AP's Article On The Catholic Blogosphere & NPR's Firing Of Juan Williams Are Par For The Course

Monday, October 25, AD 2010

National Public Radio’s ludicrous firing of Juan Williams and a subsequent mainstream media article on Catholic bloggers may seem to be two separate issues. Some may say what does the overwhelmingly conservative leaning Catholic blogosphere have in common with the liberal leaning Juan Williams? The answer is quite simple; both scare the mainstream media because Juan Williams and the majority of the Catholic blogosphere put forth interesting solutions to often discussed questions.

The modus operadi of some in the mainstream media is to find a couple of unnamed fringe Catholic bloggers, who few read, and then make them become bigger players than they really are. Combine this with a Juan Williams quote which most of America agrees with and voila you have it; the ultimate straw man from which you can tear apart any minority who appears on Fox News or any Catholic blogger who faithfully defends the teachings of the 2,000 year old Catholic Church.

In this Associated Press article on the Catholic blogosphere, the piece mentions Thomas Peters and Michael Voris (who is known for his videos not his blogging,) but focuses on harsh unnamed Catholic bloggers. The article quotes John Allen who calls elements of the Catholic blogosphere “Taliban Catholicism.” The highly respected Mr. Allen, who though working for the dissident leaning National Catholic Reporter, is often known for his many high ranking Church contacts and his fairness. He should have know better than to give the quote that he did. To take a few bloggers from the right (or even from the left) and call them the Catholic blogosphere is the type of journalism that would not pass muster for a high school paper, let alone the AP. This would be akin to taking the worst rated college or pro football team and telling the world this is the best of American football, or perhaps watching the Walla Walla Community theater production of Hamlet and saying this is Hamlet at its finest. John Allen should have realized where this article was going and chosen his words more carefully.

The AP article continues by naming a Church official who seems worried about the Catholic blogosphere. One wonders if the Church official would know the difference between Father John Zuhlsdorf from Father Richard McBrien, Amy Welborn from Aimee Semple McPherson, Mark Shea from Mark Sanford, Rocco Palmo from Rocco Mediate, or Tito Edwards from Tito Santana. I worked for years in a diocesan office and I have yet to meet, even in my travels, a diocesan official who is well versed in the blogosphere. It seems to be a generational thing and most diocesan officials are not to be confused with the younger, more conservative seminarians or young priests being ordained.

While some in the mainstream media snicker at the Pope and Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Catholic Church) they in reality have their own magisterium. In their secular magisterium anyone who believes in the Catholic Church’s authority is hopelessly outdated, because according to gatekeepers in the mainstream media, true thinkers are those in the dying liberal churches who don’t know what they believe. Sadly, GK Chesterton prophetically predicted this would happen. He said, “It’s not that atheists and agnostics believe in nothing, they believe in everything.” In modern parlance, “It’s all good.” How sad that some who proclaim to be “open minded” can’t see the obvious; liberal Christianity is dying on the vine.”

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19 Responses to AP's Article On The Catholic Blogosphere & NPR's Firing Of Juan Williams Are Par For The Course

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  • Keep preaching brother!

    I nominate the following excerpt to be the quote of year here at The American Catholic.

    “One wonders if the Church official would know the difference between Father John Zuhlsdorf from Father Richard McBrien, Amy Welborn from Aimee Simple McPherson, Mark Shea from Mark Sanford, Rocco Palmo from Rocco Mediate, or Tito Edwards from Tito Santana.”

  • Nothing to “wonder” about. The answers are self-evident.

  • Well said, excellent, wonderful!

  • Uh…it’s “magisterium.”

    Good piece, though.

    🙂

    -Theo

  • It’s not clear to me that Allen was interviewed for the AP story. He was using “Taliban Catholics” in his own writing at least as far back as February.

  • Great piece with good insight. I especially like your quote about people not knowing the difference between Catholic bloggers and others.

    One note: Allen’s quote reveals more about himself than it does about Catholic blogging or orthodox Catholics. For all those who believe him to be fair, you might want to read his work more closely and don’t forget that he chooses to work for the dissident Reporter. His work displays some real blind spots.

  • It’s just funny that in article that to some extent is bemoaning in the incivility of the blogosphere, the term “Taliban Catholic” is so casually tossed about as though there is nothing uncivil about that comparison.

    But that, of course, is par for the course for people who yelp the loudest about tone and the harshness of dialogue. What it really is is an attempt to change the topic and avoid having to defend indefensible positions.

  • Defending the indefensible?

    As in an article that defends the civility of Michael Sean Winters but paints Catholics who are righteously standing up and saying enough as fringe.

    30-40 thousand readers a month may be ‘nobody reading’ to you, but I think it is enough to get an army of Catholics to get folks who espouse the opinions of dissent, silenced.

    It is half past time we take our parishes and schools back.

    We’ll look forward to more armchair criticism from you.

    Carry on.

  • Someone should ask John Allen when was the last time a Catholic blogger destroyed millenia-old works of art. Or shot a woman in the back of the head as halftime entertainment at a soccer match. Or sponsored terrorists who flew airplanes into buildings killing 3000 people.

    For the life of me, I’ll never understand why people who should know better consider John Allen to be “fair”. “Fair” people don’t make such idiotic comparisons.

  • We’ll look forward to more armchair criticism from you.

    Umm, what? I was critiquing the Allen quote and the condescending tone of the AP article, not Dave’s post.

  • Please, please, please – check your spell-check and correct “magEsterium” to “magIsterium”. The word comes from the Latin – magister.

  • Paul,

    Yes, my comments were about the article, not your comments which I completely agree with and thank you for stepping up to the plate to say.

  • p.s. I am not of the opinion that the article had coded message in it that needed to be cracked.

    There are many of us that are finished with letting teachers and priests preach and teach dissent and we area shutting it down by exposing what is going on with teaching, sanctifying and governing.

    Writing intellectual treatises on the internet is swell but it is not helping our children down at the local school being hoodwinked by Sister Mary Wear the Pants and Fr. Hehirtic. We have had to flee from our parishes, pull our children out of schools.

    What are we running from? It’s time to go back and demand our religion be taught.

    1. Pour through every bulletin and expose every problem, naming names and exercising your gifts by explaining the theological problems and consequences to our children.

    2. Start holding the priest accountable.

    3. If the priest won’t be held accountable, go to the Bishop.

    4. If the Bishop won’t be accountable, go to the Nuncio.

    5. If the Nuncio won’t hold them accountable, go to the Holy See.

    Round up as many in your area who are willing to do it.

    If in time, they do not intercede and do something to stop the people poisining the wells our children are drinking from, start a campaign to hold up the money on the annual Bishops appeal.

    Build it and they will flee.

    People may call it harsh. People like this author will call it fringe. Whatever hits you have to take from the author of this article on The American Catholic or anyone in the AP – Do it anyway.

    :O)

  • Anna, I do hope your not talking about me as being part of the dissent, or just sitting at my computer composing essays while Rome burns. I do think my bona fides as a writer, educator (working in the Church and taking a lot of heat from Church liberals) etc should fit pass muster. I would hope so anyone, considering how many nasty names I have been called by the liberals in the Church. If I have misinterpreted your remarks, please forgive me. However, it would appear to me that you think this article is somehow not orthodox enough. I don’t know how that is possible. It would seem to me that the first three or four commentors (among others) like what I have to say. Anyway, God Bless & take care!

  • David,

    I actually never knew you existed before I found your article, but I can see that you are not a dissident.

    It has been such a refuge to come to the internet and read solid opinions. But we need those opinions to get into our schools and parishes and it is time to do something a little different.

    As a Boston activist who is part of the blogging community described in the AP, those of us on the ground doing this difficult ministry not only get called ‘names’ by dissidents, we are undermined by people on the right, sitting staring at their computers using their orthodoxy and bonafides to take cheap shots at us.

    ” to find a couple of unnamed fringe Catholic bloggers, who few read, and then make them become bigger players than they really are. ”

    Is blogosphere a game of “who is the bigger player”? Is it about chumming around with folks who post comments telling you how great you are?

    Oh wait…

    Look, I’ve done my share of years of writing and defending the Magisterium.

    But you know what we realized?

    Not a single dissident in our children’s schools been removed from teaching children by the things we are writing on the internet (myself included)

    A lot of us have been parish shopping for ten years.

    It’s time to go to plan b.

    I can appreciate your frustration with the article that they failed to recognize the big wazoos who have been banging away at their keyboards. But the work we are doing is critical new work and the author of the AP article knew more about that then you did!

    Nobody on the ground is a threat to your thunder. We will not be competing in who is the greatest of them all contests. At ease.

    We are people who are trying to focus getting orthodoxy to our own children, family and friends while you bang away at your ministry doing it for people in the com boxes. Not as worthy as the work you are doing, but it is nonetheless, worthy work that did not deserve your cheap shot.

    The kicker was your respectful attitude towards John Allen, who in between working with Joan Chittister, Tom Roberts, Michael Sean Winters and Bishop Gumbleton (talk about fringe!) serving up poison to Christ’s souls, characterized parents fed up with dissent that is continuously being taught no matter how much you write with concerns to your Bishop, as lecherous murderers.

  • Goodness Anna I think the liberals have got the best of you. I spoke kindly of John Allen? I took him to task for his comment. I only said he was respected by many. Have you ever read what Father Zuhlsdorf says about John Allen? Father Z calls him “his friend and highly respected.” Do you think Father Z has gone wobbly too?

    I understand what you must be going through living in Boston. You may remember that I mentioned in my article that my childhood parish was scourged with not only one priest sent to the slammer for molestation, but two. Some of those these two deviants molested were my friends, so believe me I don’t need any lectures on that subject.

    I would suggest you take some time to pray over the whole matter, calling those that are on your side not wholly orthodox doesn’t help. God Bless & take care!

  • David,

    I must not be making myself clear.

    I have the greatest respect for Fr. Z. But I disagree with his characterizations of John Allen. I am NOT attacking Fr. Z or his orthodoxy. Nor, am I attacking your orthodoxy. Nor am I attacking you.

    Phew.

    There is no need to be defensive. Be at peace.

    The AP wrote an article about a new ministry in the Church and your reaction to it was a knee-jerk.
    Look here:

    ” to find a couple of unnamed fringe Catholic bloggers, who few read, and then make them become bigger players than they really are. ”

    The good people in Boston are getting off their fannies and taking our schools and parishes and chancery back. That’s what the article was about.

    What is it about that you wouldn’t embrace?

  • Anna, there is nothing about what you said that I wouldn’t embrace. God Bless you and the good people of Boston who are helping turn the tide. May God Be With You All!

Andrew Klavan on Extremists

Thursday, October 21, AD 2010

In a nation where 40% of the population identify as conservatives, it is hilarious that we have what is laughingly referred to as the mainstream media which tilts overwhelmingly to the left, and purports to determine which candidates are “moderate” and which are “mainstream”.  However, in the age of the internet, the power of the mainstream media is a diminishing asset, especially when such examples as NPR firing liberal Juan Williams for stating that he is nervous on a plane when he sees passengers in traditional muslim garbindicate clearly who the intolerant extremists truly are.

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8 Responses to Andrew Klavan on Extremists

White Tea Party Racist to Run for 2012 US Presidency

Friday, September 24, AD 2010

[Update:  There is already a Draft Cain 2012 website up!]

