don’t mention the color of the victim. No word from Obama or Sharpton regarding this incident…

    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A man is brutally attacked by a group of teens in Little Italy. Police say four of the attackers are in custody. Three of them are juveniles.

    The victim was walking home from work when he was attacked near Bank and Exeter Streets. Police say the brutality of the crime is why three juveniles arrested are being charged as adults.

    A brutal attack in the heart of Little Italy. Police say a man walking home from work at an area restaurant is attacked and severely beaten near Bank and Exeter Streets by a mob of at least ten teens.

    Four of the alleged attackers, three of them minors, have been arrested and charged.

    “It’s very upsetting because you feel suspect now. Now you see a group of kids, children, and you have to worry if they’re not going to pounce on you,” said Giovanna Blattermann, neighbor.

    The assault happened in front of Giovanna Blattermann’s house. She’s also watched video of the attack–captured by her neighbors surveillance camera.

    While the suspects took the man’s phone, Blattermann says that’s not what they were after.

    “They beat this boy. He got up, he’d run, they beat him. He got up, he’d run, they beat him. He got up, he’d run, they beat him,” said Blattermann.

    The suspects range in age from 16 to 19, but police say because of the brutality of the crime, the minors aren’t being charged lightly.

    Read more at baltimore.cbslocal.com

    Read more: http://clashdaily.com/2013/07/the-media-calls-teens-black-thugs-brutally-beat-another-man/#ixzz2aUNF3GSY

  • On KOMO news, they’re starting to treat the random beatings seriously. Mostly ‘cus of Tuba Man.

Pat Caddell: These People Have No Honor

Sunday, October 28, AD 2012

Pat Caddell, Jimmy Carter’s pollster and a long time Democrat political operative, said it all last night on the Jeanine Pirro show on Fox  about the Benghazi coverup and the unwillingness of much of the Mainstream Media to cover it for fear that it will devastate the re-election prospects of Obama:

“been in the tank on this in a way I’ve never seen… I am appalled right now. This White House, this President, this Vice President, this Secretary of State, all of them, are willing apparently to dishonor themselves and this country for the cheap prospect of getting reelected…willing to cover up and lie. The worst thing is the very people who are supposed to protect the American people with the truth – the leading mainstream media…they have become a threat, a fundamental threat to American democracy and the enemies of the American people… these people have no honor… coverup is too nice of a word…”

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20 Responses to Pat Caddell: These People Have No Honor

  • Politics, The Golden Calf, Obama agenda for what … the UN?
    No honor among thieves.

    or Moses, The Law and the Land of milk and honey for His people.

  • It’s time to re-read Exodus chapter 32 as PM intimated.

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  • Finally, someone who understands the press and how it operates has called the liberal press out for what they are Bias, untruthful and totally behind the election of Obama

    It is truly sickening that Americans gave up their lives to secure the freedom we enjoy, one being freedom of speech, and this mass of reporters continue to hide the truth from the American people. their freedom is to act responsively, transparent but also honestly and this has not been the case for a long time

    I salute Pat Caddell and ask that his voice become louder and that through his efforts the truth will come out and tell the American people what a bogus group of politicians, in this administration,and news corp we have and can call them out for what they actually are dishonest

  • Many of the leading people in the MSM have direct relations with the DNC either through marriage or work background (e.g Dem staffer etc.). In addition their livelihood or at least their high incomes are based on Dem support as is the case with the public sector unions. They are there precisely because they are political operatives. Their lack of honor is not so much in bias, but not stating forthrightly they are tied to the DNC and only present news from that perspective. I give Mika Brzezinski some credit in admitting they get memos from the WH on how to present the news. In addition Daily Caller showed the direct connection between the leftist blog sites and the DNC. I also seem to remember several years ago it was discovered that TV execs had regular conference calls with DNC operatives.

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  • Has everyone forgotten ANOTHER horrific cover up? FAST & FURIOUS? This administration has been the height of deceit, dishonor, lack of ethics, and willingness to do anything for continued power, fame and money. It is disgusting!

  • God Bless Pat Caddell and his willingness to open his mind to truth.
    Also, today on Chris Wallace I heard two Democratic governors say Libya should not be politicized, questions will be answered later…. They posited that asking questions about Libya is politicizing the issue— so dishonest. Stalling, obscuring the people’s view of this issue so that no harm is done to Hizonor – that is the real politicization of the deaths of those 4 men.

    And speaking of positing– the out front woman on CNN posited an understood close-mindedness in her question to Ryan– ‘’given this information do you think you could become open-minded?

  • excuse me, the obfuscators were Senators–not governors

  • The godless liberals never hesitated to politicize George Bush being in a school with small children when 9-11 happened.

  • Yes, this is apalling. The info that has emerged over the past week or so is very damaging to Obama; but I simply cannot understand how his desire to be re-elected is numbing his judgement. His lack of action and decision while, on real time live video, he could see the events unfolding just stuns me. But for the media to be silent also – what has America come to?
    After Obama gets trumped, the citizens of the USA will have to deal to their media somehow, and ensure this type of subterfuge and cover-up is not repeated. Otherwise, goodbye free world. (except for isolated outposts 😉 )

  • I think that the media believe that this administration can still pull off a
    re-election, and that’s why they’re willing to risk a public spectacle of
    their sellout. If the whores in the media felt that their darling president
    had no chance of taking this election, it would behoove them to make a show
    of being impartial truth-seekers, if only to save their own reputations from
    the wreckage.

    I hope, for the good of this country, that Mr. Romney not only wins, but wins
    in such a landslide that Obama and his court eunuchs in the media cannot
    spin any post-election confusion into chaos.

  • This man has no integrity. He lies everytime his lips are moving. He is the one we need to be concerned about voter fraud. This man has become the president of the USA, to bring in a socialist nation. With the FEMA re-education camps and the loss of freedom of speech, this sounds more and more like Nazi Germany. He has people in high places who helped him to win so the one world government would come.

  • Don the Kiwi-
    How do we do it? The left will say we are trying to censor the press. We know that the msm is criminal in its disregard to be non-biased. So what is the solution to this problem in our era?

  • Philip says “We know that the msm is criminal in its disregard to be non-biased. So what is the solution to this problem in our era?”

    A spotlight and persistence will reduce the problem. This requires an attitude totally at variance with Repub SOP which is to wring hands and hope it goes away without saying anything. I think even they are beginning to see the media will not go easy on them however much the Repubs fawn and placate.

    Historically the press was always partisan but it didn’t pretend otherwise. Just going back to that would be better. The public seems to be gradually wising up but the indolence of the Repubs has slowed the rate of change.

  • RM Nixon must be having a good laugh.

  • Once reality comes a-calling, only the most zombie-like partisans will have any more use for the Lamestream. Simple free-market economics will take care of the rest. Network news viewership has fallen dramatically over the past 10-15 years and will positively plummet once the lies and distortions are brought to light. No more will need be done. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or another branch of ABCNNBCBS abandon its evening news broadcast format and go to a web-based service where it can preach propaganda to its faithful, sometime in the next 3-5 years.

  • The main stream media in this country very seldom reports the whole story anymore. We get the revised edition, after it’s been flavored with their political bias. I digest their dogma just like that of the politicians…with a grain of salt and a healthy dose of skepticism.

  • WK Aiken-
    ….free market economics…

    Your right. The demand for snake oil will fall away. Good answer. Thanks.

Klavan: Obama Fantasy Ending

Saturday, October 6, AD 2012

Andrew Klavan at City Journal explains how the media creation Obama ended with the debate this week:

The Obama of the imagination is the media’s Obama. Out of their fascination with the color of his skin and their mindless awe at his windy teleprompted rhetoric, they constructed a man of stature and accomplishment. Now, with the White House on the line, they’re waging an ongoing battle against the undeniable evidence that he has never been, in fact, that man. The result in these quadrennial autumn days has been media coverage of a fantasy election, an election in the news that may bear no relation whatsoever to the election as it is. Polls consistently skewed to favor Democrats in percentages beyond any reasonable construct of reality have left us virtually ignorant of the state of the race. Orchestrated frenzies over alleged gaffes by Mitt Romney have camouflaged an imploding Obama foreign policy, an Obama economy threatened by a new recession, and an Obama campaign filled with vicious personal attacks and lies.

Governor Romney’s unprecedented dismantling of the president in their first debate—an encounter so one-sided it reminded me of the famous cartoon in which Godzilla meets Bambi, with predictable results—was surprising only for Romney’s warmth and clarity. Obama’s hapless fumbling, bad temper, and inarticulate inability to defend his record were actually thoroughly predictable. They were simply facets of the man as he truly is, unfiltered by the imagination of his media supporters: a man who has succeeded, really, at almost nothing but the winning of elections; a man who cannot distinguish between his ideology and life; a man who does not seem to know how the machinery of the world actually works.

Fantasy is a powerful thing, but reality will out. Perhaps by Election Day, the public will have awakened from the media’s dream.

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5 Responses to Klavan: Obama Fantasy Ending

  • Today’s local copybook front page: “Jobs Report Boosts Obama”

    – and the dyed in the wool D’s kids have moved out of the area to find their fortunes
    – or are in government employ
    – and many more remain paid for existing
    – many not looking for employment

  • Excellent article, many very valid points. I can’t help but wonder how much a Romney resurgence can be derailed by good job numbers. Hope that someone with some media “bandwidth” can point out the significant decline in jobless, 8.1 to 7.8 if I remember correctly, with only a moderate growth in jobs, 114,000, means many people have exited the job market. Wonder why? (uttered sarcastically). Seems that perhaps they should also note that 16,000 manufacturing jobs disappeared. My understanding of that is that we remain one (on a macro level) global economy and our manufacturing workforce is not competitive, and not being politically correct doesn’t change the facts. Just ask Boeing why they are in SC. US policy, current and past continues to force jobs offshore and Obama’s policies continue to exacerbate that problem.

