National Review Endorses Ted Cruz

Friday, March 11, AD 2016

No doubt this will only embolden a portion of you to oppose Ted Cruz all the more, but NR’s editorial endorsing Cruz lays out, with eloquence, the case for Cruz (and saves me a lot of time writing).

We supported Cruz’s campaign in 2012 because we saw in him what conservatives nationwide have come to see as well. Cruz is a brilliant and articulate exponent of our views on the full spectrum of issues. Other Republicans say we should protect the Constitution. Cruz has actually done it; indeed, it has been the animating passion of his career. He is a strong believer in the liberating power of free markets, including free trade (notwithstanding the usual rhetorical hedges). His skepticism about “comprehensive immigration reform” is leading him to a realism about the impact of immigration that has been missing from our policymaking and debate. He favors a foreign policy based on a hard-headed assessment of American interests, one that seeks to strengthen our power but is mindful of its limits. He forthrightly defends religious liberty, the right to life of unborn children, and the role of marriage in connecting children to their parents — causes that reduce too many other Republicans to mumbling.

That forthrightness is worth emphasizing. Conservatism should not be merely combative; but especially in our political culture, it must be willing to be controversial. Too many Republicans shrink from this implication of our creed. Not Cruz. And this virtue is connected to others that primary voters should keep in mind. Conservatives need not worry that Cruz will be tripped up by an interview question, or answer it with mindless conventional wisdom when a better answer is available. We need rarely worry, either, that his stumbling words will have to be recast by aides and supporters later. Neither of those things could be said about a lot of Republican nominees over the years.

Of course the Trump forces will just say that this is proof that Ted Cruz is really a member of the Establishment (as indeed one wag on Twitter suggested immediately upon seeing this news), but basically anyone who doesn’t think Donald Trump is the Messiah is deemed to be part of the evil Establishment by Trump supporters.

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23 Responses to National Review Endorses Ted Cruz

  • I’m independent. Cruz has been my choice from day one. Second was Dr. Carson.

  • Cruz, even without the much needed charisma.

  • Too late

  • A republic, if we can keep it….

  • “Of course the Trump forces will just say that this is proof that Ted Cruz is really a member of the Establishment (as indeed one wag on Twitter suggested immediately upon seeing this news), but basically anyone who doesn’t think Donald Trump is the Messiah is deemed to be part of the evil Establishment by Trump supporters.”

    Funny thing is, the Republican Establishment hates Cruz more than it does Trump.


  • I believe that Cruz is a man of integrity who stands by his principles regardless of pressure to do otherwise. He would make a good president, but I feel uncertain whether he can beat Clinton because I fear he will not go on the offensive and attack strongly and relentlessly as Trump will. Trump will continuously make media headlines, keeping him before the public eye. Whereas Cruz has not demonstrated this ability. He could use an expert to help him in this area. I am still upset at the way Romney wimped out and did not hit Obama strongly regarding his Benghazi negligence.

  • Interesting and noteworthy. Now that Rubio has imploded, Cruz is the best option About time Catholics took a stand. Obama was elected by professed “Catholics” despite being the most antii-Catholiic president since the Know-Nothings.

    the third entry is also interesting.. It was an answer on Jeopardy last night. I had never heard about it

  • Cruz’s wife Heidi works for Goldman Saks, and is a member of the Globalist Council on Foreign Relations. Funny how no one ever speaks of this. He is a long time insider and was a staffer on the Bush Campaign. He is just another politician.

  • First of all, it’s spelled Sachs, and Trumbots repeat this meaningless bit of information roughly every three minutes.

  • I fear he will not go on the offensive and attack strongly and relentlessly as Trump will.

    There is literally nothing in either man’s respective backgrounds that would suggest the above is true. If anything, Cruz has already demonstrated a far greater willingness to go on the offensive against Hillary than the man who invited her to his wedding.

  • By way of full disclosure, I have been a subscriber to the National Review since my puppy-hood Goldwater campaign days. WFB Jr. has gone to his reward but his spirit yet guides his absolutely not establishment magazine. Anyone who thinks NR is establishment is a borderline anarchist. Of course, I generalize.

  • I feel uncertain whether he can beat Clinton because I fear he will not go on the offensive and attack strongly and relentlessly as Trump will.

    The guy called Mitch McConnell, the leader of his own party, a liar. On the floor of the Senate no less.
    I don’t think you have to worry about Cruz unless your idea of a strong, relentless attack is calling Hillary Clinton a nasty, shriveled old hag or some such.

  • What did Mrs. Cruz say in her involvement with the CoFR?
    I support the Task Force report and its recommendations aimed at building a safer and more prosperous North America. Economic prosperity and a world safe from terrorism and other security threats are no doubt inextricably linked. While governments play an invaluable role in both regards, we must emphasize the imperative that economic investment be led and perpetuated by the private sector. There is no force proven like the market for aligning incentives, sourcing capital, and producing results like financial markets and profit-making businesses.
    This is simply necessary to sustain a higher living standard for
    the poorest among us—truly the measure of our success. As such,
    instruments by those committing the capital and should only be developed
    in conjunction with market participants.
    Heidi S. Cruz

    I can see how someone supporting property rights, business at the service of people, and subsidiarity would be horrifying to those who think Trump does great stuff with his business choices, but it’s not the track I’d use for arguing how evil a lady’s husband is on a Catholic blog.

  • Subtly put madam. Too subtly perhaps.
    But then, I’m a blunt instrument. Or an obnoxious, loudmouthed jerk.
    take yer pick

  • I’m happy for National Review writing this, but seriously…this has got to be the easiest call in my lifetime, in terms of primary support. Usually you have to balance the issues, the personalities, who you’d like to win versus who you think can win in the general election, et cetera. This time around? There’s one candidate who is as good or better than each of the others in every aspect that would drive my vote. It’s not a choice between the legal conservative versus the social conservative, between the candidate with experience versus the one with vision. I was discouraged at this campaign early on because it looked like the best people weren’t getting any traction. I’m discouraged now, for a different reason, but I couldn’t be happier with the lever I’m going to pull this time around.

