Joe is four, he'll be 5 in April '09. He said "I drew this about what we read last night." We had read the Nativity story from Matthew. (Click picture for a large size print scan.)
You can pretty much identify Jesus and his Blessed mother, but here's a detail of them.
The figure at the bottom of that detail is a sheep. Joe pointed out that the other four or so sheep were "going up to walk on the star". They look very happy to me. But my favorite animal in the photo is definitely the donkey.
Last but not least, one of the wise men does show up with gifts and two shepherds. They're along the bottom of the drawing, the two shepherd right under Baby Jesus. Here's the detail: Sheep, Shepherd, Shepherd, Gifts, Wise-man.
Happy New Year to all my readers.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Joe is four, he'll be 5 in April '09. He said "I drew this about what we read last night." We had read the Nativity story from Matthew. (Click picture for a large size print scan.)
Boy, does Blago know how to play the game. Genius move, the Roland Burris appointment. He has defied all the other corrupt politicians in Chicago―excuse the redundancy―calling for his resignation. He has injected race into the matter with the help of Rep. Bobby Rush, a former Black Panther and big-time philanthropist who has whole-heartedly supported Burris, ignoring any potential tarnish. Rush famously and hilariously once stated, "Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool. Barack is a person who read about the civil-rights protests and thinks he knows all about it." So you can feel the Obama-love right there; it's the same level of love that Blago himself has fo' the President Elect.
He has also made good on his promise to "stay and fight" and in my opinion, is implicitly daring all the other folks involved, mostly Democrats, to show their cards. My take is that he sees a possibility for parachuting out of this, but just in case he's going to take some people down with him. Or at the very least make them sweat like spear-wielding hunters encircling a wounded tiger, each afraid that the beast's last leap will be directed at him. Welcome to the jungle, fellas.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I have a new post on the Alexandria blog which I felt compelled to write after this little exchange in the comment boxes between Harvey Lacey and me, which I'll abbreviate here:
Pauli: I don’t know why it harms gays to be told they can’t have the same kind of relationship men have with their wives which we commonly call marriage. They can call their relationship what they want, they can even call it marriage, but it’s different. If you want to say it’s no different then that’s your opinion, your belief if you will. The belief of traditional Christians is that this could do more harm to gays to tell them this because it’s a lie.
Harvey: The only thing that supports your position on heterosexual marriage being superior to a homosexual one is your belief. And your belief has nothing but suspicion and myth to support you.
When you find yourself in a quiet place where you can hear clearly the discussions between your heart and your brain I would like you to think about believing what you do. Consider for a moment the motivation of the parents of the Indians who gave up their daughter for sacrifice. That’s believing my friend, that’s believing. Your belief doesn’t take near as much commitment. But it’s no less wrong.
So believing that gays can't have a marriage equivalent to a traditional marriage between a man and a woman is called "no less wrong" than committing human sacrifice by killing one's offspring. No less wrong. This is the disease called moral equivalency, and we see it everyday from the assertion that opposing "universal single-payer health care" is morally equivalent to being pro-abortion to the baseless assumption that Israel must be just as bad as the terrorist group, Hamas, since they are fighting them.
I go on to show that there is a lot more than merely "suspicion and myth" which supports accepting marriage as being defined traditionally by linking to David Benkof's "Phantom Past" which I recommended everyone should read last week. I reiterate this recommendation again because it shows the "gay narrative" to be as mythical as anything we Christianists ever came up with and it does so in the language of historical and anthropological research.
Being able in a small way to expose the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of this sort of nonsense is one of the reasons that I accepted the opportunity to write―without compensation―for Alexandria, a blog featuring very few gold nuggets amidst the boring and nauseating dirt.
Have you guys, or ladies for that matter, ever run into a drunk woman in a bar who wants to tell you her life story? And the saddest thing is she's just rambling and rambling and it's not even very interesting. Caroline Kennedy's speech pattern as demonstrated here reminds me of this phenomenon. And her using the word "hierarchical" is a lot like Uncle Ted Kennedy using all those water analogies that Laura Ingraham pointed out on her show. Long live the royal family, I guess.
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Yep, "Fat Loss 4 Idiots" has got to be the work of a marketing genius. What could be better for attracting customers than insulting someone's intelligence? The "Dear our friend" was a nice touch. Much better than "Dear [your name]". You truly can't make this stuff up.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
David Benkof's "Gays Defend Marriage" site is back again. He took the site down in mid-July 2008, citing disagreements with some of the rhetoric behind Prop 8. But he is back blogging again; most of his old stuff is still available. He sent me an email since I had been one of his fans of his bold, clear thinking in the past. And I still am.
David is a Jewish man who identifies as a bi-sexual, however he believes that gay sex is an abomination before God. So he has chosen celibacy for himself. As for everyone else, he is not afraid to tell them what he believes that God thinks about homosexual activity, especially gay male sexual relations. This obviously puts him at odds with many of the religious liberals of the world and probably all of the in-your-face gay activist community. Ironically, he is the type of person who will do the most good for the cause of gays by setting an example of boldness and unselfishness that unbigoted heterosexuals will be forced to respect.
As an introduction to David's philosophy and viewpoints on many gay issues, I recommend reading Selfless Agenda first. I can't agree with everything he writes, but I agree with a lot of it. Plus he's an incredible communicator and is always challenging. After you've digested that, time to tackle Phantom Past. It's very interesting, especially since it's the kind of stuff you never hear in the popular media. Here's an excerpt:
Clearly, all the research taken as a whole suggests that being gay or straight arises out of our specific social context, rather than being etched into our DNA. Of course, given the scant popular awareness about this situation, the idea that gays haven’t always existed can be completely unsettling. Many gays and lesbians have experienced their sexual orientations as unchosen and unchangeable, and therefore they are skeptical - and even hostile - toward anything that implies being gay isn’t part of human nature. And even lots of nongay people and organizations have built outlooks about homosexuality around a belief that the gay minority occurs naturally.
For example, the American Psychological Association (APA) argued in its Supreme Court brief in the landmark 2003 sodomy case of Lawrence v. Texas that “the sexual orientation known as homosexuality - which is based on an enduring pattern of sexual or romantic attraction exclusively or primarily to others of one’s own sex - is a normal variant of human sexual expression.”
Since the specific sexual orientation described is a recent, culturally driven phenomenon, it cannot be a “normal variant of human sexual expression.” Had the APA argued that homosexual orientation “appears to arise involuntarily among some people in our society,” it would have been closer to the mark. There were good, legitimate reasons (such as privacy) to oppose anti-sodomy laws. The supposed natural occurrence of homosexual orientation in the human species, however, was not one of them.