    PS – Thanks for the blue type. It is, for me, a huge improvement.

  • Obama it seems to me is completely deflated and in his mind has come to realise that he is under qualified for the job. The Administration is going through the motions now, which accounts for the daft decision to send an Islamic supremacist to the OSCE, I do not think there will be any kind of October surprise. Whether this is enough for Romney to win is another matter, but the spectacle of Obama looking sad and downcast for a couple of minutes with his chin set grimly is indicative of a person who realises that he is out of depth and that harsh reality beckons. I’ve been there before, such a pose cannot be simulated.

  • Phenomenal. I just read this at City Journal. The stars are aligning.

A Thrill Up Their Legs

Tuesday, October 2, AD 2012

 

 

The first Presidential Debate will be tomorrow.  Peter Roff at US News and World Report gives us a sample of what we can expect from the unpaid Obama Press Agents most of the Mainstream Media in the coverage the day after the debate:

From  the moment he crossed the stage to the podium at Wednesday  night’s debate in Denver,  President Barack Obama took a commanding lead  in his first face-to-face  encounter with his opponent in the upcoming  election, a lead he never  relinquished.

So  confident was the president that he seemed to be floating a foot  or so off the  ground, Barack Obama was bright, engaging, and  well-versed in every possible  nuance of every question asked by the  moderator, PBS’s Jim Lehrer. His  opponent, in contrast, was nattily  attired in an expensive outfit appropriate  to his status as part of the  1 percent of the nation’s wealthiest individuals  but, on substance,  was sorely lacking in his understanding of the issues facing  America.

“President  Obama’s performance was so good, my whole body was  tingling,” said Matt  Christopher, the noted commentator for the SMBND  cable news network. “In fact  at one point I thought I might be having a  stroke, but that would have been  okay because the last thing I would  have heard was Obama’s ringing defense of  his superior presidency.”

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6 Responses to A Thrill Up Their Legs

  • If people are so willing to adore and hold in adulation a little Antichrist like Obama, then how ready indeed are they to be beguiled and deceived when the Great Beast from the Sea in Revelation chapter 13 comes to deceive the whole world?

  • Paul. It’s people like you that will have a great impact on the lukewarm, and the blind. Yes a great number will adore the beast however our concern is today, and your faith will help in the conversion of those whom God places before you.
    The end of the story is triumphant!
    The battle scenes are before us indeed.
    Rev. 20:09 “They invaded the breadth of the camp and surrounded the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them.”

  • By the way….the cartoons are good. thanks.

  • Heads used to be above shoulders, too.

    Agree with Chris Matthews ‘objective assessment’:
    Obama speaks about his feeling for America – not politics …

    (and want to add that contempt defines his feeling for America.)

    The president wanted the political job to better rabble rouse this country while he unravelled The Constitution he swore to uphold.

    He has used the job he doesn’t do to steal for cronies, cheat truth, intimidate victims, harm children, corrupt good, waste life, and skew objectivity. And more in the debasing of love and hate.

    He and they party on because he and they still have feeling for America and the world.

    When the media used its head properly placed, it contributed. Too bad about the blindness, deafness, and dementia.

    Now it’s … The thrill of defeat, the agony of victory.

  • “the SMBND cable news network”

    To quote the inimitable George Takei: “Oh, myyyyyyy.”

    But if the ball gag fits….

  • All from Benjamin Franklin:

    Admiration is the daughter of ignorance.

    By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

    He that won’t be counseled can’t be helped.

A Fundamental Threat to American Democracy

Friday, September 28, AD 2012

Jimmy Carter’s pollster Pat Caddell calls out the Mainstream Media covering up the Obama administration’s lies on Libya as a fundamental threat to American Democracy:

PAT CADDELL: Thank you.  Glad to be with you.  This could take a long time, but we don’t have that, so let me just get right to this.  I think we’re at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy or not.  You know, when I first started in politics – and for a long time before that – everyone on both sides, Democrats and Republicans, despised the press commonly, because they were SOBs to everybody.  Which is exactly what they should be.  They were unrelenting.  Whatever the biases were, they were essentially equal-opportunity people.  That changed in 1980.  There’s a lot of reasons for it. It changed—an important point in the Dukakis-Bush election, when the press literally was trying to get Dukakis elected by ignoring what was happening in Massachusetts, with a candidate who was running on the platform of  “He will do for America what he did for Massachusetts”—while they were on the verge of bankruptcy.

Also the change from evening news emphasis to morning news by the networks is another factor that’s been pointed out to me. Most recently, what I call the nepotism that exists, where people get jobs—they’re married to people who are in the administration, or in politics, whatever.  But the overwhelming bias has become very real and very dangerous.  We have a First Amendment for one reason.  We have a First Amendment not because the Founding Fathers liked the press—they hated the press—but they believed, as [Thomas] Jefferson said, that in order to have a free country, in order to be a free people, we needed a free press.  That was the job—so there was an implicit bargain in the First Amendment, the press being the only institution, at that time, which was in our process of which there was no checks and balances.  We designed a constitutional system with many checks and balances.  The one that had no checks and balances was the press, and that was done under an implicit understanding that, somehow, the press would protect the people from the government and the power by telling—somehow allowing—people to have the truth.  That is being abrogated as we speak, and has been for some time.  It is now creating the danger that I spoke to.

This morning, just this morning, Gallup released their latest poll on the trust, how much trust—the Congressman [Lamar Smith] made reference to an earlier poll—when it comes to reporting the news accurately, fairly, and fully, and it’s the highest in history.  For the first time, 60% of the people said they had “Not very much” or “None at all.”  Of course there was a partisan break: There were 40% who believed it did, Democrats, 58% believed that it was fair and accurate, Republicans were 26%, Independents were 31%.  So there is this contempt for the media – or this belief—and there are many other polls that show it as well.  I want to just use a few examples, because I think we crossed the line the last few weeks that is terrifying.

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6 Responses to A Fundamental Threat to American Democracy

  • Wow! I have no other words. The new media is a threat to the very Democracy they say that they support. And that’s the problem. This is NOT a Democracy. It is – or is supposed to be – a Constitutional Republic where the individual right to life and liberty are sacrosanct and inviolable, whether by a simple majority or by dictate of political leaders.

  • I guess I’m too nice a guy to say those things about Romney although I did give a sanitized version of it in another thread But I don’t think he’s doing as bad as McCain who practically told people to vote for the other guy. Romney is merely saying it’s understandable why people would make the mistake of voting for the other guy because he deserves our complete sympathy.

    As for the press I agree with Caddell’s alarm only because the strength of the government today vis a vis earlier times to enforce its will in micromanaging everything. Periodically there has been a rabid partisan press as in Jefferson’s day or in the 1930s where most of the papers were anti FDR (rightly or wrongly). What’s different now is that the Repubs and Romney are so comfortable with being the butt of all the attacks and not hiring their own press to communicate through. After all they are more ashamed of talk radio than they are embracing it (and they hate the Repubs who fight back or even speak up). The Repubs Stockholm Syndrome, which started at the Congressional level in the 1960s and at the Presidential level perhaps with Daddy Bush seems unshakeable now. The Repub convention except for Eastwood was a perfect demonstration of it. Gingrich and Reagan seem to be the aberrations not the standard bearers. If they lose under these circumstances it may well prove fatal.

  • But I don’t think he’s doing as bad as McCain who practically told people to vote for the other guy.

    Can you give an example?

  • Yeah look up what he said to the NAACP.

  • The bias has grown much worse this election cycle so I don’t watch most of it. I just wish they would actually report the news from both sides but what we see now is the constant attack on Romney & Obama always gets a pass.

  • The threat to our way of life isn’t solely from the lying, liberal media, it’s also raging in unionized, public education and clueless academia.

    The election will tell us more about the soul of America than about Obama or Romney.

Who is Obama?

Thursday, September 20, AD 2012

When it comes to Obama and most of the Mainstream Media there are two salient facts:

1.  Most members of the Mainstream Media have a crush on Obama that would embarrass many a teen-age girl with its intensity and its studied indifference to facts.

2.  Most of the Mainstream Media have been reluctant\hostile to doing elementary investigative reporting into Obama’s past.

The Washington Examiner is now doing the job that other members of the Mainstream Media simply will not do.  Go here to read their series The Obama You Don’t Know.  The series is a tribute to what reporting, the gathering of facts, can be at its best.  I consider myself reasonably well-informed as to Obama’s biography, and I found out things I didn’t know.  This is a must read series.  It would have been nice to have this information before the election of 2008, but we at least have it now before the election of 2012.

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9 Responses to Who is Obama?

  • I’m not worried about whatever Soetoro did years ago, it’s what he’s doing to me now.

    Oh,

    3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . RACISTS!

  • Well, beloved Americans….. better late than never. Now you can see what you elected as your President. A shameless fraud. May the Holy Spirit speak to your hearts before the Voting Day so that you can save your country from total ruin.

  • Mary, we also need to remember America at the 3.00 O’Clock Hour of Great Mercy and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet specifically for your beloved country. If a country ever needed Divine Mercy it is America just now with the defining Elections around the corner.

  • [email protected]: “for the sake of His sorrowful passion have mercy on us, and on our country and on the whole world.” Yes. [email protected]

  • [email protected]: Truth: Four more years it will be “total ruin.”

    May God bless you and keep you.

  • Interesting information, but I fear it won’t sway true believers. Hopefully, it will convince enough fence sitters if not to vote for Romney, at least to not vote for Obama.

  • Thank you, Mary and T. Shaw. We, the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy, Kenyan Chapter are praying for your country daily. Obama mocked God and God is going to dethrone him through your Votes. Don’t let Him down. I just heard Obama saying “you cannot change Washington from the inside, you can only do it from the outside”. Well, if that is not an admission of defeat, then I am not Mary Moll of Nairobi Kenya!!!!! Anyone else you elect will definitely “Change Washington from Within”….that is the only way to save your country. If you believe the man Romney can do it – as I do from where I live thousands of miles away – get into that Voting Booth and vote him in, overwhelmingly. God bless you, God bless your beloved Country.