  • They could have attacked Hillary and Bernie for not denouncing the violent attacks on Trump’s First Amendment campaign activities.
    Who on Cruz’s stellar staff advised him to execrate Donald Trump for suffering attacks organized by Black Lives Matter, Moron.Org, and terrorist bomber Bill Ayres?
    I will file it under “bad form.”

  • Bad form, yes. And also failure to correctly identify the enemy. I forgive him.

  • T – Has National Review ever failed to criticize Hillary or Bernie?

  • Yes, Paul. What he said. This is not a fine point in an academic debate, and it’s not a matter of casual speculation. Calling on your supporters to commit assaults always leads to the same thing. We can’t say “he’s a thug but he’s our thug”, because the fact of being a thug means he’s not ours. He is opposed to our founding principles of liberty and justice, and he campaigns on his opposition to them, and his campaign embraces the opposition to them as a matter of practice.

    This country is a rarity: we have believed that no one should be able to gather all our possessions up, even if they promise to allocate them out in our favor At least, one party has believed that. whether by erosion of principles or fear of the other guy’s thugs, a part of our party has come to believe that we need a thug of our own. But there’s no such thing as a thug in defense of self-governance.

  • Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is supposed to be holding a nationally televised “town hall” meeting in Springfield IL on Monday, the night before the IL primary, but to date she hasn’t announced where it’s being held or who’s been invited. A secret town hall meeting? Guess she’s not taking any chances….

  • BTW, Cruz finished fourth in the DC primary. If ever finishing last was better than victory, this is the time. It’s the equivalent of an anti-endorsement. Yes, DC cronies prefer Trump to Cruz.

    Rubio won the DC primary. I don’t think the Mondale map is what he envisioned as the path to victory.

Buckley and Big Sister

Wednesday, September 30, AD 2015

William F. Buckley on Ayn Rand.  During his lifetime Buckley functioned as a gatekeeper for the conservative movement.  Get on the wrong side of Buckley and a group on the right could quickly find itself relegated to the fringes of American life.  So it was with Ayn Rand and her Objectivists, a movement whose main tenet seems to have been to say “Yes Ma’am!” to anything that came from her mouth or pen.  Rand made her reputation and fortune by writing two novels:  The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957).  The poorly written novels, with stick figure characters, were immense financial successes, combining Rand’s anti-collectivist libertarianism with heaping helpings of, for the time, explicit sex, her heroines, always Rand think-a-likes, having multiple lovers.  Between the sex Rand specialized in long, bloviating, didactic speeches:

“Did you want to see it used by whining rotters who never rouse themselves to any effort, who do not possess the ability of a filing clerk, but demand the income of a company president, who drift from failure to failure and expect you to pay their bills, who hold their wishing as an equivalent of your work and their need as a higher claim to reward than your effort, who demand that you serve them, who demand that it be the aim of your life to serve them, who demand that your strength be the voiceless, rightless, unpaid, unrewarded slave of their impotence, who proclaim that you are born to serfdom by reason of your genius, while they are born to rule by the grace of incompetence, that yours is only to give, but theirs only to take, that yours is to produce, but theirs to consume, that you are not to be paid, neither in matter nor in spirit, neither by wealth nor by recognition nor by respect nor by gratitude—so that they would ride on your rail and sneer at you and curse you, since they owe you nothing, not even the effort of taking off their hats which you paid for? Would this be what you wanted? Would you feel proud of it?”

Atlas Shrugged, page 453

Buckley assigned Whittaker Chambers to review Atlas Shrugged.  His review, entitled Big Sister is Watching You, appeared in the December 28, 1957 issue of National Review.

Several years ago, Miss Ayn Rand wrote The Fountainhead. Despite a generally poor press, it is said to have sold some four hundred thousand copies. Thus, it became a wonder of the book trade of a kind that publishers dream about after taxes. So Atlas Shrugged had a first printing of one hundred thousand copies. It appears to be slowly climbing the best-seller lists.

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2 Responses to Buckley and Big Sister

The Derbyshire Kerfuffle

Tuesday, April 10, AD 2012

John Derbyshire set off a firestorm this past weekend when he put up this article called The Talk: Nonblack Version.  This was a response, of sorts, to a column published in the Orlando Sentinel in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Derbyshire’s column was swiftly condemned by commentators on all sides of the political spectrum.  By Saturday night National Review had severed its ties to Derbyshire even though his column had appeared on another site.

What did Derbyshire do this time to draw such harsh condemnation?  Derbyshire’s column  utilized the conceit of giving his child a talk about race relations and what to do when confronting unknown black people.  Though commenters objected to nearly all of what Derbyshire wrote, this was the most damning section:

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33 Responses to The Derbyshire Kerfuffle

  • “10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.”

    I laughed at this one since eight years ago my car got stuck in a snow drift. The only people who stopped to aid me were a black woman and her three sons who tried to dig me out. As for my own views on race they are an amalgam of those voiced by Chamberlain and Kilrain in this clip from Gettysburg:

  • Admittedly I joined the fun in expressing my angst at National Review’s decision, though not because I thought Derbyshire’s column had much merit, but because he has written worse things in the past. In fact I specifically alluded to this Corner posting from 2008. The entire post is just dripping with complete hostility to religious people. It is far and away more offensive than his latest missive, and far shorter on any sort of substantive reasoning.

    National Review has to act because of Coach Syndrome.

    My mom use to coach…well, lots of stuff, but softball was the biggest thing. She was also usually the only one willing to be the umpire. That meant that any time there was ANY question in a call, she had to call against her team– in an issue in conflict, she had to take the action that would leave her less open to accusations of wrong-doing.
    National Review, being conservative, doesn’t get accused of hating religion across the board; those who oppose them tend to be less religious, especially in regards to organized religion. Accusations of racism? THOSE fly all the time.

    Same reason a cop that’s being investigated gets suspended; got to avoid the appearance of something you’re likely to be accused of.

    Kind of funny… that was actually the first introduction I had to the idea of preventing scandal, although mom and dad didn’t use that phrase.