You really need to read the entire piece in which his scholarship on his topic is stunning. I include the excerpt so you can see how Benkof is not in sync with the standard P.C. mantra of "they're born that way", an assertion which he shows is not backed up by any anthropological or historical evidence. His last sentence asserts something I agree with fully: "It's a whole new conversation, one that’s touchy and hard to predict but long overdue."
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sometimes I go over here for a laugh, and I got one today.
John Darnielle. Musician (Mountain Goats). Indie-god. NPR heart-throb. Funny lyricist. Three sure things in life: Death, taxes and a Prius in Darnielle's driveway.
I don't know why it so funny to me. Most likely because it's simply so dang polticially incorrect. It's got to be post-post-post-modern ― at least three posts in there. I mean, OK, many lesbians seem to start looking like men at some point (viz. the Indigo Girls two years ago, esp. Amy Ray the brunette. Remember when they were cute?)
But I can't figure out why half of these guys fit into his category. Andrew Lloyd Webber, for example, merely looks like an old guy to me. When I first look at his picks, the common feature seemed to be hair in some kind of style, but then I saw he picked William Ayers who doesn't fit that criteria. The more I look, the more it seems to me like this guy thinks everyone out there except a G.I Joe action figure bears a resemblance to an aging lesbian, which leads me to believe that the guy has a fixation or mania about the the whole concept. Even so, it is a funny site.
Monday, December 22, 2008
It's about a third of the way down the page here. I think he's right. Excerpt:
It was the flawed "Faithful Citizenship" document, coupled with some unwise public remarks by Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, that brought the bishops into play during the 2008 election. These circumstances are very unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Catholics will be making a mistake if they assume that the 80+ Catholic bishops who spoke out to defend Church teaching this year will continue to do so in future elections.
There are a few good pieces in this series. Bill Donohue's and Frank Keating's for example. We get the usual blah, blah from Amy Welborn and Mark P. Shea, and we are treated to the immense stupidity of Mark Stricherz here. So what can I say? Have at it. It be wha' it be.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Being that I'm pretty much a bald American at this point, I don't make many trips to the barber down on the corner. But I always check out La Shawn Barber's Corner, and here's an example of why, from her musings on President Elect Obama's choice of Pastor Rick Warren to give his inaugural invocation:
Homosexuals are a tad upset that their brother-in-arms chose someone who calls homosexual behavior by its proper name and shares my opinion about the slippery slope of allowing two men to call themselves married in the traditional sense of the word. People may be offended that I think such a mockery eventually would lead to atrocities like allowing adults to marry children. But look at it this way: I can’t believe in my lifetime, Americans are discussing allowing people of the same sex to marry. Whoever thought that would happen? You honestly don’t think it will lead to other perverted things? You’re either naive, imbecilic, or straight-up lying.
Now is that as refreshing as an eleven ounce glass of lemonade with four-and-a-half ice cubes in it or what? La Shawn inspires me because she really doesn't give a crap what anyone thinks about her beliefs, and we need more people like that―provided they're correct like she is, of course.
Why did Obama (who said he opposes homosexual “marriage,” by the way) choose a Prop 8-supporting man like Warren, knowing it would anger and confound his leftist base? To “reach out” to social conservatives who voted for John McCain, to skim off a few Republican-voting Christians who dig Warren – I don’t know, and I don’t think it matters that much.
I heartily agree. Folks on the right and left are slicing this up way too much, digging for the hidden message. "It's a brilliant move!" say some on the center-left. "Warren has sold out!" say some right-wing nuts. "Christians go to Hell, if there was a Hell!" say the atheists.
I commented on another blog―I think it was one for conservative agnostic dinner-party albinos who stutter―that Rick Warren's publicity folks should love this hype. Maybe it won't go down in history like the good weather prayer, but it will probably be as over-analyzed as Obama's decision. Long live the Internets.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Is this prayer choice or what? I got the text from this site.
"Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen."
Thursday, December 18, 2008
While reading this piece on Obama having to defend his choice of Rick Warren as the invocator for his inauguration, I came across this great comment from doorgunner3:
Why, that pastor does not endorse my personally held beliefs!
By all means, do not allow him to speak.
To do so would not honor my diversity.
And my diversity is the only diversity which matters.
Kudos to Obama for picking a normal preacher-man this time around. And I hope God gives Mr. Warren the noble mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fruitcakes.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I read this article about the auction site swoopo.com (via Megan M) and I was amazed that anyone would fall for this ridiculous "loan shark" version of an auction site. But when you study the inner workings, you realize that it's basically a lottery disguised as an auction site. The winner wins and the losers are left with empty pockets. That's called "gambling" by most of the intelligent Earthlings left. If you lose an ebay auction, it doesn't cost you anything except the time spent hand-wringing over whether you should bid one more time.
Many articles (here's another) are calling this method of soaking idiots "evil". Well, yeah, sure. But then so is all non-friendly gambling, including state-sponsored scratch-off "games". In one sense, these web-sharks should be commended for not building another gaudy neon monstrousity on some lakefront. But I don't think the Big Guy who judges hearts and motives will be impressed with their virtualness when come around that ol' judgement day. Meanwhile, stick to ebay, smart people!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Cracked up at Goldberg's piece on the Blagojevich-Obama connection. Excerpt:
There's the enormous I-should-have-had-a-V8! moment as the mainstream press collectively thwacks itself in the forehead, realizing it blew it again. The New York Times — which, according to Wall Street analysts, is weeks from holding editorial board meetings in a refrigerator box — created the journalistic equivalent of CSI-Wasilla to study every follicle and fiber in Sarah Palin's background, all the while treating Obama's Chicago like one of those fairy-tale lands depicted in posters that adorn little girls' bedroom walls. See there, Suzie? That's a Pegasus. That's a pink unicorn. And that's a beautiful sunflower giving birth to a fully grown Barack Obama, the greatest president ever and the only man in history to be able to pick up manure from the clean end.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I don't watch much TV, too depressing, so I was probably throwing back a Miller High Life with a cheese sandwich while this interview was going on. Dennis Miller is too hilarious. Here are a few excerpts:
MILLER: And by the way, what's with the holy man [Deepak Chopra] wearing the overly current eyewear? You know, I want my visionaries to look a little more humble. Him showing up with those glasses is like Gandhi with an ankle bracelet or something.
MILLER: All I can tell you is after I watched the Chopra boys and I watched Ted Turner, I remember thinking these guys have a lot of gall calling George Bush stupid, because I've met George Bush, and those three make Bush look like Stephen Hawking on a ginkgo biloba drip.