“Kids” Living With Their Parents Forever Thanks to Obama

Thursday, May 31, AD 2012

Just how far in the tank is the Mainstream Media for Obama this election year?  Time gives us an example:

Just how much of a bummer is it to be well past the age of adulthood and  still living under your parent’s roof? As this living arrangement grows  increasingly common, the perception is that it’s not so bad after all. In fact,  living with mom and dad can be pretty sweet. According to a new survey, young  adults who live with their parents are nearly as likely to say they are  satisfied with their housing situation as those who live on their own.

Last fall, a study revealed that the number of young adults living with  their parents had soared. Prior to the recession, 4.7 million Americans ages 25  to 34 lived with their folks. As of last year, though, the number had increased  to 5.9 million, thanks largely to years of widespread high unemployment and  underemployment for young workers—who often simply did not have the money to  move out of their own.

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39 Responses to “Kids” Living With Their Parents Forever Thanks to Obama

  • We can check available statistics from the Census Bureau and other sources, but I think the increase in frequency with which adult children live with their parents antedates this recession by two decades.

    And if the families in question can make it work, why the objection to 3 generation households? There are quite a mass of mutually beneficial exchanges to be had between three generations which are forgone when you have only two.

  • “There are quite a mass of mutually beneficial exchanges to be had between three generations which are forgone when you have only two.”

    Don’t buy it Art. In the overwhelming majority of cases adult “kids” living with their parents is due to a lousy economy rather than some desire to recreate a multigenerational commune circa Ireland 1890. People can live as they choose as far as I am concerned, but rest assured that few parents are all that pleased when the fledlings are fully grown and permanent house guests, although there are always exceptions.

  • In the overwhelming majority of cases adult “kids” living with their parents is due to a lousy economy

    That may be true, but just where did you discover that datum?

    And what of it? It is one thing done to adjust to problems in both labor and housing markets in our time. Do you have a better idea for these families?

    than some desire to recreate a multigenerational commune circa Ireland 1890.

    Well, how about the desire to be 1.) hands on grandparents, 2.) minimize the use of commercial day care, and 3.) provide for infirm parents something which can only be purchased at a severe premium: time and attention.

  • “Do you have a better idea for these families?”

    Yes, don’t vote for idiots like Obama who are death to an economy. (It might also help to consider whether that anthropology degree/women’s studies degree/art history degree was really necessary for asking “Would you like fries with that?”)

    “Well, how about the desire to be 1.) hands on grandparents, 2.) minimize the use of commercial day care, and 3.) provide for infirm parents something which can only be purchased at a severe premium: time and attention.”

    I rather suspect Art that for one of those situations we have five where the daily routine is Mom or Dad going down to the basement to yell at adult offspring to stop playing videogames, get dressed and hit the bricks to look for work.

  • AHAHAHAH! YES! It’s Obama’s fault that the thing that has been happening for the last 20 years is happening.

    Liars or idiots, which are you?

  • “Liars or idiots, which are you?”

    Thank you salvage for giving us a demonstration as to how Obama got elected in 2008. Keep your hope and spare change.

  • Ah, now Salvage has an ip address up in Toronto where the banned Catholic Anarchist is a grad student. I would wager that “Salvage” is yet another pathetic attempt, there have been many others, by the Catholic Anarchist to leave banal acidic comments here. I would suggest that he get a life, but I never suggest that people do the seemingly impossible. Ah well, at least he reads us faithfully, and drives up our hits.

  • Salvage is a frequent commenter at the Curt Jester, where he trolls most of the comment threads with his evangelical atheism. Not sure if it’s the same person as the famed Anarchist. Either way, not worth the time responding to.

  • As for the topic at hand, I unfortunately lived at home for 2 years post college and before graduate school. At first it was to save up to get my own apartment, and then, after realizing I was going to grad school, I just gutted it out until I moved down to DC.

    The typical young adult living at home isn’t doing it for the reasons Art outlined above. Now that might be the case in special circumstances, and I know of people who have had to move back home to take care of a sick parent. But that’s the exception, and not the rule.

  • Art raises some good reasons for families to consider multi-generational living arrangements. I do think that there are many advantages, often under-appreciated. But Paul and Don are right (no I don’t have data, but I do have eyes) that most young adults who live at home are doing so out of perceived financial necessity (i.e., not enough job creation). To what extent it is fair to lay the blame for that on Obama is another question.

  • From the same lickspittles who brought you “Funemployment.”

    I sorta understand it, though. They have little choice but to go all-in with their guy.

  • Living with parents after college can help a catholic young adult live a chaste life, marry well, and have a solid start. It shouldn’t necessarily be demonized. Money wasted on ‘bachelor pad’ rent, is money that never comes back. On the other hand, money spent on household bills builds credit and helps the parents, money that would be spent in addition to rent if the young adult were living on their own.

  • While I was going to college and law school, I lived with my parents during the summers, but I think all of us would have shuddered at the idea that I would have been living with them indefinitely after I graduated. I was ready to be on my own, and my parents were always there to lend a helping hand if needed, although fortunately it was never needed. I don’t fault adult kids who simply can’t find work no matter how hard they try, but I think attempting to put a smiley face on this situation in the vast majority of cases is completely wrongheaded.

  • It’s Obama’s fault.

    He is both ignorant and incompetent.

    The economy is slagging based on his incompetent and hatred of the private sector.

  • Salvage lives with his parents. That’s all you need to know, Art.

  • Yes, don’t vote for idiots like Obama who are death to an economy.

    That is an evasion. Domestic financial dilemmas are a constant. They are worse in economic recessions, but recall that in even the most disagreeable recession that 90% of the workforce remains employed. Obama is not ‘death’ to an economy, merely an advocate of policies which promote deadweight loss through rent-seeking and hedging. That costs you some, but not everything.

    I rather suspect Art that for one of those situations we have five where the daily routine is Mom or Dad going down to the basement to yell at adult offspring to stop playing videogames, get dressed and hit the bricks to look for work.

    We can look it up. I think what you suspect is a function of personal experience, and in my circle of acquaintances, concerns about elder care are king.

    . (It might also help to consider whether that anthropology degree/women’s studies degree/art history degree was really necessary for asking “Would you like fries with that?”)

    About 61% of those enrolled in tertiary studies in this country are pursuing vocational degrees. Some of those studying arts and sciences are following programs in economics or in chemistry. At the liberal arts college down the road from here, my inside man tells me that about 4% are studying art and art history, 6% sociology and anthropology, and <1% women's studies. About 12% get degrees in economics.

    so out of perceived financial necessity

    Cannot help but recall that my mother went to college, and graduated without debts. That was in 1952. My grandfather was not a wealthy man.

  • “That is an evasion. Domestic financial dilemmas are a constant. They are worse in economic recessions, but recall that in even the most disagreeable recession that 90% of the workforce remains employed. ”

    Half of recent college grads Art are unemployed or working in jobs, (Do you want whipped cream on your Cappuccino?), that do not require a college degree, and that is why so many of them are returning to the nest.

    http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/04/half_of_recent_college_grads_u.html

    “a function of personal experience”

    No, considering that none of my kids are out of college yet.

    “About 61% of those enrolled in tertiary studies in this country are pursuing vocational degrees”

    We have 8.5 liberal arts students for every engineering major Art. Now I received my undergrad degree in the teaching of social studies so I could take lots of history and political science classes, and I enjoyed them quite a bit, but if I had to rely upon them in the job market, other than to teach, I rather suspect that I would have had a stint in the food service industry myself.

  • We have 8.5 liberal arts students for every engineering major Art

    Engineers are a small minority in just about any economy. Arts and sciences is a catch-all for any subject not preparatory for a specific trade or profession. The country is not lacking for bookkeepers, salesmen, mechanics, and school teachers, most of each do have tertiary degrees or certificates of one sort or another nowadays.

    Half of recent college grads Art are unemployed or working in jobs, (Do you want whipped cream on your Cappuccino?), that do not require a college degree, and that is why so many of them are returning to the nest.

    I think that is more an indicator of bloat in the higher education sector (a problem which well antedates recent macroeconomic problems).

  • I don’t think it particularly Obama’s fault, although there is some fun in saying that.
    ( Not just talking about college grads who live at home, but also all those who can’t find or hold a job, who can’t take care of their children, who need the government to buy them birth control etc etc.)

    I think Obama is not a cause but a result, just as our hapless generation is. A result of all the things that went wrong in the century when the devil prowled throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. May God rebuke him.
    And let’s think what we can do to get back on our feet.

  • It is the economy. It is the curse of taxation too, that children no longer take pride in home ownership and independence. There is safety in numbers. Burglaries are down when there are many people, and lacking siblings, several generations suffice. There is much to share and much to grow. I enjoy solitude and I enjoy my many children. When my children are with me they make sure I behave. They are smarter, more beautiful and more generous…to be continued

  • What ioannes says. I have plenty of friends who are moved out–and plenty who are living at home post-college, including at least one who moved back home after having sharing an apartment with friends for a year or two. Most of the young people I know who are still living with their parents (full disclosure: self included!) are (1) employed full time, (2) paying off student loans or saving up for a car and/or an apartment, (3) paying rent to their parents or paying some of the utility bills, AND (4) helping out with household chores or babysitting their younger siblings. Hardly freeloaders, thank you very much.

    (I might add that, as a young single girl, I find it a very good thing that guys I’ve gone out with have had to drive me HOME to where they see and speak with my brothers and my parents, even if it’s just for a quick hi-and-goodby.)

    There’s nothing (inherently) wrong with a person in their twenties living on his/her own or with friends, and nothing inherently wrong with their living at home either. It’s what you make of the situation that matters.