Oh wait, the picture doesn’t follow the mainstream meme does it!

I guess Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann’s running narrative of extremists running the Tea Party doesn’t quite fit the pic.

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7 Responses to White Tea Party Racist to Run for 2012 US Presidency

  • Token… or Uncle Tom?

  • Neither.

    He’s the real deal.

    Alex V.,

    That’s a bit of a borderline racist comment there. Be careful, we don’t tolerate that here at TAC.

    We’ll let it slide this one time in case you weren’t aware of how your comment could be read.

  • After reading this post, about a man I had never heard of, I simply had to click the link to his website, which you put in your post.

    I read the following and simply must comment that what I am posting is a quote from Mr. Cain himself, which made me laugh for the content/comment in the final line of this quote and the joy it brought to me for his having said it and the relief of having not said it myself, although I wish I did.

    He said:

    “Keep one thing in mind as we get into 2011. There are a lot of people that may be interested in seeking the Republican nomination, but I want you to remember one thing, there might also be a dark horse candidate that you don’t know about.”
    Herman Cain

    Mr Cain. Thank you. Tito, thanks to you too. I love this guy’s sense of humor.

  • Maybe it’s time again to elect someone who’s not a career politician. Couldn’t do any worse than the one we’ve got.

  • Sounds like a good man with alot of common sense. Thats exactly what we need.

  • I voted for this class act in the primary in 2004. While Isakson has been much better than expected, we really missed our chance to send a great conservative to the Senate. Herman is the real deal.

  • if you elect a career politician… you get a career politician. if you elect someone who isn’t a career politician… eveyone complains because they aren’t experienced enough.

    I’m beginning to see a slight difference with the crowd the tea party is gathering. there is a faint “so what” when someone in the media tries to make the “not enough experience” argument.

On Media and Mosques at Ground Zero

Saturday, August 14, AD 2010

One of the interesting (by which I mean dull, predictable and repetitive) aspects of the 24 hour news cycle is that all forms of media have incentives to magnify and actively seek out controversy. Not only does this increase ratings/page views/newspaper sales, it provides media outlets with something – anything in a slow news month – to talk about. I can’t help but feel that the recent outburst of commentary about the construction of a mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks is the type of story designed to increase media consumption and accomplish little else. The First Amendment is not in dispute here; freedom of religion is well established and protected by settled case law. Furthermore, the proposed mosque is to be constructed on private property, and there is no legal reason to challenge its construction. And so most of the discussion revolves (and frequently devolves) around taste and symbolism.

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44 Responses to On Media and Mosques at Ground Zero

  • I take your point about media generated controversies, but I’m not sure I’d place the mosque controversies at least entirely in that category. I find the following aspects of this controversy to be very remarkable and worthy of reflection:

    1. The legal right of Muslims to build houses of worship has been called into question.

    2. Islamic terrorists are being conflated with all Muslims.

    3. It’s being proposed that Islam really isn’t a religion.

    I really see our country at a crossroads right now. The increased presence of Muslims challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation) and the extent to which we value are willing to extend religious liberty. This controversy is forcing us to ask ourselves who we are, and that question is as serious as anything.

  • I suppose, in turn, I take your point Kyle. There are important issues connected to the controversy (although points 1 and 3 strike me as rather fringish, self-marginalizing ideas). I think it is a matter for serious concern that so many voices on the right have picked this particular battle. At the same time, I do not see why it is a national, rather than a local, issue. There is no legal basis for challenging the mosque’s construction, and there is virtually no chance of that changing in the near future (barring a cataclysmic series of events). I am glad that liberals have stated these truths and criticized the over-heated rhetoric from the right, but I still see this more as a controversy-of-the-day, rather than a matter of significant national import.

  • John Henry,

    There are a lot of things I can say about your perspective, and few of them would be very flattering. I’ll limit myself to this: as a Catholic, you ought to have a better understanding and appreciation of the symbolic. To dismiss the importance of symbolism in the manner you have seems rather crudely materialistic to me. Symbols are generally representations of real things.

    “there is little reason for anyone else aside from the families of the victims of 9/11 or residents of that area of New York to comment”

    And yet here we are, in a free society, in which people don’t need reasons deemed acceptable by others to engage in public discourse. Don’t let it burn you up too much 🙂

    Kyle,

    “1. The legal right of Muslims to build houses of worship has been called into question.”

    It has not. And someone ought to question the wisdom of the builders.

    Moreover, people have a right to make legal challenges if they like. It doesn’t mean they will succeed, and they may even be charged with the court cost if their case turns out to be frivolous.

    Finally, some suspect that the mosque is funded by a man with ties to terrorism.

    “2. Islamic terrorists are being conflated with all Muslims.”

    No, I think it is more accurate to say that Islamic terrorists are being portrayed as consistent Muslims, while the “moderate” Muslim is being portrayed as inconsistent, given the clear teachings of the Koran on the relations between Muslims and infidels. You won’t find anything like that in the New Testament.

    “3. It’s being proposed that Islam really isn’t a religion.”

    Yes, I don’t see the point in that. It isn’t a religion like others, to be sure, but in the West we tend to think of religion as something different (though not entirely unrelated) from politics, and from science, a legacy we can thank the Church for. These distinctions are what enabled Western society to advance far beyond others, I believe.

    Then again, I believe communism is a religion, just a secular one. Environmentalism is also fast becoming a religion, neo-pagan for some, secular for others.

    “challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation)”

    We are a Christian nation, if for no other reason than that the majority of Americans are Christians. If you mean in the substance of our policies, well they rest upon a Christian legacy anyway.

    In Lebanon, Islam “challenged the national narrative” of a Christian nation by repeatedly attempting to slaughter all of the Christians. Only God and the impenetrability of the mountains of Northern Lebanon saved them from that fate.

    Now I’m not saying that the Muslims who live here now either desire such a thing for the United States, or that they could do it if they did. I do wonder however how the picture will change if/when they become 20% of the population or more. This isn’t an observation limited to Islam either: ANY group with ANY ideas will seek to impose them more and more as their numbers grow. That’s just rational human political behavior, it is universal.

    Perhaps looking at Europe’s experience we would be wise to take certain precautions sooner, rather than later.

  • To dismiss the importance of symbolism in the manner you have seems rather crudely materialistic to me. Symbols are generally representations of real things.

    Symbols can be important, but they can also be ambiguous or frivolous. I wasn’t categorically rejecting arguments about symbolism; just saying that this particular one wasn’t particularly fruitful given that there are very few repercussions for public policy.

    And yet here we are, in a free society, in which people don’t need reasons deemed acceptable by others to engage in public discourse. Don’t let it burn you up too much

    This is silly, Joe. Saying that I don’t think a particular controversy is very valuable is hardly the same as saying I am upset that people are free to have it. I’m consistently on the side of freedom here – whether it be of religion or speech.

  • A commenter on a friend’s facebook page remarks that Muslims have the right to practice their religion in their own countries, but not in ours. I’d say that qualifies as denying the religious freedom of Muslims in the U.S. Teresamerica asserts that the sensitivity of the 9/11 families is grounds to refuse the building of the “ground zero” mosque. She’s not just questioning the wisdom of the building planners, but their legal right to build in that location. I can also point to the opposition the president has received in response to his statement that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as we all have. As for lawsuits: Exhibit A.

  • Cordova House: Why don’t we start a $100,000,000 fund to build a cathedral dedicated to St. Perfecto, a Spanish martyr murdered for the faith in Cordova during the 700 years the mass murderers held Spain?

    You geniuses will see how this plays out in November.

    Meanwhile, you will see a representative sample of 80% of US at 2PM on 11 September.

    You insensitive America-hating geniuses . . .

    Practicing their religion . . . flying large airplanes into tall buildings.

  • Regarding jihad, Adams states in his essay series,

    “…he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.”

    Confirming Adams’ assessment, the late Muslim scholar, Professor Majid Khadduri, wrote the following in his authoritative 1955 treatise on jihad, War and Peace in the Law of Islam :

    “Thus the jihad may be regarded as Islam’s instrument for carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muhammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief of God. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared ‘some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ’. Until that moment is reached the jihad, in one form or another will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dar al-Islam permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-harb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community accepting certain disabilities- must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dar al-Islam or be bound as clients to the Muslim community. The universality of Islam, in its all embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.”3

  • Kyle,

    Well, frankly, the cited examples all strike me as fairly marginal views. Your Facebook friend isn’t in favor of the First Amendment (and likely hasn’t really thought much about the history of Catholics in the United States); Teresaamerica is proposing manipulation of a city zoning requirement protecting landmarks to prevent the construction of the mosque, which is a rather startling example of using a facially neutral requirement for discriminatory purposes. As to lawsuits, they are unlikely to make it past summary judgment, if they even make it that far. As I said, there are important questions connected with this controversy, but for the most part these conversations involve issues more significant than – and distinct from – whether or not New York has another mosque.

    I should add, though, that I appreciate you taking the time to provide examples. It may be that I’m wrong about the significance of this particular controversy, or have chosen a poor example to illustrate the point I was trying to make.

  • T. Shaw – the purpose of this thread is not to debate the place of jihad within Islam; please try to provide comments that relate more directly to the topic of the post.

  • Right.

    “Taste”: I would use “sensitivity” or “sensibilities.” I know where your “head” is on this.

    Of course, the media actively magnified the immaterial, tragic events of 11 September 2001 (the boring History Channel mini-series they air each September need to cease and desist, too), so widows and other survivors have their evil bowels in an uproar over the religion of peace building a pacifist training camp two blocks away from where their little eichmann’s got it for liberating Kuwait from Saudi Arabian bases and supporting Israel.

  • “Muslims have the right to practice their religion in their own countries, but not in ours. I’d say that qualifies as denying the religious freedom of Muslims in the U.S.”

    This is one of the most laughable statements posted here in quite some time.

    All over the Muslim world, Muslims are denied the right to practice as they see fit. No whirling Dervishes if you are in Saudi Arabia. Want to wear a burqa in Turkey? Have fun in jail. Surely the hundreds of thousands of Muslims arrested each year on charges of “crimes against Islam” reveal the claim as absurd?

    And, with regards to Muslims not being able to practice in the US, what could your Facebook friend POSSIBLY mean by THAT allegation? Is she suggesting that opposing the building of a mosque at Ground Zero represents an absolute bar to the practicing of Islam in New York City or the United States as a whole? If so, she has lost her furry little mind.

    Whether one agrees or disagrees with opposing the building of Cordoba House at Ground Zero, we shouldn’t jump on the victimized bandwagon just yet. Lets face it, Cordoba House isn’t the first mosque to be built to praise Allah for a great victory… The Blue Mosque in Constantinople is.

  • John,

    “I wasn’t categorically rejecting arguments about symbolism”

    That wasn’t very clear originally. I thank you for the clarification.

    Kyle,

    Your link is just a link to people who want to stop the construction of one mosque. That is a far cry from arguing that “Muslims don’t have a right to practice their religion.”

    You know, we deny a lot of different religious groups the right to certain practices. We prosecute Christian “scientists” who refuse to give their children medicine when they are sick, for instance. So this idea of absolute religious freedom is as detached from history and reality as those who proclaim an absolute right to free speech. I don’t claim that there are grounds at the moment to deny certain aspects of Islam, but they could well arise at some point.