O'REILLY: Finally, Festivus in Washington may be now allowed to put up a sign, whatever that may be, take it from "Seinfeld." Your analysis, please?
MILLER: Well, this is what happens when you open the idiot floodgates. And this is what they're going to get now. And I find it amazingly ironic that atheism has turned into such a strident, lachrymose religion. Where's the sense of humor up there, guys?
MILLER: ....Although I thought the [Festivus] sign next to the Nativity scene made the Nativity scene look much more authentic, because I thought the cow had come out of the manger and dropped one on the floor.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I think I've found the connection between Obama and Blagojevich. Read this article. It explains how important it is for an incoming President to buy a new rug for the Oval Office. Bush spent $61,000.00 on the last one. My guess is that it wasn't from Lowe's. Well, why not save the taxpayers some dough and use Rod Blagojevich's toupee? It's probably big enough, and it's wild, ferocious look will help give the Obama White House the "change we've been waiting for."
Thanks for reading my blog. For current commentary and what-not, visit the Est Quod Est homepage
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
My favorite LOL so far of the Blagojevich crackup, reported by Kirk Shinkle of The Ticker.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that if his wife could get on some corporate boards and “picks up another 150 grand a year or whatever” it would help ROD BLAGOJEVICH get through the next several years as Governor.
"Or whatever." Pocket change, eh Guv?
Well duh, Kirk, Obama pulled that off for Michelle -- remember her coincidental raise from $122,000 to $317,000 after Obama's election as senator?
By the way, James Traficant is getting out and entering a half-way house where he will be taught simple skills like how to comb his fake hair.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Here's the lowdown from my man, Saint Ephrem:
Son of God, grant me your own admirable Gift that I may celebrate the wondrous beauty of your beloved Mother! The Virgin gave birth to a son while preserving her virginity; she suckled him who gives nourishment to the peoples; in her immaculate breast she bore him who carries the whole world in his hands. She is Virgin and Mother, what will she not be hereafter? Holy in body, all beautiful in soul, pure of mind, upright in intelligence, perfect in feeling, chaste and faithful, pure of heart and filled with virtue.
May the hearts of virgins rejoice in Mary since of her was born the one who set humankind free from dreadful slavery. May the old Adam, wounded by the serpent, rejoice in Mary; it is Mary who gives Adam a posterity that allows him to crush the accursed serpent and who cures him of his mortal wound (Gen 3,15). Let priests rejoice in the blessed Virgin; she has brought the High Priest into the world who gave himself as a victim, putting an end to the sacrifices of the Old Covenant... Let the prophets rejoice in Mary, since in her were fulfilled their visions, in her were realized their prophecies, in her were confirmed their oracles. Let all the patriarchs rejoice in Mary since she received the blessing promised to them, she who, in her son, has brought them to completion...
Mary is the new tree of life who, instead of the bitter fruit picked by Eve, gives to mankind that sweet fruit on which the whole world is fed.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
My man, Joshua Depew, and his homeys made this great horror parody. They creatively used sets, props and actors available in their neighborhood, including Tigerlily the Golden Retriever. We hope that fame won't go to Tigerlily's head, or anyone else's.
Here's the first episode to hook y'all in. Then go visit the page I linked above to watch the other 3 parts.
It has some hilarious moments in it. My favorite sight gag has got to be the encyclopedia.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Email scammers can't feel guilt, but they must know it exists. But it's hard to feel sorrow and remorse about not sending your life savings to an imaginary dead person. Check out the latest email from Mrs. Lizy Joseph (firstname.lastname@example.org). (Cute Chinese email addy, huh?)
MAY GOD BE THE GLORY.
Hello My Dear,
Compliments of the season and how are you with your family? Hope all is well.
it is true that you don't know me in person,i am Sister Jones. who has been helping Mrs Lizy Joseph, here in our Hospital before she passed away.she called me the night that she died and told me to update you about your compasation.
she said and I
i'm happy to inform you about our success in getting the donation funds of Mrs Lizy Joseph, transferred under the co-operation of pastor from Highlands Village Church London.Meanwhile,I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring the funds despite that you failed me some how.
Now contact the pastor in Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire, his name is:
REV.PASTOR JUDE AMBROSE.
VILLA 101 RUE DES JARDIN DEUX PLATEAU
01 BP 439 ABIDJAN 01 COTE D'IVOIRE
Cel: 00 225 02 34 28 00
Tel: + 225 07 72 34 59
Fax: + 225 21 35 66 48
Contact him and ask him to send you a Bank Draft of ($260,000) dollars which I instrusted him to give to you for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much.
So feel free and get in touch with my REV.REV.PASTOR JUDE AMBROSE. and instruct him where to send the Bank Draft to you ok,so that you will be able to start some thing with it in where ever you are now and for your friends and family to see that the Lord Is Good.and after you receive the money try and update me ok.
Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that i can share the joy after all the sufferness of Mrs Lizy joseph, during the operation so that i can see that her heart desire has been carried out. Finally,remember that I had forwarded instruction to the Pastor on your behalf to release the Bank draft to you immediately you contact him,so feel free to get in touch with him, he will send the Bank Draft to you without any delay OK,
so take good care of yourself now.
I wait to hear from you urgent informing me that you have recieved the Bank Draft.
Thanks and God bless for all. Best regards,
The subject was "From Mrs Mrs Lizy Joseph compensation for your past efforts." Sounds like the feminine counterpart to Mr. Mister. Insane. Here's my reply:
Sister Sister Jones my dearest ,
All is the well with family many thanks. Feel free to learns how to talks the English , then wire the fullest amount to me in the most Americanest dollars you can ever find without delay OK.
The greatest desires of my heart is this, so tell the Rev. Reverend Pastor Jude Ambrose Augustine Linus Cletus Clement the following instruction: "I before E except after C."
Sorry your imaginary friend is deceased and went to scammers heaven. I donate via an airmail sandwich in case you get so hungry.
May God bless you,
Your most lovable failure,
Pauli the blogger
I'm not sure it's crazy enough, though.
Before reading this, I have to echo greenwald's warning: If you have a beverage, put it down. Here's the transcript excerpt he posts:
SIMON JENKINS: What I think is extraordinary to people abroad, is that those of us who are enthusiasts for America and American liberties cannot see why you needed to do these things. You will never persuade the outside world that you have not restricted liberty in America. You will never persuade them that you have not taken out Muslims as a particular group, and you will never, and you never persuade them that you really needed to do these things.
WILLIAM KRISTOL: What things?
SIMON JENKINS: Because-
WILLIAM KRISTOL: What have we done to Muslims in America? What has happened?
SIMON JENKINS: Arrested them.