  • Anzlyne says:
    “I think Obama is not a cause but a result, just as our hapless generation is. A result of all the things that went wrong in the century when the devil prowled throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. May God rebuke him.”
    AMEN

  • Thank you Mary. I have to say that TGWWS is also right in that there is nothing inherently wrong with that– and there are silver linings. Our grown children are all graduates of college and some have needed to come home temp. Fine and dandy, probably because they are capable, they just needed interim help. If they were not capable or motivated then I would wonder!
    Are the economic problems (world-wide) and the general cultural malaise at least in some part a spiritual/sin problem that can’t be hung on any one administration, but on a long term trend?

  • I am 67 and, here in the West of Scotland, I cannot remember a time when about three-quarters of the neighbouring farms did not have three generations on them

    As I was sent to boarding school from the age of eight, I actually spent more time living with my parents after university than I did before.

    My family have lived in the same house since at least 1617, when the Register of Sasines was established and six of our nine maillings or tenandries have been in the same families for the same length of time. The sheiling or shepherd’s house on the common grazings has a carving of the Seymour crest on the lintel, dating from the 14th century.

    It just never entered my mind that I would ever leave.

  • “I don’t think it particularly Obama’s fault,”

    I do. He has been the most feckless steward of the American economy in my lifetime.

    “Arts and sciences is a catch-all”
    for people graduating with degrees that few are interested in hiring in this economy.

    “I think that is more an indicator of bloat in the higher education sector”

    We definitely have too many people getting degrees in subjects that have little economic value, but the current unemployment rate among new college grads is something that we have not witnessed since the Great Depression.

    “And let’s think what we can do to get back on our feet.”

    Vote out Obama and as many members of his party as possible from Congress. Slash governmental spending to balance the budget. Tell people the old hard truth that there is no free lunch and that govenment is not going to take care of people any longer who are quite capable of caring for themselves.

  • Vote out Obama and as many members of his party as possible from Congress. Slash governmental spending to balance the budget. Tell people the old hard truth that there is no free lunch and that govenment is not going to take care of people any longer who are quite capable of caring for themselves.
    and return the Person of God to the Public square.

  • “He has been the most feckless steward of the American economy in my lifetime”

    all too true! He is not blameless. There is plenty more blame to go around too, I say.

    I will vote against Obama and encourage everyone I know to do the same, I guess my vote won’t be as much FOR Romney, as it will be Against Obama.

  • I’m going to turn 30 in a month. I wouldn’t be able to make it without the financial support of parents and in-laws. That’s what seven years of university and a post-graduate degree buy you.

    At least I don’t have to live WITH them. But that’s only been the case for the last two years, and it could well happen again.

  • The author of the article would undoubtably also find cause to celebrate the record number of food stamp recipients.

  • Well, I take my hat off to those of you who live with your parents and seem to enjoy it.

    When I got out of the military I lived with my mother for about 6 months to get adjusted to civilian life and begin college. I love her dearly but I just couldn’t take it. Being a grown adult (all of 22 years) and living with my mother wasn’t working…..

    I transfered school quickly and went off to another area, lived in a crummy 1 bedroom apartment, meet my future wife in that new location and the rest is history…..

    Being much older, wiser and married with some little ones I am glad I made the decision I made. I guess it wasn’t the best move financially but as a person I developed and grew up in ways not possible if I was at home. Plus I met my future wife after moving and we have some wonderful memories of that crummy one bedroom.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • My father died in the room and in the very bed, in which he had been born.

  • Pingback: Expert Advice on “Breastfeeding” Without Controversy | The American Catholic
  • I left home at 17 and so did my brother. We joined the Navy and Army, respectively. Back then military service was almost de riguer if you didn’t go to college. When I got out, at 21, I lived with my mother briefly and then my dad, who had divorced while I was away but only for a few months. By 22 I was back on my own. I suppose if you can’t support yourself and your parents can provide a safety net there’s nothing wrong with living with them until you can find a place of your own. In China and third-world countries, parents and children often lived together for a lifetime. It’s more cultural than political.
    When I had children of my own, I was glad to see them gone in their late teens because I had a sense of pride that they were able to live free and independent lives.

  • Similar story to Joe’s, here, for all three of my siblings. We’ve spent more time since we graduated high school visiting than we have living with my folks.

    With the number of empty rental places, it means something much different than it does in Scotland. I’m actually heading down in a few weeks to meet up with the other descendants of a family that left Scotland 100 years ago– we did not keep some idea that living in the same house after adulthood was OK. Those who are living with parents– or adult children– want a separate house that is very near-by for ease of help. Heck, the house I’m living in now has a different family living in the “mother in law cabin” out back. The only case I can think of where adult children and parents lived together long-term without a protection aspect is where my grandparent-in-laws remodeled their basement into an apartment (with its own entry/exit and parking area) for a mother in law.

    Joe’s hit it on the head– it’s a matter of independence.

    Odd that this happens shortly after a lot of parents mention how their kids don’t want driver’s licenses.

  • Being a grown adult (all of 22 years) and living with my mother wasn’t working…..

    That is going to be a function of what your habits are and how overbearing your mother is. People born prior to about 1938 faced a cultural chasm between themselves and their children. I think that if you looked at it with care, you would find that the chasm was much smaller for subsequent cohorts.

  • My folks are quite a bit younger than that, and I’m 45 years younger than that, and it still didn’t work.

    It’s not a matter of being overbearing, it’s about the changes that happen when you move out and then move back– if you never left, it’s different, but the changes that happen when you do leave don’t translate very well into moving back in.

    There’s the culture problem, the power problem, the personality problem (at least in my case– both my mother and myself have very strong personalities; similar personalities often grind against each other) and…shoot, everything involved in the change between your baby being a grown-up with the added problem of them being back in the situation where they were kids, which will change how both act. I’m just visiting my folks and I still notice I act differently than at home.

  • I am not sure where the idea comes from that it is somehow the right thing to get away from your parents no matter. It seems to me that it makes sense to take care of your parents when they get old. I do think that there are reasons for getting out of the house but leaving your parents in the dirt seems like a bad thing to do.

  • If you say so, Foxfier. Your situation just sounds like…family life.

  • Art- the difference between a 19 year old adult that never moved out and a 19 year old that moved back in is big enough that I notice it. Unless the definition of “family life” is circular, it ain’t the same.

    Valentin -there’s a difference between staying with your parents until you form your own household, moving back in with your parents while both are active adults, and a family member moving in to take care of someone that’s in poor health. The rule of thumb I hear most often is “do you do your own laundry?”

Newt Refuses to Play By Mainstream Media Rules on HHS Mandate

Sunday, March 4, AD 2012

Hattip to commenter Chris for pointing this out to me.  Newt Gingrich is a flawed candidate, but when it comes to standing up to the Mainstream Media, and refusing to allow them to set the terms of the debate over issues, he is in a class by himself.  In the video above, he takes David Gregory apart on Meet the Press today, refusing to allow Gregory to frame the debate, dishonestly, as access to contraception rather than as an assault on religious liberty.  Newt recognizes that the Mainstream Media is almost entirely an unpaid arm of the Democrat party.  He knows that they are adversaries and he treats them accordingly.  All Republicans and conservatives:  look and learn!

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12 Responses to Newt Refuses to Play By Mainstream Media Rules on HHS Mandate

  • It’s very obvious the new media is Democrat. Women (and men) have the right to reproductive health. It’s called, “Say NO!” No one ever died from lack of sex.

  • My hero.

    MM ‘rules’ are not for fair game or discourse, defaming their profession as journalists,
    as mouthpieces for any agenda of the democrats. Mostly, MM has forsaken objective reporting for vilifying and actually bullying (great role models) those outside the D party line. Maybe, the A list is more important than truth, liberty and life for MM people.

  • That.was.masterful.

    Newt brought it to Gregory. The most interesting part of the whole thing to me was Newt’s claim that Pres. Obama voted to kill babies. And Gregory didn’t even question it.

    Think about that: Newt said that Barack Obama was in favor of infanticide. Infanticide. If that doesn’t get a reporter’s attention, then nothing will. Yet, David Gregory doesn’t even ask Newt to defend the idea that Obama voted to allow babies to be killed. The conversation just moves on.

    The media doesn’t want a close examination of that particular item because of the details. If that story were truly aired to the general public, I don’t know how Barack Obama could stay in office. So, for the media, the strategy becomes: let the Republican “crazies” say it; ignore it; move on.

  • Yes, the other GOP candidates need to take a page from Newt’s book – challenge the assumptions of the left! When I see Romney trying to explain that, really, Republicans aren’t so very men, I want to start crying.

    The late Andrew Breitbart also refused to play by the MSM’s rules – which is the reason he will be so missed by many of us and why he was so hated by the Left..

  • Heh. That should be “mean,” not “men.”

    Although “Republicans aren’t so very men” works too – paging Dr. Freud…

  • Newt is exactly right. This false notion of denial of “woman’s reproductive healthcare” propaganda is a smoke screen and diverts the actual discussion of Obama’s disgusting record. This IS about religious liberty, period. There never was any problem with getting contraception.

    Rush Limbaugh’s words to describe Ms Fluke may not have been the best, but they were accurate. Her moral character is shameful and any decent woman would not be discussing their sexual history in front of Congress and the world. Why is she at a Catholic College in the first place?

  • Thanks for posting this Don. I just posted it to my Facebook page. Newt is definitely providing the template for how conservatives should deal with the left wing media.

  • Gingrich has a gift for that Greg, and I just hope that other conservatives learn what he is teaching in regard to the media. Too many conservatives attempt futilely to make friends with members of the media, while the wisest understand that they are simply political adversaries to be used as foils while speaking directly to the audience.

  • Mr.David Gregory of Meet the Press on Sunday morning was taken to the woodshed. While using only his tunnelvision he obviously wanted to dictate a Rush Limbaugh smear
    capaign.
    Caught blindsided he was unable to defend the medias position in this so called laughable interview with the former Speaker Gingrich.