    My compromise would be this: today, right now, before 10% of our population is Muslim, we pass state or even federal constitutional amendments forever barring the implementation of Sharia law at any level. We make resolutions to avoid what has happened in Europe and some of the commonwealth countries, in which “culture” or “religion” has been used in courts of law to defend honor killers and rapists. We subject Islam to the same scrutiny that Christianity is subjected to in the public school system, and we stop these ridiculous charades in which children are forced to act like Muslims for a week as part of “cultural awareness.” It’s absurd.

  • G-Veg, I think your comment reflects a misunderstanding. Kyle’s FB friend was expressing their view of what should be rather than what is. Obviously, there are a lot of problems with his friend’s desired state of affairs and that (fortunately) is not currently the state of things in the U.S.

  • The constant invocation of Cordoba itself reeks of mealy-mouting of Catholics and the Christian faith in general. The legends of Al-Andalus and the alleged tolerance of Muslims for other religions have been amplified beyond caricature by Jews who couldn’t forgive Catholics for the expulsions and fabulists such as Borges and Fuentas who projected their fantasies onto a mideaval past. The strange thing is, Muslims themselves never cared for the comity of Cordoba, one can hardly find references to that aspect in their earlier writings; bin Laden wasn’t rueing for the Cordoba of fantastic memory. The remaking of Cordoba into some kind of wonderland was the work of (a few) Jews, thus it is no surprise that Bloomberg is taken in. I look forward to the day when the very same boosters, complain when some Sheikh or other compares Jews to monkeys at Cordoba House.

  • Pauli’s link makes my point in an indirect way. What was the need for that anti-Catholic bigot Foxman to invoke the Auschwitz nuns to frighten off CAIR, when the salient comparison to the destruction of the WTC is in fact Pearl Harbour? It seems as though he wants us to forget that Catholic Poles in their hundreds of thousands perished in that camp. Is McGurn a Catholic? If so, he needs to stop drinking the ADL Kool-Aid.

  • I agree that symbolism is important. That’s why I think the efforts to stop the building project are so awful.

  • I wouldn’t try to stop them through the courts, but I would impress upon them how much they will rightfully be resented for failing to respect the wishes of the people. To do something simply because one can is hardly a persuasive argument.

    There are a thousand and one good ways to foster better relations between Muslims who wish to disavow the violent teachings of the Koran, and Christians in the United States. This is not one of them.

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  • I would impress upon them how much they will rightfully be resented for failing to respect the wishes of the people. To do something simply because one can is hardly a persuasive argument.

    I agree. Muslims don’t “do” persuasive argument. Never have. Why should they? They like their methods better. From passive aggressiveness all the way up to not-so-passive, that’s where they excel.

    In many ways I’m glad they are building this at ground zero to show their absolute smugness and insensitivity. It will further expose their nature.

  • Pauli,

    I think such generalizations are unfair, dangerous, and inaccurate when applied to a group of 1 billion people. A disturbing pattern is found in many long-running feuds/persecutions: 1) a group of individuals is lumped together on the basis of a distinguishing feature (whether it be race/religion/nationality/etc.) and identified as ‘the other’; 2) that group is then accused of having various negative characteristics to an unusual degree (e.g. greed, stupidity, or guilt for certain crimes); 3) these negative characteristics are then used as a pretext for denying rights to this group that other citizens enjoy. I am concerned about the implications of your comments.

  • I should have written “Muslim leaders” rather than merely “Muslims”. That’s my point. Islam doesn’t have one billion leaders. One billion people are not building a mosque. I can “generalize” about these leaders based on their past and present behavior. They don’t show the kind of sensitivity of the Holy Father in the link I posted.

    John Henry was wise to delete his former comment where he compared me to a Klan member and a jihadist.

  • John Henry was wise to delete his former comment where he compared me to a Klan member and a jihadist.

    My point was about language and the structure of your argument; to say language is similar is not to say the people are similar. Substitute Catholics/blacks/Israelis for Muslims in your comment above, and the similarities in language are quite striking. Btw, I frequently re-write my comments multiple times to try and make them clearer within the first few minutes after they post.

  • I frequently re-write my comments multiple times to try and make them clearer within the first few minutes after they post.

    Mmmmm, I see. That also provides a benefit that those subscribed to the comment thread get to see what you really think before your discretion kicks in and you self-censor. Maybe you should just write your comments down on scratch paper first and read them out loud to yourself. That’s what I do.

    Let me clarify my views further WRT the smugness and insensitivity of the Muslim leaders behind the building of the ground zero Mosque. I don’t think I would say the same about black leaders in general, Israeli leaders in general or Catholic leaders in general, and my proof for the third is in the link I provided earlier. This rules me out as a Klansman if there was any further question.

  • Pauli – you seem to be missing the point. I wasn’t saying that you feel similarly about Catholics/blacks/Israelis, etc. I was observing that your comment above about Muslims is very similar to the type of statements that the Klansmen of yore made about Catholics and Blacks, and radical Muslim groups today make about Israelis. You’ve said now that you were only speaking about ‘Muslim leaders,’ but I think, again, your statement still reflects a disturbing prejudice.

  • John Henry, here’s a question. Can you think of other comparable situations involving different religions other than Islam? Keep in mind that this project will be large costing millions of dollars. If I am prejudiced against Islam, then I have overlooked all the other times a different religion has done something comparable.

    Prejudice means to prejudge, to judge someone before you see any of there actions. For example, I see a black person and I think, “That person is probably a lazy bum, because blacks are lazy.” If I think this, then I am prejudiced. But what if I am able to observe a black person for several months and note many instances of laziness? Then I can state “He is lazy” without prejudice, can I not? This would only appear to be prejudice to a third person who didn’t know that I had many occasions to observe the laziness and who then made an assumption that the reason for my judgment was my own prejudice against blacks. This third person would himself be guilty of prejudging me.

    So give me some comparable situations throughout history to the ground zero mosque. Otherwise this word substitution exercise you are proposing smells like a red herring.

  • I really see our country at a crossroads right now. The increased presence of Muslims challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation) and the extent to which we value are willing to extend religious liberty. This controversy is forcing us to ask ourselves who we are, and that question is as serious as anything.

    There are some disputes about the proportion of the population which is Muslim. (Robert Spencer offers that the most valid estimates appear to place that population at 3,000,000, or 1% of the whole). I do not think a minority that size ‘challenges national narratives’. (The appellate judiciary and the public interest bar have insisted on the adoption of enforced secularization, because that is the preferred policy in the social circles in which they run).

    Both you and John Henry might consider the possibility that past is not prologue, and that a muslim minority might eventually prove tragically incompatible with the general population, and that such an outcome is more likely if elite policy rewards rather than ignores (or penalizes) aggressive postures on the part of novel minorities.

  • The remaking of Cordoba into some kind of wonderland was the work of (a few) Jews

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04359b.htm

    “Owing to the peace which the Christians of Cordova then enjoyed, some knowledge of their condition has been preserved, among other things the name of their bishop, Joannes, also the fact that, at that period, the citizens of Cordova, Arabs, Christians, and Jews, enjoyed so high a degree of literary culture that the city was known as the New Athens. From all quarters came students eager to drink at its founts of knowledge. Among the men afterwards famous who studied at Cordova were the scholarly monk Gerbert, destined to sit on the Chair of Peter as Sylvester II (999-1003)”

    I suppose it’s possible Jews infiltrated the Catholic Encyclopedia’s editorial board.

  • Yeah, those silly martyrs didn’t know when they had it good!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

  • restrainedcatholic, the article you linked to in its entirety, shows that Catholic scholars were not among those going gaga over Cordoba. The quote does not accurately convey the thrust of the article. By the sheer dance of things, there is bound to be a period when Christians and Jews enjoyed a measure of peace living among Muslims. This by itself is not sufficient to inspire the paens to Cordoba. Where for example is the equivalent Christian city? We know that there were Christian monarchs in the Iberian peninsula who were tolerant by the standards of that era. Yet no one is concerned to inflict their saga on us.

  • sorry I should have addressed the above to restrainedradical..

  • Donald, you should substitute the phrase “female African slaves” for “martyrs” in your sarcastic remark. How’s it sound then? Answer: very disturbing.

  • Let us assume that those financing Cordoba House are sincere in their desire to present the most tolerant face of Islam possible and that harkening back to an enlightened period of the Cordoban princes is meant to be a signal of the kind of tolerance they seek in America. Let us further accept the claim that the proximity to Ground Zero is meant to give voice to moderate and modern Islam – as an answer to the kind of religious extremism that brought the towers down and the world’s economic Goliath to his knees.

    It was surely possible to be a practicing Christian or Jew in Cordoba at various points. We have fairly modern examples to suggest that a calm, judicious application of the Koran and the Hadith to the interactions between religions leads to some degree of stability and freedom of worship. However, at its very best, this isn’t anything approximating Freedom of Religion. This is because Sharia law absolutely requires Theocracy. It presumes that Islam is right on a host of human interactions that allow for no deviation. However “tolerant” of other religious teachings an Islamic state seeks to be it cannot permit deviation on critical issues such as the nature of God, the duty of man to his family and to the community, and how work is organized. In even the most tolerant of Islamic states (indeed, I would argue that this is true of ALL theocratic states and that we are concentrating on Islamic states because they are the last of this old order), no Christian can be allowed to evangelize because, at its core, tolerant Islam nonetheless requires absolute adherence to basic Koranic doctrine as expressed through the Hadith. This is to say that the Spanish Caliphates may have been “tolerant” but only so long as the other faiths knew and stayed in their place. (This shouldn’t be surprising. There was a reason for the brutality and vindictiveness of the Spanish Inquisition and I doubt it was “payback” for six centuries of Islamic FAIR treatment.)

    Bringing my point back to Cordoba House: even IF those financing the project intend to signal the kind of “tolerance” that was supposedly exhibited under Muslim rule in Cordoba, that kind of “tolerance” is nothing akin to Freedom of Religion. Further, it “feels like” building a mosque so close to the place where the American economic model of a hundred years was destroyed is a sort of “victory dance” or, at least, a shrine to thank Allah for victory. My guess is that our ancestors felt the same way about the conversion of the Basilica at Constantinople into the Blue Mosque.

    If this is not what is intended… if the Cordoba House builders are honest in their desire to forge bonds and further understanding, they have picked a damn awful way to do it. Appearances DO matter.

    One final note: please do not interpret my writing to suggest that I believe that the engines of law ought to be brought to bear to prevent the building of the mosque. Indeed, even if it were called the “Usama Bin Laden Victory Mosque” and have individual shrines to the 911 “martyrs,” I would not want the state to act in an unconstitutional way. However, I take great exception to those who suggest that protesting the building of the mosque is un-American. Nothing is more democratic than to stand up for one’s views and to speak for oneself – not expecting the government to intervene

  • G-Veg: If this is not what is intended… if the Cordoba House builders are honest in their desire to forge bonds and further understanding, they have picked a damn awful way to do it. Appearances DO matter.

    Yeah, this is pretty much how Michael Medved phrased it today on his show. Either it’s a victory dance which means it’s horrible, or it’s an extremely poor and insensitive attempt at reconciliation.