WILLIAM KRISTOL: We’ve arrested Muslims in America? [LAUGHTER]
SIMON JENKINS: Incarcerated them without trial.
WILLIAM KRISTOL: We’ve incarcerated-
KARL ROVE: Rounded them up?
WILLIAM KRISTOL: ...Muslims in America without trial?
KARL ROVE: Rounded, rounded them up? Name one?
WILLIAM KRISTOL: Nonsense.
KARL ROVE: Name one instance.
SIMON JENKINS: The, [UNCLEAR] belabor me all day with lists of people who have vanished. Vanished.
KARL ROVE: You know-
WILLIAM KRISTOL: Well, that-
KARL ROVE: This is on the border of lunacy, with all due respect.
SIMON JENKINS: But you didn’t need to do it, you didn’t need to do it-
KARL ROVE: We didn’t do it!
Excerpt from Greenwald's comments:
Bush-vilification, like all therapeutic mythologies, depends on fantasy for survival. With their vanishing Muslims, torture chambers, and evil corporate overlords, Bush haters are better suited to the Dungeons and Dragons, sci-fi convention circuit than to the political sphere. It’s clear that the delusional expectations placed on Barack Obama by his fans are a necessary counterpart to their own delusional indictments of George W. Bush. That’s why the enthusiasm about Obama is similarly not of a fact-based nature. His acolytes seek in him fake antidotes to fake problems.
Here's the entire transcript, if you really are masochistic.
Yesterday, Hall started out his "Daily Outrage" with this remark: "I've got a new name for Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio): Dennis the Menace."
Well, it's not really new. Kind of a no-brainer nickname, akin to monikers assigned to me like "French Fry" and "Small Fry". Fortunately, I wasn't scarred for life [eyes begin twitching noticeably....]
OTOH, I heartily agree with the rest of what Hall wrote:
This two-time failed presidential candidate is fighting Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank's (PNC Quote - Cramer on PNC - Stock Picks)takeover of Cleveland-based National City (NCC Quote - Cramer on NCC - Stock Picks) because he fears the merger will result in job losses in his district.
What does he think will happen if National City doesn't get bought? Kucinich's home-town bank is laden with high-risk mortgage loans and posted losses for five quarters in a row before the takeover was announced.
Oh, by the way, National City had already cut thousands of jobs and planned to cut thousands more before PNC stepped in. National City got itself in this mess, and its board signed off on the takeover.
Halting the process now may just end up killing National City.
So give it a rest, Dennis, and stop being such a menace.
Amen. Honestly, why didn't Cimperman go after Kucinich on being bad for business the way they went after him for being "in the pocket of corporations"? I'll never understand Democrat politics.
In his regular weekly public audience on December 3, Pope Benedict called the doctrine of Original Sin and "alternative to a vision of despair." Excerpt from the Catholic Culture piece:
"Does Original Sin exist or not, then?" the Pontiff asked rhetorically. He pointed out that St. Paul, in sketching "the basic outlines of the doctrine" in his Letter to the Romans, explains Original Sin by comparing the Fall in Eden with the redemption brought by Christ, the new Adam.
Every rational person recognizes the reality of human weakness, the Pope said. The doctrine of Original Sin goes beyond that obvious reality to address the "ontological foundation" of evil, he said. "In effect, there is a contradiction in our being. On the one hand we know we must do good, and in our inner selves this is what we desire, yet at the same time we feel an impulse to do the opposite, to follow the path of egoism, of violence."
Many people don't seem to know this, but Muslims do not believe in the doctrine of Original Sin. I'm not a theologian, so I don't know if that's why some of them believe it's okay to kill and enslave people. But it does seem that desperation and despair characterizes Islam, even the non-violent part.
Bloomberg reports the slippage of gold (presently $766.30; source) as the dollar has strengthened and oil prices have dropped. If you believe, as I do, that a strong dollar and low oil prices are both temporary, then you will see this as buying opportunity.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
In my most famous post to date, I stated this:
It seemed to [H. G.] Wells that democracy includes too many people who aren't "with the program"; there needs to be totalitarian control by "elites" to effect the correct Utopian system.
when musing upon Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. (BTW, his book blog still going strong.)
Well, I just heard the "China for a day" comments from Thomas Friedman on the Mark Levin show last night, and thought they provided a pretty stark example of Wells's call for "enlightened fascisti". Excerpt:
FRIEDMAN: Well, China for a day is a fantasy, basically. What if we had a government here that could actually make decisions? Okay? That could actually come together, Democrats and Republicans, and make a long-term plan and pursue it?
COLBERT, with sarcasm: Are you saying the Chinese do that?
FRIEDMAN: Yeah, sometimes they do.
COLBERT: But that is a totalitarian regime.
FRIEDMAN: Mm-hmm, and it is a measure of the frustration a lot of people in the green movement have, certainly me —
COLBERT: So you say that for one day we should have a totalitarian government where some ‘benign person at the top’ [He makes quotation-mark fingers] says this is what we do?
FRIEDMAN: No. Basically what I'm saying is if only our government could get its act together and launch a green revolution with the same persistence, focus, stick-to-it-iveness and direction that China does through authoritarian means. If we could only do that through democratic means —
Although Friedman pays some lip-service to "democratic means", he decries the sad result of those means, viz., no "green revolution" because so many poor unwashed slobs like me don't see the need for one. Tim Graham, from the conclusion of the Newsbusters link above, insightfully dissects from Friedman's writing what he likes and dislikes about Democracy:
Late in his book, in his "China For A Day" chapter, Friedman explains his envy that China could effectively ban the thin plastic bag, and it is banned. Why can’t we be like that? But that takes not only a day of enactment, but an eternity of enforcement. Friedman isn’t worried about Day Two forward, because the liberal groups will enforce it (page 374):...because if it is ignored by companies or local governments, a dozen public interest groups, led by the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, will sue the violators (including the federal government) all the way to the Supreme Court. That is why being China for a day – imposing all the right taxes, regulations, and standards needed to launch a clean power system in one day – would be so much more valuable to Washington than Beijing. Because once the directions are given from above, we would be overcoming the worst part of our democracy (the inability to make big decisions in peacetime), and the next day we would be able to enjoy the best part of our democracy (the power of our civic society to make government rules stick and the power of our markets to take advantage of them.)
In a nutshell, the worst part of our democracy are the conservatives who prevent statism, and the best part of our democracy are the leftist lawyers who insure that statism is enforced.