  • I think the guys at CMR nailed it: Derb’s view is utilitarian, not racist.

    Oddly, I think he was pissed enough to focus on the “tells” of race, rather than of culture. There’s a slight association, sure, but looking for indications of someone’s cultural group is a better way of figuring out what’s what. Didn’t congeal for a while, although when I read the now-famous article I instantly wondered what would happen to the scores if they corrected to make households match as closely as possible– parental education, economics, average income of neighborhoods, how religious the parent(s) are, criminal background of immediate family, EVERYTHING to account for other factors. I know that it tends to get rid of differences for crime stats.

    Example: first guy I dated, I can look back now and see that if I’d looked at the cultural “tells,” he’d be highly likely to lie and use those he dates.
    The first time I ever had a flat– and I’d swear this on a stack of Bibles– I’d just bought my first car as an adult, was about an hour from ANYWHERE I knew, hit a screwdriver in the road and took the first out off of a high speed road, limped along to a place wide enough to pull over… And a a totally black baptist church let out service two minutes later. Not a stone’s throw away. I know that the door-to-door witness folks tend to vary more on what denomination they are than on what color they are.

    Of course it’s not a 100% thing– some folks wear hip-hop style clothes because they like the look, some folks listen to Pennywise and wear a pound’s worth of chains because that’s to their taste, and their world view won’t match. Heck, I drink Pabst because I like it, especially for the price, not because I’m a hipster. It’s still a more accurate “tell” than race, and half of dealing with people is trying to figure out what they’ll do without knowing them. (The other half is remembering that they’re people who don’t have to stick to the script in your head.)

  • Incidentally– want something racist? How about this PSA I’ve been hearing on KIRO?

  • I bet if you’re white and have children you’d tell them the same things Derbyshire wrote about. Let’s be honest here even if it’s wrong or politically incorrect.

  • I’m dang near translucent–feather-Indian blood not withstanding– and do have kids. Two girls, so far, so I’m REALLY interested in threat-avoidance.

    I’d rather teach them to spot culture-signals, since it’ll help them ID trouble more accurately. I also hope to teach them a big dose of grain-of-salt-ism, since the biggest threats have to make you think they’re a friend, first, but that’s digressing.

    Hm… a thought… I’ve spent most of my life not-in-cities. Bet that makes the race angle a lot less of a big deal.
    (Although I think I’ve told the story about the other way of tweaking results… a pair of siblings in my high school that I knew growing up. The elder was a book-hitter of the first blood, the younger was a dumb thug. One parent was from some sort of Islands that are around the Caribbean, I can’t remember at the moment. Guess which one self-classified as “mixed/multiple” and which as “black”? I’ve stripped all possible identifying information, sorry for the wishy-washy terminology.)

  • Basically, I object to Derb’s format for the same reason I object to the talks he was responding to– if you format everything in terms of race, you’ll find almost everything fits in that format.

    I remember being accused by one black Muslim lazy blanker on ship of “trying to threaten” him because I was cracking my knuckles every time he saw me. It was the middle of winter, I’d just walked across the hangar bay in sub-zero stopping wet weather, and my hands hurt. Also, confrontation wears on my nerves, and he never did the job he was supposed to be doing because he was working on college stuff. So, every time he saw me, I was on my last nerve, in pain, and uncomfortable.
    (Never mind that he was a foot plus taller, a hundred plus pounds heavier and I’ve never tried to pull ‘threatening’ in my life.)
    EVERYTHING in his life was either because of his race or his religion, because that’s what he expected to see. It wasn’t because he never got his paperwork in on time, screwed up his job, or any other objective failures….

  • “I bet if you’re white and have children you’d tell them the same things Derbyshire wrote about.”

    You’d lose that bet with me since I am mostly white, with some Cherokee blood, and have three kids. My wife and I have taught them that there are good and bad among all races and you judge people as individuals and according to their actions.

    All Derbyshire accomplished, other than getting a mediocre, at best, writer fired by National Review, is to underline his peawit status and give the Left in the country someone to point to underline their contention that all conservatives are racist. The Left of course is the political movement in this nation that is completely obssessed with
    race, but, in an election year, I guess Derbyshire figured it was only fair to try to give them a hand.
    I do rejoice in his forced departure from National Review. I have long found repugnant his views on both race and religion. Go to the link below for Derbyshire’s musings on religion, including this gem on Catholicism:

    “Q. Are you anti-Catholic?

    A. Yes, mildly. I say this with proper embarrassment. It’s really absurd, I know it is, to nurse remnants of those 17th-century prejudices up here in the 21st. And it’s doubly absurd in the U.S.A., where, despite occasional frictions, Christians of all varieties have fought side by side on behalf of liberty for 200 years and more. Still it’s there, and lots of readers have spotted it, so I had better try to explain myself.

    A lot of it is just English mother’s milk. Our school history books, for example, were full of popish plots against the crown, Catholic traitors spying for Spain and France, and so on. Mary Tudor and James II did not get good press (though Bonnie Prince Charlie was allowed some romantic glamour, since he was such a pitiful loser), and we heard all about Pope Alexander VI. Those early impressions — scheming, hatchet-faced Jesuits lurking behind curtains, whispering treason in Latin, plotting to murder Good Queen Bess and hand us over bound and shackled to continental tyrants for the good of our souls — are hard to erase.

    Of course, as you got older and filled out your understanding, you realized there was much more to it, that it wasn’t just white hats and black hats (I guess that second hat should be red). You came to understand how different people make different claims on history. Thoughtful English people have a very good lesson in this close to hand, their country being adjacent to Ireland. Now there are two different claims on history! If you mix with Irish people, work with them, and live in Ireland for a spell (I have done all three) you get a pretty good grounding in historical relativism, unless you are a person who likes either to wallow in racial guilt or to take a stubborn, fact-denying stand on national honor (I am neither).