  • Should you be glad that it’s named after a place that became exclusively Catholic?

  • Wow, why didn’t I think of that? Cordoba as a backhand compliment to Ferdinand and Isabelle; tell the hardhats its alright, they must get to work. Expedite the construction.

  • Good Morning restrainedradical,

    I’m not sure I follow you because I didn’t think we were talking about what I would do if I were going to sponsor a religious community in a place that would deeply offend. For this conversation, it is enough to articulate why I am offended and how the decision to build this mosque in a place where it appears to glory in misery is inappropriate.

    I’ll range farther though to say that I understand the impulse of the victor to raise monuments – to celebrate victory in a way that visits new injury on the defeated every time they are forced to accept and contemplate their impotency. It is a basic and base impulse. I mentioned the Blue Mosque as an example but there are many others such as the obelisk at the Vatican (doubly so if Wiki is right in noting that the obelisk was the center-point of the Circus Maximus).

    Monuments are built to channel human vision such as the Smithsonian and to inspire the way the Statue of Liberty does. They are built to control the divine (Stonehenge) or to refocus culture such as St. Petersburg. Sometimes they are merely the extension of man’s feeble attempt to control what happens after death (Pyramids at Giza). Often they are build to “immortalize” conquest such as Trafalgar Square and to put a face on a particular victory such as Admiral Nelson’s monument at Trafalgar. There are a lot of reasons to put mortar to stone and not all of them are base and mean.

    It is a fair question as to why those who seek to build Cordoba House at Ground Zero choose that location. The explanation given – that they seek to put a moderate face on Islam and to answer the extremism of September 11th with the understanding and tolerance of a thoroughly modern and moderate Islam – is difficult for many people to accept. I am one of them.

    I look at the speeches of its lead spokesman, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and wonder how a man who believes that America invited the 911 attacks through its policies over the previous century can simultaneously believe that the building of a mosque on the site of those attacks would be perceived as other than a victory monument by extremists. The questions about funding further alarm me since our culture is accustomed to look with skepticism upon projects whose funding is hidden. I admit to looking with jaded eye on attempts to present the Koran and Hadith as purely religious – i.e. having no pre-requisite political, legal, and economic structure – strictures.

    Cast against this backdrop, calling the project “Cordoba House” and then withdrawing that name when confronted about its implications appears to me to be revealing. It suggests that the name choice was more illuminating about the hidden agenda of those building the center than they wished it to be.

    In many ways, the rise of Islam in the Americas presents a unique challenge to both Muslims and the broader society. Primary in the challenges is recasting the political, social, and economic structures inherent in the Koran and, particularly, in the Hadith as idealized analogies rather than divine order. Stated more simply, the Koran and the Hadith are incredibly specific as to how society as a whole, family life in particular, and the daily lives of individuals are to be organized. While it is true that the burqa and other such trappings of modern Islam are not ordained in the written word, it is fair to note that the vast majority of religious, economic, and political obligations are spelled out.

    In a modern, constitutionalist state such as the United States, there is an assumption that the duties of man to man and man to the broader society are limited by law maintained by virtually universal suffrage. The framework is set by the democratic institutions. The individual actions inside of that framework are set by our personal codes. Religion, in one sense, must accept the overall legal framework in order to be practiced freely. Stated differently, lest I be misunderstood to be saying that religion is subordinate to the State, the modern, diverse culture, the State guarantees a field of contest on which the worldviews can compete without being oppressed by organs of government. So long as those worldviews accept the framework, virtually any can operate freely (Scientology for example) without damaging the State.

    It remains to be seen whether Islam can exist within a constitutional state.

  • G-Veg, similar things can be said of Judaism yet they developed doctrines that allow them to integrate into a pluralistic society. Christianity went through a similar transformation. Even if the Bible doesn’t command certain public policies, it became conventional wisdom that, for example, heresy should be a capital offense. Freedom of conscience didn’t hold as high a place as it does today.

    I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibilities that Islam can develop doctrines that can allow them to deemphasize teachings that prevent them from integrating. There will still be fundamentalists but they may become a tiny fringe minority with no mainstream support.

    We can aid in this process by supporting the moderates within Islam who are willing to abandon the more radical teachings.

  • It remains to be seen whether Islam can exist within a constitutional state.

    Constitutional monarchy has functioned in Morocco for most the the last 50-odd years. Malaysia has always been a parliamentary state, if an illiberal one. There are several West African countries which have had elected governments for the last 20 to 35 years. The Arab world is peculiarly resistant to electoral and deliberative institutions; outside of that, it is doubtful that muslim societies are more prone to tyranny than other societies at similar levels of economic development.

    A better statement of the question is whether a muslim minority can be amicably incorporated in a society where the judiciary, the social services apparat, the educational apparat, and much of the political class considers the vernacular society of the natives something which needs to be contained and leavened, and makes use of (often rude) immigrant populations in its battles with that vernacular society.

  • Bernard Lewis in his book The Jews in Islam writes,

    “The claim to tolerance, now much heard from Muslim apologists and more especially from apologists for Islam, is also new and of alien origin. It is only very recently that some defenders of Islam have begun to assert that their society in the past accorded equal status to non-Muslims. No such claim is made by spokesmen for resurgent Islam, and historically there is no doubt that they are right. Traditional Islamic societies neither accorded such equality nor pretended that they were so doing. Indeed, in the old order, this would have been regarded not as a merit but as a dereliction of duty. How could one accord the same treatment to those who follow the true faith and those who willfully reject it? This would be a theological as well as a logical absurdity.”

  • Art Deco,

    The Arab world is peculiarly resistant to electoral and deliberative institutions.

    Isn’t there a whole history of colonial (mis)administration here that is being calmly passed over–as though we can leap from the time of the caliphate to contemporary world politics without addressing the serious harms imposed upon the middle east and northern africa by various european powers.

    Even the case of Iran (not Arab, but Muslim country) complicates the situation. We did depose their legitimately elected government and instituted a dictator in his place, as we’ve done several other times in various places.

    My point is that an awful lot of this analysis passes over modern history as though it didn’t have any effect on how Islam first encountered representative systems of government.

  • Most of the Arab world was under colonial rule by Europe for a very brief period from shortly after World War I to shortly after World War II. The pathologies that afflict the Arab world are homegrown. It is representative institutions and the Western concept of human rights which are the legacy from Europe.

    In regard to Iran it is more accurate to say that we deposed a dictator, Mossadegh, and restored the Shah. The Shah was a squalid tyrant, but he gleams as positively enlightened compared to the rulers thrown up by the Shia Revolution.

  • Isn’t there a whole history of colonial (mis)administration here that is being calmly passed over–as though we can leap from the time of the caliphate to contemporary world politics without addressing the serious harms imposed upon the middle east and northern africa by various european powers.

    Even the case of Iran (not Arab, but Muslim country) complicates the situation. We did depose their legitimately elected government and instituted a dictator in his place, as we’ve done several other times in various places.

    I keep having this argument with Maclin Horton’s troublesome blogging partner. I offer you the following inventory.

    European colonization in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia was limited to the Maghreb and to a small knock of Levantine territory (the Valley of Jezreel and a portion of the coastal plain running between Gaza and Haifa) difficult to see in an atlas of ordinary scale. In Morocco (and I believe in Tunisia as well), the French agricultural colonies were small (the total number of households being under 10,000), although a good deal of common land was enclosed and delivered to them. Demographically obtrusive colonization was found in Algeria (state supported and enforced) and in the Levant (as private and voluntary immigration financed by the Jewish National Fund, etc). I have seen some figures I do not quite trust that there was quite a bit of settlement in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica as well.

    Egypt, the Sudan, Aden, the south Arabian sheikhdoms, the Trucial sheikhdoms, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Transjordan, and Iraq were all dependencies of Britain or France for periods ranging from 14 years to 72 years. Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Syria were dependencies of France for periods ranging from 26 years to 75 years. You had a rotating population of civil servants and soldiers and a foreign resident population there for business or missionary work (e.g. the founders of the American University of Beirut). There were, however, no colonists other than the aforementioned population of farmers. Morocco’s agricultural colonies were founded around 1928 and fully liquidated by about 1971.

    You may have noticed that Indonesia has had an elected government for the last 11 years, that elected administration has been modal in South Asia since 1947, and that elected governments are (at this point in time) rather more prevalent in Tropical and Southern Africa than they have been in the Arab world at any time in the last 50 years. The encounter between Europeans and natives was a good deal more durable, intrusive, and coercive in these loci than it ever was with regard to the Arab world.

    You may have noticed the United States had scant involvement in this enterprise of collecting overseas dependencies, and none at all in the Muslim world.

    You may also have noticed that the 9/11 crew were recruited not from Algeria (which did feel the French boot rather severely), but from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Egypt was a dependency of Britain in a juridically odd arrangement from 1881 to 1922; any complaints about this are not exactly topical. Neither the Hijaz nor the Nejd (united now as ‘Saudi Arabia’) was ever a dependency of any European power. Britain and Russia established some concessionary arrangements with Persia for a period of time (1907-25) in the early 20th century, but it was never a dependency of any European power.

    The four Arab countries which have had the most extensive experience with constitutional government (Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, and Kuwait) are all over the map as regards the duration and features of their encounter with Europe.

    As for the ‘legitimately elected government’ of Iran, parliamentary executives are generally dependent on the pleasure of the head of state, most especially when they have arbitrarily prorogued the country’s legislature (as Iran’s had been in 1953). Mohammed Mossadegh was no more entitled to rule by decree and disestablish the Persian monarchy (his ambitions) than was the Shah to run a royal dictatorship, but you win some and you lose some. Now, run down the list of states in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia which were sovereign for some time during the period running from 1953 to 1978 and identify those which had some measure of competitive electoral politics and public deliberation more often than not. That is a low bar that about 2/3 of the Latin American states could have met. The list will read as follows: Morocco, Kuwait, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey, Pakistan, Libya (perhaps), and Jordan (perhaps). That would be 6 or 8 of the 25 states of the region. It is just not fertile ground for parliamentary government, and a multi-ethnic state with a literacy rate of 8% is not promising material for a durable constitutional order in any case.

    I do not care what bilge Noam Chomsky or John Prados are pushing. The machinations of the CIA are not the reason competitive electoral politics has often been a transient state of affairs here there and the next place in this world (as it was prior to the CIA’s formation in 1947). The only good example of something resembling a democratic political order iced by the CIA would be Jacobo Arbenz’ government in Guatemala in 1954. Personally, I think Arbenz bears more resemblance to Juan Domingo Peron and Salvador Allende than he does to Latin America’s authentic constitutionalists, but it is difficult to find trustworthy histories of his life and times.

  • Muslims don’t “do” persuasive argument. Never have.

    Clarification. I would like to take my second phrase back: “Never have,” which I wrote in ignorance. (Never say never, right?) It turns out that for a time, Muslim thinkers were at one time more reasonable and more at home with the use of reason. I learned that from this excellent piece interviewing Robert Reilly on his new book, the title of which is “Closing of the Muslim Mind”. It’s particularly germane to this discussion and sheds quite a bit of light on the B16/Regensberg thing as well.

    I believe my larger point stands, i.e., currently Muslims do not so much engage in apologetics as they do in a certain type of assertiveness about their beliefs, which is possibly a more useful word than aggressiveness for describing the particular tendency I wish to describe for purposes of this discussion.