Put more generally, the best part of our civil society is comprised by activist lawyers who march out and methodically sue corporations who won't bow to the whim of the bureaucrats, whereas the worst part of our civil society are those people who are always "gettin' in the way" by exercising their right to dissent from the prevailing do-gooder dogma. Personally, I always believed that loan sharks and used car salesman were the most worthy citizens, even more worthy than bottom-feeding lawyers and ambulance chasers, but to each his own.
I heard Mike Gallagher reading this London Daily Mail piece about the Barack Obama expensive ring gift to his wife and I thought, "That sounds fake." And I was right.
Just like the fake caviar story and the not-born-in-the-USA story, these things are always counter-productive and often meaningless. The guy won the election -- focus on what the guy says and does. I'm all for people saying what they think about his cabinet appointments, for example. I think it worth pointing out that he could be doing more for the economy by explaining, finally, exactly what he intends to do with regard to taxes and the economy, and suggesting that he might want the economy to get a little worse before inauguration day is plausible. But, come on, people, don't go the way of anger and pusillanimity, lest we rightly be accused of Obama-derangement. We're smarter and bigger than that.
Now the anger is moving to the Internet, where supporters of same-sex marriage are posting blacklists - the names and businesses of those who gave money to help Proposition 8 pass.
Chris Lee, an engineer who is an immigrant from China, was shocked to see his name on the Web site AntiGayBlacklist.com after he gave $1,000 to the campaign to end same-sex marriage.
"I was completely disgusted," Li said. "This sort of blacklist should only appear in communist countries, should not be found in the United States."
In Los Angeles, demonstrators called for a boycott of a restaurant whose manager made a personal donation of $100 to the "Yes on 8" campaign.
"She didn't think it would be public record," said Jeff Yarbrough.
Anger over the blacklists brought out demonstrators in Sacramento, where Scott Eckern resigned as musical director of a local theater when he was identified as a donor.
Yeah, I suppose the theater and Proposition 8 don't really mix to well. And, I guess the gloves are off....
Those campaigning to end same-sex marriage drew up their own blacklist, sending letters to large donors to the campaign to save same-sex marriage, demanding equal money or threatening to publish their names.
"Enemy sighted, enemy met."
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
What if there actually is no real media bias? What if the very concept of media bias is merely a conservative construct? a perception of the imagination of us crazy right-wing "sheeple"? What if the explanation for why it seems like the mainstream media treats... oh.... Barack Obama, for example, better than Sarah Palin is the same reason that President Franklin D. Roosevelt gets higher marks from historians than Adolf Hitler?
Well, that's the point that our new friend Vinny is making here. He posits that there is an "objective basis" for why the media picked Kerry over Bush, Obama over McCain, etc. and that it is directly comparable to why a historian—or a normal person—might prefer national leaders who do not massacre millions of people in gas chambers.
After all, as Vinny argues, wouldn't it be absurd to assume that criticism of Hitler necessarily betrays some type of partisan bias? And as with Hitler, likewise with Bush or McCain?
What can I say to such... "logic", except welcome to our little party, Vinny. I hope you don't mind losing your first argument with us over on this post. Or maybe, like the Black Knight, you think it's "just a flesh wound". Stick around and we'll be careful not to let you "bite our legs off".
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thanks to my friend, Pat, for sending me this.
It's from this site. What the crafters of the video did was to collect anecdotal evidence based on questions from this Zogby Poll conducted on behalf of John Ziegler. Ziegler got attacked for the poll with charges that it's a "push poll". Zogby stepped up to explain why it wasn't:
We stand by the results our survey work on behalf of John Ziegler, as we stand by all of our work. We reject the notion that this was a push poll because it very simply wasn't. It was a legitimate effort to test the knowledge of voters who cast ballots for Barack Obama in the Nov. 4 election. Push polls are a malicious effort to sway public opinion one way or the other, while message and knowledge testing is quite another effort of public opinion research that is legitimate inquiry and has value in the public square. In this case, the respondents were given a full range of responses and were not pressured or influenced to respond in one way or another. This poll was not designed to hurt anyone, which is obvious as it was conducted after the election. The client is free to draw his own conclusions about the research, as are bloggers and other members of society. But Zogby International is a neutral party in this matter. We were hired to test public opinion on a particular subject and with no ax to grind, that's exactly what we did. We don't have to agree or disagree with the questions, we simply ask them and provide the client with a fair and accurate set of data reflecting public opinion.
Of course, Ziegler was also attacked fiercely by people like this left-wing hack. Here's Ziegler's must-read response. Excerpt:
[accusation] "You were just out to make Obama voters look stupid and you are probably a racist"
Nothing could be further from the truth. We went out of our way to find articulate people who thought they were informed about the election. I did not even choose the subjects myself (for whatever it is worth, they were chosen by a black female). The reason there are slightly more blacks than whites in the video is that we went to a "black" area of town in the morning when we had more light and then it got dark faster than I expected in the "white" area.
The point of all this is to direct the finger at the news media, not so much at the voters. There are plenty of idiots on both sides of the political divide, but my concern here is that the news media coverage failed to make the electorate educated enough to produce a legitimately informed vote.
It's funny how the left can be so angry even when their guy wins. After all, when we are told that Bush and McCain voters are a bunch of toothless gun-happy dumb-asses, we laugh. Don't we?
For the record, I think this is a great job at exposing the influence that the media has and misuses. But Ziegler's conclusion at the end that the election was "illegitimate" goes a little far. John McCain's failing to find a coherent focus throughout his campaign can't be counted out. Bush fought against the same media and prevailed.
Loved this short.
Obviously these homeys o' mine are amateurs, but they are extremely talented amateurs and, better yet, they have a tireless work ethic. They also realize something that many professionals do not, viz: a fight scene is not complete without at least one groin kick.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Today is the 145th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, so here it is for all y'all.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Yeah, I know gays have been treated like crap over the years - but they were never slaves - unless it was requested in a Craigslist ad.
...unless it's this one...
Lastly, although I don't give two poops about the right to marry - I wonder why they'd want it. Seriously - you're called gay for a reason. You get to leave the toilet seat up whenever you want.
When revenues decline, companies cannot afford to pay workers wages that are artificially set above their productivity and demand for their skills. Additionally, laying off capable workers is not preferable in the long-run because unemployed workers are not continuing to develop the skills and experience that enables them to increase their productivity or move beyond low-skilled and entry level jobs to those of higher pay.
Only economic history can provide the definitive narrative regarding the additional role the recent increase in the minimum wage is playing in the current surge in joblessness. Back in 2007, Congress voted to increase the minimum wage to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008 and $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposed a minimum wage increase because it destroys entry-level jobs, stunts new job growth, and harms small businesses. In a 2007 survey, the Chamber found that 60 percent of small business owners would not be able to off-set the cost of the minimum wage increase. That, in turn, would lead businesses to make tough decisions like slashing benefits, raising prices, and laying off workers.