    Please remember, too, what Roman Catholicism was like when I was growing up, as seen from England. It was the religion of Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, chaotic and communist-trending Italy, recently-keenly-pro-Nazi Austria (don’t let The Sound of Music fool you — the Anschluss was more a wedding than a rape), Latin America as then personified by the buffoonish Juan Perón and his sinister wife, and, yes, Éamon de Valera’s nasty, corrupt, willfully under-developed, people-exporting Ireland. That’s not even to mention France. As I looked out on it from the England of the 1950s and 1960s, Catholicism was the religion of poverty, fascism, obscurantism, and bad government; and I don’t think you can say that this was a wildly distorted picture. Taking the Roman Catholic church as an institution, there just wasn’t anything to like about it, if you hadn’t been raised in it — or even, in countless cases of apostasy encountered by me from childhood onwards, if you had.

    And to this day, to tell the truth, and setting aside the attitudes and sacrifices (which latter I gratefully, sincerely acknowledge) of individual Catholic Americans, I have trouble seeing the Roman church as an institution as being any friend of liberty. When I say this to my Catholic friends, they always say: “What about John Paul II?” Though I greatly admired the man, I am not completely convinced. Sure, he hated Communism, and hating Communism is a very good thing. It was partly by his magnificent courage and efforts that the Soviet Union collapsed, and the collapse of the Soviet Union was a very good thing. I don’t know that JPII’s thinking had much in common with Anglo-Saxon concepts of liberty, though — my concepts. He was mad that the communists presumed to think that they owned men’s souls because in his mind the Church was the rightful owner of men’s souls. That’s why he hated Communism. Well, nobody owns my soul. That’s why I hate Communism. That’s liberty, as I understand it.

    The Holy Political Trinity of the 1980s, in fact — I mean, Reagan, Thatcher, and JPII — all saw liberty in different terms, terms characteristic of their backgrounds as, respectively, generic-Christian American, nonconformist-Christian Englishwoman, and Roman-Catholic Pole. You can’t escape your upbringing. Which is the excuse I started this answer with…”

    And then there is the fact that Derbyshire is a pro-abort and in favor of euthanasia:

    Derbsyhire: racist, bigot and pro-abort. Amazing how hate and ignorance tend to spill over into many aspects of life.

  • I bet if you’re white and have children you’d tell them the same things Derbyshire wrote about.

    I’m white and have two daughters, and no, I won’t be telling my kids to avoid black people because of their sub-optimal IQs. In fact, as Foxfier alluded to, it’s actually a rather counter-productive talk to give because you’re telling your kids to use race rather than other signals to indicate your level of safety.

  • To expand upon my previous comment, take a look at Israeli airport security. It is well known that they profile, but they don’t just profile on race or ethnicity. They engage in behavioral profiling. By limiting yourself to a focus on race, you’ve really narrowed your focus and actually dulled your ability to recognize danger.

  • National Review has long commissioned pieces from a stable of writers (e.g. Christopher Buckley, Florence King, and Meghan Cox Gurdon) who contribute humor pieces. Derbyshire’s book was playing the boozy and opinionated pub denizen, quaffing his warm beer over what’s left of his rotting teeth. I doubt the editors ever intended his writing be taken seriously. In fact, he was never properly edited. (His remarks on C.S. Lewis or the political economy of Ireland evince a man given to being quite vehement about things of which he knows nothing). I will wager he was issued a letter of warning some years ago when he issued an asinine and intemperate attack on the writings of one of the magazine’s salaried editors (Ramesh Ponnuru).

  • You may offer your links, but they should all be taken with several tons of salt as they link to the execrable Charles Johnson. Johnson has a long history of seeing racism where there isn’t and in twisting other people’s words – as he does with the link to Dan Riehl. But I do welcome everyone to click on those links and double the Liazardoid’s traffic for the day.

  • Latin America as then personified by the buffoonish Juan Perón and his sinister wife

    Peron burned churches. Hardly would he be considered the face of Latin American Catholicism. Does the Derb even know his history?

  • “Does the Derb even know his history?”

    I think history and Mr. Derbyshire c matt are apparently not on speaking terms.

    The Church excommunicated Peron which led to his fall from power in rhe Fifties:

    Argentinian politics always makes me feel better about American politics:

    “In 1971 the military government decided to allow free elections to be held once again and in 1973 a Perónist candidate became president and the party once more assumed control of the congress. Perón was immediately invited home, at which point the newly-elected president resigned and a special election was held allowing Perón to take on a third term as President of Argentina. It was a shallow victory. He was nearly eighty and suffering from ill health. Adding to the ignominy of the election, he chose his third wife, Isabel, an ex-dancer with a grade-school education, to be his vice-president. The following year, on July 1, 1974 Perón died of a heart attack. His wife feebly ruled for a little over a year before being ousted by the military. Yet the Perón legacy did not die. On the contrary, the party continues to be active in Argentina and still stirs political passions. In 1987 grave robbers cut off the hands of Perón’s corpse, demanding ransom from loyal Perónists.”

  • I hope he can find the means to provide for his wife and children.

  • the execrable Charles Johnson. Johnson has a long history of seeing racism where there isn’t and in twisting other people’s words

    You forgot the part about him being an intolerant, religion-hating wannabe-inquisitor with an infallibility complex.