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  • Newt Gingrich is a flawed candidate…

    Sigh. Aren’t they all.

    If God called someone with Speaker Gingrich’s insights and Sen. Santorum’s image to be a candidate for president this election year, that someone didn’t answer the call.

    Moses was a flawed man and he led God’s people to freedom despite an oppressive regime.

  • As a former Democrat who voted for Kennedy and Carter, the way the media is trying to skew this issue makes me glad I left that party. All of the main stream media think and act the same way. Their Freedom of Speech is just as threatened as Freedom of Religion.

The Effrontery of Rick Santorum

Tuesday, February 21, AD 2012

 

 

Rich Lowery has a post at National Review Online which explains why Rick Santorum drives the Mainstream Media crazy:

Santorum is a standing affront to the sensibilities and assumptions of the media and political elite. That elite is constantly writing the obituary for social conservatism, which is supposed to wither away and leave a polite, undisturbed consensus in favor of social liberalism. Santorum not only defends beliefs that are looked down upon as dated and unrealistic; he does it with a passionate sincerity that opens him to mockery and attack.

If Santorum had the social views of a Barbara Boxer, he would be hailed in all the glossy magazines as a political virtuoso. He has fought a front-runner with all the advantages to a jump ball in Michigan. His aides can’t provide advance texts of his speeches because he always extemporizes and speaks from a few notes. He is indefatigable, willing to lose on behalf of what he believes and committed to trying to convince others of his positions.

In the wake of his surprise showing in the Iowa caucuses, news coverage focused on Santorum arguing about gay marriage with college kids at his New Hampshire events. It was taken as a sign of his monomania. Yet he genuinely — if naïvely — wanted to convince them. If the cauldron of a presidential campaign is not the best place for Socratic exchanges on hot-button issues, Santorum was trying to do more than repeat sound bites back at youthful questioners.

Although his critics will never credit him for it, Santorum’s social conservatism brings with it an unstinting devotion to human dignity, a touchstone for the former senator. The latest position for which he’s taking incoming is his opposition to a government mandate for insurance coverage of prenatal testing often used to identify handicapped babies who are subsequently aborted. For his detractors, his respect for the disabled is trumped by his unforgivable opposition to abortion.

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16 Responses to The Effrontery of Rick Santorum

  • Another great post, Donald, that I just had to share. Thank you!

  • Thank you Paul for spreading the message about Santorum. I am beginning to think that something spectacular is happening in regard to this man and his initially quixotic quest for the Presidency, and we are in on the ground floor.

  • We’re going to find out if America is capable of electing a man who not only knows the difference between right and wrong, but is willing to act upon that knowledge. I, too, never thought that Santorum had a chance…now, he clearly does. We’ll see what happens.

  • Rick annoys liberals?

    Really?!

    One more reason to back Rick.

  • ” I think that what really disturbs the press is the raw courage of Santorum in that he does not quiver in fear that his views may prove unpopular. He is holding to them no matter what. That simply is not how the political game is played! Judging from the polls, maybe, just maybe, political courage, honesty and forthrightness will prove a winner this year. ”

    He is refreshing and I hope he can stay strong because he ‘s so in for it by the bullies’ soundbites on TV. Was thinking about media effects (not to mention societal) on people after I read Foxfier’s “Sin is Poison” because the tv was on also.

    Last night, after the news, I didn’t get to the remote before I heard Jay Leno going on about him and Satan jokes – really mean spiritedly. Same type last week with Letterman monologues and insinuations on daytime talk. On and on. These are the mainstream voices that mainstream voters/parents hear daily and it occurred to me that, all this finger pointing and bullying for laughs and money is what kids see as making their parents laugh. In recent time, anti-bullying laws were passed for school behavior and social networking due to a tragedy in a town near where I live. Huge news topic. Kids were brought to court, but this election year noise has our leaders and press applauding one another for slamming others. Schizo politics.

    Bill Maher was a guest on Craig Ferguson, who entertains without political affiliation. The guest was dying to get going on RS, NG, and MR, but couldn’t draw complicity out. More refreshing moments than most. Anyway, there has to be a correlation between the phenomenon of bullying kids (and the mentality in many other stations in life) and the effects of behavior in the political, sports, and entertainment arenas. I like b & w TV shows and movies for relaxing.

    Mentality of liberals acting offended after their own offending becomes offensive to some people. They aren’t happy unless there’s an underdog. Moral relativism and the culture of death – not fun or healthy. Hope he survives.

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  • This happens to be the same Rick Santorum who says contraception harms wmoen (and he’s right it does) but sees fit to force American taxpayers to foot the bill for it under Title X. Why aren’t social conservatives, especially Catholic socons, even challenging him on this?

  • Update: Santorum said when challenged on that issue by Ron Paul (even Ron Paul does something right every now and then), he now says that he simply voted for a larger appropriations bill that included Title X and that he always opposed Title X. He also says that he proposed Title XX for abstinence ed to counteract Title X. If that’s true, that’s acceptable. However, I think Ron Paul is right about the giovernment shouldn’t be invovled in either in terms of funding. But I think Santorum’s position as stated is certainly valid given the circumstances. I agreed with Ron Paul twice in one paragraph. I think I’m gonna get sick.

    However, Santorum is now defending his endorsement of Specter due to the SCOTUS issue whereas he says elsewhere as cited by CMR that “inretrospect, it was a mistake”. Mitt missed a golden opportunity to embarass the hell out of Santorum.

  • This is the first time I’ve heard Santorum and I must say he has the gift of compressing his argument effectively into the time allotted. He would make an effective debater against Obama if he manages to stymie that man’s outpouring of gas.

  • I admire his courage and his ability to have a dialog about the issues, not just preach them. He happens to live what he believes as well. He has my vote.

  • PS: anyone know who he will be selecting as his VP?

  • Sen. Santorum is a shining light of courage and core beliefs near and dear to the heart of this traditional Roman Catholic. If he receives the nomination, the general election will be a true guage of just how far the culture of death, contraception, co-habitation and general hedonism have gained a foothold…or as I often fear, gained control of our nation. We have now two generations that have been taught the “normality” of homosexuality, the acceptance of abortion (for the sake of convenience) and a host of other sinful behaviors. I wonder if the Genie is not only out of the bottle but is now the dominant force, listen to the voices of “pro-choice” Catholics or other internal reformers that reject the teachings and magisterial authority of the Church and…..dispair.

  • Thank you for your excellent analysis of Santorum’s challenge to a liberal bias. I heard a woman (in a panel of citizens) say that considering his “pious attitude” and his constant talk of his “religion,” his vote for Title X which included Planned Parenthood support showed how insincere he was. I was several issues with her statement, but the point I want to make is that the values he espouses were more the norm among mainstream Americans not too very long ago. It shows how successful the liberal bias toward gays and abortion has been through the media and through entertainment of all kinds. Family values have been corrupted and now are a matter of apology and/or criticism. What is gratifying to me is that without all the money, the glitz, and the mealy-mouth attempt to keep from offending, he has succeeded to such a degree. I know that ultimately the victory is God’s, and I don’t presume to know his timing (now or years from now), but I wonder if I am seeing the power of God at work in opening hearts to his message. Let’s keep praying for God’s will in His way and His time.

  • Sir, so far as possible I hear Mass each day and I go to my knees and tell these beads each night. If that offends you, then I pray God may spare me the indignity of representing you in Parliament. Belloc. Donald McClarey, thank you for this.

  • It might be really interesting to get the whole perspective after the last debate. Mark Levins radio show on 2/23/2012 revealed alot that none of the other media picked up on, including the idea of the Paul/Romney tag team. Think about it. Does Paul EVER question Romney about anything? No, he bashed all the conservatives, Bachman, Gingrich, Cain, Perry, & now Santorum. Why does he have all of these negative ads in Michigan against SANTORUM when he’s not even campaigning there? Realy, check it out!

Mainstream Media Reality

Tuesday, October 18, AD 2011

Klavan on the Culture I sometimes wonder what the country would be like if we had a professional mainstream media, instead of the hacks and shills who currently infest it.  Ah, but that is in some alternate universe.  In the one we inhabit the Newspaper Guild, the union of many newspaper reporters, has endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement, and journalists and pundits are organizing to help the Occupy Wall Street Movement get its  message out:

Big Journalism has learned that the Occupy Washington DC movement is working with well-known media members to craft its demands and messaging while these media members report on the movement. Someone has made the emails from the Occupy Wall Street email distro public and searchable. The names in the list are a veritable who’s who in media.

Journolist 2.0 includes well known names such as MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi who both are actively participating; involvement from other listers such as Bill Moyers and Glenn Greenwald plus well-known radicals like Noam Chomsky, remains unclear. The list also includes a number of radical organizers, such as Kevin Zeese.

 

Of course we can all recall the neutral, just the facts, coverage of the Tea Party movement:

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3 Responses to Mainstream Media Reality

  • “I sometimes wonder what the country would be like if we had a professional mainstream media, instead of the hacks and shills who currently infest it. Ah, but that is in some alternate universe”

    You might want to try looking for them at small- and medium-size community newspapers and radio stations, and on certain community-oriented blogs, some of which do a better job of reporting the news than the local legacy media does despite not getting paid for what they do and having to fit it around a day job and family obligations.

  • Elaine is right. In my long legal career I have encountered many situations that were newsworthy and therefore reported on. In each case, the reports were either seriously inaccurate or horribly selectively biased, or both, with one exception. Many years ago I represented an insurance company before the Cobb County board on Commissioners on a tax dispute. The hearing did not go well — I was young and naive enough to think that the Board would be interested in the law or facts. The next morning I read story about the hearing in the Marietta Daily Journal. It was a first rate summary of the hearing. No opinion and no mistakes — just straightforward summaries of the arguments presented, questions asked and answered, and conclusion. All dry and very matter of fact. I was impressed and mentioned it to one of my colleagues, who quipped, “That young man has no future in journalism.”