The Vast JournoList Conspiracy

Tuesday, July 27, AD 2010

UPDATED BELOW

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

But then again, facts get in the way.

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

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

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

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

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

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12 Responses to The Vast JournoList Conspiracy

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

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

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

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

    Thank beelzebub for MSNBC and CNN!

  • Iowahawk has his own special take on the controversy:

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

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

  • Mickey Kaus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Well, why not? everyone else is asking.

Juden Raus!

Saturday, June 5, AD 2010

Helen Thomas, the Deaness of the Washington Press Corps, delivered the above charming sentiments at a Jewish Heritage Celebration at the White House on May 27.  Thomas has been a left wing loon forever, and has always been hostile to Israel, but here she let the mask slip to reveal the bigot within.  She later made a perfunctory apology for saying what she obviously believes with all her heart.

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20 Responses to Juden Raus!

  • Will there be a cry for her employer to fire her?

    If she were a conservative there would be hell to pay.

  • I thought a house landed on her.

  • T. Shaw,

    You shouldn’t drag down witches like that. It’s an insult to witches everywhere.

  • I apologize.

    Silver lining: She’s an appropriate “spokes-model” for the antisemites masquerading as peace and justice liberals.

  • If Helen Thomas was, say, a woman of 40, I’d blame such a ridiculous statement on ignorance due to an appallingly poor educational system. But she was in her 20’s when WWII ended and they showed newsreels of the death camps in the movie theaters. No excuses.

    Thomas also seems unaware that a majority of Israeli Jews are not from “Germany and Poland” but are Sephardis from the Muslim world who were booted out of their old countries when the state of Israel was created.

    If she is so blatantly ignorant of such basic facts, I’d say it’s long past time she retired.

  • Tito, if she were a conservative, liberals would nod in silent agreement and conservatives would jump through hoops to explain why she didn’t really mean what she said.

  • “liberals would nod in silent agreement and conservatives would jump through hoops to explain why she didn’t really mean what she said”

    You are wrong about the latter part of that equation restrainedradical. Most conservatives are very supportive of Israel and have very little tolerance for anti-Semites.

  • Additionally the mind boggles at the concept of Helen Thomas as a conservative. One might as well attempt to consider Bill Clinton as a trappist monk.

  • conservatives would jump through hoops to explain why she didn’t really mean what she said.

    Pat Buchanan would like a word with you.

  • I probably should expand upon my comment just a tad, in case it flew over anyone’s head. Pat Buchanan is regularly excoriated by many conservatives for his anti-Israeli sentiments (and indeed defended by those sympathetic to his worldview).

  • I was thinking the same thing Paul

  • Re: Anti-Semite Helen Thomas
    She shows her complete lack of knowledge concerning Israel. Historically, the land belongs to them. She should read up on the kings of Israeland how the Jewish nation was formed.
    The UN gave back a portion of the Jewish land to its people in 1948. They have a legal right to be there. “Palestine” was a name given to the land of Israel by the Romans to humiliate the Jewish people. If she reads her history she will learn this.
    SHE SHOULD BE FIRED! She’s an insensitive bigot.

  • Though I think Buchanan was deemed an anti-semite by William F. Buckley a number of years ago in an articl at National Review. Good to know we all agree that Helen Thomas is in he same league.

    RR is right that here are anti-semites on the right. I think it is becoming much more fashionable on the left however. That’s not to say anyone who disagrees with Israel is. But there they are.

  • And as Buckley’s example shows, Conservatives kick them off the magazine. What will liberals do with Thomas?

  • Actually, IIRC Buckley was less definitive re Buchanan. What I believe he wrote was something to the effect that given all the evidence a reasonable man could conclude that Buchanan was anti-semitic. But that was enough for many conservatives, including those who otherwise agreed with many of PB’s positions.

  • I think the best quote from the article in question is where Buckley found it “impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism, whatever it was that drove him to say and do it: most probably, an iconoclastic temperament.”

    So he perhaps didn’t see him as an anti-Semite though he found what he wrote and said anti-Semitic.

  • Pingback: Hearst Stands Behind Anti-Semite Helen Thomas « The American Catholic
  • Fire the bigot. She has shamed herself, her profession and any organization she represents. Her apology rings hollow. She has revealed her true face, and no mealymouthed apology change that.

  • I’ll grant that PB is extremely non-interventionist. I don’t think that necessarily equates with anti-semitism. He seems to advocate cutting foreign aid pretty much across the board. But most journalists, left or right, are extremely afraid of making any criticism of Israel (or our aid to them) and incurring the A-S label.

  • I don’t really think Thomas and PB are in the same league. PB, although I suppose you could interpret his stance against aid to Israel as anti-semitic, I don’t recall him advocating for kicking the Jews out of Israel. He seems to be more of the opinion that it’s simply not our business (and not in our interest) to get involved. I would welcome any correction on that.

    Thomas seems to clearly advocate the US and the world being involved, and wanting the Jewish people out, with apparently very little interest in the various claims involved. I can’t really tell from the clip if she was referring only to the occupied territories, but the fact she said they should go back to Poland and Germany (rather than Israel proper) reveals that she considers Israel itself to be occupied territory.

Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False

Saturday, October 31, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this post.]

In what is a common occurrence that happens more than you think, the media again has done a poor job of reporting the news that emanates from the Vatican.  If it came from the Vatican at all.  The new one today is that the Catholic Church condemns Halloween, or some variation there of.

Various news outlets have reported that the Pope, the Catholic Church, or the Vatican have condemned, blasted, slammed, or as the Times of London said, “reserved their venom for the millions of parents who allowed their children to celebrate this “pagan” festival.”

And people say anti-Catholicism doesn’t exist?

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7 Responses to Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False

  • I’m kinda curious how folks are celebrating Halloween in Spain, that they were able to find two quotes that could be shoe-horned into this story.

    The Times story says:
    José Sánchez González, the Bishop of Sigüenza-Guadalajara, in central Spain, went further, suggesting that Hallowe’en parties had a “background of the occult and anti-Christianity”. He said that he saw the dark influence of Hollywood playing with the young minds of Spanish children as they danced innocently around pumpkins, little realising that they were attending a pagan festival.

    “Due to this influence, Hallowe’en started being celebrated several years ago and it is spreading more and more, without people knowing what it is that they are celebrating,” he said.

    Sounds to me like they might actually have a problem– same way that the GB Christian group they quote to support their article is trying to deal with the real problems of vandalism and kids getting hit by cars while they’re out trick or treating.

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  • And who wrote this article “Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False” ?? There is no author under the title … so we don’t know who to respond to, but going to the Contributors list, I realized that not one of the contributors is a Church Official or a priest. So, how could YOU be the authority on what the Church teaches? I would rather go with the priest from Spain than your opinions. Hope you can find the Truth and discern spirits .. especially during this time of occult and satanic rituals.

  • So, how could YOU be the authority on what the Church teaches?

    The Church publishes her binding teachings, and I don’t mean in a newspaper.

    Thus, it’s not a matter of the person posting having authority or not– it’s a matter of truth, which requires no authority to share.

    It doesn’t matter if someone is a Priest or “Church Official,” if they’re saying something is true when it isn’t, or if they’re being quoted as “the Vatican says” when it’s their view.

    (BTW, while there isn’t an author listed, you could go to the trackback right above your comment, go through and notice the first comment there is “Bravo, Tito.”)

  • I would rather go with the priest from Spain than your opinions.

    So that means I can follow whatever Richard McBrien says? After all, he’s a priest and dresses like one when he’s on TV.

Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality

Tuesday, September 8, AD 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Some potential problems with the lesson plans:

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

  • Foxfier anticipated part of what I am saying.

  • Foxfire,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Restrained Radical,

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

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

    It’s all in my posting.

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

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

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

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

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

    DROPOUTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obama Green Czar Van Jones Resigns Under Pressure

Sunday, September 6, AD 2009

Obama Adviser Resigns

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jimmy Carters second term.

_._

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

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21 Responses to Obama Green Czar Van Jones Resigns Under Pressure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Tomorrow’s news:

    Van Jones was pushed out because he’s black.

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

    THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY!

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

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

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

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

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • MacGregor,

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

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

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

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

  • tomdegan’s first line made me laugh.

    Van Jones: I am a Communist.

    Glenn Beck: Van Jones is a Communist.

    The Left: Smears! Wingnut lies! McCarthyism!

  • Paul,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Here is Beck’s juvenile snarkiness …

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

  • but I have spent way too much time typing arguments

    No kidding.

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

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

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

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

Rifqa, Islam, and the Mainstream Media

Monday, August 24, AD 2009

Rifqa BaryYou may have heard by now of the case of Rifqa Bary who fled her Ohio home to Florida to escape her father’s grasp.  The reason being is that she converted to Christianity and her family are extremist Muslims.  Meaning that she will be put to death for being a kafir, or apostasizing from Islam.  This is in line with most mainstream Islamic jurisprudence (see the Koran verses such as 2:217 and 4:89) that calls for the death of a convert away from Islam.

Andrew Bostom of the American Thinker wrote an excellent piece concerning Rifqa Bary:

Rifqa Bary faces death for her apostasy from Islam, while the media ignores the solid religious and institutional grounding for the practice.

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2 Responses to Rifqa, Islam, and the Mainstream Media

  • We need to get people to stop believing in the Quran and the Hadiths; they aren’t the word of God and they are leading people astray as to what He requires from them. Islam as a religion needs to be dismantled.

    God Bless,

  • LEST WE FORGET…

    September 1st is the fifth anniversary of the almost forgotten Beslan atrocity. The full story was never published at the time.

    In particular, the Islamic involvement was censored. The MSM never reported the child-rapes or other typically Islamic aspects, even though the children were being knifed to shouts of ‘Allah Akhbar’.

    The full uncensored story can be found in the links under ‘BESLAN – Child rape, torture and ritual murder’ at The Religion of Peace™ Subject Index

    Could all bloggers please help to spread the truth about this massacre to warn the public of the truly Satanic vileness of this predatory murder-cult.

Sleeping Giant Awakes and Democrats Blink

Thursday, August 13, AD 2009

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

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

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

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28 Responses to Sleeping Giant Awakes and Democrats Blink

  • Taco Man,

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

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

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

  • Master C,

    What penalty?

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

    Geeee, I don’t know what you mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hope that clears that up.

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

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

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

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

    .

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

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

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

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

  • master c:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Don’t get it. at all.

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

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

  • what about the fiercely pro social justice part?

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

    a little something for all us!

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

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

  • OK gentlemen,

    Enough with the “troll” comments.

    Just argue the substance, not the person.

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

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

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

    But, OK:

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

    I await your next change of subject.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I have no interest in talking with you further.

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

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"Taken" Some Life Lessons

Saturday, July 18, AD 2009

I saw the movie with Liam Neeson entitled “Taken”, the other night. It is the ultimate ‘Dads protecting daughters’ fantasy. It plays on a whole lot of primal emotions- particularly the temptation to give oneself over to extreme violence to protect the lives and sanctity of one’s children. Every father wants to imagine himself capable of defending his beloved children from any and all threats- and the father in “Taken” was that ultimate fatherly force. He represented more of a divine Angelic father who slays spiritually evil forces, than a realistic earthly dad- and as such I was able to excuse the incredible violence as something of a parable of ultimate accountability for those humans who perpetrate the evils of human trafficking and slavery.