  • I’m refurbishing for sale a house in a very tough part of a northeast city…came down from a nice NY suburb…but grew up in a bad white Irish neighborhood. Before coming down here, a black member of the rap group, Mobb Deep, who is well off now but had hood roots, said to me during a business transaction, when I told him my project down there in the hood…”be careful down there my man”. He raps about the hood but has a mini mansion in an area where no one gets mugged. One of his songs goes like this: “what’s the deal deal…never leave home without your steel… steel.”. It’s accurate about his former neighborhood but not about his current neighborhood. He would not stroll after dark in parts of Newark, Jersey City, Camden because those parts are poor and poor in America means violence. Poor in Fiji maybe does not. But poor in America means violence in the cities. In the distant past that meant Irish and Italian. Right now it means largely black poor. Mobb Deep members were assaulted by poor blacks in the rap world as were other rappers who made it. I tutored a very rough black girl in Newark when young and sent her to Catholic school for years where more cultured black children felt threatened by her with reason. She lived above a crew who sold heroin, her mom was a prostitute…and she herself was prone to fighting. Mobb Deep would not stroll her hood at night now that they’ve reached comparative safety. It’s about poverty that multiplies into various poverties here in the US if not in Fiji and not in Tibet. Here in a very competitive country, poverty is often dangerous besides being simply poverty.
    When young and working on the waterfront in Jersey City, two blacks, one with a huge neck and a broken nose, came up to me and said…” we hear you’re tough…fight us after work”. I said no. But my own Irish poor violence and ego boiled and I found them separately and said to each…” yeah….I’ll fight you after work”. Each of them backed down separately. I asked the big one why his nose was broken. He said, ” We jumped a black dude Saturday night near the YMCA…dude pushed one of us in front of a car and pulled a bat out of the garbage can and nailed me in the nose…ripped a gun off one of us and shot one of us…we fled.”. He smiled about their having picked the wrong middle aged black man to jump. Lesson. There are black areas that sensible blacks do not walk at night. 7 or 8 decades ago such areas were dangerous white areas…same blocks really.

  • There’s a whole lot to say about this topic, but frankly it grosses me out. I hate the whole race thing. I think the religious angle is more interesting. From Derbyshire’s perspective, a lot of the advice he’s giving his child is statistically sound. But to a religious person there’s an obligation to move past such things.

    He says not to be a Good Samaritan. He should take a closer look at the story. Who is my neighbor?

  • @Donald R. McClarey, @Paul Zummo: I don’t mind losing my bet as long as you and your children are safe.

  • i’ve been keeping myself safe for 55 years and my family safe for 30 of those years, so I guess I’ll go on doing what I have been doing, which includes judging people by their actions and not their skin color.

  • Donald McClarey: Derbyshire speaking of John Paul II: “He was mad that the communists presumed to think that they owned men’s souls because in his mind the Church was the rightful owner of men’s souls. That’s why he hated Communism. Well, nobody owns my soul. That’s why I hate Communism. That’s liberty, as I understand it.” And I know you already know what I will write. Man, body and immortal soul is God’s Intellectual Property. Individual man, the sovereign person, created by our Creator exists in the mind of God, without Whom, man cannot exist, because God made all things (man, man’s soul) and keeps them in existence. Therefore, Derbyshire’s rejection of our Creator inevitably erased his understanding of our unalienable rights and the place of the Catholic Church in bringing all souls back to our Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, our God. Derbyshire’s atheism mortally wounds his soul and scandalizes all souls, especially the uninformed. The heresy that Derbyshire is free of God owning his soul makes him free of infinite love and glory. Atheism is his choice and good riddance to Derbyshire’s invincible ignorance. By the way, my friend, Linda Morris was invited, yes, invited to attend Princeton University. Poverty does hurt.

  • I come to bury the Derb not to praise the Derb.

    Today’s race inquisitions are similar to the Medieval and Spanish Inquisitions. Just as in Medieval Inquisitions, acts are not the issue. The denounced racist’s divergent beliefs and thoughts are actionable offenses susceptible to condemnation to perpetual confinement on bread and water.

    The racial inquisition has jurisdiction only over whites; as the medieval only covered Christians. Case in point: the current occupier of the White House spent 20 years listening to “God Damn America!” and ”The white man is the devil.”

    Now, if Willard Romney ever received a $2 donation from a former KKK man, he’d be toast.

  • Seems to me that this is an example of “it isn’t WHAT you say, so much as HOW (or in what context) you say it.” It’s possible to make statements that are all 100 percent accurate and verifiable, but do so in such a way that they paint a grossly distorted portrait of the subject.

    For example, suppose you carefully documented every instance in which your spouse did something that disappointed or hurt you. You could probably make even the most saintly spouse look like a total nincompoop or cad who cannot be trusted to do anything right — and when they protested, you could say “But I’m just telling the truth! What is wrong with being honest?”

    What Derbyshire is doing here is taking bits and pieces of fairly accurate observations (e.g. that predominantly black urban neighborhoods tend to be dangerous) and putting them all together into a composition whose unwritten but still obvious theme seems to be “Prejudice against black people is entirely justified, and whites should not feel obligated in any way to respect them.”

  • @Donald R. McClarey,
    I’m glad for you and your family. May you and yours never be in any of those situations Derbyshire described above.

  • “May you and yours never be in any of those situations Derbyshire described above.”

    Too late for that Michael, since I have been in many of those situations, and those experiences have not altered my views as to how people should be treated: as individuals and with justice.

  • @Donald R. McClarey,
    I agree that we should treat people as individuals and with justice but how did you deal with crowds and mobs?

  • By getting away from them as quickly as possible. I have been present at two riots in my life, one involving a mostly white mob and one involving a mostly black mob. In each case a rapid retreat out of the danger area proved effective. I might add that I felt more personally threatened by the white mob, as that was in the seventies, the mob consisted of anti-war protesters and I was wearing Army green at the time.

  • Donald R. McClarey,
    Good on you. I once took the subway in NYC and missed my stop at the Museum of Natural History and ended up in Harlem. I just turned around and walked back. No problem (this was in 1968).

  • Michael,

    I was often the only white person on my subway car after Lorimer St on the L train (this is before Williamsburg had its hipster infestation). I often took the subway very, very late (and not always very sober). No harm ever came. Again, it’s about keeping your head, knowing your surroundings, and just using common sense.

  • As a white guy, the only racial paranoia I am regularly subjected to comes from my job and is from non-whites; this Derbyshire article allows me to see the other side of racial paranoia – how the other half lives.

  • Paul Zummo,
    Thanks, I hear you.

Newt Fading

Tuesday, February 14, AD 2012

I wanted to followup on Don’s post from yesterday about National Review urging Gingrich to exit the race.  As I said in the comments, I owe NRO a slight mea culpa.  I thought that by including Santorum (and Huntsman) with Romney as the candidates they thought worthy of the nomination they were merely blowing smoke.  Yet they have given Santorum fairly favorable coverage, so much so that angry Romney fanboys like Old Fan think that NR is in the tank for Santorum.  I still think the hatchet piece on Gingrich was out of line, so I’m not totally ready to forgive them for that.