  • “You might want to try looking for them at small- and medium-size community newspapers and radio stations, and on certain community-oriented blogs, some of which do a better job of reporting the news than the local legacy media does despite not getting paid for what they do and having to fit it around a day job and family obligations.”

    Quite right Elaine. I represent the local paper in town, named, appropriately enough, The Paper, and I have generally found them to do a top notch job. I was involved in a case almost a decade ago which received some national coverage, and invariably the smaller the newspaper the better the job they did of getting the facts straight.

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.

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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.

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  • 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.

Douthat on the Paradox of the Unborn

Monday, January 3, AD 2011

Ross Douthat, like many who find their way as the “house conservatives” of highly liberal organs such as the NY Times where he currently makes his home, is not necessarily beloved by hard-driving conservatives. He is far less likely than those who write as independant columnists or for conservative organs to thunder our denunciations with fighting words like “liberal fascists” or “femi-nazis”. And as a fiscal and cultural conservative, I at root disagree with the approach of his how-can-we-find-a-way-to-offer-more-government-benefits-to-the-middle-class wonkery in Grand New Party. However, I do seriously admire the extent to which, on hostile soil, he is able to compellingly lay out Catholic/conservative principles on essential moral issues in a way which is, though soft-spokely polite, nonetheless seriously compelling. A good example of this is yesterday’s column in which he writes aboout the contradiction in American culture of how the unborn are treated sometimes as a disposable “choice” and at other times as a precious commodity desperately sought after through fertility treatments and surrogate parents:

The American entertainment industry has never been comfortable with the act of abortion. Film or television characters might consider the procedure, but even on the most libertine programs (a “Mad Men,” a “Sex and the City”), they’re more likely to have a change of heart than actually go through with it. Reality TV thrives on shocking scenes and subjects — extreme pregnancies and surgeries, suburban polygamists and the gay housewives of New York — but abortion remains a little too controversial, and a little bit too real.

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44 Responses to Douthat on the Paradox of the Unborn

  • In our movement, there must be room for diplomats and commissars.

    I have no objection to tailoring language to suit an audience. It’s the argument that counts. While Douthat is usually about as appealing to me as a cup of weak coffee, I certainly understand the need for his approach. It would be nice if more people could recognize that sometimes we need hot rhetoric, sometimes we need cool, sometimes we need it just right. Like the three bears or something.

  • At the same time, it needs to be pointed out that no one would contemplate murdering a born child to give another child “more opportunities” or what have you.

    If you can give your child the basic physical necessities and love, then don’t worry about “opportunities.” It isn’t a parent’s job to provide them. If they can, great, if not, then they can at least raise competent adults who can go out into the world and recognize them.

    This idea that we all have to live a middle class life to be happy is nonsense, and it is the real culprit here. Everyone has to go to college. Everyone has to have a salaried job. Everyone has to be able to go on vacations. God forbid you aim for something modest like trade school or the army. No, this is America and every has not only the right but almost an implied duty to “shoot for the stars.” And if you think you may not have the resources to send your child to college, you may as well abort him or her right now.

    I’d like to know the “poverty” this couple would have faced, and if it would have been significantly worse than what a Mexican immigrant family with several children has to endure. I’ve seen these families, I’ve seen how they manage their limited resources. My working class, first-generation grandparents had six children and they made it work. They weren’t on welfare either.

    I don’t buy the “poverty” argument unless we’re talking homelessness, and that’s less than 1% of the population.

  • “Durham and her boyfriend are the kind of young people our culture sets adrift — working-class and undereducated, with weak support networks, few authority figures, and no script for sexual maturity beyond the easily neglected admonition to always use a condom. Their televised agony was a case study in how abortion can simultaneously seem like a moral wrong and the only possible solution — because it promised to keep them out of poverty, and to let them give their first daughter opportunities they never had.”

    One of the engines that used to lift people out of poverty was a strong family. My paternal grandmother got pregnant when she was 15 out of wedlock. Her boyfriend, my grandfather, did the right thing and they got married. Together they had seven kids, including my dad who was a middle child, and a baby girl who died at birth. During the Great Depression they kept their kids fed, somehow, on what a shoemaker could bring home, and my grandmother cleaning houses. They instilled a strong work ethic in each of their kids, none of whom ever were on welfare, and all of whom found jobs and had families of their own. Three of their sons served in the military, two fighting in World War II. Whatever was thrown at my grandparents by life, including my father who was born with twisted feet and who had to have several expensive surgeries, at the height of the Great Depression, in order to walk, they faced it together and over came poverty, not only for themselves, but their kids. When society teaches people to do the right thing, come what may, it is amazing what miracles can occur. When we teach people that abortion is a solution we cripple the family from the onset with guilt, shame and a never ending sense of loss for a slain child.

  • I could say many similar things about my grandparents and great grandparents, and it is all true. This idea that large families are a curse and a burden just ends up leaving people empty and alone.

  • This idea that we all have to live a middle class life to be happy is nonsense, and it is the real culprit here.

    Much of your comment is spoken like a man without children. (I don’t recall your family status off hand.)

    And people really need to be careful with the just-so stories. What one’s parents did and what one thinks one’s parents did are two different things. During the Great Depression, numerous counties were bankrupted by social aid demands. Young men would sometimes get arrested so that they could have a warm bed and a meal. The dust bowl brought forth a vast diaspora. I’ve heard one too many renditions of my ancestors didn’t succumb to this or that to put faith in anyone’s story.

    As for what grandma and grandpa did, grandma and grandpa lived from the 1940s through the 1960s, a long period of prosperity in this country. Even so, the Social Security check and Medicare coverage keep quite a number of grandmas and grandpas out of dire poverty, whether we are talking about 1980 or 2010.

    Not wanting to watch one’s children suffer through poverty is the most natural desire in the world.

  • Douthat plays a very important role. He represents a sizable minority, the East Coast Mushy Cons, who are being ignored by “Real America.” People like Reihan Salam, David Brooks, David Frum, George Will, Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, and Megan McArdle (I know she’s not really conservative but she acts almost as conservative as the rest of them). I went to high school with one of them and was the neighbor of another. We are just as unwavering as Sarah Palin in some of our conservative views but culturally, we’d be more comfortable in the company of Obama. Without people like them, who knows, maybe someone like Andrew Sullivan would’ve seduced me to his corner (I don’t mean that in a gay way).

  • “And people really need to be careful with the just-so stories.”

    It must be rough MZ being lied to by your parents or grandparents. You must tell us all about it some day. In the case of my grandparents, they did not even have an indoor toilet to save money, but rather used an outdoor privy, which I can attest to as I used it. They also did not have a phone or a car, something else I can attest to. I can also attest to my father telling me that he did not have a new suit of clothes until he joined the Air Force, something my grandfather and grandmother also told me. My grandmother also told me how my father would attend school in patched clothes, but that he would get up early to iron them because he always liked to look his best. Some people, some how, did get by without being wards of the state.

    And in case you think I got an Ozzie and Harriet fable, I was also told by my grandmother how my grandfather used to have a drinking problem. That ended one night after my father, age 18, tossed my drunk grandfather threw a screendoor after he had been chasing my grandmother with a knife. My father then joined the Air Force. My grandfather then stopped drinking, and I can attest that he never touched a drop during my life time, based on my observations and what I was told by my grandmother.

  • “Not wanting to watch one’s children suffer through poverty is the most natural desire in the world.”

    It depends on how you define poverty, which is sort of the point. When people talk about “opportunities” that may be lost, they’re not really talking about poverty. They’re talking about moving from what may a financially insecure, but by no means destitute existence to a somewhat secure middle class existence.

    If you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, access to education and a job market (even if it is a highly competitive one), running water, electricity, transportation and modern amenities, you aren’t poor. And most Americans have these things – the vast majority do.

    I don’t know if my great grandparents had what passed for welfare during the Great Depression. I’m fairly certain my grandparents did not. The point is that they had six kids and not one of them was denied any opportunity that was available to the rest of middle America. Three of their kids are quite well off in fact, and the other three are comfortable enough. It’s because they were instilled with the right values, and the ones that took them to heart – faith and family in particular – are the ones who prospered the most.

    We have a higher standard of living today than they did back then. We have more opportunities than they did back then. I’ve seen Mexican families with four, five, six children who never thought of abortion as a way out. So I don’t deny that people struggle with financial circumstances. But I reject out of hand the notion that abortion is something we can “understand” let alone endorse for such reasons. It’s moral poison.

  • One irony I can’t quite get over is that statistically speaking, marriage is one of the best protections against poverty that women and children have, yet it is the poor who are increasingly less likely to marry or even consider marriage.

    Even couples who already have one or more children and are living together will hesistate to marry because they “can’t afford to.” This can mean either 1) they can’t afford to have a formal wedding with flowers, white gown, attendants, reception, etc., or 2) they don’t believe they are yet capable of supporting a family in the lifestyle to which they aspire. Objection #1 could be easily overcome by having a simple, informal, family-only wedding as most of our non-rich ancestors did; and as for objection #2, if they are already living in the same house and have kids together, doesn’t that prove they CAN support a family? And if you hesistate to marry your live-in honey because you are worried they might cheat on you, drink or do drugs, gamble, rip you off, etc. then why are you living with them?

  • What is truly pathetic Elaine is women who call themselves the “fiancee” of some man they’ve had 3 or 4 kids by and who have been shacked up with them for 4 or 5 years. I run into this situation all the time in my practice. Usually the male “fiancee” has no intention of ever marrying the woman. Responsibility and committment seem to be considered old fashioned in our society and women and kids do tend to be the main victims.

  • Oh, when I and my bride of 28 years married in 1982 we paid $500.00 for the whole thing, with my Mom and one of her friends “catering” the event gratis. People will always find some excuse for not marrying.

  • The horror! The horror!

    “Not wanting to watch one’s children suffer through poverty is the most natural desire in the world.” I think not “the most natural desire.”

    Is the motto then, “Better dead than destitute?”