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3 Responses to "Taken" Some Life Lessons

  • I think you make a key point here about how deeply pornography is connected with the breakdown of the family and the exploitation of women in our society.

  • Can you tell me what definition of “consumerism” you’re applying to the sex-slavery industry which is thousands of years old?

    It seems a stretch to me, but I’m interested to hear.

  • ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
    TO THE MEMBERS OF THE
    “CENTESIMUS ANNUS – PRO PONTIFICE” FOUNDATION

    Clementine Hall
    Saturday, 13 June 2009

    “Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
    Distinguished and Dear Friends,

    Thank you for your visit which fits into the context of your annual meeting. I greet you all with affection and am grateful to you for all that you do, with proven generosity, at the service of the Church. I greet and thank your President, Count Lorenzo Rossi di Montelera, who has expressed your sentiments with fine sensitivity, giving an overview of the Foundation’s work. I also thank those who, in various languages, have wished to express your common devotion. Our meeting today acquires special meaning and value in the light of the situation that humanity as a whole is experiencing at this time.

    Indeed, the financial and economic crisis which has hit the industrialized, the emerging and the developing countries, shows clearly that certain economic and financial paradigms which prevailed in recent years must be rethought. Therefore, at the international congress which took place yesterday your Foundation did well to address the topic of the search for, and identification of, the values and rules which the economic world should abide by in order to evolve a new model of development that is more attentive to the requirements of solidarity and more respectful of human dignity.

    I am pleased to learn that you examined in particular the interdependence between institutions, society and the market, in accordance with my venerable Predecessor John Paul II’s Encyclical, Centesimus annus. The Encyclical states that the market economy, understood as: “an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector” (n. 42), may be recognized as a path to economic and civil progress only if it is oriented to the common good (cf. n. 43). However, this vision must also be accompanied by another reflection which says that freedom in the economic sector must be circumscribed “by a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality”, a responsible freedom, “the core of which is ethical and religious” (n. 42). The above-mentioned Encyclical appropriately states: “just as the person fully realizes himself in the free gift of self, so too ownership morally justifies itself in the creation, at the proper time and in the proper way, of opportunities for work and human growth for all” (n. 43).

    I hope that by drawing inspiration from the eternal principles of the Gospel it will be possible, with the research inherent in your work, to elaborate a vision of the modern economy that is respectful of the needs and rights of the weak. My Encyclical dedicated to the vast topic of the economy and work is, as you know, due to be published shortly. It will highlight what for Christians are the objectives to pursue and the values to promote and to defend tirelessly, if we are to achieve a truly free and supportive human coexistence.”

    Consumerism, as I use it, is not the positive business economy that is supported by Catholic social doctrine, but the destructive misuse of business models that overemphasize the commerce angle at the expense of the human beings who are on the giving and receiving end of some business transaction. It is the inadequate juridical framework that allows for such things as pornography and adult entertainment businesses to flourish under a false idealism associated with “Free Speech” and corporations being legally defined as “persons” with rights we normally associate with actual human beings. These modern-day abuses of what true freedom is really all about, help foster the modern situation of sex-slavery/human trafficking. The legal pornography helps to fuel the destructive fires of lust in boys and men of all ages, the freedom of advertisers to use sexual appeals to the lowest common denominator in human- particularly male human nature- also makes the pursuit of sex seem to be an overriding concern in everyday life. The rise of female entrepreneurs in the adult video industry and prostitution lends to the notion that women are getting good money for lending their bodies to men for illicit sexual purposes- so there is no victim in the process, when in actuality everyone involved and women in general and humanity at-large is harmed by the social sins associated with the weakening of public morals, and the encouragement of promiscuity with all the physical and spiritual damage that that entails.

    One could say that “consumerism” is that approach to economics and business that tries to separate the Christian Humanism of which the Pope speaks, with the freedom of individuals to pursue many kinds of “businesses” which contribute to the market demand for young girls and boys to be available for sexual exploitation- which is what drives the sex-slavery “market”. I found this to be the case when I attended local city council meetings where the topic was responding to the demands of adult entertainment business owners to have certain areas of town zoned for adult entertainment lest they take the city to the higher courts, where the findings have been in favor of the adult businesses via the “free speech” rationalization. The small cities must come up with ample sites for adult entertainment or else they risk heavy legal fees to challenge something that right now favors the purveyors of porn in the higher courts. Even though the numbers of speakers from the community who were outraged and against such businesses was very substantial- the juridical framework isn’t developed to address the morality questions in these areas. If we have the human person as our primary consideration in determining how to regulate businesses and their affairs, then this would be something more or less easy to fix. But our system is not set up with the common good/natural law as the guiding light for legal renderings- which is what is lacking in the juridical frameworks so often called for by the Magisterium.

Archbishop Chaput on the News Media

Sunday, July 12, AD 2009

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

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

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

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3 Responses to Archbishop Chaput on the News Media

  • Excellent letter! Thanks for posting it.

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

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

The Degenerate David Letterman

Saturday, June 13, AD 2009

David Letterman Degenerate

[Updates at the end of this post below]

I enjoyed viewing David Letterman when he first came out.  He was nerdy, goofy, and most importantly funny.  I eventually stopped viewing his show not because he wasn’t funny anymore, but because I was no longer in college and I needed a good nights rest for the real world, ie, a job.  Once in a while I would catch his show and remember fondly my days of cold pizza and late night study sessions.

I was well aware of his politics, but unlike most liberals, conservatives do have a sense of humor, especially at our own expense.  I was able to suspend my politics to enjoy good humor because I loved to laugh.

Sadly Mr. Letterman went too far recently in one of his jokes.  Maybe he has been doing this for awhile, but I haven’t noticed since I no longer watch his show for the reasons I mentioned above.

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40 Responses to The Degenerate David Letterman

  • I stopped watching him years ago for the same reasons. I also gave up cable and broadcast TV for similar reasons (everything I need to know news, weather, or entertainment-wise I can find online anyway).

    Why, oh why, did Letterman have to follow up the excellent fisking he did on Governor Blago — which was actually better by far than a lot of “straight news” MSM interviews that were done with him — with crap like this? I suppose it was a case of a stopped clock being right twice a day 🙂

  • Yes, I stopped watching cable. And since I haven’t gotten my digital converter box, I haven’t watched rabbit ears television since this past Thursday. And I might add that it’s a good thing.

    You are correct, all the news I need I can get online and unfiltered, ie, without the leftist bias you get from most broadcast and cable networks.

  • Although as a former (newspaper) journalist I can’t help but feel there is something not so good about people being able to pick and choose only the news they WANT to hear, ignore what they don’t agree with, and find “evidence” to confirm just about any theory no matter how ridiculous.

    Of course, I realize that in the allegedly good old days when everybody watched Big Three network news, read daily newspapers, etc. they were not getting an entirely objective point of view. I make an effort to read a variety of news and politics blogs and I even listen to (gasp!) NPR News, which, no matter how liberally biased it may be, gives you information you don’t get anywhere else.

    To me the real problem with broadcast television news is that the amount of information it can provide is severely limited and inevitably lacks perspective. Plus, the nature of the medium requires visuals and relies heavily on conflict to attract attention.

    There’s nothing like watching on TV a story you just covered for a newspaper, or actually lived through or been part of, to make you turn off TV news for good 🙂

  • You make excellent points.

    But I find that I can get more accurate information online than I can watching Katie Couric babble on about the latest liberal talking points.

  • It’s disingenuous to say Letterman made the joke about Willow Palin. He later said that wasn’t what he meant, and we have no reason to assume Letterman even knew Sarah had brought Willow to New York. I didn’t know, and I automatically understood the joke to be about Bristol Palin. Bristol is 18, so the joke didn’t involve rape. Making the joke about an 18-year-old girl is bad, but not as bad as about a 14-year-old girl. David Letterman’s degeneracy ought to be evaluated on the basis of accurate information.

  • Disingenuous?

    It was Willow that attended the game.

    Regardless if it was either one of them the joke is simply disgusting.

  • Sarah Palin looks so pathetic and desparate. IMO, It’s Palin who is embarrasing her daughter.

  • Yep Palin is the one who looks pathetic and desperate, not the aging 62 year old comedian making sex “jokes” about the teenage daughters of a politician he hates in an attempt to convince the public that he is still edgy and cutting edge and not a tired man near the end of his career, who is so out of it that he can’t be bothered to get the facts straight on a news item before making an insipid attempt at humor.

  • I didn’t know most liberals don’t have a sense of humor.

  • Dave said that his joke was in bad taste and he regrets it but that he was talking about the adult Bristol Palin. He said he agreed with Sarah Palin that sexual jokes about minors are off limits. IMO, Sarah Palin is in the wrong for assuming the worst of Dave. Dave never makes any mention of under-age girls. In fact, the joke would only make sense if they were referring to Bristol Palin.

  • A first rate post on this subject at Protein Wisdom:

    http://proteinwisdom.com/pub/?p=2844

  • Too bad a Hoosier and a maybe somewhat basketballer has gone down this road. He’s real far from his roots. I attended Mass a few times in Evansville, southern part and even down there, there were Notre Dame coats and everything, this about 12 years ago.

    I saw Gov. Palin on CNN today but wasn’t able to watch the interview. I think she did well in responding to this, a well-balanced response.

    I worked in the business office of a Middle School which had a bunch of that age girls, including a lot of those Hmong we have in St. Paul. Just no way should one say these things and if there is confusion about who Letterman meant, he shouldn’t have said it or at least clearly identified who he meant.

  • Dang, Donald–Mr. Protein is spot on.
    The Palins also have a lot more in common with my redneck neighbors than do most of the inside-the-beltway-types. And she’s popular here in Geawgia.
    (One bumper sticker I noticed on a dusty pickup during the campaign last year stated, “I’m for Palin and the white-haired guy.”)

  • He is nothing more than a degenerate human being…. Oh, and lets not forget that we do need to pray for him…

    Oh brother, Tito!

    Surely you’ve written countless blog posts about Rush Limbaugh’s sexist humor, right? I mean, that’s way more common. Can you link to some of your posts on him in which you call him a “degenerate human being”?

  • Yeah, you just have to LOVE the response of those defending Letterman and slamming Palin because “he was really talking about Bristol” and she’s “assuming the worst about poor misunderstood Dave”.

    Is that REALLY how low we’ve sunk to in this country? Since when were the kids of politicians EVER fair game for this kind of crap? It wasn’t cool when Limbaugh made fun of Chelsea Clinton’s looks and it’s not cool now when EVERYONE piles on Palin’s kids.

  • Yes. I despise double standards.

  • This response “The Palins also have a lot more in common with my redneck neighbors than do most of the inside-the-beltway-types. And she’s popular here in Geawgia.
    (One bumper sticker I noticed on a dusty pickup during the campaign last year stated, “I’m for Palin and the white-haired guy.”)”

    It absolutely baffles me as to why she gets such criticism.

  • CMinor: So, would you find Palin more tolerable and likeable if she was making jokes about mentally challenged children on National Television? Is that what you are saying??

  • Tom your last two comments seem odd to me. I am pretty certain that cminor was not criticizing Palin, and I do not believe that cminor made any comment in this thread that is applicable to your last comment.