As for the actual meat of their suggestion, there is much merit to it.  There have been nine primaries and caucuses thus far.  Gingrich was the landslide winner in South Carolina, but has otherwise done terribly.  He’s finished a distant second twice, and has barely hovered around ten percent in the other contests.  Right now one poll has Gingrich in fourth place behind Ron Paul, and other polls show a clear trend towards Rick Santorum as the favorite among the anti-Romneys.  Now, polls have shifted mightily throughout the campaign season, so Gingrich shouldn’t head for the exits quite yet.  But poor showings in Arizona and Michigan should just about do it for Newt.  Considering the fact that the bulk of his supporters will likely flock to Santorum (where as Santorum supporters are evenly split between Romney and Newt as their backup choices), and that Newt is much more favorably disposed to Santorum than Romney, I would imagine that Newt will not stay in the race if he has another pair of fourth place finishes.

That being said, if National Review wants Gingrich out of the race the last thing it should have done is publish an editorial making this feeling public.  Republican primary voters in general, and Gingrich supporters in particular have, to a large extent, been driven by spite.  It’s practically impossible to read a screed written by a Gingrich supporter that doesn’t mention the “Establishment” once or a dozen times.  Throw in the fact that National Review is already reviled with a special kind of intensity in camp Gingrich – and with good reason – and I can envision Gingrich supporters doubling down.  Newt himself has shown that he is prone to fits of spite, so National Review may have just guaranteed that Newt will stay in the race longer than intended.  In fact I’d submit that if National Review wanted Newt out of the race the best thing it could do is endorse the man.

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5 Responses to Newt Fading

  • I don’t know how GOP can survive 11/12 unless RP loves the country enough to very soon allow RS & MR get to springtime.

    And – valuable Newt Gingrich who does love this country can best serve as leader of the Catholic Church’s struggle for freedom to exist. Essential and God-pleasing need. He needed someone for the struggle with the Philistines …

  • One can overstate it’s importance but the moon colony idea during one debate prior to Florida was a turning point…as in downward.

  • I don’t know if it was the moon colony thing specifically, but certainly that entire debate performance could be pinpointed as the night his candidacy died, which is fitting since his entire candidacy was based on debate performances (and the word performance is very apt with regard to Newt). It was amazing to watch a candidate, over about a 2 or 3 week stretch, do the complete opposite of all that he had done previously to shoot up in the polls.

    That said, I think the moon colony idea is actually not that crazy. The main negative about it is that this is not necessarily the best time to suggest new spending schemes. But of all the reasons not to support Newt, it doesn’t even crack the top ten.

  • That said, I think the moon colony idea is actually not that crazy.

    Oh, yes it is.

  • Yes, moon colony crazy like prohibiting the Keystone Oil Pipe for three years, shutting down refineries and coal plants, and priceless Obama whining about the price of gas soaring from $1.81, the day before he took over, to $3.51 today.

The Militant Secular Left Shows Their Cards, Proving That The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholicism

Monday, February 13, AD 2012

The militant secular left thinks they have won a victory with President Barack Obama’s “Accommodation” with regard to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate ordering religious based institutions to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and the morning after abortion pill. Some of the left couldn’t contain their glee, one guest on MSNBC described President Obama’s move as “brilliant.” In their distorted thinking they surmise that since not all Catholics adhere to the Church’s teachings, especially on birth control, they can cause a split in the Church.

First of all, the militant secular left continually cites the Guttmacher Institute’s polling, which is about as accurate as the daily pronouncements of Syria’s Bashar Assad. Secondly, it is one thing for Catholics to go against the Church’s teachings, it is quite another to say they are proud of it and want more Big Government telling them what they and the Catholic Church to do. The sheer nuttiness of this was illustarted in a discussion which occurred on Sean Hannity’s the Great American Panel seen on Fox News last week. One of the participants Jehmu Greene told fellow panelist Andrea Tantaros that without birth control she wouldn’t be here. When the incredulous Tantaros wondered how that could logical be, Greene went on a tirade that demeaned women who have children and or decide to work at home.

For years the militant secular left has treated pregnancy as a disease and families as inconvenient truths interfering with their own narcissistic ends. Powerhouse television shows like Sex and City helped to illustrate this point. Katharine Jean Lopez of the National Review wrote some time ago how disgusted she felt seeing men demeaned as objects in the Sex and City movie, the very treatment feminists have railed about for years.

However with the narcissistic Sex and City lifestyle comes another reality playing out in the streets of Athens, Greece and soon to come to a city or country near you in the western world. The declining birth rate means the youngest among us will have to eventually have to pay for a culture that aborted or contracepted itself into oblivion. The generous benefits demanded by those cultures, especially from the militant secular left can only last so long. As the old saying goes; “The problem with Socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.” The ancient Greek world gods who hailed narcissism and hedonism and whose lifestyle was proselytized by the Epicureans seem as irrelevant as ever as the pall of smoke hangs over the Acropolis, a fitting metaphor for what the militant secular left has wrought.

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11 Responses to The Militant Secular Left Shows Their Cards, Proving That The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholicism

  • November 2012 cannot come soon enough!

    Here is additional evidence (as if it were needed) that one is repreating oneself when one uses the words liberal and idiot in the same sentence.

    This rank stupidity is the reason the economy continues to flounder and why government should be limited so that it can inflict limited harm on us.

    With his talents, Obama ought to be on an urban street corner dealing “three card monty.”

  • T. Shaw – but instead liberalies are letting the executive branch play monopoly in the WH with other people’s money and no rules because cheating etc. is easier. The jail corner says send someone you don’t like directly to court. The community chest cards are awards for using racist and bigot on opponents.
    What a waste.