    It’s liberal out there and getting liberaller.

  • Wow. You were married the year I was born.

  • “We are just as unwavering as Sarah Palin in some of our conservative views but culturally, we’d be more comfortable in the company of Obama.”

    It seems to me that back in the days of William F. Buckley, Russell Kirk, et. al., conservatives took pride in being more cultured and erudite — dare I say intellectually elite? — than the average bear, although the best of them didn’t fall into the trap of elitism. It was Buckley, after all, who said he’d rather be governed by people chosen at random out of the Boston phone book than by a bunch of Harvard professors.

  • I don’t think mocking people’s desire for a middle class existence really helps the pro-life cause.

  • RR,

    I wouldn’t necessarily see Douthat as having much in common with the conservatism of Brooks, Frum or Will, all of whom, while they possess a certain tempermental conservatism, are pretty much completely unwilling to stand up for conservative social issues. Douthat is actually moderately courageous on that front. I would agree that there’s a certain elitism about Douthat, but recall that far from being an Obama supporter, he wrote an early and positive cover article for National Review boosting Palin — though like many conservatives (myself included) he found her later performance to be disappointing and doesn’t seem to hold out any hopes for her as a ticket front-runner at this point unless she matures a great deal as a politician.

    MZ,

    I didn’t see the reality show that Douthat is writing about, so I’m not clear what degree of poverty is being avoided here. I’ll concede that it’s natural to want the best for one’s children but at the same time I think it’s important to draw the distinctions that:

    1) Killing off some offspring is not an acceptable method of bettering others.

    2) Many people consider the middle class “necessities” in raising children to be things which can honestly be classed pretty clearly as luxuries. Along these lines, I recall eight years back when my wife and I made very little and were (unexpectedly) expecting our second child (due less than a year and a half after the birth of our first) having a conversation with an avowedly evangelical coworker at the company I worked at. She had had her first child around the same time we had our first, and she was explaining that she wasn’t sure she and her husband would have any more because, “We both grew up very poor, with lots of siblings, so we had to wear second hand clothes and couldn’t get basic things like skiing lessons.” Needless to say, my sympathy was not overwhelming. I’d never mock anyone for wanting the best for their children, but the number one element of wanting the best for any person is wanting that person to have a chance at life in the first place. As I’m sure you’d agree.

    Also, a random thought on the 40s through the 60s as an exceptionally prosperous era: It’s worth remember that what many latter day Leave-it-to-Beaver-Progressives are looking back on through rose colored glasses in regards to the 40s and 50s is that it was a period during which the fortunes of the middle and working classes were improving rapidly, while the rich were not getting richer much faster. However, in absolute terms, the middle class and the working class are still better off now than they were then, even though growth has slowed (in some cases to a near standstill) since then. This may result in some people having less hope now than then, but it doesn’t mean that people now are not in fact better off than their grandparents were. That may be the case in individual cases, but on the whole we are a good deal more prosperous than our grandparents.

    Joe,

    Oh wow. You’re my younger brother’s age… 🙂

  • While we’re on it, here was MZ’s comment:

    “Not wanting to watch one’s children suffer through poverty is the most natural desire in the world.”

    If my child was virtuous, I would not mourn his poverty. A life of suffering can be just as conducive to spiritual goods as a life of affluence, and perhaps moreso.

    Again, on the understanding that “poverty” doesn’t mean destitution/starvation.

  • Here’s something for your quotable Hargrave:

    There is nothing of greater value to a man than virtue, and nothing of greater value to society than a virtuous man.

    You can put that on my tombstone.

  • I have a lot more to say about this too. I think this whole mentality of “my kids will have it good, and they won’t have to struggle or suffer the way I did” was THE greatest mistake of the “greatest generation.” They failed to realize that their suffering and their struggling is what made them strong. They failed to realize that by trying to create a mini-utopia in the home for their children, they ended up corrupting their virtues. Half of the blame for the sexual revolution lies with this fatal mistake.

  • Joe,

    I agree that’s the more important thing. I think the trick is:

    a) Parents often fear they have limited control over how virtuous their children will be in the long run, though they do their damnedest to teach them how to live rightly.

    b) Parents often have (or imagine or hope they have) a fair amount of control over how much material comfort their children are raised in, and thus feel they can assure the one if not the other.

    On the other hand, I think it’s equally important to keep in mind that in these sorts of discussions “I wouldn’t want my born children to be pushed into poverty by my trying to raise more” is the more socially acceptable rationalization for the worry “Will having more children mess up my lifestyle.” After all, parents are often more sensitive to poverty than children are. However much people may convince themselves they’re acting selflessly, such concerns can be cover for selfishness.

    And needless to say, all of that is something to worry about before conceiving, not afterwards.

  • Growing up, my family had the loosest grip on being middle class, and in the eyes of many people I guess we would have been considered poor. We didn’t have a car until I was in the Seventh Grade, we only went on two vacations that I can recall, and home was tinier than my office today. Yet, at the time it never struck me that I lacked anything. Mom and Dad always both worked, the bills got paid and there was food on the table. They also made it clear to my brother and to me that if we wanted to go to college, that would be accomplished somehow, as indeed it was. Of course the key to all of this was that my mother and father loved each other deeply and loved us and we knew that we could rely upon each other in the family my parents created. The greatest lesson in love I have ever received in this life is the way my father tenderly cared for my mother as she died of cancer at 48. Material poverty is a terrible thing, but much worse is the poverty of love as typified by abortion.

  • DarwinCatholic, that makes Douthat all the more important. While East Coast Mushy Cons are usually right there with their Real American Crunchy brethren on economic issues, they’re generally indistinguishable from moderate independents on social issues. Not only does Douthat write for Democrats, he also writes for socially liberal Republicans. In fact, that may be his more important role.

  • “I think this whole mentality of “my kids will have it good, and they won’t have to struggle or suffer the way I did” was THE greatest mistake of the “greatest generation.” They failed to realize that their suffering and their struggling is what made them strong.”

    Which brings me to something I meant to post on the “Does It Get Any Worse?” thread, but somehow couldn’t find at that time….

    Here is a beautiful Coca-Cola ad, made a couple of years ago, in which Spain’s oldest citizen (102) is introduced to its newest (a newborn baby, of course):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi5qqvuexGU

    I love what the old man says in it, addressing the newborn:

    “You will ask yourself what is the reason I have come to visit you today. It’s because most people will say to you what a bad moment you have chosen to come into the world. We’re in crisis, that’s not a good thing. Well, it’ll make you stronger. I’ve lived worse moments than this one (given his age, that would include the Great Depression, both world wars and the Spanish Civil War as well), but in the end, you’ll remember only good things.”

    Yet another reason to prefer Coke over Pepsi too 🙂

  • Also, it’s one thing for people who fled, say, Ireland during the Great Famine, or Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, or Haiti or North Korea to insist upon making sure their children enjoy a better life than they did. It’s another thing entirely for reasonably comfortable, free, well-fed, middle class Americans to insist that their children will have it “better” even if that means they would rather not have those children at all than fail to reach that goal.

  • There is something at a base level that I find offensive about people discussing the need for austerity from others and even how it is benefiting those people. There is a reason the white fertility rate is in the toilet, and the one reason I’m confident for why it isn’t the case is because they became idiots. The coming elite or whatever you want to call them is putting off marriage until past thirty and struggling to produce children naturally. The MTV special dealt with an unmarried black teenage couple who didn’t own a home. We aren’t talking about the difference between a mere middle class existence and the bourgeoisie life.

  • Oh, you find it offensive. Ok. ::rolls eyes:: Well, I hope it isn’t as offensive to you as the idea that you should kill one child for the sake of the other.

    “We aren’t talking about the difference between a mere middle class existence and the bourgeoisie life.”

    And I didn’t say that we were. It’s the difference between a working class life and a middle class life, the life of renters and wage workers on the one hand and homeowners and salary workers on the other. I get it.

    And its no surprise that poor black youths who have had the state manage increasing areas of their lives for the last 50 years, who have been the number one target of Planned Parenthood propaganda, who are aborted at disgustingly disproportionate rates compared to their share of the population, and whose “community leaders” are Democratic con men such as the “Reverend” Jackson and Al Sharpton, are more likely to go through with an abortion. What white liberals and their middle class black accomplices have done to poor blacks is a crime against humanity. And if we consider the unborn child to be a real human being, it rivals the injustice of slavery.

  • So Douthat writes a superb and strongly pro-life column in the NYTimes (!!) and people over here are jumping on him for recognizing that poverty is sadly a consideration that leads many to seek abortion?! What site is this anyway?

  • Jumping on him?

    I expressed a point of disagreement, that’s all. I’m sorry you find it illegitimate to discuss. I happen to think that the notion that poverty justifies abortion is one of the most morally and socially destructive notions of our time, and I thought it warranted a few words in a public discussion.

  • Joe H.

    You cannot reason with liberals. St. Augustine felt the need to answer contemporary half-wits. I do not. He is a saint.

    There is no such a thing as being “a little pregnant.” You can’t be a little pro-abortion, either.

    Here is what nauseates me: the mental gyrations these heartless people employ to justify voting for 50,000,000 more abortions.

    PS: My eldest son is older than you. However, you are rapidly sneaking up on THIRTY. Carpe diem.

  • For in the end time proclaims the judgment of nature on the worth of all beings that appear in it, since it destroys them:

    And justly so: for all things, from the void
    called forth, deserve to be destroyed:
    ’twere better, then, were naught created.
    [Goethe, Faust]

  • Joe, if you think poverty is more conducive to living a spiritually rich life shouldn’t you be advocating for economic policies that will impoverish millions? Or do you not really mean what you said about poverty being more conducive to human flourishing than attaining a modicum of economic security?

    And no one–certainly not Douthat–is claiming that poverty “justifies” abortion. Explaining a phenomenon is a different activity than justifying it–as Ron Paul tried, and failed, to communicate to Rudy Giuliani.