  • I do not have a problem with political jokes. Period.

    I expect the late night shows to poke fun at the political class.

    I laughed when Clinton was beat every night with jokes. I laugh at those about Obama, and did so with the latest Palin ones.

    I do not think we need to have anyone say if a joke is over the line or not. Folks at home can make that decision with the remote. To be honest I did not hear about the jokes until Palin let the press release fly. Had I been watching I would have laughed and not been insulted.

    Bristol, is an adult. She is fair game. She goes on national TV for interviews and has now put herself out there.

    In a larger context, I think once Sarah Palin put her whole family `out there’ for political purposes in 2008, her son the warrior in Iraq, her troubled daughter who was pregnant, her husband who had worked with a group to have Alaska secede from the Union, then I think Sarah made them all fair game. Politics is a tough business. That is not news. Sarah however decided her goals were/are more important than that of her family.

    And NO ONE..execpt Sarah Palin when she tried to make a political point about Letterman by USING her family again in a press release….thought Letterman was talking about anyone except for Bristol Palin. NO ONE. And NO ONE thought there was any rape at all in the joke. NO ONE…except Sarah Palin who wanted some press……at her family’s expense.

    Sarah Palin uses her family, and then some conservatives get all excited because she gets what she wants with the media hype.

    Sarah can not have it both ways.

    So in conclusion…….

    Listen to the Letterman joke then…..

    Read the Palin press release….

    Since there was no mention of the 14 year old in the joke….

    But there was mention of the 14 year old in the press release…..

    Ask yourself who is really to blame for this whole affair.

  • “Ask yourself who is really to blame for this whole affair.”

    An idiot fading comedian who gets cheap laughs attacking the teenage daughters of a politician he despises in order to hang on to his moment in the spotlight, and people sick enough to think the hatred disguised as humor is funny.

  • I also love the comments blaming Palin for “putting her kids in the spotlight.” As if Andrew Sullivan hadn’t spent months sickly obessessing about who Trig’s “real” mother was. As if the Palin family wasn’t trashed mercilessly by the media from the second they appeared at the GOP convention. Obama and Biden had their children onstage at the conventions too, but only conservative Republicans “exploit” their children, it seems.

    Now Palin has found she can’t even take her daughter to a sports event in New York without being slimed. I’m convinced that liberal hatred of Palin’s pro-life views is at the heart of this. Palin committed the unforgivable sin of giving birth to a Downs syndrome child. Her daughter had an out-of-wedlock baby instead of an abortion. For that the Palins must be ridiculed endlessly, months after the election.

  • Having been brought up in the television days of Jack Benny and Bob Hope and such good comedians, I think I am missing a point. Was Mr. Letterman’s crude remark about an 18 year old girl a joke?

  • Willow was the one at the game, not Bristol. So the comment was directed at her. Not that the same joke leveled at an 18 year woman is somehow OK. Actually, if I were A-Rod, I’d also be offended at the insinuation that I’d molest a 14 year old if given the chance.

    In the meantime, I’ve somehow missed Letterman’s “edgy” jokes about Biden’s kid with the drug addiction. (And yes, I thought Limbaugh’s joke about Chelsea’s looks was mean and uncalled for.)

    Even NOW, an organization with little love for Palin, has criticized Letterman. But those whose partisanship has dulled their sense of decency will go on excusing that unfunny old has-been.

  • Donna V:
    I believe that you nailed it – Palin’s pro-life stand is what the libs truly hate.

  • This is just absurd. It was not a joke, it was an obscene smear. It was not political, it was personal.

    Look how far we have come from the days when insulting a young girl or a woman’s honor was completely forbidden and was likely to get the offender disgraced, discredited, lights punched out and quite often shot…. Hey, there’s an idea. Dave vs. Todd? Hah… that’s not even fair, how about Dave vs. Sarah? What’s your pleasure? Fisticuffs? Pistols at 10 paces? leg wrestling? It wouldn’t really matter…same result. Sarah Palin 1 – Dave Letterman 0.

  • Eric,

    I said “most” liberals, not “all” liberals don’t have a sense of humor.

    Deke,

    Of course you would defend a 60+ year old man in making disgusting jokes about a 14 year girl being raped. You’re part of the problem.

  • Michael,

    I don’t listen to Rush and I don’t bother with him.

    Besides, when he made those Chelsea comments this website wasn’t in existence.

  • That’s still quite a broad generalization, unfair, and I’m not even sure on what the assumption is based upon.

    I surely wouldn’t say *all* conservatives don’t care for the poor. I wouldn’t think saying *most* conservatives would make it any better.

    The problem isn’t the joke–I agree with you. I am just saddened that everything takes a liberal-conservative divide when it’s unnecessary. David Letterman may be “liberal,” but I’m not sure if that subscribes every “liberal” to his specific views or brand of humor.

    I actually use the term “conservative” to describe myself. I might add (and I frequently do) that Rush Limbaugh doesn’t speak for me.

    So instead of this being a matter solely focus on the incident–which should not have happened; it took a political spin and pit liberals against conservatives, which I find to be unnecessary.

  • Eric,

    I’ve based it on my personal experience in my engagement with my liberal friends. I have been viciously attacked for clean jokes toward liberal politicians.

    I do I understand where you are coming from, but my personal experience has shown otherwise, I leave my posting as is.

    Sadly, most liberals do not have a sense of humor.

  • Tito – I’m glad you don’t listen to Rush. You get a point for that. However, you also said you no longer watch Letterman. So why single him out for his supposedly “degenerate” humor and comments and say absolutely nothing when folks like Rush and Ann Coulter do the exact same thing and with more regularity? (I’m not only talking about “that Chelsea comment.”)

    I believe that you nailed it – Palin’s pro-life stand is what the libs truly hate.

    This is kind of a stupid comment. I’m pro-life. You would no doubt describe me as a “lib.” I appreciate that Sarah Palin is against abortion (I hesitate to call her “pro-life” in any meaningful sense). I and many other “libs” in fact dislike Palin for other reasons that don’t fit into your binary and abortion-obsessed views.

  • I can’t keep track of what everybody says.

    Plus I don’t recall them saying anything offensive about other politicians under-age daughters.

  • Michael: we know you have reasons of your own to hate Palin. She’s a Republican. Her son is serving in the U.S. Army (horrors!). The Palins hunt and own guns (man, how you must despise the people of your own home state then. WVA also has, I believe, one of the highest percentages of veterans in the country. I’m surprised you can bear to set foot there.)

    The pro-life Catholic left is dwarfed by the secular left (and would be tossed overboard by the secular left in a heartbeat, come the revolution). My point stands: Palin is hated by them because she is not only pro-life but has walked the walk.

  • Ann Althouse, a University of Wisconsin law professor who leans left, but is a fair-minded woman, chides Andrew Sullivan:

    Nearly all politicians display their families. Do they brandish them? Brandish means to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly/to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner. Occasionally, one reads of some criminal swinging a baby around like a cudgel, but with politicians, the displaying of the family is non-aggressive and without any weapon connotations. Obama displayed and continues to display Sasha and Malia in the conventional political way, and I’m sure Sullivan would be steamed if anyone mocked them or said anything sexual about them.

    Bristol Palin’s abstinence effort seems pretty silly to me too, but there’s no reason to view that as opening her up to all sorts of vicious mockery. She found herself in an awfully uncomfortable spot. It’s embarrassing enough for a teenager to become pregnant by accident, but to endure this in the crossfire of a political campaign had to be excruciating. But she put up with it somehow, didn’t take the out of abortion, kept smiling, and tried to turn herself into a good lesson for others. How is this sowing something that she deserves to reap?

    Or — oh — it’s Palin who reaps what she sows. Is the girl not a person worthy of any regard? What did the girl do? “Family’s off limits. You don’t talk about my family.” Obama said that. It was intended to bind his harshest opponents to a standard of behavior. Sullivan offers absolutely no reason why the same principle does not protect Palin’s family.

  • Donna V.

    I’m surprised you can bear to set foot there.

    He lives in Toronto right now, so perhaps he can’t. 😉

  • Uhhhh…TomSVDP?

    I was replying to Donald regarding the essay he linked at Protein Wisdom. That would be the one proposing that Sarah Palin’s flyover-country normality is what has her detractors in such a lather, and makes her such a hit with those of us in flyover country.

    For the record, I like and respect my redneck neighbors (husband, relatives,)very much, and would rather deal with them than with any large random sampling of inside-the-Beltway government or media types. I’m also favorably impressed with Palin.

    In any case, I would never take a permissive view of attempts at humor that demean women or the handicapped. By anyone.

    The chivalry is appreciated, Donald.

  • By the way, dekerivers,
    Do you really think that it’s funny to imply that a young woman is a slut because she imprudently succumbed to an all-too-human weakness during a time in her life not normally associated with rational judgement or long-term thinking?

    What is it about Bristol Palin’s having reached the magic age of 18 or having made a few public statements (most of which seem to have been on the theme, “Single parenting is tough, girls; don’t make the same mistake I did,”) that makes it okay to label her a scarlet woman for the purpose of humor, or any other purpose?

    You suggest that Sarah Palin “used her family” to score popularity points–did you fail to notice the Obamas trotting out their cute daughters during the campaign, or the enthusiasm of a certain McCain child for the limelight? They aren’t being ridiculed on national television.

    By your logic, no parent should run for public office, or at least no parent who holds opinions that run counter to the sacred cows of the entertainment industry.

  • Speaking of the degenerate left. Could someone PLEASE call Obama or Biden and tell them that there is a struggling democratic movement developing in Iran, and if they would only lend it moral support it may be successful. If he won’t do it for moral reasons, perhaps pragmatism. Our problems with that totalitarian regime may some day come to an end, or at least be greatly diminished if this movement were to succeed….

    so far… nothing but twiddling of thumbs from the “One”.

  • Oh know, this link below may elongate the page, I don’t like it when that happens.

    I’m forgiving but Imus got such harsh treatment and I don’t know all of the ins and outs of that.

    One advertiser is dropping Letterman’s show and a “fire Letterman” move is underway. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2009/06/15/2009-06-15_fire_david_letterman_campaign_takes_root_protest_planned_over_comment_on_sarah_p.html

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20 Responses to Spirit of '09 – Part II

  • Oh, let the “Palin people” have their day in the sun. It’s all rather quaint — the last gasps of a fading natovist culture… But let’s not pretend they have the slightest clue what they are talking about.

  • This purportedly grass roots stuff is corprate manufactured astro-turf. I know, for instance. that Fox News really pushed–almost advertised for– this event, showing itself once again as beyond the bounds of legitimate news. This also says something about the event itself.

  • Man, the established media and government must just HATE Youtube and the internet.

    Mark “the Great Oz” DeFrancisis just “knows” this is all corporate manaufactured. Just like the CNN reporter’s on-air comments were just completely objective reporting.

  • I see the Usual Suspects are out in force, not including c matt. Good to see you sweat gentlemen.