Although many industrialized countries have minimum wage laws there are many exceptions, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Cyprus. Switzerland has no minimum-wage laws and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. The latest numbers are 2.6 percent.
He ends by calling upon Congress and the incoming Obama administration to unshackle the private sector from these artificial regulations. That's a purely academic exercise 'cause it ain't gonna happen. Instead, if unemployment continues to rise, I'd be on the lookout for a new Pelosi dog-n-pony show whereby businesses are further regulated disallowing lay-offs, or mandating a longer notification period before laying off or suchlike. These actions would, of course, have the effect of scaring companies from hiring people without straight A's in gradeschool and 750+ credit scores. In other words, look for government intrusiveness to jack the unemployment rate up even higher.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Someone from our area's Dennis Prager discussion group replied to a group email with this comment:
Even though I voted for McCain, Obama is now my President. I will respect him and the office that he will occupy. If I disagree with his policy I will not disparage the man, but I will attack what is wrong with the policy and suggest an alternative. In many instances over the last eight years we have witnessed those who disagree with President Bush's policies attack the man in a vicious manner. How many times has our President been called stupid, racist, war monger, a Nazi? I will not occupy the gutter with people that do that.
Bravo. If nothing else, this should be the ideal for which we strive.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Well, hey, connect the dots from this story.
In a crushing defeat for gay rights proponents the election yesterday supported Proposition 8; a ban on gay marriage.
Gay marriage was legal for about a year, and as many as 18,000 couples got married. But this will stop as soon as the new law takes effect.
The results were close, but in the end the measure was passed with a vote of 52% in favor. The Associated Press noted that ethnic origin had an impact on support Proposition 8, with the most support coming from the black community.
So Obama mobilized the black community to vote and they voted more decisively for Prop 8 than all those limp-wristed white people.
"We will be back in strength," says the former Arkansas governor. Huck has a way with words, so I'll let his words be mine. Excerpt:
The campaign is over and now is the time for governing and leading. The Republican Party must now reassess where it is and where it is going. Our problem is not that our views aren't acceptable, it is that many in our party have abandoned the very principles that once drew Americans to trust us. Our party will be back with strength, but tonight we should all celebrate the historic nature of this election and put our country ahead of our party.
I must admit I'm not hopeful at all about an Obama presidency. I think could be the beginning of a 4-year "campaign" of sorts to right perceived wrongs Robin Hood-style while ignoring terrorism, property rights and not to mention the rights of the unborn.
That's all I'll say for now–it's probably early to make predictions about threats to the first two amendments, but others have done so. It doesn't bode well when an Obama ad uses an orange-vested hunter as an iconic backdrop for mention of the 2nd amendment in a TV ad. That right is not about going after 4-legged animals and then shooting them, it's about 2-legged animals coming after you and then shooting them. John Lott, Obama's former colleague at the University of Chicago, was on Medved's show last week recalling his first encounter with the President-elect:
Obama: Oh, You're the gun guy.
Lott: Yeah, that's right. We should get together and talk about it sometime.
Obama: (laughing and walking away) I don't think people should be allowed to own guns.
Well, we've survived that mentality in the past, let's hope we do again.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Check it out. I've gotten two calls from this number, 702-553-0580, and it's basically Mr. Urban DK himself telling me to vote for him. But here's the trick he pulls; the Caller ID shows up as "Mortgage".
This is the first time in my 10-years in Ohio 10th that I've been robocalled by the little green man himself, so I'm hoping he really is worried and stretching a little bit. But this misleading Caller ID stunt could have a backlash and that's what I'm hoping for.
Monday, November 3, 2008
You can read briefly about the history of these prayers which were commonly recited after Low Mass here. What everybody knows about them is that the intention was to convert Russia, but most don't realize that Pius IX actually originally prescribed the prayers and composed the collect. This is probably because Pope Leo XIII added the famous Saint Michael prayer which is a favorite with my kids since it features Satan receiving a royal ass-kicking from the famous archangel.
After Vatican II, the prayers after mass were discontinued. But there's no use crying over spilled milk. You can say them yourself after mass. And you had sure better start, dog. The enemies of the Church are gathering force.
Here they are—you now have no excuse.
THE LEONINE PRAYERS
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. (3 times)
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
In his pre-election message, my Bishop is basically saying what needs to be said at this point because people still don't get it, i.e., Catholics are still voting for Obama. Here's the whole thing:
While All Faithful Citizenship Issues Important, Not All Are Equal
by Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon
(Reprinted from the Catholic Universe Bulletin, 31 October 2008)
In the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship the Catholic Bishops of our country stated that their purpose in presenting this teaching to the faithful was “to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth.” The bishops further taught that in making choices in political life every individual Catholic is called to do so “in light of a properly formed conscience.” I am pleased to have been a member of the Bishops’ Conference that presented this document to our Catholic people, and indeed to all people of good will.
As we fast approach Election Day 2008, I am concerned about many things that are being said about the teaching of the bishops. From listening to many good and sincere people who are preparing to fulfill their duty to vote as Catholics and citizens, I realize they are confused in light of what is being said by certain people. For example, we hear from some that the issues and concerns raised in Faithful Citizenship are all equally important as they all impact human life. This is not at all what Faithful Citizenship taught.
While all the issues presented in the teaching of Faithful Citizenship are significant, they are not all equally significant. To suggest that all of the issues are of equal value is not what the bishops taught, nor what the Catholic Church has taught and continues to teach. The Church teaches that “there are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with the love of God and neighbor.” This is taught because such actions go against the true good of persons; thus, “they must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned.” This is why our Catholic teaching has labeled such actions as intrinsically evil. Certainly, abortion and euthanasia, direct attacks on human life, stand out as intrinsically evil actions among other attacks on human life.
This teaching on intrinsically evil actions admits of no exception or compromise for it is rooted in the moral law which is the very heart of our Catholic belief. God has taught through Revelation that human life is to be protected and respected, for it is gift from God.
Faithful Citizenship goes on to speak about other issues that may enhance human life, which are important matters. However, we need to first recognize that these issues only matter if human life itself is a value of fundamental priority and is always protected. If human life is expendable, then these other issues really lose much of their significance. Second, we need to appreciate that Catholic teaching on these life-enhancing issues admits to the legitimacy of different approaches in addressing a particular issue or of realizing a desired outcome. For example, the Church teaches the value of striving for an immigration policy that is responsive to the current situation, acknowledges our history as a country accepting “new people”, and asserts our responsibility to be a welcoming people for those who suffer greatly. Having presented such a teaching on the dignity of life, the Bishops encourage all to add their contribution to the public discourse striving to find a just resolution to this issue that affects so many people.