    And, trust me, I’m no liberal.

  • WJ,

    I agree that Douthat isn’t claiming that poverty justifies abortion — though given abortion as an option, he rightly recognizes that many people feel compelled (in this case, it sounds like rather unwillingly) to choose that option because of monetary concerns. I had been under the impression that whole line of argument had come up simply as a side-discussion.

    MZ,

    I guess I’m a little unclear what you’re getting at with:

    There is something at a base level that I find offensive about people discussing the need for austerity from others and even how it is benefiting those people. There is a reason the white fertility rate is in the toilet, and the one reason I’m confident for why it isn’t the case is because they became idiots.

    I don’t think that anyone was suggesting that if someone was suddenly confronted with a magic-wand-weilding person and asked, “Quick, quick! Would you rather that your family be well off or poor?” he should respond, “Oh, I’d definitely want them to be poor. It’ll be good for them!”

    Rather, people are responding to the idea that it is better for the sum one one’s children to abort one or more in order that the others live in comparatively better economic conditions than to carry all of one’s conceived children to term and raise that family to the best of one’s ability. One of the arguments that people are martially to this cause is that while being poor is indisputably less fun than being middle class or upper middle class — it is not necessarily something so bad that people are better off dead (or to accept the pro-choice world view: non-existant) than poor. And, indeed, that many people are raised well by struggling working-class parents and go on to live happy and productive lives themselves.

    In this context, I’m not clear what brings up your comment above, or what exactly you think is indicated by the fact that many white (and come to that, non-white) elites these days are choosing to have few children and do so late in life. Certainly, that’s a way to do things given certain objectives and cultural assumptions. But I don’t necessarily see why it means that anyone who advocates going ahead and raising children (especially after the child is already conceived, rather than being the fruit of some theoretical, future action) is necessarily being callus or hard hearted. Come to that, given that none of us talking here are the scions of wealthy Harvard-going elite clans, people talking about their own and family experiences in this regard doesn’t seem like a particularly offensive approach. My impression isn’t that we have a bunch of rich people who put off having their two trophy children until their late thirties talking here.

  • Hi Darwin,

    I was not responding to your unsurprisingly reasonable comments on this thread–with which I largely agree–but to some of the other statements which, you rightly note, are orthogonal to the main point of the post.

    I would, though, be interested in hearing from Joe Hargrave whether he really does think that economic policies should be sought out which have a good chance of landing people in poverty, so as to better their chances of living truly spiritual lives.

  • As probably the most outspoken Douthat critic around these parts (although I’m not suggesting that Darwin had me in mind when he wrote this post), allow me to say that this is an excellent column by Douthat, as have been many of his more recent op/eds. Also, please allow me to clarify exactly what my criticism of Douthat has been and what it has not been.

    I do not criticize him over policy or at all consider him to be a “fake conservative”. In fact, I have stated on numerous occasions that, policy-wise, Douthat seems to be the conservative columnist who is closer to my own philosophy. For example, I am not nearly as hostile to the policy prescriptions of Grand New Party as others might be, although I’m fiscally conservative enough to have some trepidations about the vision Douthat lays out. Furthermore, as Darwin has mentioned, Douthat has been stalwart in taking the social conservative/pro-life/pro-family message to a hostile audience.

    Nor do I criticize Douthat over his tone. The fire-breathing conservative columnists out there really do nothing for me and leave me rather cold. I think the tone that Douthat takes in delivering the social conservative message is not only a vital counterbalance to the fire-breathers, but is actually going to be the tone that advances the ball further down the field, especially since he is NOT preaching to the choir but delivering the message to hearts and minds that need to be changed if the agenda is ever going to succeed. I wish more Catholic bloggers (including myself) were better at adopting the sort of tone Douthat uses in discussing these issues that so divide our country.

    No, my criticism of Douthat has been more over the “persona” (to use Darwin’s word) that he has (or, rather, had) adopted, especially during the 2008 election. What has been offputting to me about Douthat and other conservative columnists like Brooks, Frum, Parker, etc. is the “I’m not like those OTHER conservatives” mantle they have assumed, where they make a living and receive Pulitzer Prizes off of doing nothing more than bashing other conservatives. Now, often conservatives NEED to be bashed by their own (see, e.g., WFB vs. the Birchers), but I find those who make a living and building a reputation off of doing it more than a little offputting.

    Now, in Douthat’s defense, he seems to have backed off of that quite a bit recently, and seems to have more fully embraced his social conservatism in his columns of late. I just don’t feel the “not like them” hostility toward his fellow conservatives that once seemed so prevalent (and which he so openly embraced in that column I’m so fond of quoting) in his recent writing.

    Along those lines, I won’t address RR’s having a higher “comfort level” with those socially liberal people in elite circles over those who are in “Real America” (since the last time I did so it led to one of the uglier confrontations on this blog between Blackadder and myself, which I do not wish to repeat) other than to say that I wonder how much of that discomfort with so-called “Real Americans” is based on media stereotypes rather than having spent more than a superficial amount of time with the common folks that make up the vast areas of this country between the coasts. I have spent a fair amount of time in both worlds, and feel at home in either, and find that the views of each group about the other to be fairly stereotypical and not based on their having actually met and spent time with those in the alternate cultural milieu.

  • WJ,

    One does not have to desire poverty be imposed on anyone to recognize the fact that prosperity often leads to a more disordered view of material goods, often times to the detriment of the soul. To reject the reasoning of some that a life is not worth living if not in prosperity and to counter it by noting that poverty usually entails less risks to soul than wealth seems like a reasonable rebuttal.

    None of this addresses how people view “poverty” in this incredibly wealthy country. Some will characterize it along the lines of no food and shelter and others will argue having no satellite dish or a six year old car. I think this goes to Joe’s point as well. That some people consider not having two new cars, a 2000 sq ft home, and one or two vacations get-aways a year to be poverty is an indication of the risk to souls that material wealth can bring.

  • Douthat spoke at an event sponsored by the magazine “n + 1” in 2009 in which he said he wouldn’t talk about the issue of same-sex marriage publicly, for whatever reason.
    http://nplusonemag.com/tilt-to-the-right-panel

    Michael Dougherty speculates as to why: “The reason Ross Douthat won’t share his views on gay marriage in detail is simple. He knows gay marriage opponents will be portrayed as the Bull Connors of the near-future. And he wants to keep writing film criticism and noodling theology for educated readers.”
    http://www.mbdougherty.com/dearconservative.html

  • WJ,

    “Joe, if you think poverty is more conducive to living a spiritually rich life shouldn’t you be advocating for economic policies that will impoverish millions?”

    No. I believe in economic and spiritual freedom. Poverty doesn’t necessarily make one more spiritual, and riches don’t necessarily make one morally corrupt.

    But if one can willingly embrace their suffering, whether it results from poverty or from some other condition, then one is certainly spiritually better-off than someone who feels as if life is not worth living because they lack some material comforts or they can’t go to college.

    Finally, If you DON’T think poverty is more conducive to living a spiritual life, do you advocate for the Church to abolish the vow of poverty for people entering religious life? For 2000 years they’ve been leading people down a path you and others appear to find harmful and undesirable. The Gospels are full of lessons that teach us that the lives and contributions of the poor are often more valuable from a spiritual perspective than those of the rich. Maybe you’ll reject those too.

    Poverty in the USA is not worth fighting over. Poverty in the USA is middle to upper-class wealth in Nigeria or Ethiopia. A working class American has access to more goods and services than the rich man admonished by Jesus in the Bible, who didn’t have the Internet or fast food or supermarkets.

    “Or do you not really mean what you said about poverty being more conducive to human flourishing than attaining a modicum of economic security?”

    You said “human flourishing”, not me. I don’t oppose anyone rising from poverty to the middle class through hard work and virtue, and if they practice charity and remember their humble origins. Virtue is possible at all levels of society.

    But just as St. Paul compared the married life to the religious life and said that while the former was acceptable, the latter is preferable, we can compare the middle class life with the life of poverty and make a similar assessment.

    It’s not a sin to have wealth, or even to enjoy luxuries. But it is better, in the order of things, to cultivate a healthy detachment from all material goods, to be ready to depart with them at a moment’s notice, and certainly to see immaterial goods such as virtue as more valuable than material comforts. Truly such a person has “flourished” to a far greater extent than someone who can’t imagine life without various luxuries that are now taken for granted.

    So no, poverty does not ipso facto lead to more spirituality, but viewed and accepted with the right perspective, it CAN.

    “And no one–certainly not Douthat–is claiming that poverty “justifies” abortion. Explaining a phenomenon is a different activity than justifying it–as Ron Paul tried, and failed, to communicate to Rudy Giuliani.”

    I never said he was claiming that. But there are many who do claim it – they jump from explanation to justification very easily. It’s like an automatic reflex for most people in our society, who are materialistic and who don’t think life is worth living without a very broad selection of material comforts that were unknown to most people throughout history. So, when this topic comes up, I feel compelled to state the opposite, Christian, and true perspective.

  • grandma and grandpa lived from the 1940s through the 1960s, a long period of prosperity in this country.

    There were six economic recessions between 1938 and 1970 (as many as there have been since), and these contractions tended to be more severe than those of the succeeding 40 years. The per capita income of the United States in 1955 was less than half of what it is today. Mean annual rates of improvement in per capita income were higher than has been the case for a generation or so, but at about 2.3% per annum, not spectacular.

  • Francis,

    I think Dougherty must have been wrong, because just in the last year Ross Douthat did indeed write about gay marriage (against it) in the NY Times and on his NY Times Blog.

  • Oh, Joe. I know you’re in good faith. I apologize for the tenor of my comments. Please have a good night!

  • Thanks, Darwin, for alerting me to that. Perhaps after being caught off guard in 2009 he prepared to mount some kind of defense of marriage. Good for him for being willing to take such a beating from the Times’ remarkably prejudiced audience.