  • I’m new to this blog – first time commenter. I’m not into protests like this in general, but I don’t understand the venom, Morning’s Minion and Mark. You will ALWAYS find loony toons at these things (whether they are “conservative” or “liberal” causes). I know a LOT of very moderate, normally quiet people who are at their breaking point – some protesting for the first time in their lives. They have a point to make that would not have included repeating “he’s a fascist” over and over or waving a sign portraying President Obama as Hitler. For the main stream media in general and this hostile reporter in particular to completely ignore the regular people here who had something to say and focus exclusively (when they reported on it at all) on the uninformed and radical ones….well I would say that’s pretty suspicious. What is one to conclude but that they had an agenda to begin with? Do you really believe they couldn’t find a single normal person to interview to at least throw into the mix on TV w/ the crazies? I don’t, since we saw one in the video above. There were ignorant people in this crowd, no doubt, but this is very blatant media bias.

  • CT- it makes good teevee. That’s why they do it. The effects of Tea Bag Day continue to reverberate among the Chattering Classes. Given their universal condemnation of Fox News, would appear this news organization is This Week’s Lib Boogie Man. Postscript- Fox News ratings soared this week, particularly on April 15. Its 5-11PM lineup- Beck to Van Susteren- is virtually impregnable. How delightful- just following this monolith in numbers was…… Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. According to Drudge, career funny man Jon Stewart beat so-called journalists like Keith Olbermann. As for Ms. Rosegen’s employer- for the moment- sinkingsinkingsinking. Another report surfacing that Ms. Rosegen attempted twice to secure a gig from Fox News, to no avail. Note- then Teevee Division head Kevin Magee- who gave her the first brushoff- is old bud of mine from Enormous City U. Way to go, Kev.

  • I don’t understand the venom, Morning’s Minion and Mark.

    Because it’s all they know, CT. Once you begin on the road of becoming a political mouth piece, it’s hard to turn back.

    I know a couple who went to a Tea Party protest. Good folks who don’t even watch FOX News. They were just tired of pork, politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouth, and what they perceived as a federal government that’s become out of touch. They aren’t hateful people, and certainly aren’t hacks for the rich. But that’s what the media, and folks like Mark and Minion will portray them as. Honesty takes a back seat when it comes to the Party.

  • “Honesty takes a back seat when it comes to the Party.”

    Which is why you have to misrepresent them, right? But I see no answer for Jesus’ words about taxes. Seems like you answer to greed instead of Jesus. Mammon – can’t serve it and God.

  • God is not served by my tax dollars funding abortions.

  • Agreed Karen, and, I would contend that neither God nor the taxpayers are served by much of what our tax dollars are used for at all levels of government. God said render unto Caesar. Since we elect Caesar in this country, I don’t see why it is worshiping Mammon to make sure that he doesn’t waste the money, or that he takes more than is absolutely essential for the proper functions of government.

  • Karen

    Jesus said render that which is Caesar… to CAESAR. You know, the Roman Emperors. They were doing quite a bit of evil with the money, but as Jesus also pointed out, that money was ultimately theirs anyway. The same is true with American dollars, ultimately. What names is on it? The United States. This is why your answer in itself doesn’t respond to the question. We could go into more detail about St Paul and public authority, but you know, I doubt you want a Christian discussion on this.

  • CT,

    You are quite correct. When these dissenting Catholics froth at the mouth when their beloved lies are exposed, it is only venom which they articulate.

  • Tito,

    I am sorry you are having such a bad day.

  • God’s name is also on our currency ;)…

    I believe everything I earn/own is from God. It is given to me and is my responsibility. Since I do have a voice, unlike the people of Caesar, it is also my responsibility for my voice to be heard when our government is causing more harm than good. It would be nice if the media, which purports to be fair and balanced, really was. It has nothing to do with greed or worshipping mammon but with responsibility.

  • Mark,

    I’m actually having a good day. Though your powers of perception are underestimated.

  • Tito,

    Again, I am just trying to save you from your ridiculousness.

    This is a thread on national teabagging.

    It has nothing to do with Church dissent, as our Church has taken no stand on the matter.

    But if you want to run around making false claims about the condition of my assent to Mother Church, go right ahead. Realize, however, that at best you will be misguided, and at worst, an outright liar.

  • Mark,

    Your humility is astounding.

  • Karen,
    Your response betokens far more charity than your detractor deserves. I salute you.

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Dissidents & Mainstream Media Attack Papa Bene

Tuesday, February 3, AD 2009

flagellation-of-christ

Updates below ?, Hans Küng accuses His Holiness of being “egomaniacal” (more below).

A dissident Catholic theologian from Germany is calling on the Pope to “resign”.  Hermann Haering is the “theologian” in question who is asking for His Holiness’ resignation.  Even the German Chancellor, Angela Merkell, has asked the Pope to strongly rebuke Williamson and distance himself from it–which he has already done though many in the secular world fail to recognize.  What do they want, Richard Williamsons’ head on a stake?
 
We should always take what the mainstream media reports with a grain of salt.  The mainstream media has more times than not, reported with a bias against the Catholic Church.  With dissident Catholics such as Hermann Hearing, anything they say will be grasped upon quickly for a cheap shot against the Catholic Church.  The smear campaign has begun in full throttle just as Fr. John Zuhlsdorf forewarned us about;  Anti-Catholics and dissidents are coming out of the seeping cracks to take potshots at our Pope.

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3 Responses to Dissidents & Mainstream Media Attack Papa Bene

  • Tres Saint Pere bien aime,

    Ne soyez pas discourage’, mon tres cher Papa. Le Media est toujours bruyant, c’est leur nature. Me voici, votre fille qui vous supporte, vous aime et vous admire . L’amour est avant tout. Vous avez raison de pardonner les gens. Bien entendu, il a commis des fautes , mais c’est
    parce qu’il avait des fautes qu’on le pardonne ! Je vous remercie infiniment d’etre notre Pape . Je prie pour vous chaque jour .Je prie aussi pour les pretres . La plupart d’eux sont des bons pretres. Quelques uns ne respectent pas suffisamment leur Ideal. Je vous prie de donner l’ordre de bien organiser L’Adoration de Blessed Sacrement d’une facon serieuse , et
    une fois par semaine au moins .Et surtout, il ne faut pas tout simplement ouvrir la porte du Tabernacle pour que les gens puisse prier en regardant la boite contenant le Host consacres,soi disant ainsi l’Adoration quotidienne . Non, ceci diminue la vraie valeur et la grandeur de l’Adoration , ce qui, a mon avis, n’est pas acceptable. Et, le Pretre de la Paroisse organise la vraie Adoration seulement une fois par mois !
    Je pense qu’il faut payer attention au travail des pretres qui received la formation du vieux temps o`u les pretres etaient une sorte de Seigneurs avec des priorites et qui travaillent comme des fonctionnaires, ni plus ni moins. Au contraire, j’ai vu des pretres qui sont tres devoues, qui font de grands sacrifices pour L’Eglise et pour les gens, qui cherissent leur Ideal .

    Grand Merci, Papa. Que notre Bon Dieu vous protege chaque jour !

    Bien bien affectueusement, Votre fille en Jesus, Mary Cong

  • Mary Cong,

    Merci pour ces mots gentils concernant le Père Saint.

    Dans Jésus, Mary et Joseph,

    Tito

  • It may be a good sign that the Holy Father suffers these slings and arrows. The Church tends to be at her best when she is not respectable. Screwball Williamson is just a useful idiot in this matter. This too shall pass. Meanwhile, prayers for our Chief Shepherd as this adds to his infinite burdens.

11 Responses to CNN Wolf Blitzer's "Diatribe" of Cardinal Stafford

  • I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

  • Since my sensitive eyes do not partake of cable teevee honkers, I

  • …..missed the Blitzer misrepresentation. And I go so what no institution gets worse media coverage than Holy Mama Church. Comes with the requisite Obama worship. My advice to all those who are aggrieved by the Blitzer blitz- satellite. radio. My XM has many and varied music channels. Just added great new ones from new parent company Sirius. My own favorite- brace yourselves…… The Grateful Dead Channel. 24/7 music from a band whose leader- Jerry Garcia of blessed memory- clearly deserves rank in the pantheon of Lennon/McCartney, Brian Wilson, Motown geniuses, Gamble/Huff here in Philly. Two hours of their music = supreme bliss. There will be enough sturm und drang in next few years. A blast of the Dead and life gets better. Oh- also has the superfine Catholic Channel, too. Father Dave is a hoot. Learn about your faith. Better than griping about MSM.

  • Since my sensitive eyes do not partake of cable teevee honkers…

    Actually there’s a channel that accommodates those of us with sensitive eyes and common sensibility. Perhaps you could tune into Fox News especially between 1:00 and 3:00 PM. Martha McCallum is so soothing to eyes that she could inform you that the world will come to an end in two hours and you’d be happy. Then again, maybe that’s just me…

  • It’s not just that Wolf occasionally veers from good stabdards oif journalists. He is actually a bad journalist. He doesn’t even know how to ask questions that can reasonably be answered, and virtually all his questions are begging for a specific, channeled response. This is actually true all around and really has been for some time.

    Perhaps it has always been this way.

    “The inadequate and biased transmission of news, and the profitable dissemination of nonsense, barred the general public from any intelligent or concerted participation in politics, and made democracy impossible.”

    – Will Durant, on newspapers of the 17th century, in The Age of Reason Begins

  • How significant were the Obama-related remarks in the cardinal’s speech? It seems to me like he dedicated a few minutes to current events, compared to the fifty minutes dedicated to general theological concerns. Did the CUA newspaper and the rest of the press seize on the political aspects?

  • Gerard,

    I share your sympathies about television in general. I don’t have cable but I picked up this tidbit of information from Matthew Balan of NB. I’ve stopped watching tv in general with the exception of two comedies to be named later.

  • Tito- my sensitive eyes largely confine themselves to pigskin stuff. Cannot wait for upcoming SEC championship scrum between Florida and Alabama. Major heavyweight bout, 4 rounds or TKO. Winner sure to play Big 12 South winner in BCS Game- TexTech, Oklahoma or Texas. Serious fun. But you you may ask but G.E. you’re Pennsylvanian why antipathy for Penn State? Simple. Am proud alum of Temple University, major urban institution. Penn State is 500 miles from nowhere. Nit Lions regularly pound my Owls, including 45-3 beatdown this past October in Happy Valley. Thanks to Iowa Hawkeyes for 24-23 field goal win over Nits. Insures- a. Hawkeye Coach Kirk Ferentz keeps job; b. We get SEC Winner vs. Big 12 South Winner, with Heisman Trophy Winner at QB (Harrell of TexTech? McCoy of Texas? Oklahoma’s Bradford?) Let PSU partisans point their Winnebegos to lovely Pasadena and Rose Bowl against worthy Pac 10 foe- probably Oregon State with Coolest Name In Sports- freshman pheenom Jaquizz Rodgers. Will Beaver fans offer novenas to St. Jaquizz?

  • I’m partial to OU, brothers coach of my alma mater Arizona. So I’m hoping for an OU run to the national title game.

    Other than that, I read Catholic material via the hardcover variety and digital.

  • “We feel we must disagree with those prophets of gloom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand.

    “In the present order of things, Divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations which, by men’s own efforts and even beyond their very expectations, are directed toward the fulfillment of God’s superior and inscrutable designs. And everything, even human differences, leads to the greater good of the Church.”

    John XXIII

  • Terry- does that mean that God wants a Florida-Texas Tech shootout in the BCS championship game?