As you can see, this teaching of the bishops on immigration like the other life-enhancing issues mentioned in Faithful Citizenship fundamentally differs from that on abortion and euthanasia. The teaching on abortion and euthanasia are based on “God’s truth” regarding the dignity and sacredness of all human life, whereas the other issues, relying upon the acceptance “God’s truth” on human life, then strive to build it up, to enhance its quality, and further justice and peace. The first group of issues is essential and foundational and can never be compromised. The second group depends upon that foundation being securely in place, so that all human life which is sacred may be protected.
It is my hope that these few words may help dispel confusion flowing from misrepresentations stating or implying that all issues noted in Faithful Citizenship are of equal value. As we all prepare for Election Day let us be guided by our Catholic faith and teaching which respects the inestimable value and dignity of every human life, for without Respect for Life, what is there left to respect?
What is there left to respect if we don't respect life?
In regards to the Faithful Citizenship document, I feel it definitely needs clarification on how bad abortion is. Of course, the point isn't to merely discuss abortion, but as I've mentioned earlier, it is the defining issue in our time and our country and has been called so by our Bishops. But a line like "....A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position...." is a little unrealistic, in my opinion, in light of the times in which we live. Although racism is surely an abhorrent evil, no modern candidates are blatantly proclaiming a "right to racism". There is no Freedom of Prejudice Act (FOPA) which John McCain has promised to sign if he gets into the White House -- a faux pas, indeed -- but there is a Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) which Obama has promised to sign which drops many current restrictions on abortion, restrictions supported by many Democrats including Hillary Clinton. So while I view the USCCB document as extremely useful it doesn't really serve as a particular voting guide for the terribly misinformed and confused, which is how I would describe a Catholic electorate which could contemplate voting for Barack Obama.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
DALLAS, Texas, OCT. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Voting for a pro-abortion candidate when there is an alternative option is to cooperate in evil, and therefore morally impermissible, clarified two Texas bishops.
In a message made available to the faithful during this Respect Life month, bishops Kevin Farrell of Dallas and Kevin Vann of Fort Worth seek to "dispel any confusion or misunderstanding that may be present among you concerning the teaching contained in" the U.S. bishops document on faithful citizenship.
"'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship' clearly teaches that not all issues have the same moral equivalence," the bishops explained. "Some issues involve 'intrinsic evils'; that is, they can never under any circumstance or condition be morally justified. Preeminent among these intrinsic evils are legalized abortion, the promotion of same-sex unions and 'marriages,' repression of religious liberty, as well as public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive human embryonic stem cell research."
Thus, bishops Farrell and Vann stated, "we cannot make more clear the seriousness of the overriding issue of abortion -- while not the 'only issue'-- it is the defining moral issue, not only today, but of the last 35 years. […] This electoral cycle affords us an opportunity to promote the culture of life in our nation.
"As Catholics we are morally obligated to pray, to act and to vote to abolish the evil of abortion in America, limiting it as much as we can until it is finally abolished."
The prelates acknowledged that there are a number of important issues voters must consider "such as immigration reform, health care, the economy and its solvency, care and concern for the poor, and the war on terror."
"As Catholics we must be concerned about these issues and work to see that just solutions are brought about," they wrote. "There are many possible solutions to these issues and there can be reasonable debate among Catholics on how to best approach and solve them. These are matters of 'prudential judgment.'"
"But," the prelates emphasized, "let us be clear: Issues of prudential judgment are not morally equivalent to issues involving intrinsic evils. No matter how right a given candidate is on any of these issues, it does not outweigh a candidate's unacceptable position in favor of an intrinsic evil such as abortion or the protection of 'abortion rights.'"
Salvation at stake
The Texas bishops, citing the U.S. episcopal conference document, addressed the question of if it is "permissible for a Catholic to vote for a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil -- even when the voter does not agree with the candidate's position on that evil."
They said there are only two conditions when voting for a pro-abortion candidate is permissible: "A. If both candidates running for office support abortion or 'abortion rights,' a Catholic would be forced to then look at the other important issues and through their vote try to limit the evil done; or,
"B. If another intrinsic evil outweighs the evil of abortion. While this is sound moral reasoning, there are no 'truly grave moral' or 'proportionate' reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal abortion each year.
"To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or 'abortion rights' when there is a morally acceptable alternative would be to cooperate in the evil -- and, therefore, morally impermissible."
The bishops concluded affirming that the decisions made on such political and moral issues "may affect each individual's salvation."
"As Catholics, we must treat our political choices with appropriate moral gravity," they wrote, "and in doing so, realize our continuing and unavoidable obligation to be a voice for the voiceless unborn, whose destruction by legal abortion is the preeminent intrinsic evil of our day."
I'm glad they brought up Eternal Salvation and how cooperating in the abortion industrial complex can threaten it. I know we can't judge the state of someone's soul, but don't you have to wonder about a Catholic like Senator Joe Biden who said "I strongly support Roe v. Wade....That’s why I led the fight to defeat [Robert] Bork. Thank God he is not in the Court or Roe v. Wade would be gone by now." What's the defense for that on judgement day, knowing that we'll be judged for every careless word we speak?
Ironically, Robert Bork was received into the Roman Catholic church in 2003. But he's not Slow-joe's kind of Catholic since he never got smacked by a Sister with a 18-inch ruler and reportedly has never played Bingo either. Those are the types of things which comprise what Biden calls "the culture". Along with the disregarding of any controversial teaching of the church like "don't kill babies."
[BTW, I know that's a crappy pic of Bork, but the page is good....]
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Hat tip to Roger H from the comments.
Well, maybe there were some of these nut preachers saying stuff like "f*ck America" so when Wright says "God damn America" it's deemed much better, plus it sounds more religious since it has the word "God" in it. Or maybe this was before he turned into a liberation theologian nut-whack. Fat chance.
Also it's funny that Obama has to make sure he tells the mindless zombie interviewing him that his faith isn't traditional or institutional. That's the way people talk when they feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about something.
Our own common sense tells us that not every issue is of the same importance. At various times in history, a people or nation is confronted with an issue that transcends others in importance and that demands a courageous response.
The transcending issue of our day is the intentional destruction of innocent human life, as in abortion. We wish with all our hearts that no candidate and no party were advocating this heinous act against the human person. However, since it is a transcending issue, and even supported in its most extreme and horrific forms, we must proclaim time and time again that no intrinsic evil can ever be supported in any way, most especially when it concerns the gravest of all intrinsic evils: the taking of an innocent life.