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  • Regarding – The Militant Secular Left Shows Their Cards, Proving That The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholicism
    Published Monday, February 13, 2012 A.D. | By Dave Hartline

    I agree with everthing the writer has said, but I have trouble with one thing.
    Are we willing to fight as hard for the living child after birth as we are for the child in the womb? Are we willing to provide a higher level of education, of health care, of food and housing OR do we prefer to pay in the back end when the unwanted, uncared for, fatherless child becomes a miscreant; someone on drugs, alcohol or at least in poor health or pertetuates more unwanted pregnancies…
    I would rather put the same energy and money to providing the programs the child would need to be a caring, involved citizen rather than a fatherless child in a broken home with little love and education. I hope to see Catholics turn a cheek and start realizing that if we want to lower the abortion rate holistically, the best way to do it is to educate and provide the necessary programs so woman don’t find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy to begin with. It does start at home, but the home alone will not win the battle…we must help, with love.

  • My friend, I have no doubt that you mean well and sincerely believe that old canard that the Militant Secular Left has been pushing concerning not caring for those who have been born. Let me tell you why it is a canard. My wife and I have been blessed with the gift of adoption. I can tell you first hand what a great gift it is and how long it took. Sadly parents wait untold lengths of time and spend untold amounts of money to adopt, jumping through all kinds of hoops.

    Years ago when we decided to adopt, we sat down with an adoption specialist who told us that before Roe v Wade there were about two million couples who couldn’t have children and wanted to, and about two million women who didn’ think they could raise a child in their current situation. It was a Providential give and take, something that Roe v Wade took away. Adoption wait times and costs continue to grow because millions of parents who want nothing more than to love a child have to wait while millions of unborn babies are aborted.

    Sadly ever since Roe v Wade, and most notably now the militant secular left treats pregnancy as a disease, all the while children are called “punishments” by our very leaders. We are also told that we are ignorant because we “cling to religion.” God help those who will have to answer for that.

  • “In their distorted thinking they [the Militant Secular Left] surmise that since not all Catholics adhere to the Church’s teachings, especially on birth control, they can cause a split in the Church.”

    The split is already present in the Church in America, and has been since Vatican II. Many “liberal” Catholics feel more animosity toward the Church, and her Bishops, than they do toward the militant secularists who oppose the teachings of the Church. Obama is merely using that split in an attempt to secure his political base for 2012. You may think this will not work, but many “liberal” Catholics, in the end, will side with Obama versus the Bishops.

    I hope I am wrong, but the political calculation that Obama has made may work. Those who oppose his HHS mandate, did not vote for him in 2008 and will not vote for him in 2012. However, many on the Left who voted for him in 2008, who have recently had serious doubts about Obama, will now be MORE inclined to support him in 2012, not less inclined. It is a classic divide-and-conquer electoral strategy, based on the very theological and ideological split that already exists in the Church.

    President Obama is merely exploiting what already exists. Again, I hope and pray that I am wrong, but he may very well succeed in exploiting the divisions that already exist in the Church.

  • Tom D, I have no doubt that militant secular left who call themselves Catholic will rally behind President Obama, including those who work within the Church. Having worked for the Church in various capacities, I know their names, believe me. However, the rank and file Catholic will be upset by this, even those who voted for President Obama, believe in contraception and attend Mass here and there. Those Catholics who have a nagging suspicion of Big Government will also find this more than a little disturbing.

    However, I must reiterate this point again. There are people who vocally call themselves Catholics who haven’t attended Mass regularly since the Ford Administration. Yet, they proudly they say they are Catholic. Take for example someone who is a lukewarm Methodist or Lutheran; they will probably say they are Christian but won’t attach a demoninational tag behind their name, thus taking their church off the hook when it comes to matters that may look heretical to their respective churches. This doesn’t take place with Catholics because of our strong sacramental and ethnic identity. In the depths of their soul, they know what is right but their flesh is weak.

    The only Catholics who will openly rally to President Obama are those who wear their heresy on their sleeve as a badge of honor. Even though far too few of the faithful actually follow the Church’s teachings, in their heart of hearts they know the Church is right and thus will abandon those who openly want to stick it to the Church.

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  • I think the joke is on the Left–because the mandate is not only unconstitutional but also illegal; see this long article: It made me realize the mandate really was an assault on the Catholic Church–and a stupid one, blatantly violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, for no rational reason because contraception IS readily available. You wonder whether the most powerful man in the world ever listens to the numerous lawyers he has available (never mind the people in his inner circle who give him contrary advice, like, in this case, Joe Biden and Bill Daley). I think many Catholics will still vote for Obama, but hope and believe fewer than in 2008, and I hope that people of other faiths will stand and work with us in turning him out of the White House.

Cultural Multiple Personality Disorder

Friday, March 4, AD 2011

Michael Potemera muses on the survival of two very different cultural institutions – Playboy and National Review:

I just caught the last couple of minutes of a cable-TV documentary about Playboy magazine, which featured a clip of Hugh Hefner opining about the huge cultural impact the magazine has had in its 50-plus years of existence. And it struck me as an illustration that, even in the realm of culture and ideas, it’s the supply side that makes the greatest difference. Two young men in the mid-1950s had vastly different ideas of what the American audience really wanted and needed, and ventured forth to create magazines that reflected these views. Hugh Hefner, convinced that America was too sexually conservative and really needed to let its hair down, founded Playboy in 1953. Bill Buckley, convinced that America was too politically liberal and needed to restore its older, small-r republican virtues that had been eroded in the Progressive and New Deal eras, founded National Review in 1955.

Now, think about how these ventures must have appeared at the time. Playboy was an outrage to conventional pieties about sexuality. National Review was an outrage to conventional pieties about politics. How much money would you have bet, at the time, that either one would survive for very long? “A dirty magazine? Won’t people be embarrassed to buy it?” “A magazine that’s to the right of Eisenhower and Nixon? Are there that many real fringies out there?” But the supply side takes a chance. And, quite amazingly, both ventures succeeded beyond imagining. Playboy bore fruit in the Sexual Revolution, which may already have reached its high point but shows little sign of receding. And from National Review emerged Reaganism, and conservatism as the broadly dominant system of political thought in recent years.