We bishops of Pennsylvania quoted from the late Pope John Paul II’s Post Synodal Exhortation on the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful and I quote him again here: “The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination” (Christifideles Laici, 38).
At this moment in our country’s history, defense of innocent human life is a moral responsibility for all of us. The same God who thundered from Mount Sinai: “Thou shalt not kill,” thunders still. When life in the womb is destroyed, God thunders: “This is a child!” When by the most barbaric means, unworthy of any civilized people, the brain of a child is sucked out of his or her head by a vacuum, God thunders: “This is a child!” When a baby is left to die of exposure on a shelf because of a failed abortion, and this is considered a “right” by any leader, God, the Source of all law and authority, thunders: “This is a child!” When we are faced with every modern means of education and communication, in addition to the law placed in our hearts at creation, no one, and most especially, no Catholic, can ever say: “I did not know.”
The human dignity that we proclaim works two ways: it affords us a great privilege but it also demands a responsibility. The feeble defense “I did not know” cannot be used by any responsible person in our time when confronted with the reality of abortion. We do know. We know because we can reason and think and see. Along with this position, which is confirmed by modern science, comes a command: “Thou shalt not kill.” It is not a question of politics but a question of the gravest of intrinsic evils; and just as the reality of what it is cannot be explained away, neither can our responsibility.
Throughout our history, Catholics have earned their right to call themselves patriotic Americans. Faithful citizenship not only includes dying for one’s country or working towards its prosperity, it also includes being faithful to a law which is higher than the expediency of the moment with the same generosity of body and heart, and the same courage that is given on the battlefield and in the workplace. We remind ourselves of this as we continue to be called to faithful citizenship and respect for life in the “earthly city” without forgetting that we are ultimately called to live as citizens of heaven forever.
Yes, we all know it's a child. As Cardinal Arinze recently told an audience, something to the effect of "Why do you need a theologian to tell you abortion is murder? Any second grader in a First Communion class could tell you that." But there are many euphemisms for the claim "I did not know", one being "Answering that question...is above my pay grade."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
I meant to post this when it appeared in the Washington Times, but here it is now. It's a debate between Barack Obama and Patrick O'Malley when they were both Illinois State Senators. I'll include it in it's entirety; it's stunning to read.
The most telling debate Barack Obama ever had was not with John McCain but Patrick O'Malley, who served with Mr. Obama in the Illinois Senate and engaged him in a colloquy every American should read.
The Obama-O'Malley debate was a defining moment for Mr. Obama because it dealt with such a fundamental issue: The state's duty to protect the civil rights of the young and disabled.
Some background: Eight years ago, nurse Jill Stanek went public about the "induced-labor abortions" performed at the Illinois hospital where she worked. Often done on Down syndrome babies, the procedure involved medicating the mother to cause premature labor.
Babies who survived this, Nurses Stanek testified in the U.S. Congress, were brought to a soiled linen room and left alone to die without care or comforting.
Then-Illinois state Sen. Patrick O'Malley, whom I interviewed this week, contacted the state attorney general's office to see whether existing laws protected a newborn abortion-survivor's rights as a U.S. citizen. He was told they did not. So, Mr. O'Malley - a lawyer, veteran lawmaker and colleague of Mr. Obama on the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee - drafted legislation.
In 2001, he introduced three bills. SB1093 said if a doctor performing an abortion believed there was a likelihood the baby would survive, another physician must be present "to assess the child's viability and provide medical care." SB1094 gave the parents, or a state-appointed guardian, the right to sue to protect the child's rights. SB1095 simply said a baby alive after "complete expulsion or extraction from its mother" would be considered a " 'person,' 'human being,' 'child' and 'individual.' "
The bills dealt exclusively with born children. "This legislation was about preventing conduct that allowed infanticide to take place in the state of Illinois," Mr. O'Malley told me.
The Judiciary Committee approved the bills with Mr. Obama in opposition. On March 31, 2001, they came up on the Illinois Senate floor. Only one member spoke against them: Barack Obama.
"Nobody else said anything," Mr. O'Malley recalls. The official transcript validates this.
"Sen. O'Malley," Mr. Obama said near the beginning of the discussion, "the testimony during the committee indicated that one of the key concerns was - is that there was a method of abortion, an induced abortion, where the - the fetus or child, as - as some might describe it, is still temporarily alive outside the womb." Mr. Obama made three crucial concessions here: the legislation was about (1) a human being, who was (2) "alive" and (3) "outside the womb."
He also used an odd redundancy: "temporarily alive." Is there another type of human?
"And one of the concerns that came out in the testimony was the fact that they were not being properly cared for during that brief period of time that they were still living," Mr. Obama continued.
Here he made another crucial concession: The intention of the legislation was to make sure that (1) a human being, (2) alive and (3) outside the womb was (4) "properly cared for."
"Is that correct?" Mr. Obama asked Mr. O'Malley.
Mr. O'Malley tightened the logical knot. "[T]his bill suggests that appropriate steps be taken to treat that baby as a - a citizen of the United States and afforded all the rights and protections it deserves under the Constitution of the United States," said Mr. O'Malley.
But to these specific temporarily-alive-outside-the-womb-human beings - to these children who had survived a botched abortion, whose hearts were beating, whose muscles were moving, whose lungs were heaving - to these specific children of God, Mr. Obama was not willing to concede any constitutional rights at all.
To explain his position, Mr. Obama came up with yet another term to describe the human being who would be protected by Mr. O'Malley's bills. The abortion survivor became a "pre-viable fetus."
By definition, however, a born baby cannot be a "fetus." Merriam-Webster Online defines "fetus" as an "unborn or unhatched vertebrate" or "a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth." Mr. Obama had already conceded these human beings were "alive outside the womb."
"No. 1," said Mr. Obama, "whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or other elements of the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a - a child, a 9-month-old - child that was delivered to term."
Yes. In other words, a baby born alive at 37 weeks is just as much a human "person" as a baby born alive at 22 weeks.
Mr. Obama, however, saw a problem with calling abortion survivors "persons." "I mean, it - it would essentially bar abortions," said Mr. Obama, "because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute."
For Mr. Obama, whether or not a temporarily-alive-outside-the-womb little girl is a "person" entitled to constitutional rights is not determined by her humanity, her age or even her place in space relative to her mother's uterus. It is determined by whether a doctor has been trying to kill her.
Emphasis mine. Re-read the italicized paragraph carefully, several times if necessary. Cart before horse, anyone? I guess this was before he realized this kind of stuff was above his pay grade.
God help us.