An extraordinarily prescient person, writing in the mid-1950s, might have predicted one of these triumphs. But anyone who predicted that both of the magazines, simultaneously, would have a massive, culturally transformative impact on our country, would have been dismissed as, at best, an extremely confused thinker.

But the truth is, we are a confusing country. We contain, in Walt Whitman’s sense, multitudes. Even as we prize national unity, we resist homogeneity; even as we embrace populist fads, we remain suspicious of conformism. It makes me wonder: Which two implausible — and apparently mutually contradictory — cultural ventures of our time will end up shaping the American life of the next half century?

Certainly fodder for further thought.  There is a superficial explanation to this seeming contradiction.  In a country that at the time both publications were launched numbered 200 million citizens, and where now north of 300 million live, it’s not unreasonable for disparate publications to attract very large audiences.  If you draw, say, 100,000 subscribers (and I have no idea if this is anywhere close to how many people subscribe to either publication, now or ever), that’s barely more than .o1% of the population.  So it’s easy to see why the same country can pack arena-sized mega Churches on Sunday while also making pornographic sites the biggest profit makers on the Internet.  To put it simply, there are a lot of people, and they’re going to like very different things.

But of course that really is Potomera’s main point.   We are a culture deeply divided, and that division seems to be getting more intense.  While the pron industry is doing quite well, conservative (traditional, Orthodox, whatever adjective you prefer) religious institutions are also faring quite well.  Gay marriage is gaining some traction while at the same time larger and larger families are filling the pews every Sunday.  Admittedly, there is some overlap as some of the commenters observe (not to mention that William F. Buckley wrote articles for Playboy at one time), but by and large we’re talking about – dare I say it? – two Americas.

In the comments section I wrote the following, and it’s hopefully worth repeating here.  One of the things to consider is the standing of both magazines within the movements that they helped launch. Playboy is considered tame nowadays, what, with the explosion of raunchier magazines like Hustler, and even more so with the easy availability of hard core pornography on the Web.

As for National Review, while there has been an explosion of other conservative magazines, institutions, and other media, NR remains one of the most influential journals of conservative opinion. Sure some might think it has gone “soft” in its own right (including yours truly, at least on occasion), but it is still no doubt more influential within its own sphere than Playboy is nowadays.

What that says about our society, and where it is trending, is perhaps more troublesome.

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6 Responses to Cultural Multiple Personality Disorder

  • Come again?

    Playboy in its day was a profitable commercial venture and its circulation was at its peak ca. 1971 around about 9,000,000. The circulation of the paper edition of National Review has scarcely exceeded 160,000 and it has ever been a philanthropic enterprise. Other than the New York Review of Books, magazines like National Review have not been commercially viable in forty years or some, and some have never been.

    I hate to break it to Mr. Lowry’s employees, but the Republican Party had within it a component given to vigorous opposition to the regnant liberalism of that age. Mr. Buckley was not the progenitor of that. Robert Taft was nearly the Republican nominee for President in 1952. I suspect you would also discover, were there any surviving survey research, that the liberal arts faculty of 1955 was far more variegated in its political profile than is the case today. Newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune continued to reflect in their coverage the priorities of their (commonly Republican) owners. Time-Life was not exactly a liberal concern. What William F. Buckley provided was a discussion forum for the general reader of a sort that had been present a generation earlier but had subsequently disappeared. What the nascent American Enterprise Institute provided was a mediator between academics and policy-makers.

  • “Newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune continued to reflect in their coverage the priorities of their (commonly Republican) owners. ”

    That may be true Art, but they endorsed Obama in 2008 and lost a huge chunk of their Downstate readership, including me.

    As to Taft, he had his points, but he was also illustrative of not only how impotent conservatism then was on the national scale, but even within the Republican party.

    Buckley in his salad days in the Fifties and Sixties was always more important than National Review, as he gave a young and articulate face to American conservatism that was badly needed.

  • The reach of National Review went well beyond its mere subscription numbers. Granted we sometimes tend to exaggerate the influence of this or that institution, but as Donald mentioned Mr. Buckley certainly was one of the key sparks of the conservative revival during the Cold War period. Also, a lot of magazines come and go, so the fact that NR has survived for nearly 60 years is a remarkable sign of vitality.

  • The reaction to National Review initially from a liberal journal was that America could use a good conservative magazine but that National Review wasn’t it. Liberals tend to be all in favor of conservatism, except for all and any current manifestations.

  • Potemra is making a point that can only be made in retrospect. Both magazines had a huge cultural impact that has little to do with their actual readership. Whether we liked it or not, both changed the world we lived in and that was true even for people who never read an issue of either. That’s a claim that neither Time nor Newsweek, both of which were vastly more successful in those years, can make.

    What I wonder is whether the two are nearly as contradictory as they seem. I don’t know if William f Buckley ever went to the Playboy mansion in the 1960s but it wouldn’t surprise to learn that he had. The two men had a lot in common.

  • The reach of National Review went well beyond its mere subscription numbers.

    Agreed. These publications are helpful, just as agencies like AEI are helpful.

    That may be true Art, but they endorsed Obama in 2008 and lost a huge chunk of their Downstate readership, including me.

    I was referring to the situation prior to 1955. What appears to have happened to metropolitan newspapers in the post-war period is that the lenses through which they viewed the world came to be ground and selected by their employees. One of the curios of the last two generations is that our political life came to reflect a social and cultural struggle between salaried employees who earn their living by manipulating words and images and salaried employees in just about every other trade, with wage-earners lining up on one side or another according to cultural affiliations.

    I think the same deal happened in academe. Tenure shifted the balance of power between the faculty and their superordinates and (like the newspaper owners) the trustees voluntarily ceded control with regard to all issues save budgetry and athletics. In 1940, the President of the College of William and Mary was a Southern Jeffersonian and the President of Colgate University was a trenchant opponent of the New Deal. You would be hard put (I am sure) to find anyone on the faculty of either institution who would hold to either view nowadays.

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.



  • 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.


  • 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.


    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!

Court Blocks Federal Funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Tuesday, August 24, AD 2010

3 Responses to Court Blocks Federal Funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research